FREE Making Predictions Activities & Read Aloud Lesson Plan to Engage Readers

Use these making predictions activities and lesson plan ideas to help your students develop stronger reading comprehension. When you’re sitting and reading a book aloud to your students, how do you know they’re engaged and listening? How can you tell students are listening to learn and comprehend? One easy way is to find out if […]

How to Teach Synthesizing: Helpful Books and Lesson Ideas

An important component of reading comprehension is the ability to synthesize or draw from multiple sources to gain new information. If you teach reading strategies, chances are you’ve heard this term before, but what exactly does it mean for our young readers? And how can you help students learn this skill? Learning how to teach […]

Morphology: What It Is and Why It’s Important for Teachers

One morning, I had a conversation with my four year old that reminded me about why morphology is important. It went a little something like this…  Daughter: “Mom, Mrs. Miller is the kinder teacher I’ve ever met.” Me: After thinking for a minute. “Are you saying Mrs. Miller is the most kind teacher you have […]

Understanding Phonemic Awareness and How to Support Readers

With all of the science of reading research coming to the surface over the last few years, there have been so many words floating around. I’ve been getting lots of emails from teachers asking about the “ph” words: phonemic awareness, phonological awareness, and phonics. I don’t blame them – there is so much to relearn […]

6 Books for October Read Alouds That Your Class Will Love

October is always such a fun time in the classroom! It starts to feel like fall (for the Texans at least), and there are so many fun fall-themed activities I loved to bring out for my students. One great way to bring in the season and holidays is with read alouds. October read alouds can […]

5 Reasons Why I’m Not Throwing Out Leveled Readers

We’ve all learned so much now that the science of reading research has come to light in the past few years. We’ve learned that our young readers need explicit and frequent phonics instruction. We also learned that our approach to reading small groups needs changes like how we prompt our readers and how we assess […]

Phonological Awareness: What it is and How to Support Readers

Many of you who have been around for a while know our family is an adoptive family. When we first brought my daughter home, we saw firsthand how little she had been read to at the age of three. She had no interest in books. The more we read to her and the more she […]

Alphabetic Knowledge: What It Is and Activities to Support Students

My friend, Lauren, shared this story with me about her daughter. “When my daughter was four, she loved to sing the alphabet. It was fun to jump in with her and sing that very familiar song. She knew the order of the alphabet and some of the sounds each letter makes, but if she got […]

How to Support Pre-Readers in Reading Small Groups | The Science of Reading

When it comes to the science of reading, we’ve all been hearing about the need to support our students with research-backed instruction. But what about pre-readers? How do we support pre-readers with the science of reading? When you’re meeting with your reading small groups, how can we continue to support pre-readers and move them towards […]

How to Set Up and Use a Sound Wall in Your Classroom to Support Readers

Sound walls are one of the big changes that elementary teachers are making to their classrooms. This change is happening for very good reasons that are backed up by research, too. (If you want to read more about this change, you can check out this blog post all about word walls vs. sound walls.) One […]

9 Back-to-School Freebies for Kinder and First Grade

When you think of the back-to-school season, you probably think of decorating your classroom, labeling everything with students’ names, participating in professional development, contacting parents, and prepping for Meet the Teacher Night. There is so much to do! To help make this school year a bit easier, I put together a list of my favorite […]

6 Perfect Books for Back to School Read Alouds in August

August means back-to-school season, which means it’s time to hunt for the perfect back-to-school read-alouds. At the beginning of the school year, I always loved to pull out my favorite read alouds and find some new, fresh ones that my students would enjoy. Back-to-school read alouds provide opportunities to build a classroom community, soothe fears […]

How to Successfully Teach High-Frequency Words in Reading Small Groups

Elevate your teaching practices on how to teach high-frequency words with the science of reading in mind. During my first few years of teaching, I remember preparing flashcards each Monday with that week’s high-frequency words on them. We introduced them on Mondays and practiced them the rest of the week. We would spell the words […]

No More Phonics Worksheets: Try These 7 Activities Instead

I wish I could say I loved my phonics block in the classroom. I never had a solid phonics scope and sequence so I always felt like I was floundering around. What I did love was seeing my students engage with phonics activities as we worked together and did the best we could. We did […]

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. […]