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Posts by Erin Lynch

Literacy

Teaching Point of View; An Overview for Grades 3–5

Most state standards for English Language Arts require that students analyze the impact the point of view has on a text. Download a Point of View ...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Mother's Day-Inspired Compare and Contrast Lesson, Grades 3–5

Review reading comprehension strategies with my Mother's Day-inspired compare and contrast lesson. Although this compare and contrast lesson was...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to a NEW 21st Century School Design [Free Graphic Organizer]

Learning Transformed: 8 Keys to Designing Tomorrow's Schools Today by Eric C. Sheninger and Thomas C. Murray is a MUST READ for educators. In this...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Writing a Short Story Lesson Plan for Elementary Students –National Tell A Story Day

National Tell a Story Day is celebrated on April 27th. This is a day for people to get together to tell all kinds of different stories. These stories...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How to Use Text-Dependent Questions to Engage Students in Close Reading, Grades 2–5

In this article, you'll discover how to use text-dependent questions to engage students in close reading. I share text-dependent questions and passage...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Reading Practice Prompts for the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium (SBAC)

Like many of you, my students will be taking the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) for the first time this spring. In my reading and...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

3 Test-Taking Strategies for Elementary Students (Includes 10+ Printables)

Recently I've had a lot of teachers come to me asking about standardized test preparation. While I hope the majority of my instruction prepares my kids...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Note-Taking Strategies for Elementary Students— Texts and Multimedia Formats

Teaching students how to take notes is extremely important, and it needs to be taught across all grades. Most students do not know how to take...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Leprechaun Activities to Improve Students' Writing, Grades 1–5

Over the years I have created and acquired many St. Patrick's Day lessons and activities. Today I am sharing some of my favorite leprechaun activities...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Women's History Month Research Activity, Grades 3–8

Every March, I make it a point to celebrate Women's History Month with my students. Instead of assigning a typical biography report, I make it a point...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Components of Balanced Literacy and Strategies for the Classroom

The methodology that I use to teach reading is "Balanced Literacy." Many of my blog posts refer to "Balanced Literacy" as I share units, lessons, and...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Classroom Debate Lesson Plan Inspired by March Madness, Grades 5+

Debates are a fun activity that demand students use a variety of literacy skills. Today I'm sharing a classroom debate lesson plan that is inspired by...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Printable Reading Activities for Black History Month

In honor of Black History Month, I wanted to highlight previous posts and printable reading activities that you may want to try with your students.

Erin Lynch

Literacy

National Anthem Close Reading Activities for Grades 3–8

In this article, you will learn how to use national anthems to engage students in a variety of close reading activities!

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Winter Olympics 5-Day Nonfiction Reading Strategy Lesson Plan, Grades 3–8

Use the 2018 Winter Olympics to engage students in a series of nonfiction reading strategy lessons! Use the lessons and printables below to teach (or...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Super Bowl Commercials! Persuasive Writing Lesson for Grades 5+

The day after the Super Bowl, many of my students are tired from staying up to watch the big game, so I try to make my lessons for that day to be as...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Model Close Reading Annotation Using "I Have a Dream" by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Every year in January, I take time to honor Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with students by: reading about his life, listening to his speeches, and...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Teach Sequence of Events– Free Sequencing Worksheets for Kindergarten and Grade 1

Sequencing is the skill that is used when a reader lists the events of a story in the order that they occurred in, from first to last. For a student to...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Free Printable New Year Activities for Students, Grades 1–5

The beginning of a New Year is a great time for reflecting and goal setting. Taking time to “reflect” on their experiences of the previous year gives...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

The Purposes for Multiple Reads in Close Reading Lessons

Having your students do multiple reads of a text (that is, re-reading more closely with a specific purpose for each read) is an excellent way to deepen...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Fun Winter Holiday Writing Activities Elementary Students Will Love

 Two of my favorite books to read in December are The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and The Gingerbread Man by Jim Aylesworth. I love to use...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Holiday Close Reading Lessons

The holidays can be a challenging time to keep students focused. They are usually thinking about anything other than school. This is why I embrace the...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Winter Holidays Around the World– Lesson Plans for Elementary Students

Early in my teaching career, I taught third grade in Maryland for two years. The teachers I taught with were fantastic! In those two short years I...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

10 Ways Teachers/Principals Can Celebrate Student Success

Most education professionals would agree that the job of “teacher” includes many other roles and responsibilities in addition to that of “instructor.”...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Thanksgiving Reading Comprehension Lesson Guide– Milly and the Macy's Parade

