Day 2 – 5 Days to a Better School Year Challenge

Sometimes I recommend products using affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may be compensated at no cost to you. Welcome to Day 2 of the 5 Days to a Better School Year Challenge! Every day this week I’m asking you to reflect on something specific from last school year that annoyed/bothered you and help you take action …

Day 1 – 5 Days to a Better School Year Challenge

Sometimes I recommend products using affiliate links. If you click through and buy, I may be compensated at no cost to you. Welcome to Day 1 of the 5 Days to a Better School Year Challenge! Every day this week I’m asking you to reflect on something specific from last school year that annoyed/bothered you, and then I’ll help you …

Activities To Keep Students Learning After Testing Is Over

Activities to keep students (3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade) engaged, motivated, and learning after state testing is over.

After state testing is over, it can be difficult to keep 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students engaged.  As the weather starts getting nicer, students begin to get spring fever. They know the end of the school year is in approaching, and student motivation can dwindle. The time after testing, however, is a great time to try some …

A Better Way to Use Venn Diagrams When Comparing and Contrasting

Venn Diagrams are a tool commonly used in 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade classrooms to teach students how to compare and contrast.  And while Venn Diagrams can be useful, they can also be used in a way that promotes lower level thinking instead of higher level thinking.   Usually, teachers give students completely blank Venn Diagrams.  At first glance, …

Black History Month Biographies for Upper Elementary

Black history month should not be the only time you expose your students to famous African Americans and their culture and history.  However, it is a great time to celebrate the culture and teach your students about African Americans that have overcome discrimination and other obstacles to help shape our history.   Often, teachers stick with well known African Americans like …

Different Ways to Use Task Cards in the Upper Elementary Classroom

Ways to Use Task Cards with 3rd graders, 4th graders, or 5th graders

If you have taught upper elementary sometime over these past 5 years, chances are you have come across somebody that uses task cards. Or you might use them yourself. You’ve also probably come across somebody that hates task cards. Although some people complain that task cards are glorified worksheets (and they could be right, depending on how you use them), …

Partnering Students

Classroom Management Tips for Partnering Students Up

One of the first procedures I taught my students the first week of school (after teaching the morning routine, bathroom procedures, and dismissal routine), was my partnering up procedures. Although I used several different methods for partnering up, there was one method in particular I used several times a day. I used something similar to the Kagan structure of “Stand …

Using Whiteboards in the Classroom

Using Whiteboards and Dry Erase Markers in the Classroom - classroom management procedures to think about for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.

We didn’t just use them on a daily basis in my classroom – we were using whiteboards in the classroom at least 5 times every day! So why did I use whiteboards so often in the classroom? There are a ton of reasons. If using dry erase markers and whiteboards is going to be a daily activity in your classroom, …

Using “Would You Rather” Questions to Compare and Contrast

Using "Would You Rather" Questions to Compare and Contrast

“Would You Rather” questions are often used as ice breakers or team builders in the upper elementary classroom. You might have used them to get your kids talking at the beginning of a school year or during a Christmas party. If used thoughtfully, however, “Would You Rather” questions can be used as a fun way to practice comparing and contrasting …

Teaching Summarizing So Students Actually Understand

Teaching 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students to summarize so that they actually understand.

Summarizing seems like it should be an easy skill to teach. When students summarize, they don’t have to come up with any of their own ideas – all they have to do is briefly tell the most important parts of a book or reading passage that they read. Sounds pretty easy…but it’s not. Teachers have all sorts of cute and …