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Identifying Character Traits in Literature

December 9, 2017 4 Comments

Readers learn about a character  through their actions and words. Rarely does an author directly say the character is curious or hardworking. Instead, the reader is actually using the skill of making inferences to figure this out. For developing readers, identifying character traits can be a challenge. When I introduce this skill, I like to read aloud a story that has a very strong character such as the little wolf in The Wolf Who Cried Boy….

Daily Morning Work for November

October 30, 2017 No Comments

  Are you looking for solid grade level Morning Work? Would quick assessment checks help you design future lessons? Then Daily Common Core and More is for you! This is a monthly series of daily math, reading, and writing  activities. Every month provides 4 weeks worth of review and practice in  math and language arts that are on a 5 day rotation. Click on the picture to learn more! Each page is identified with a letter…

Stories That Touch Your Heart

September 2, 2017 No Comments

  What are some of the best stories to read aloud?  I can’t imagine not having great books and stories to share with my class. My 2nd graders LOVE when I read to them each day. They have come to cherish stories that touch their heart, make them laugh, or inspire them. What books are your class favorites? Here are a couple of mine: The Royal Bee by Frances and Ginger Park is a touching story…

Setting Up Your Classroom with Style

August 26, 2017 4 Comments

This time of year I love to find new ideas to make my classroom functional, yet cute. The way I figure it, I spend more awake hours in my classroom than any other room in my house. So, why not make it visually appealing! Here are some ideas that are functional, yet adorable at the same time. Create a Cohesive Look Can’t you just feel the soothing appeal of this chalkboard and burlap room created by…

Back to School Resources

August 1, 2017 No Comments

Over the summer I write new resources for teachers. Often they are based upon needs I see with my own students. Here are 2 new items I added in July: These passages start off with an intriguing question. Perhaps something you have been wondering yourself ❉ Can I Make My Parents’ Hair Turn Gray? ❉ Where Do Marshmallows Come From? ❉ Can I Sneeze In My Sleep? ❉ Did Castle Moats Have Alligators? ❉ What’s a…

The Candy Corn Contest – Novel Study

November 12, 2016 No Comments

Learning Through Literature is a series designed to help you and your students get the most out of a popular children’s book. Whether you are using this title for guided reading, small group instruction, or as a whole-group read aloud to your class, you will find plenty of ideas and resources to support your literacy program. THIS UNIT INCLUDES: * comprehension questions for each chapter * vocabulary and word work lessons * extension activities to provide…

Wampanoag Daily Life in the 1600’s

November 2, 2016 No Comments

The Wampanoag people lived, hunted, and farmed the area we call Plymouth long before the Pilgrims arrived. I wanted to provide my students with background about this tribe that went deeper than the stereotypical “they helped the Pilgrims survive”. By combining the amazing artwork of Sarah at Educlips Designs I was able to create 4 powerful teaching tools about the Wampanoag. First is a colorful, detailed PowerPoint show complete with sound clips and animation. It makes…

Wolves – Facts or Fables?

October 19, 2016 No Comments

Wolves ~ does the word conjure up fear, awe, or curiosity? Well known stories such as Little Red Riding Hood portray the wolf character as scheming, deceitful, and blood thirsty. Then there is the story of The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf. The huffing and puffing character is determined to have his ham dinner. Hollywood has scared audiences with the murderous werewolf whose haunting howls in the night are intended to bring fear…

Using Mentor Texts to Teach Nonfiction

October 2, 2016 1 Comment

I’m thrilled to share with you one of my favorite children’s author / illustrator: Gail Gibbons. Today we are going to examine nonfiction text features through her book titled The Pumpkin Book.   Identifying Nonfiction Text Features Gail Gibbons is a prolific author of informational texts for elementary readers. She is a master at weaving text and nonfiction elements with detailed illustrations and diagrams. That is why Gail Gibbons’ books are perfect to use as mentor…

Frog and Toad: Facts and Fiction

September 22, 2016 No Comments

Arnold Lobel’s beloved characters Frog and Toad are popular stories with developing readers. The characters in this series  provide a great opportunity to practice the skills of compare and contrast. I like to use this story as a launching opportunity to read and write about factual information about frogs and toads. We continue the skill of comparing and contrasting by having the  students analyze a table of data that I created about frogs and toads. Did…

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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