Category : Literacy

Halloween No Prep Literacy Printables

Sometimes it’s great to get a little picture into your students’ mind and see how they are doing on various aspects of a certain subject. My Halloween No Prep Literacy Printables give you that picture while allowing students to enjoy Halloween at the same time. These printables come in black and white and color, so there are options for you. You can use the colored versions for centers. You can use the black and white versions for homework, bell work or for sub folders.

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Students can color the black and white graphics if they want to add a little pizazz to their work. Also, answer sheets are included so your students can grade their own work if you are running out of time. This is also handy for subs in case they aren’t use to teaching this particular subject.

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These are availabe in kindergarten through 5th grade all aligned with the common core.

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For more information on my Halloween No Prep Literacy Printables click here: Halloween No Prep Literacy Printables.

Back to School Close Reading

Close Reading is a fun way to get your students involved in what they are reading and come out of what they have read with some take-aways. It can also help them to read slowly and process what they are actually reading, instead of just reading word after word. This can help with fluency and with the speed they read at.

Back to School Close Reading has unique stories that are age appropriate. You can use these to gauge the level your students can read at, as well as assess vocabulary comprehension and retention.

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These original stories have questions at the end, as well as throughout the stories to help the students stay engaged in the stories. These are sure to be a hit in your classrooms.

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These stories will introduce students to new vocabulary as well. They also have the definitions in the side panels for more difficult words.
Click here to read more about my Back to School Close Reading Packet: Back to School Close Reading Packet
Click here to read more about my other Close Reading Packets: Close Reading Packets

Back to School Close Reading

Writing opinions and arguments

Writing opinions and argumentsThe Common Core State Standards (CCSS) places an emphasis on having students express their opinions in both speech and writing. For example, CCSS.W.1, the first Common Core writing standard for the first grade, reads: “Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.”

There are plenty of ways that you can have students express their opinions and offer arguments on certain topics in the classroom. You can:

  • Have them write essays or short passages about their opinions based on a question that you pose to the class or to different work groups or centers in the classroom
  • Stage a debate or discussion on a certain hot topic or current event
  • Place “Agree” and “Disagree” signs in two different spots in the classroom (or simply write the words on a whiteboard or blackboard), then pose different definitive statements to the class and have them stand near the sign for “Agree” if they agree with the statement, and “Disagree” if they do not agree with the statement.

Here are a few tips to getting the best from your students when having them express their opinions or debate arguments:

Brainstorm different ideas

When making an argument, students should not simply run with whatever fact or opinion first pops into their head. They should think of different ways to express their opinions, and come up with multiple arguments to back up their declarations.

Look at both sides of the problem

In order to argue a position, students need to be able to understand the other side of the argument. They should research that other, differing side, and then work to come up with specific points that can help to refute those opposing arguments.

Keep a record of your sources for your facts

If you are going to state facts, you should know where the facts came from, which author can be attributed to which fact, and which sources contained each fact. Some sources are more credible than others – you should teach your students that facts found in credible academic journals may be more legitimate than facts found on Wikipedia (a crowd-sourced form of information gathering) or from the words of an actor or other celebrity who is simply stating his or her own opinion about something.

Speak or write eloquently, firmly

While the facts are king when debating, being able to speak and write fluently and eloquently can help you drive in your argument. Learning how to speak confidently and charismatically can make a big difference in a debate or discussion.

You can be personal, but do not take it personally

Everyone has personal opinions, and people can be have very strong emotional attachment to those opinions. When debating, do not take it personally when people refute your opinions or arguments. It can be difficult!

One last point: helping your students understand ethics and equality

One last point for teachers and educators – while you should let students have their opinions, be sure that opinions that may be racist, sexist, or immoral should be controlled. While people (students included) do have the right to free speech, you should work to help those students who may have racist or sexist opinions to understand why all humans should be treated with equal respect and understanding. This is a very important lesson to learn!

