Candy Crushin’ Homework: A Homework System that Works!

Hey, you wanna know a secret? I am not a fan of giving homework and I only assign it because parents expect it. Yes, I agree and support the fact that students must read every evening for a minimum of 25 minutes. In the perfect world- my homework assignments would be project based and only due once a month but Read More … “Candy Crushin’ Homework: A Homework System that Works!”

Imagination Station: Writing Picture Prompts

My students can always use extra help and/or time with writing. Unfortunately, I don’t think we get to write enough. Sometimes, it just feels like there isn’t enough hours in the day to get to it all. I usually go through the writing process every week and have the majority of students publish weekly. When I am not teaching writing, I have my students reinforce important writing skills during reading workshop. During reading workshop, I rotate my students through 4-5 groups: guided reading, independent reading, working with words, writing, and research (Scholastic News or inquiry activities using designated sites online). Read More … “Imagination Station: Writing Picture Prompts”

Teaching with YouTube: Making Inferences

I LOVE teaching students how to make inferences! I think it is because this is a difficult concept for them to grasp and once they get it, you can actually see the light bulb blinking above their head! I taught a lesson on making inferences last week and want to share a few resources that may be helpful in your classroom. Read More … “Teaching with YouTube: Making Inferences”

Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr!

This past week I had the opportunity to have some serious conversations with my students regarding the history of African Americans in the United States. I teach third grade this year- I looped with my second graders from last year. What I appreciate most about looping is seeing their academic and social growth from last year up to this point. Last year we talked about Dr. King but I didn’t get “too deep” because my students just weren’t ready yet. This year, I am able to take things a step further because I’ve been working them all year on how to have “class discussions”. Read More … “Happy Birthday Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr!”

Understanding Differentiated Instruction

I’ve noticed in the last few years that some teachers sometimes struggle with the concept of differentiated instruction. It is a skill I believe I’ve mastered early on and I credit this to my experience in the School District of Philadelphia. For several years I would receive students at the beginning of the year with very diverse academic abilities. When I taught 4th grade, I remember my lowest group would be made up of beginner readers and my highest group could range from 4th to 6th grade. I truly wanted all of my students to succeed. Additionally, I was haunted by the inevitable standardized tests that would be administered to every student in the early part of spring. It was my professional obligation to make sure that my students not only made adequate progress, but that they could maneuver these standardized tests and score at least a basic (for my lowest students). Read More … “Understanding Differentiated Instruction”

Classroom Behavior Clip Chart

In my classroom I use a variety of methods to monitor and encourage positive behavior. At the heart of my classroom management plan is the “Behavior Clip Chart”. This is a system that allows students to move up and down, depending on their behavior, on the chart throughout the day. The goal is for students to end their day on “Outstanding”. Read More … “Classroom Behavior Clip Chart”