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Literacy, Math, Social Studies, Sciences, Preschool

Teaching Life Lessons with Children's Literature

book pages, writing promps, write about reading, MrsQuimbyReads, teaching resources
Reach high! Reach high up!  Up to the top!  To Life Lessons! It is the very reason we read.  Open a children's book and open a window to the world of wisdom. Bringing the literary world to your students in the early years nourishes them in ways that they will hunger for more pages of worldly advice and admirable characters as they grow older. Talented authors teach life lessons that apply to childhood years and reach out to grown-up life, too.

Reading children's literature should be a hallmarked place in your plan book because that practice alone goes straight to the heart of why we teach reading and writing.  

Why did the author write the book? What is his message? How does this book's message make us smarter? How does this book's lesson make us a more caring and kind person?   What does the book teach?

Select a time during your day that is dedicated to reading and talking about good books.  Find, establish and create a comfortable book corner or space. Young children are happy to sit on a carpet; older students do better in a circle of chairs.  Center stage is the book.  After a short while, you will find that your students look forward to

Teacher Weekly Lesson Planner - Update

Pass the word! Tell Your Friends!  Update for 
is now available at my TPT Store.  There are over 200 pages... 35 cover styles and designs, weekly planners, calendars, monthly newsletter templates, important forms for classroom management, grading sheets. 
 Everything, everything you need to stay organized and ready for the many tasks at school.

BONUS                       FREE Substitute Teacher Notebook      
This is a $10.00 teaching resource [34 pages] and it's yours FREE when you purchase the SY 2018-2019 Editable Teacher Binder

If you purchased this teacher binder last year, thank you!, and be sure to get your FREE update for the upcoming school year. 

[I know, I know... you haven't even finished this school year]  however,  I have had some requests about the update as some teachers want to leisurely build their teacher binder over the summer.  Great idea! and I happy to tell you it's ready.

Thank you again for checking in at  The blog and website for teaching and teachers without ads and pop ups.  A minimalist style of blogging.

Enjoy Spring! and all that it brings! 

7 Earth Day Activities and Snacks for the Primary Classroom

teaching resources, earth day, writing prompts, earth day activities
This Earth Day craft was super easy to do and really quite pretty in person. It uses materials from your recycling bin and scrap paper box and gives you a chance to chat about Earth Day with your artist as they create.  So easy to make, all you need is paper, crayons and a paper punch. See more about how to make this planet earth over at            No Time for Flash Cards
1.  Recycle   Here is a wonderful chance to talk about recycling and re-purposing AND using paper from your scrap box.   Students can make cards, books, bookmarks, and creative art projects.  See what ideas your students have about recycling and re-purposing right in the classroom.  

 2.  Make an Earth Day Snack that is Healthy and fun to make. 

MrsQuimbyReads, Earth Day, healthy snacksGather these healthy food items: celery, cherry tomatoes, kiwi, grapes, apple slices, peanut butter, oranges, etc.  Talk about the different bugs and insects that live in the earth.  How do they help the earth? How do they help us?  What size are they? What colors? What work do they do? After your class discussion, start to make your little creatures with the food items for snack.  More questions: Is this a healthy snack? Why do you think so? Why should we eat healthy?    You might wish to make this wonderful Earth Day Tree Snack. Use pretzels for the trunk and branches. Heart shape cucumber slices for the leaves and one tomato heart. 
MrsQuimbyReads, teaching resources, earth day activities

3.  Plant some wheat grass.  Students learn about living things

6 Questions You Need to Ask Before Assigning Homework

Recently, educators and parents are thinking of adopting a "No homework!" policy for elementary school students.  I vote YES! 

It's time to rethink activity for small children.   Their bodies are growing and most would agree that part of that important growing means exercising, especially the large muscles.  Legs and arms. 

Running, hopping, skipping, jumping, climbing... 

