Professional Development

Fun and Creative Ways to Teach Poetry Elements in Elementary

Introducing poetry to young learners can be an enjoyable and enriching experience. It fosters creativity, language development, and a love for writing. Sometimes, it can feel tricky to know where to begin when it comes to teaching poetry. With engaging activities and strategies for teaching poetry elements to our young writers, it doesn’t have to […]

The Importance of Spelling for Kids: What Can We Learn From It?

One area lots of teachers across America have been focusing on is implementing a science-based approach to reading. But what about the importance of spelling and writing? How exactly do reading and writing and spelling all tie together? Teacher friend, if you’ve been starting to wonder about what we can gather from our students’ spelling […]

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 […]

Top 5 Mentor Texts for Teaching Poetry in Primary Grades

One of my favorite memories is when my first grade teacher introduced me to poetry. She read one of Shel Silverstein’s books aloud to our class, and it captivated me. I loved that poems could be funny, serious, and written in so many different formats. I went to the library after school and checked out […]

Halloween Writing Activity FREEBIE for Kinder and 1st Grade

The month of October is filled with so many fun themes from spiders to bats to pumpkins to Red Ribbon Week to Halloween! I feel like it kicks off the holiday season that just naturally ramps up the classroom excitement. Anytime you can bring these fun-filled events into the classroom while still giving students ways […]

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 Use Loom Recording for Online Teaching

Step-by-step tutorial to use Loom for online teaching. Many teachers near and far are using Zoom to meet with their students face-to-face. Even my own daughter had a meeting this week and seeing a class full of 6 and 7-year-olds get together was the cutest thing! Their excitement to see each other was so genuine! […]

How to Use Zoom for Online Teaching

Step-by-step tutorial to use Zoom for online teaching. Have you found yourself in a sea of technology overwhelm as you are trying to figure out how to deliver online teaching? Are you being asked to implement distance learning with your young students? With all that is changing so quickly, we all feel overwhelmed by how […]

8 Helpful Tips for a Better Writer’s Workshop

These writer’s workshop tips will take your time from frazzled to smooth! I can’t wait to share them with you! One of my favorite thing about writer’s workshop is seeing that lightbulb moment click for my young writers. You know the one – when a student who has been struggling with something finally gets it. […]

Start Effectively Using Mentor Texts for Writer’s Workshop

If you see a teacher lurking around the school library piling up books, scouring the latest Scholastic magazine, and raiding the literacy library, you know she’s probably just hunting for more mentor texts for writer’s workshop. For primary teachers, mentor texts play such an important role in our teaching of the youngest authors.  A mentor […]

5 of the Best Tips for Kindergarten Writer’s Workshop

Are you looking for the best kindergarten writer’s workshop tips? That’s exactly what you are going to find! It’s the first day of kindergarten writer’s workshop and your little writers are staring at a blank page. “I can’t write.” “I don’t know how to draw a frog.” “I’m hungry.” Fast-forward to May. “I’m not done, […]

Writing About Science in the Primary Classroom

Integrating science and writing is simple! Read more about why and how you can do this in this helpful blog post about writing about science!

Writing about science can seem difficult, especially in primary grades. However, we know it is so important! With our kindergarten, first grade, and second grade learners, it’s critical that we help set the foundation of learning for them to be successful in writing about science. One way to do that is to make sure students […]

Encouraging Writers to Use Wow Words

Encouraging students to expand their vocabulary in writing can be challenging, but with WOW Words it is not! Read more in this writing blog post to grab an idea for a mini-lesson with your writers workshop.

As you dig into writer’s workshop, I hope you’re seeing your writers blossom and make great strides in their writing! One impactful mini-lesson you’ll want to do with writers in kindergarten, first grade, and second grade is writing wow words. “Wow words” are words outside of their regular vocabulary that make the reader or listener […]

Conferring During Writer’s Workshop

Conferring with students during writer's workshop is the heartbeat of that time. It's your time to listen, praise, and provide guidance! Grab the FREE writer's workshop conference sheet while you are there.

Writer’s workshop is such an important part of the balanced literacy approach to teaching. I hope you have a good routine in place and your little writers are loving being authors! One of the most important pieces of writer’s workshop is the conferring time. This is the meat and potatoes of it because you get […]

Kindergarten Writer’s Workshop

Are you looking to begin writer's workshop in your kindergarten class, but aren't sure where to begin? Are you uncertain of what each component should look like? This blog post shares each component of writer's workshop and how you can easily implement them into a kindergarten classroom.

I don’t know about you, but kindergarten writer’s workshop was one of my favorite ways to see my students blossom throughout the year. It’s amazing to see them start with scribbles and letters to ending the year with full stories and books! But what if you don’t know where to start? Some districts may not […]

3 Favorite Lesson Hooks

Hooks for lessons are important! Be creative with them and check out these 3 simple, free, lesson hooks!

Hooking students at the beginning of a lesson can be a make or break moment.   It’s the time that you truly create buy in for the topic you are teaching. I would do my best every day to make the hook of my lesson engaging and to truly capture the attention of every child. Here […]

4 Reasons to Use Writing Portfolios in Primary Classrooms

Does the thought of keeping a writing portfolio overwhelm you? Don't let them! Keeping writing portfolios in kindergarten and first grade are a great tool for both teachers and students! #WritersWorkshop #classroomorganization

I have said before how teaching writing was never something I automatically loved.  In all honesty, I was asked to be in charge of writing plans during my second year of teaching and again during my third year. It grew me.  It stretched me.  I became a teacher who loved to teach writing.  One thing […]

Encouraging Young Writers

Do your young writers need a boost? These 3 tips are easy ways to encourage them to be excellent writers! Perfect tips for kindergarten writing, first grade writing, and even second grade writing!

Writing is a time of our day that often gets squished to the end of the day, especially in kindergarten.  So often we think, “Well, they aren’t reading yet so they aren’t ready to write much. They can just draw pictures.”  You’re right, they can draw pictures, but have you ever thought about how that is […]

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