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 with kidney shaped table

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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A Close Look at Reading Fluency through Supported Reading- girl with magnifying glass and books

A Close Look at Fluency: Supported Reading

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 we are modeling fluent reading for our students- read more about using read alouds to improve students’ reading fluency.  The scaffolding stage, or oral supported reading, gives developing or struggling readers supports from a

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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 were painless and worthwhile.  I wish I could say that they were fair, developmentally appropriate, and measured my kids’ knowledge fairly.  I wish I could

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A Close Look at Reading Fluency with Read Alouds text with girl with magnifying glass

A Close Look at Fluency: Read Alouds

I’m continuing to look at ways to improve my students’ reading fluency using The Fluent Reader by Tim Rasinski.  In this post, I explore building reading fluency through read alouds.  You can also read my post on building fluency through supported reading and an introduction to The Fluent Reader.  As with nearly everything in teaching students, fluency should be taught and practiced following a gradual release model. (Note: Links in this post are affiliate links)

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Hi! I'm Tessa!

Tessa Maguire image

I’ve spent the last 15 years teaching in 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grades, and working beside elementary classrooms as an instructional coach and resource support. I’m passionate about math, literacy, and finding ways to make teachers’ days easier. I share from my experiences both in and out of the elementary classroom.

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