Saturday, October 31, 2015

Applying the Standards - Common Core Resources for Your Classroom

As a Brand Ambassador, I received some fabulous resources to share with you this month, perfect for applying the common core standards.  (Or just plain good teaching resources if you don't teach common core.)

Evidence-based response to questions is paramount in the Common Core.  Students must be able to provide evidence or proof from the text when answering questions.  Carson Dellosa's Evidence-Based Reading series is just the ticket for helping your students answer inference-based questions in fictional and informational text.

The passages and questions are perfect for 
  • Teacher-led practice
  • Homework 
  • Assessment

These lessons require students to refer to the text in order to give evidence-based answers.


Common Core alignment and a Reading Comprehension Rubric are also provided.


If your classroom is like mine, (and aren't they all!)  you have a huge range of reading ability among your students.  Some are on target, some below grade level, and some exceed our expectations.  The Differentiated Reading for Comprehension series is perfect for differentiating for all levels with your students.  

Each book in the series contains 15 different non-fiction stories, each at 3 different reading levels, above level, on level, and below level.  The below level passages are written at 1 to 1.5 levels below grade level.  The on level passages are written at 0 to .5 levels below grade level, and the above level passages are written at 1 to 2 levels above grade level.  The passages are followed by a set of text-dependent comprehension questions and a writing prompt to build content knowledge.

Again, a Common Core alignment chart is provided.

Do you need materials for math or writing centers?  How about activities for enrichment or fast finishers?  The Curriculum Cut-Outs series is FANTASTIC!  I got to check out the third grade Math Challenge and Story Starters: Research Curriculum Cut-Outs.  

The Math Challenge Curriculum Cut-Outs are a fun, hands-on resource for practicing a variety of third-grade math skills. Math Challenge cards are perfect for math warm-ups, early finishers, or weekly classroom contests. There are 35 unique challenge cards.  Curriculum Cut-Outs can be used during center time, group work, or individual work or when students have completed other tasks.

Here are some examples from the Story Starters: Research Curriculum set.

Each set includes 36 fun, and interesting Research Story Starters topics.
These writing/project prompts encourage critical thinking and creativity and supports the Common Core Standard of increased focus on nonfiction and informational text. Curriculum Cut-Outs are perfect for writing centers, journaling, morning work, extended writing or when students have completed other tasks.
Students could choose their own prompt, or they would go great with a basket of books and resources selected by the teacher to creating a learning center.

Have you ever used these in your classroom?  I would love to hear about your experiences with them and how you use them with your students.  Please share in the comments below.

Head on over to Carson-Delossa by clicking on the links and images above, or get these and other great CD products at your local teaching store.

*I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received these products for free to review.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Boo to You! Halloween Blog Hop

I am super excited to link up with some of my blogging buddies to bring you this fun Halloween Blog Hop especially for 3rd-5th grade teachers/bloggers.  
Since you knocked on my door, Here are a couple of treats for your goody bag.

I L♥VE using picture prompts for writing activities!  
Here are some of my favorites.

This one would be great to accompany the book, 
There's a Monster Under My Bed.

 This one would be cute with any Little Witch books.

Here's a haunted house that's not too spooky.
Who lives here?
What happens here at night?

And here a couple of eerier settings.

On a fun note, here are some Halloween bookmarks for your kiddos.

You can grab them here.

And here's a quick and easy Halloween Literacy Center FREEBIE is all ready for you to print and go! Click on the image to add it to your treat bag.

In my classroom, October is all about MONSTERS!  Since so many kids it seems cannot participate in Halloween activities, I focus on monsters instead.  Here are some of my favorite monster books:

Another one of my favorite monster activities is this writing freebie.

The kids make smoosh monsters and then write descriptive paragraphs to identify their monster, BUT they cannot use any color words.  They have to focus on the other attributes that their monster has.
Here are some examples...

Can you match the monster to the descriptions below?

Click on the treat bag to add this freebie to your bag.

Want a chance to win more TREATS, OOZING with Halloween fun?!
Check out the TREATS (no tricks here) that are EERILY EXCITING in this giveaway!
This CAULDRON of TREATS features fabulous TpT products for grades 3rd-5th, as well as a TEACHER TREAT BAG that is to DIE for!

Knock on the door to see who you will be Trick-or-Treating with next! Get your treat bag ready, I have a feeling you’ll need it again!
{Click on the door image below.}

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Carson-Delossa Product Review

As a Carson-Delossa Brand Ambassador,* I received some great products to share with you this month.  I have loved Carson-Delossa as long as I have been teaching (a L.O.N.G. time!) and this month's selection included a couple of my FAVORITES.

First up are the Learning Target and Essential Questions Cards.  Man I wish I had had these when I was in the classroom!  It would have made posting my Common Core objectives so much easier!

The box includes cards for all the Common Core standards, both ELA and Math, for the grade level that you select.  The learning targets are on one side, and the essential questions are on the other.  Both are in easy to read and understand, kid friendly language.

The Learning Targets and Essential Questions kit includes 105 standards cards, 1 header card, and 10 dividers. Each card features a standards-­‐based essential question paired with a corresponding “I Can” statement. The essential questions are designed to help keep lessons focused and to provide students with a clear understanding of the intended outcome. The learning targets, or “I Can” statements, serve as assessment tools for both teachers and students. The “I Can” statements also allow teachers and students to evaluate progress toward learning goals.

Here is a video from Carson-Delossa that gives more information about this great resource.

The next two products are already favorites of mine that I used regularly in my classroom.

The Spectrum series of books are great for quick assessments and additional practice for those who need it.  Spectrum® workbooks can save you from frustrating, endless searches for that skill-­‐specific practice or student artifact. The full line of Spectrum resources are developed by professional educators and aligned to all state standards. This series can easily become one of your best planning resources.  They are available for the following subjects:
•    Language Arts (Grades K-­‐6)
•   Phonics (Grades K-­‐6)
•   Reading (Grades K-­‐6)
•   Writing (Grades K-­‐8)
•   Spelling (Grades K-­‐6)
•   Math (Grades K-­‐8)
•   Science (Grades 3-­‐8)
•  Geography (Grades 3-6) 

The math series has pre- and post-tests for each unit and practice pages that are great for homework or to leave when you have a substitute.


I l♥ve that I do not have to scramble around trying to find resources for particular skills.

My favorite products of all are the Math 4 Today and Language Arts 4 Today series!  I have used these for years and they are even better now that they are annotated with the common core standards.  My fourth grade set is well-worn!


I absolutely love the format of these!  Each day, M-Th, there are 4 spiral review questions that are PERFECT for little mini lesson reviews.  Then for Friday, there is an assessment over the types of questions covered for the week.  A Common Core guide and answer keys are provided.


I always copied math on one side and language arts on the other.  The kids kept these at their desk and we used them for bell-work.  Then on Fridays I would pass out the assessments and take a quick and easy grade for the week.  LOVE♥LOVE♥LOVE THEM!

Head on over to Carson-Delossa by clicking on the links and images above, or get these and other great CD products at your local teaching store.

I would love to know what your favorite Carson-Delossa products are.  Leave a comment with yours.

*I participate in the Brand Ambassador Program for Carson-Dellosa and have received this product for free to review.
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