Games and Centers for Teaching Theme

Games and centers to help you teach theme to your upper elementary students

Teaching theme is hard.  Finding games and centers that help students practice how to determine the theme of a story is even harder. Most theme practice involves simply reading a passage and answering a multiple choice question about what the theme is.  Not only can this be boring and monotonous for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students, but it is …

End of Year Party Ideas for Upper Elementary

Low prep end of the year party ideas for upper elementary students (3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade)

You’ve seen the memes.  “There’s no tired like end of year teacher tired!”  The end of the year is exhausting.  Part of the exhaustion comes from coming up with ideas and planning an end of year party.  Check out the mostly low prep ideas below to help you plan a fun end of year party for your 3rd grade, 4th …

My Favorite End of the Year Ideas From Pinterest

The best Ideas on Pinterest for celebrating the end of year with your third grade, fourth grade, and fifth grade students

I love Pinterest, but sometimes it can get overwhelming searching for ideas that actually pertain to you.  Below, I’ve collected some of my favorite ideas for celebrating the end of the year with 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students.  Hopefully some of them will help you out! What a great way to encourage your students to read during …

Engage Your Students While Reading a Text Whole Class

Ways to keep your whole 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade class engaged and accountable while doing whole class reading - without shaming students.

Sometimes reading a text together whole class is necessary, but as teachers we worry that it might not be the best use of our limited time. It is easy for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students’ minds to wander, and it hard to hold them accountable for following along in a way that doesn’t shame students. In the …

Higher Order Thinking Questions for Teaching Theme

36 Revised Bloom's Taxonomy Questions to help you as you teach upper elementary students how to determine the theme of a story.

Here are 36 questions to help you as you are teaching theme to your 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students.  Instead of simply asking students, “What is the theme of this story,” use these questions to help them think about different aspects of theme. The questions are organized based on the Revised Bloom’s Taxonomy – there are 6 …

Practice Determining the Theme – Slideshow

3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students can practice determining the theme with this free slideshow

The free slideshow above can help you teach your 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade students how to determine the theme of a story.  It includes short reading passages where students have to choose the best theme, activities to help students practice distinguishing between the theme and main idea, and writing activities to reinforce what students have learned. This …

Test Prep and Motivation – Advice from Real Teachers

Advice from real teachers on how to prepare 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students for testing

In this era of high stakes testing, preparing students for state testing has become a necessity.  Gone are the days where preparing students for a test simply meant meant teaching the content well.  Now test prep could include everything from teaching test strategies, making sure kids get enough sleep and eat a healthy breakfast, motivating them to do their best …

Preparing for State Testing – Activities and Review Games

State testing activities and games to help your 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students stay engaged as they prepare for testing

Ahhhh….state tasting.  A teacher’s unavoidable nemesis.  Teachers are constantly looking for ways to make learning fun and engaging, but testing is just plain boring.  And while teachers don’t have the power to change the rules of testing to make it more fun (or to just stop it from happening altogether), we can make sure testing review is fun and engaging …

Teaching Rounding So Students Actually Understand

Teaching rounding with open number lines and place value skills so 3rd grade and 4th grade students actually understand

Teachers use all sorts of tricks to teach students how to round – tricks like rollercoasters, chants, step-by-step anchor chart instructions, underlining digits, and more. Teaching rounding using tricks is a short term solution, though.  If you are having to use tricks in order for students to understand rounding, then your students are showing you that they have some gaps …

Teaching Theme So Students Actually Understand

Teaching theme to 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade students is just plain HARD. Theme is an abstract idea, making it really difficult for teachers to put into words and really hard for students to grasp.  If your students are struggling with understanding theme, rest assured that they are not alone!  Teachers all over the world have this same …