Category : Reading

Halloween Close Reading

My daughter loves to read. She’ll read anything and everything. For some odd reason she ran out of books to read last night and the library had already closed, so I printed my Halloween Close Reading packet for her to read. She really enjoyed reading the stories for this packet.


The side panel really gave her time to express herself and really think about what she was reading.


Afterwards she decided to do the question and answer part as well. She really loves to express herself and her thoughts.


Her favorite part was designing her own jack-o’-lantern. She said she wants to make one in real life just like her colored one. I think I can make the ears out of construction paper, then Mickey will be complete!


Here are a few comments that I’ve received about my Halloween Close Reading printables:

“Cute stories and so useful for my students who are learning how to really get into the meat of reading. Lots of great strategies taught.”
“Perfect for comprehension!”
“I love the strategies in here with these stories. A great close reading packet themed for Halloween. My favorite Halloween purchase.”

For more information about my Halloween Close Reading packet, click here: Halloween Close Reading

Keeping a reading log

Keeping track of readingReading is learning. Once you know how to read, the doors swing open to a world full of knowledge, understanding, and entertainment. That’s why it is important to get children reading and improving upon their reading comprehension skills throughout their formative years.

One way to encourage kids to read and to build upon their enjoyment of reading is to keep a reading log. By keeping track of how much they read each day, children can continue to improve their skills in reading and English language arts over the course of their educational careers. Here are some of the reasons why keeping a reading log is beneficial to kids:

Reading logs build a sense of accomplishment

By looking back over reading logs, students can see how many books they have read over a period of time. This gives kids a sense of accomplishment at the various interesting things they have learned through reading and books. Students can go through a wide variety of literature over time, learning about science, history, art, different countries and cultures, and a great many other subjects. They can also experience many different stories of different genres – science fiction and fantasy, drama, young adult – even romance.

Keeping track of reading can help those students who do not feel like strong readers see what they have, over time, achieved with their reading. This can help boost their confidence with reading and keep them going.

Reading logs help track reading improvement over time

By keeping track of the reading levels of the books students read, teachers and parents (as well as the students themselves) can see how students’ individual reading skills have improved over time. While children will start by reading books at, say, the first grade level, the books listed in their reading logs will gradually increase in skill level. In this manner, educators can keep track of a students’ reading level over time – and they can do so without having to resort to standardized testing to see where a student’s skill levels are.

Reading logs help teachers find new books for students

By going through a student’s reading log, teachers and parents can see what sorts of books an individual student enjoys reading. This can help the educator provide other books or reading material that a student might also enjoy, thereby building upon their reading repertoire. If a student is into pirates, for example, teachers can recommend a variety of different fiction and nonfiction books about pirates and the history of piracy. If students are into fantasy books, educators can help those young readers branch out into different works of speculative fiction. All this will lead to more enjoyment of books and reading by young learners.

Reading logs ensure kids are reading

This goes without saying, but by keeping reading logs, students can demonstrate that they are reading a little bit each day, or a certain number of times per week. In this manner, teachers and parents can make sure that students are not falling behind in their reading.

This is especially important over the summer. During the summer months, children who do not read several times per week start to lose some of the reading proficiency that they built up over the past school year. When they arrive back at school in the fall, these students then have to play catch-up. Keeping a reading log and helping parents to keep track of their kids’ reading over the summer holiday helps to prevent this phenomenon.

Reading is a lot of fun, and can open up many new worlds to children of all ages. So get your kids reading and keeping track of the books that they have read!

Keeping a reading log

Interactive Reading Notebook for 1st Grade

It’s really fun to create and use interactive notebooks. To see students’ light bulbs going on in their heads as they use interactive notebooks is priceless. I first started making interactive notebooks several years ago with math interactive notebooks, then writing, then about 8 months later – reading interactive notebooks.

Reading interactive notebooks are awesome because students can really get into their reading and analysis with their interactive notebooks. These pictures are from my interactive reading notebook for first grade.

interactive reading notebook for 1st grade2

I think the most important thing for interactive notebooks is to have one that is not just cutting and pasting but truly interactive. It’s great to have lots of different reading activities that really engage students.

interactive reading notebook for 1st grade

I think it’s also useful to have interactive activities that students can return to and review before quizzes or state tests.

