Best Vocab-Building Book: Fancy Nancy

I’m obsessed with kids books… especially picture books. I have heard about Fancy Nancy (by Jane O’Connor) for a few years now, but I recently “tested them out” and read through a few of them.

OH. MY. WORD.

They’re awesome! Not only are the illustrations adorable, but the voice in them is full of fun personality, AAAAAND she uses awesome vocabulary!  So, now my toddler has been going around calling purple “fuchsia” and cupcakes “delectable”. (Yeah, what kid under 3 has THAT kind of vocabulary?! Thank you, Fancy Nancy!) Here’s an example:

Most of the beginning reader books have a page of “fancy words” in them. My toddler insists on reading this page too (because it has a cute illustration?) so we get a vocab review at the end of the story and I don’t even have to ask for it! WIN WIN!

Click here to grab a copy for your classroom (and get started expanding your students’ vocabulary without even trying!):


(This is the one I took pictures of above!)


(This is the original Fancy Nancy book.)

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Adjectives Review (3rd Grade)

This is a quick worksheet I have used with my third graders for a review of adjectives.  I use this as one of my quick reviews when my kids come in from lunch or special area classes to help them quickly focus and be ready for our next activity.  I put it on their desk before they come back in the classroom, so they know to quickly get to work.  I’ve put two copies on a page so you can use half the paper.

Click here to download the free PDF: Adjective review – Little Red Riding Hood

 

Click here to view more grammar freebies!

I Have A Dream (Martin Luther King Jr. Day Activity)

I love Martin Luther King, Jr.’s dream of peace. It is a huge overwhelming goal, but when each of us makes an effort to be kinder, we will see results. Use this page as a springboard to start a class discussion about making the world a better place in the areas we each have influence.

This one is a half sheet for younger grades. Click here to download: I Have a Dream – Half Sheet

This one is a full sheet for upper grades and middle school. We don’t often get to discuss behavior on social media (and many youth don’t get this discussion at home), so take this opportunity! Click here to download: I Have a Dream – Full Sheet

 

I’ve also done some anti-bullying activities! Click here to see my post about an awesome one!

 

“Snapshot of Fall Break” Graphic Organizer

Thank heavens for fall break! It can’t come soon enough and it never lasts long enough! At least you can have an easy way for everyone to share their fall break adventures with this easy printable! Have your students write or draw something to answer each prompt.

Click here to download the PDF: Snapshots of Fall Break

 

“Snapshot of Summer” Back to School Writing Activity

As an elementary school kid, I always looked forward to telling my classmates all the cool things I did during the summer. I also usually wanted to tell my teacher about my summer… and so did everyone else! Teachers can facilitate a mass “share your summer experience” activity with this simple (self explanatory!) page. Depending on your grade level, have your students draw or write about each of the 5 prompts.

Click here to download the PDF: Snapshots of Summer Break

Some students don’t have amazing vacation stories to tell, so I tried to include things that every kid can write/draw about (like “things I ate”) when I was creating this page.  Good luck on your first day!

Sneaky Leprechaun Word Swap (Context Clues)

Looks like those pesky leprechauns have done it again! Use the context clues to figure out which words the leprechauns have swapped out for silly ones.

Free printable for upper grades! Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Download the free printable PDF: Sneaky Leprechaun Word Swap with Answer Key

Click here for more St. Patty’s Day stuff!

Close Reading Trick – Side Loading Dry Erase Sleeves!

I received free products from Oriental Trading Company in exchange for sharing my thoughts on this blog.

Close reading is all the rage right now. My team and I have read several books about how to make it happen effectively. We specifically focused on the sign posts for close reading book. I recommend this book for 4-6 grade teacher.  After reading about how powerful close reading can be, I wanted to have my students mark up their pages with questions, comments, and symbols. I wasn’t very successful though because writing in textbooks is a big no no! People suggested sheet protectors and all kinds of things, but they don’t work with textbooks unless you rip out the pages.

I have finally found a solution! (Que the applause!!)

SIDE LOADING dry erase sleeves!I found these horizontal sleeves from Oriental Trading Company that slide on SIDEWAYS onto the page.   This is perfect because the kids can do all the marking with a dry erase marker, and then turn in the sleeve so I can look at it later.  It also leaves the textbook in tact and bound. I think this is a major win-win! Click here to check them out.

Please comment below if you’ve got other close reading tips! I’m always on the lookout!

Using Birthdays At School to Create Positive Classroom Culture

 

Birthdays can be distracting at school. But if you play your cards right, you can use birthdays to create a positive classroom culture. By focusing on positive characteristics of the birthday kid, you can allow for natural discussions on topics such as friendship, being polite, following directions, etc. I’ve got a simple page we use to acknowledge a birthday kid’s positive traits. I start by writing mine for the whole class to see (using the document camera). I talk about something the child does well, and praise them for it (subtly reminding the rest of the class of that expectation). Then I have each student complete the page for that student as well. I challenge them to use a vocab word (from the current week or past) in their writing and only let them do the picture AFTER they’re done writing.

Click here to download the full size PDF: I like ____ because

Click here to check out my other thoughts about celebrating birthdays at school.