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Welcome to Parent Teacher Conferences!

We Are Readers Bulletin Board

It's almost Parent Teacher Conference time!  I am always looking for ideas to display student work and what would be good to hand out to parents that would help them at home.

We Are Readers Bulletin Board Display

This We Are Readers bulletin board display was a lot of fun!  Students drew their own portraits and we folded paper for their book.  

Welcome Banner for Parent Teacher Conferences

Hanging a Welcome Banner is a good idea too!  You can hang it at your door or it can be a welcome for your whole hallway!  Click here to get it free!

Welcome Banner for Parent Teacher Conferences

The Welcome Banner also includes these student response pennants!  They would be great for parent teacher conferences.

Book Shelfies and QR Codes for Parent Teacher Conferences

Book Shelfies and QR codes was a lot of fun too!  

Book Shelfies and QR Codes for Parent Teacher Conferences

Take student pictures with just their eyes above their favorite books.  Parents have to try to find their child's picture.  They scan the QR codes with their phones to check if they are right or not.  A lot of fun!

Name Activities for Kindergarten

For any students still struggling with the letters in their name (it does happen, even in October), this freebie is a great activity to send home!  It includes the parent letter explaining what to do, a list of activities for them to complete, writing paper, and even an assessment for at school!  Click here to get it!

Retelling Cards

Parents always ask what they can do at home to help their child with reading.  Give them these bookmarks to help with retelling at home!  Grab them free here!

Does It Look Right, Does It Sound Right, Does It Make Sense?

I think it is important for parents to use the same language at home that we use at school with students.  These Does It Look Right, Does It Sound Right, Does It Make Sense cards are perfect for this!  Get them free here.

Tips for Readers

You can also include these Tips for Growing Readers to give to parents.  Click here for them!

Seesaw Parent Welcome Letter

If you have any parents who still have not signed up on Seesaw (who wouldn't want to sign up and see their child's work?) personally hand the parent this free Welcome to Seesaw letter along with the Seesaw QR code.  Get it here!

Good luck with your conferences!  Hopefully these ideas and activities help make it a success!

Several of the freebies above are available in our Free Resource Library.  Click here to sign up!

Organizing Student Learning

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

Organizing student learning can be a large undertaking, but interactive reading notebooks really help.  I find myself telling my students a LOT that our brains learn best when we are organized and when our learning is organized.  It's just true and some students need more help with this than others.  Some students are blessed with being naturally organized.  

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

Once I started using Reading Notebooks, I couldn't see how I taught without them.  I use a 3 ring binder for my notebooks for every student in my guided reading groups. 

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

  I help students keep them neat by keeping them in baskets on a shelf rather than in a desk.  


How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

Using tabs in your notebooks is a lifesaver!  Or I should say time saver.  Tabs just naturally help students get to the correct section, quickly without wasting time.  They can just grab the correct tab: Word Work, My Thoughts (Comprehension), Vocabulary, or My Books.  

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

By using sections, students can organize their learning.  They learn what each section means and where to be working.

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

In the front pocket, we keep our sight word pockets for sight word practice.  We quickly get these out for 2-3 minutes and go over words that are differentiated for each student.

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

Another good thing to keep in the front pocket is our Reader's Ask...Does It Look Right, Does It Sound Right, Does It Make Sense cards.  

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

We also keep our linking sounds anchor charts in the pockets of the notebooks.  I need pockets!  We use magnetic letters, markers, bingo chips, pom poms, etc... on our charts.

How to Organize Student Learning in Guided Reading with Interactive Reading Notebooks

When we have used up the pages in our Reading Notebooks, I have a place with extra copies.  This copy box (from Walmart) holds different pages ready to go!  Makes replacing notebook pages easy without wasting precious reading time.

Fluency Activities Reading Intervention Binders

Reading Intervention Fluency Binders- newest resource can be found by clicking here!


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Growth Mindset in Reading

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers

Growth mindset is generally known as developing your abilities through dedication and hard work.  I like to say its persevering even when the job is difficult.  Learning not to just give up; try something else.  And growth mindset is a great way for fostering this kind of thinking in our readers.  Learning to work hard and try different strategies when reading gets tough.

If you have not read the book Wolf! by Becky Bloom, you are going to want to get this book!  I don't know if Becky Bloom had growth mindset in mind when she wrote it, but it is perfect for teaching lessons on how to stick with reading even if it's hard.

Wolf meets 3 other animals at the farm who are reading.  They do not give him any attention as they are really interested in their books.  Wolf decides he too will learn to read.  But he soon finds out, reading isn't always easy.

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers

Creating an anchor chart helps students see the difficulties Wolf comes up against, but that he NEVER gives up.  He tries something new and works hard.  Notice how the words in red on the left side of the chart are mostly negative.  But Wolf uses actions to DO something to improve his reading.  I love how the author shows how Wolf takes a difficult task, works hard and shows how he improves.  And he doesn't become great right away.  It happened over time with hard work and not giving up!  Isn't that just what we want our students to do?  LOVE IT!

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers Freebie

If you are teaching Growth Mindset, you might want to check out this freebie!  

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers by setting reading goals freebie

Print the banner and have students fill out their reading goals.  Then the students write what actions they will take to word towards their goals!  Just like Wolf!

Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers Freebie

You can find this free resource by clicking here!


