Many students struggle to find the main idea of a passage. Students tend to confuse the main idea with the summary, while others just can’t seem to grasp the concept. Here are a few tips, ideas, and activities to help you teach students how to identify the main idea and the supporting details of a passage, short story, or book. THE PROCESS: Teaching the main idea is a process that should take a few weeks. The starting point is easy. Start simple and start with non-fiction texts. In non-fiction books, the title will usually tell you exactly what the topic will be, which is the firstRead More →

This Teacher Report Card is one of my favorite things to do with students during the last week of school! Students love grading the teacher, and it’s always fun to read their responses. It’s the perfect end-of-year activity to use during those last few days of school before summer break. Pin now to save for later! I print the teacher report card front to back and fold it like a book. On the cover page, students write their teacher’s name, school year, and grade. I always give them time to color and decorate it if they want to. On the inside pages, students have theRead More →

Is the end of the year getting you down? I know…it’s overwhelming. There’s so much to do. From end of grade testing to finishing report cards to updating each individual student’s permanent records – it leaves us drained every.single.day. With over 16 years in the classroom, I’ve managed to come up with an end-of-year checklist to make life a little easier. This checklist includes a little bit of everything. If you’re like me you’re swamped with so much to do that you don’t even want to think about next year. This checklist will help you keep your sanity and hopefully make the beginning of a newRead More →

Celebrate teacher appreciation week and #thankateacher! I made this printable for my daughter’s teacher this week during Teacher Appreciation Week. I shared it on my Instagram and had so many people message me wanting a copy. So… here it is for all of you, too! Just click on the image below to download it. Don’t worry if Teacher Appreciation Week is over. You can still give this to a teacher anytime during the year to show your appreciation. It would also make a great end-of-school gift card or tag. Download now or pin for later!Read More →

Tall Tales are so much fun to write! Student’s creative writing skills come to life when they get the opportunity to stretch the truth because we all know children are full of humor and exaggeration! The best thing about tall tales is that they can be funny or silly. They are typically filled with hyperboles, similies, metaphors, and lots of descriptive vocabulary. Tall tales are always read or told as if they were true, even though the listener or reader knows that the story could never really happen – another reason children love writing and reading them! Each year, during the month of November, IRead More →

The month of October is full of exciting fall and Halloween activities in the classroom. From pumpkins to witches – there’s always so many fun things to choose from! You probably have that one lesson you teach every year at this time. For me, we always write book reviews on our favorite books and display them in the hall for others to see. It is our hope, as a classroom, that we inspire other students to read one (or more) of our favorite books. I call this writing activity “Wrapped Up in a Good Book” and you can download it for free from my store. In thisRead More →

It’s that time again – Back-to-School! Are you ready for a new school year? If you’re like me you spend the last few weeks of summer hunting for back-to-school deals, school supplies, and fall clothes! I love to shop, so I don’t mind braving the crowds. Over the years, I’ve found some great deals, time-saving tricks, and a few ways to make easing into a new school year a breeze. The hardest part of going back to school is getting myself and my kids back on a schedule and on a regular routine! Below, are few tips and tricks I’ve found to be useful duringRead More →

It’s almost Mother’s Day, and my students spent yesterday working on a special craft just for mom! I make these flower pens with my class every year, and they’re always a HIT! I love how they turn out, and the best part is that they are C-H-E-A-P to make! Everything you need to make these pens can be found at the Dollar Store. I only spent $6 on this craft for 20 students! In this post, I’ll show you step-by-step how I make these pens with my students.  The Dollar Store always has a variety of flowers to choose from. I usually just grab aRead More →

It’s that time of year again! Time to start thinking about end-of-year awards for students! It’s not always easy to find the “PERFECT” award for every student. We always have that one student that, no matter how hard we try, we can’t make anything fit (academically). That’s when I decided to start giving out Candy Bar and Superlative Awards. I made these awards several years ago, and they instantly became one of my best sellers. After many requests, I made these awards editable. I’m so glad I did, because it made my life easier, too!  These awards make it soooo easy to PRINT & GO!Read More →

Common Core brought with it many standards that teachers had little to no resources for. L.4.5b was one of them for me. In the past, I had briefly covered idioms (usually around St. Patrick’s Day) but never proverbs and adages. Honestly, I had no clue what an adage was. Once I familiarized myself with this standard I thought, “Wow, this is going to be really fun!”   Recognizing and explaining the meaning of common idioms, adages, and proverbs seemed like an easy lesson to teach. Was I ever wrong! While introducing idioms to my 4th graders, I was quickly surprised by how many they actually knew. Hands wereRead More →