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Articles to Motivate, Educate, and Differentiate

10 Simile Mentor Texts That Will Make You Laugh Like a Hyena

Similes are an important literary element used to add color and spark to one’s writing. This type of figurative language compares two apparently dissimilar objects or concepts by using the words “like” or “as” to link together the objects for comparison. Meant to evoke a typically unlikely association between two subjects, similes are an interesting...

5 Different Types of Rubrics

Rubrics are wonderful tools for specific assessments. They are easily customizable, offer a chance for student reflection, and have sliding scales that let your students see clear areas for growth and areas of strength. Rubrics are particularly vital for writing, as it is one of the most complex and subjective areas we teach. Are you...

Differentiation in Trauma-Informed Teaching | Social and Emotional Learning in the Classroom

Do you LOVE horror movies?  Romances? Action flicks? For every genre you love, there is someone in your circle of friends or colleagues who HATES it. You and your friends could sit through a movie and have widely differing opinions and reactions to it. Why? Because you reacted to the film based on your personal...

11 Amazing Back to School Amazon Teacher Finds

With the excitement of a new school year on the horizon, I think it’s safe to say that all teachers can relate to the joy and dread that comes with the rush to buy new tools and supplies for the classroom come August. Worries about long-running lists of purchases and receipts can be daunting and…

What is Trauma-Informed Teaching?

Trauma-informed teaching is a necessary part of your toolkit, but what exactly is trauma-informed teaching? Trauma-informed teaching focuses on awareness of student trauma. This includes awareness of how trauma may impact student learning, performance, and behavior.Sources: https://www.banyanmentalhealth.com/2020/05/12/effects-of-trauma-on-the-brain https://resilienteducator.com/classroom-resources/trauma-informed-teaching-tips/

TEACHER TIPS AND ACTIVITIES FOR THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF SCHOOL

Summer is just around the corner—so close you can almost taste it! BUT you must finish the school year, and you might as well finish it off like a ROCKSTAR! I have lots of ideas for you; some are fun, some are academic, and most are both! Grab some TEACHER TIPS AND ACTIVITIES FOR THE…

How to Teach Similes Like a Rockstar

Are you looking for ways to teach similes like a Rockstar? You’ve come to the right place! Students will be engaged while they learn about figurative language. It will also help you when you are discussing word choice in writing and author’s craft in reading! Read on to learn about similes!

12 CAUSE AND EFFECT MENTOR TEXTS FOR FICTION AND NONFICTION WITH SUMMARIES AND TEACHER TIPS

Cause-and-effect sequences can be a fun learning experience for you and your readers, especially if you have some exciting stories to supplement the definitions of causes and effects. These 12 books cover a wide variety of non-fiction and fictional topics, ranging from the metamorphosis of a caterpillar to weather phenomena, bullying, immigration, and more. Check…

What is Earth Day?

Looking to celebrate Earth Day in your classroom this year? I did a little research for you and now you can share some facts along with a free download activity in the free album – What is Earth Day? We all know Aesop’s fable, The Ants & the Grasshopper, where a family of ants bustles…

10 SIZZLING MENTOR TEXTS FOR TEACHING ONOMATOPOEIAS

Teaching onomatopoeias just got more fun with these mentor texts that feature a variety of human-made and natural sounds. From city streets to nature scenes, students will be entertained by this writing element that involves both visual and auditory senses. Read on for 10 SIZZLING MENTOR TEXTS FOR TEACHING ONOMATOPOEIAS plus some BOOMING teacher tips!

Have Fun Teaching Figurative Language

Don’t inflate the cow? What??? Idioms are just one of many types of figurative language that grab attention and engage readers or listeners. In fact, similes, metaphors, alliteration, personification, hyperbole, and onomatopoeia are also fun ways to make literature pop!   So what does that idiom mean? In early Northwest China, townspeople inflated cowhides for use…

Taking Care of Yourself – Tracking Your Habits

Well, there you go! That’s my story and I am sticking to it.  Life is tough—especially for today’s teachers. That’s why I want to help. We’re in this together, aren’t we? I can only hope that you learned something new or listened to some of my advice. I thought I was invincible. I had no…

What is Women’s History Month?

In addition to Women’s History Month, International Women’s Day takes place each year on March 8. This holiday has been celebrated since March 8, 1911 and honors the social and political successes of women. Several countries around the world celebrate the holiday every year. In 1975, the United Nations also began to observe and sponsor…

10 LUCKY ST. PATRICK’S DAY MENTOR TEXT WITH TEACHER TIPS

Get lucky with these 10 St. Patrick’s Day texts that can be used to explain the meaning of the green-themed holiday, as well as introduce young students to Irish culture and traditions. This list offers mentor texts of history, fantasy, folklore, and more, to bring the spirit of the holiday into the classroom. Check out…

What is the Meaning Behind St. Patrick’s Day?

Top o’ the mornin’ to ya’!  Not morning?  Well, then, ‘top o’ the evenin’ to ya’.  No matter the time, who doesn’t want to have a wee bit of Irish fun on St. Patrick’s Day? As the harsh winter winds give way to all things green (and maybe even some gold, red, orange, purple, and…

THE PROS AND CONS OF READING RESPONSE JOURNALS

It’s likely that you’ve heard the term “Reading Response Journal” at some point in your teaching career. A reading response journal is a journal where students are asked to record their interactions with reading. This can be simple fact-finding or a personal reflection and connection to the text. The requirements for a reading response assignment…

Who was George Washington?

Are you looking for information on George Washington to a Revolutionary War unit or President’s Day? I did a little research for you and now you can share some facts along with a free timeline download on – Who was George Washington? George Washington (1732-1799) was the first president of the United States. He also…

Who was Abe Lincoln?

Celebrating President’s Day? Or maybe you’re teaching the character trait of honesty? Don’t forget to give your kiddos details on Abe Lincoln! I did a little research for you and now you can share some facts along with a free timeline download on – Who was Abe Lincoln? Abraham Lincoln (February 12, 1809-April 15, 1865)…

What is Valentine’s Day?

I did a little research for you and now you can share some facts along with a free download activity on – What is Valentine’s Day?

How to Teach Hyperbole and Die Laughing!

Do you want your students to learn about hyperbole? They embellish reality in a fun and exciting way to engage students while they learn. This literary element will help with your students’ creative writing and you can use it when discussing the author’s craft in their reading. Read on for How to Teach Hyperbole and…

10 VALENTINE’S DAY TEXTS TO SPREAD THE LOVE

Oftentimes, we mistake Valentine’s Day for a holiday to express romantic interest in others when it is truly about much more than that! Although crushes are fun and exciting, it’s important to teach young minds about the significance of platonic love for friends and family who love and support us through it all. Here are…

Hyperbole Texts with Examples that Exaggerate and Excite

We all have inner drama queens and kings inside us that pop up from time to time as we sigh, “This is the worst day ever!” or “It’s taken forever to drive to grandma’s house!” These exaggerated statements fall under the classification of hyperbole, a literary element that is used to deliberately exaggerate things. Hyperboles…

Who was Martin Luther King, Jr.?

