Posts made in May, 2014

Summer Writing

Posted by on May 11, 2014 in conversation as learning tool, vocabulary, vocabulary development | 0 comments

Summer Writing

“If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”
― Toni Morrison

Writing is a good way to stretch vocabulary development. As students struggle to find a perfect word they may try out words on the edge of their understanding. This effort to find the right word can lead to conversations about why or why not that new word works in that context. These conversations can lead to other new words to try.

Reading Recovery Council of North America makes these suggestions what works when using writing to increase vocabulary:


  • Engaging the child in meaningful conversations when constructing messages
  • Guiding the child to use his oral language to compose  a message or story and then to write it, encouraging increasingly more complex messages

Writing is an important component of language building. This prereading activity also makes a great prewriting activity.

List – Group – Label

List all of the words you can think of that are related to the topic. Once you have created your list, group the words based on their similarities. Label each group when you are finished. Students can then write a paragraph from the ideas for each label.

When used as a prewriting strategy, this activity helps students organize prior knowledge, as well as try out new words for writing and/or have conversations about needed words that are not clearly known or understood.


Summer List Group Label

I have created a Summer Writing Flapbook to keep my students engaged in writing throughout the summer. It has 32 small writing tasks, so maybe every three days they can stop for a short while and write. The prompts include lists, research, fiction, narrative, and research writing. They also have a choice in what they write.

Summer Writing Flapbook



The June page has the option of a father and son silhouette instead of father and daughter. It also has the option of a “My Hero” writing for students who don’t celebrate Father’s Day.



Each month has a calendar for students to circle, then write about, important dates in their lives. All of the pages in the Summer Writing Flapbook are also included in black and white.

Do you have any summer writing ideas that you would like to share?


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Teacher Appreciation Week

Posted by on May 4, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

In my 36 years of teaching I have had the privilege to work with many, many wonderful teachers. Since arriving in Texas 12 years ago I have had 22 different colleagues just in third grade. Some bring understanding and knowledge. Some bring inspiration. Some bring laughter. Some bring support and compassion. And some very special ones bring lasting friendships. I am saying goodbye to a very special young woman at the end of this school year. She is moving from third grade  into a counseling position at another elementary school. She will be fabulous. I have told many people of the deep love and respect I have for her. I would definitely adopt her as a daughter! I know we will stay in touch, but we are losing the heart of our team and healing will take us some time! Best wishes, MaryAnn!

I know there are so many wonderful teachers out there! Would anyone like to mention one of them here?

TpT is holding a Teacher Appreciation Sale. I will be participating with my store 20% off.


Happy teacher appreciation week!


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