Thinking about starting a Reading Buddies program in your classroom this year? Here are some tips and tools to get things rolling!
Consider putting School-wide Reading Buddies on a staff meeting agenda.
Discuss the benefits for all students with your divisional leads and administration, and even if the seed of the idea is planted to be reassessed next year, it will give you a sense of who might be open to a pairing for this year.
Take age into consideration.
An age / grade difference of 2-3 years between buddies puts a clear boundary between who the big buddies and little buddies are.
Approach a colleague about pairing classes…
…and be realistic about whether your schedules will work! Casual conversation over lunch can often accomplish this, but it seems like our time is less our own these days! I have created this free letter and form to simplify the process:
Build Reading Buddy time into your timetable.
When ‘it’s official’ everyone knows what to expect, when. Perhaps it is alternate week familiar reading, word-work, or math skills review through games, part of character education or religious education for forty minutes. While may Reading Buddies may not appear in on the timetable your principal has to hand in to the school board, it’s important that the kids have this special time to look forward to. It could even happen over lunch!
Define expectations to both classes.
This is accomplished best if done as individual classes, as the expectations differ for the age groups in some ways. Review general expectations when they are brought together for the first few times, and provide visual reminders. Reading Buddies time can quickly look like recess if sixty kids are unsure of what the rules are, half the kids, ‘read the book already’ and have decided to hang out with someone else!
Talk to your partner class’ teacher about general and specific expectations.
I wrote general expectations in a storybook lesson format for my students, explaining to the bigger buddies (third graders) ‘This is what I am reading to your little buddies‘ (kindergarters). One of my valued TpT customers reads her class the story, then posts the pages on a bulletin board! I love that!
Here are some ideas for general expectations from my Reading Buddies Starter pack:
What are some expectations that you find important to put in place during Reading Buddies time?
Best wishes to all you!
Hello my friends! Here in Ontario, we have one week left of classes. At the end of the school year, I like to take some time to discuss Canada Day with my students. For the age group I teach, their perceptions of Canada Days past can be quite entertaining:
Canada Day is clearly a memorable experience for even our youngest students, whether it be of fireworks, time with family or friends during the day. Whether we are retelling a story that we have read together, creating our own adventure, or discussing a personal experience, there is a logical sequence of events and words that match: first, then, finally (or whichever vocabulary you have decided to use!) (For a post about using the 3 part graphic organizer with young students, and a freebie, click here!)
Here is a fun Canada Day story that started orally with a reading buddy who helped sort out the three basic story parts before the pictures were drawn (and was duly thanked!)
My students enjoy ‘fun worksheets’ every so often. The literacy skills practice pages that are included so far are pictured below:
Bonus Terry Fox and hockey colouring fact sheets for those early finishers!
P.S. Here’s a little ‘Aha’ moment from a pre-Canada Day conversation in my classroom about 19 years ago…no figurative language in kindergarten!
I allow my students to use this in class when writing a test. This is not a grammar lesson, but it will remind students about the grammar they’ve learned in the past.
Some of the reminders included:
– parts of speech
– transitional words
– quotation marks (how and when to use them)
– basic sentence structure
– spelling tips (plurals of nouns and IE rule)
– puncutaion rules (apostrophe, colon, semicolon
The other side of the page has comma rules:
– with coordinate conjunctions
-with introductory elements
– with other elements (dates, parenthetical expression, nouns in a direct address)
– with adjectives
It also contains tips on things to avoid, such as writing a paragraph shorter than 4 sentences. And, it contains a list of things to do, such as make sure that your paragraphs contain at least 2 pieces of evidence.
It’s teaching made easy!
Many teachers hate teaching poetry because they don’t know where to begin. This unit will make you and your students love poetry. This complete, no prep unit is a great way to start! This 2 and a half week unit includes a student guide, 12 detailed lesson plans, 2 multimedia presentations (no internet connection required), a detailed answer key with annotated poems, and an end of the unit evaluation with answer key.
