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Exploring Non-Fiction in the Elementary Classroom

I had the great honor and pleasure to write a blog post for the Teachers Pay Teachers Blog. I chose to write all about how I use and teach non-fiction in my upper grade classroom!! Click HERE to learn about how I make non-fiction come to life for my students!!

Classroom Must-Haves That I Can't "Picture" Myself Teaching Without

Every teacher has those few supplies, books, and resources that they couldn't possibly teach without! Along with my fellow bloggers over at Upper Elementary Snapshots, we decided to share all about our Classroom Must Haves. We are sharing the things that we simply could not "Picture" ourselves teaching without! Before you go today, be sure to also check out the "Must Haves" of the fabulous bloggers below, and enter our Giveaway at Upper Elementary Snapshots!!

This post contains affiliate links to amazon.com. If you make a purchase from amazon.com through the links on this page, CreateTeachShare will receive a small commission. This helps to support the blog, and allows me to continue creating and sharing educational content with my readers.

My absolute favorite classroom supply is my Teacher Toolbox. About 5 years ago I decided to get rid of my teacher desk. I never sat at my desk and it took up so much valuable space in my class. So, I ditched the desk and switched to a kidney table, that doubled as my new desk and table where I could easily work with students. My teacher toolbox was the perfect place for me to organize and store all the rest of my favorite supplies!!

You can download the labels that I used by visiting my teacher shop. You can also find this fabulous toolbox at your local hardware store, or use the picture and affiliate link below. Just click on the pic to learn more!!

I have used the book The Mysteries of Harris Burdick by Chris Van Allsburg in my classroom for the past 12 years!! The mystery behind this book and the stunning illustrations make it a great book for teaching inferences, and for writing narratives. This book is a HIT each and every year, and I always look forward to teaching with this book with each new class. You can learn more about how I use this book, and other wordless picture books by visiting this past blog post. Plus, click the pic and affiliate link to learn all about this wonderful book!!

Reading Response Journals have been a staple in my classroom since day one!! My students use them every single day to respond to the different novels that we read aloud in class. I recently updated the way my students set up their journals, by adding tabs for organization and anchor charts for my students to refer to as they respond to texts. I can't imagine teaching language arts without our favorite read-alouds and reading response journals!! You can learn more about my Reading Response Journals HERE!!

I am so excited about this FREEBIE, and can't wait to use it in my own classroom this year. These Close Reading Toolboxes are perfect for engaging students in close reading. They include a highlighter to highlight important words or phrases, a pencil for text marking, sticky notes to record important ideas, and magnifying glasses to search for text evidence!! You can learn all about how I put these together for my class, and download the free printable labels, by clicking HERE!!

After you've downloaded my freebie be sure to visit each of the blogs below to add 12 more FREE RESOURCES to your own collection of things you can't picture yourself teaching without. Afterwards swing by our collaborative blog, Upper Elementary Snapshots for lots of great content and ideas you can put into practice in your own classrooms as well as a chance to win gift cards to Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Teachers Pay Teachers so you can stock up on your own Classroom Must Haves.

I would love to hear in the comments below, all about your own Teacher Must Haves!!

Reinventing Reading Response Journals

As teachers we are constantly REINVENTING THE WHEEL!! Although it can be time consuming, one thing I love about my job, is that I get the opportunity to learn, grow, create, and RECREATE year after year!! I have been using Reading Response Journals in my classroom for over 10 years, and each year I make slight changes in the process, style, and implementation. The Reading Response Journals that I am about to share are a culmination of ideas from the past 10 years!!

Must-Haves for Back-to-School

EEK!!! This is one of my favorite times of year!! I must admit that although I love and value my summer, I am HUGE school supply addict and I LOVE shopping for Back-to-School!! Thanks to the wonderful world of social media, I have discovered some amazing supplies that I absolutely MUST HAVE for this school year....

Monday Made It

Awww!! Sweet, sweet summer!! This is the time when I come back to life, and finally have the time to design, create, and share!! Today I am linking up with one of my favorite teacher bloggers over at 4th Grade Frolics for her linky, Monday Made It!!! I am sharing two projects that I am currently working on!!

Close Reading Toolbox FREEBIE!!

Well, my school year has barely ended, and call me crazy, because I am already planning and creating for next year!! I have a list a mile long of new ideas that I can't wait to try out for next year. My first one?!?! Close Reading Toolboxes!!

Social Studies Projects for the End of the Year

Fun and engaging social studies projects to use throughout the school year. Perfect for upper grade students in 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade!!

I love spending the final weeks of school working on projects with my students! While we complete a variety of projects throughout the year, my students become project-making machines after testing!! And we love every minute of it!! At this point in the year, the stress of fitting in curriculum has vanished, students have become project-completing experts, and frankly I just need some great content to fill our final days!!

Encouraging Summer Reading

I spend the entire school year working to instill a love of reading in each and every one of my students. It certainly is not an easy task!! I have to choose just the right read-alouds to engage all. I work with students individually to establish reading goals and to find books they love at their reading levels. We practice responding to texts in meaningful ways, teaching them important reading skills, while still loving to read. By the end of every year, I am such a proud teacher, when I see how much my students have grown, and how much they absolutely LOVE to read!! But, I still worry that summer is going to come along and wipe away all of their hard work!! (and mine!!)

Engaging Lessons To Explore Geometry

Geometry is one of those wonderful math subjects that can be so much fun to teach!! It lends itself to engaging HANDS-ON and UP-AND-OUT-OF-YOUR-SEAT lessons!! These are some of my favorite lessons for teaching geometry!!