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Organizing Classroom Libraries

August 20, 2016 No Comments

Research has proven that exemplary classrooms have an extensive collection of books for their students to read independently each day. The challenge is how to manage and organize all those books.  An efficient classroom library is one that is easy for children to find the books they are looking for, plus empowers them to return the books to the proper place when they are finished. Here are some ideas to consider: Many teachers use baskets to…

Children’s Books Kids Love and Remember

August 14, 2016 2 Comments

Today I wanted to spotlight some of my class favorite read alouds. I like my students to hear stories that engage their minds and emotions, make them laugh, or touch their heart. They will often refer to these stories and characters throughout the year as we make connections to other stories they read in class. One of our beloved characters is Strega Nona created by Tomie dePaola. Each year, I launch our first author study about…

Empowering Your Students for Success

July 24, 2016 No Comments

What’s the difference between enabling our students versus empowering them? It was a thought-provoking question asked at a conference I attended. For some, the words are synonymous. For those with a background in psychology, there were clear differences. To be an enabler means you are providing support to another person who is unable to function successfully on their own. It is a co-dependent relationship. It is the enabler who knows what to do. Someone who is…

Two for Tuesday: Morning Work

July 19, 2016 No Comments

Happy Tuesday! I hope you are enjoying your summer. Did you know some of our teaching colleagues will be back in the classroom very soon? With that in mind, I am happy to offer 2 of my popular resources at half price today {Tuesday}. Morning Work for First Graders How many times have you taught a concept, only to find out a few days later the kids have no idea what you are talking about? Well,…

July Pick 3 for Summer Planning

July 3, 2016 7 Comments

I trust you are enjoying your summer break and the change of pace.  For me, summer time is not only a time to recharge my batteries, but also a time to reflect upon what I’d like to do better or more effectively in the coming year.  I have several places I turn for inspiration: professional books, teacher blogs, and Pinterest! So here are 3 ideas that I am excited to try with my upcoming class: Have…

Tips for Reading at Home

June 26, 2016 No Comments

As educators, we realize how important it is for our students to read outside of the classroom. The challenge for parents is identifying which books are appropriate for their child. As research has shown, when children are reading independently, they should be reading books  they can comprehend. Reading books that are too difficult can lead to frustration and do not help the child grow as a reader. Also research supports allowing children to choose their own…

Great Read Alouds for Preschool Aged Children

June 15, 2016 No Comments

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr. A told B and B told C I’ll beat you to the top of the coconut tree!  And off you go into the catchy rhythm and rhyme featuring the letters of the alphabet. Kids easily memorize the words and repetition which makes this a fun and educational early story. It’s one of our family favorites!     Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin…

The Importance of Reading Aloud to Children

June 15, 2016 No Comments

Reading a story to your child isn’t just a nice ritual before bedtime. Research has shown that reading aloud to a child is the single most important activity that leads to language development. According to Dr. Betty Bardige, reading aloud to young children not only stimulates language and cognitive skills, it also increases curiosity, memory, and motivation. Children who are read to before attending school have a huge academic advantage compared to those who haven’t had…

Top Pinterest Picks for June

June 11, 2016 2 Comments

Thanks for stopping by! If you are like me, summer is a time when I get to reflect, relax, and renew. What better place to find great ideas than Pinterest! I’ve been surfing around looking for some inspiration and came across these 3 ideas that I wanted to share with you. Name Banners Imagine the fun our students will have creating their own banner while waiting for the rest of the class to arrive! Later on…

FREE Resources

May 22, 2016 No Comments

This page contains links to free resources you can download and use right away. I will periodically update this page. To receive an e-mail of the newest addition, please sign up at the bottom of my HOME page. Leveled Reading Correlation Chart There are a variety of systems or codes being used to identify the reading complexity of a book. This chart correlates Fountas and Pinnell’s Gradient Text Levels with grade level equivalencies and Reading A-Z.com’s…

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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