Just print it and teach it.
This HUGE bundle includes:
This poetry unit has been devised to teach students the importance of :
• Figurative language (its uses and effects)
• How to read poetry
• How to understand and apply symbolism and imagery
• The importance of rhythm
• The importance of tone and attitude in a poem
• Types of poetry
• How to analyse poetry
• How to appreciate poetry (even when you don’t understand it)
This unit’s focus is the analysis of poetry and teaches students how to make inferences, which is a skill they must learn for their other subjects as well.
Poems include authors such as: Emily Dickenson, Dorothy Parker, Maya Angelou, Thomas Gray, Lord Alfred Tennyson, Alfred Noyes, T.S. Eliot, Shakespeare, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Robert Frost, Pearl Jam, Langston Hughes, and Walt Whitman. The Unit includes 21 different poems.
The unit has been conceived to last 12 days – with 65 minute periods (although they are easy to modify).
The unit contains:
1 – The teacher guide (Contains 12 comprehensive lesson plans to teach the poems included in the unit. EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO TEACH THIS UNIT HAS BEEN DONE FOR YOU. )
2 – The student package (Contains students’ notes , poems, and questions) (26 pages)
3 – The answer key includes annotated poems and answers to all student activities (saving you time).
4 – Included is a test with multiple choice questions as well as a development question. All answers are included. (Word format for easy changes)
5 – 2 PowerPoint presentations – one multimedia presentation to introduce the unit (17 slides) and the second to reinforce the use of imagery and symbolism (19 slides) – NO INTERNET CONNECTION REQUIRED
A total of 63 pages + 36 slides are included in this package.
This unit is complete, and does all of the thinking for you. All you need to do is to print out and photocopy the student package and you’re set.
By: The Owl Teacher
An earth science unit would never be complete without first discussing the three layers of the earth! Most students know a thing or two about these layers. They know the center is the core and it’s hot! They know the crust is where the land is. But why not see just how much they know?
If you head over to this page on my blog (found here) you will find this cute cut and paste freebie for your students! They read each strip, then cut it out, and glue it under the correct column! How fun is that? Isn’t it nice to have a different activity related to the layers of the earth that is FREE!?!
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Copyright of The Owl Teacher. All rights reserved by author. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY. I love it when you share my products with your colleagues but please do so legally! Thank you!
Happy (almost) holidays, my friends. Have you noticed an excitement in the air? My students definitely have the Christmas Spirit, and are always thrilled to have some fun seasonal activities do to recognize it!
I run Early Literacy Intervention groups with students from grades 1-3. While we do guided reading and writing, and play skill-building games, once in a while I do like to have them do some worksheets that I can keep a copy of in their files. We are currently working through both of the packages shown in the picture above and they are enthusiastic with the variety of activities at their ‘just-right’ level, too.
Here is a close up of the North Pole Reading and Writing Fun preview:
…and one of the Nativity Reading and Writing Fun preview:
The kids are having a lot of fun with these, thanks to the wonderful clip art by Edu-clips.com. They can’t wait to color the pictures!
Each of these packages come with the following tip sheet:
Best wishes to all of you and yours as we wrap up for the holidays. Take care of you, too!
Click the symbol above to access my TpT Store! 😉
As the school year is winding down before winter break, you are probably looking at just review materials for your little ones! I imagine if your kiddos are like mine, they are starting to shift around in their seat more and are talking waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much about break- as if they are already on it! There is no way their brain is going to take in any new material right now!
So, I created this Holiday Multiplication Math Freebie to review our multiplication facts (because they could really use some extra practice to get those facts down!) that is Christmas based to hold their attention a little as they work on it.
Some of the sheets I have used as morning work or a quick warm up! I have not only included practice with their facts, but I have also added array practice and story problems!
Head on over to my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download it FREE!
