Prefix and Suffix Resources and a Freebie!

Many studies show the importance of building children’s vocabulary. One study has shown that a set of 20 prefixes and 14 roots, and knowing how to use them, will unlock the meaning of over 100,000 words. A similar study showed that a set of 29 prefixes and 25 roots will give the meaning to over 125,000 words. Imagine adding suffixes!  Here are some of my favorite hints, resources, and printables when introducing prefixes and suffixes! Continue reading

24 Hour FREEBIE Minecraft-Themed Math Worksheets Your Kids Will Love

Do your Minecraft kids need some encouragement to practice math? How about a quick addition refresher before going back to school?
Download Multi Taskin’ Mom’s FREE Minecraft Themed Addition Worksheets. These
fun math worksheets include single digit to double digit addition, making this freebie useful for Minecraft kids ages 5 to 12.
Here’s more ways to use your child’s interest in Minecraft for learning: Continue reading

Norms of Collaboration

Norms of Collaboration – How Was Your Last Staff Meeting?

Have you ever sat through a meeting that could be described as… dysfunctional, boring, pointless, dominated by one individual, lecture like… the list could go on and on.  We sometimes make excuses blaming one individual or a couple of people.  It is much harder to believe that we have a part in being able to be a change maker and help the meeting become effective and/or ground breaking.  It just takes being intentional about the way we communicate and the culture that is being set within the group.

Continue reading

End of the Year Celebration

End of the Year Celebration! A Few Ideas and Freebies!

Every year end my fourth grade classroom throws an End Of The Year Celebration!  It is a great time of reflection, celebration, tears, and lots of laughs!  Here are some thoughts, pictures, and printables from the celebration.  I would love to hear what you do with your students too!!

My Timeline for the End of the Year Celebration

Two Weeks Before the Celebration:

  • Have students fill out Top 10 ListsThese lists will help bring together the different parts of the script that will be written for celebration, as well as, they make great decorations for wall, lockers, or hallways.
  • Create committees for celebration.  The committees that I use are as follows: Decorations, Set Up, Clean Up, Greeters, Narriators (they help me write the script), Communications (help with RSVP’s and invites), and Food.
  • Write the ABC’s of Learning as a class.  Each letter of the alphabet represents a memory, habit, or routine in your classroom.  I usually assign one or two letters per student.  They create the saying associated to the letter and then at the celebration they will each read the letter that they wrote.  Here are a few sayings from one of my last classes.  I usually print these on multiple colors of paper and make a class book or use them to decorate the hallway coming into our classroom.
  • ABC's of Learning ABC's of Learning1 ABC's of Learning2 ABC's of Learning3
  • Begin to create the end of the year script.  Example script found here.  This script we used to put on our production for parents.  Our script consists of a few different parts including… an introduction to our parents from narrators, the reading of our ABC’s of Learning, Readings of our Persuasive Essays unit found here! (only a couple students shared), and last but not least mock election awards(here is a freebie from Tiffany Goliday on TPT).
  • Send out invites to parents and other teachers.  Find my freebies here!

One Week Before the Celebration:

  • Have committees meet a couple times throughout the week with agendas.
  • Begin practicing the script.
  • Hold Mock Elections

Week of the Celebration:

  • Rehearse each role.
  • Set up classroom
  • Send out reminders

Day of the Celebration:

  • Set room
  • Run through script twice
  • Committees meet

Back To School Signs! A Freebie For You!

Tomorrow is the day!  We are back to school and it is the perfect time to capture a memory.  This year I will have a Kindergartener and a Second Grader!  In honor of the first day of school I am sending out a freebie for parents and teachers alike!

Printable and Digital Back to School Signs!

In this freebie you will find signs for grades Kindergarten through Sixth Grade in two different colors!  Don’t see what you need let me know and I can whip it right up!

Are you already back in school…don’t worry you wont miss out because you can use these digitally.  You will see in the example above that you are able to take this image and place it on a picture from the past year.

Here are the specifics:

You can use the signs two different ways…

  1. Print out the sign on a regular piece of paper and have your child or students hold them in the picture.  8.5×11 Landscape
  2. Use the digital image to place on the photo using your computers photo editor or another online editing system like Canva.com or PicMonkey.com
Head over to my TeachersPayTeachers Store  and get your free download today!
Reading Workshop

Reading Workshop Tips and Tricks: Round #2

In the last Reader’s Workshop Tips and Tricks #1 I talked about how to get to know your students before you begin your Reader’s Workshop.

This weeks Tips and Tricks Round 2 are based around getting the first few weeks off the ground!!

Before a child can have an interest in reading, he must first have an awareness of it.  The child who is unaware of the riches of literature certainly can have no desires for them.

          ~ Jim Trelease 

I have to admit that I am a Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop junkie…I love scouring the web looking for new ideas to integrate into my classroom.  I have learned a few things over the past years while teaching Reader’s Workshop in my fourth grade classroom.  I thought it was about time I put them down and shared some of the tips and tricks that I have been taught.

The most important piece of advice I have ever received about implementing and learning Reader’s Workshop is you need to give yourself time and grace!  There is no one that is able to implement it all at once without taking the time to get to know each of the parts in-depth.  Experts say that it takes at least three years for an educator to have all parts of the workshop fully implemented and thriving.

 The best advice that was given to me was to make the first year you do workshop the “year of the mini”.  


Start off really concentrating on getting to know your minilessons.  I find that the best format to organize these lessons and really keep track of all of the parts is using the same format that Lucy Calkins uses.  The only thing I did for my own lessons for the first year…and for those of you that may have some of my lesson is I eliminated the “mid-workshop teaching point”.  Then about half way through that first year I was able to grasp how and when to insert that “mid-workshop teaching point”. Now a few years in, I have become artful at doing and I know the lessons well enough to really know what the students need and where they are missing pieces.

I have developed a series of Reading Workshop Units for grades 3-5.  They are all on sale starting today on Teachers Pay Teachers and Teachers Notebook!!!!!!  

Example Unit
Reader’s Workshop
Launching Unit:  Building A Reading Life


The Reader’s Workshop: Launching -Building a Reading Life is easily adaptable for 3-5. 16 Lessons with connection, teaching point, active engagement, link, and sharing. It addresses Common Core Standards and includes anchor charts, minilessons, booklist, conferring notes, partner expectations, parent letter and much more. This product has been adapted from Units of Study for Teaching Reading Grades 3-5 by Lucy Calkins.

In the Launching Unit some of the very first lessons include…

  • Setting expectations for behaviors during the mini lessons, independent reading time, and partner work.

 

  • Setting goals for reading as a class.  I keep these posted all year.
  • Typical starter mini lessons like “Signs to Watch for When Choosing a Book” and “Reading Fast, Long, and Strong”.  During this unit you will be continually trying to build their reading stamina.  Over the past few years I have used Stamina Graphs as recommended by the “The 2 Sisters” who have written Cafe and The Daily Five.

 

I highly recommend if you are a lower elementary teacher that you check out the linked websites above.  The Sisters really have done a fabulous job giving resources that you can use tomorrow!

  • Setting up partnerships.  These partnerships start off minimal and using them only a few times a week with very specific conversations.  Then during the next unit which is our Character Study, they are ramped up.  By this time they have had a lot of experience with accountable talk and are ready for action!
Later this week I am very excited to blog on the Tips and Tricks of Conferring.  We just had an amazing PD day with a woman who had the coolest ideas and set up to her conferring…so get excited for that to come your way!!!