Mystery Word of the Week for grades 3-5

Want to boost the vocabulary of your entire class with only a few minutes a day? What if I told you with little prep work! Here's the solution: use the Mystery Word of the Week clues to spark daily discussions of words.
Need an easy way to improve the vocabulary of your entire class in less than 5 minutes per day? Use the Mystery Word of the Week clues to spark engaging discussions of words. Perfect for 3rd, 4th and 5th grades. Blog post from

Summer Professional Development Ideas

An effective teacher is always learning, even over the summer break. While you are on vacation, why not catch up on your professional readings? Here are a few suggestions. What did I miss? Be sure to share your ideas in the comments so we can all stay current on best practices in literacy!

Easy Gifts for Your Students - Give Books!

If you're in the US, school is almost over, and gifting is on the brain. Here's a simple gift idea. Investment of time... fifteen minutes. Added bonus? You are about to clear off a shelf (or a box, a sterilite drawer, or whatever!)

If you are like me, you collect childrens' books for classroom libraries, etc. Some books may be well loved, or ones that you ordered from your book club catalogs, but forgot to use, or they weren't books that were checked out from your classroom library very often. This makes your shelved cluttered. Today's tip: Let them go... to the students! Here's how it usually goes down for me: set out an old box of books. Say nothing about it, until a sweetheart asks about them. Then tell them to pick one book they are interested in, and see you for a label for their name, because they can keep the book. Forever and ever.

Seriously, no Pinterest involved. Grab some old labels and hand-write a little note. These were mine last year! I had 3 5th graders tell me they read the books over and over during the summer. Love it!

Are you out of school? Did you Pinterest the end of the year, or was it as harried and hectic as mine was? Do you even give student gifts?
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