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5 Easy Ideas to Make Math Meaningful

So many students struggle with math. When I was a kid, I was one of them. Part of the problem was that I didn’t really understand why math was important. Many math curricula are so disconnected from reality that students have trouble seeing how the concepts and algorithms are applicable to everyday life. As teachers, we have the power to change this course by helping students see how math is

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Four Tips on How to Make Poetry Fun

April is National Poetry Month. It is a great time to get your students excited about poetry through reading and writing activities. In this blog post, I talk about four different ways to incorporate poetry into your lessons to help make poetry fun and exciting for students. 1. Read Alouds I love using poems as time fillers when you have a few minutes to kill before your next activity. They

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How To Use Escape Room Resources for Effective Review

Escape Room themed teaching resources are becoming a trend in education for a reason. They provide an engaging way for students to review a concept while collaborating with each other. In this blog, I share ideas for how to use both printable and digital escape rooms for engaging and effective skill review. When to Use Escape Room Resources Escape rooms are perfect for reviewing key concepts. Therefore, they should be

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How to Use Math Exit Tickets Effectively

As a child, I always HATED math. I thought I was just not good at it. I remember the anxiety leading up to nearly every math test. I was so worried my teacher and my parents would finally know how clueless I was. They would chastise me for not asking for help sooner. The reality is this level of pressure and stress should not be on our students. Our job

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How to Utilize Guided Reading in Upper Elementary

Most primary teachers know and utilize guided reading in their classrooms on a regular basis; however, in my experience, upper elementary teachers didn’t always see the value or find the time to implement this important practice into their own routines. Who can blame them? With standardized testing and demands from administration, it is hard to weed through the requirements to determine how to best use your time and resources to

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How To Get The Most out of Teaching Guided Reading

Teaching Guided Reading Guided reading: You either love it and teach it with fidelity, or you find it a waste of time. No matter what you think of it, the reality is guided reading time is incredibly valuable, and you should protect this chunk of time each day. Here are a few strategies that will help you get the most out of your guided reading instruction. What is Guided Reading

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Tips for Teaching Writing Workshop

You either love teaching writing or hate teaching writing. I know in my beginning years of teaching, I despised teaching writing. It was probably because I wasn’t confident about my writing skills. I was never actually taught how to write. We were expected to just write! Teachers would say, “write a story” or “write a report.” Sometimes we would have to practice responding to a prompt to practice before standardized

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The Best Mentor Text Books for Teaching Writing & Writer’s Workshop

Here is a list of my favorite books to use as mentor texts for teaching writing and writer’s workshop. I selected these texts based on my own experiences teaching writing in the classroom and to intentionally incorporate diversity. NOTE: The links below are Amazon affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Narrative Mentor Texts to Spark Ideas My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother by Patricia Polacco Topic

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How to Use Virtual Field Trips in Your Classroom

My virtual field trips have quickly become one of my most popular resources. It is no wonder teachers and students want fun and safe ways to learn virtually. Now you can take your students to Disney, see how chocolate is made, or even visit Mexico City for Day of the Dead. Using these resources in your classroom is a perfect way to engage students and have some fun. Here are

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8 Distance Learning Brain Breaks To Make Your Students Better

Everybody needs a break from time to time. And that includes your students. Here are some easy ideas for brain breaks that work for classroom and distance learning. What are Brain Breaks? Break breaks are short mental breaks that help students stay focused. Typically, brain breaks help students move or engage in discussions to help them re-energize and refocus. Why are Brain Breaks Important? Research shows that regular breaks throughout

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