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Boost Reading Comprehension Through Discussion

One of our ultimate goals when teaching reading is to boost student comprehension of text.  We want our students to construct deeper meaning as they read.  A simple, no prep way of helping build comprehension is by allowing our students to talk.  

Through partner pairs, teacher and student conferencing, and whole-class discussion you can promote deeper understanding before, during, and after reading.  This is true for ANY text, in any subject area.  Read on to find some quick strategies you can integrate today.

How To Set Up Your Classroom Library

As a beginning teacher, setting up a classroom library can be a bit of an overwhelming thought.  What books do you buy? Where do you buy them from? And then, how do you organize them? 

The key to setting up a classroom library is to set it up with your students in mind.  The way that kids access and search for books is not necessarily the same way that adults book shop.  I'll show you how I set up my classroom library so that it is organized and enticing to students.

Organize Your Classroom Using Bins and Containers

The key to a smooth-running classroom is organization. When everything has a home you maximize your time because you know exactly where your materials are.  Students can feel ownership over the classroom and respect the space when they know where to put things.  I'm sharing 5 different ways you can use bins and containers to organize your classroom.

If you're not naturally organized, or just looking for some new ideas for how to put your classroom in order, this blog post is for you!

10 Ideas for Manageable Year-End Celebrations

As we begin to wrap up year end assessments and start to pack up for summer, we are all looking for fun ways to celebrate with our students.  We want to acknowledge all of the hard work accomplished this year, but still keep things manageable and under control.

Keeping the routine in an already hectic and uncertain time = better behaved kiddos.

Here are 10 ideas that won't break the bank or disrupt your daily routine.

Best Assess Student Writing

Evaluating student writing can be one of the most time consuming tasks a teacher can face.  It takes time and mental energy to read 30 (or more!) unique pieces of writing.  Especially when you consider the fact that each student is on their own learning journey and will likely require different feedback to help them grow to the next level in their writing ability.  There are ways to streamline the process and hand some of the assessment off to the student.  Here are some suggestions for methods to best assess student writing at all stages of the process.

6 Ways to Encourage Your Reluctant Writers

Go into any classroom and you'll find reluctant writers.  Some will tell you writing is boring.  Others will say it's too hard.  Some students are afraid to begin because they don't know if their idea is good enough.  So, how do we engage these reluctant writers?  These 6 strategies will be sure to help you find success with any reluctant writer.

7 Strategies to Help Your Students Read for Information

Reading for information is a life-long skill.  Students who have strong reading comprehension skills understand what they read (and know when they do not!).   Learners require direct instruction of comprehension skills in order to improve.  We want our students to think about their thinking before, during, and after reading.  Whether you're not sure how to support your students, or you're looking for some fresh new ideas, this post is for you!

4 Ways to Add Real-Life and Hands-On Experiences to your Science Curriculum

One of the pieces of feedback I often get is that teachers struggle to find meaningful ways to integrate hands-on or real-life experiences in their Science lessons.  Teachers say that they don't have the time to plan these experiences, or that they are too costly.  I'm going to dispel those ideas and have 4 easy ways for you to add hands-on to your next Science lesson regardless of your curricular content.

5 Free Ideas for Valentines Day

Holidays at school are always about finding a balance between learning and having to scrape the children off the ceiling. 

I've rounded up 5 ideas for you to have fun on Valentine's day, while still covering some meaningful outcomes.  And, best of all, they're FREE!

An Introduction to Standards Based Assessment in the Elementary Classroom

Standards based assessment is a method teachers can use to report student mastery of learning outcomes.  Rather than accumulate point scores, teachers gather evidence of student learning through a variety of formal and informal activities.  Students are able to practice skills multiple times, which allows teachers the opportunity to provide specific strength-based feedback and suggestions for growth.