Writing Opinions and Arguments

Writing Opinions and Arguments Common Core worksheetsIf you’re looking for fun prompts for students to use to express their opinions in the classroom, here is a packet of worksheets that you can have your students work on. Each worksheet prompts the students to think about their opinions and arguments in point form, and then write out an essay-style response to the opinion or argument. If students run out of room on the worksheet, they can can continue writing on a piece of lined paper or in their interactive reading or writing notebooks, if you use interactive notebooks as a teaching tool.

Writing opinions and arguments can be a lot of fun! I hope your students enjoy learning how to express their opinions and to debate hot topic arguments on both sides.

If you have any opinions of your own about how best to teach students to express themselves, I’d be glad to hear them! Please feel free to leave a comment below.

St. Patrick’s Day Common Core Literacy and Math Activities

St. Patrick's Day Common Core Math and Literacy ActivitiesSt. Patrick’s Day takes place on March 17th – a day that is rapidly approaching! St. Patrick is the patron saint of Ireland, and in the United States and elsewhere around the world, St. Patrick’s Day is celebrated by wearing a lot of green clothes and – for those who are old enough – drinking a pint of Guinness!

Here’s a bit of trivia for you – did you know that St. Patrick was not Irish? He was a Romano-Briton who was captured by Irish raiders and arrived in Ireland a slave. He is celebrated for the missionary work that he did in Ireland and was instrumental in bringing Christianity to the Irish.

Common Core activities for March

St. Patrick’s Day takes place in the middle of March, so why not lead up to the holiday by practicing math and literacy skills aligned with the Common Core State Standards? Here are four packets for 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades, with worksheets and activities aligned with the Common Core standards, per grade level, for mathematics and English language arts. The artwork and stories within these booklets are original and created by ourselves.

St. Patrick's Day Literacy and Math Activities for First Grade

First Grade

Common Core standards: 1.RI.1, 1.RF.4, 1.W.2, 1.L.1, 1.L.2, 1.L.3, 1.L.4, 1.L.5, 1.OA.1, 1.OA.2, 1.OA.4, 1.OA.5, 1.OA.6, 1.OA.7, 1.NBT.1, 1.NBT.2, 1.NBT.3, 1.NBT.4, 1.NBT.5, 1.NBT.6, 1.MD.1, 1.MD.2, 1.MD.3, 1.G.3

St. Patrick's Day Literacy and Math Activities for Second Grade

Second Grade

Common Core standards: 2.RI.1, 2.RF.4, 2.W.2, 2.L.1, 2.L.2, 2.L.3, 2.L.4, 2.L.5, 2.OA.1, 2.OA.2, 2.OA.3, 2.NBT.2, 2.NBT.3, 2.NBT.4, 2.NBT.5, 2.NBT.6, 2.NBT.7,, 2.NBT.8, 2.MD.5, 2.MD.6, 2.MD.7, 2.G.2, 2.G.3

St. Patrick's Day Literacy and Math Activities for Third Grade

Third Grade

Common Core standards: 3.RI.1, 3.RI.4, 3.RF.4, 3.W.2, 3.L.1, 3.L.2, 3.L.5, 3.L.6, 3.OA.1, 3.OA.2, 3.OA.3, 3.OA.4, 3.OA.5, 3.OA.6, 3.OA.7, 3.OA.8, 3.NBT.1, 3.NBT.2, 3.NBT.3, 3.NF.1, 3.NF.2, 3.NF.3, 3.MD.1, 3.MD.5, 3.MD.6, 3.MD.7

St. Patrick's Day Literacy and Math Activities for Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade

Common Core standards: 4.RL.1, 4.RL.4, 4.RF.4, 4.W.2, 4.W.4, 4.L.1, 4.L.2, 4.L.5, 4.L.6, 4.OA.4, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.1, 4.NBT.2, 4.NBT.3, 4.NBT.4, 4.NBT.5, 4.NBT.6, 4.NF.1, 4.NF.2, 4.NF.3, 4.NF.4, 4.NF.5, 4.NF.6, 4.MD.1, 4.MD.2, 4.MD.3, 4.MD.7, 4.G.2, 4.G.3

I hope you have a fantastic month of March. And when St. Patrick’s Day rolls around, I hope that you and your students have a green day!

