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Discover How to Effectively Use Running Record Assessments with Primary Students

January 21, 2022 5 Comments

Have you ever used running record assessments to see inside your student’s mind? Wouldn’t it be great to get insight into what a student does when he/she reads?  Well, running records are a way to get a glimpse of what your student is doing and thinking about when they’re reading. While this assessment has been around for a while, I’ve adapted how I use it. In this post, I’m going to explain to you what running…

Martin Luther King Jr Dream Quilt

January 5, 2022 No Comments

Martin Luther King Day Activity Looking for a way to honor Martin Luther King Day? This I Have a Dream craft and bulletin board project is perfect for elementary students.  These quilt squares are based upon the vision Martin Luther King Jr. had for making our world kinder and more accepting. Through this craft your students get to share their own visions for the world.  By combining the writing squares with graphic squares, your class can…

5 Ways to Organize Worksheets for Common Core Math Standards

August 23, 2021 1 Comment

Would you like an easy way to know the Common Core Standards for math and ELA? How can you be sure you are teaching all the common core reading standards for your grade? Do you wonder if your stash of worksheets addressed a certain standard? As teachers, we are notorious for collecting ideas. It doesn’t take long for our files to be filled with potential learning activities. The problem is after all these years, it is…

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…

Easy Classroom Management Strategies For No Name Papers

December 9, 2019 3 Comments

Looking for effective elementary classroom management strategies for organizing the hundreds of papers that are turned in each day?  I know it can be an ordeal, especially if more than one paper is involved. If I had a dime for every minute I spent trying to figure out whose “No Name” paper belonged to, I would be rich! There has to be an easier way!! For years I have been frustrated by this chronic problem too….

4 Great Books for Reading Aloud to Elementary Children

December 8, 2019 1 Comment

Reading aloud to children is the best way to share the enjoyment books can provide. It doesn’t matter whether the books are fiction or nonfiction. It can be magazines, graphic novels, or even website content. What matters is that children associate reading as a way to unlock the world and their imagination. Here are some of my favorite stories I use when reading aloud to my class: The Kid in the Red Jacket by Barbara Park…

6 Effective Spelling Practice Activities for Any Word List

October 20, 2019 No Comments

How would you like easy spelling practice activities that your students can use without having to create new worksheets every week? These FREE printable spelling practice worksheets 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 Practice Activities : Spelling Ships Worksheet…

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…

Hi! I'm Alison

My #1 passion is all things literacy! I'm a curriculum creator and literacy specialist with over 30 years teaching in elementary classrooms. My goal is to share creative and engaging ways to grow your students and are easy to implement and academically sound. 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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