How I Teach: Written Response

We know reading and writing are linked, right? Many of our struggling readers need help with writing, too. Unfortunately, time is tight, and mClass assessments require written response! Here's a quick look at strategies that I use with my struggling second, third, and fourth grade readers to boost their written responses.

Boost Fluency, Accuracy, and Self-Esteem

It's a Bright Idea round-up. Enjoy this post from earlier this year! I work with struggling readers in grades 2-5, so I know it can be a challenge to keep these learners engaged and enthusiastic while practicing Fluency and Accuracy.

Today, I'm sharing my secret weapon: The Partner Game!

Boo! It's a Halloween Sale!

Happy Halloween!! As a special treat (with no tricks!) enjoy 20% off everything in my Teachers Pay Teachers store:

Want to boost parent involvement? Try hosting a Literacy Night!

Working on affixes? Check out my Prefix and Suffix Bundle for 4 fun games and a set of fun task cards.

Need Phonics Interventions for Big Kids? Check these out!

Special thanks to Deana Kahlenberg for the fabulous sale button!

Pencil Sharpener Love...

Ever hear of "Pencil Sharpener Love?" It is a known condition that teachers have when they find an amazing pencil sharpener that works on every pencil, every time, without having to twist/turn the pencil in a strange way to get it to sharpen all sides of the pencil. Here's a look at my workhorse pencil sharpener (Photo from August, 2012 - read my first product review here.)

Sharp pencils every time from
I can't say enough good things about this sharpener. It works just as well 3 years later. I replaced the blade last year after my kiddos accidentally used it for colored pencils - not recommended for color pencils or crayons, FYI!

Recently, the folks at Classroom Friendly Supplies announced that they have news. Big news. Purple. Yes, purple! It is called "Popular Purple." The company asked their social networks for input about the next color, and purple was so popular that it is called "Popular Purple!"

Check it out:

Works right out of the box!

Sharp pencils every time!

Perfect points that last, even with students who write forcefully!
To get your own, visit
Disclaimer: I received a free purple pencil sharpener from Classroom Friendly Supplies to review. I am not an affiliate of their company. All opinions, points of view, and errors are my own. I receive no additional compensation for this product review. 

Teacher Friendly Flash Drives and Giveaway

I don't know about you, but I geek out pretty hard with my supplies. I can even go a bit overboard... My pencil sharpener is guarded fiercely from colored pencils because it sharpens perfectly, every time. My post-its are color-coded for strategy practice, so please put them back. If you leave the cap off a dry-erase marker, you will get the business end of a hissy fit. And for the love of Maude, take special care of the markers in this box:

That's why I'm super excited to show you this new little doodad that helps me so much: a paper clip style flash drive. If my internet speed is taking a long time to buffer videos in my classroom, I've got an easy way to access the video, even if it's not on my computer. Great for carrying your lesson planning home, too. I got my paper clip flash drive from They have a ton of really cool designs to pick from. (See their best-sellers at this link)

I had mine in my binder at a meeting today, and the teachers at my table thought it was so cool! It seriously is the size of a paperclip.

I'm so thankful for the opportunity you give me to share my love for literacy with the world through this little corner of the blogosphere. As a small token of this appreciation, I'm giving some away! I'll pick ten winners, who will each receive a flash drive via snail mail from me. I'll also include my newest resource in my TPT store, at, so you can Create Your Own Cootie Catchers!
Create your own Cootie Catchers, with editable versions, too! 
Want to win one? I'll use the Rafflecopter below to select ten winners next week! Make sure you leave an email address with Rafflecopter that you remember to check, so I can send them out. :) Best of luck, and have an amazing week, friends.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Create Your Own Cootie Catcher

Remember Cootie Catchers? Or did you call them Fortune Tellers? When I was in 5th grade, these carefully folded papers were all the rage with me and my friends. Since I became a teacher, I have used Cootie Catchers in all subject areas. Want to create your own Cootie Catchers? Read on, and you can also pick up a freebie!
Create your own Cootie Catchers, for all subject areas!

Establish Positive Relationships with Goldfish Crackers!

Today I want to share a trick for you to establish positive relationships with your students. Establish a positive connection with your students to help them engage and feel passionate about the importance of the subject matter.

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