American Presidents Common Core Literacy and Math Activities

American Presidents Common Core Math and Literacy ActivitiesThe United States of America has had 44 presidents, including the current president, Barack Obama. As both head of state and head of government, the president is the leader of the country, and is also the commander-in-chief of the American military, the United States Armed Forces.

Presidents Day in the United States

Presidents Day (or President’s Day) takes place on the third Monday in February. This particular day was selected to celebrate the birthday of the first American president, George Washington, who was born on February 22, 1732. George Washington was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States and served as commander-in-chief of the Colonial Army during the American Revolutionary War.

United States Presidents Math and Literacy Activities

Here are links to a packet containing literacy and math activities for 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade. Within each packet, students will learn about the Presidents of the United States while practicing their skills aligned with the Common Core standards for mathematics and English language arts. All stories and illustrations are original and created by Mixminder.

While these activities can be used to celebrate Presidents Day, they can also be used any time you feel like introducing your class to the history and tradition of the American presidents. If you’re reading textbooks or showing videos about Barack Obama or other American presidents throughout history, these activities can easily be incorporated to complement your lesson.

American Presidents Literacy and Math Activities for Second Grade

Second Grade

Common Core standards: 2.RI.1, 2.RF.4, 2.W.2, 2.L.1, 2.L.2, 2.L.3, 2.L.4, 2.L.5, 2.OA.1, 2.OA.2, 2.OA.3, 2.NBT.2, 2.NBT.3, 2.NBT.4, 2.NBT.5, 2.NBT.6, 2.NBT.7,, 2.NBT.8, 2.MD.5, 2.MD.6, 2.MD.7, 2.G.2, 2.G.3

American Presidents Literacy and Math Activities for Third Grade

Third Grade

Common Core standards: 3.RI.1, 3.RI.4, 3.RF.4, 3.W.2, 3.L.1, 3.L.2, 3.L.5, 3.L.6, 3.OA.1, 3.OA.2, 3.OA.3, 3.OA.4, 3.OA.5, 3.OA.6, 3.OA.7, 3.OA.8, 3.NBT.1, 3.NBT.2, 3.NBT.3, 3.NF.1, 3.NF.2, 3.NF.3, 3.MD.1, 3.MD.5, 3.MD.6, 3.MD.7

American Presidents Literacy and Math Activities for Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade

Common Core standards: 4.RL.1, 4.RL.4, 4.RF.4, 4.W.2, 4.W.4, 4.L.1, 4.L.2, 4.L.5, 4.L.6, 4.OA.4, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.1, 4.NBT.2, 4.NBT.3, 4.NBT.4, 4.NBT.5, 4.NBT.6, 4.NF.1, 4.NF.2, 4.NF.3, 4.NF.4, 4.NF.5, 4.NF.6, 4.MD.1, 4.MD.2, 4.MD.3, 4.MD.7, 4.G.2, 4.G.3

Happy birthday, George Washington!

Chinese New Year Common Core Literacy and Math Activities

Chinese New Year Common Core ActivitiesChinese New Year, an important Chinese holiday, takes place in late January to February every year. In China, Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival, and celebrations for the event are many and widespread. Houses are decorated with banners and lanterns, and a great deal of food – like dumplings and chow mein noodles – is devoured. People give thanks in prayer, experience traditional dragon dances, and watch grand displays of fireworks shot off into the night sky. All in all a pretty fantastic sounding festival… one that I hope to experience on a visit to China one of these years!