 After school is a good time for physical activity needed for growing bodies. Parents who encourage their children to be active, understand and know that play is important to children. If children

3 Practices that Will Engage Your Students in Writing

writing, student writing, photo prompts, writing practices, ways to engage students to write, MrsQuimbyReads
Writing In the Classroom
Photo Writing Prompts
1.  First, children need adventures, 
experiences and stories to write about...and where will they get them? Teachers can help make a story-filled classroom for their students. Some teachers schedule a story time as part of their literacy practices and strategies. Reading is a wonderful place to start because books are filled with writing, they tell adventures and stories. Telling stories and having conversations about experiences can be a springboard to writing.  Reading and listening can be the precursor for writing and speaking.  Talk, listen, tell, and write.  Tell stories in your classroom, provide opportunities for students to tell their stories. Whenever you become a storyteller, ears start to listen. Be sure to also take the opportunity to look at writing within the texts and books you are reading.  Isolating key writing strategies that talented authors use is a great way to show students what a writer does.

                                                     2.  Write! 
yes, write and then write some more.  Let your students see you write. Write at journal time, write sticky notes, write letters, write, write, write. Put up sticky-notes

Writing About Characters - Literacy Skills Instruction

MrsQuimbyReads, children's literature, reading journals, book characters
Young readers love the story.  Partly, or mostly because of the main character.  Who the story is happening to is a big reason why the story engages the reader.  Relating to characters in a story develops interest and enjoyment to reading.  
A character, like Oliver Twist, simply creates the background, plot and theme of the story.  Charlotte guides us through lessons of friendship. Henry Huggins teaches us that living 'just an ordinary life' presents adventures and sometimes complications. He shows us the true meaning of kindness and stick-to-itiveness. Karana paints us a picture of being alone and what that can feel like. Little Red Hen teaches us a work ethic we can admire and even the youngest reader can empathize with her dealing with the lazy pig, dog and cat. 
Reading and writing about these book characters develops our own character: Who do you wish to be like?

5 Ways to Teach Sight Words that Engage the Young Reader

literacy, teaching resources, MrsQuimbyReads

When teaching sight words, start with alphabetic insights.  Sounds and letters and the decoding process is important when learning to read and write.  The key is putting it all together --- even when teaching sight words. High-frequency words are not simply memorized; yet after time, they become so easily recognized in the 'entire word' form. When readers can read high frequency words easily, their reading fluency will increase.  This also allows for focus on the task of comprehension. Teaching sight words is one part of literacy instruction. 

Learning sight words can help children read fluently, but it is important to remember that we also want children to be aware of word and sentence concepts in our language.  Sounds and letters make up the word, the words make a sentence, sentences make a paragraph, and the paragraphs make up the story.  Young children learn to understand that these high-frequency words enable them to unlock the meaning within the texts. High frequency words might be the glue for the important concept words that the story relies on to show and relate the message.   We read to become smarter, to be nicer and to be entertained.
Teaching sight words in patterns can help the young reader/writer.  If I know the word come then I might also know the word some.  If I know the word and, I can easily read the word stand, hand, band. Making these connections help in language learning.   These relationships can make the reading day enjoyable and more meaningful.  

sight words, teaching resources, MrsQuimbyReads
Sight Words with Cloze Activity

Teach Sight Words with Pictures
Using pictures to show the meaning can always assist in learning an unknown word.  Reading should always make sense. If the word is under,  then a picture showing under is helpful in learning that new word. 

The dog is under the table. 

Teach Sight Words by Listening
Hearing and listening to words within texts and stories provides

5 Important Reasons To Choose Books by Dr. Seuss

  • Dr. Seuss was a talented writer and he captures the readers attention fully.  His books inform, persuade and entertain.  Definitely entertain! Trust this masterful write can show and model language in an entertaining way.
  • Many beginning readers start with Dr. Seuss books.  Dr. Seuss is a master at repeating sounds frequently and this helps a beginning reader to master the skill of letter sounds and phonics.  Dr. Seuss writes engaging stories that children love and because these young readers love his stories; they tend to want to read them.  When they want to read, they learn to read.  Examples of books with repetitive lines are Hop on Pop, Green Eggs and Ham Fox in Socks. and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish.
  • Dr. Seuss books are perfect for reading aloud because

5 Fun and Easy Ways to Celebrate 100 Days of School [without sugar]

How will you celebrate the 100th day of school without any sugar?  Here are five ways you can do that and your students will be smarter and healthier. 