You’re never too young to use interactive notebooks. I think they are so helpful for all ages! I almost wish there was a life interactive notebook for adults to help us organize our lives. Wishful thinking.

interactive reading notebook for 1st grade3

If you’d like read more about my interactive reading notebook for 1st grade, click here: Interactive Reading Notebook for 1st Grade

If you’d like to read more about my other interactive notebooks, click here: Interactive Notebooks

Poetry + Math = Fun!

My husband has a real knack for writing poetry, so when I decided to make a poetry math glyph he was onboard! It’s a fun little activity where students answer questions, then based on their answers they answer math questions. Then, students create their glyphs of different poem lines. The end result a very funny poem and a lot of math practice and even some following directions practice as well.

Poetry skills are useful skills to develop. Poetry skills help students with reading and with writing as well. It’s one of those skills that sometimes get lost in the shuffle when you try to make time to cover everything in the school year. This is why I love my poetry math goofy glyph because it is a short enough project with math included that it won’t take too much time to cover some poetry.

Here is my daughter’s poetry math goofy glyph. It turned out great!
poetry 2 blog

poetry 1 blog

For more information on my Poetry Math Goofy Glyphs click here: Poetry Math Goofy Glyphs

What Makes a Good Interactive Notebook?

It’s so important for students to be interested in what they are learning in school. It’s not always easy and of course everyone has their favorite subjects. I remember when I was little, I loved math, but I wasn’t so into Language Arts class. It wasn’t my teacher’s fault, the materials were just boring. So, my number one purpose is to making learning fun. I love to really get into my curriculum and think what would make a student enjoy learning this skill? What would make it enjoyable for a teacher to teach this skill? Interactive notebooks are a great way to achieve these goals. There are many interactive notebooks out there today, so how can you tell which is the best?

Make sure the interactive notebook is truly interactive. Some notebooks are just filled with activities that are really just a worksheet in disguise. So, make sure to look for ones that have the students interactive with the printables and can be used in the future to review.

amelia 2nd reading

Here are a few examples of some fun interactive reading notebook pages.

2nd grade hands on interactive notebook reading sample2
Make sure the interactive Notebook that is unique. Since there are so many interactive notebooks out there today, lots of people buy the same graphics and the activities are the same. I love to draw my own and make every page unique!

2nd grade hands on interactive notebook reading sample4

Make sure the interactive notebook is teaching what you need it to teach. If you are teaching reading, or math or writing, make sure all of the concepts that you need to cover are included. For reading, I love to include passages to make the whole teaching process easier for teachers and for students.

2nd grade hands on interactive notebook reading sample3

Check out my Interactive Reading Notebooks here: Interactive Reading Notebooks 1st through 6th grades


Reading over Thanksgiving

An autumn wreathThanksgiving week has arrived! I hope that you and the people you care about have lots to be thankful for this year.

Reading over the Thanksgiving break

The Thanksgiving break is a fun time for kids to do some reading. The weather is cooler; you can head outside and find a cozy nook to cuddle up with a book. And there are lots of great, inspirational books for kids to read over Thanksgiving, that will help to teach them why they should be thankful for their families, food, and friends.

We’ve made a Thanksgiving reading challenge handout that you can use to motivate your students to do some reading over the break! The free PDF download for the Thanksgiving reading challenge printable can be found at the end of this post.

Thanksgiving Close Reading

Here’s a series of Thanksgiving stories that we’ve created for your kids to read and work on. The stories have been written in a Close Reading format, so that you can work through each story in detail, discussing the various new words and phrases within each story, and talking about how the information within each story applies to the lives of the students. These stories are designed to be fun, interactive, and educational. If you try them out, we hope you have fun working on them in the classroom with your students this autumn season.

Thanksgiving Reading Passages - Close Reading

Third, Fourth, and Fifth Grades

A Thanksgiving reading challenge

Here’s a challenge for your young readers to complete over the Thanksgiving break this November. For every ten minutes of books that they read, they can color in one of the turkey feathers on this picture. When they’re done coloring in all the feathers, they’ve completed the turkey challenge!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!