Fact Fluency

Learning basic math facts in early grades is so important! When I used to teach 4th and 5th grade, math was very difficult for my students that didn’t know their basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division math facts. The same concept is true for younger grades! In second grade, students start working with two and three digit numbers, which can be very diffuclut and time consuming if they do not

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14 Ways to Beat the Indoor Recess Blues

It’s raining. AGAIN. Its twenty degrees. AGAIN. You have indoor recess. AGAIN. You’re GOING TO LOOSE YOUR MIND. AGAIN. Not to mention the fact that your students still have to sit still and attempt to absorb new knowledge for the rest of the school day. Try some of these fun indoor activities to ensure that recess time is still used to keep kids moving and grooving (and let’s be real,

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Guided Reading vs. Small Strategy Groups

When I was in the classroom, I implemented two different types of reading small groups during my reading block: guided reading and strategy groups. Here is the main purpose for each:  Guided ReadingTo teach students reading comprehension skills and strategies in general. These are leveled groups with 4-6 students per group. In this small community, students are reading in the same range and share similar reading traits. Many students stay in

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Religion in the classroom blog post cover showing hands on a bible in class

The Do’s and Don’ts of Religion in the Classroom

 Some public school teachers avoid anything to do with religion in the classroom. Some schools and districts even forbid celebrating holidays associated with a single religion. The reality is that sometimes it’s easier to avoid a subject rather than deal with questions and criticism from parents or administrations. But avoidance can be extremely difficult during religious holidays. Worse yet, avoidance deprives children of the opportunity to form a comprehensive understanding

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Teaching About Kwanzaa in the Classroom

While falling around the same time as Christmas and Hanukkah, being celebrated December 26 – January 1, Kwanzaa is different in that it is not a religious holiday at all. Instead, it is a celebration of life that some African Americans (mostly from the United States) celebrate each year. Kwanzaa was established in 1966 by Dr. Maulana Karenga to observe African culture and motivate and encourage African Americans. The name

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Creating Meaningful Academic Conversations with Verbal Prompts

How to Develop Meaningful Academic Conversations

Using Prompts to Build Independence and Critical Thinking Whether you use Common Core or other state-specific standards, one of the main objectives is to teach children to think and respond critically. As a teacher, one of my main goals was to lead my students toward independence. In order to develop both critical thinking skills and promote independence, I used a strategy where students worked toward leading classroom discussions focused on

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Autumn Across America (But not in Florida )

Living in Florida, I often don’t realize it is fall. It seems like all the Halloween and fall décor is up way too early, then I realize it is actually October! Seasons just aren’t the same here. Fall was one of my favorite seasons when I lived in New England. I miss the crisp weather, the vibrant leaves, and apple picking. The book Autumn Across America by Seymour Simon gives

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Dia de los Muertos pin showing little girl with day of the dead face paint

Teaching about Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead

Teaching Dia de los Muertos or Day of the Dead As parents are putting together costumes and children are picking out pumpkins in preparation for Halloween (and let’s be honest, teachers are stocking up on coffee), there is another holiday right around the corner – Dia de los Muertos.  Dia de los Muertos translates to “Day of the Dead”. It is a traditional Mexican celebration. Here are a few interesting

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Descriptive Writing with Room on the Broom

In case you can’t tell I’m in the mood for fall and Halloween books. When I was in the classroom, fall was our time for teaching narrative writing. I was always looking for fun ways to incorporate seasonal literature into my lessons in meaningful ways. This post contains Amazon Affiliate links. If you order from one of my links, Amazon gives me a small percentage of the sale at no

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Which Witch is Which? Teaching Homophones

Happy October! As the weather is cooling off, you are probably beginning to pull out fall decorations and think about how to integrate the fun seasonal spirit of Halloween into your lessons. The book Which Witch is Witch? By Judi Barrett is a cute story you can incorporate into your October lessons that teaches the difference between the homophones which and witch. It is a comical rhyming story your kids will

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