Reading Intervention Fluency Binders


If you have students who need to work on fluency as part of their reading goals,  try teaching them to scoop words into meaningful phrases.  These reading intervention binders are perfect for this goal and are no prep- just print and go!  Each binder is for a different reading level and are available as a bundle or individually.  If you want to check them out, click here.


Fostering Growth Mindset in Readers

Some of my friends have got some awesome Growth Mindset ideas for you too!!  Be sure to read through these ideas below!


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It's All in the Name and a Freebie

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

Name activities for kindergarteners are fun!  Kids just love their names and any activity that includes their name is going to be engaging for them.  Once you get your class list, it would be a good idea to type them all up on colored paper and laminate them.  You can use these names in so many ways to teach ABC letters and print concepts.

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

These names and a pocket chart can be used in a variety of ways.  Recognize your own name, sort by color, sort boys and girls, place in ABC order, order by number of letters in the names, etc...

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

When teaching syllables, names are a great way to do it!  Students love to see how many claps they each get and who has the most.

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

Student names can be used to teach beginning letter and ending letters in a word.  You can have students find capital letters and notice they come first in names.

Fun Name and Letter Activities for Kindergarten

Building charts with easy sight words and student names are great for beginning readers.  They can circle each word and count them.  Have them use a pointer to touch and read each word for one to one matching.

Other ideas for charts using student names:
*  take pictures of each individual student, use pictures to match in a center with student names
*  search names for specific letters
*  draw a letter card- can you find a name that begins with this letter?
*  using a pointer- touch and read the name chart
 A lot of the charts can be placed into centers after learning the activities in whole groups.

Fun Name Activities for Kindergarten

But what do you do about the students who come to school not knowing the letters of their name or not able to recognize and write their name?  Send home this free It's All in the Name activity!  

Fun Name Activities for Kindergarten

It's All in the Name includes a parent letter with directions and activities to do with the letter cards with their child to help them learn the letters in their name.  It even includes an assessment for later!  You can get this free resource by clicking here!


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Reading Anchor Charts Just Right Books and Shoes

Just Right Books Activity comparing books to shoes

It's that time of year of teaching procedures and expectations.  One of those for my class is how to find a just right book.  This is difficult for many of my little readers.  I use the analogy of trying on shoes to help!  A just right book should fit like a good pair of shoes!

I brought in one of my flip flops, high heels, tennis shoe, and my youngest son's boot- size 16!  I also ask for one of my student's shoes to put on the table too.  

We talk about what happens when they go shoe shopping.  All of them are familiar with this process so it is easy to make the comparison to shoes.

Just Right Books should Fit Like a good pair of shoes

First, you find a shoe or book you are interested in.  No one wants an ugly shoe or a book that is boring to us.  Then the shoe must fit us.  It can't be too little like the volunteer's shoe would be on me.  And it can't be my son's boot!  They love this one!  It must fit JUST RIGHT.  I try on the shoes to demonstrate this.

Then the shoe must fit the job- who would wear a pair of purple high heels to run in PE?  No, I would choose the tennis shoe.  So you need to choose the right book to fit the purpose you are reading for.  

3 Ways to Read Books Activities

Another day, we learn about 3 ways to read books.  After discussing these 3 ways and demonstrating them, off we go to read and practice.  After we read, we gather on the carpet to talk about what ways we chose to read.  I passed out Post It notes for them to write their names and then stick them on the ways they practiced.  Great visual!  You can check out these great posters from The Teachable Teacher by clicking here.  And they are free!!

Reading Anchor Charts What is an avid reader?

Another great chart is the Avid Reader Chart!  Talk about what an Avid Reader is and what they do.  This makes for a great discussion!  

Reading Anchor Charts What is an Avid Reader?

You can match up remade speech bubbles to your student's answers to create your chart in different ways or you can use the editable speech bubbles to type in their answers.  Printing them on colored paper makes a colorful, stand out chart!  You can see this chart here.


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Have a wonderful week with your readers!

Reading Tips for Parents and Freebies

Tips for Parents About Reading

Parents love to get tips about reading so they can help at home.  I like to send home reading folders with all my reading tips for parents.  

Tips for Parents About Reading

What I hear from my parents is that they really want to be able to help their child when they read at home, but they are just unsure of how to go about it.  

Tips for Parents About Reading

The biggest tip I can give my parents is to be committed to listening to their child read every day.  Research shows that the volume of reading a child does has a huge impact on their success.  So I want those parents to hear their child reading as much as possible!  If you want this Reading Tips for Parents sheet click here.

Reading Tips for Parents

One thing parents ask about is what to say to their child when they are reading and it gets tricky.  These Readers Ask cards are perfect for that!  Print them on cardstock and send them home in your folder after teaching them to students.  You can pick them up by clicking here!

Reading Tips for Parents

Are you using the app Seesaw?  If you haven't started using this app, you and your parents are missing out!  It is the easiest app for sharing notes, pictures, & videos with parents.  The parents get a QR code and they can share it with grandparents and other family members so they can join in the fun too.  I like to record the students reading and share it with parents so they can hear their child's fluency.  Send home the QR code sheet and my Parent Welcome to Seesaw sheet to get started!  Click here to get it.

Tips for Parents about Reading

I try not to send too much in my reading tips for parents folder at one time.  I don't want it to be overwhelming or for it to be so much that it just goes unread.  Parents really seem to appreciate getting the information and if it helps their child with reading then its all good!


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Free Resources