Friday, June 16, 2017

Small-Group Math [Teacher CPR]

Increase Math Achievement with Teacher CPR! After the whole-group mini-lesson, the students meet with their FLEXIBLE readiness groups. The groups are:

  • Teacher:  Tier instruction to offer support or use this time to teach students with advanced readiness different skills. Last year, many of my 2nd graders were doing 3rd grade work.
  • Computation:  Making 10s Card Game, Fast Fact Practice, Number Bonds - Once a week, students were given a sheet with 100 computation fluency problems. Once they finished the paper, they could do puzzles or pattern blocks. They were motivated to finish! :)
  • Problem Solving: Model Drawing -- Button Cards and Bean Cards work well! They're self-checking. You can purchase them through Crystal Springs Books, I've seen them on Amazon too.

  • Review: I use technology for this station. Front is one of my favorite educational sites because it differentiates based on readiness. Plus, it gives teachers data! 

Monday, June 12, 2017

First 30 Days in 2nd Grade

If you want help setting up a classroom blog, I'll be happy to help! Be sure to check with your school before posting pictures of students. Most schools have policies that you must follow. We can do this during lunch or right after the session on Friday. 

30 Writing Mini-lessons for the Diverse Classroom

30 Days of Mini-Lessons:
30 Days for 3rd-5th:

Writing PowerPoints:
Link to download writing PowerPoints:

Morning Message Ideas:
*For K-1, consider writing each sentence in a different color of marker so students can see when sentences start and stop. :)

Extending the morning message idea came from the book,  Beyond Morning Message by Valerie Schifferdanoff. 

 All Writing PowerPoints in my TPT Store will be available for free. The link will be provided in the session.  You'll have more than 30 days of lessons.  :)

Small-Group Reading

Link to download resource:

I created this resource today. DRAFT is lightly stamped on several pages. I still need to proofread it for mistakes a couple of times and add in a couple of forms. I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. I hope you made it home safely. I had to take a detour on my way home and spend a couple hours with my grand baby. I'm pretty sure he missed me. :)

Link to PowerPoint PDF:

Summarizing Mini-Lesson:
The book, Chewy Louie, by Howie Schneider is a must for every classroom. You can EASILY teach summarizing and inferencing with this book. In this lesson, students are asked to write a 16 word summary. Sometimes I have them do 20 words. Sometimes I have them write a summary with less than 25 words.  If you always have students write a 16 word summary, they may think that summaries ALWAYS have to be 16 words. :)

Comprehension Journal:

Rounding up the Rhymes Lesson:

If your district has adopted a specific framework for reading groups, you should still be able to incorporate conversations, partner reading (one reads, the other DOES something -- like summarize), and a written response into your framework. Be sure you're following your district's mandates.

Some students learn to read by reading. Some students learn to read by writing. Some students learn to read through word work. It's important to incorporate ALL areas into your English/Language Arts instruction.

Other small-group options that require less prep than traditional reading groups.

Word Work for specific grade levels:
I highly recommend the Month-by-Month Phonics books by Patricia Cunningham and Dorothy Hall. 
They  are grade specific. Be sure to check to see if you got the 2nd edition. This is the one for first grade:

2nd Grade Working with Words information:

Taking Your Students Deeper with Project-Based Learning


Engineering PBL Draft:


PBL Links:

Super Hands-On Science

Link to PowerPoint PDF:

Science Picture Books:

Building Critical Thinking: My Favorite Game is ...


Practical, Easy-to-Implement Anchor Activities

Link to Making 10s directions and Learning Contract information:

Consider letting your students complete Webquests. You'll want to check all the links before offering them to students. :)

Add caption

Missing Foundational Skills in Reading and Writing

PowerPoint, Rubrics, and Spelling Information (all PDFs).

Link to Foundational Skills Rubrics:

Link to Working with Words information:

Science and Social Studies are Reading Too

Link to Engineering Draft:

Mini-Lesson Ideas:

Social Studies Trade Books:

Science Picture Books:

Friday, June 2, 2017

12 Principles of a Brain-Friendly Classroom

Link to handout:

Some Guiding Principles:
  • Set up a safe environment.
  • Respect students.
  • Engage emotions.
  • Get students moving.
  • Take time to celebrate.
  • Play some music.
  • Give students choice.
  • Real-life learning is important.
  • Use patterns.
  • Give specific feedback.
  • Reduce clutter.
  • Encourage healthy eating.

Excellent articles:

Updated information will be posted here. Please check back. If you have questions, contact me. :)

Make Learning Stick

The current handout for Make Learning Stick will be posted here. Let me know if you have questions.

You should be able to access the handout below for FREE. For some reason, Scribd has something pop up asking you to join. You should be able to exit out without joining. E-mail me if you have trouble (

I will update this presentation again before I present next week, and link it in Google. I know many of you are choosing your sessions based on handouts so I wanted to get something posted to give you an idea of what the session will look like. This is a light, interactive session. The ideas can be easily implemented  with minimal prep.

Writing Lessons:

Writing Mini-Lessons: Parts of Speech Power Points:  ...