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Blessings Shared With YOU!


This has been such a year of blessings!  And I would love to share some blessings with you!


14 of my blogging friends and myself are joining up to be able to pass along some blessings to you that you are really going to enjoy!

Each one of my friends will be blessing you with a free resource on Sunday, November 19 and Monday, November 20.  PLUS, we are EACH giving away a $25 TpT gift card!!  15 free resources and 15 chances to win a gift card!!  Sharing is so much fun!


Be sure to download your free resources on Sunday or Monday!  They will only be available for free on those two days.  Click here to get this resource free!

Enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win my $25 gift card.  Be sure to do this at every stop along the way on the hop!



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STEM and Family Literacy Night

STEM and Family Night Ideas

Our Family Literacy Night theme this year was STEM.  What a fun night!  


STEM and Family Night Ideas- Gear Up!

We decided to go with the GEAR UP title.  We decorated our doors and the FFA provided some pretty mums to brighten things ups.

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STEM and Family Night Ideas

Our school has been really building up our STEM activities and knowledge in the past year and a half.  So it just fit for us to use this as a focus for Family Night.  
One of the biggest hits of the night was the Marble Genius Run.  More time was spent here building tunnels and tracks for marbles to travel through.  Then rebuilding and doing it again!

STEM and Family Night Ideas

Our math teacher requested the Magnetic Tiles Building Blocks.  These little magnetic shapes can be put together to build objects.  They are colorful and easy to use.  

STEM and Family Night Ideas



STEM and Family Night Ideas

Another fun activity was the Zoob Builder kits!  We purchased two kits and combined like pieces together in the green buckets above.  Students could come in and build with the different pieces on their own or use the cards that came with the kits.  It is fun to see them creating and trying different designs!

STEM and Family Night Ideas
STEM and Family Night Ideas


But it wasn't only about STEM building activities.  We also involved the community!  Our high school students demonstrated a robot that they had built and taken to contest!  Very cool!  

High school students also demonstrated a 3-D printer!  That was really neat to see work.  Another community member brought his racing car on a stand so students could see it up close and ask questions.  He brought an engine so they could see it and all the gears that work together to power it!

STEM is a great way to bring in new ideas to your family night and a great way to involve community members.  They love to get kids excited about science, technology, engineering and mathematics!

STEM and Family Night Ideas

Lego sets, Makey Makey, book sets and gift cards fit our theme for Gear Up this year!

Thanksgiving Activities for kids

Holiday Activities- Let's Talk Turkey! Literary Turkey craft, Eat More ______, Not Turkey and How to Cook  A Turkey, plus more!

Christmas Writing Ideas for Kids

Christmas Writing Ideas for kids

Christmas Flip Book Fun!  All I Want for Christmas and Gifts I Will GIVE




Welcome to Parent Teacher Conferences!

We Are Readers Bulletin Board

It's almost Parent Teacher Conference time!  I am always looking for ideas to display student work and what would be good to hand out to parents that would help them at home.

We Are Readers Bulletin Board Display

This We Are Readers bulletin board display was a lot of fun!  Students drew their own portraits and we folded paper for their book.  

Welcome Banner for Parent Teacher Conferences

Hanging a Welcome Banner is a good idea too!  You can hang it at your door or it can be a welcome for your whole hallway!  Click here to get it free!

Welcome Banner for Parent Teacher Conferences

The Welcome Banner also includes these student response pennants!  They would be great for parent teacher conferences.

Book Shelfies and QR Codes for Parent Teacher Conferences

Book Shelfies and QR codes was a lot of fun too!  

Book Shelfies and QR Codes for Parent Teacher Conferences

Take student pictures with just their eyes above their favorite books.  Parents have to try to find their child's picture.  They scan the QR codes with their phones to check if they are right or not.  A lot of fun!

Name Activities for Kindergarten

For any students still struggling with the letters in their name (it does happen, even in October), this freebie is a great activity to send home!  It includes the parent letter explaining what to do, a list of activities for them to complete, writing paper, and even an assessment for at school!  Click here to get it!

Retelling Cards

Parents always ask what they can do at home to help their child with reading.  Give them these bookmarks to help with retelling at home!  Grab them free here!

Does It Look Right, Does It Sound Right, Does It Make Sense?

I think it is important for parents to use the same language at home that we use at school with students.  These Does It Look Right, Does It Sound Right, Does It Make Sense cards are perfect for this!  Get them free here.

Tips for Readers

You can also include these Tips for Growing Readers to give to parents.  Click here for them!

Seesaw Parent Welcome Letter

If you have any parents who still have not signed up on Seesaw (who wouldn't want to sign up and see their child's work?) personally hand the parent this free Welcome to Seesaw letter along with the Seesaw QR code.  Get it here!

Good luck with your conferences!  Hopefully these ideas and activities help make it a success!

Several of the freebies above are available in our Free Resource Library.  Click here to sign up!