When teaching about people in our history, I like to give students an overview of their accomplishments and look at a timeline of their lives. I hope this helps with your instruction! I also have Martin Luther King, Jr. resources to use in the classroom if you are interested. I share details about it after…

10 CHILDREN’S BOOKS FOR SETTING GOALS AND RESOLUTIONS – TIPS INCLUDED!

With the New Year around the corner, it’s natural for many of us to begin the process of setting new goals and wishes for the coming year. However, it doesn’t have to be a new calendar year for one to start dreaming up ways to improve one’s life! This list of mentor texts highlights themes…

20 MENTOR TEXTS AND TEACHING TIPS TO CELEBRATE HOLIDAYS AROUND THE WORLD

Although we all have our unique traditions that are special to our own culture and religious backgrounds, there are so many other ways to celebrate themes of family, love, and gratitude that are central to many holidays that can be found around the world. Listed here are 20 mentor texts that feature international holidays, as…

10 LEGENDary Mentor Texts with Summaries and Teaching Tips

A legend is a form of story told in the oral tradition that narrates events rooted in historic and realistic settings with characters that mimic real humans. Listed below is a combination of Christmas and non-Christmas legends to help teach young readers about the elements of legendary literature! (No pun intended.) I love to have…

How to Write a Cereal Box Biography

Cereal Box Biographies are the perfect book reports to assign when studying biographies or autobiographies. This activity combines knowledge from the book students read about that person with their own creativity to develop a cereal title and incorporate this title to advertise both the cereal and person. Here are directions on how to write a…

15 TYPES OF GENRES WITH TEACHING ACTIVITIES

There are so many different genres to choose from, which means there is something out there for everyone. No matter if you prefer aliens over humans, short readings over long, or the imagined over reality, there’s a genre for it. Literary genres are defined as categories of works that share similarities in form, style, content…

18 MENTOR TEXTS AND TIPS TO TEACH THANKFULNESS

With the holidays fast approaching, there’s no better time to bring up the importance of gratitude! There’s so much to give and receive over the next two months, and the excitement of the holidays often causes children to overlook the little things that bring them joy every day, 365-days a year.  These 18 mentor texts...

RESOURCES FOR TEACHING MYTHS AND ALLUSIONS

Rooted in ancient tradition and storytelling practices, myths make for a fantastic addition to any classroom interested in culturally and educationally rich literature! Myths are symbolic stories that use supernatural characters or qualities to teach a lesson of some sort, serving as metaphoric explanations for natural or social phenomena such as the creation of Earth…

10 Mentor Text and Myth Activities to Use in the Classroom

I love the quote from Rick Riordan, the author of The Mark of Athena. He says, “Being a hero doesn’t mean you’re invincible. It just means that you’re brave enough to stand up and do what’s needed.” When I think of Greek mythology, I think of heroes. Below you will find 10 mentor texts and...

11 Mentor Texts for Teaching Mysteries

The children’s mystery genre has always seemed to be the unofficial antidote for any student’s allergy to reading. Suspense, thrills, action, and adventure! Mystery books can draw in even the most reluctant readers, making them wonderful additions to elementary or middle school classrooms. Below is a shortlist of popular mystery novels and series that would…

11 Activities for Teaching a Mystery Unit

A mystery unit is perfect for a classroom of curious kids! There’s excitement in the suspense, significance in every detail…. and spooky thrills to keep students engaged throughout the class’ mystery literature studies. Mystery units can work in amazing ways by integrating problem-solving and close-reading skills in a painless and fun way. Below is a…

HOW TO INCORPORATE POSITIVE THINKING IN THE CLASSROOM

Have you ever felt like there’s a tornado of thoughts, emotions, and ideas whipping around in your head and you can’t seem to figure out which way is up, down, left, or right?  The brain can experience, think, and feel many different things at once, and this can either be a blessing or a curse!...

What is Informative Writing?

Hey Rockstars! Do you LOVE writing? I do! We’ve been talking about the three different types of writing: Narrative, Opinion, and Informative. In this post, we’re focusing on informative writing. What is informative writing?  What is Informative Writing? Informative writing is actually exactly what it sounds like! It is when you share FACTS and INFORMATION. This…

What is Opinion Writing?

Teaching OPINION WRITING can seem intimidating, but it’s really not…or maybe that’s just my opinion! :/ Here’s why: young minds have OPINIONS on almost everything! In most elementary curriculums, you will find THREE basic types of writing: Narrative, Opinion, and Informative. In this post, we’re focusing on OPINION writing; what it is, and how to teach it! …

What is Narrative Writing?

If you’re here, you’re probably wondering, “What is narrative writing?” You’re just in luck, because I LOVE writing! Writing is my jam! In most elementary curricula, you will find the THREE basic types of writing: Narrative, Opinion, and Informative. This post will focus on NARRATIVE writing. We will cover WHAT NARRATIVE WRITING IS AND HOW TO TEACH IT! What is NARRATIVE…

10 Ideas for Back-to-School Treat Bags (Non-food ideas included!)

3-2-1! HAPPY NEW SCHOOL YEAR! Yes, it’s already here. Can you believe it? Summer flew by, but we’re so excited to ROCK this year with you! I spent my summer creating ways to help you kick off the school year. In this post, I’m going to show you an easy, exciting, and affordable way to...

My Favorite Must-Haves for Classroom Organization

Organization plays an integral part in helping to keep busy classrooms on track with lesson plans, due dates, and life! If you’ve found yourself swimming in a pile of papers, losing your mind trying to find materials for lessons, or just becoming frustrated with your current classroom set up, then you’re in luck! Listed below…

Back to School – First Week of School Lesson Plans and Activities

The countdown is on! Teachers, it’s almost time for you and your students to go BACK TO SCHOOL! Are you ready for a fresh crop of young minds? The beginning of each year is always exciting. In order to get the BEST out of your students, it’s important to start the year off RIGHT! I thought…

What is the Difference Between Narrative, Opinion, and Informative Writing?

In order to compose a clear and concise paper, a writer greatly benefits by jump-starting their process with questions! By asking themselves some questions about the intent and purpose of the paper the writer can correctly choose an appropriate writing style for their piece. Here’s a short list of example questions! -Who is my audience…

HUGE LIST OF ENGAGING READING RESPONSE ACTIVITIES BASED ON LEARNING STYLES

In terms of writing, this may be where many parents find themselves really butting heads with their students. Many kids don’t see the point of writing outside of school, or they have a very narrow writing lens. Widen their horizons with some of our fun activities based on various types of LEARNING STYLES, which will…

Huge List of Easy Ways to Avoid the Summer Slide

When most people hear the term summer slide, their heads probably fill with images of water parks or lazy days at the playground. The term conjures up far more stressful images if you’re a teacher or a parent. To parents and teachers, the summer slide refers to the “backslide” in a student’s retained knowledge and…

Mentor Text to Celebrate Diversity in the Classroom!

There’s a beautiful and vast amount of human diversity on this planet, but not everyone understands how to recognize differences and similarities in a kind way. Within these texts, students will gain tools of compassion to inspire their personal growth in becoming inclusive individuals who encourage and celebrate diversity. Whether in the classroom or on…

Building Friendships in the Classroom Using Lyrics

Make new friends,  But keep the old,  One is silver and the other gold.  In the 1970s, thousands of Girl Scouts and Brownies would link arms, stand in friendship circles and sing these lyrics. These words were actually part of a poem written by Joseph Parry who was born in 1841. 1841! Here we are…

20 Mentor Texts that Reveal the Power of Positive Thinking

“You do not find the happy life. YOU MAKE IT.” – Camilla Eyring Kimball Deadlines, bills, relationships, work, and loss are only a few of the common stressors that we all face in our day-to-day lives. Bustling through our fast-paced culture, we often find ourselves so busy with trying to “fix” external problems that all…

How to use Lyrics for Conflict Resolution

Google ‘The gangs fight in the street, West Side Story’ and you’ll see 7 ‘gangsters’ dancing their way into battle. With their nice sweaters and gym shoes, they do twists off the curb and fling their arms while performing their own version of ‘spirit fingers’. West Side Story, the movie, was released in 1961. Now,...

5 EASY WAYS TO TEACH ACADEMIC VOCABULARY FOR MASTERY

You’ve made the important and necessary decision to spend some time on direct instruction for academic vocabulary. If you hadn’t made that decision, allow us to convince you with this blog post – 3 Reasons Why You Should Teach Academic Vocabulary. Making the decision is a no-brainer, but teaching it can be challenging. Are you…

Long List of Song Lyrics For Classroom Management

Everybody clap your hands…clap, clap, clap, clap. Have you ever tried a lyric to get your students’ attention? Developing rules and routines is one thing. Finding ways to implement them is a whole different ball game. Many teachers struggle finding creative ways to keep students from being squirrely. What’s a teacher to do? Use lyrics! Not…

3 Reasons Why You Should Teach Academic Vocabulary

Vocabulary instruction is something that many teachers struggle to include in their busy schedules. Best practices require many repetitions and exposures to new words for students to actually acquire them as part of their knowledge. As teachers strive to find time for high-frequency and content-specific words, academic vocabulary may get pushed to the side. Is…

Top 20 Lyrical Mentor Text To Teach Literacy – You got the beat!

