Set Up Your Best Classroom Yet

Jul 30th 2017

Welcome to my second grade classroom, my home away from home.  Each year, I refine my classroom with special finds from Target and Hobby Lobby (my favorite!) to make it comfortable and inviting. I love to think outside of the […]

Master Meet the Teacher in 5 Easy Steps

Jul 18th 2017

Just the mention of Meet the Teacher or Curriculum Night makes most teachers break out into a cold sweat. Why is this? We speak in front of people all day, every day, but the difference is their age. Children will […]

Teaching In Style: 5 Key Back to School Pieces

Jul 13th 2017

Back to School time is right around the corner and one of my favorite parts is picking out a few outfits for the first week of school. Here are 5 key pieces to start your year off with a bang: […]

Roar Into Research

Apr 2nd 2017

Spring fever is full force in my classroom and I have tried every trick of the trade to keep my students calm and engaged with little success. After taking a Common Core ELA class through my district, I found the […]

Meaningful (& FREE) Valentine Gifts for Kids

Feb 7th 2017

As Valentine’s Day nears, teachers everywhere are scouring their local Dollar Stores and Target Dollar sections for the perfect holiday-themed trinkets. This pursuit of the perfect, “inexpensive” gift often leaves teachers exhausted and broke. Plus, these gifts often end up in the bottoms […]

Martin’s Big Words: A MLK Character Analysis Collage

Jan 12th 2017

My class is currently learning how to analyze character traits using textual evidence. Since Martin Luther King, Jr. Day is around the corner, I decided to use Martin’s Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Doreen […]

5 No-Prep Thanksgiving Activities

Nov 22nd 2016

Looking for ready-to-use Thanksgiving activities that keep students engaged in learning? You’ll be thankful for these 5 easy activities: 1. Create A Classroom Market: Murphy Market is a center I created in which students purchase items, add totals and learn […]

Guided Reading Survival Guide Part 3

Oct 16th 2016

In part 1 and part 2 of my Guided Reading Survival Guide blog series, I explained how teachers must go beyond the basal and provide authentic, high-quality supplemental texts ranging in genre and teach research-based reading strategies using our cast […]

Guided Reading Survival Guide Part 2

Oct 15th 2016

Yesterday in part 1 of my blog series, Guided Reading Survival Guide, I explained how teachers must go beyond the basal to provide several authentic, high-quality supplemental texts ranging in complexity and genre to promote a deeper understanding of content. In […]

Guided Reading Survival Guide Part 1

Oct 14th 2016

Guided reading can be daunting, especially with the new instructional shifts and standards. Teachers are asking themselves such questions as: “What texts do I use?” “What strategies do I teach?” “How do I motivate and engage?” “How do I integrate […]

Fool-Proof Tips for Teaching Procedures & Routines

Sep 11th 2016

You know that feeling of excitement you feel when you spot a cute new idea on Pinterest? Those all-too-familiar thoughts run through your mind. “It looks so easy, there aren’t that many materials, how hard could it be?” Yet despite […]

Increase Student Engagement in 2 Easy Steps!

Aug 15th 2016

Create an amazing interactive whiteboard table for guided reading groups and math groups in two easy steps!  Purchase a roll of self-adhesive dry-erase paper. 1. Measure Table.  Use a yardstick or measuring tape to determine dimensions of table. Roll out […]

Set Up Your Best Classroom Yet: Part 3

Jul 20th 2016

Yesterday as part of my blog series, Set Up Your Best Classroom Yet, I gave you a sneak peek into my second grade classroom with a focus on my math area. I use the district prescribed curricula along with our reading, […]

Set Up Your Best Classroom Yet: Part 2

Jul 19th 2016

Yesterday as part of my blog series, Set Up Your Best Classroom Yet, I gave you a sneak peek into my second grade classroom with a focus on my guided reading area. I use the district prescribed curricula along with our […]

The Attraction is Obvious!

Jul 2nd 2016

We were very fortunate to receive some sample products from Dowling Magnets.  Our wheels are already turning and we’ve come up with some great uses for these resources in our classrooms in upcoming school year. Kids LOVE the Make a Face […]

Make Morning Meetings More Meaningful

Jun 28th 2016

The Morning Meeting should be the most meaningful 10 minutes of your day. Morning Meetings are at their best when they are the perfect blend of social, emotional, and academic activities. It is a time to reflect on yesterday’s success, set goals and […]

How Animals Can Help Children Learn

Jun 13th 2016

Animal characters are present in children’s lives from the very beginning on toys, books, and cartoons. Children soon learn to associate animals with comfort, play, and safety. When animals are personified, children readily understand and apply the lessons and messages […]

End of the Year Survival Guide

May 24th 2016

                              Let’s face it, at this time of year, we all feel like the owl on the right. Keeping students engaged at the end of the […]

You Deserve a Discount!

Apr 24th 2016

By popular demand, we’ve bundled all of our strategy resources into 2 different Site License options to give you the best possible deal! The Astute Hoot Reading Site License contains over 20 complete decoding and comprehension units and the Astute Hoot […]

Multi-sensory Retelling Made Easy

Apr 3rd 2016

Retelling is the process in which a child reads or listens to a story and then summarizes it in his own words including the beginning, middle and ending. Retelling helps students develop a sense of story structure and become more […]

Guiding Students to Use Context Clues Independently

Mar 27th 2016

“Hello, Ramona the Rereading Raccoon is my name. Using context clues is my favorite game. As you read, ask yourself: Does it look right, does it sound right, and does it make sense? I guarantee my strategy will make you […]

Teach Central Message & Theme with Dr. Seuss

Feb 29th 2016

Students love Dr. Seuss books because of their engaging, rhymed text, memorable characters, and whimsical illustrations. But, Dr. Seuss books are so much more. They are the ideal tool for teaching central message because each one focuses on a specific theme or life lesson. Plus, the […]

Create President Reports in 3 Easy Steps

Feb 21st 2016

Since it was President’s Day on Monday and we are reading and writing biographies, my class studied the life of Barack Obama this week. They loved learning about his childhood, interests, schooling and more. This study prompted them to ask […]

Strengthen Mathematical Understanding in 4 Easy Steps

Feb 17th 2016

Mathematical understanding means that students understand the story problem and follow the problem-solving steps. Understanding story problems can be very challenging because it requires multi-step, higher-level thinking processes. Students are required to process several pieces of information before starting any […]

5 Tips to Survive Science Fair

Jan 31st 2016

The Science Fair usually brings a mix of emotions. Students love the hands-on learning but for teachers, the Science Fair can be nightmare. What project(s) should the class do? How can I organize students’ work samples? How do I involve parents?  Use […]

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