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Developing a Concept of Word and More with Animal Poetry

Kids love animals, so why not use that love to motivate them with reading too This post shares how to develop a concept of word with animal themed poems.

Kids LOVE learning about animals, and there is a plethora of great animal themed literature we can use to our advantage that will pull...them...in! I have yet to meet a kid who wasn't curious about bears, penguins, bats, and wait for it...snakes! Have you?

Well, I got an idea the other day that I just could not wait to start on and put into use. I am working with little people in kindergarten, and if you have worked with kinders before, you know there is a WIDE range of reading skills even at this young age. We have kiddos who are well on their way reading at a mid second grade level, but we have some who are still working on some letters and sounds. Concept of Word (COW) poems can serve all which we can not say about every piece of curriculum we use. So how is it that these poems naturally differentiate? Well, read on, and I'll give you a few ideas that might help.

March Madness Fun for Your Kids with Freebies

Let's celebrate March Madness with these fun basketball themed books and activities. Check out this post for teaching ideas and resources.
March Madness is here in more ways than one! Your students may be thinking about basketball and watching for their favorite teams to win. We, on the other hand, are thinking about how many days we have left before state testing (and whether our favorite teams are going to make it to the final four!). In honor of March Madness, I thought I'd share teaching ideas with a basketball twist.

Reading Instruction in the Present and What's Planned for the Future

How does Federal funding benefit public schools? This post explains how Title 1 funded positions have helped many of our students and why we want to protect ESEA

Does your school offer Title 1 reading and/or math services? Do you have children who receive support through English as a Second Language (ELL)? Does your division host guest speakers or trainers for professional development or have instructional and literacy coaches to assist with best instructional practices? How about parental involvement activities such as Math, Science, Reading Nights, Poetry Jams, or Technology Trainings for Parents? If these initiatives have been a benefit to you and your school, you can thank the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or ESEA? You may not be aware, but it is through ESEA that these and many other services are provided to students and their families in high poverty communities. Instructional resources, instructional personnel including teachers and paraprofessionals who assist with daily instruction, professional development, and outreach to help parents with supporting education in the home and within schools all come from ESEA which was signed into law in 1965 by President Johnson.

Each year, school divisions apply for funding through ESEA with outlines how the division plans utilize the funds to support those in the greatest need. Allocation of funds is based on need, and schools that meet the required poverty level use these funds to help balance the playing field for kids who need it the most and who are performing in the bottom quartile academically. In today's post, I thought I'd share a few stories that highlight how ESEA has made a difference from the eyes of the anonymous recipients. The stories are real, but the names are not.

Writing Friendly Letters in First Grade

Nothing brightens your day more than a letter, much less a letter from a child, and this week, I'm getting to spend some time with some amazing short people in first grade. (Have I mentioned how much I love first grade?? ) Writing with Firsties is very eyeopening, and letter writing Is sure to create a little buzz. In a few days, I will upload our finished products to the post. For now, I thought I'd share a few of my teaching ideas for the week.

Making a Difference with Text Sets in the Classroom

Do you have kiddos that seem to have a hard time remembering content? Or maybe your text book is just not accessible to your student due to the reading level? If this sounds like your reality, then you might be interested in using text sets as a way to better get the teaching points across. To learn more about using text sets, [CLICK HERE] or on the image at the top to read my post over on Classroom Tested Resources.


This policy is valid from April 25, 2015
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. I share what has worked in my classroom and what I've learned through my reading program and from my experience. I will only endorse products or services that I have used and found beneficial, based on my expertise, which I feel are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

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