ELA · homework ideas · literacy centers · Uncategorized

More Parts of Speech Fun!

I’m not sure exactly why, but I LOVE teaching parts of speech. So it’s probably not a surprise that I’ve created yet another product for them!

These printable sheets will give your students more practice with learning and understanding parts of speech while also letting them have fun! This fun pack is aligned with the Common Core to meet the language standards L 1.1 (first grade), L 2.1 (second grade) and L 3.1 (third grade).


Check out the full product HERE!

These are just a few pages from the 35 page product I created. They are perfect for literacy centers, independent practice, assessments, homework, or early finisher activities.

Hope you like them as much as I do!

-Mrs. B


classroom management · daily 5 · ELA · literacy centers · reading intervention · Uncategorized

Reading Strategy Cards

I remember a day a few years back when I was reading with a student. That student was completely guessing on words she didn’t know. I had recently taught the class the strategy “cross checking” (Does it look right? Does it sound right? Does it make sense?). I knew that we had an anchor chart displayed in the room somewhere and I kept reminding this student to look at it. It was apparent that the student needed a reminder right in front of her to help her with this strategy. So, I created READING STRATEGY CARDS! 


Here’s what you do:

  • Print a bunch of them (I suggest at least 20 of each strategy card)
  • Laminate and cut them all out
  • Organize them in baggies, a file folder, a binder with sheet protectors and dividers, or any other way that works for you so that you know how to easily get to each strategy card
  • Have them ready wherever you work with students (mine were in a binder on my guided reading table)


Then, when you are working with a student and you see that they need to be taught/reminded of a strategy, bring out the card, teach/reteach the strategy to them, watch them practice it, and send them off with the strategy card. They can keep them in plastic bags or keep them on binder rings.

I have all my students have all their strategy cards out in front of them while they read in the classroom. When I meet with students one on one to read, they have them out and we review them. When I meet with small guided reading groups, they have them out. When they partner read, they have them out. They are ALWAYS out when reading.

When I notice that a student doesn’t need that strategy out as a reminder anymore, I have them return the strategy card to me. This just makes it so they don’t have 15 cards out in front of them. I suggest no more than 3-5 cards at a time.

I have created 36 reading strategy cards that are all aligned with the Common Core Standards. Here are the strategies that are included:


You can get the reading strategy cards here!

Still aren’t sure you will use them and LOVE them? Try a few out for free here!

Let me know how you like them!

-Mrs. B

daily 5 · ELA · literacy centers · reading intervention · Uncategorized · word work

Sorting Vowel Sounds

As I’ve mentioned before, I am OBSESSED with sorts. I think sorting is such a great activity for so many reasons:

  • teaches students about relationships of things and classification
  • encourages logical thinking
  • helps students organize ideas
  • helps with compare and contrast
  • students love it!


I had a handful of second grade students that were really struggling with long and short vowel sounds. They would overgeneralize a rule (ex: when two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking)  and run with it. Each of these students had a strategy card in front of them when reading reminding them  to “flip the sound” (if the short vowel sound doesn’t work or make sense, then flip the sound and try the long vowel sound). If you’re interested in this strategy card (along with other reading strategy cards),  you can check them out here! While the strategy card helped at times, they still needed more practice and support with their vowel sounds.

I decided to create some long vowel/short vowel sorts to help the handful of students. It ended up being such a success, that I implemented them during my Daily 5 time for word work for many of my spelling/word work groups.



If you have any students struggling with vowel sounds, you need an engaging activity for word work, Daily 5, or literacy centers, or you just want some easy no prep sorting pages to keep on hand, here you go!

-Mrs. B

math · math center ideas · math intervention · math multiple methods · Uncategorized

Double Digit Addition using Decomposition

Solving an equation using multiple methods is a huge part of the Common Core. Students must be able to show their thinking and show multiple ways to get to the correct answer. One of my favorite methods for teaching addition is by decomposing numbers using number bonds.


Decomposing Numbers: Decomposition Addition Pack!