Organizing Student Learning

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

Organizing student learning can be a large undertaking, but interactive reading notebooks really help.  I find myself telling my students a LOT that our brains learn best when we are organized and when our learning is organized.  It's just true and some students need more help with this than others.  Some students are blessed with being naturally organized.  

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

Once I started using Reading Notebooks, I couldn't see how I taught without them.  I use a 3 ring binder for my notebooks for every student in my guided reading groups. 

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

  I help students keep them neat by keeping them in baskets on a shelf rather than in a desk.  


How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

Using tabs in your notebooks is a lifesaver!  Or I should say time saver.  Tabs just naturally help students get to the correct section, quickly without wasting time.  They can just grab the correct tab: Word Work, My Thoughts (Comprehension), Vocabulary, or My Books.  

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

By using sections, students can organize their learning.  They learn what each section means and where to be working.

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

In the front pocket, we keep our sight word pockets for sight word practice.  We quickly get these out for 2-3 minutes and go over words that are differentiated for each student.

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

Another good thing to keep in the front pocket is our Reader's Ask...Does It Look Right, Does It Sound Right, Does It Make Sense cards.  

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

We also keep our linking sounds anchor charts in the pockets of the notebooks.  I need pockets!  We use magnetic letters, markers, bingo chips, pom poms, etc... on our charts.

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

When we have used up the pages in our Reading Notebooks, I have a place with extra copies.  This copy box (from Walmart) holds different pages ready to go!  Makes replacing notebook pages easy without wasting precious reading time.

Fluency Activities Reading Intervention Binders

Reading Intervention Fluency Binders- newest resource can be found by clicking here!


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Growth Mindset in Reading

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers

Growth mindset is generally known as developing your abilities through dedication and hard work.  I like to say its persevering even when the job is difficult.  Learning not to just give up; try something else.  And growth mindset is a great way for fostering this kind of thinking in our readers.  Learning to work hard and try different strategies when reading gets tough.

If you have not read the book Wolf! by Becky Bloom, you are going to want to get this book!  I don't know if Becky Bloom had growth mindset in mind when she wrote it, but it is perfect for teaching lessons on how to stick with reading even if it's hard.

Wolf meets 3 other animals at the farm who are reading.  They do not give him any attention as they are really interested in their books.  Wolf decides he too will learn to read.  But he soon finds out, reading isn't always easy.

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers

Creating an anchor chart helps students see the difficulties Wolf comes up against, but that he NEVER gives up.  He tries something new and works hard.  Notice how the words in red on the left side of the chart are mostly negative.  But Wolf uses actions to DO something to improve his reading.  I love how the author shows how Wolf takes a difficult task, works hard and shows how he improves.  And he doesn't become great right away.  It happened over time with hard work and not giving up!  Isn't that just what we want our students to do?  LOVE IT!

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers Freebie

If you are teaching Growth Mindset, you might want to check out this freebie!  

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers by setting reading goals freebie

Print the banner and have students fill out their reading goals.  Then the students write what actions they will take to word towards their goals!  Just like Wolf!

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers Freebie

You can find this free resource by clicking here!


Reading Intervention Fluency Binders


If you have students who need to work on fluency as part of their reading goals,  try teaching them to scoop words into meaningful phrases.  These reading intervention binders are perfect for this goal and are no prep- just print and go!  Each binder is for a different reading level and are available as a bundle or individually.  If you want to check them out, click here.


Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers

Some of my friends have got some awesome Growth Mindset ideas for you too!!  Be sure to read through these ideas below!


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It's All in the Name and a Freebie

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

Name activities for kindergarteners are fun!  Kids just love their names and any activity that includes their name is going to be engaging for them.  Once you get your class list, it would be a good idea to type them all up on colored paper and laminate them.  You can use these names in so many ways to teach ABC letters and print concepts.

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

These names and a pocket chart can be used in a variety of ways.  Recognize your own name, sort by color, sort boys and girls, place in ABC order, order by number of letters in the names, etc...

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

When teaching syllables, names are a great way to do it!  Students love to see how many claps they each get and who has the most.

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

Student names can be used to teach beginning letter and ending letters in a word.  You can have students find capital letters and notice they come first in names.

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

Building charts with easy sight words and student names are great for beginning readers.  They can circle each word and count them.  Have them use a pointer to touch and read each word for one to one matching.

Other ideas for charts using student names:
*  take pictures of each individual student, use pictures to match in a center with student names
*  search names for specific letters
*  draw a letter card- can you find a name that begins with this letter?
*  using a pointer- touch and read the name chart
 A lot of the charts can be placed into centers after learning the activities in whole groups.

Fun Name Activities for Kindergarten

But what do you do about the students who come to school not knowing the letters of their name or not able to recognize and write their name?  Send home this free It's All in the Name activity!  

Fun Name Activities for Kindergarten

It's All in the Name includes a parent letter with directions and activities to do with the letter cards with their child to help them learn the letters in their name.  It even includes an assessment for later!  You can get this free resource by clicking here!


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