FREE Phonics Scope and Sequence for Reading Small Groups

Learn all about why a phonics scope and sequence is critical to teaching and grab a free one to use in your reading small groups. My district gave us blueprints at the beginning of each school year for each subject area. It showed us the units we would teach and what the objectives and outcomes […]

Sound Wall Versus Word Wall: Why Teachers Are Making the Switch

Learn what the differences are between a sound wall and a word wall to help boost your readers with stronger phonics and spelling skills. A teacher friend shared this story with me and it’s too good not to reshare as we are diving into why we need word walls. She recalled a specific instance when […]

Literacy Manipulatives to Help Boost Phonics and Reading Skills [FREEBIE]

When it comes to using manipulatives in the classroom, we often think of math manipulatives. What about using literacy manipulatives in the classroom? Yes, friends! Literacy manipulatives are a great way to help readers develop stronger phonics, fluency, and comprehension skills. Chances are that you are already using some literacy manipulatives in your own classroom. […]

4 Helpful Science of Reading Books to Help You Make the Shift

Check out these four science of reading books to add to your list of professional reading so you can start making changes towards better reading instruction practices. Over the last few years, we have learned more and more about how kids learn to read. Because of this, we know change is needed in how we […]

How to Effectively Teach the Six Types of Syllables

I remember seeing the decoding gaps of some of my students during my first year of teaching. A lot of them didn’t know their letter sounds, so they definitely didn’t know the different types of syllables. Goodness, I think I barely knew the six different types of syllables! If they did know their letter sounds, […]

How to Choose Decodable Books to Best Support Your Students

Okay so you’ve made the decision that you want need to start using decodable books with your kindergarten and first grade readers, but where do you start? How do you know which decodable books will help your students strengthen their reading skills? There are just so many options out there that it’s hard to know […]

How to Teach Reading Skills through Interactive Read Aloud

I love reading books and finding new books that I think my kids will enjoy. I love that you can read a book for pleasure, but you can also read a book and have a great conversation after. When I first started teaching, I loved reading some of my favorite books to my class. If we […]

FREE Reading Small Groups Guide With the Science of Reading in Mind

When it comes to reading small groups, one common question I get from teachers is “Now what?” You have assessed your students, now what? You have grouped your students based on skill need or reading level, now what? Knowing what to do with your students once you know where they are in their reading journey […]

Why I’m Reexamining My Guided Reading Practice and You Should Too

Change. It can be tough. If you have spent a few years in a classroom, you know that change is inevitable.  Year after year things change. We adopt new ways. We learn new things about teaching practices, new research like the science of reading, the way students learn, and we reexamine the way we have […]

Top 5 Mentor Texts for Teaching Poetry in Primary Grades

One of my favorite memories is when my first grade teacher introduced me to poetry. She read one of Shel Silverstein’s books aloud to our class, and it captivated me. I loved that poems could be funny, serious, and written in so many different formats. I went to the library after school and checked out […]

How to Print on Sticky Notes in 4 Easy Steps

When it comes to teacher hacks, I’m always on the hunt for new ones. Helper cards to remind students of directions? Yes! Treasure trash to motivate students to clean up? You bet. When I learned how to print on sticky notes, my life was changed. (I realize that’s a little dramatic, but I was so […]

4 April Fools’ Day Activities For Kinder and First Grade With a Freebie

When it comes to April Fools’ Day, teachers either love it or hate it! I liked to do some April Fools’ Day activities and jokes to help keep students engaged because I knew it was on their minds. I’ve turned all the tables backward and put broccoli on wrapped lollipop sticks as little pranks on […]

6 Engaging Books for March Read Alouds to Boost Readers

When March rolls around in the classroom, most teachers feel one of two ways. Either very excited to be in the middle of the last semester of school or panicking that time is running out to teach all of the things. I always felt like there was never enough time to squeeze in everything to […]

5 Types of Guided Reading Groups to Boost Readers

When you teach kindergarten, first, and second grade, you have such a variety of readers in your classroom. Some can read on an advanced fourth grade level. Some students are nonreaders. Many students fall in between and need help with phonological awareness and phonics skills. When it comes to creating reading small groups, where do […]

6 Dental Health Activities to Support Learning [+ a FREEBIE]

I can still remember learning about teeth and dentists through our dental health activities back when I was in elementary school. Can you? I remember seeing a huge model of a mouth and taking turns brushing its teeth. I can also picture the dentist who came to talk to us in first grade. And I’m […]

4 Guided Reading Teaching Points with the Science of Reading in Mind

Friends, we’ve learned a lot this past year about how to best teach reading with our students. It is so important to give our students a strong phonics foundation so that they are strong, confident decoders. But how do we make sure we are prompting them and teaching them with the science of reading in […]

6 Reasons Why You Should Try Using Decodable Readers in Guided Reading

Decodable readers have become pretty popular in the literacy community. Where are you at with using decodable readers? Do you know where to start? Maybe you’ve been hearing all about them, but you haven’t had a chance to sit down and dive in. Maybe you’re still not even sure why using decodable readers in guided […]

6 Awesome Books for Your February Read Alouds

For many of us, February can feel like a ‘blah’ month stuck in the middle of winter break and spring break. But I’m here to tell you that you can pack a ton of fun activities for your kindergarten, first, and second graders with all of the holidays in February. Think about it…Groundhog’s Day, President’s […]