Clap along if you know what happiness is to you…                       Because I’m happy       Clap along if you feel like that’s what you wanna do… Don’t these lyrics by Pharrell Williams just make you want to get up and dance? It’s like…

Earth Day Mentor Text – Learn How To Restore Our Earth

Earth Day, April 22—- NOT canceled! Just because we’ve been socially distancing from each other this past year doesn’t mean we should do that when it comes to the Earth.  Earth Day 2021 is still on!  In fact, the theme, Restore Our Earth, is more relevant than ever.   Can you imagine being stuck in your…

A Collection of Mentor Texts Ideal for Teaching Poetry Elements

“Keep A Poem In Your Pocket” In her first two stanzas, Beatrice Schenk de Regniers writes: Keep a poem in your pocket  And a picture in your head  And you’ll never feel lonely  At night when you’re in bed.  The little poem will sing to you  The little picture bring to you  A dozen dreams…

The Best Ways to Prepare Students for Standardized Tests

Taking tests is anxiety-provoking for many people including our students. Standardized tests or state assessments seem to increase the stress around a situation with which some students (and teachers) already struggle. As with many things that are anxiety-producing, the keys seem to be preparation, practice, and perspective. Help your students feel prepared and confident for…

Amazing Books and Collections for Women’s History

“The work of today is the history of tomorrow and we are its makers.”  Juliette Gordon Low  ——– ‘No’ was a word Amelia Earhart wouldn’t accept.  In fact, after hearing ‘No’ at the 1904 World’s Fair when wanting to ride a rollercoaster, Amelia took matters into her own hands. With the help of her sister,…

Top 12 Mentor Text Used To Teach Different Types of Poetry

O Romeo, Romeo, Wherefore art thou Romeo?  Well… perhaps Romeo, Romeo isn’t thy cup of tea-omeo! Maybe you’re more of an Amanda Gorman kind of poetry enthusiast. With her rhythmic and inspiring delivery of “The Hill We Climb” at the 2021 Presidential Inauguration, you light up hearing well-crafted words filled with hope and awe.   As…

12 Cinderella Stories from Around the World

“A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.” What comes to mind when you read these magical words?  A pumpkin transformed into a carriage?  A servant girl’s small foot fitting perfectly into a delicate glass slipper? That same girl being morphed into a beautiful princess as her jealous and wicked stepsisters look on with contempt?  …

Effective Mentor Texts to Help Students See Proper Punctuation

Let’s Eat Grandma!  What??! So, so sorry, dear reader. Please pardon my mistake. I wasn’t actually suggesting we eat kind, loveable, sweet grandma! I just meant to say that it was dinnertime. Let’s eat, Grandma! Just the other day, the same kind of thing happened. As I passed the grocery store, I saw a sign…

Amazing Mentor Text to Teach Character Traits

Teaching character traits and character development is so much easier using mentor text! In rich literature, authors craft their stories so we can feel like we know the characters. They create personalities and emotions within the characters. In turn, we develop feelings for them. Using these well-crafted stories, teachers can point out the different character…

How to Effectively Use Mentor Texts in the Classroom

Mentor texts have made my life as a teacher so much easier! They provide skillful, nuanced examples for students to emulate. Mentor texts are valuable tools and they can fit into your curriculum, no matter what age or subject you teach! Learn how to effectively use mentor texts in the classroom. What is a Mentor…

DO YOU NEED VIBRANT MENTOR TEXT TO TEACH WORD CHOICE?

Teaching students how to use Word Choice in their writing can be difficult. Often times they use simple words in their writing. Guide students to use more vibrant words by pointing them out in a rich mentor text. It is a powerful teaching tool! Do you need vibrant mentor text to teach word choice? Read…

How to Help Students With SMART Goals

Do you know what fraction of people keep their New Year’s resolutions? According to various studies, it’s less than 8% of people! Perhaps the goals are too rigid, or perhaps the goals simply aren’t “smart.” No, we’re not talking about a truly foolish goal like eating your body-weight in salad every day, but a goal…

Remarkable Principals Who Know How to Make a Difference

While I was writing a post about PRINCIPALS- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SCHOOL MORALE, I thought of an idea. I should do a survey on my social media to get other teachers to chime in and I am glad I did. The collection from my social media truly makes my heart smile to…

PRINCIPALS- WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT SCHOOL MORALE

Administrators, do you want your school rockin’? Take a moment to think about your school morale. Does it have a happy vibe? Kids make up the majority of your school, but how kids feel about being there depends on the climate and interaction of the people within the school. Teachers are the tone-setters who can…

How to Keep Students Engaged During the Holidays

Have you ever called on students and they look at you like a deer in headlights? It is getting more and more difficult to keep students on task. Then throw distance learning or teaching with devices into the mix. It’s so tempting to explore technology and open another tab while they’re supposed to be focusing…

5 Fun Ideas for a Virtual Holiday Party

Having a holiday party with your class might be looking a little challenging right now. Perhaps you’ve already exhausted a store of ideas as unexpected virtual learning has continued. If you’re tempted to just stream a kid-friendly movie, we hear you! However, here are some more ways to add holiday fun into a virtual classroom….

What You NEED to Know About Student Learning (Part Three)

In the previous two parts of this series, we talked about getting to know your students as individuals and exploring their different learning styles. Today in What You NEED to Know About Student Learning (Part Three), we will focus on independent versus collaborative learners. Why focus on independent versus collaborative learning? We all know that…

What You NEED to Know About Student Learning (Part Two)

Knowing your students is a large part of establishing how you can best teach them. In PART ONE of What You NEED to Know About Student Learning series, we discussed how you can be a more effective and engaging teacher if you understand their backgrounds, emotional states, and what motivates them. Beyond that, it is…

What You NEED to Know About Student Learning

Although being a master of your subject area is crucial for effective teaching, knowing how your students learn is equally important. The belief that any student can be taught any subject is a meritorious one, but if you want students to truly retain and absorb knowledge, you must teach in a way that they can…

5 Tips to Make Teaching Easier with Google Classroom

Google Classroom is an awesome teaching tool that can help you deliver remote or in-person instruction effectively. The service is free, though there are various paid tiers and extras that hundreds of districts and private schools utilize. Regardless what tier you have, here are five tips to make teaching easier with Google Classroom!  1. Record…

Getting Started with Google Classroom: The Teacher Basics

Are you nervous about the direction digital or remote learning is going? Perhaps it’s because you don’t feel that confident about using a new digital platform, such as the wildly popular Google Classroom. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate this online world. In this post you’ll find everything you need to set up…

Six Ways to Use Close Reading in Your Classroom

In this fast-paced age, it’s hard for students to take time to do anything. Reading material closely is often far down on the list of student-preferred activities. When modern technology provides search results that “seem” to have the answers your students need, they think…what is the purpose of close reading? Close reading means to read…

The Best Way to Teach Greek and Latin Roots and Affixes

Greek and Latin roots and affixes are the “building blocks” of the English language. Incorporating them into your instruction or curriculum not only provides students with word meanings, but helps them with spelling conventions as well. Students will learn how to break down larger words in their reading. Studying Greek and Latin roots and affixes…

Revising and Editing: What is the Difference?

