I absolutely love Instagram. I am able to find many ideas and inspiration while scrolling through the colorful pictures on my feed. Not everything I see on “The Gram” will be appropriate for my classroom or my students, but more often than not, I log out feeling excited for the new ideas I’ve been inspired by. Below I will list 10 posts from my own feed that have helped other teachers and I hope they help you as well.
Highlighting stickers are a favorite of mine. They stick very well and come off with ease, leaving no marks behind. I get to highlight the same posters year after year without having to remake them. I got these from @lakeshorelearning 💕
We often use big books as mentor texts, but what about all those big books from past curriculum and that may be a little torn at the edges? Bring them out! 🙂 There is something about big books that just grabs my students’ attention! I usually don’t introduce them until halfway through the year. When I take them out, my kiddos’ faces light up. Nothing like the gift of reading and seeing others excited about engaging in literature 📚
Have you ever heard of hot/cold reads? My students are introduced to passages that are at their instructional level. Their first read is considered a cold read. They repeatedly read it throughout the week. They read them at home and I give them time during our guided reading block and at the end of the day to practice with teacher support and with partners. At the end of the week, they read it back to me. By that point, it’s considered a hot read. We track their growth and they get to see how their reading improved.
How are they effective?
🌟Students become familiar with sight words and specific word/phonics patterns. When presented with the same words or patterns in other text, they have automaticity and time is not spent on decoding.
🌟Students are able to read at their instructional level; thereby decreasing frustration. As they become more fluent, their instructional level changes and they start to access more challenging text.
🌟During the repeated readings, students have an opportunity to decrease errors and work on prosody.
Give it a try! I think you will love the results.
Pillow galore, oh my! This has easily become one of our favorite areas in the classroom. My students love to sit or lay down to read, use iPads, or have accountable talk conversations with their peers.
When I spend sometimes up to 2 weeks of my summer prepping and buying for my classroom, I often wonder, “why?” Then I see my students love an area as much as this one, and I understand the reason behind my yearly motivation.
I’m not advocating for the release of personal time and money in order to do these things, especially since I’m a big believer of work and life boundaries. But, I have come to the realization that there are some things I am willing to do that do not come at the expense of my life or family, and simply add to my life and that of others. End of summer prepping is one of those things.
My students LOVE using popsicle sticks to segment words by syllables. We often think that we need all the bells and whistles in order to keep kids engaged, but something as simple as a popsicle stick (not used 😂) gets my kiddos excited about syllable analysis 💕
Ikea Storage for STEM
Many asked what I keep in my bins from @ikeausa. Here it is 💕 I love keeping all of my STEM materials in the trays. My students are so good about keeping it organized and putting the trays back with ease. You can read all about STEM Materials your Students will Absolutely Love!
Reading is so much better when you have reading buddies to read to! My kiddos LOVE a good stuffed animal to make their reading time fun. Do you have reading buddies? 🦄
Summer Slide Prevention
Summer slide is real. This is one way to help your kiddos without it feeling like a laborious chore. Try to engage your kids in everyday tasks that can be fun and meaningful 💕
Today we went food shopping and I had the girls help me draft the shopping list. As we walked through the store, I had them read items off of the list and search the signs above each aisle to try to find where these items were located. Once we found items, we read labels and checked things off the list. It was something that needed to get done, but we were able to add reading and writing into an otherwise boring activity. The girls wanted to have turns with the list and to help in finding the items. It became a fun thing and they didn’t even realize that I was purposely doing it to have them read and write 💕
This week we worked on making words plural either with s, es, or ies. We went on a little search and students placed a mini eraser next to the word that fit the skill we were learning about. I am finding so many great uses for the mini erasers!
Highlighters in the Primary Grades
There is POWER in the highlighter. My first year of teaching I pulled out highlighters to use with my first graders and a teacher in the building told me not to bother. “First graders ruin the paper with their overuse of the highlighter. They highlight the entire passage and don’t get anything out of it. Not to mention, it is a classroom management nightmare because of the lost caps and the misuse of the highlighters!” I could have easily taken her well-intentioned advice, but I was stubborn and chose not to. I chose to do what “seemed” hard. The point of my story is that sometimes we are going to face things that are hard and WILL BE a classroom management nightmare, but we should not be deterred from doing them because doing so would mean robbing students of meaningful experiences💕
I DO use highlighters in my classroom. The first few weeks are tough. My kids overuse them. They press them down too hard. They mark up EVERYTHING (apparently all the ideas are the main idea). Several weeks in, (sometimes months, let’s be honest) my kids are highlighter masters. First graders CAN be close readers. Some things are developmentally inappropriate but not everything that’s hard is. Our kids can do hard things. Sometimes we just have to give them the opportunit
One of my favorite things about Instagram is the instant connections I get to make with other educators. There is power in collaboration and I love collaborating with my fellow teachers! Do you follow me on Instagram? No?! What are you waiting for?
See you on The Gram!
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