If you have visited my blog before you know that I try to incorporate my students' current interests into my lesson plans. I believe students learn...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Annotating Text Strategies That Will Enhance Close Reading

One of the most important skills I teach my students as we begin to work on close reading is how to annotate texts. Teaching annotation strategies will...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How Self-monitoring Strategies Support Students When Reading Closely

One of the greatest gifts a reading teacher can give their students is the ability to read and comprehend a challenging text independently. It can be a...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Free Thanksgiving Reading Activities Elementary Students Will Love

The downloads that are available with this post are a few of my favorite Thanksgiving reading activities. Print these free worksheets for your...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Halloween Reading Comprehension Worksheets and Graphic Organizers

Add some spooktacular elements to your classroom curriculum with my free Halloween reading comprehension worksheets, book suggestions, and interactive...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Top 10 Halloween Series Books for Kids in Grades 1–4 (Graphic Organizers Included)

As a literacy specialist, I'm often asked for advice on how teachers and parents can get students to read more. Although I have a number of activities...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How to Use the Circle of Viewpoints Routine with Students

Circle of viewpoints is a “thinking routine” protocol featured in the book, Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Explore Emerging Themes with Pax by Sara Pennypacker, Grades 3–6

I love to share books that get even the most reluctant reader to start reading. Outside of sharing my recommendations with colleagues, I've also...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Elements of a Literacy-Rich 21st Century Classroom

Do you want to bring a 21st century classroom design into your classroom? This guide will assist you in setting up a literacy-rich environment in a...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How to Assess Reading Levels of Elementary Students Throughout the Year

Balanced Literacy is a curricular methodology that integrates various modalities of literacy instruction, which are aimed at guiding students towards...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Interactive Read Aloud Strategies—23 Lessons to Get You Started!

Every pair of eyes in your classroom is looking in your direction, there is almost no restless movement, because almost all of your students are...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

First Day of School Icebreakers for the K–5 Classroom

The start of a new school year stirs up many emotions within teachers and students often including excitement, anticipation and nervousness. My number...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

3 Summertime Professional Development Topics for Teachers & Principals

The summer is a great time to enhance skills, improve units and add to professional knowledge. During the school year, teachers and principals are...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Elementary STEM Unit Your Students Will Love– Includes Shared Reading

Cross-curriculum work is an area that often receives a big push in school districts. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics,...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

8 Ways to Become a Literacy-Savvy Principal

Principals are the pillars of schools. Teachers, students, parents, custodians, paraprofessionals, and the lunch staff turn to principals for guidance...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How Principals and Specialists Can Get Feedback from Teachers

Let's be honest, asking for feedback from colleagues is not the easiest thing to do. I find myself to be my own worst critic, so I do not know why I am...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

A Guide to Getting Feedback from Students and Using It to Improve Your Teaching

The end of the school year and the summer time is a reflective time for me, as I am sure it is for most educators. An important part of my reflection...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How to Use the Generate-Sort-Connect-Elaborate Thinking Routine

Attention all principals and teachers! Today I'm highlighting another 'thinking routine' from the book Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Analyze the Setting with the I Survived Collection by Lauren Tarshis, Grades 3–6

If you are familiar with my blog, you know I am always on the lookout for books that get reluctant readers (you know, those kids that would rather be...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How to Get Struggling Readers to Fall in Love with Reading

After 17 years of teaching and more than 20 years of having been a student, one thing that never seems to change is that students love to get their...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How To Teach Reading Comprehension Strategies In Your School

Hanging on the door in my classroom is a hand-written poster that I made over 10 years ago. It reads, “Reading Comprehension Strategies will help you →...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Earth Day Project: Growing Grassy Heads in the Elementary Classroom

Spring is a wonderful time to teach students about plants and what they need to survive. Use the Growing Grassy Heads Activity to explore plants in...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How to Pair Books for Comparing and Contrasting Practice

I can feel the enthusiasm among my students when I am sharing a book with them that I love. I guess my passion and excitement are that contagious!

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How To Effectively Use Picture Books In Literacy Centers

Students love choice and variety! A great way to incorporate both into your literacy instruction is with centers. Literacy centers are a small area...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How to Use a Dr. Seuss Book to Promote STEAM in the Classroom

STEM units and lessons are gaining popularity in many districts across the country. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics....

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Content-Rich Curriculum is the Best Preparation for High-Stakes Reading Tests

High-stakes testing puts an incredible amount of pressure on teachers and students. Teachers are evaluated based on their students' performance on...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How Literacy Coaches Can Help Teachers Use Picture Books Across Subject Areas

Most school districts are pushing to have a topic that is covered across the curriculum. When you are able to work on a topic in reading, writing,...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Prepare for Standardized Tests Using Books about Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

With the second half of the school year in full-swing, many educators are starting to think about preparing their students for standardized testing.

