Exciting Classroom Winter Games Activities for Kids For Literacy and Math

This year, the Winter Olympics begin on February 4th and run through February 20th. If your students are like mine have been in the past, I’m sure you’ll have lots of them watching some of the games on TV. By the end of January this year, with all the craziness going on, I’m sure a […]

It’s Time to Ditch These 4 Guided Reading Routines

Have you started something with really good intentions, only to realize that you had to make some changes to your plan? Or maybe you were moving and grooving with something that seemed to be working really well until someone pointed out a flaw in your system? We’ve all been there, friend! With all of the […]

How to Use Decodable Passages in Guided Reading to Boost Readers

We know things are changing in literacy instruction. I’ve learned so much about the importance of phonics instruction and see the value in it. I’ve been digging into the Science of Reading and how it fits with guided reading instruction. One popular topic right now is using decodable passages and books in your guided reading […]

19 Books to Celebrate and Teach Christmas Around the World

Every December, my students and I would create an amazing staycation in our classroom by learning about Christmas around the world. We would do traditional crafts, learn songs, and even try different foods. One of my favorite ways to introduce this topic is through books about Christmas around the world traditions. The holiday season not […]

How to Plan and Master Your Reader’s Workshop Mini Lesson

Reader’s workshop is always a favorite time of the day. If you have been around here for long, you have heard me say before I LOVED the concept of it, but could never find my groove with it in the classroom. I loved the mini-lessons. There’s something special about being together as a class and […]

6 Helpful Books About Adoption for the Classroom

I am all about a great read aloud, but a read aloud about a subject that’s close to my heart? Even better! Using books about adoption can be mirrors and windows for our little learners: mirrors that show relatable stories and windows to give students a peek into something new. This is a powerful time […]

Tackling Word Work Activities in the Kinder and First Grade Classrooms

My first year teaching I was clueless about word work activities and how to manage them. There was a spot for it on my daily schedule, but I didn’t exactly know what it was or what to do with that time. As I went through my first year, I learned what that time should look […]

7 Top Resources for Guided Reading Activities

Have you ever sat down to plan for your reading small groups and just felt stuck? You might stare at your lesson plan and draw a blank. Or you realize your lessons are starting to look the exact same each day, but you can’t come up with something new to try. We’ve all been there! […]

The One Thing You Need to Do To Move Readers Forward

You may feel like there are a million things to do right now and a million more things to learn how to do. You’re not alone! Teachers like you are busier than ever trying to serve their students and families. Instead of giving you a long list of things to do to move your readers […]

Can Guided Reading and Guided Writing Go Together?

 In my early teaching years, I thought guided writing was just helping a student write. Whether that be helping them stretch out a word, generate an idea for their story, or help with the organization of their story, I thought I was doing guided writing. In reality, I wasn’t. I typically coached them through what […]

How to Plan for a Successful First Day of Guided Reading

You’ve set up your classroom and small group area. You’ve found a solid set of decodable and leveled readers. You’ve assessed your students and formed guided reading groups. But do you know what the first day of guided reading looks like? When you call students’ names to your table, do you know what you’re going […]

4 Ways to Complete Reading Assessments for Kindergarten and First Grade

As teachers, we all want to get to know our students at the beginning of the year. We want to know their likes and dislikes, what they love to do, and their strengths and weaknesses. One area we all need insight into is students’ reading abilities. When it comes to reading assessments for kindergarten and […]

4 Ways to Easily Integrate Phonics and Guided Reading

When I first started teaching, one area of my reading instruction that was weaker than others was my phonics instruction. Between all of the reader’s and writer’s workshop requirements, I just couldn’t figure out how to fit in phonics. So it often got put to the side and picked up whenever I had a chance. […]

5 Reasons Why Name Recognition Activities Benefit Kindergarten Students

When you think of the typical kindergarten classroom decor, what comes to mind? You may think of bright colors, fun books, and expectation charts. You probably also think of cute name charts, often with students’ pictures next to their names. That’s because young children’s literacy foundations include name recognition activities. Recognizing our names is one […]

Effective and Engaging Kindergarten Literacy Centers Made Easy

What do poetry, reading, writing, listening, community building, word work, and high-frequency words have in common? These are things that students can practice, review, and strengthen through kindergarten literacy centers! Once literacy centers (aka literacy stations) have been introduced and established, your students will love getting to work alongside their peers and strengthen their literacy […]

4 Things You Can Do to Teach and Improve Reading Comprehension

All three of my kids enjoy reading. This summer we have gone to the library several times and came home with a haul of books. Each time we come home, they immediately pick their favorite reading spot and are glued to their books. Sometimes I’m reading them aloud and other times the big kids are […]

What is an Interactive Read Aloud?

When you hear the words “interactive read aloud”, what comes to mind? Many teachers think it’s just a great read aloud that students enjoy and have conversations about. While this is correct, there is so much more to an interactive read aloud! This powerful time of day allows us to not only connect with students […]

How to Know When Kids are Ready to Read

One common misconception about guided reading is that you can’t start until kids know all of their letters, sounds, and sight words and are ready to read. But, how do you know when kids are ready to read? Is it when they know all of their letters? Or are they ready when they can name […]