Guided Reading With A Purpose!

Hey there friends,

I'm wondering if you have had the same dilemma as my teammates and I... A few years ago we made an amazing reading workshop curriculum map packed with the standards, themes and elements to be taught throughout the year. So great, we now knew exactly what we need to teach how to really hit those standards is what we were left wondering. Of course we have a reading curriculum, but it always felt shallow and we were always left scrambling to find activities that really connected with our kids. We really needed to deepen our students understanding of the story elements and comprehension skills. Sound familiar??

So, I decided to do something about it. I wanted something thorough, focused and of course fun.

Later that week, I was talking to my good friend Megan Mitchell of First Grade Roars about this. I asked for her input because we had talked about this struggle before. Even better she had decided to do something about it over a year ago putting together an elaborate guided reading program for her first grade students. She thoughtfully tailored each week to coordinate to the standards, incorporating impactful activities, crafts, supportive mentor materials and exciting literature. She was the exact person I needed to collaborate with on this project. She talked me through her plans, how she supported the learning and how to effectively implement the activities. I was so inspired to hear about her overwhelming successes I could barely wait to start crafting my own guided reading with a purpose series for my second grade kiddos.

Here is a link to her blog post all about her first grade guided reading program: 

I started brainstorming about all the themes and units I love to do throughout the year. From there I  collected all my favorite mentor texts (who are we kidding I bought a bunch more too!) and grouped them into each theme. I was already feeling hopeful about the project especially when I could find multiple teaching points in each story.

The most important piece to remember is that we don't need to rush through multiple elements and strategies each week. What our kids need is to be able to slow down, make connections and analyze what they are reading. This leads our students to making deeper connections to concepts. Exploring entertaining text, creating fun crafts, completing themed activities and participating in focused book talks can't help but lead to memorable learning for our students.

I am so excited to finish creating and start implementing these units in my classroom. You can check out the units I already have finished and posted in my store through this link: 
Guided Reading with a Purpose for the 2nd Grade Classroom

February Update

How is it Already February?

So, I feel like I blinked and now it is February. Rush, rush, rush after winter break to get back in routine and now we are approaching another break next week! I hope you are handling this winter well!

Life: Teacher+Mom= TIRED
This last month we have been working hard to establish some new routines and norms with my two boys. My oldest son has Autism and our youngest is currently struggling with transitions and overall excitement for school. Say what?! I’m a teacher and one of my kiddos isn’t loving school. That is stressful FOR SURE. So my husband and I have been working overtime to assess the situation and support him how we can. We luckily have had a few weekends away with the family at the cabin to relax and enjoy quality time together!BUT I am going to be honest when I say I have had a few moments of pure emotional exhaustion. I made a little mindfulness journal and so far it has really been helping me to put things into perspective and get through the muckiness. 
Click on the image below to get your free copy! 

What have I been working on TPT?

Wait what? It’s 1AM and I am still working on a product?! #tptteachermomstruggle
Jokesaside,Ihavebeenworkingonmy new writing unit series which I amLOVEing. I have created a narrative writing unit, and opinion with informative on the way. They are full of my favorite graphic organizers, writing templates, posters, checklists, anchor papers, rubrics and more. Each unit also has a few lesson ideas and an explanation of how I use each piece throughout the unit.

Teaching theme this month:Kindness

We have had so much snow/ice here in Washington we have had to miss a few days in February and it’s currently snowing now! I am really excited to start working on all our kindness activities, including our new journal!! I love being intentional with the teaching of compassion and kindness. The discussions we have and their ideas on how to show kindness are absolutely priceless.
Kindness JournalEach Kindness Book Companion ActivitiesKindness Activities Book Companions and Posters BundleKindness Bookmarks


I made a fun little kindness freebie with a coloring activity and word search. 
It is part of my Kindness Matters Pack.

Teaching Tip: Accommodating your slow workers

We all have those kiddos that take a long time to get things done. Maybe they are perfectionists, lost in thought or adding intricate details in every which way. We don’t want to rush them, but help them to be mindful of the time they are taking. It can become a cycle of anxiousness when a kiddo is so worried about not finishing they cannot even get started.
Supplies to help: Timers
I have six different kitchen timers in my classroom I keep in the front of the room in my sensory bin.
What next:
At first I suggest that they might want to use a timer to help them be on task. At first I ask, “How long do you think this problem/portion should take?” I always go with their choice the first few times. They always over estimate and when they have time left it is SO motivating and rewarding to those kiddos.. I mean we are high-fiving. Soon, when they build up that confidence I can challenge them by taking 30 seconds off their estimate. They always rise to the occasion. I also like to set a timer on my watch so I can be checking in as well. Sometimes you might have to touch base. Once I introduce these many kids want to try. That’s ok. They novelty wears off, but the kids who actually need it realize its worth and we all reap the rewards.

I got mine from Lakeshore: 

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I love to stay connected beyond the blog with fun teaching tips, FREEBIES  and the occasional parenting/teacher blunder HA!

Snag these biography templates by clicking on the image below. 
They are a part of my All About Report Wheels & Report Template Packs! 

Game Time: MOBI

Hey there!

I love games! When I see a new game that I think my students and my own kids would love I buy it! This game was an easy purchase because it is all about manipulating numbers and my oldest is obsessed with math. I wish I grew up with a love for math like him.

The game... 

The game is called MOBI. It is a lot like Bananagrams, except it is with numbers. There are blue number tiles and white operation tiles. Kids will draw 5-7 number tiles depending on how many players there are. They have access to all the operation tiles. (Click on the image to check out on Amazon)

The skill

Kids will be working on their number sense skills and computational fluency forming different number sentences using addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. You can remove multiplication and division for a simpler game.

Why I love it... 

I love this game because it is so differentiated naturally. Kids can do as simple or as complex of a number sentence as they can handle. I always leave all operation tile options out because it allows for that challenge component. If students don't use them, no worries! Finally, this game makes for an easy prep center to have a parent volunteer run. I typed up simple directions  and game basics for volunteers and to have displayed when it is used as an in-class center.


I made a fun activity to extend the learning where kiddos record 4 number sentences they used, 2 of their most challenging number sentences and get to create their own new puzzle! Just click on the image and you can check it out in my store for FREE!

Have fun!!