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How to Catch an Elf Display

How to Catch an Elf

Last year, I found the book How to Catch an Elf through Scholastic and fell in love with it immediately!  If you don’t know it, the elves and Santa go through various contraptions that are set in an effort to catch them.  After reading it, I was inspired to create a fun, thematic, procedural writing unit with the book as the jumping point.  If you aren’t familiar with the book, you can find it on

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Dolch Sight Word Turkeys Example

Sight Words Turkeys

Learning sight words can be tricky and I’m always looking for new ways for students to practice their sight word recognition.  One of the best way to improve students’ abilities to read sight words, is by having them read the words in various settings and fonts.  Often, while doing sandwich drills with flash cards, I’d grow frustrated that students would know the word when they were working with me, but if they saw it anywhere

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Journal writing in the classroom

Journal Prompt Writing in the Classroom

I used to use journal prompts as a quick and easy center, or in my morning work rotation.  Over time, I started to only use prompts during the first couple weeks of the school year when we weren’t quite into our regular routines and I needed something students could easily do without having to spend too much time on procedures and expectations.  Then, those journals would sit in the students’ desks for months at a

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Guided Reading: Organization and Planning Tips

As a first and second grade teacher, my guided reading time is probably the most important and crucial time of my day.  It’s where the magic happens: where students become readers.  It also can be cumbersome and quickly dominate my planning time.  I’ve had up to 6 different reading groups at a time with levels ranging from A to M in first grade!  That’s a ton of levels to plan for, a ton of skills

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Reading Fluency with Support 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 release model.  When we read aloud {click here to see my post on using read alouds to improve students’ reading fluency} we are modeling fluent reading for our students.  The scaffolding stage,

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Hi! I'm Tessa!

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