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Hello my friends. Are you fans of graphic organizers? Since I have started teaching Special Education, I have become one, particularly of repeating the three-frame format regularly to encourage sequential thinking and organization in our youngest students. It helps them understand, make predictions and retell the stories they hear and read, and plan out those they create.
I say create, and not write, because some of our students do not write, in a conventional way. When focusing on beginning, middle and end; first, next, finally; list creation or anything else that a three-frame organizer can accommodate (and really, the possibilities are wide open, which you will see in the post I wrote here demonstrating some options for the free Earth Day 3-frame graphic organizer).
Regardless of age, motor skills, or writing ability, this format allows space for drawing, stamping, pasting pictures, using stickers, and large invented spelling with the teacher’s translation below!
I have created a bundle of over 20 3-frame graphic organizers for Back-to-School and Fall. The following are the pages contained within it:
|Lesson & freebie!|
I also wanted to let you know that TpT has just announced a one-day surprise Site-wide sale for Wednesday August 19th! I have marked everything in my store down by 20%, and with TpT’s discount (use PROMO code MORE15), that’s 28% savings! I am bundling more items for even more value to you!
|Follow That Fun Reading Teacher’s board Graphic Organizers on Pinterest.|
Best wishes to you for the rest of your summer, and to those of you returning to school already!
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It’s that time again, and if you’re anything like me, you are frantically getting your supplemental worksheets and centers ready for the upcoming year! I am so excited to share five of my personal favorite products in one discounted bundle!
Just in time for the back to school season (and the Back to School Sale on Teachers Pay Teachers), please consider this Kindergarten Back to School printable bundle.
With over 145 pages, there are LOTS of no-prep worksheets, in addition to some fun centers for math and language arts. As you can see, these are freshly laminated and ready to go for our fall math center rotation!
Each of these products has a 4.0 star rating currently, and I have used (and revised!) them all.
Students will love making their own apple ten-frame booklets, weather booklets, and insect booklets! So many of these activities can be done during centers or rotations, making it easier on you during the first weeks of school.
If you teach in Pre-K or Kindergarten, you might also like to consider these products for the fall semester:
Wishing you and your students the very best for the upcoming year!
Happy Canada Day, everyone! I write this to you on the eve of Canada’s 148th birthday!
For those of us who are Canadians of a certain age, life experience and education, the images below are easy to name and contain a number of our national symbols.
Do you know anyone who could benefit from brushing up on their Canadian vocabulary?
BINGO is a fun way to do it at any age!
Like the freebie?
Here is another Celebrate Canada Product, this one focused on Early Literacy, which can be purchased in a bundle with the Celebrate Canada BINGO game:
And have a Happy Canada Day!!!!!
Click the symbol above to access my TpT Store! 😉
Chapter 2 is FINISHED!!
I’m working my way through each chapter of MyMath for 5th grade, putting together extra resources for teachers and students.
I’m finally finished with Chapter 2 and Chapter 3 will start very quickly. So, here it is! Included are 3 sets of task cards, worksheets with a spiral curriculum, posters, I Can statements and more! 60 total pages of great support!
3 sets of task cards for students to practice their math skills in a fun way.
Your kids will love this resource. My 5th graders do! Thanks for viewing!
Do you have a child who loves animals, may wish to be a veterinarian or doctor, and could use a little practice or writing his or her name? (Not that you would ever mention it…)
How about one who does not see the point in learning to read or write, but has a fantastic imagination?
A sociable child with boundless energy, an interest in the law, perhaps, and exploring roles?
|(Photos not included!)||B&w badge and licence also included!|
Maybe you have a child that likes to pretend to be grown-up sometimes, and receive the praise self-esteem boost that goes with it. I admit to feeling very important as a ‘waitress’ at summer BBQs growing up. (My brothers preferred to be ‘bartenders’). It was always more official and fun with a notepad in hand.
