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February Morning Work – Try For Free!

February 21, 2016 No Comments

Having something for students to do when they arrive in the morning helps establish good routines. My students know that after they arrive and have had time to catch up with their classmates, its time to grab their morning work. This year, each student has a pocket folder to store the monthly packet. A binder would work well also. I print the entire month ahead of time and staple it at the top. After attendance and…

Pumpkin Math & Literacy Ideas

October 18, 2015 No Comments

It’s that time of year again! Our local farms are busy with families looking for that “perfect” pumpkin. It is also a great theme for reading, writing, and creating! So here are some ideas for the rest of the month. This is a FREE downloadable resource that children can use to create their own informational book about pumpkins. All you need are some nonfiction texts like Pumpkins by Gail Gibbons, and your young writers will be…

Batty for Bats Scavenger Hunt

October 13, 2015 No Comments

I like to teach the difference between facts and fable. Young students have many preconceived ideas along with misconceptions. It can be amusing at times to hear their explanations. In October, a great theme for fact and fable is bats. So many people fear these mammals without understanding their importance to controlling the insect population; especially mosquitoes. A fun way to have your students learn more about a topic is through the use of a scavenger…

Interactive MYSTERY Unit

October 10, 2015 No Comments

It was time to move my growing readers into another genre; one that few them had spent much time with: mysteries! As I was planning this genre study, it became clear that the skills they would be using complimented the reading skills of making inferences and drawing conclusions. While planning a unit, I not only think about the objectives, but also think about ways to make it interesting for the students. I want to create  high-interest,…

Apple Trivia Hunt

September 22, 2015 No Comments

 It is almost autumn! Time to think about apples, Johnny Appleseed, and fresh cider. Are you looking for a fun way to launch this year’s apple theme? Then get your class up and about on an apple trivia hunt!         Print and cut apart the 12 fact cards. You can post them around your classroom, or out in a hallway.         Then print a question page for each student. Your…

How Important Are High Frequency Words?

September 12, 2015 1 Comment

Did you know that children who do not master the 100 most common high frequency words until 3rd grade usually continue to struggle as readers throughout their lives? (Center for the Improvement of Early Reading Achievement).  While saying words from a list does not encompass all the skills needed to be a proficient reader, the mastery of high frequency words is a crucial foundation for more complex texts. When a reader is spending most of their…

5 Effective Ways to Use Personal Word Walls With Elementary Students

September 11, 2015 1 Comment

Personal word walls are the solution to the question, “How do you spell ______ ?” This simple-to-make and customizable tool is one of my favorite resources for my young writers. Personal Word Walls During Writing Workshop I love that my young writers are eager to spell correctly. They are no longer satisfied with using inventive spelling. However, their young age makes using a dictionary quite intimidating. So using personal word walls is how I was able…

{Printable Freebie} Notebook Labels

August 23, 2015 1 Comment

Part of my getting ready for the first day of school includes deciding what types of notebooks or learning logs I want to use with this class. I can’t tell you how much I go back and forth between should I use a spiral notebook, composition notebook, a pocket folder, or a binder. Each one has pros and cons. Once I’ve decided, I like to put kid friendly labels on them that identify their purpose. Below…

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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