15 Must-Try Brain Breaks for K-1 Students

Have you been in the middle of teaching a great lesson and you start seeing several students getting wiggly? Then you might see them start to look up, around, and everywhere except at you. And before you know it, half the class is just not focused and engaged, and you’re doing more redirecting than teaching. […]

Virtual Weather Activities: Ideas, Tips, & Free Downloads

One of my favorite science topics to teach is weather. My little learners always loved it, too! Weather is all around us, and students already have some background knowledge of how it affects them. When it comes to teaching weather while distance learning, it can feel overwhelming to reinvent the wheel. Today, I’m sharing some […]

7 Things I Learned About Virtual Guided Reading Groups

When things went bananas last year and we were thrown into distance learning, I was excited to figure out how to launch virtual guided reading groups. I had tons and tons of teachers just like you asking for my help in figuring how to do virtual guided reading to keep moving readers forward. Just like […]

8 Activities To Celebrate the 100th Day of School Virtually

No matter if you are teaching in-person or through distance learning this year, celebrating the 100th day of school is a big deal. I loved implementing a combination of fun activities and activities that integrated into math and literacy. You have a ton on your plate, so I wanted to help you come up with […]

5 Fun Games for Classroom Holiday Parties on Zoom

If there is any word associated with 2020, it’s “unprecedented”. I think I have heard that word so much that it doesn’t even carry the weight that it once did. Classroom holiday parties on Zoom are no different, friends. Really, have you ever had to have your classroom holiday party on Zoom? I know it’s […]

8 Christmas Read Alouds Your Class Will Love

With the holidays near, I always found myself enjoying read alouds in the classroom more than ever. Even now, I find myself enjoying Christmas read alouds with my kids at home more often. There is just something warm, cozy, and inviting about enjoying a book together. Not to mention, all of the benefits and power […]

12 Thanksgiving Read Alouds Your Class Will Love

One thing that is sure to bring a smile to a kid’s face is an enjoyable read aloud. No matter the season and topic there are always great books we can use to build background knowledge, set the stage, and model attributes of good readers. During the fall, I always pull out my favorite Thanksgiving […]

The Top 10 Posts for Virtual Balanced Literacy

Virtual balanced literacy may look different than it did in your classroom, but it still has the same benefits for your students. Balanced literacy with all of its components can fit into the virtual classroom. From guided reading to shared reading to independent reading to interactive read alouds, they can all be done. I put […]

Read a Thon: An Easy School Fundraising Idea

School supplies add up quickly. Field trips are an extra expense for families that not all families can’t afford. Extra treats for teachers to help lift their spirits can be expensive. Pencils, paper, leveled readers, glue sticks, and this year hand sanitizer and all the cleaning things simply add up to a high price quickly. […]

Tips for a Successful Virtual Parent-Teacher Conference {Freebies}

How do parent conferences make you feel – excited, nervous, or stressed? I used to be a blend of nervousness and excitement. Before each conference, I’d get the anxious feeling in my stomach and worry about upsetting a parent. I also would be excited, though, because this was my chance to show how much I […]

How to Encourage Reading at Home During Distance Learning

One goal all teachers have is to get students to read at home. Reading at home outside of school has so many benefits like fostering a love for reading in children, developing language and reading skills, and stimulates the imagination. One of the many challenges of teaching this year will be how to encourage reading […]

How to Create Breakout Rooms on Google Meet for Guided Reading

One aspect of in-person learning that is a little challenging to recreate while distance learning is small groups. For guided reading, this is critical. If your district won’t let you use Zoom, there is a way to create breakout rooms on Google Meet. You might be wondering, “Why do I need breakout rooms for small […]

How to Make Virtual Read Alouds Interactive For Distance Learning

One of my favorite parts of the day in the classroom was interactive read alouds. When it comes to interactive virtual read alouds during distance learning, the benefits will still be the same. Students get to experience an engaging, rich text that is age-appropriate on their listening level. You get to model how to think […]

Virtual Shared Reading: A Step-by-Step Guide

One of the balanced literacy components my students always loved was shared reading. They loved getting to read fun poems, read big books, and sing songs. I loved the opportunity to model fluent reading and how to think like a reader. As distance learning for many is beginning this fall, I wanted to take a […]

Best Practices for Virtual Reading Assessments

Distance learning has so many challenges – technology, student engagement, parent involvement (too much or too little), and the list goes on. Before distance learning reading instruction can take place, teachers will have to complete virtual assessments for each of their students. Without getting some best practices in place, it can be difficult to get […]

How to Use Boom Cards for Distance Learning

While distance learning with our students has presented many new challenges, we’ve also had opportunities to try new things to better serve our students. One of those things I recently came across and have grown to love for distance learning is Boom Learning cards. Boom cards are digital, interactive, self-checking decks of activities that allow […]

6 Excellent Back to School Read Alouds for Distance Learning

One of my favorite parts of the back to school season is picking out my interactive read alouds for the beginning of the year. I love getting to spend quality time modeling how to read and sharing how a good reader thinks. But most of all, I love the bits I learn about my students […]

How to Get Books in Students’ Hands While Distance Learning

You’ve probably started setting up your virtual classroom in your learning platform. You’ve planned on how to get to know your students (and for them to get to know each other!). Maybe you’ve started working on your first day of virtual school lesson plans. Perhaps you’ve even started working on your plan to launch guided […]