Unique Ways to Teach the Central Message of Folktales

For the past few years, I have always taught finding the central message (or moral or lesson) of a story as a separate standard.  But this year I tried something different and it is working…

Focus on the Literature Standards with Amazing Folktales

My class has just started the second trimester in which we focus on the Common Core Literature Standards after having focused on non-fiction and the informational standards in the first trimester.  During this second trimester,…

A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to a Research Project . . .

Teachers know that even the best thought out plans and projects can run into unforeseen problems or situations.  That recently happened to me.  As my class is nearing the end of the science unit on…

How To Break Down the Distributive Property of Multiplication

Did you ever think that as a third-grade teacher or even as an elementary teacher you would be teaching the Distributive Property of Multiplication?  When I started teaching over 30 years ago, there weren’t even…

Time to Look at What’s Working & Not Working

In about 3 weeks, the first trimester is ending so I’ve decided to examine my classroom, my instruction, and my students to see what’s working and not working so far. Read the rest by clicking…

Is It Just Memorization? Multiplication is more!

I have a vivid memory of learning multiplication in third grade.  My teacher, Mrs. Bowman, drew three circles on the chalkboard.  Then she put five milk bottles in each one.  She said this is 3…

Integrating Technology with Research and Writing

As a teacher in a 1:1 classroom with Chromebooks, I’m always thinking of ways of integrating technology with research and writing throughout the day and throughout the curriculum.  One way I found to successfully integrate…

Why the Properties of Addition ARE Useful

My oldest son who is in seventh grade recently had trouble with a problem in his 7th-grade math book.  I couldn’t believe he didn’t know the answer!   It was a very straightforward problem with…

Where in the World is Geography in an Elementary Classroom?

Does anyone teach Geography anymore?  Why can’t students look at a map and recognize the state they live in?  The country they live in?  The continent they live on?  Do they at least recognize the…

Improve Vocabulary and Grammar with Google Sildes

Do you find teaching vocabulary and grammar as something you have to do rather than something you want to do?  There is a definite need to teach both grammar and vocabulary to elementary students, especially…

How I Present Back to School Night With Google Classroom

Your Back to School Night presentation sets the tone for the school year.  I’ve taken a new approach to it.  Since I am in a 1:1 classroom with Chrome Books, I wanted to use the…

A ‘How To’ Project to Get Rocking with Google Slides

Are your students ready to start creating and learning with Google Slides®?  Are they an expert keyboarder and know all the ins and outs of Google Slides menus?   As a teacher, you forget just how much…

How to Get Students to Know Each Other with iPortraits

It’s the beginning of school.  How do you get students to learn about each other?  I use iPortraits!  This activity uses character traits to build a portrait (selfie included!) of each student.  Instead of just…

The Dreaded Set Up of my Classroom Begins!

Who else dreads going back to school and setting up a classroom?  This year I dreaded it even more because I needed and wanted to make changes to my classroom setup.  Why? First off,  I…

Best Year Ever Back to School Sale!

************************************************************* UPDATE!!!!!  The TpT Back to School Sale was SO POPULAR, it broke the internet!  There were some issues on the TPT website, but not to fear!  I’ve extended my sale for one more day!…