I begin with students practicing breaking apart a two digit number using a number bond (see picture above). I then introduce the decomposition addition method (first without regrouping, then with regrouping). I take a few days (even a week if needed) to really practice the method without regrouping before I introduce it with regrouping. When you need to regroup, there’s a few extra steps involved. Here is a sample anchor chart that I put up in the classroom:fullsizerender-4

It seems overwhelming at first, but it’s really simple and helps students truly understand numbers! slide05slide06

I’ve created a decomposition addition pack on TPT to help you teach this method. It includes mini anchor charts/posters, a sorting page, multiple practice worksheets for decomposition with and without regrouping, two assessments, and answer keys. The above pictures are part of the product, and you can view and download the product here:

Decomposing Numbers: Decomposition Addition Pack!

Enjoy and let me know how your students like adding with this method!

-Mrs. B


Classroom Jobs + FREEBIE!

Teaching is exhausting (in a good way)! I remember being especially exhausted during my first year. When the bell rang at the end of the day, I ran around the room like a crazy person just getting the room back in order for at least 30 minutes. After that, I would finally start to prep for the next day. I knew I couldn’t do this forever. It took me such a long time to do a million minor things that needed to be done for my sanity (ex: wipe down desks, make sure jackets and left items were picked up, sharpen pencils, put morning work on the desk, etc.).

I decided to implement classroom jobs, but really MEANINGFUL classroom jobs. I had seen classrooms with jobs that weren’t always necessary (i.e. line leader in fourth grade), or jobs that weren’t done correctly and then the teacher would have to fix afterwards. I decided that every student would have a job that really needed to be done. Not lame ones to make everyone feel included, but important jobs that help the classroom run smoothly and stay organized. I spent the remainder of the year still running around like a crazy person, but slowly creating a meaningful classroom job list for the next year.

Every year since, I have implemented the classroom jobs at the beginning of the year. I’ve done it two different ways. The first way, I tried having the student keep the same job for the week and then switch (so that every student had every job at least once). The second way (my preferred way) is that each student gets a job and KEEPS THAT JOB the ENTIRE year. This way the students really know exactly how I want that job done, and they NEVER forget. It becomes a habit and routine and it works great!


List and descriptions of my classroom jobs:

  • table cleaners (2-3 students)
    • make sure nothing extra is left on top of the desks/tables.
    • spray the tables with cleaning spray and wipe down with paper towels.
  • pencil sharpeners (2 students)
    • sharpen each table’s pencils so they are ready for the next day (I don’t let students sharpen pencils during the day)
  • floor inspectors (2 students)
    • inspect the floor and clean up as needed
    • return items to owners (ex: jackets)
    • return items to correct place (ex: book in the class library)
  • library inspectors (2 students)
    • make sure the classroom library looks neat and books are put away correctly
  • phone monitor (1 student)
    • answers the phone during the day when I am busy
    • always say, “Mrs. B’s classroom. This is ___ speaking. How can I help you?”
  • morning work distributer (1 person)
    • passes out the morning work for the following day (this makes me stay on top of it!)
  • mailbox filers (2 people)
    • each student has a mailbox where important fliers/classwork/papers to go home are filed (students take everything home in a Friday Folder)
    • mailbox filers file all the papers (waiting in a bin) in the correct student mailbox
  • calendar (1 person)
    • changes the calendar so the correct date is ready for tomorrow
  • substitute (1 person)
    • choose one of your most responsible students because they have to learn every job
    • they do the job of anyone that is absent (sometimes they are doing multiple jobs, sometimes they have a “day off”)
  • lunch count (1 person)
    • fill in the choices for the next day on our lunch count board
  • messenger (1 person)
    • takes all necessary notes/papers to the correct room when needed
  • technology helper (1 person)
    • turns off computers, makes sure all technology is left how you want it at the end of the day
  • desk inspectors (2 people)
    • inspects the desks and notifies students who need to tidy up
  • clip chart  (1 person)
    • returns everyone’s clip back to “ready to learn”for the next day
  • writing center (1 person)
    • makes sure there are enough supplies for the next day (papers, post its, etc,)
    • refills supplies when needed
  • teacher’s pencils (1 person)
    • sharpens my pencils for the next day
  • center organizer (2 people)
    • organizes supplies for different centers or activities (ex: math games)
  • white board (1 person)
    • erases the white board for the next day
  • teacher’s desk (1 person)
    • tidies up the teacher’s desk (I always have another really responsible student for this one who knows exactly how I like my desk to look/where things go)
  • school library helper (1 person)
    • returns all the books in our library bin to the school library in the morning
    • brings slip back with list of students who forgot their books
    • checks in with those students to see if they have it
  • duster (2 people)
    • dusts and wipes down other parts of the classroom (ex: shelves, bookcases, etc)