Common Core activities for the Chinese New Year

If you are interested in teaching your students something about another language and culture, here’s a packet that might help you. With activities for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades, Chinese New Year Literacy and Math Activities offer a variety of different Common Core aligned stories, worksheets and journal prompts for your students. The stories and activities are original, and all artwork was created by Mixminder.

These booklets are designed to cover a comprehensive set of skills for the Common Core State Standards for mathematics and English language arts – see below to find out which individual standards are covered by this material. If you’re interested in reading more about these products, please check out the links below!

Chinese New Year Literacy and Math Activities for Second Grade

Second Grade

Common Core standards: 2.RI.1, 2.RF.4, 2.W.2, 2.L.1, 2.L.2, 2.L.3, 2.L.4, 2.L.5, 2.OA.1, 2.OA.2, 2.OA.3, 2.NBT.2, 2.NBT.3, 2.NBT.4, 2.NBT.5, 2.NBT.6, 2.NBT.7,, 2.NBT.8, 2.MD.5, 2.MD.6, 2.MD.7, 2.G.2, 2.G.3

Chinese New Year Literacy and Math Activities for Third Grade

Third Grade

Common Core standards: 3.RI.1, 3.RI.4, 3.RF.4, 3.W.2, 3.L.1, 3.L.2, 3.L.5, 3.L.6, 3.OA.1, 3.OA.2, 3.OA.3, 3.OA.4, 3.OA.5, 3.OA.6, 3.OA.7, 3.OA.8, 3.NBT.1, 3.NBT.2, 3.NBT.3, 3.NF.1, 3.NF.2, 3.NF.3, 3.MD.1, 3.MD.5, 3.MD.6, 3.MD.7

Chinese New Year Literacy and Math Activities for Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade

Common Core standards: 4.RL.1, 4.RL.4, 4.RF.4, 4.W.2, 4.W.4, 4.L.1, 4.L.2, 4.L.5, 4.L.6, 4.OA.4, 4.OA.5, 4.NBT.1, 4.NBT.2, 4.NBT.3, 4.NBT.4, 4.NBT.5, 4.NBT.6, 4.NF.1, 4.NF.2, 4.NF.3, 4.NF.4, 4.NF.5, 4.NF.6, 4.MD.1, 4.MD.2, 4.MD.3, 4.MD.7, 4.G.2, 4.G.3

February starts tomorrow! Have a great month, and all the best for the rest of 2013.

Valentine’s Day Stories: Common Core Literacy Activities

Valentine's Day Common Core StoriesFebruary is just around the corner and, like many romantically inclined people, I am really looking forward to celebrating Valentine’s Day with our family! While Valentine’s Day started out as a day to celebrate “courtly love”, it is now celebrated as a day for love and friendship throughout much of the world. I hope that you are looking forward to the day as well.

Common Core stories for Valentine’s Day

While you’re leading up to Valentine’s Day, you might be looking for some worksheets and activities that help your students learn and practice their Common Core skills for English language arts. In this packet you will find Common Core stories that were written and illustrated by ourselves. There are packets for the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th grades, with vocabulary words and reading level in each story adapted to suit children in those grades. With each story you will find activities and writing prompts that your students can complete to show understanding of the stories they have written. Please click on the thumbnails below for more details on what you can find inside each packet.

Valentine's Day Common Core Literacy Activities for Second Grade

Second Grade

Common Core standards: 2.RL.1, 2.RF.4, 2.L.1, 2.L.2, 2.L.5, 2.L.6.

Valentine's Day Common Core Literacy Activities for Third Grade

Third Grade

Common Core standards: 3.RL.1, 3.RL.4, 3.RF.4, 3.L.1, 3.L.2, 3.L.5.

Valentine's Day Common Core Literacy Activities for Fourth Grade

Fourth Grade

Common Core standards: 4.RL.1, 4.RL.4, 4.RF.4, 4.L.2, 4.L.4, 4.L.6.

I hope that you and your students have fun reading the stories and answering the questions and writing prompts posed in the activities. And above all, I hope that you have a great Valentine’s Day this February!