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Quick Tips for Back to School

Quick Tips for Back to School

When I think of my struggles and frustrations from my first few years in the classroom, many of it revolved around all of the materials and resources I was accumulating and where the heck it was all supposed to go.  I tend to get behind and bogged down during the year...

Calendar in the Primary Classroom

Calendar in the Primary Classroom

Classroom calendars used to be commonplace in nearly every first grade classroom, and even a lot of second grade classrooms.  As the push for standards accountability has grown, I've noticed fewer and fewer teachers implementing calendar in their classrooms because...

A Look at my Math Block

A Look at my Math Block

I first started teaching self-contained third grade three years ago.  After spending close to 10 years in and out of classrooms, working with intervention students, and seeing some amazing teaching and learning, I knew I wanted to do math centers in my room and I knew...

A Close Look at Fluency: Supported Reading

A Close Look at Fluency: Supported Reading

(Note: Affiliate links are used in this post.) I'm continuing to look at ways to improve my students' reading fluency using The Fluent Reader by Tim Rasinski.  As with nearly everything in teaching students, fluency should be taught and practiced following a gradual...

A Look at our ELA Test Prep

A Look at our ELA Test Prep

I wish I could say we don't spend any of our instructional time on ELA test prep.  I wish I could say that the tests were straightforward and gave me quality data to help make instructional decisions about my kids' learning track.  I wish I could say that the tests...

A Close Look at Fluency: Read Alouds

A Close Look at Fluency: Read Alouds

The first way Dr. Rasinski suggests to increase reading fluency is by modeling fluent reading to students by reading aloud to them.  Read alouds help build interest in reading.  They increase students' vocabulary by exposing them to words they likely wouldn't hear in...

A Close Look at Fluency

A Close Look at Fluency

My students this year are making tremendous growth in reading.  We've practiced reading comprehension strategies whole group, small group, and during silent independent reading.  We've been talking about finding textual evidence to support our answers.  I've been...

Working with Division

Working with Division

Some people, districts, textbooks (take your pick) teach multiplication and division together in one unit and at one time.  I teach division after multiplication; after students have had some time working with multiplication, exploring equal groups, and building a...

hello-sidebar

Hi There! I'm Tessa.

I've spent the last 10 years in and out of elementary classrooms. I'm currently looping with my class through 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades. I love to share some of our favorite experiences.


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  • Encourage and build kindness with this cute "It's Cool to be Kind" tee.  This teacher t-shirt is perfect for teachers of any grade, or for anyone that just wants to promote kindness in the world.  Whether you're an instructional assistant, para, elementary teacher, or administrator, this is the perfect teacher tee.  Celebrate kindness with this kindness tee perfect for teachers or anyone who wants to spread kindness. #kindness #kindnesstee
  • 5 Apps to Help Make Your Life Easier: Part 1
  • Ideas and resources for teaching students to restate the question in the answer using PQA; RACE; and TTQA.  This is perfect for first and second graders working to write in complete sentences using text evidence.  This skill is critical to build in the primary grades (1st and 2nd) so students can master constructed response questions in third and fourth grades.  These free classroom posters and activities help students learn to restate the question in their answer. #pqa #race #ttqa
  • Get (and keep) your guided math instruction organized and running efficiently with these FREE guided math binder forms!
  • Spiral review is critical to keep students proficient on the math standards and are perfect for test prep. This 2nd grade spiral math review includes 4 different 40 page sets- Each set spirals through all of the second grade Common Core math standards giving students ongoing practice and exposure! Whether as homework, morning work, or independent work, these printables will help your students review each of the CCSS math standards throughout the year.  #2ndgrade #secondgrade #spiralreview
  • Learning how to count a collection of coins can be tricky for young students as they work to remember coin values and apply them with a collection. These free pages are visually attractive and not overwhelming as students work to identify the value of a collection of coins while purchasing objects. #free #countingcoins #coincollections#2ndgrade

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