Tag Archives : ThatFunReadingTeacher

Free Back to School Literacy Lessons K-2

Hello my friends! Have you started to think about Back to School yet? (Has anyone ever really stopped?)

It’s an exciting time of year, and I always find it easier to sleep when I at least have the first few days planned out – and that involves getting to know my students. I like to find out who they are as people, how they feel about various aspects of school, get a glimpse of their skills, and most importantly – know how they’ll be getting home from school!

Disclaimer: This activity is by no means a guaranteed method of validating a child’s transportation arrangements for one day or the entire school year, but does make a nice introduction to a graphing activity.


I wanted to share this ten page Back to School literacy sampler with you, so you will have a window into some of the products I use with my K-2 students at the beginning of the year.

What else is in the BTS sampler?


I do not want to ruin the surprise, but I will tell you that this sampler could lead you to more free samples…especially if you like Sight-Word PreEmergent (Level aa) or Emergent (Level A and B) readers with sentence puzzles and fun follow ups. 

Ok, getting carried away now. Almost told you about the crazy fun game I’m making. But I didn’t! 

I will leave you with this thought, however. Start collecting smart phone boxes.

Enjoy summer for as long as you can!

Take care,

Ida Mae, aka

St. Patrick’s Day: Motivating students to reading for meaning ~ with humor!

St P humor post

Nothing grabs my students’ attention more than something that is downright silly.

They know I tend to make the odd ‘mistake’ when we’re reading together, and that reading just HAS to make sense. Whenever I sense someone’s attention (or foot, or elbow) beginning to drift, I’ll throw in the odd error, for example:

Oh No!

Recently, we have completed the Pirate Pals Read and Write and More booklet together, and it occurred to me, again, that when kids anticipate fun and laughter, they are more willing to invest their energy and focus up front.

Pirate Pals kids joking about space monkey - CopyA 2nd grade student tries to get a  peer to choose ‘Saturn’ instead of the correct answer for the setting question… Pirate Pals Reading Comp photo…then they laugh at the thought of pirates bringing a space monkey on a treasure hunt!

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us. I read the story of St. Patrick to my grade one class years ago, and remember the pre-reading discussion well. A small group of my students believed that St. Patrick was a leprechaun, and others found the idea to be hilarious. The child who had expressed this idea was embarrassed and it had a significant impact on his confidence in sharing in groups, and taking risks in his learning, for some time.

This, of course, took us off-track into a conversation about teasing, laughing at vs. laughing with others.

I’m planning to give the students I see the advantage of knowing the true story of St. Patrick early, so they can be armed to laugh with their classmates!

The St. Patrick’s Day pages below and the Pirate Pals pages above are only two of the elements of the Read and Write and More Series.

St. P's Day Reading Comp JPEG updated

St. P's Day questions JPEG updated

Isn’t laughter the way of the Irish, after all?

Happy St. Patrick’s Day, everyone!

2015 TpT Store Prof pic circle


Th1 Th1 St P Day Freebie main product cover

More R & W & M Read Rec Sound boxes

Teaching happiness in elementary?

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Are you a happy person? Do you remember yourself, siblings, friends and classmates as relatively happy children?

When you think back to your own friends and elementary school classmates, those you have taught over the years, does there seem to be an increase in students struggling with anxiety and / or stress, social and /or emotional issues?

It was once assumed that happiness was a child’s birthright, and thankfully, many children do continue to live happy, carefree lives. Some live very difficult lives.

Many of our students live in that grey,middle zone, where a combination of factors, sometimes one’s models, experiences, genes or things we may not yet be aware of,  might sway their perspective on whether one’s glass is half empty or half full.

Years ago, I taught a child who had fled from Syria with his family, and despite having so little, still stands out in my mind as the most content and grateful little boy I may have ever met. I can think of a number of others who appear to have everything, yet rarely seem genuinely happy. Of course, there are children who seem to have more challenges.

The children we collectively teach are unique individuals from different countries, lifestyles, belief systems, religions and experiences. While they are so different, they are still all the same. They’re children. Children with growing, open minds, who respond to humor, positive attention, role models and respect. And stories.

Many of us have worked with a number of very young, struggling children throughout our careers.

This book is for all children, but especially the glass-half-empty kids. There is so much hope there.

Happy Kids Preview

(And I thank those of you who have requested a ‘Happy Feelings’ book for prompting me to get it done!)

It is similar in style and structure to the popular Dealing With Feelings introductory color story All About Feelings with two child narrators interacting with the audience and each other as they observe some of The Secrets of Happy Kids. 

As I was preparing to write this post, I was curious to see if there was such a thing as a Happiness Curriculum for kids, and was so happy to see that there is! In case you wonder why That Fun Reading Teacher writes about #EmotionalLiteracy, I’ll give it to you straight: Research and experience prove that many children who are overwhelmed with emotional concerns have little to no energy, attention or drive to give to learning to read and write.

Let’s start with happiness. Here are some FREE mini-posters from me to you, with thanks!

Happy Kids Poster FREEBIE.png


2015 TpT Store Prof pic circle



Click the symbol above to access my TpT Store! 😉


Th1 Secrets Happy Kids Th1 Happy Kids Poster FREEBIE DWF th1 300

Why reading enjoyment is just so important TFRT Family Day Th Dos & don'ts of motivating young children to write


Canada Day is July 1st, so brush up on your ‘Canadian’, eh?

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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!

Click below to access Celebrate Canada Bingo and a Happy Canada Day FREEBIE! in my TpT Store!

BINGO game cover Th1 Canada freebie Canada freebie.png

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:

Canada Literacy preview.png

Click the links below to my TpT store for the Celebrate Canada Literacy activities or Bundle, or to explore other areas of the site with related Canadian content!

Canada cover.png Th1 Canada Bundle cover 350 RobMunsch1

Cndn TpTers CanDayStories

And have a Happy Canada Day!!!!!

Follow That Fun Reading Teacher’s board Celebrate Canada Day! on Pinterest.
TpT Store Prof pic circle








Click the symbol above to access my TpT Store! 😉