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 …

Fiction Books That Help Teach Point of View

Fiction Books that Help Teach Point of View - fairy tales, books that tell the same story from multiple points of view

I love teaching students to think about different points of view! This is such an essential skill – not only academically, but also behaviorally. When students are able to look at things from different points of view, they become more empathetic and kind. Books that offer multiple perspectives are a great way to expose 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th …

Find the Fib: A No Prep, Engaging Activity

Find the Fib – sometimes known as 2 Truths and a Lie – is one of my favorite activities to use and reuse in the classroom. It requires little to no prep, can be used in all subject areas, requires higher level thinking, and my 3rd grade students never got tired of it. Basically, have students write down 3 statements …

A New Way to Compare and Contrast – Using Rankings

Have students rank topics based on a certain criteria and then defend their thinking. A great way for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students to use critical thinking skills while comparing and contrasting.

If you are ever having students compare and contrast more than two items, you might want to consider having students RANK those items instead of using a Venn Diagram. When we rank things, we are really comparing and contrasting them (usually deciding which one is the best or the worst) using a certain set of criteria. Having students rank things …

Free Valentine’s Day Activities

Free Valentine's Day Activities for Upper Elementary - including math, reading, and just for fun activities. Great for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students.

Check out these free Valentine’s Day activities – a fun way to celebrate the holidays while still learning! These free resources have been created by a variety of teachers, not just me! When you subscribe to my newsletter below, I’ll send you my Reusable Sub Plans for FREE. You’ll also get updates on new blog posts and freebies. Click Here …

A Black History Month Research Project

Black History Month Research Project - scaffolded to help 3rd grade and 4th grade students write a successful essay, complete a timeline, and fill in a map.

Every year in February, I would do a Black History Month Research Project with my 3rd grade students. It was one of my favorite projects of the year – and one of my students’ favorite projects as well! For this project, students would research a famous African American. Using the information from their research, my 3rd graders would write an …

Christmas Party Ideas for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade

Need some ideas for a holiday party in your upper elementary classroom? Here's some Christmas Party Ideas for 3rd, 4th, and 5th Grade

Christmas always sneaks up on me as a teacher. The week of our Christmas (or holiday) party, I would begin scrambling around for activities and gift ideas. My brain was always fried by that time of year, so I started keeping a list of some Christmas activities for a Christmas party. Below are some of my favorite Christmas party ideas! …

Christmas Literacy Activities

Low Prep Literacy Activities for the Holidays - Ideas for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade. Includes Christmas activities like snowball fights, singing Christmas songs, and more

Christmas in the upper classroom often means making Christmas ornaments, watching Polar Express, or throwing a holiday party. However, there are many ways to celebrate Christmas that also allow for student learning. The low prep Christmas activities listed below are great ways to integrate literacy while at the same time celebrating Christmas. Many Christmas songs have multiple verses that students …

Compare and Contrast A Book and Movie Activities

Compare and Contrast a Movie With The Book - ideas for your upper elementary classroom to make this activity more meaningful

My first year teaching – when I was constantly running on empty – I slipped several movie watching afternoons into my lesson plans. I defended this as educational, claiming that we were going to compare and contrast the book and movie. Now, we did actually spend some time comparing and contrasting the book with the movie, but this was still …

Free Christmas Activities

Free Christmas Activities for Upper Elementary - math and literacy activities that can be used around the holidays for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade.

Check out these free Christmas activities – a fun way to celebrate the holidays while still learning! These free resources have been created by a variety of teachers, not just me! When you subscribe to my newsletter below, I’ll send you my Reusable Sub Plans for FREE. You’ll also get updates on new blog posts and freebies. Click Here to …