Revise or Edit?  Potayto, Potahto? “You like potayto, I like potahto; you like tomayto, I like tomahto; potayto, potahto, tomayto, tomahto, let’s call the whole thing off!” Well, we can’t do that- especially when it comes to teaching students the difference between editing and revising during the writing process. But how are they different? Perhaps…

How To Teach Writing Remotely

Some teachers find writing a difficult subject to teach. Now throw digital learning into the mix. Don’t panic! You don’t have to be at your wit’s end! This post will give you ideas on how to teach writing remotely! Prior to Teaching Writing Gather your curriculum materials. If you need a quality writing program made…

Email Etiquette for Elementary Students

You’ve Got E-Mail! Now that school has moved online for the foreseeable future, it is important to teach students how to craft appropriate and effective e-mails. Unlike ‘snail mail’ letters, student e-mails arrive immediately. Plus, not having the benefit of being in class to see expressions, strategies used and emotions, it may be difficult to…

How to Boost Student Morale

Students today are experiencing higher rates of anxiety and stress than any other generation. There is more emphasis on high-stakes testing, less time to relax, and there are more tasks to complete in order to prepare kids to “compete” in a fast-paced world. That is in addition to distance learning we are experiencing now! Maybe…

Black Lives Matter: Ways to Educate Yourself and Your Students

I’m not going to lie. I am no expert. There are many people out there who have a world of knowledge on how to support the Black Lives Matter movement. It isn’t me. However, I do know I want to make a difference. I am an educator and I will do what I do best,…

Top 10 Things Teachers Need to Know for Distance Learning

This blog post is more than suggestions for how to teach long-distance, which is fast becoming everyone’s forte! It’s about things every teacher needs to know before, during, and after they’ve started helping their students with distance learning. 1. Make a Plan Many of us know how our daily classroom routine rolls. If you’re a…

Writing Mini-Lesson Videos for Students

Have you ever had the feeling that you just don’t want to teach a writing lesson? Maybe you lack the confidence in teaching writing or you just can’t muster up excitement over teaching writing. I FEEL YOUR PAIN. You are scrambling. You want to guide your students to write in complete sentences, create juicy paragraphs,…

Comparing FREE PDF Editors for Education

With distance learning and 1:1 technology, teachers and homeschool parents are scrambling to find ways to help children learn with the materials they currently own or use. Most of my resources are in PDF format and my #1 question from my customers is, “How can my students write on the PDF?” Well good news peeps!…

How Students Can Write on a PDF Using DocHub

There are so many amazing educational resources that are in PDF format, not in Google or PowerPoint. Although I offer some resources in all formats, the majority of my resources are PDF. My number one question from teachers: “How can my students write on a PDF?” In distance learning or schools with 1:1 technology, being…

How To Assign Pages from a PDF

Say you have a large PDF and you don’t want to send the whole document to your students. You only want to send a few pages at a time. No problem! This post will show you how! You will find directions for a basic Adobe Reader, Acrobat Pro DC, and a solution if this doesn’t…

How To Really Be Successful With Online Teaching

Whether you’re looking to be more tech-savvy in your regular classroom because your students love to explore technology or you’re scrambling to navigate the virtual world because of a sudden need to teach remotely, there are many ways you can add digital learning to your repertoire. This blog post will give you tips on how…

How to Make the Most Useful Workspace for Homeschool

Whether your children are taking a part-time online class or they are full-time homeschool students, an efficient workspace is needed to get in the right mindset for learning. This post will show you how to make the most useful workspace for homeschool. A QUIET SPACE If there is too much background noise, it can distract…

How to Support Digital Learning with Quality Resources

With many school districts offering online classes, the Coronavirus and flu forcing students to stay home, and homeschool becoming more and more popular, Rockin’ Resources wants to make sure teachers and homeschools can still stick to the standards and have what they need to be successful. This post will show how to support digital learning…

How to Effectively Scaffold Your Instruction

In this blog post, we’ll look at how to effectively scaffold your instruction and help students build increasingly sophisticated skills. We’ll also look at how you can help foster growth and independence through scaffolding.   Scaffolding and Differentiating The methodology behind scaffolding is multi-faceted. Scaffolding can mean providing support and then removing it slowly. It…

Never Again…. It’s Time to Scaffold Instruction

Learning is lifelong and students need support as they gather knowledge and skills. This can be done through scaffolding instruction. There were times in my earlier years of teaching that I didn’t use scaffolding in my instruction. I struggled to make sure all of my students were learning and understanding specific concepts and skills in…

What Happens When You Don’t Differentiate

Differentiation may seem like a lot of work, which initially scares some teachers away from implementing it in their classrooms. They may think they don’t have the time or that there’s no need. What happens when you don’t differentiate? This post will explore the benefits of differentiating instruction as well as what may happen if…

How to Incorporate Chocolate Into Your Classroom

I don’t know about you, but I was always looking for ways to keep my students’ motivated, yet keep up the rigor of our curriculum. There certainly needs to be a balance and a plan. So what was my plan for the month of February? Let me start with my favorite unit ever! Delicious CHOCOLATE-related…

25 Songs That Will Support Your Instruction

Have you ever blurted out song lyrics related to something in your classroom? You are not alone! I thought I would share 25 songs that will support your instruction! Whenever my students would say something or do something and a lyric came to mind, I started singing! My students quickly caught on and by the…

What Are Reading Comprehension Passages with Step-by-Step Questions?

What are reading comprehension passages with step-by-step questions? They are high-interest differentiated passages developed with two sets of questions. Both sets of questions are text-dependent with one set being easier than the other. And what is the best news? All reading skills are covered! Read on to learn more about the resource and how you…

How to Offer Differentiation in the Classroom

Differentiation is a hot topic in the current teaching environment. Many teachers feel stressed at the mere thought of taking one lesson and creating several different ways to assess and deliver the material. Most teachers are determined to meet the diverse needs of their students, but they may struggle to streamline their differentiation. You will…

Teachers, How to REALLY Balance Work and Life

Work/life balance has become a hot topic for every profession. It seems adults are losing their ability to leave work at the office and relax. The age of endless email, constant notifications, and being “wired in” is leaving the majority of employees feeling stressed and unable to strike a healthy work/life balance. With the increasing…

How to Rock Your Writing Instruction

Are you looking for ways to ROCK your writing instruction? You've found the right person to help! Pam knows what she is talking about when it comes to the writing process. Writing is her jam! She figured out what truly helps educators and homeschool parents teach writing to even the most reluctant writers! Pam was...

Mystery Book List for Upper Elementary

Are you looking for great literature to introduce your upper elementary students to mysteries? I’ve used many of these books in my classes during our mystery genre study. Although I loved to read mysteries in October around Halloween, these mysteries can be read any time of the year! Check them out for a quick summary…

Danger: What Happens When You Don’t Teach Writing

You decide to skip over writing instruction. You squeeze in some writing prompts or writing responses here and there and call it a day. So what happens when you don't teach writing? I know first-hand what happens and it isn't pretty. I worked with a group of high school students writing college entrance essays. Most...

5 Habits of an Effective Teacher

An effective teacher is someone who makes a positive impact on his or her students. These students will carry the strategies they learned through the rest of their education and into their adult lives. It then becomes a part of their lifelong learning strategies. From elementary school to college professors, an effective educator will leave…

Self-Care Tips that Support Selfless Teachers

It is no secret that you (teachers) are in one of the most caring professions in the world. Each day, you try to educate, encourage, and care for dozens of children who you often come to love like your own. In speaking to a teacher friend with 29 years in the classroom, she told me…

7 POWERFUL STEPS TO BE AN OUTSTANDING TEACHER

Are you ready to rock your teaching? You are in the right place! I am going to share the 7 POWERFUL STEPS TO BE AN OUTSTANDING TEACHER! If you are familiar with Rockin Resources, you know that my key values are to MOTIVATE, EDUCATE, DIFFERENTIATE. I love to share ideas to help teachers and homeschool…

5 Ways to Motivate Students in the Classroom

If you are looking for 5 ways to motivate your students in the classroom, you are in the right place! I’m going to share engaging ideas to help students comprehend tough concepts and skills. Whenever I would mix things up and use something outside of the box to help my students learn, they ALWAYS remembered…

PROMISING STRATEGIES THAT ACTUALLY SUPPORT DYSLEXIA

  UNDERSTANDING DYSLEXIA Myth- Letter reversals is the main sign of dyslexia. Truth- Dyslexia is a language-based learning disability. Dyslexia can refer to an array of symptoms, which result in people of all ages having difficulties with specific reading, writing, and spelling skills (1). There are various misconceptions about the learning disability, which make it…

30+ Things I Wish I Knew My First Years of Teaching

If you are like me, I wanted to be a ROCKSTAR in my first years of teaching, but got immediately overwhelmed. I wish I knew half of the teaching tips, advice, and strategies that I do now. I fumbled A LOT, yet learned from every trial and error. Through my 26 years in the classroom,…

How to Improve Student Writing With Writing Checklists

Checklists are used for many academic tasks, and writing is a common one. Are they really effective? Absolutely! This post will explore why checklists are used, research results, and how to use writing checklists to improve student writing in the classroom. Why Are Writing Checklists Used in the Classroom? When children have the opportunity to…

6 Successful Strategies for Teaching Colonization

Do you need ideas for teaching colonization? Here you will find book suggestions, comprehension ideas, projects, crafts, activities, and more. These lessons are also included in one of my best-selling social studies units! Mentor Text When I am teaching a social studies unit, I love to recommend some great books for my students to read…

What Happens When You Let Students Lead Your Conferences?