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How to Use the CSI– Color, Symbol, Image Thinking Routine

Today I’m continuing the Professional Development series I started last January about how principals, school leaders, and teachers can implement...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Literature Awards and School Book Clubs, Grades 1–8

Recently some of the mothers at the preschool where my own children attend started a book club. Our first book was Pulitzer Prize winner, The Goldfinch...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

My New Year’s Resolution Worksheet for Educators

As an educator, I’ve always appreciated that the second semester of school kicks off right after the New Year’s celebrations. It inspires me to reflect...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Inspiring Young Readers; Download Your Escape From Mr. Lemoncello's Library PDF

I mentioned in a previous post that through my blog I would be sharing with you 'inspiring reads.' These are books that 'inspire' my students that...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Headlines Thinking Routine; A Professional Development Series

Today I’m continuing the Professional Development series about how principals, school leaders, and teachers can implement thinking routines in schools....

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Interactive Read Aloud Template: Miracle Mud By David A. Kelly

Interactive read alouds are an important component of a balanced literacy classroom. Research proves the value of reading aloud to students of all...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Compass Points Thinking Routine; A Professional Development Series

Today I’m continuing the Professional Development series about how principals, school leaders, and teachers can implement thinking routines in schools....

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Portfolios in the Classroom: Digital and Traditional

One constant for me—no matter what grade level I am teaching—is having my students create portfolios for themselves. There is nothing more rewarding...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How to Successfully Select CCSS Literacy Strands to Focus On

It can be overwhelming trying to figure out which Common Core State Standard literacy strands your students need the most work with. There are so many...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

The Brain and Learning– What Educators Need to Know

I have always been fascinated with brain research. What helps to stimulate a brain? How and why do the two sides of our brain work independently of...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Focus on a Standard; Describing Characters in a Story (RL.3.3)

If you happened to have read my last post you know I gave some tips and tricks for goal setting and professional planning. I mentioned this follow-up...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Teacher Goal Setting and Professional Planning for the New Year

The start of the school year in most school districts means it is that time of year to set teacher professional goals again. Ugh! I used to find this a...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

The Explanation Game Visible Thinking Routine; A Professional Development Series

In January, I began an ongoing monthly post describing a “thinking routine” Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote Engagement, Understanding and...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

A Reading Activity to Include in Disability Units—Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt

The New York Times Best Seller Fish in a Tree, by Lynda Mullaly Hunt, is a book that students love, but every teacher should read also to remind us why...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Back-to-School Elementary Activity: Book Jacket & Table of Contents

A fun way for you to get to know your elementary students better and help them get to know each other is by having them create a book jacket cover and...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Interactive Read Aloud Template: Emmanuel's Dream– The True Story of Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah

Interactive read alouds are an important component of a balanced literacy classroom. Research proves the value of reading aloud to students of all...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Reading Survey for Students; Getting to Know your New Class of Readers

The start of a new school year brings excitement and anticipation to teachers and students alike. Each party to the relationship is wondering about the...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Encourage More Students to Read with Movie-Inspired Book Clubs!

The buttery popcorn, the delicious candy, the big screen... who doesn't love a movie? The answer used to be, “I don’t!”, when one of my favorite...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Using Webb's DOK and Bloom's Taxonomy During Teacher/Student Conferences and Small Group Work

In a previous post, I have shared how I incorporate the DOK and Revised Bloom's Taxonomy into my 'shared reading lesson plans' and my 'unit plans.' In...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Classroom Library Organization Tips for K–5 Teachers

Last year I wrote a blog post about creating a classroom environment where students can be immersed in literacy experiences. One of the elements I...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

5th Grade Summer Reading List

While it may be tempting to spend all summer at the beach or by the pool, it's important that emerging readers practice their reading skills over the...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

4th Grade Summer Reading List

While it may be tempting to spend all summer at the beach or by the pool, it's important that emerging readers practice their reading skills over the...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

3rd Grade Summer Reading List

While it may be tempting to spend all summer at the beach or by the pool, it's important that emerging readers practice their reading skills over the...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

2nd Grade Summer Reading List

While it may be tempting to spend all summer at the beach or by the pool, it's important that emerging readers practice their reading skills over the...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

1st Grade Summer Reading List

While it may be tempting to spend the summer at the beach or by the pool, it's important that emerging readers practice their reading skills over the...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

How Parents Can Help Kids Fight Summer Reading Loss

Children that don’t read during their summer vacation can lose up to three months of reading achievement. Summer learning loss impacts reading fluency,...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Four Books Effective Principals and Teachers Should Read this Summer

As you prepare for your summer break, I know many of you are thinking about what professional texts you might like to read. The possibilities are...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

3-2-1 Bridge Thinking Routine; A Professional Development Series

Today I’m continuing the Professional Development series about how principals, school leaders, and teachers can implement thinking routines in schools....

