Sharing my LOVE of Literacy!

If you can read this, thank a teacher !!

April 25, 2010

More Poetry Fun !

Poems are a wonderful resource for literacy instruction. I love how they are a natural and sun way to improve fluency! I introduce two new poems a week with the students I tutor.
One fun activity my kidos love is what I call "The Mixed Up Poem"

During my introduction of the poem, I use a form of choral reading. I read a line and I have the student repeat the same line while tracking each word with a pointer. Then I read the poem a second time so the student can stop me when he/she hears any rhyming words. During the rest of the week, we reread the poem and work on "The Mixed Up Poem" Activity.
I provide the student with a bag full of words. The student works to reassemble the mixed up poem. I have even timed the student, so each day he/she can play "Beat the Clock" when reassembling the poem. It is possible to even make this a center or activity with a timer so students can track their own progress.
As the year progresses and the students improve, I give longer poems! I make sure to use this activity every other week, so students look forward to it and it never becomes boring for them!

Happy Reading!

April 21, 2010

Celebrate Earth Day !

Earth Day is April 22 !! I love to be green everyday. Here is a fun book to share with any elementary classroom!

The Earth Book by Todd Parr

A story of environmental protection and conservation in this eco-friendly picture book. I love that this book has a circular die-cut Earth on the cover, and is printed entirely with recycled materials and nontoxic soy inks. The book includes lots of easy, smart ideas on how we can all work together to make the Earth feel good by planting a tree, using both sides of the paper, and reusing old things in new ways.

After reading this book aloud, I have each student make their own page with the beginning of the sentence "I take care of the earth because.... "
After I check their spelling, they illustrate their page and then I laminate each picture. I hang them in the hall for a few weeks and then I make a classroom book out of the pages.

Happy Reading !

April 17, 2010


Here in New York, several teachers are on spring break! I am having a stay-cation! It will be nice to have some time to myself!

For those of you still teaching I hope you are reading a lot of poetry and Earth Day books!

Today I am sharing a writing activity I did with one of my first graders. We were reading a story about two animals taking a trip. One animal surprised the other animal by popping out of the suitcase at the end of the story.

My student said, " Gee, it does not seem like that should be the end of the story!"

I asked, "Should we write a new ending?" The student happily agreed!

We used the book for ideas and did some interactive writing! This is when the student tells the story and the teacher scribes for the student and also adds some ideas to the plot. When the teacher comes to words that the student can spell, the pen is passed to the student. It is a great way to encourage writing in the primary grades!

His illustrations we added and after I laminated the book, he read it aloud to the class! It was a great way to increase his writing abilities, his fluency, and his self confidence while reading aloud to his classmates!

I love when lessons grow from a student's interest!

Adding to a story or picture book is a great way for students to think about literature in a different way. In the older grades, students could partner write a story which works well with those kidoss who do not like to write!

Happy Reading and Writing!

April 12, 2010

Book Clubs Discussions

My district uses book clubs. I love this part of my day! Most teachers love to read and discuss children's books. Children, however, have difficulty just talking about what they read with out some guidance. I am always trying something new when I meet with my book clubs!

Today I gave my kidos a sheet of 6 possible response cards. Here are the prompts:

This part was good because...

I love when ________ happened because...

I have a connection to the character, _________, because....

If I could change one part of this chapter, I would change...

I wish I understood why...

My favorite part was when...

These prompts worked great. I loved how each student choose a different prompt (which of course will not always happen!) They came to our book club discussion more prepared to talk about the chapter they had read!

There are so many possibilities for using these prompts outside of book clubs, too! Hope you can find a use for them!

Happy Reading!

April 10, 2010

A Giveaway !

I love to read!

When I have a free minute, I read a variety of blogs. I love it even more when there are blogs with giveaways!! I have never met a teacher who didn't love free things!!

Today, I am sharing a giveaway.

See... another great reason for reading......... getting free stuff!!

Enter the giveaway (click on the blue word below) for a cool pocket chart and while you are there read the blog: Confessions of an untenured teacher


This blog writer has worked with students who have hearing loss. Her blog is enjoyable with a lot of wonderful insights!

*** She was asked by a CSN website which sells anything from shoes
, to coffee, to furniture
to sponsor this giveaway.

Good Luck and as always....

Happy Reading !

April 3, 2010

April... So Many Possibilities !

Two of my favorite things about April in the world of teaching:

Poetry Month!! Take some time and have a random "Poetry Break" in your classroom. Read aloud some funny Shel Silverstein poems or spend some time writing and publishing a poem! One of my favorite website for funny poems is Giggle Poetry

D.E.A.R. Day on April 12! Take some time to drop everything and read on this day! This can be a classroom activity, a reading buddy activity, or even a school wide! Here is the website: Drop everything and read

Happy April Everyone!

Happy Reading!!