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ELA Blog - English Language Arts Resources for the Classroom

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

“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

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

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

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

"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

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

Reading Engagement Inventory, Grades 1–8

If you have never completed a reading engagement inventory on your students, do it... I bet you will find the results fascinating! An engagement...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Book Talk Placemat: An Interactive Book Discussion for Kids

To ensure that thinking and understanding are taking place both during and after reading, a conversation about the book is critical. Conversations...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Celebrate the World Series with Baseball Printables, Books, & Read Alouds

A student staring out the window, imagining being anywhere else other than in your classroom... What a terrible feeling it is when you are in the...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Give Me Five! Reading Strategy for Grades K–2

A top priority in reading for my primary grade-level readers is to be able to retell a story and state its most important details. The details that I...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Open House Presentation On Balanced Literacy, Grades K–5

The start of the school year means 'Open House' is right around the corner. For me, that 45 minute time period always flew by as I tried to summarize...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Reading Response Journal Organization Tips for the K–5 Classroom

Every year I try to find the best way for my students to organize their reading material. I have tried folders, binders, multiple journals for...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Historical Fiction Reading & Writing Activity: Nory Ryan's Song, Grades 5+

If you are looking for a good historical fiction novel, set in Ireland, to use during the month of March, Nory Ryan’s Song, by Patricia Reilly Giff is...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Teach Literary Elements with a Plot Boat Narrative Poster

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) require upper elementary grade students to have a clear understanding of literary elements and text structures.

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Thanksgiving-Themed Reading Resources, K–5

Keeping reading activities fun, yet meaningful, can be a daunting task. I usually look to the holiday of the current month (provided there is one) for...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Mr. Turkey 5W's and 1H Graphic Organizer

Bring some holiday fun into the classroom with a simple Thanksgiving-inspired reading exercise! Below is a Thankgiving book and a 5W's & 1H reading...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Halloween Reading Graphic Organizers

The Halloween graphic organizers I use for reading comprehension are some of my favorites. Having a seasonal version of all my graphic organizers is a...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Top 10 Halloween Picture Books & Spooktacular Reading Resources

Having been a classroom teacher in 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades, I have acquired quite a varied library. What a daunting task it is to build a...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Using the Six Signposts from Notice and Note in Your Classroom

My school’s 4th and 5th grade students participate in book clubs each week. The signposts from Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Teaching with the Signposts from Notice and Note

I love when I pick up a professional book and it is so good that I just can put it down! When I am so inspired, I immediately grab my latest lesson...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Using Webb's DOK and Bloom's Taxonomy within Shared Reading & Reading Units

Last month, in my article about using the DOK and Bloom's Taxonomy within Balanced Literacy, I tried to provide the technical terms and explanations of...

Erin Lynch

Literacy

Connecting the Common Core Standards with Webb’s Depth of Knowledge & Bloom’s Taxonomy

In preparation for the Common Core State Standards I did a lot of research, and I started with the CCSS website.  I found this overview of the CCSS to...

Erin Lynch

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