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.

I really don’t know what I would have done if I had to teach in a time before whiteboards and markers. They were essential to my classroom – so essential that they are one of my 9 Must Haves for Upper Elementary Teachers. We didn’t just use them on a daily basis in my classroom – we were using whiteboards …

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 …

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 …