Are you looking for an effective way to conduct parent-teacher conferences? Why not have your students be in charge? Student-led conferences will not only strengthen open communication between home and school, but the positive vibe will have everyone smiling. What will students gain from student-led conferences? Students will: gain ownership of their work. become accountable...

How To Build Character in the Classroom Every Month

Are you looking for ways to build character in the classroom? Bringing character education into your classroom will give children a sense of community and teach them core values. It will help children identify and demonstrate positive ways of handling themselves and treating others. When a whole school focuses on character education, it brings an…

Step-By-Step Reading with Interactive Notebooks

Step-by-Step Reading is a series of effective reading units used in thousands of classrooms. It is full of engaging lessons and resources. A scaffolding approach helps students understand what they are reading. Research shows that building from a basic reading skill to a more complex one not only develops, but strengthens reading comprehension. Do your student(s) need…

Step-by-Step Writing® Program with Interactive Notebooks

This STEP-BY-STEP WRITING® IS A COMPLETE WRITER’S WORKSHOP PROGRAM with all the tools needed for the entire year. It is filled with standard-based engaging lessons (scripted), anchor charts, modeling, mentor text, interactive notebook pages, practice, and all the forms, graphic organizers, checklists, and rubrics necessary to teach and assess writing. It has been proven to…

5 Essential Things Every Writing Center Needs

When setting up a classroom or homeschool writing center, there are FIVE things that I found useful for writing success. These items provide your students with the necessary tools to get ready to write effectively throughout the year. Below, I’ve put together 5 essential things every writing center needs! 1.  Supplies First, you’ll want to…

How to Teach Theme

Are your students having trouble identifying theme within a story? This step-by-step process scaffolds through several reading comprehension skills to help students get a thorough understanding of theme. Students will be able to determine the theme of a story, poem, or drama from details in the text by first learning basic knowledge of story elements,…

Step-by-Step to Effective Poetry Analysis

Are you looking for ways to help students analyze poetry effectively? This post will share step-by-step ideas to help your students with poetry analysis. When you are finished, they will be analyzing poetry like rock stars! 1. Choose a Poem Have students read and choose meaningful poetry. Classic poets like Emily Dickenson and Robert Frost…

Teaching the Character Trait Honesty

Honesty is one of the most important character traits that children should learn and be able to grasp at an early age. Although any time is a good time to teach honesty, Presidents’ Day is a perfect opportunity since Abe Lincoln is best known for being an honest man. Abe lived his life by practicing…

A Series of Step-By-Step Writing® Mini Lessons

Are you looking for ideas to help your students become successful writers? This post outlines the table of contents for 30+ writing mini lessons that has proven to help students write effectively. It will provide you with creative ideas to teach students sentence structure, paragraph writing, and narrative writing. It will walk you through the…

TEACHING THE CHARACTER TRAIT PERSEVERE

Although any time is a good time to teach children how to persevere, I think of this character trait at the beginning of The New Year. Character education can be taught alongside New Year’s resolutions so children can form a deeper meaning of their goals. This post will delve into the definition of PERSEVERANCE, setting…

Why Language Arts is the Art of Communication

Language arts is one of the most critical components in any youngster’s educational training. It encompasses the various ways that people communicate including speaking, writing, and reading. Although having many different facets, language arts is a holistic way of being able to effectively listen, communicate, and comprehend messages, which people send and receive. The goal…

How to Make Poster-Size Anchor Charts from a PDF

Are you lacking the creative skills to draw your own anchor charts? Don’t stress over having a perfectly drawn, colorful anchor chart. This post will show you how to take a PDF anchor chart and make it poster size! It is easy and just as effective! STEPS TO MAKING A POSTER-SIZE ANCHOR CHART 1. Make…

17 Ways Kids Can Be Thankful

The holiday season is a time people reflect on gratitude and giving. November is the month that many teachers introduce the character trait of thankfulness for their character education curriculum. Do you need ideas to help your students brainstorm ways to be thankful? You are in the right place! This post provides 17 ways to...

Why Language Arts is Integral to STEM

Every generation has its own idea about how to educate children and prepare them for the future. The newest trend in educational theory is something called STEM. STEM is a response to the changing needs of the workforce regarding technology. An entire reorganization of the way that children are instructed, it integrates learning with real-life…

Writing Mini Lesson #38 on Final Copies

Are your students ready to write a final copy? It is the step following peer reflections in the writing process. This writing mini lesson is part of a series of lessons designed for instructional scaffolding in writer’s workshop. Read on for ideas for the last step in the writing process! What do students need for…

Writing Mini Lesson #37 on Peer Reflections

Do your students particpate in peer reflections? Peer reflection is a step in writing process after revising and editing a rough draft and before the final copy. It is one more way to give writers encouragement and advice to better their stories. This writing mini lesson is part of a series of lessons designed for instructional…

Writing Mini Lesson #36 on Spelling

Are you looking for teaching ideas for proofreading spelling? Students should edit their rough drafts using CUPS (Capitalization, Usage, Punctuation, Spelling) and this lesson focuses on the S for spelling. It is part of a writing mini lesson series for writing workshop and works well with any writing curriculum. Read on for spelling rules and…

Writing Mini Lesson #35 on Punctuation

Are you looking for ideas to teach PUNCTUATION to your students?  This post will review basic punctuation rules needed for an upper elementary curriculum, provide ideas for teaching them, and symbols when proofreading. The writing mini lesson is part of a series of lessons designed for instructional scaffolding in writer’s workshop. It is part of…

Writing Mini Lesson #33 on Capitalization

Do your students need help learning rules for capitalization and symbols for proofreading in their writing? This post will review basic capitalization rules needed for an upper elementary curriculum, provide ideas for teaching them, and symbols when proofreading. The writing mini lesson is part of a series of lessons designed for instructional scaffolding in writer’s…

An Easy Way to Build Good Character in the Classroom

Building good character in the classroom is essential in today’s society. Many parents are teaching their children how to be good citizens, but educators have to step in for those students who don’t have the parental support. Bringing character education into your classroom will also give the children a sense of community. How do you…

A STEP-BY-STEP APPROACH TO TEACHING MYTHOLOGICAL ALLUSIONS

Do your standards cover mythological allusions? If so, this is the right place for you! I will show you the steps to take to help you and your students develop a deep understanding of the Common Core Standard RL.4.4. It states: Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including…

How to Teach Inference

With the Common Core Standards in place, students are being asked more and more to use critical thinking skills to analyze literary and informational text. Inference is a prime example of a critical thinking skill used in classrooms today. Students are asked to read text and analyze it by thinking deeper—way beyond the visual text….

May Writing Prompts

Are you looking for oodles of writing prompts for the month of May? You came 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…

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…

APRIL WRITING PROMPTS

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...

7 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…

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…

THE BEST WAY TO SET UP INTERACTIVE WRITING NOTEBOOKS

Are you looking for an effective way to organize your students' interactive writing notebooks and folders? I've used writing notebooks for several years and have made changes along the way to find the best possible way to use them. In this post, I will show you how to set up your student notebooks, writing portfolios,...

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…

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…

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…

Classroom Must Haves: Things I Can’t “Picture” Myself Teaching Without

When it comes to organizing and planning a classroom, every teacher has a few items they couldn't possibly ever go without! It might be that favorite stapler, the perfect book, or an amazing resource! I know, I know. I just posted about Supplies I Can't Live Without but I wanted to join my peeps from...