And once the drinks are handed out, someone is bound to start telling stories. Perhaps your child is a fan of pirates, or a natural storyteller?
The child in this post could be any child.
Children learn without even realizing it through play, and read and write for real purposes .
We learned this way when we were kids. We played. We helped out. We didn’t have the electronic distractions of today.
The templates above (and a few more) have been designed for today’s more discerning audience in a product called Summer Fun: Reading and writing through play. It is included in a bundle with another Writing for Real Purposes product: Fun Summer Lists, which I wrote about here. I have included the links below, and the original post that launched this line of products.
Kids love to imagine, create and role play. Thank you to those of you who do purchase these products. I hope anyone reading this post is inspired to play with their kids and discreetly slip in teachable moments where possible. The key is to have fun and let go of expectations.
It is summer time after all.
Best wishes to all of you!
Logic problems are a fun way to keep kids engaged, especially at the end of the year. My store is packed with these that may be purchased for a dollar a piece or in bulk for a discounted price. Why not plan ahead and take care of all the holidays at once with one of my logic problems to last the year packets.
This original packet was made to challenge students in third through fifth grades, but some of these problems are tough and most likely would meet the needs of older students in the regular classroom.
The booklet contains twelve logic problems from the first day of school until the Tired Teachers at the end. Along the way, students will tackle challenges centered around Labor Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (2), Valentine’s Day, St. Patrick’s Day, April Fools Day, Easter, and Mother’s Day. Right now it’s set at a reduced price of $8.75, so please check it out. https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Logic-Problems-to-Last-the-School-Year-IG-1264788
If you teach younger kids, no worries, I have the materials for your kids, too, with Logic Problems to Last the Year (Book II) for grades 1 – 3. This mini version of the original book contains six logic problems surrounding the holidays of Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, and our American Independence Day. These matrix logic problems contain one grid to challenge our bright younger students, but once again, they could also challenge an older child in the regular classroom. Book II sells for the reduced price of only $3.95.
If you like logic or any activities to challenge bright students, please check out my store at:
Students can create their own reference mini books to use when they’re learning to use different grammatical concepts.
By using the books for writing assessments, quizzes, journal prompts, and practice, students strengthen note taking skills. Students also go back to their own text to check for understanding.
So many ways to strengthen student engagement between grammar and writing!
As educators, we have all kinds of fun activities and strategies for teaching and reinforcing sight words for reading and writing. Many of them involve practicing these words out of context. The point of Sight Word Recognition is to be able to recognize these words at a glance, in isolation. But all of the practice needn’t be.
I am in the early stages of creating a series of readers called ‘Sight Word Stages’ readers to help teachers differentiate for their students within the same reading level. While some of our students may struggle with putting all of the pieces of the reading puzzle together and need to work on that, there are many others who simply have difficulty remembering, and who require extra opportunities to practice using these little words in context.
Here is an example of a DRA/Reading Recovery Level 2 Reader:
A color PDF is included in the package, indicating the sight words of focus on the cover.
I print these on thicker paper, laminate them and keep them with other guided reading books.
Directional support is provided with the go to stop method.
A regular black and white copy is provided. Students can color and keep these, if you wish.
A trace-the-sight-word copy is provided for students requiring this level of support.
A fill-in-the-blanks copy is also provided for each title.
Color and black & white sentence strips (Tip: Print color copy onto card paper and laminate, and store with color readers for reuse)
Color and black & white Self-Check lists (I have a laminated color one on the wall over the writing table with a dry-erase marker, but know classroom teachers who give each child their own black and white copy, one who shrinks it to half-size. Early finishers draw or practice words on the back!)
Sometimes – there’s a surprise bonus activity – particularly in the bundles. Check the previews!
Here is what is currently available in the Sight-Word-Stages Readers Series:
Please note that freebies will not contain all of the parts mentioned above.
More titles coming Summer 2015! Save with bundles!
