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{Printable Freebie} Notebook Labels

August 23, 2015 1 Comment

Part of my getting ready for the first day of school includes deciding what types of notebooks or learning logs I want to use with this class. I can’t tell you how much I go back and forth between should I use a spiral notebook, composition notebook, a pocket folder, or a binder. Each one has pros and cons. Once I’ve decided, I like to put kid friendly labels on them that identify their purpose. Below…

Spice Up Their Words

July 17, 2015 1 Comment

One growth area my students usually need is a wider vocabulary. Frequently,  they get stuck using dull adjectives and boring verbs. So I began thinking of a creative way to get them to spice up their writing. I quickly latched onto the word “spicier” and images of cooking, recipes, and mixing up a tastier paragraph whisked in my brain. Below is an interactive word wall that I created. The bowls are glued onto envelopes to create…

Teaching About Nonfiction

May 17, 2015 No Comments

   We often assume young readers know the differences between fiction and nonfiction and if they can comprehend one, they can automatically understand the other. However research has shown that proficient readers use different strategies for informational texts and that these strategies must be explicitly modeled and practiced. Nonfiction comes in a variety of formats including maps, signs, letters,  recipes, advertisements, diagrams, instructions, textbooks, and certain websites. In addition, readers need to know how to use…

Morning Work for May

April 19, 2015 No Comments

   One thing I have realized is that even though you teach it, it doesn’t mean they’ve learned it! Like most new learning, it takes an abundant amount of practice before the student “owns” the concept. That is why I am so happy to be using Daily Common Core & More for my morning work. It has shown me which skills they have mastered and which ones… well let’s say “haven’t stuck” yet. I had some…

What Is the Common Core?

January 5, 2015 No Comments

The Common Core Standards were designed to establish a baseline of what all students in the United States should be able to do by the end of each grade. They do not tell teachers how to teach, nor is it a curriculum. Curriculum is still determined at the local level. Schools can still provide differentiated instruction and advanced materials. The ultimate goal is to have clear, consistent goals that prepare our students to compete in a…

Common Core & More Morning Work

July 22, 2014 1 Comment

Do you wish you had an easy way to review the skills that you have taught? Are you frustrated when your students “forgot” what you taught them a few weeks ago? Have you been wondering how to incorporate the Common Core Standards into your classroom? Are you worried that it is “one more thing” you have to cram into your already busy schedule? Well, I’ve been in your shoes and it has motivated me to create…

FREE Download: Making Connections

February 14, 2014 No Comments

Good readers think about the text and often make connections with the characters. I like to have a way to track my students’ thinking. One way I do this is with this Making Connections form. You can provide this form for your student to use while they are reading, or after reading. It can be used with guided reading groups, strategy groups, or individuals. As a blog reader, you can download a copy to use in…

Trivia Hunts for Active Learning

February 5, 2014 No Comments

When working with elementary students, I try to mix in some activities that get them up and about, especially in the afternoon. One of their favorite activities is a Trivia Hunt. They are simple to do and the kids learn a lot in the process! Beforehand, I post about a dozen index-sized cards containing information on a topic throughout our hallway. Here is an example of 4 trivia cards about Rockhopper penguins. Since this hunt includes…

Sticky Notes – What Do You Do With All Those Pieces of Paper?

January 18, 2014 No Comments

I love to have my students write down their thoughts on Post-it notes when they are reading independently. I gain so much insight into their thinking, their misconceptions, and level of comprehending the text. However, I didn’t have a plan for organizing their notes in a way that would be accessible to me for assessment purposes. Having the notes stuffed inside their book didn’t provide me with a bigger picture of what strategies they were using,…

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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