"The limits of my language are the limits of my mind. All I know is what I have words for."

~ Ludwig Wittgenstein

Poems for Two Voices

Posted by on Apr 1, 2021 in conversation as learning tool, poetry, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Poems for Two Voices

One of the most popular poetry centers in my classroom was poems for two voices.

The You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You series by Mary Ann Hoberman got us started. Here is an example,( Amazon.com: Very Short Mother Goose Tales to Read Together (You Read to Me, I’ll Read to You) (9780316207157): Hoberman, Mary Ann, Emberley, Michael: Books ) The kids really enjoyed the chance to partner up and emote! These books were even popular after school when I had bus students in my room waiting for their bus to be called.

Several poetry books are available. When we worked on poetry, this one Joyful Noise: Poems for Two Voices: Fleischman, Paul, Beddows, Eric: 9780064460934: Amazon.com: Books was a big hit. Many others are available.

I really love poetry for two voices! The kids do too! It was a definite win-win in our classroom. It is by nature an interactive activity. Students practice oral reading with pleasure. The short format gives them the ability to feel accomplished quickly. They become fluent easily, then they can work on expression. Very often pairs wanted to share their poem aloud with the class. I would have pairs read for me in small group, or I would read with a partner, as a warm up or a concluding activity.

I have found writing my own poems for two voices especially fulfilling. It is fun to think of the back and forth and the change of voice required to bring out expression. Simple words can tell a story through voice and cadence. Students will love any that you write or share. The poem above uses only eight different words, but it tells of delight, confusion, disagreement, and, finally, delight.

Have students try out writing poems for two voices. This is something I never thought to do when I was teaching. I wish I had! I am sure that they would have astonished me with their creativity. It would be almost like writing a conversation between friends. Maybe have partners work together on a poem, responding to each other’s thoughts. Oh, what a help this might be for a struggling writer who can’t find something to write.

I hope you enjoyed my poem and that you can use it in your classroom. More poetry ideas are coming this month. I hope you will find some benefit to them.


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Missing Mondays

Posted by on Mar 29, 2021 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

As a retired dedicated, enthusiastic, perhaps even fanatical, teacher, I have been realizing that I miss Mondays. Mondays were always my favorite days. On Mondays I got to implement the fun ideas I had spent time (hours, actually, just ask my co-teachers – there was a rebellion at one point) planning the week before.

I absolutely loved brainstorming, finding, and/or creating new projects, activities, and even worksheets to introduce, practice, review, and assess learning for every topic. I always wanted to have the best materials, which meant at least checking if something better was available since the last time I taught that topic. Near the end of my 38 year career, almost exclusively in self contained classrooms, I had to choose to teach either math and science or language arts and social studies. I cried over this decision. It was so hard to give up any of my subjects. I eventually chose language arts and social studies, but my love for teaching math and science never diminished.

So on Mondays, I got to try out my new ideas or reintroduce tried and true favorite lessons. It was exciting to me to arrive on Monday mornings with lessons and materials for the week ready to go. The kids were a little calmer on Monday mornings after their weekends. They seemed able to take things in a bit better. Mondays were almost always the smoothest days of the week.

By Tuesday afternoon, or Wednesday planning period, getting organized for the next week was already happening. My focus needed to be split between what I was teaching and what I was planning. I needed to keep current with all of my students work to be able to assess whether any lessons needed to be extended to ensure comprehension, possibly be reinforced within small groups or centers.

Most of the week was so filled with work, research, grading, planning, reinventing… Mondays, Mondays were my calm days. I miss Mondays.

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It’s Here!

Posted by on Aug 5, 2019 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Find my store here!

Yes! Tomorrow is the big day! Everything in my store will be marked 20% off! Everything, even bundles! On top of that TpT will give you an additional 5% off just for using the Promo Code BTS19. That’s a total of 25% off! This amazing offer will only be available tomorrow and Wednesday.

You need to be ready, so here are some items to place in your cart now: Reading Bundle Scavenger Hunts This bundle provides 12 activities for students to practice important reading skills and strategies in a movement based manner.

Learning Cursive This comprehensive package allows students to learn cursive on their own through video instruction, saving teachers valuable time to work on other skills.

Poetry Bundle These original poems bring extra fun to poetry lessons! The colorful designs are perfect for fast bulletin boards throughout the year. Each lesson also includes test prep activities.

Context Clues Scavenger Hunt My best seller! This lesson helps students understand and use context clues in a movement based activity.

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Halloween Costume Fun

Posted by on Oct 28, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Here are 2 Halloween Fun pages for your kids to enjoy! The first activity helps students build vocabulary. After a predetermined amount of work time, students could share to help each other fill in ideas for difficult letters, or just share fun words they brainstormed. Students could share the letter for which they found the most words. A master list of all the brainstormed costume ideas could be created.

The second activity can be expanded by having students sort the word list in some fashion, human-nonhuman, real-imaginary, etc. An “At First Glance” activity would be fun. Students draw themselves on the back of the paper wearing the costume they noticed first when glancing at the letter grid. An easiest to find (or hardest to find) graph could be created to show which word most kids found first (or last), conclusions could be drawn about placement on the grid.

Check out my other Halloween ideas here.

Find these here

Halloween Costume Fun

Happy Haunting!


Halloween Costume ContestHalloween Costume Word Find

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Halloween Dice Game

Posted by on Oct 20, 2017 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Here’s some Halloween Fun and it is free this weekend (October 20 – 22, 2017)! It includes 3 fun games with student pages for practice, scoring, or drawing. Two of the games practice math skills; the other is a fun drawing contest. Enjoy!!! And Happy Halloween!


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Halloween Poetry Sample

Posted by on Oct 9, 2017 in poetry, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Halloween is fun time for kids and adults. And it is especially a fun time for poetry! Such fantastic rhymes can be created.
I have written several poems for the holiday for use in a third grade classroom. The poems are on color posters and black and white student pages. They come with comprehension questions written in testing format.
Here is a sample poem! I hope you can use it with your kids!

Halloween Sample Poem
Happy Halloween!

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Halloween Context Clues

Posted by on Sep 21, 2016 in comprehension, vocabulary, vocabulary development, vocabulary tips | 0 comments

Students need to be able to determine the meaning of words that they encounter in text. Context provides many types of clues to the meaning of words. Sometimes, especially in textbooks or student news magazines a definition is stated or an explanation or restatement is added. Students need to learn to watch for this information and to use it. Often a synonym for the word may be used within the paragraph. By paying attention to this new information, students can gain understanding of a word. When a contrasting idea is given, an antonym might help the student determine word meaning. A prefix or suffix on a word can add to student understanding of its meaning. Often students can use their background knowledge mixed with the clues in the text to make an inference. The simplest help in learning the word might be found in an illustration.


I’ve made a page for students to add to their interactive notebook to remind them to look for different types of context clues.



I feel using context clues should be fun, so I have created a Halloween Context Clues Scavenger Hunt. Students can be out of their seats while determining the meaning of words. I have found that students love a chance to move. This product is available at my TPT store and includes the context clues material above (plus several other pages on context clues)  as well as 16 scavenger hunt cards asking students to determine the meaning of words.



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