Classroom Supplies I Couldn’t Live Without

These supplies have saved my day over and over again in my classroom.   Although I’m not in the classroom anymore, I still find myself in the supply section of Target and searching on Amazon. I don’t think it is ever anything I will shake off! How can you resist colorful pens?  I’m sure I…

How to Organize Your Classroom Library

Are you looking for a classroom library system that works?  It can be so tough to keep everything organized in your classroom, especially the library area. To help give you some relief of this stressful task, I wanted to share what has worked for me in my classroom. The solution is simple and I hope…

Back to School- End of Year Time Capsules

If you came to this site, you either purchased the time capsule activity and are looking for directions, or want ideas for your own time capsules.  These are so much fun to do with students of all ages!  Enjoy! This Time Capsule Activity is great to use at the beginning of the school year!  For…

10 Ideas to Teach Deeper Meaning in the Content Areas

If you’re looking for ideas on how to teach deeper meaning in content areas, then you’re in the right place! Think about social studies, science, or health topics. How can you provide lessons for students to develop a deeper meaning to the topic? I’ve found the following ideas truly help students understand the concepts or…

Civil War Timeline

Are you teaching the Civil War? This Civil War timeline is in chronological order that summarizes 33 events that will help you organize your lessons! Events Leading Up to War 1828- Tariffs: The south refused to pay the taxes that were placed on imports. The north didn’t need as many imports. This was the first…

How to Know Your Students Are Reading Each Night

How do you know if the students are actually reading each night?  For years, I simply had students record their minutes and hope they or their parents were being truthful. So what did I do to know for sure? Keep reading! I decided that students should be accountable for their reading, so I assigned reading…

How to Teach Text Evidence

Are your students having trouble finding answers and citing evidence in their reading? This STEP-BY-STEP process scaffolds through reading strategies to help your students be successful! Students will learn the acronyms for ACE, RACE, and RAP to provide them with the proper tools for citing evidence effectively along with tips to keep them engaged!  …

12 February Ideas for Literacy Centers

Do you want cute ideas for February to use in your literacy centers?  Although I have all of these items in my store, I am going to explain how to do each of them without a purchase! If you would rather have the work done for you, there will be links below, but you are…

How My Students Passed the Writing Test with Flying Colors!

Are your students struggling in writing? Do you want to transform your reluctant writers into ROCKSTAR WRITERS? This easy and painless way of teaching writing will have you doing the happy dance. You will have students BEGGING to write and see them ROCK the standardized writing test! So let's learn how my students passed the...

Writing Ideas for January

Students will be coming back from holiday break and you want to be ready for them! This blog post will give you writing ideas to teach throughout the month of January. I hope you find something that works for your kiddos!   PENGUIN WRITING CRAFT (INFORMATIVE WRITING) This cute little fella makes an adorable wall…

Writing Mini Lesson #34- Usage

Are you looking for ways to help your students with USAGE in their sentence writing? This post was designed to give you ideas when teaching a lesson  When using the acronym CUPS (Capitalization, Usage, Punctuation, Spelling) for editing, this post will focus on the U for USAGE. It will cover subject-verb agreement, double negatives, complete…

Christmas Around the World Web Quest

WELCOME!  Enjoy the Christmas Around the World Webquest! Teachers and Parents: Please check each of the websites prior to using them with students. Over time, websites may change, have a broken link, or contain advertisements. If you come across something needed changed, email me and I will replace it! STUDENTS: 1.  Pick a country to…

Writing Mini Lesson #32- CUPS to Edit

If you are looking for ideas in the editing step of the writing process, you are in the right place! This post will provide ways to teach and break down different editing techniques. Although it is part of a series of 30+ writing mini lessons on narrative writing, it can also be used in other…

12 Teaching Ideas for the Holidays

Do you need a few more activities to finish off the year? Let's embrace the children's excitement with educational, yet fun activities! In the 12 TEACHING IDEAS FOR THE HOLIDAYS, you will find language arts ideas to help keep your students engaged and learning through the excitement!  You can also grab a freebie below, so...

Bunnicula Review and Teaching Ideas

What is not to love this time of year?  Cool weather, colorful leaves, and the excitement of Halloween!  My favorite story for October is Bunnicula by Deborah and James Howe.  I could read it a million times and still find something funny that I may have missed the time before. Harold, the narrator of the…

Writing Mini Lesson #31- Crafting a Title

Now that your students have finished writing a rough draft and made revisions to their narrative writing, it is time to craft an amazing title for the story! This post is part of a series of writing workshop mini lessons scaffolded for parents and teachers who are looking for ideas to teach students how to…

Writing Mini Lesson #30- Jammin Conclusion of a Narrative Essay

Do you need help teaching your students how to revise the end of a narrative story? This post will give you ideas for a jammin’ conclusion! It is part of a revising step of the writing process in most writing curriculums. In DARE to revise, students are exchanging the old conclusion for a jammin’ one!…

Writing Mini Lesson #29- Variety of Sentences

Do your students use a monotonous tone in their writing? “He did…. He has…. He then did….” Blah blah blah. Variety of Sentences is another important writing mini lesson for DARE to Revise- Exchange. This post will give you ideas when teaching students how to use a variety of sentences in writer’s workshop. It is…

Writing Mini Lesson #28- Million Dollar Words- WORD CHOICE

Do your students struggle using strong word choice in their writing? This post is geared towards the upper elementary or middle school and uses the term MILLION DOLLAR WORDS when referring to word choice. It is part of the revising stage of the writing process. This post is part of a series of writing mini-lessons…

Back to School Tips, Freebies and Giveaways- Over $400!

***THIS GIVEAWAY IS CLOSED!*** Can I get a woo woo?  Upper Elementary Snapshots is on fire!  We have come together for a HUGE giveaway just in time for Back to School!  What a great treat for all the hard work you do each and every day with our future generation!  You deserve it so don’t…

Writing Mini Lesson #27- Revising a Narrative Essay- Exchange- Rockin Beginnings

Are you looking for ways to help your students write a good lead to their narrative essay? This post will give you ideas to teach what I call ROCKIN’ BEGINNINGS. It is one revision lesson from the series of writing mini lessons for DARE to REVISE. It is part of over 30 lessons for scaffolding…

Writing Mini Lesson #26- Revising a Narrative Essay- Rearrange

Are you looking for teaching ideas for revising in writer’s workshop? This lesson is one of several posts on DARE to Revise (Delete, Add, Rearrange, Exchange) and will focus on R– for Rearranging! It is also in a series of writing mini lessons that scaffold through the writing process ideal for most writing curriculums. Rearranging is…

Writing Mini Lesson #25- Revising a Narrative Essay- Add- Transition Words

Are you looking for ways to help your students revise their narrative essay? This post is one of several mini lessons on using the acronym D.A.R.E. (Delete, Add, Rearrange, Exchange) to revise and will focus on the A- ADD more details and ADD transition words in narrative writing. It is also a part of a…

Writing Mini Lesson #40- Narrative Writing Homework or Class work

Use a weekly writing guide for students to use when writing on their own. They will need a graphic organizer, rough draft paper, colored pens, a checklist, and final copy paper. It divides the steps up for each day. It works well for homework and classwork. On Fridays, students can share their work. MONDAY Fill…

Writing Mini Lesson #24- Revising a Narrative Essay- Delete

Are you looking for ways to help your students revise a narrative essay? This lesson will focus on the first letter of DARE (Delete, Add, Rearrange, Exchange) where  D stands for DELETE.  You will learn ways to show your students how to delete unnecessary information in their writing. The post is also a part of a…

Effective Ways to Teach Greek and Latin Roots AND Vocabulary

Did you know that students should encounter a word up to 70 times before is is mastered? NO LIE! That is why teachers need to provide practice, practice, practice for words they want students to learn! Check out the EFFECTIVE WAYS TO TEACH GREEK AND LATIN ROOTS AND VOCABULARY! Day 1 If you are using…

Writing Mini Lesson #23- Revising a Narrative Essay

Students are finished with their rough drafts and what do they want to do? Immediately write a final copy. NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! This post will provide ideas for your writer’s workshop when teaching your students how to REVISE a narrrative essay. It is also a part of a series of writing mini lessons that scaffold through the writing…

Writing Mini Lesson #22- Writing a Rough Draft for a Narrative Essay

Did your students follow the other writer’s workshop lessons to organize a narrative essay? If so, students’ graphic organizers are completed and it is time to write! Woo woo! This lesson will share teaching tips for writing rough drafts.  It is STEP 2 of the writing process. These ideas are part of a scaffolding approach to…

10 STEPS TO MAKING CHOCOLATE

10 STEPS TO MAKING CHOCOLATE Prep: Send out notice to parents for ingredients. I like to use www.signupgenius.com. I will add a list of ingredients! (I recommend 1 bag of chocolate per 3 students) The morning of making the chocolate, bring a crockpot, spatula, wooden spoon, and serving spoon. Melt the chocolate chips on low….