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Connecting Reading and Math with Greg Tang Books

When I was a classroom teacher, I tried to make my lesson plans and units cross-curricular whenever possible. I found that my students were able to...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Effective Feedback for Students—A Powerful Tool to Enhance Performance!

This year, in the school where I work one of our school-wide goals is providing students with feedback. It is a well-known fact among educators that...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Memorial Day Worksheets for the K–5 Classroom

The week before Memorial Day, I always spend some time discussing this symbolic holiday with my students. My mini Memorial Day lesson is simple and yet...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Chalk Talk Thinking Routine; A Professional Development Series

Today I’m continuing the Professional Development series about how principals, school leaders, and teachers can implement thinking routines in schools....

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Interactive Read Aloud Lesson Plan Template: Brothers at Bat by Audrey Vernick

Interactive read alouds are an important component of a balanced literacy classroom. Research proves the value of reading aloud to students of all...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Hold a Student Showcase to Celebrate Their Writing, Grades K–8

After spending a school year working passionately on developing your students' writing skills, there is no better way to show off their writing talents...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

“The Isle of the Lost” – Compare and Contrast Characters Activity

A unit that focuses on studying characters is one of my favorites. I enjoying teaching characters because it always seems to build my students’ love...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Think–Puzzle–Explore Visible Thinking Routine; A Professional Development Series

Attention all principals and teachers! Today is the third post in my ongoing professional development series that highlights the 'thinking routines'...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

SBAC Sample Questions for the English Language Arts/Literacy Sections

Last spring, my students took the SBAC (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium) for the first time. To prepare my students for this rigorous assessment...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Interactive Read Aloud Lesson Plan Template: Separate Is Never Equal by Duncan Tonatiuh

Interactive read alouds are an important component of a balanced literacy classroom. Research proves the value of reading aloud to students of all...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Teaching Historical Fiction: Using Time Periods to Support Understanding, Grades 3–8 [Graphic Organizer]

As I have mentioned in several posts last month, one of my favorite genres to use with my students is historical fiction. There are many interesting...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Symbolism Lesson Plan Using Multiple Texts, Grades 3+

One of the benefits of being a literacy specialist is that I am able to work with several different grade levels. This gives me the opportunity to see...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Make Thinking Visible with the Zoom In Thinking Routine; A Professional Development Series

In January, I began what will be an ongoing monthly post describing a 'thinking routine' from the book Making Thinking Visible: How to Promote...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Interactive Read Aloud of Little Melba and Her Big Trombone By Katheryn Russell-Brown

This Critical Thinking Interactive Read Aloud of Little Melba and Her Big Trombone by Katheryn Russell-Brown provides the thought-provoking questions,...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Character Development Activity: Glory Be by Augusta Scattergood, Grades 4–6

As you may have noticed I love historical fiction! In my opinion, it is the genre that gives the gift of both fiction and nonfiction reading....

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Presidents' Day Compare and Contrast Activity, Grades 3–5

Particular Standards of the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) that my students seem to struggle with across grade levels is Comparing and Contrasting ...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

The Year of the Dog; A Coming of Age Novel, Grades 4–6

The Year of the Dog by Grace Lin is a great book to use with upper elementary grade-level students. The main character, Pacy, is trying to "find...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

"Do a Good Deed" Summarizing Activities, Grades 4+

"Teachers make a difference." When I see or hear that statement, I feel proud to be an educator, because I believe teachers do make a difference. To...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Chinese New Year Activities for Elementary Students

According to the Chinese zodiac calendar, 2016 is the Year of the Monkey. The Lunar New Year falls on February 8th. If you follow my blog, you know...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Using Visible Thinking Strategies in the Classroom; A Professional Development Series

Here is a post for all you teachers AND principals out there. Last June, you might have read a post where I shared a few books that I thought would...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Snowman Story Map: Show the Connection Between Reading and Writing

“Reading and writing go hand-in-hand,” is a phrase my students hear me constantly saying. “Good writers are usually avid readers,” is another of my...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Interactive Read Aloud Lesson Plan of Beatrice's Goat by Page McBrier

Interactive read alouds are an important component of a balanced literacy classroom. Research proves the value of reading aloud to students of all...

Erin Lynch

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