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!

Supporting Struggling Readers in Grades 3-5

I wrote this series to address the unique concerns of folks who work with Upper Elementary students who need additional support in reading. In this series, I walk you through assessing and analyzing the data for that student, and give you a plan for your work together. Click here to begin Supporting Struggling Readers in grades 3-5.
Supporting Struggling Readers, a 4-part series

Work on Words Wednesday

The Work on Words Wednesday series is here to empower the Upper Elementary teacher! This series includes posts on Word Games, Cheap Manipulatives, Interesting Words, Greek and Latin Roots, and Working in Small Groups. All of these are topics I have shared with teachers over the years as a Literacy Specialist and as a Literacy Coach. You will find lots of ideas to re-energize your Word Work!
Work on Words - All About Word Games!

Professional Reading

There are so many fabulous professional texts available that it is difficult to select just a few. Here are some of my recommendations. I am using Amazon affiliate links, so if you choose to buy anything through this link, you will directly support my endeavors with this website. Thank you.

What did I forget? Leave your opinion in the comments below! Thanks, and have a wonderful rest of the summer.

Independence from Vegas Anxiety

Lately, I noticed that I feel this compulsive need to care what others think. A lot. As I prepare for the TPT Conference awesomeness of next week, I am scared. See, I am a socially awkward person. Really. If you've chatted with me away from school, you'll see how I am able to stick my foot in my mouth. A lot. Fortunately, I make a decent first impression. :)

Fluency, Accuracy, and Confidence with The Partner Game!

If you work with struggling readers in grades 2-5, you 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!

Homemade Colored Rice ~ A Tutorial

Why colored rice?  It's fun!  So often we forget to make things hands-on for our upper elementary students. Colored rice is great for tactile learners and much easier to clean up than sand.  In the past, I've used colored rice in baby wipe containers (easy storage) for younger students to practice writing letters or words in the rice.  They love the feel of the rice, and if some falls on the floor, they use the whisk broom and sweep it up in a jiffy.  With my older learners, I use colored rice to make word work fun with Shake It Up!

How to Play Scoot

Need a quick way to review? Want to see what your kiddos know in less than 15 minutes? Scoot is a game I use in classrooms to get kiddos up and moving while we review. It's a quick way to get a look at how the class is doing with a concept. Just like any other game you play with students, teach them how to play it. It's a great way to spend 10 minutes on a rainy day, trust me.

Tablet Solutions for the Classroom

My school is in the middle of budget season, and purchasing decisions have to be made for the following school year. If you are an administrator in a school that uses iPads or other mobile devices, you need to take a look at Tech Tubs from Copernicus Educational Products.


Getting Crafty, Giveaways, and a Freebie

Y'all, I have been getting crafty with my kiddos! Well, my version of crafty. I'm a walking ad for a Pinterest craft fail, and I've burned myself with a glue gun more often than I really want to admit over my teaching career. You know how that is, right?

I hate photocopying stuff for kiddos to cut out, as it seems to waste a lot of ink, energy, etc. Ellison Education to the rescue! They sent me an AllStar SuperStar Machine last month, and I have been having a blast! Check out our projects in the pictures below:

Hello Mrs Sykes ~ Ellison AllStar SuperStar #Giveaway and a #Freebie!
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