Grab Your Interactive Booklet Right Here
 #1.  Make an Interactive Booklet where students read 100 sight words, spell 100 words, solve 100 math facts, and draw 100 geometric shapes.  They love making this booklet and especially love making it to 100 for each of the tasks included

Read 100 Sight Words -  Spell 100 words - Solve 100 Math Facts - Draw 100 geometric shapes

#2.   Many teachers like to graph food items.  If you are inclined to make a 100's graph, let's make a healthy list of food items you might use instead of those sugary ones

How to Improve Reading Achievement In Just 20 Minutes A Day

teach reading, reading primary grades, MrsQuimbyReads, teaching resources

Starting your day with 20 minutes of reading time can set the tone for the day and also improve your students reading ability. When children settle in with the quiet activity of reading, they are able to enjoy reading for reading.  Depending on the age of your students, it will take a few minutes to really settle in and engage in the text.   In one year's time, a child who reads 20 minutes a day is exposed to 1.8 million words. And just think, if you encourage your students to read an additional 20 minutes at home you can double that number!
Many teachers who  incorporate silent reading in their classrooms find the rewards are many for their students.  For the most part, reading is an individual act and it is natural to read silently. Those teachers who provide an opportunity for silent reading may just be on the right track to

Learn about Martin Luther King

Reading Response for Informational Text

Happy Birthday, MLK, Jr! Young readers can read and write about this famous person who believed in his dream.  He encouraged us to move forward and work for peace to make a better world.  

"If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward." Martin Luther King, Jr.“One day we will learn that the heart can never be totally right if the head is totally wrong." Martin Luther King, Jr.

How to Engage Your Students In Writing in 7 Minutes [morning seat work]

How to Engage Your Students in Writing in 7 Minutes or Less!
January Morning Riddles

First 7 Morning Minutes At School:

#1 - Arriving at School
#2 - Check-In Responsibilities
#3-  Hello to Friends and sitting at Table or Desk
#4 - Getting Morning Riddle Page from basket
#5 - Reading their riddle [even before getting back to seat]
#6 - Still reading and thinking!
#7 - Writing! 

Keep reading to find out how you can see your students writing within 7 minutes of entering your classroom... 

This is a collection of 21 January riddles for your students to read, think, write and answer. These riddles are a great writing activity for morning seat work. Students settle right in with reading and writing. It is motivating because the children love to guess what today's riddle answer might be. 

Each riddle is a winter idea and contains many high frequency words. Your students read the riddle, think, and write a sentence that answers the question. Next, they illustrate the sentence that they wrote. This is a motivating writing, reading and thinking literacy activity that you may use for morning seat work, homework, for fast finishers or anytime. This product includes 

Kindergarten Math Center at Christmas [Counting, Number Sense, Writing Numbers]

Counting, Number Sense and 
Writing Numbers 0-9

Christmas Math Center - Writing Numbers
Spin and record math centers engage students in activity, following directions and working beside another classmate. Children enjoy the spinning action and this spin and record is 'All About Christmas' and counting.

This math center for Christmas time will provide practice in counting, number sense and writing numbers from 0-9. Pages and spinner show clip art that is in a Christmas style; however, the number pages can be used anytime.   And you can make these pages readily available all the time.
Themed centers can heighten your students interest.  However, these math centers need to accomplish your teaching goal : providing opportunity and practice in a skill that you have already taught.  Math stations can also be an excellent way to immerse some of your students with a task that reinforces direct instruction while you are teaching another small group a similar skill.  Learning can be fun and certainly is when brains are thinking and students can have some directed movement that allows them responsibility in their own learning. 
Your goals for a math station might be: 

  1. Learning
  2. Practice, review and reinforcement in skills previously taught
  3. Independent skills to complete a given task

Classic Christmas Read Alouds - Jan Brett

MrsQuimbyReads, reader response pages, wild christmas reindeerJan Brett's illustrations will grab you immediately.  She is a well-known children's author and her stories are poetic, beautiful and humorous. 
 The Wild Christmas Reindeer is about young, Teeka.  She lives in Norway and has the important task of training the reindeer for Santa's sleigh.  Things don't go very well the first time around as she tries to teach cooperation and organization to the reindeer. Christmas is approaching and Teeka learns a lot about how a method of teaching makes a big difference to the learners. 

Jan Brett inspires good quality traits and habits.  Children learn kindness, patience and tenacity