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Fun with Beginning Readers

March 7, 2016 No Comments

So what is the difference between phonics and phonemic awareness? Phonemic awareness is the foundation of our written language. Beginning readers learn that each letter has a sound associated with it. By combining individual letter sounds (phonemes) children are able to hear, identify, and manipulate individual sounds in words. For example, the word cat has three separate phonemes: /c/   /a/   /t/.   These three sounds can be rearranged to spell tac:   /t/   /a/   /c/. Children who can…

February Morning Work – Try For Free!

February 21, 2016 No Comments

Having something for students to do when they arrive in the morning helps establish good routines. My students know that after they arrive and have had time to catch up with their classmates, its time to grab their morning work. This year, each student has a pocket folder to store the monthly packet. A binder would work well also. I print the entire month ahead of time and staple it at the top. After attendance and…

Pumpkin Math & Literacy Ideas

October 18, 2015 No Comments

It’s that time of year again! Our local farms are busy with families looking for that “perfect” pumpkin. It is also a great theme for reading, writing, and creating! So here are some ideas for the rest of the month. This is a FREE downloadable resource that children can use to create their own informational book about pumpkins. All you need are some nonfiction texts like Pumpkins by Gail Gibbons, and your young writers will be…

Batty for Bats Scavenger Hunt

October 13, 2015 No Comments

I like to teach the difference between facts and fable. Young students have many preconceived ideas along with misconceptions. It can be amusing at times to hear their explanations. In October, a great theme for fact and fable is bats. So many people fear these mammals without understanding their importance to controlling the insect population; especially mosquitoes. A fun way to have your students learn more about a topic is through the use of a scavenger…

Interactive MYSTERY Unit

October 10, 2015 No Comments

It was time to move my growing readers into another genre; one that few them had spent much time with: mysteries! As I was planning this genre study, it became clear that the skills they would be using complimented the reading skills of making inferences and drawing conclusions. While planning a unit, I not only think about the objectives, but also think about ways to make it interesting for the students. I want to create  high-interest,…

Apple Trivia Hunt

September 22, 2015 No Comments

 It is almost autumn! Time to think about apples, Johnny Appleseed, and fresh cider. Are you looking for a fun way to launch this year’s apple theme? Then get your class up and about on an apple trivia hunt!         Print and cut apart the 12 fact cards. You can post them around your classroom, or out in a hallway.         Then print a question page for each student. Your…

How Important Are High Frequency Words?

September 12, 2015 No Comments

Did you know that children who do not master the 100 most common high frequency words until 3rd grade usually continue to struggle as readers throughout their lives? (Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement).  While saying words from a list does not encompass all the skills needed to be a proficient reader, the mastery of high frequency words is a crucial foundation for more complex texts. When a reader is spending most of their…


September 11, 2015 No Comments

I love that my young writers are eager to spell correctly. They are no longer satisfied with using inventive spelling. However, their young age makes using a dictionary quite intimidating. So how is a teacher able to support conventional spelling during writer’s workshop? What do you do when you hear, “How do you spell…?” My solution is a personal word wall! It is simple, customized, and handy. Whenever a student would like to know how to…

Solution to No Name Papers

September 6, 2015 1 Comment

If you had a dime for every minute you spent trying to figure out whose “No Name” paper belonged to, you’d be rich! For years I have been frustrated by this chronic problem too; especially when there is more than one child forgetting. Then over the summer, I stumbled across this simple, yet amazing idea from Jamie at 2nd Grade Stuff Labeled Clothespins!! Here’s what I did: I chose two different colors (boys / girls) that…

Welcome! I'm Alison Monk, a primary teacher with a passion for creating educational materials that engage kids and teachers love! I hope this blog encourages and inspires you. I'm so glad you are here! Read More

About the Literacy Garden

Books have a magical way of taking us beyond our present reality into a world of possibilities. Our hearts smile, our minds grow, and our imagination blooms. The Literacy Garden is a place for parents and teachers to gather so they can nuture the children that surround them.

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