These classroom jobs are for a class with 29-30 students. If you have more or less, you can adjust accordingly.

While some of the jobs happen during the day (Ex: phone monitor, library helper), the majority of the class does their job at the end of the day. I train my students to do their job immediately after packing up at the end of the day. I give them 5 minutes to fill in their homework, pack up their backpack, and then do their job. It really does not take much time away from learning, and it makes the classroom run so smoothly!


Hope these classroom jobs help!

-Mrs. B



back to school · ELA · social studies · Uncategorized

The Most Unique Year Long 5th Grade Reading Log That Helps Teach Social Studies!

Are you a fifth (or fourth) grade teacher? Do you want a great way to motivate your students to read? Do you want an easy, independent student reading log that tracks your students’ reading for the ENTIRE year? Do your students need to learn the states and capitals this year? If you answered YES to any of the above questions, then look no further!


This is a year long reading log that can be used to track student reading at home while also helping students learn the US states and capitals. Students will attempt to “travel” to each state capital by either minutes read or pages read. Each mile= 1 minute read or 1 page read.

Example: Students must read 209 minutes or 209 pages (teacher decides which one) in order to travel from Nashville, Tennessee to Frankfort, Kentucky. They continue on reading until they have reached and traveled to all 50 states and capitals!

When I tried this out with my students, I had NO IDEA just how motivating this would be. I would overhear students casually chat to each other about what state capital they were currently at, ask how many more “miles” until they reached the next state capital, etc. Then when it was actually time to focus on learning the states and capitals, it was A BREEZE! I’m so happy with the way this year long reading log played out.

Here are more pictures of what the reading log looked like:

Example reading log
Student checklist of all the capitals                 they’ve traveled to



Check out the full product on my TPT store!

I hope you enjoy!

-Mrs. B 🙂



Teaching Parts of Speech!

I have always LOVED teaching parts of speech. Maybe it’s my love of singing and dancing (which can easily be added to these lessons), or maybe it’s my love of sorting (perfect for teaching parts of speech). Either way…it’s such an important skill that students need to master to be successful in life. Knowing parts of speech inside and out help students with reading, writing, and so much more!

Here are a couple of anchor charts that I have used for teaching nouns and adjectives…


Disclaimer: I am an AWFUL drawer 🙂

This noun chart is pretty traditional and helps students distinguish between people, places and things. I didn’t include ideas in this chart, but you could easily add it if you wanted to. Also, I always discuss the category “animals” with students and let them debate if animals should be included in the “people” or “things” category. It’s actually a great side lesson and interesting to hear second graders give their opinions and reasonings! Try it!



This adjective chart is a little different than ones I’ve used in the past. I thought it was a fun way to introduce adjectives! I’m not really sure what the “x” personality trait really means (had to google it), but it was all I could come up with. HAHA!

Now…for my love of song and dance. Below is a FREEBIE! I created this little song as a cute way to introduce and practice what nouns are! Hopefully in the near future I will create ones for adjectives, verbs, etc.


You can download it here: The Noun Song Freebie!

Now for my love of sorting to help teach parts of speech…

I’ve linked this product to my TPT store here: Parts of Speech Sorting Extravaganza!

It includes 16 cutting/gluing sorting activities all for just $2.00. I can’t begin to tell you how many uses there are for these!  Independent practice- check! Assessments- check! Homework- check! Literacy centers- check! Perfect classwork when you have a substitute- check!

I hope these things help in your classroom!

