TOP 5 Sites to Check Out on the NEXT RAINY DAY!

TOP 5 Sites to Check Out on the NEXT RAINY DAY!

1.  Gooru is a search engine which allows you to look for lesson plans in all content areas and correlated with the Common Core Standards.  There are tons of multimedia resources, digital textbooks, videos, games and quizzes.  You can create a “My Collections” and “My Classes” to create your own playlist of learning resources which can be used as a center, idea for a lesson or enrichment activity.

Example:  I searched for Third Grade Math CCSS.MATH.CONTENT.3.OA.A.3 search

It compiled 47 lessons that all included some sort of technology–some appropriate for the grade and some were not but definitely worth browsing.

Here is how the search comes up–11

2.  Knowia is a search engine which is specifically compiling videos.  I searched long division and it brought up several different videos and methods on how to teach long division.  If you are looking for a remediation video or a way to enrich a group of students–this might be a good place to start.  Many of the videos are on a higher level but worth checking out.

3.  Google Classroom is a way to post assignments, receive student work, provide feedback and track missing work electronically.  As a teacher you can upload and share worksheets, videos, links and the students can make copies of the document (Google Doc) and instantaneously turn it in.  As we move towards one to one–this is the direction we will be moving in…

You must use Google Apps for this program.


4.  Ken Ken

Math puzzles that are similar to Suduko but infuse addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You can do only one operation or mixed.  These are great problem solving opportunities and the kids love them. They are practicing higher order thinking while building their fluency with basic operations.


5.  Math Fluency with Greg Tang Math.  This site has lots of games for your students to become fluent with basic operations. There is a 10 frame game which works on number sense.  Other games such as Kakooma are on there–check it out!!


If you know a great site or resource–please share it in the comments for your colleagues!




Bringing In a New Year!

With the New Year and thinking of Resolutions–what a great time to try and motivate our students to think about setting goals.  We know our students need hugs and positive reinforcement but they also need accountability paired with that positive reinforcement. Our students need us to model what positive behaviors are, how to set goals and most of all showing them how we hold ourselves accountable while meeting goals. So, with all the testing happening in the New Year and our focus on getting back into the routine–I compiled some ideas to set goals, reflect and jump start data notebooks in short lessons that can be completed at anytime–even when someone is covering your class!  With all this data floating aroundc8a0c1bbcde9bea244fb5c729ebb57ee–maybe we can catch some of it and help our kids see the importance of finding out what they can do!  I found this song and the lyrics on the Third Grade Bookworm Blog–What I am!   I know our K-2 would love it!  A great reminder–we are the person we show others. 3-5 could work with the lyrics–maybe even taking the song and as a writing lesson–amping it up for older kids to another song.

A few fun activities to think about Goals: 

Resolution Wreath (from Activity Village)

Handprint/Resolutions/Poem (from

Reaching for the Stars (from Bayside Math Teacher Blog)

Having students reflect on who they are, what they like and how they learn is a good way for them to understand we all have strengths and weaknesses.  Weaknesses are our opportunities to improve.  Having students take a multiple intelligence test is a great way to let them find out about themselves and for you to gain insight.

3-5 Online Test

Online Multiple Intelligence Test K-2 would have to read aloud

Laura Candler’s Multiple Intelligence Test printable

Once the test is complete, they can write or draw a letter to their parents about how they learn best. How fun would it be to mail it home!  Putting this information in their data notebooks and reminding students that they like to work alone but by working with partners, they are retraining their brain and it is helping them learn.

A great K-2 activity is to have students find sight words, tally how many times they find each one and then create a bar graph.  This is reinforcing sight words and math!  You can combine it with partner reading of the words and a competition to record how fast they can read the list or how many words in a minute. Great fun and learning.


Find Tally and Graph  I created this one and you could change the sight words out to create others.

3-5 classes could do a paper chain challenge where a group has to create the longest paper chain from one sheet of 12 x 18 piece of construction paper.  After the challenge–students can figure out some math and collect data to see how to use data.  How many chains were created in all? What was the difference in the shortest and longest? What is the average length?  What is the range?  What is the median number of chains?  You can look deeper at colors and ask similar questions.

Students need to see why we collect data and how it can be important. When we show them this–they can understand why they collect data about multiplication, sight words or why you progress monitor.   Ring in the New Year with some data fun!

Other Resources You May Be Interested in…


Priorities and Goals

Graphing Stories website














Read Around What?

As we focus on vocabulary, I think it is important to really think about our statement to students when figuring out unknown words:  JUST READ AROUND IT.  What? What does that really mean?  Be sure to explain that the word context means “a setting in which something is found.”  A clue means ” a mystery.”  Understanding what these words means help you see why we use the term “context clues.”  We are looking to find a mystery word and looking for details that help us see how the word “fits into the setting or sentence” in which the author has put it.

We HAVE to teach our kids what they are reading around for and where around means.  So, around really means before the sentence with the unknown word. I typically have students go back to the beginning of the paragraph unless it is really long and then I have them go up two sentences but tell them they may have to go up more if they cannot find any clues.

Once they find the place to begin, they need to know what type of things they are looking for. What do context clues look like?

1.  Grammar or Syntax

Teaching students to look at the structure of the sentence for clues is a bit more advanced.  Is the mystery word a noun or verb?  Figuring out the part of speech is a clue that can help. Does the word connect or describe something?  Is the word present or past tense?  All of these small clues can help a reader figure out a word.

2.  Roots/Affixes

Finding the base in a mystery word is often an “AHA moment.”  Teach students how to break the word up and find known affixes. Teaching students prefixes and suffixes is very important as students begin to decode multisyllabic words. When a student comes across a word such as “deconstruction” they can see the base word is construct or even construction which has something to do with build.  If they learned de is a prefix and means down or away, they can get a good idea of the term.

3. Synonyms or Antonyms

Authors often put a synonym or an antonym in the sentence to help clarify a word for the reader. For example,
Richelle is gregarious, not like Kelly who is quiet and shy. Students can be taught to look for key words that signify an antonym such as not like, unlike, different from, or in contrast.  Words that signify a synonym are like, similar, compared to, and or.

4.  Comparisons/Contrasts

Teach students that authors often provide information that shows a comparison or contrast to another person, event or term.  This is very similar to the synonyms and antonyms but is not usually one word but a description.

5.  Explanations, Examples or Definitions

Explanations are the most basic because the answer is clearly given in the sentence. These are great!

6.  Author Techniques or Tools

Author techniques or tools should be taught directly like you would teach text features.  Bold print, highlighting, a change in font are all techniques an author may use to draw attention to a definition or clue. In addition, the hyphen or parenthesis will normally give a definition to the reader.

I know that all of these seem like common sense and for our strong readers–they do this automatically but for our struggling readers–they do not see them.  Take time to show students the smallest clues to figure out unknown words.


Context Clues Various Resources

I use this one most of the time.context clues graphic organizer (simple but effective)

Resource Packet for Grades 3-5

FCRR K-1 Vocabulary

FCRR 2-3 Context Clues

FCRR 4-5 Context Clues

I know this information is not new to you but wanted to stress the importance of directly teaching what clues look like for our students. If you need examples, let me know and I will send you some written work for your grade level.    If you have suggestions or ideas, please share them!

K-12 Reader has a ton of examples for all grades.

Readworks offers printables for all grades.

Have a great week!




Subscribe By Email

Get a weekly email of all new posts.

This form is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Skip to toolbar