Writing Mini Lesson #21- Writing the Conclusion of a Narrative Essay

Do you need ideas for writing a conclusion for a narrative story?  This post will cover the meaning of a conclusion, teaching tips for brainstorming ideas to include in a conclusion, mentor text, examples, and effective teaching steps for your writing lesson plans. These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part…

Writing Mini Lesson #20- Dialogue in a Narrative Essay

Are you looking for ideas to teach students how to write dialogue in a narrative essay? This blog has creative ideas to show your students the right amount of dialogue to use in a story and activities to motivate and educate! These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a series…

Writing Mini Lesson #18- Building Suspense and Climax in a Narrative Essay

Are your students writing stories that are blah?  Show them how to build suspense and climax in their narrative writing stories! This post will review plot, show an effective mentor text, and give ideas and activities for building suspense and climax! These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a…

Writing Mini Lesson #17- Writing the Body Section of a Narrative Essay

Do your students need help developing the body section of a narrative essay? This post provides ideas for creating a strong body using the power of 3. It is an effective approach to building up the body of a story. These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a series…

Writing Mini Lesson #16- Writing an Introduction for a Narrative Essay

If you are looking for ways to teach students how to write an introduction in a narrative story, you are in the right place!  An introduction is the beginning of the story so it should introduce a character or two as well as establish the setting and plot!  These ideas are ideal for any writing…

Writing Mini Lesson #15- Plot

Do you need ideas for teaching plot to a narrative story?  A plot is the events that organize and make up a story. When planning a plot for a story, consider the narrative elements of characters, setting, problem of the story, character development, suspense, climax, and solution.  Crafting a plot takes planning! These ideas are ideal…

Writing Mini Lesson #19- Developing Characters in a Narrative Essay

Do you need helps with ideas for teaching students how to develop characters in their narrative essay? This post will share an effective way to teach character traits and developing characters. These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a series of mini lessons for writer's workshop designed for scaffolding...

Rock and Write

Rock and Write!  Rockin Resources is well known for our writing products.  Pam always liked to write and teach writing.  She has used numerous writing programs over her 26 years of teaching, but was never satisfied.  This led her to create her own writing program. It is now in the hands of thousands of teachers…

Test Prep Tips and Strategies

Test Prep Tips and Strategies I’ve been fortunate to be a part of two upper elementary groups of amazingly talented teachers.  I’ve written a post on each site to go along with Test Prep. You will find several posts on Test Prep with Upper Grade Memoirs.  My post is called Test Prep Ideas- Rockin the…

Writing Mini Lesson #14- Graphic Organizers for Narrative Writing

Now that the prompt has been introduced and students brainstormed ideas for the prompt, it is time for Writing Mini Lesson #14- Graphic Organizers for Narrative Writing. This mini lesson is ideal for any writing curriculum and is a part of a series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed for scaffolding through the writing…

Writing Mini Lesson #13- Setting Writing Goals

Before moving on in the writing process, it is a great place to have students create a writing goal.  This post will explain writing goals, how to choose a writing goal, provide ideas for creating writing goals, and a free writing goal template! These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of…

Mini Lesson #12- Task, Purpose, Audience for Narrative Writing

This post will give teachers and homeschool parents ideas to help students understand the task at hand, the purpose for students’ writing, and the audience who will be reading their stories (task, purpose, audience). These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed…

Writing Mini Lesson #11- Prewriting for Narrative Essay

Are you ready to give your students a narrative writing prompt but don’t know where to start? The first step of the writing process is prewriting.  This post will focus on ideas to use in your writing class to encourage prewriting in a narrative essay. This writing mini lesson along with several posts following it…

Writing Mini Lesson #10- 3 Steps to Prepare for Narrative Writing

Are you getting ready to teach narrative writing?  This post will give you 3 steps to prepare for narrative writing and is ideal for any writing curriculum that includes narrative writing. These teaching ideas are a part of a series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed for scaffolding through the writing process. Read about…

Christmas Around the World Web Quest and More!

Coming off of Thanksgiving break and knowing that Christmas is all around us, it is often difficult to keep my little elves motivated to learn.  I like to find interesting project-based activities to keep their attention!  This week, we will be doing a Christmas Around the World project!  Last year, my students LOVED this! I…

Writing Mini Lesson #9- The Writing Process

What is the writing process? The writing process is a way to promote successful writers. It provides steps for students to use when writing. Every writing program out there will stress the importance of encouraging students to use steps in a writing process. This post shares the steps I found useful and ideas that help…

Writing Mini Lesson #8- Table of Contents and Progress Grade for Notebooks

Are you looking for ideas for a table of contents for interactive writing notebooks?  These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed for scaffolding through the writing process. What should you include on the table of contents? List the skills and…

Writing Mini Lesson #7- CLOSING SENTENCES AND CLINCHERS

Do your students need help finishing a paragraph? This post will not only show you how to teach CLOSING SENTENCES, it will also show you ways to help your students be creative with their closing sentences by writing CLINCHERS. It is part of a STEP-BY-STEP WRITING® series of mini-lessons for writer's workshop designed to scaffold...

Secret Garden Unit Revised!

I am so stinking excited to teach Secret Garden this year.  I took my old version of the unit activities and completely did a facelift!  You won’t even recognize it!  This extensive unit is based on the story, Secret Garden, by Frances Hudgson Burnett and is a aligned to COMMON CORE standards with oodles of…

Writing Mini Lesson #6- Relevant Details

Do you need ideas for teaching students about RELEVANT DETAILS? This writing mini-lesson will provide ideas for teaching students about writing relevant details in a paragraph including TRANSITION WORDS to help the paragraph flow smoothly. It is part of a STEP-BY-STEP WRITING® series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed to scaffold through the writing…

HOW TO TEACH PARAGRAPH WRITING

If you are looking for ideas to teach PARAGRAPH WRITING, you are in the right place! It is part of a STEP-BY-STEP WRITING® series of mini-lessons for writer's workshop designed to scaffold through the writing process. Paragraph writing will extend through three posts (lessons 5 topic sentences, 6 relevant details, and 7 closing sentences). Now...

Writing Mini Lesson #4- Run-On Sentences

Are your students writing run-on sentences? This lesson will focus on how to correct them. These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed for scaffolding through sentence structure, paragraph writing, and the writing process. Learn ways to help students properly write…

Writing Mini Lesson #3- Fragments

Are your students writing in fragments? Often times students will write an incomplete sentence and it will cause confusion to the reader and disrupt the flow of the paragraph. These ideas are ideal for any writing curriculum and are a part of a series of mini lessons for writer’s workshop designed for scaffolding through sentence structure,…

Writing Mini Lesson #2- Complete Sentences

This lesson will focus on writing COMPLETE SENTENCES using subjects and predicates. Writing in complete sentences is the first basic writing lesson every student should learn. Sentence structure is important to help students write in journals, responses to reading, paragraphs, essays, book reports and so much more. It will lay the foundation for good writing…

Writing Mini Lesson 1- Brainstorming for Interactive Notebooks

Are you looking for ideas to help your students become successful writers? This post begins a series 30+ writing mini lessons that has proven to help students write effectively. It will provide you with creative ideas to teach students sentence structure, paragraph writing, and narrative writing. It will walk you through the writing process in…

Teaching Techniques for Writing

Techniques for Teaching Writing In order to have an effective writing program, it is important to use a variety of teaching techniques. Modeled Writing Use the think-aloud strategy-  Talk aloud as you are writing so students can hear your thought process.  Link to their prior knowledge.  Use the resources around the room. Shared Work with the students on…

Hall Display to Last through the Year!

