Free Cut and Paste Resource for Teaching Theme

Teaching theme to upper elementary students can be incredibly difficult. It is such an abstract idea, so 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students need a lot of practice in order to truly understand it. Use this free cut and paste resource to help introduce theme to your students.  It has 6 paragraphs, each with one of two themes.  …

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, …

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

Nonfiction Books for Students That Love Animals

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

3 Ways to Impress During a Surprise Classroom Observation

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 …

10 Ways Real Teachers Have Integrated Technology

Teacher Favorites: Technology Integration Ideas

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 …