Are there any particular themes you would like to see covered in these early levels? Please leave a comment and let me know! (Easter and Earth Day are already started in draft!)
Have a wonderful spring day, and pop into my store for a visit sometime by clicking my button!
by Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti
Grades 2, 3, 4 and 5
This is a no prep unit for Jewell Reinhard Coburn’s “Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella. These engaging activities are turn-key…read the story to your class or have them read it as part of literature circles, go over the Cinderella story elements and engage them with these lessons!
Activities are naturally differentiated and aligned with the Common Core State Standards.
#1: About Jouanah…In My Opinion
#2: Jouanah Story Connectors
#3: Story Characters – Jouanah
#4: Jouanah Grammar Fix
#5: Sentence Sorting – Cinderella
#6: Jouanah Sentence Sorting
#7: From Sentence Sorting to Essay Writing
#8: Jouanah Dictionary Skills Activity
#9: Comprehension Quiz for Jouanah: The Hmong Cinderella
#10: Questions Along the Way
#11: About: Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella: In My Opinion…
#12: Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella: Constructed Response #12
#13: Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella — Character Conflicts
#14: Quick Write Compare and Contrast
#15: About the Author
#16: Story Summary
#17: Character Changes
#18 Text to Text: Connection Fiction Texts
#19: My Thoughts While Reading Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella
#20: Inferring Character Feelings
#21: Cause and Effect
#22: Compare and Contrast Cinderella and Jouanah
#23: Think, Question and Analyze
#24: Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella Report Card
#25: Jouanah: A Hmong Cinderella Book Review
#26: Lights, Camera, Action
If you have any questions…please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for looking and have a great day!
by Casey Herling
Spring homework FREEBIE!! Two spring-themed homework pages (answer sheets included). If you like these resources, please check out the whole Spring Homework Packet here!
by Elizabeth Chapin-Pinotti
Grades 9, 10, 11, 12
This is a Common Core State Standards – Higher Order Thinking Unit for Mary Shelley’s classic novel “Frankenstein”.
Revised — new graphic organizers and activities for differentiated instruction included!!
Activity templates, vocabulary, chapter descriptions, teacher note pages, critical thinking comprehension questions by chapter, fluency and chapter-by-chapter close reading assignments are perfect for all level classrooms with some differentiation to span from intervention to AP settings. This unit also includes Socratic seminar/discussion plans as well as lessons around the gothic novel, theme and so much more.
The comprehension activities included herein are designed to spark learning and thinking, while partner activities will inspire critical thinking in both challenged and Advanced Placement learners. Dozens of reproducible student lessons are included as well as notes on chapter content, theme, genre and much more.
This interactive teacher’s guide will help you help your students gain a better understanding and appreciation of Mary Shelley and one of the greatest literary works of all time…Frankenstein.
The entire packet is available for previewing so please look to know exactly what you are getting.
Great video lesson clip to enhance this packet: Clipped Classic Video Lesson of Frankenstein by Mary Shelley Common Core
Welcome to Standardized Test Season! I believe is important to keep students motivated when it comes to standardized testing. One way to keep students motivated throughout this stressful time can be found in the following product: This packet includes PDF and Editable PowerPoint Documents that will help you during test taking administrations:
- Treat and Goodie Bag Cards
- Testing Signs for Classroom Doors
- STAAR Teacher/Student Name Signs
- Student Motivation/Incentive Tickets
- Test Taking Strategy Posters
- Test Taking Strategy Bookmarks
- Super STAAR Pendant Banner
The items in this packet help to keep students motivated and upbeat during test time. I hope you find them as useful as I have. Click here to get the Super STAAR Classroom Incentives and Motivation Packet. Check out the other STAAR materials in my store:
Looking for Earth Day activities?
This free Earth Day activity will give your students a deeper understanding of what it means to reuse, reduce, and recycle.
Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
These three vocabulary pages are meant to teach these three words deeply.The first time I use one of these Earth Day activities, I complete the vocabulary page with my students. I like to model technology, so I show my students how to use an online dictionary or thesaurus.
Students can then use these pages as a springboard for writing about ways they can reduce, reuse, and recycle.
This free Earth Day printable is an ideal writing template for primary students. Entitled ‘Ways Kids Can Help The Earth’, and divided into three sections, its versatility lends itself to a number of uses.
Perhaps you’d like your students to demonstrate an understanding of the three ‘R’s. Whether they use stickers, cut-outs or drawing, they may end up with something like this:
It can be a graphic organizer (see link below for more graphic organizers like this one!), a stand-alone assignment or planner for a piece of writing:
It could even be a brainstormed list of ideas, contract of sorts, pre or post assessment piece:
And of course, there are always those who finish first. A drawing page for early finishers, and a vocabulary list for those who need one, are also included.
Happy Earth Day, everyone!
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The Dealing-With-Feelings Series by That Fun Reading Teacher #DWF
Let me start by thanking those of you who have made these stories so popular over the past six months. This post is dedicated to you in gratitude. You have buoyed my confidence to continue along this path.
This is how this series came to be.
|For the past few years, I have been a Special Education teacher to young children. Just a few years ago, while using social stories in integrated kindergarten classrooms with my students with autism, I noticed that their classmates were benefiting from them, too! The social stories I was using were written specifically for the child they were being used with, and parts of these stories had little relevance to their classmates. They seemed to be very interested in, and to find comfort in other parts of them.|
|It occurred to me that many children could benefit from stories that were like social stories, but meant for more of a general audience of young children: Characters role-modeling the how-to’s of dealing with tricky feelings. (We all know how motivated we are when someone TELLS us how to handle something!)Even in kindergarten, some children were already uncomfortable about discussing feelings. Research, parenting, teaching and talking to each other tells us that natural conversation only comes from a willing participant, especially one who initiates it.|
|SAVE WITH BUNDLES!|
I find myself turning to these stories more often recently.
In September, there were a few sad little people who found comfort in reading about another boy or girl who was sad to say good-bye in the morning, too.
When big kids kicked down snow forts and others were ‘stealing’ snowballs in January, reading about how kids dealt with anger was received a lot better than some of the strategies I’ve used in the past.
Who knew that the phrase ‘use your words’ could result in an airborne chair?
When the temperatures took a dive resulting in clusters of indoor recesses, well, let’s just say that it wasn’t only students benefiting from the When I Feel Frustrated books.
What feelings would you like to see dealt with in upcoming books? What are some strategies that you think should be included?
Watch for new titles Summer 2015…
Thank you to Rebekah Brock, whose clip art brought these stories alive!
The fun, engaging, and interactive CVC Word activities included in this MEGABUNDLE are perfect for literacy center, word work, and independent practice!
As I create more CVC word work, I will add it to this packet. Once purchased, you will always be able to download the updated file at no additional cost.
This packet includes
- Play-dough mats
- Write the room cards
- CVC puzzles (3 versions)
- CVC Word Books
- No-prep printables for CVC word families
- Review (5 review sets for all 5 vowels and 1 set of mixed review).
Each short vowel (CVC) packet has the following Word Work activities:
(Here I am including all of the activities of the –at family!)
~“-at” word family house
~Two full-size posters
~CVC cards (find and match)
~I can Write the -at words
~I can find the -at words
~I can stamp the -at words
~I can build the -at words
~I can dab the -at words
~I can color the -at words
~I can sort the -at words
~I can spin and trace the -at words
~I can complete a sentence using –at words
~I can draw –at pictures
~I can fill in the –at words
~I can find and highlight the -at words (in a sentence)
~I can write a story using –at words
~My –at word book
All of the activities will be the same for each of the packets.
-Say it, build it, write it: Generic practice mat
-Play dough mats
-I can write the room (cards and response sheet)