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Digging Deeper with Novel Studies

June 13, 2019 No Comments

Reading and discussing novels are popular with adults and students. Doing a novel study allows readers to think deeply about the characters and themes in a story.  As a teacher, you want to be intentional about the topics and skills you want to discuss during your small group time. However, it can be a daunting task trying to figure out how to go deeper with a piece of literature that doesn’t come bound inside a textbook…

Tips for Matching Readers and Texts

June 13, 2019 No Comments

How do you find books that are appropriate for your child’s reading ability? Finding the right book to match with a child is a lot like buying a pair of shoes. For independent reading time you want a good-fit. In my classroom, I spend a great deal of time getting to know each child and assessing their reading comprehension to figure out what their “size” is. According to researcher Richard Allington (2005) a good-fit book is…

How Can I Motivate My Students to Read More?

June 12, 2019 8 Comments

Want to know the secret to motivating students to want to read on their own? Do you know what 10,000 research studies have proven to be the best way to build reading skills? It is reading aloud to children! The benefits of reading aloud to a child continues even after a child can read independently.   Here are 12 reasons why you should make time to read aloud to your class:   It is the best…

Engaging Reluctant Readers

June 12, 2019 2 Comments

How can you get a reluctant reader to read? Do the words “time to read” bring this look on a child you know? As teachers and parents we have encountered children who don’t like to read.  Motivating reluctant readers can be a challenge. How do we get them engaged so they continue to grow and be successful readers. The key is finding passages that are interesting to them and help them be active in their own…

Scaredy Squirrel – Mentor Text

April 6, 2019 5 Comments

Today’s featured book is Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt. Not only has this beloved series won numerous awards, but a television series on the books began in 2011. In case you aren’t familiar with this character, let me tell you a bit about him. As his name suggests, Scaredy has many fears; from  mosquitoes, ants, germs, to polka-dot monsters and confetti. Some, you may relate to as well! So Scaredy has become an expert on how…

CLOSE READING Improves Comprehension

March 19, 2019 No Comments

What is Close Reading? Close Reading is being written and talked about quite a bit lately. It has nothing to do with being near sighted, however. Close reading strategies allow readers to analyze and make meaning of a text through multiple readings. This is not merely rereading the passage several times. Rather the goal is to teach children how to dissect a complex text in order to obtain a deeper understanding of the passage. Typically close…

Dr. Seuss FONTS

February 23, 2019 No Comments

Dr. Seuss’s birthday is on March 2nd. Teachers across the country are preparing by gathering anything and everything “Dr. Seuss”. The fonts below would be ideal for worksheets, banners, crafts, and more. When you click on the font name, it will take you to another site where you can download the font. I did not create these fonts I only linked to them. To download the fonts you must click the links to go the various…

Winter Writing Collection

December 2, 2018 No Comments

Poetry is an easy way to incorporate writing into your weekly plans. Once I teach a style of poetry, my students are able to choose it during Work on Writing time. Last week they couldn’t wait to write acrostic poems about topics of their choice. This week they will be learning how to write cinquains. This is a template I created to help them create their cinquains. It is just one activity in my Winter Writing…

Groundhogs vs Prairie Dogs – What’s the Difference?

January 28, 2018 No Comments

As we near Groundhog’s Day with all the superstition and folklore, I have always wanted to dig deeper (pun intended) than what the great Prognosticator forecasts. So I decided to do a little research and learn more about this infamous rodent of Punxsutawney. This integrated literacy unit has informational texts on each animal, writing activities, work word activities, and a card game featuring food chains called CHOMP! on the Prairie. In addition, there is a craft…

Mentor Sentences – Teach It So They Remember It!

January 6, 2018 7 Comments

DO YOU HAVE THIS Problem? Each year you and your colleagues teach grammar and mechanics, yet they still don’t know how to write complete detailed sentences? Research has shown that completing numerous grammar worksheets or editing sentences with mistakes do not transfer to writing. You know this to be true, too. How many times have you said, “I taught it and they STILL don’t do it!” It’s time for a different approach. Students need to see…

My name is Alison. I'm a veteran teacher with a passion for supporting teachers like you with practical effective tips and engaging resources. I love children's literature, Golden Retrievers, and gardening. Read More

About the Literacy Garden

When I started teaching, I quickly realized that student teaching didn't prepare me for the real challenges of being alone in a classroom full of young children. The learning curve was steep and time was limited. That is why I created the Literacy Garden. My hope is this will be a place for inspiration, mentoring, and connecting.

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