Professional Development

7 Alphabet Activities for Kindergarten and 1st Grade

I don’t think I realized how much learning occurs with the alphabet until after my third year of teaching. I don’t remember doing a lot of alphabet activities in my elementary years other than saying the alphabet. That was the knowledge I had when I started teaching.  I went to a training the summer after […]

How to Easily Get Started With Science of Reading Centers

As a kindergarten, first, or second-grade teacher, the concept of getting started with science of reading literacy centers may initially seem overwhelming. This is especially true at the beginning of the year when you are still trying to establish routines and procedures for success. But I’m here to help! With a clear understanding of the […]

10 Must-Try Science of Reading Centers for Kindergarten and First Grade

When it comes to the science of reading research, how do you feel? Do you want to learn more, but aren’t sure where to start? Do you feel like a rising expert, but need more ways to help your students master foundational reading and writing skills? Or maybe you’re somewhere in the middle and just […]

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 […]

6 Tips for Managing Literacy Centers at End of the Year

Literacy centers have such a special place in the classroom. Students love stations that are meaningful, engaging, and purposeful. When a teacher is managing literacy centers well, guided reading can happen without with minimal distractions. Literacy centers can be powerful! Students get to read and write while participating in meaningful literacy experiences. Students get to […]

How to Improve Reading Fluency with Literacy Stations & Activities

When teachers ask me about how to help students move forward in guided reading instruction, I ask about what they are doing to also help improve reading fluency. These two things go hand in hand: fluency is just one of the five pillars of reading instruction. But, what if you don’t have time to do […]

Easy Prep Kindergarten Reading Centers

When it comes to guided reading groups, the number one question most teachers have is, “What about the other kids?” As the classroom has changed drastically recently, teaching a guided reading lesson has become even trickier because oftentimes the other kids just log off and have no reading practice happening. As I reflected back on […]

Literacy Toolboxes: An Easy Approach to Literacy Manipulatives

As we approach a new year of learning that is filled with so much uncertainty, one thing we can be certain of is the need for literacy instruction. Your small groups will need their literacy tools at their fingertips. Plus, when each child has their own set of literacy manipulatives, it’s much easier to manage […]

9 Tips for Making Literacy Stations Safer

With August right around the corner, schools may be starting back with in-person instruction options. I have a feeling this year will look much different than previous years, but I think we can still implement some of the basics of our day that we all know and love…and need. I wanted to help you brainstorm […]

11 Useful Apps for Literacy Stations to Support Students

With more school districts diving into classroom technology, the door of opportunities is opening wide! When it comes to apps for literacy stations, there are so many to choose from. It’s important to choose ones that: are age and skill level appropriate engage students so they stay focused provide meaningful practice and support The apps […]

The Secret to a Successful Guided Reading Group

“Amanda, there must be a secret to successful guided reading. What is it?” I get asked this exact question often. Teachers want students to experience success in reading through guided reading, but sometimes they feel like a hamster in a wheel. They are doing the “right” things, but it feels like going through the motions. […]

How to Use Boom Cards for Distance Learning

Whether you are brand new to distance learning or ready to try some new things, Boom cards are a must-try! This online tool makes it simple and easy to have students practice specific skills, monitor progress, and track data. I know teachers are overwhelmed with trying to successfully teach and connect with students online, so […]

8 Tips to Keep Kindergarten Students in an Independent Reading Center

“How do I keep my kindergarten students in independent reading center for the whole time?” is one question I get asked often about literacy centers. Trust me when I tell you that you aren’t alone if you feel like this center is equivalent to herding wild cats. Keeping five and six-year-olds in an independent reading […]

Quick and Simple Ways to Make Fun Sight Word Games

Motivating students to master sight words plays a large part in helping them learn the words, but how can we do that without reinventing the wheel? Before I figured out a simple and easy way to practice words and make fun sight word games, I constantly searched for the latest and greatest to practice. Scouring […]

5 Simple Steps to Setting-Up Your Listening Station for Success

Setting up a listening station is made simple with these steps! Literacy stations are a BIG part of the day for kindergarten and first grade classrooms. Time and time again, I had kids who loved this part of our day. Some people walked in our classroom and may have felt like it was a zoo, […]

Why Flip Up Books Are Great for Students

Flip up books for kindergarten, first grade, and second grade--I love the 2nd reason! We often skip that area in our lessons! There's also simple, clear directions on how to make a flip up book. Don't forget to grab the FREEBIES! #kindergarten #firstgrade

Throughout this school year,  I have been creating flip up books for teachers and students to use. I wanted to show you how we you can use them in your classroom and why they are a great learning tool for students! 1. Multiple content areas are addressed!  Teachers are telling me that they are loving them […]

Penguins, Winter Work Stations, and Gender Reveal!

Winter break is so good for me.  I get to sleep, catch up on housework, complete fun projects, work ahead, and blog! I wanted to share a few products that I have completed, updated, and am working on. I also updated this set of literacy stations made just for 1st grade. I am currently working […]

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