Celebrate Earth Day with The Lorax

Apr 17th 2017

Earth Day is fast approaching and with spring fever in full force, our engaging, comprehensive Lorax literature study is the perfect solution! Our Lorax literature study integrates elements from our Guided Reading Strategies Bundle which teaches critical reading strategies in a child-friendly way. […]

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 […]

Happy 100! Celebrating the 100th Day of School

Jan 23rd 2017

I can’t believe we’ve already been in school for 100 days! Where does time go? To celebrate this momentous occasion, my class participated in several 100 Day activities. Here are a few highlights from our special day: 1. If I […]

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 […]

Move Over Elf on the Shelf–The Reindeer is in the Room

Dec 5th 2016

Is Christmas craziness taking over your classroom? As a veteran teacher, I’ve tried every behavior management trick and technique to calm holiday chaos that predictably arrives every year around December 1 and found limited success. These three weeks should be […]

Hanukkah Essentials: Latkes, Dreidels, Menorahs & More

Dec 1st 2016

  Hanukkah is right around the corner and what better way to engage students than through integrated Hanukkah activities aligned to Common Core Standards. Here are highlights from our Hanukkah Essentials Unit on sale now: 1. KWL menorah: To start […]

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 4

Oct 17th 2016

Guided reading challenging, even to veteran teachers because there are so many factors to consider. In my 4 part blog series, Guided Reading Survival Guide, I explain how to go beyond the basal and provide engaging, authentic supplemental texts; teach research-based […]

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 […]

The Ugly Truth About Halloween

Oct 9th 2016

Halloween is just around the corner and kids are focused on costumes, candy and creepy creatures–it’s enough to make you batty before Halloween even arrives! It’s tempting to use Halloween coloring pages and other fluffy activities to keep students calm […]

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 […]

Set Up Your Best Classroom Yet

Jul 18th 2016

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 17th 2016

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 […]

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 […]

Secrets for Teaching Opinion & Persuasive Writing

Apr 17th 2016

Teaching opinion and persuasive writing can be difficult, but not any more. Here are 3 secrets for delivering engaging, differentiated writing instruction from our latest strategy-based resource, Cats vs Dogs: A Common Core Research Opinion Writing Unit. Plus, it’s on […]

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 […]

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 […]

Celebrate Dr. Seuss in Style

Feb 28th 2016

Read Across America is around the corner–celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday with these fun, no-prep activities: 1. Cat in the Hat Kabob: Download this FREE recipe to make these adorable Cat in the Hat kabobs, a perfect activity to incorporate during […]

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 […]