What are your favorite ways to teach parts of speech?

-Mrs. B



back to school · classroom management · routines and procedures

Why I NEVER Call on Volunteers

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to share with you something so simple, yet LIFE CHANGING (at least for me)!

Years ago, I began my teaching career as an English Language Development teacher. I taught in a school where nearly 100% of the students were English Language Learners. I quickly learned how important it was for the students to TALK, TALK, TALK! This was something that I think is so true, not just for ELLS, but all students! Imagine if a teacher asks a question, and calls on ONE VOLUNTEER. There are many problems with this scenario…

  1. A student is only going to volunteer if they know or think they know the answer
  2. You are only having 1 student participate (that’s a small percentage of your class)
  3. The students that REALLY need to be TALKING are probably NOT the ones volunteering

I began the year trying to think of various ways to maximize student engagement. I tried many great practices (think-pair-share, etc.), but after attending a Kagan Cooperative Learning Workshop, I found (and tweaked) something that has worked incredibly for me (and other teachers I’ve helped).


-Students should already have an assigned partner. My students have a shoulder partner (sitting next to them at their desk), a face partner (sitting across from them at their desk), and a carpet partner (student sitting next to them on the carpet). These partnerships are strategically designed by me with a lot of thought put into them (a future blog post…) In these partnerships, there should be a Partner A and Partner B. You can get creative here…partners can be anything from “ketchup and mustard,” “cookies and milk,” etc. The most important thing is that the students know who is who!

-After raising a question to the class, rather than ask for volunteers (ahhhh please don’t), tell them it’s time for “Partner A” (or whatever you call that person) to talk. Give them a designated time depending on the question. During this time, Partner A is the ONLY partner talking. Partner B is SILENT! (THIS IS SOMETHING THAT NEEDS TO BE MODELED, TAUGHT, AND PRACTICED, PRACTICED, PRACTICED). In the beginning, you will notice many students say a few words and then sit in awkward silence for the remainder of the time. This will get better with time and more practice.

-After the designated time is up, tell them it’s time for Partner B to talk. Repeat what happened when Partner A talked, just with Partner B now.



This small little strategy will literally change your life. After you raise a question, instead of one volunteer participating, you will have 100% of your students that were engaged and talking! WOW! Think of all the practice your students will be getting with talking! Think of how much more talking your ELL students will be doing! It’s awesome!

-Mrs. B


back to school · classroom management · routines and procedures · Uncategorized

Welcome! Back to School Routines and Procedure FREEBIE

Hi everyone!

Welcome to the very first post on Created by Mrs. B! I want to personally thank those of you who are reading this…you’re here at the beginning of my blogging journey! Thanks for joining me on this new adventure!

A little about me:

I’m born and raised in sunny California. I live with my husband, son, and many animals 😉 I have taught English Language Development, 4th grade, and 2nd grade. I love to read, travel, and spend time with my family and friends.


I hope everyone is having a fantastic beginning of the year so far! I personally think the first weeks of school are so important in setting the tone for the rest of the year. Routines and procedures were my #1 focus (even before the content) during the first few weeks. If you get your classroom management set up correctly, you will save SO MUCH TIME each and every day and maximize your students’ learning time!

I’m a little crazy when it comes to routines and procedures. I have one for nearly EVERYTHING you can possibly think of in the classroom (tissues, broken pencil, asking for help, you name it!). It’s a lot of time and effort to model, teach, and implement each routine and procedure, but I PROMISE the pay off is huge! My students pretty much run the classroom and there is little need for student discipline because of all the routines and procedures in place. I’m never nervous for substitutes or guest teachers and they always comment on how smooth my class runs.

I’m sure I’ll have many other posts about specific procedures and routines in the future, but for now, here’s a FREEBIE for you!



It’s a checklist of the majority of the routines and procedures that I teach at the beginning of the school year. Just print and check off each one after your students have been taught the procedure or routine. Remember, each routine and procedure takes TIME! You must teach, model, practice, and repeat multiple times for it to be successful!

Good luck teachers and happy teaching!

-Mrs. B