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12 Inspiring Back to School Books for Elementary Students

August 6, 2021 No Comments

One way I start building a classroom community is by reading stories aloud each day. My elementary students LOVE when I read to them. It is a great way to model fluency, reading with expression, and best of all it’s FUN! Going back to school can be exciting and scary at the same time. These stories help break the tension and help students understand they aren’t alone. Looking for back to school book extension ideas, keep…

Tips for Keeping Virtual Students Engaged

January 3, 2021 No Comments

Engaging elementary students during online instruction is challenging. Here are some ideas to keep students actively participating as well as assessing their level of understanding. TIP # 1 THUMBS-UP THUMBS-DOWN Signs Thumbs-Up sign. I LOVE these large thumbs up cards. They are MUCH easier for me to see than the thumbs on their hand. I’ll ask a question to the class, and then ask them, “If you agree, thumbs-up. If you disagree, thumbs down.” You can…

BEST Solution to No Name Papers – A Classroom Management Hack

December 9, 2019 3 Comments

Looking for classroom management strategies for organizing the hundreds papers that are turned in each day?  I know it can be an ordeal. If you had a dime for every minute you spent trying to figure out whose “No Name” paper belonged to, you’d be rich! For years I have been frustrated by this chronic problem too; especially when there is more than one child forgetting. Well, I am going to share my All-Time FAVORITE classroom…

Great Read Alouds for Elementary Children

December 8, 2019 1 Comment

Use these books to get children hooked on reading! The Kid in the Red Jacket by Barbara Park Any child who has had to adjust to moving to a new school will immediately identify with Howard Jetter.  This humorous tale written by Barbara Park deals with the awkwardness of making new friendships.  Plus you can’t help but fall in love with six year old Molly Vera Thompson.  Despite the differences in age and interests, Howard realizes…

Spelling Practice for Any Word List

October 20, 2019 No Comments

FREE printable spelling worksheets that you can use with any spelling list. They are perfect for homework or in-class practice.  Do you have differentiated lists? No problem! The children use their own spelling lists. Also, there is flexibility in the number of words; 10, 15, or 20. So let’s take a look at your FREE Spelling Worksheets: Spelling Ships Worksheet First, let’s set sail with one of my favorite ways to practice correct letter order with…

7 Classroom Organization Ideas To Make Your Days Better

August 11, 2019 1 Comment

Before you start on classroom decor and bulletin boards, think about how you want your space to function. Classroom organization can save you valuable time and headaches. So if you are preparing for a new school year or have the itch to clean, purge, and reorganize your workspaces, here are some of my favorite tips. Identify Shared Spaces An elementary classroom is more than a bunch of desks. Things to consider include do you want a…

Reading and Math Review for the Summer

July 7, 2019 3 Comments

  How can you keep your child’s reading and math skills sharp during the summer? Well, I am excited to share that I have a solution! My latest product is called Summer Review Going Into Grade 2. It is designed for children who have finished First Grade and are preparing for 2nd grade. Each page has math and language arts practice. The fun summer themed graphics to make the pages more appealing to the children. Who…

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…

Hi! I'm Alison

My #1 passion is all things literacy! I'm a curriculum creator and literacy specialist who loves to share creative and engaging ways to grow your students and are easy to implement. You can expect to find teaching tips to boost your confidence and grow your learners. You don't have to do this alone! I'm the support you've been looking for. I'm so glad you are here!

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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