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5 Poetry Writing Wins For Kids Who Hate to Write

March 21, 2022 1 Comment

Teaching poetry writing can feel like a daunting task. You either love it or dread it. But let me tell you a secret: Struggling writers often enjoy writing poetry. Now, hear me out.  Poems can be two short sentences (couplets) Poems don’t have to follow “the rules” Poems don’t have to rhyme Poems can be about anything What Are the Benefits of Teaching Poetry? Reason #1: Poems can help us see life in new ways. The…

5 Easy Ways To Teach What Character Traits Are in Children’s Literature

March 14, 2022 2 Comments

Do you get blank stares when you teach what character traits are? Are their answers limited to words such as “nice” or “mean”?  When I taught second grade, I quickly realized how limited my students’ vocabulary was when it came to describing the character traits of a person. They could easily tell me what the character looked like on the outside, but on the inside? Not so much. The good news is I will explain 5 activities…

5 Ways to Celebrate Groundhog Phil With Elementary Students

January 25, 2022 No Comments

Are you looking for some Groundhog Day activities to use with your class? Is your class excited to know if Groundhog Phil sees his shadow? Are they eager to hear that winter is almost over? 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…

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…

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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