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    Fun Ways to Teach Main Idea and Key Details

    I've been teaching a long time, but one thing that hasn't changed is how difficult it is for my students to find the main idea of a given text. So over the years, I have searched and searched for fun ways to teach main idea and key details. Everything I found was so overused and outdated, so I decided to come up with my own idea. And you can do it too... all you need is a jigsaw puzzle! I'm explaining in detail the 5 steps I use to teach main idea and key details with my students.

    Graphic Organizers for Formative Assessment

    Common Core Reading Graphic Organizers for Formative Assessment

    Graphic Organizers as Formative Assessment:

    Formative assessment is an essential part of understanding the needs of your students and planning your future instruction. If we can view student learning as a journey from A to Z, then we need to have pit stops along the way to help assess how they're doing in their journey. Of course, the ultimate destination is the mastery of the standard.

    Graphic organizers require students to process information and organize the content in a logical format to demonstrate reading comprehension. They are especially helpful for students to have a visual/spatial representation of the content.

    5 Tips for Teacher Survival in December

    "Teaching in December is easy," said no teacher ever. Do you find your students' excitement to be through the roof? How about their behavior? Is it also through the roof? Haha! I can relate... but I do have a few tips and tricks that I have found really help to calm the chaos in the month of December, or at least embrace it. They're kids. They're going to be excited for the holidays, but it doesn't have to overwhelm you.

    FREE Thanksgiving Activities


    Are you needing some fun free Thanksgiving activities for November? These are some of my very favorite Thanksgiving-themed ELA resources and because I'm so thankful for you, I'm going to give you a 23-page FREE download for being a 2nd Grade Stuff VIP. Scroll down to the bottom and complete the form to get instant access to your FREE Thanksgiving Activities!

    The FREE Thanksgiving Activities Include:

    • teaching suggestions
    • standards covered for grades 1-3
    • links to suggested books
    • links to other resources that you might find useful

    Authentic Writing Centers


    Do you have a writing center in your classroom? If you run Guided Reading in your classroom or follow the Daily 5 approach to ELA centers (or a modified version of it), then you probably do. But may I question your writing center for a moment? Let's reflect on these points together. Do your students respond to writing prompts? Are your students writing for an authentic purpose? Are they writing to a real audience? Are your writing prompts simulating a real-life writing experience that your students will one day be asked to do in the future? If not, give me just a few moments of your time and let's rethink writing prompts in our classrooms. I'll give you three reasons why students need authentic writing prompts in the writing center.

    Guided Math: Budget-Friendly Math Centers [Part 3 of 3]


    Welcome back! If you missed the previous posts in this 3-part blog series all about how to implement guided math, you can catch up on Part 1: The Overview and Part 2: A Closer Look into Math Rotations before reading this one. If you've been reading the series, then you're ready to finish it off with Part 3 which is all about managing math centers without breaking the bank or spending hours printing, laminating, and cutting math centers. So here are some of my favorite ways to save time and money on math centers!

    Guided Math: A Closer Look into Math Rotations [Part 2 of 3]


    If you missed the first post in this series about how to implement guided math, you can go back to [this post] to read "Part 1: The Overview" in my Guided Math blog series. I share the "why" behind Guided Math and how the students rotate through the stations including a sample schedule and rotation chart.

    My students use the Math TIME acronym for center rotations and small group instruction. In Part 1 of this blog series, I explained what each letter stands for (see below) and today we will dig a little deeper into what each of the stations look like in my classroom.