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Print & Fold Resources

Print & Fold Resources
Print & Fold Resources

ELA: Work Mat Resources

ELA: Work Mat Resources
ELA: Work Mat Resources

Transformation Resources

Transformation Resources
Transformation Resources

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Prefixes and Suffixes Activities to Expand Vocabulary


Being an upper elementary school teacher, many of us assume that by the time students get to us, they have been taught plenty of strategies to decode the meaning of unknown words. So why are they still constantly asking what a word means as they read unfamiliar words? This is probably due to that fact that in previous years they were mainly taught to use pictures and context clues to figure out a words meaning. Although these are fantastic strategies to use, in the upper grades, students need to be armed with more techniques as text and words get more complex. So how can we do this?

As discussed in a previous post (which you can find here), regularly implementing root words and their meanings into the curriculum is extremely beneficial for students. Since we know it's impossible to teach students every word in the English language, exposing them to root words allows them to unlock the meaning of many unknown words they would otherwise not be able to access.  

Fun Fact: Did you know that exposing students to just one root word can help them unlock over 20 words? Yup! Talk about getting a bang for your buck!

Root of the Week to Expand Vocabulary



Exposing students to a variety of new words and having them engage with those words is extremely important for vocabulary acquisition, but we know there are other skills students also need to develop in order to know the meaning of the words they are reading. One of those skills is the ability to breakdown a word into its simplest form and look at the word's root and affixes in order to understanding its meaning. In order to be able to do that, students need to have an understanding of what a root word is as well as their meanings. 

Fun and Effective Grammar Lessons


When you ask your students what their favorite subject is, chances are slim-to-none that the first thing they'll say is grammar. Am I right? Well, let's turn that around. Here are some ways we can make elementary grammar lessons into quick, effective, and fun learning opportunities for our students that they will not soon forget.

Spiral Review CAN Save Your Sanity


Let's talk Spiral Review. Have you ever taught a new concept or skill to your students, and a week or two later you're shaking your head wondering if it was just an illusion because just a few of them remember what to do? Yup, we've all been there more times than we care to share. Whether it's the steps to long division or the proper ways to use commas, students' retention of new skills can leave us feeling flustered and frustrated. The good news is that there's a way to conquer this selective amnesia. It's called Spiral Review!

According to the Institute of Educational Sciences (IES), providing students with a Spiraled Curriculum (also commonly referred to Spiraled Practice or Spiral Review) has shown to improve understanding and retention of information.

Easy Ways to Teach Grammar


Grammar can be a teacher's nemesis, can't it? As stated in my last post, "Why Spiral Review Can Save Your Sanity" (which discusses how and why spiral review works), sometimes it can be so frustrating to see students forget and not apply concepts we've already taught them through our grammar instruction. To add insult to injury, it can take so much precious time out of our already very restricted schedule. Many times we are given a 90 minute (or less) block to teach reading, writing, AND grammar, and we feel like something's got to give. Well, what if I told you that your grammar instruction could take LESS than an hour per week to implement, and that your students' mastery of grammar standards would improve significantly? It's totally possible, I promise. Let me guide you through this efficient method of teaching grammar.

Reading Strategy: Teaching Students to Use Visualization



A couple of years ago, the parents of one of my fifth grade students sat across the table from me and explained to me that their child had difficulty with the concept of visualization.  She had a hard time visualizing characters, settings, and events in books as she read. When I later spoke to that student and inquired about this, she explain to me that she didn't see the pictures or movies in her mind like teachers always told her she should. At that moment, I realized that sometimes we do not teach this reading skill explicitly because we take it for granted that readers can automatically do this as they read (especially in the upper grades). So today, I thought I would discuss what visualization is, as well as share some ideas and resources that can be used in the classroom to explicitly teach visualization to students.

2 Easy-to-Make Paper Booklets in the Classroom


Multi-page booklets are extremely handy in the classroom. They are great for many activities including organizing research or publishing finished work. However, the costs can quickly add up when you purchase these types of booklets at stores.  Here are a couple of thrifty, easy-to-make, multiple page booklets that will save you not only money, but time in the classroom. The only materials you need to make these booklets are paper and a pair of scissors.