22 Must Reads to Include during Black History Month and Beyond

History, despite it's wrenching pain, can not be unlived, but if faced with courage need not be lived again.
~Maya Angelou

20 plus book recommendations for Black History Month (and all year long) are shared along with must do activities in this round up post.
What an important message for us! As we reflect on the past errors in our history and move to the future, it is critical that we recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of all, especially the brave men and women who risked their lives to have the right to be free. Children today must hear these stories and see themselves in the books we use in our instruction

Dollar Store Hacks & How I Use Them

The Dollar Store offers teachers an inexpensive way to make special things for the classroom. This post includes one teacher's favorite finds and how to use them.
I had a few hours to kill the other day, and when you're a teacher, what better way to kill time is there than wandering through the Dollar Tree. Every time I visit, the wheels turn for DIY projects or for ways I can repurpose those golden gems I find. As I wandered Thursday, I did get a great collection of ideas, and I believe most Dollar Tree stores carry similar inventory. So if you have a store near you, read on for ways you can use a few of the things I found.

The Making of a Memoir

This post is about writing memoirs using the book, The Memory String by Eve Bunting as a mentor text. This FREEBIE is included.

We all love coming across a touching book that just speaks to us, and this week, I grabbed one at my favorite discount bookstore, Ollie's (Good Stuff Cheap). If you haven't heard of Ollie's, then your pocketbook thanks you!  Seriously, every single time I walk in, I leave with a handful. BUT...I do use each and every one. Promise! Anyway, I want to share how I used this treasure to teach memoir writing to my students.

Parent Involvement Matters

What does the research say about parental involvement? How can you get parents on your side? Check out this post for ideas you might try this year.

High parent engagement can be nothing but positive, and Henderson and Berla (1994) reviewed and analyzed eighty-five studies that documented the comprehensive benefits of parent involvement in children's education. Here is a summary the benefits they noted for the children, parents, teachers, and the school. 

Ten Comprehension Strategies for Fiction and Nonfiction Texts

Reading comprehension is essential for student achievement and even more important in the workplace. This post includes strategies to help your students prepare for the future.
In today's workplace, now more than ever, employers are requiring employees to be tech savvy team players who can work well independently and with others. Communication skills are essential, and problem solving abilities are an added bonus. In order for today's students to be tomorrow's employees, we need to utilize tasks that simulate life on the job. In today's post, I'd to share with you ten comprehension strategies that can help your students on that path. 

10 Tips for Building a Strong Reading Program

Quality reading programs start with Tier 1 instruction in the classroom. Sound insructional practices build a love of reading and make the reading-writing connection. Check out this post for ten practices each teacher needs for building lifelong readers.

Building a strong reading program isn't just a task for your school administrator. Strong reading programs start where the action is, right in your classroom! What happens (or doesn't happen) in your classroom directly leads to the reading strengths of each individual on your language arts roster. It's a huge responsibility we have, and because we know the importance of reading achievement to academic success, we must be thoughtful practitioners.

Today, I'd like to share ten important tips for reflection. If you have these practices in place, you are likely building strong readers.

Fourteen Activators That Will Give Your Lessons Pop

Need new activator ideas to jumpstart your lessons? Check out this post for fourteen ideas that are sure to please choosy students.

With the year winding down and spring fever in full force, now more than ever we need ways to hook our kids in. We need the perfect bait to catch each and every fish in our pond!  Most importantly, we can't let those fish get away either. We need a meaningful bait that attracts even the most choosy fish, and we need a bait that will keep them interested. Today, I've got fourteen activator ideas that I hope matches your needs. 
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