Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Using High-Interest Nonfiction to Build Comprehension

The more students know about a topic, the more they tend to like it.  Students love reading fiction.  The tricky part is trying to get them to read informational text.

Doing something as easy as taking a nature hike might be enough to grab their interest.  I love nature and enjoy going into the field to experience nature before I write about it.

The pioneers and Native Americans made salads
using dandelion leaves.

I foraged for native plants that have been used throughout history for food.  I would not recommend doing this with a class, but teaching students an unusual fact about plants that are in their own backyards can spark interest in reading more about plants.

Black walnut seeds provide food for squirrels and other rodents.  They also are the home of maggots that
keep safe in the warm layer under the outer shell of this seed.

This is a picture of a wild plant called bloodroot.  It is an ephemeral.
Ephemerals are plants that bloom for just a few weeks out of the year.
They grow in early spring before larger plants are able to grow and 
compete with them for sunlight.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Task Cards That Are Organized By Guided Reading Levels

A year ago when I was working with my first graders, I wished that there were task cards that were organized by guided reading and Lexile levels.  There are so many books that are organized this way.  That is when I decided to create my own.  These task cards save so much planning time and make it easier to differentiate instruction.  

Main Idea Task Cards Organized By Guided Reading Levels
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels A-I
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels J-M
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels N-P
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels Q-R
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels S-U

Inference Task Cards Organized By Guided Reading Levels
Inference Guided Reading Levels A-I
Inference Guided Reading Levels J,K,L,M
Inference Guided Reading Levels N,O,P
Inference Guided Reading Levels Q and R
Inference Guided Reading Levels S,T,U
Cause and Effect Task Cards Organized By Guided Reading Levels
Cause and Effect Guided Reading Levels A,B,C,D

Inference Task Cards 


How Do Authors Create Book Illustrations?

Thank you for stopping by to see another Behind the Scenes blog post.  I am always working on multiple projects simultaneously and wanted to provide a sneak peak of the process of creating illustrations.

My eleven-year-old daughter Jaden is the artist this time.  Just like me, she loves to draw.  She is creating the mock up for a short graphic novel book about ratios that will be released soon.  

She did her overall sketches.  Then, she added specific details.

Next, I will use Adobe Illustrator to outline, scan, and color the images.  Or, I might use watercolors.

If you are interested in drawing or creating your own illustrations, I would highly recommend gouache.  They are commonly used professionally to create children's book illustrations because they produce vivid and bright colors.

I highly recommend using high quality watercolor water as well.  This is my absolute favorite ~Blick 140 lb. paper.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Nonfiction Passages Organized By Guided Reading/Lexile Levels

These passages are such a great time saver. These nonfiction passage bundles are organized by guided reading and Lexile levels.  Students can review facts at their own reading levels. Each bundle contains five passages per level.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Print and Use---- Task Card Bundle 230 Task Cards (Already Leveled for Use)

This document is such a time saver. The guided reading level/Lexile level is on every card.  Just print and use.  230 inference task cards are included for beginning, on-level, and advanced level readers in one bundle. Use the cards that you need.

It includes:
  • Fiction and nonfiction passages
  • Student recording forms for each level
  • Progress charts for each level
  • An answer key
Topics Include:

  • Plants
  • Animals
  • Habitats
  • Animal Adaptations
  • Fiction Stories
  • Magnets
  • Trees
  • Facts about Bats
  • Facts about Bees
  • Facts about Elephants
  • Facts about Seals
  • And more!
This is great for close reading, guided reading, RTI intervention, test prep and more.

Monday, August 3, 2015



HELLO EVERYONE!  THIS IS THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN!  I'm having a sale on ALL of my resources!  This is the time when we, as educators, are thinking about how we want to set up our classroom, etc.  If you are like me, you have already started gathering material for your classroom.  If you are looking for new and fresh material to use with your students this year, then head on over to my store .  


Monday, July 13, 2015

Use Cups to Teach Measurement

Getting students to line up their rulers properly can be challenging.  Cups are a great tool to use to teach this.  Visit my blog for how-to directions.

Click Here

Literacy and Math Ideas

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