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Common Core & More Morning Work

July 22, 2014 1 Comment

Do you wish you had an easy way to review the skills that you have taught? Are you frustrated when your students “forgot” what you taught them a few weeks ago? Have you been wondering how to incorporate the Common Core Standards into your classroom? Are you worried that it is “one more thing” you have to cram into your already busy schedule? Well, I’ve been in your shoes and it has motivated me to create…

FREE Download: Making Connections

February 14, 2014 No Comments

Good readers think about the text and often make connections with the characters. I like to have a way to track my students’ thinking. One way I do this is with this Making Connections form. You can provide this form for your student to use while they are reading, or after reading. It can be used with guided reading groups, strategy groups, or individuals. As a blog reader, you can download a copy to use in…

Trivia Hunts for Active Learning

February 5, 2014 No Comments

When working with elementary students, I try to mix in some activities that get them up and about, especially in the afternoon. One of their favorite activities is a Trivia Hunt. They are simple to do and the kids learn a lot in the process! Beforehand, I post about a dozen index-sized cards containing information on a topic throughout our hallway. Here is an example of 4 trivia cards about Rockhopper penguins. Since this hunt includes…

Sticky Notes – What Do You Do With All Those Pieces of Paper?

January 18, 2014 No Comments

I love to have my students write down their thoughts on Post-it notes when they are reading independently. I gain so much insight into their thinking, their misconceptions, and level of comprehending the text. However, I didn’t have a plan for organizing their notes in a way that would be accessible to me for assessment purposes. Having the notes stuffed inside their book didn’t provide me with a bigger picture of what strategies they were using,…

Happy Happy Happy!

August 25, 2013 No Comments

Are you a fan of the TV show Duck Dynasty? We have joined the millions of viewers who enjoy watching their fun-loving adventures. When I came across these adorable clip art created by Nikki of Melonheadz Illustrating and Doodles  I knew exactly what my Back-To-School bulletin board was going to look like. I layered the bulletin board paper to create the outdoor scene complete with a duck pond. Then, I used Phil’s favorite saying, “Happy! Happy!…

Teachers Who Love Teaching

August 6, 2013 No Comments

  I am convinced that the best teachers love what they do and their enthusiasm spills over into their students. As an educator, having a classroom of students who love to learn is a priceless treasure. It is what makes our time and hard work worthwhile. So when I saw this quote in a catalog, I knew I had to make it into a printable poster. I’ve created a printable version for you HERE to download…

Reading Interviews for Students

August 2, 2013 No Comments

One of the ways I get to know my students better is through conferring and using reading interviews for students. I learn so much from their answers in a short amount of time, and it helps me to plan better ways to meet their needs.  If you have younger students, send it home for their parents to complete. When they are returned, I spend an evening reading and jotting anecdotal notes about my new students. Ways…

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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