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Tuesday, May 17

3 Tips to Increase Writing Skills with Writing Prompts for 3rd Grade

 


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Raise your hand if this sounds familiar to you; when informing students to take out their pencils for the writing block, you are met with groans. Honestly, I can not say that I blame our students for not being fan favorites of writing. Writing is hard and is a ginormous challenge for some of our kiddos. Many students lack the writing stamina and baseline writing skills to sustain a full writing block. So how do we as teachers help our students climb the writing mountain? I’ll tell you teacher friend the secret sauce is to use writing prompts for 3rd grade students. Want to know another secret? You can start easily using writing prompts for 3rd grade in your class right now and see a massive impact with your kiddos. Don’t believe me that the trick to squashing your students' writing class dread can be as simple as using writing prompts? Well, it is! Scroll down to read my top 3 tips to easily increase your students' writing skills using writing prompts for 3rd grade. 


Tip #1 to Increase Writing Skills with Writing Prompts for 3rd Grade: Set Writing Goals


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"If you don’t know where you are going, you will probably end up somewhere else" Lawrence J. Peter. Goals are an essential key to great success. If we want our kiddos to reach great heights as writers and capture more lightbulb moments, then we must outline a clear path for them. Try setting a goal for your writers. You can set a goal as a class to increase your writing stamina. This is an excellent lesson in goal setting as well as providing your students the opportunity to set and reach a collective goal. Pro tip: using a big visual anchor chart is a stellar motivator! You can check out the writing stamina goal-setting tools that I use by clicking HERE

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Goal setting is an extremely powerful tool to help your students improve their writing skills. My favorite method for writing goal setting is using writing prompts for 3rd grade. Each month my students get a new monthly writing journal. This journal is filled with engaging writing prompts for 3rd grade students and a goal-setting page. Each student has different strengths and abilities. Some master writing dialogue quickly, and some struggle with basic sentence structure. Since each student's writing skills vary, so should their writing skills goals. