Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Guided Reading Conference Tips

If you're looking for one of the most effective formative assessments for reading, the reading conference is it.  You will gain insight into your students' reading interests, habits, and strategies.  The reading conference is an essential part of the Independent Reading time. You may view a post about Independent Reading here.

Creating a reading conference binder is a way to quickly flip through anecdotal notes and checklists I have created.  These include question prompts for reading strategies.  I have a focus on  Retelling, Relating & Reflecting for Fiction and Non Fiction texts, Activating Prior Knowledge Prompts, Monitoring Comprehension Prompts, Sensory Images Prompts, Questioning Prompts, Determining Importance Prompts, Inferring Prompts and Synthesizing Prompts.  A binder cover sheet, an Independent Reading Observation as well as a Summary of Reading Observations Form is included.     

I use a binder and dividers (one divider per student).  Prompt sheets are placed in each student's slot.  I also provide a running record using the PM Benchmark running records toolkit.  I start the school year with a reading interest inventory.  It's a snapshot of my students' reading interests.  It also helps me choose materials students are interested in reading for my classroom library and future literature circles.


For a free printable reading interest inventory, click on the link below:

Monday, 6 May 2019

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Sunday, 7 April 2019

Easter Resource Round Up



Celebrate Easter with these fun literacy and numeracy activities:

Easter Quick Writes

Celebrate Easter with your class by writing about it. Included in this bundle are five quick-write tasks. You will find an Easter Vocabulary chart, Religious Easter Vocabulary chart, a List graphic organizer for the perfect basket, an Easter paragraph template, an Acrostic poem template, an organizer to draw a Map and write directions to the Easter Bunny, a Comparison Graphic Organizer on Easter traditions, a transition word list and writing paper. These tasks are perfect for a bulletin board display or even a big class book. 



Silly sentences have always been a fun way to explore sentence building and recognizing parts of speech. Students in grades 3 through 6 will have the opportunity to use subject, verb and complement cards to build and simplify silly sentences. Challenging verb cards are included with this unit as well as nouns associated with the Easter theme, a blank sentence building template, display and label cards and a synonym chart. This is a perfect activity to use in your Word Work Stations or as an extra project for early finishers.



Celebrate Easter with this fun Easter Math Stations pack. You'll find three activities that focus on basic operations, word problems and fractions for a grade 4 to 6 classroom. Activities include "Eggs in a Basket", "Easter Math Scoot Game" and "Easter Fractions". In "Eggs in a Basket", students are taught to generate three digit numbers and will multiply them by 12 or 10 to keep a running score. "Easter Scoot" is based on word problems that involve basic operations (with regrouping), money and time. Scoot cards are included for 25 to 30 students. The "scoot" cards can be used as task cards as well. The "Easter Fractions" activity allows students to derive ways to create fractions based on a given number of jelly beans. This pack includes directions, playing cards, scoreboards, multiplication table, scoot boards for 25 to 30 participants, word problems and answer keys.



Enjoy Easter with some fun math games. Three stations are included in the pack. Activities include: Draw the Easter Bunny Math Challenge, Bump Games and Race to the Easter Egg. The Draw the Easter Bunny Challenge includes 2 versions (addition and multiplication). Students are asked to generate sums or products and then draw the Easter Bunny according to each sum or product generated. The first person to complete his or her picture is declared the winner. You will also find Bump Games using both addition and multiplication boards as well as a Race to the Easter Egg game that involves generating place value digits from 0 to 99. This is a great way to celebrate Easter with a math games day or a home-school connection.



This package includes Easter writing paper for your Writing Station. A selection of writing paper for emergent and established writers includes images of a bunny, lamb and a chick. 




Students will be prompted to tell or write story with an Easter theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (Easter & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.

Here's a free download:





Part-Part-Whole Easter Printables

Friday, 15 March 2019

Making the Most of Media Literacy

Media Literacy is one of four strands of the Language Arts Curriculum that some educators are required to teach.  This strand emphasizes the need to have students identify the different types of media and what messages are being sent. Students are exposed to different types of information from a variety of sources.  Instead of teaching Media Literacy in isolation, Here are some ways to access, analyze, evaluate & create Media Literacy in different areas of the curriculum:  

Language Arts:  Have students document and store memories using pictures, photos, letters, journals or videos. 

Visual Arts:  Create a logo for a school department, a t-shirt or even a school fundraising project.

Social Studies:  Focus on one current event.  Look at how the issue is broadcast in various ways.  This is a great way to introduce comparing and contrasting as well. 

Math: Explore ratio, fractions, decimals and percentages of commercials to television shows; look at ratio of ads to newspapers or magazines. 

Science & Technology:  Show how media assists in scientific discoveries or inventions.  Explore news broadcasts, magazines or websites associated with science.

Healthy Living & Social Responsibility:  Is there gender bias in toys?  Look at how advertisements (both commercial and non-commercial) portray toys.

If you're teaching media literacy for the first time, have students begin with these advertisement posters. You'll find fifteen persuasive techniques included on a one page printable as well as display posters. 




Sunday, 3 March 2019

St. Patrick's Day Resources



Here are some fun activities for St. Patrick's Day:

St. Patrick's Day Roll a Story

Students will be prompted to tell or write story with a St. Patrick's Day theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (St. Patrick's & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.  All you need is a number cube (1-6).



If you want a one day writing blitz or a variety of activities for stations, offer some quick writes to your students.  This unit contains five writing ideas for your St. Patrick's Day writing stations or bulletin boards. These include Alliteration, Recipe Writing, Wanted Poster, Wish Booklet and Word Lists. St. Patrick's Day vocabulary and writing paper is included. 

St. Patrick's Day Math Activities

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day with some fun math stations. Four stations are included in the pack. Activities include: Draw a Leprechaun Math Challenge, A Pot of Gold Race, Bump Games and Race to the End of the Rainbow. The Draw a Leprechaun Challenge includes 2 versions (addition and multiplication). Students are asked to generate sums or products and then draw a leprechaun part according to each sum or product generated. The first person to complete his or her leprechaun is declared the winner. Pot of Gold Race involves generating quotients with two players. One plays for decimals, one plays for whole numbers. The first person to get to the pot of gold is declared the winner. You will also find Bump Games using both addition and multiplication boards as well as a Race to the End of the Rainbow game that involves generating place value digits from 0 to 99. This is a great way to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with a math station day or a home-school connection. 



Here's a fun way to teach idioms to your students with a St. Patrick's Day theme. This unit has expressions on word cards ready for cutting and laminating. Students will be provided with a blank template and task cards filled with an expression related to a St.Patrick's Day theme. They will then be asked to sketch a situation using the idiomatic expression on the card and then write and sketch their interpretation of it. This is a great addition to your Word Work Station or can be used as an extra activity for early finishers. 




Wednesday, 6 February 2019

Valentine's Day Stations

If you're looking for some fun activities for Valentine's Day, here are a few ideas:



Math Stations

Using a Valentine's Day theme, students will have the opportunity to explore numbers. This unit contains four activities that are ideal for math stations or may be used as home-school connections. Activities include: "Cupid" (a math game that generates either sums or products), "Bump" using addition or multiplication, 2 place value games based on numbers 0 to 99. Playing cards, boards and full instructions are included. 


Valentine's Day Roll a Story

Students will be prompted to tell or write story with a Valentine's Day theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (Valentine's Day & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.


Valentine's Day Silly Sentences for Fluent Readers

Silly sentences have always been a fun way to explore sentence building and recognizing parts of speech. Students in grades 3 through 6 will have the opportunity to use subject, verb and complement cards to build and simplify silly sentences. Challenging verb cards are included with this unit as well as nouns associated with the St. Valentine's Day theme, a blank sentence building template, display and label cards and a synonym chart. This is a perfect activity to use in your Word Work Stations or as an extra project for early finishers. 

Valentine's Day Writing Paper

This package includes Valentine's themed letter writing paper and lined paper for emergent and established writers. Art work created includes a penguin, bunny, puppy and bear. Bonus gift tags included and note cards are included.

Valentine's Day Part Part Whole Cards (Great for a Math Chat)!!!


Here's a fun way to assist students in computation of number sums either in math stations, with a buddy or for independent practice. This unit of 25 part-part-whole cards will allow students to practice sums from 2 to 10 with a Valentine's theme. The unit includes 2 variations for the numbers 2 and 3 and 3 variations for the numbers 4 to 10. With numbers hidden with flaps, Students can then justify what the missing part is and lift the flap to verify their answers. Cards may be used during a number talks, during guided math groups or for individual assessments.

Valentine's Day Freebies

This is a writing task to assist students in exploring their senses on Valentine's Day . Students are asked to think about ways in which Valentine's Day allows them to see, hear, taste, touch and feel. A planning template and printable pages are included.











Sunday, 27 January 2019

Getting Ready for Groundhog Day

Here are some fun activities to engage in with your students for Groundhog Day:


Making Predictions:


Have students predict the outcome of Groundhog Day.  Will spring arrive early or late?  By placing two visual markers on the board, students can vote on their prediction.  Several activities can take place after doing this.  Students can tally their votes, create double bar graphs based on other classes' votes, work on decimals and percentages as well as fractions.  Using some fun clip art images will help with the visual display.

Math Stations:


Groundhog Day Math Stations are a fun way to celebrate February 2nd. A Groundhog Day package of games includes 3 games. The first game involves drawing a groundhog based on products (for a multiplication game) or sums (for an addition game). The second game is called Race to 2. Students will use addition or subtraction to move their way back to the number 2 on a hundred chart. The first person to land on 2 is declared the winner. The final game is a race to spring. Whoever reaches the finish line first after dividing numbers is declared the winner. Quotients and outcomes are based on both whole and decimal numbers.

For the younger students, Ten Frame Groundhog Day Clip Art images have been created.  They can easily be placed on card stock and enlarged for a fun math talk. 

Fun Writing Activities:

Roll a Story prompts students to tell or write story with a Groundhog Day theme. This unit includes a story prompt sheet, graphic organizers, word lists (Groundhog Day & transition words), rubric and specialty writing paper with full and half lined pages.  All you need is a 1 to 6 number cube. If students want to continue writing, Groundhog Day themed writing paper is a fun way to display their creative work.