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National Limerick Day

Expressions-19.jpgWho doesn’t love a good laugh? National Limerick is the perfect way to celebrate reading and writing in May. National Limerick Day is celebrated on May 12th. Here are some fun ideas to incorporate in your classroom as well as some discussions questions for you and your students.

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Show Your Appreciation!

pGratitude-Circle_1.png2,4,6,8 Who do we appreciate?! Well, lots of people and it’s about time we said so! Teacher Appreciation week is a great time to reflect upon all those people who have made a difference in our lives and help others to recognize them too. We all have heroes who have helped to shape us and guide us to where we are and who we are now. As a class (teacher included), pause and find a way to show your appreciation for the difference they made in your life.  There are many ways of doing this, here a few:

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Teaching the Tale: Language & Memory


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Fairy tales and Folktales are stories often told to children beginning at a young age through primary grades. There are significant points in stories where there are repetitive words and phrases which help readers understand the tale and build accuracy. Those repetitive phrases allow students to be more engaged in the story, build language skills, and benefit English Language Learners.

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Cinco de Mayo: Celebrating Big Universe Style

sombrero-2101560_1920.jpgToday is Cinco de Mayo, a holiday commemorating the Battle of Puebla, which resulted in a victory for the Mexicans fighting against the French on May 5, 1862.  This was a decisive victory for Mexico, and celebrations inclue feasting, games, and parades where some dress in soldier attire appropriate for the period.  This year it’s been 155 years since the battle took place, and it lends itself to be a great opportunity to celebrate Mexican American culture in the your classroom, as Cinco de Mayo is celebrated in Mexico and the United States.  Check out our titles and lesson activity ideas below!

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The Benefits Of Using Nursery Rhymes

images-7.jpgTeaching nursery rhymes have been a part of my primary classroom for many years now, it is how I begin each school year! Reciting nursery rhymes help to bring us closer together as a class in the beginning of the year, to share in the fun of reciting rhymes and singing together. Nursery rhymes are not just for toddlers, they can be used for children of all ages! They are important for young children because they can help to develop their language base. The rhyme and rhythm found in nursery rhymes help kids hear the sounds and syllables in words, this will help lead to stronger readers!      

The language benefits of using nursery rhymes in the classroom are many. When children hear nursery rhymes, they are hearing the sounds that vowels and consonants make and how to put these together to create meaning. They learn to use rhythm, pitch, volume, inflection and animated voice. In nursery rhymes, children hear new words that they would not hear in everyday language (like fetch and pail in “Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch a pail of water”).

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Encouraging Speaking in the Classroom

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When a child walks through your classroom door, so does a unique personality. As an educator you can create and warm inviting classroom appearance to allow students to feel comfortable. Some children waltz right in fearless, with the ability to talk to the teacher and other children. There are other children who hover close to their parents during open house, feeling uneasy about meeting a new teacher and students in the class. The first few weeks of schools is a significant time to build an encouraging classroom environment where students have the confidence to participate in class all year long. You want your students to have the courage to communicate with others, share ideas in small groups, and speak before the class.

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Why They Work: Three Reasons for Using Word Walls and Spelling Dictionaries in the Classroom

education-390765_1920-1.jpgLots of things are different from the time I began teaching until now, but there are a few things that I clearly stand by, specifically word walls and spelling dictionaries. Word walls are often displays posted in the classroom of common words, content or unit-specific vocabulary, and easily misspelled words. They’ll look different depending on the classroom and grade, but they’re generally organized in alphabetical order, similarly to the spelling dictionary. Spelling dictionaries are portable word walls, where students have the correct spelling of various words at their seats, with many including blank lines where they can write other words they need to spell (e.g. proper nouns). These can be organized alphabetically or phonetically. What makes these tools so effective? Here are a few reasons why every teacher should continue or develop the regular practice of having students use these tools to strengthen their writing.

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