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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

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. […]

Exploring Phonics Instruction with A Decodable Reader

Things are changing with how we teach reading, but they are good changes! I’ve been digging into the Science of Reading and how it fits with Guided Reading.  One of the popular topics in the literacy world right now is using a decodable reader to help students with their phonics skills and to learn how […]

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 […]

Rethinking How We Fill Book Boxes for Independent Reading Time

As early childhood teachers, we know the importance of reading. We know how important all the aspects are from phonics instruction to phonemic awareness instruction to reading comprehension to small group instruction to independent reading time. As we want our readers to blossom into strong readers, we know that providing them with the right tools […]

Sight Words vs. High-Frequency Words: What’s the Difference?

The difference between sight words and high-frequency words and why it matters. Recently many teachers have found themselves knee-deep in “the reading wars”. As I pause to think about this phrase, I think any experienced teacher with several years under their belt would say, “There is nothing new about this. We see big shifts in […]

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 […]

Free Reading Assessments Toolkit for Teachers for Easier Testing

When it comes to completing reading assessments, there is always so much to do! Teachers have to gather their materials, prepare both students and parents, find testing checklists, and keep track of important data. I know you are already doing so much to serve your students, so I wanted to help make reading assessments easier […]

How to Teach Determining Importance in Reading

Use these activities and ideas to help your readers understand determining importance. “No, we don’t need that,” is a phrase I found myself saying a lot to my kids when we leave the house. They are in a phase of wanting to take all their toys and things with us when we leave the house […]

How to Help When Students Don’t Notice Reading Errors

One of the trickiest things for young readers to learn is to self-monitor and notice their own reading errors. It’s hard for readers to master and coordinate all of the pieces of reading like concepts about print, phonics, reading strategies, sight words, and self-monitoring. So what do we do to help coach readers to notice […]

How to Introduce the Visualization Reading Strategy

Have you ever read a book, turned the page and saw the picture, and thought “That’s not at all what I was picturing in my mind?” This has happened to me so many times! That’s visualizing. When you use the words in a story or book to make a picture in your mind, you are […]

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 […]