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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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Hosting a Book Tasting Beach Bash Style

Book tastings are an easy, engaging, and powerful way to introduce students to new books, authors, and genres while getting them excited about reading.

Book tastings are an engaging and powerful way to introduce students to new books and authors that they may not otherwise experience on their own.

The beginning of the school year is a perfect time to have students participate in their first book tasting. This engaging activity gets students excited about reading and gives them the opportunity to experience books of various genres.

For these reasons, I started off this school year with our first book tasting, which we lovingly referred to as Book Bites, the "Beach Bash" edition.

Back to School Activities

Back to school activities you can use in your elementary classroom on the first day of school to help you and your students get to know each other and foster relationships.

The first day of school can be exciting, nerve-wracking, overwhelming, and magical all at the same time. (Can you relate?) This makes it the perfect opportunity for Getting to Know You activities and collaborative activities as well. It helps everyone get to know a little bit more about each other, and having an activity like this ready for students as they walk in keeps everyone calm and engaged on the first morning back.

Below are 5 EASY to implement, highly informative, and engaging back to school activities you can use with your students when you return to school.

Prefixes and Suffixes Activities to Expand Vocabulary

Teaching Prefixes and Suffixes 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.