Wordless Picture Books for Upper Elementary Classrooms

Sometimes I recommend products using affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may be compensated at no cost to you. Wordless books are an underused resource in upper elementary classrooms.  There are so many ways to use them with your students to teach a variety of skills, from making predictions, to story elements, to writing dialogue. If you …

Free Cut and Paste Resource for Teaching Theme

Use this free cut and paste resource to help introduce theme to your students.  It has 6 paragraphs, each with one of two themes.  Students must sort the 6 paragraphs based on the theme. This makes a great center activity! To download this free resource: You can find the Members Area here. When you subscribe to my newsletter below, I’ll …

20 Ways to Use Wordless Books in the Upper Elementary Classroom

Wordless books are often overlooked in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade classrooms, and understandably so.  We need our students to be reading as much as possible, so taking the time to have students “read” wordless books can feel like a waste. However, wordless books can be used effectively in upper elementary to practice a variety of ELA skills. …

Engage and Assess Your Students with a Snowball Fight

If you haven’t had a snowball fight in your 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade classroom, then you should – and soon!  This was one of my students’ favorite activities.  They enjoyed it so much that they didn’t realize they were learning and being assessed! I’ve talked before about how to use snowball fights to practicing comparing and contrasting, …

Strategy Games for the Upper Elementary Classroom

Sometimes I recommend products using affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may be compensated at no cost to you. When I got my first teaching job, I had high hopes for integrating a strategy game like chess into my 4th grade classroom. However, I soon became overwhelmed with the daily demands of classroom management, standards based teaching, …

Nonfiction Books for Students That Love Animals

Encourage reluctant readers with engaging nonfiction books about animals for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students.

Sometimes I recommend products using affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may be compensated at no cost to you. The books below tell true stories of animal friendships, loyalty, and adventures.  They will inspire and motivate even the most reluctant reader. Many of these books are written by the person who got to experience the inspiring animal …

3 Ways to Impress During a Surprise Classroom Observation

3 ways to impress your principal during a surprise observation or walk through in 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade

No matter how long you’ve been teaching, surprise class observations will always be a little nerve-racking. Having your teaching skills evaluated based on a 5 minute stretch of time in a room full of kids that are constantly doing the unpredictable is stressful. During a planned observation, we generally pull out all of the stops, making sure we have a …

Teacher Favorites: Technology Integration Ideas

10 Ways Real Teachers Have Integrated Technology

I surveyed over 100 teachers in order to find the most practical and teacher friendly ways to integrate technology in the upper elementary classroom.  Below are some of the most useful tools mentioned. 1. Google Classroom Google classroom was the tool that was most often mentioned by teachers taking the survey.  Teachers that use it say it saves them time …

9 Comparing and Contrasting Ideas for the Classroom

Different ideas for comparing and contrasting in the upper elementary (3rd grade, 4th grade, 5th grade classroom)

1. Write a Compare and Contrast Essay/Paragraph An essay can be a daunting task at first, so start your students off small!  Have them start off by writing a sentence or a paragraph that compares and contrasts 2 things before doing a full blown essay.  Providing scaffolding for a compare and contrast essay helps your students be able to do …

Teacher Favorites – The Best Nonfiction Book Series

The best nonfiction chapter book series for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students

Most upper elementary teachers I know could easily tell you their favorite fiction books to read aloud to students, but choosing a nonfiction book is harder.  We just don’t read nonfiction or informative texts as much as we read fiction texts because it is harder to find engaging books. We lean on fiction books with positive themes and inspiring stories …