Critical Thinking, Reading, Writing

Strategies to Teach Text-Dependent Analysis (TDA)

Many states have adopted a TDA (Text Dependent Analysis) style assessment for the writing component of their state test.  This type of writing style requires students to read a text or passage and use actual text to support their answers, citing specific evidence directly from the text.  Text-dependent analysis writing instructs students to provide specific evidence from the passages they read, while demonstrating the ability to interpret the meaning behind the evidence they provide.  How do you teach this kind…

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Monthly/Seasonal, Poetry, Writing


Are you looking for some writing prompts that are related to an April theme?  You’ve come to the right place!  This extensive list of prompts are divided into categories to help you in your search. They include Narrative, Opinion, Informative, Descriptive, Persuasive, and How-To. If the writing prompt is highlighted, there is a link to a resource with that particular writing prompt. I hope you find some motivating April writing prompts to use with your students! Happy writing to you!…

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Monthly/Seasonal, Poetry, Writing

7 DIY Writing Activities for March

Dear Teachers, although the following writing activities for March are resources in my store, I welcome you to use the ideas in your classroom by DIY without a purchase. However, if you would like them prepped for your instead of doing it yourself, the writing resources come with everything you need. Read on to get the links to some FREE MARCH WRITING ACTIVITIES!   1. The Day I found a Four-Leaf Clover Write a narrative story about finding a four-leaf clover.…

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Classroom Management, Reading

An Easy Reading Response System for Accountability

Reading Response skills and strategies are important for students to have a better understanding of their reading.  Whether you are reading a chapter book together, assigning book groups, or allowing for independent reading for your students, responding to the text is crucial to a deeper comprehension of the text.  Students should not only respond to fiction, but also to nonfiction text.     So what is an effective way for reading response AND keep your students accountable for their reading?…

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Monthly/Seasonal, Poetry, Reading, Writing

10 Thanksgiving Literacy Centers Including Critical Thinking!

Do you want Thanksgiving literacy ideas that would be great for centers in the upper elementary classroom?  Several of these centers also go beyond the regular curriculum and delve into deeper thinking strategies and there is a free critical thinking activity included for you to use today! Although the examples are used from a resource in my store, you can duplicate the following activities and ideas to create your own in your classroom! Here are 10 Thanksgiving Literacy Centers:  …

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Interactive Notebooks


I’ve used writing notebooks for several years and have made changes along the way to find the best possible way to use them. This post will show how to set up your student notebooks to get them ready for a year of writing!     (You will find some Amazon affiliate links on this page. The small commission I make goes back into my blog so I can provide teachers with ideas and activities for their classrooms!)   A. Decorate…

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Monthly/Seasonal, Reading

October Books for Upper Elementary

Are you looking for great literature to introduce to your students in the month of October? You will find some of my favorite October books for upper elementary students.  Read on for a summary and why they are my favorites!  Happy Haunted Reading!  CLICK ON EACH BOOK PICTURE TO FIND IT ON AMAZON!     1.  Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe. A chapter book: 4.2 reading level   Harold, the narrator of the story, is hysterical! He’s just like…

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Projects, Social Studies

Native American Crafts, Activities and Games for Kids

If you are looking for Native American crafts, activities, and games for children, you hit the jackpot! Being that Native Americans have such an amazing culture, it is one of my favorite units to teach.  I’ve collected ideas I found not only useful, but engaging for kids of all ages. I hope you find something exciting to use with your child or class during a Native American study.  Scroll down for all my favorite Native American tunes, games, activities, crafts…

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7 Ways to Teach Cause and Effect

Are you looking for ways to teach cause and effect? I love to think outside the box and find ways to teach reading skills in a variety of ways to meet the needs of all learners. I hope you find some ways that are helpful to your students!     Offer an anchor chart. Both fiction and nonfiction material contain cause and effect relationships.   In Fiction: They are often found in characters.   For example: Maddie didn’t want to go…

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How to Get Your Students Writing!

Do you want your students writing more? These three ways will get your students writing! 1. Morning Work Place a daily prompt on your white board using a projector or smart board. Students should use writing journals to write to the prompt. Supply engaging prompts with a variety of types of writing. This PAPERLESS strategy will free up your time to do administrative duties required when students first arrive in the classroom. For an effective way to begin the day…

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