Every morning, before your students walk into your classroom, they pass through the hallways of your building. What do the walls look like? If you’re looking for a way to spruce up the walls with a hall display to last through the year…keep reading! One year when I was teaching, my grade level was trying to…

10 Best Organizing Tips for the Classroom

Although I’ve been teaching for a bajillion years, I still find that the littlest organizing tip goes a long way!   I am going to mix a few of my all time favorites with some of my new found treasures.  This is going to make my classroom run as smooth as silk! 1.  Class Mailboxes…

Second Grade Interactive Notebook

This STEP-BY-STEP INTERACTIVE WRITING NOTEBOOK is a complete Step-By-Step WRITER’S WORKSHOP program with engaging lessons, anchor charts, modeling, mentor text, interactive notebook pages, practice and all the tools necessary to teach and assess writing. Scaffolding through the writing process has proved to be an effective and successful approach to teach writing. Feedback from a teaching…

DIY- Classroom Curtains

DIY- Super Easy Classroom Curtains-  I am not kidding when I tell you it took me 5 minutes to do this! 1.  I bought one 84″ long curtain from Target for $19.99. 2.  I cut it in half length-wise. 3.  I put the rod by the cut end. 4.  I hot glued the cut end…

Get Ready for an Amazing Year of Writing!

Prepare Your Classroom 1.  Writing Process with clothespins 2.  Million Dollar Word Bulletin Board-  I put up the FAAVS (Figurative Language, Adjectives, Adverbs, Verbs, and Sense Words)  As students use these in their writing, I post them on the bulletin board and we celebrate their accomplishment. 3.  Have an area in the room for bins…

10 Steps to Prepare for Writing Workshop

Are you ready for writing this year?  This post will take you through ten steps to prepare your classroom for writing workshop.  If your room or writing center is ready and you show enthusiasm towards writing time, your reluctant writers will be curious and excited about your writing class!   I LOOOOVVVVEEEE writing and hope…

Notice, Think, and Wonder!

Are you looking for a great way to encourage a critical thinking conversation? This activity works well on the smart board for class discussion or printed off for group discussion. You will be amazed at how much students will notice, think, and wonder about one illustration! Notice, Think, Wonder – Critical Thinking 1. What do…

Keeping a Memory Book of Students

So much has happened since my last day of school a week ago!  Where do I even start?  You would think I would have all the time in the world to sit down and blog but not a second!  I am going to go back to the end of the school year to share something…

10 Simple Steps to Making Chocolate Bars

Who loves chocolate?  Me me me me me me!!!!!! Did I say me?  Believe it or not but I am sitting in the dentist office with my daughter and what better way to distract myself than to think about delicious creamy chocolate!  I usually like to do a longer unit but ran out of time….

Effective Way to Teach Students How to Give Book Report Presentations!

Do you have trouble keeping students’ attention during book report presentations?  Are your students ever so excited to present that it takes every ounce of energy from YOU to keep them calm?  Do they get squirmy, talkative, want to use the restroom?  Do they want to know when it is their turn?  I have had…

Headbandz Social Studies Review

We had so much fun today!  We all needed to get up and moving around, so why not get the students engaged? Studying and reviewing can get very boring. I decided on this activity last minute, because I had planned on playing the Jeopardy game I made to take the kids through all of our…

Valentine’s Day Sweet Parts of Speech

Here is a cute way to have your students practice parts of speech around Valentine’s Day!  There are 68 words to sort into nouns, pronouns, verbs, and adjectives.  One of the girls on my team requested this, so here ya go Brantley!  There are 17 of each.  I’m going to have students work in groups…

Martin Luther King Jr. Activity

Since we were gone for two weeks and it is a new year, I wanted to put up a new bulletin board.  I thought I would put up a Martin Luther King Jr. board.  That way I can keep it up for the rest of January and it will tie into Black History Month.  I…

More Writing Lessons for Narrative Writing

Click HERE for an updated Prewriting blog post!  

Guest Post with Rachel Lynette

I am so excited to see my post on Rachel Lynette’s site! Go to Rachel’s website:  Minds In Bloom to learn more about high-level thinking activities and freebies!!!!!!

Topic Sentences and Relevant Details

Click here for an updated post on TOPIC SENTENCES! Click here for an updated post on RELEVANT DETAILS!  

Fragments and Run-ons for Interactive Notebooks

Click here for an updated post on FRAGMENTS! Click here for an updated post on RUN-ONS!  

Archaeology Dig- Fun!!!

Before I tell you about this motivating project, I have to tell you about the amazing woman who planned this activity for our fourth graders.  Yes, our one and only Erin Few!  She loves to dress up and got the perfect outfit for the dig!  Here she is!  Cute, huh?  Love it!!!!!!  I am trying…

Writing Process Using Narrative Writing

Click here for an updated post: WRITING PROCESS!

Interactive Notebook for 3rd Grade

This STEP-BY-STEP WRITING® PROGRAM IS A COMPLETE WRITER’S WORKSHOP PROGRAM with engaging lessons (scripted), anchor charts, modeling, mentor text, interactive notebook pages, practice and all the tools necessary to teach and assess writing. Scaffolding through the writing process continues to be an effective and successful approach to teach writing. Every lesson builds upon the previous skill…

Ideas for Writing

Click HERE for an updated post!

Paragraph Writing

Click here for an updated post on PARAGRAPH WRITING!

Graphic Organizer

Click here for an updated post on GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS!

Reading Bulletin Boards for the Year

Hello!  I am still here!  I had to take a little hiatus and have a big ole shindig for my daughter graduating from high school!  I know I know, I don’t look old enough to have a daughter that old…hehehehe.  I wish!  Any who, we had a wonderful time celebrating with family and friends most…

Weekly Teaching Idea- Prefix, Suffix, Stem

I have been working on a unit because I want to reteach prefixes, suffixes, and stem words next week before our state exam.  I introduce them throughout the year and use a week to revisit, study, and test.   I spend about an hour a day so if you don’t have that much time to…

Guide Words

Do your students struggle with the concept of finding words on the same page as the guide words?  When I have my students write a list of words in ABC order, I am pleased with their progress.  However, when I ask them to circle the word on the same page as the given guide words,…

Limericks

This is the perfect time of year to teach limericks!  Leprechauns and St. Patty fun!  Speaking of fun, I have to share my wonderful time in DC!  I got to see some great family and friends for my actual birthday.  I know I celebrate Pamuary but this was the actual day!  My brother even had…

Common Core Reading Log for 3rd Quarter

Do you need a new reading log?  Half-way through last quarter I got tired (or worn slap out as they say in the south) of my sameo sameo reading log.  I created this so my students would have to read and respond to both fiction and nonfiction each week.  NOW that is Common Core! I…

Santa’s Similes

I can’t believe Christmas is right around the corner!  It is the most exciting time of the year for my little elves and for me!  I love the ho ho holidays!  With that being said, enjoy a gift of similes!  Click below for the freebie!  I am going to post freebies throughout the holiday season…

Mystery Book Report- 5 Steps

My students love mysteries! After my fourth graders picked a good mystery book and read it from cover to cover, we created Mystery Book Reports. This is included in my Book Reports That Motivate! 1.  Decorate a title page.   2.  Write a summary with suspense all the way up until “who did it.”  …

Nursery Rhyme Mysteries

These were so stinkin fun!  I started off by telling my fourth graders they were going to read some Nursery Rhymes and they all looked at me like I was off my rocker. Then I looked at them and said, “Oh, I thought I was in a Kindergarden class!  I think we should do them…