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March NO PREP Homework Packets

Homework can be fun, engaging and purposeful! Check out our March NO PREP Homework packets. And, Yes! As with all of our products, all activities are strategically linked to the Common Core Standards. 

Writing Center Anchor Charts

Science Center Task Cards Ready To Go For The Week
These Anchor Charts are invaluable in my classroom. They provide just the link necessary to build strong independent, emergent writers.                  

I have a set of these cards at my writing center, at my shared reading center and at my guided writing table. I couldn't teach writing without them. The students use them every day!

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Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway

I have been a long-standing fan of Joy Cowley. I was first introduced to her work in the 1990's at a conference sponsored by The Wright Group. From that time on, I was on the lookout for more books written by this great author. But as the years flew by, that became more and more difficult as the Wright Group was absorbed by SRA.

I was so pleased to stumble on Hameray Publishing! Joy Cowley is back! At Hameray you can find great sequels to old favorites such as Mrs Wishy Washy, The Meanies, The Hungry Giant and More. In addition, Joy Cowley has introduced new characters like Oscar, The Gruesomes, Barbie the Wild Lamb and more! Like the Mrs. Washy stories I learned to love and cherish, these books are filled with humor and wit as they follow Joy's unique model for helping children to learn through laughter.

Beside my kindergartners, my three grandchildren beg for these books. My basket of Joy Cowley's books is well used when they come to visit! Their most favorite of all? Mrs. Wishy Washy on TV. I am sure that I have now read that book over 200 times!

Hameray Publishing Group is hosting a HUGE "Joy Cowley Classroom Giveaway." Click on the link below to enter.

Writing Center Task Cards: Famous Tales

I love thematic teaching and I look forward to each new adventure. Right now, my students are enjoying exploring, comparing, contrasting and discovering folk tales. 

Are you looking for some great writing activities, ready to print and go!

My students love these "Folk-Tale" based writing activities. Complete with "I Can- Task Cards."

Use these to complement our full Thematic Unit:

Strategically link the Common Core Standards to your curriculum by using this fun fabled unit, Giants, Trolls & The Big Bad Wolf! It is divided into areas of literature, music, art, literacy, math, science, creative writing, word wall, and guided reading. The activities are clearly written, easy to use, and need limited amounts of preparation.

Table of Contents


This Little Piggy
The Big Bad Wolf 

Literacy Activities
Up the Beanstalk: Writing Simple Words
The Three Little Pigs: Decoding CVC Words
Shake Little Piggy: Reading & Writing Sight Words
Big Bad Bingo: Identifying and Matching Consonant Digraphs
Cross The Bridge: Relating Verbs & Adjectives to Opposites

Shared Reading Whole Group Activities:
Identifying Story Elements
Beginning, Middle, End: Story Structure

Math Activities

Measuring-- Tall or Short: Comparing Size By Length
Measuring Giants and Trolls: Comparing Size 
Giants, Trolls & Wolves, Oh My! Writing Numerals
Going To Grandma's House: Counting Forward From Any Given Number 1-100

Art Projects

Cooperative Giant
Shape Giant
Billy Goat Hat
Puppets: Story Retelling

Science Projects
The Giant's Eyes: Using Scientific Tools


Word Wall
If I Met a Giant!
Up the Beanstalk?
The Big Bad Wolf

Geading Books
The Little Pigs

Data Walls: Helpful or Damaging?

Although I believe that Data Driven Instruction is the key to successful teaching, the use of a data wall is a horrible idea. Never should a student be compared with another student, or a teacher's data be compared with another teacher's.
I will never be convinced that using a data wall would ever boost student performance, I believe their effect to be quite the opposite. Even if these walls are hidden in closets and offices, if they are in view of anyone beside the teacher, child, parent, or administrator, confidences have been broken by use of this public humiliation system. 
Rather, use Excel, or whatever spreadsheet you desire to keep that important data. Keep it in your file drawer or on your computer where it belongs. This information is to inform your instruction, not for public scrutiny.

I still remember the data walls of my childhood, placing stickers on the chart as one conquers a skill. Yep! I was that student who had all of their stars. My ice cream scoops for reading books went from floor to ceiling! These visual displays were terrific! What was not to love about it?  Then, I reached 7th grade and met Mrs. Anderson. For some reason (probably had something to do with my older siblings), she hated me from the start. She had a data wall. She used her data wall to record mis-steps, talking, late homework, etc. I finally saw as a 12 year old what my academically struggling peers knew many years before. That wall was horrifying! Each time I sneezed, another check went on that data wall, and soon, my checks outnumbered my peers about 50 to 1. "I will have to make my chart bigger with Kathy in our class." She said one day with a chuckle. I went home that day destroyed! It took me two years before I would try in school again. Data Walls? No way!

To read more check out this article on Conversation Ed.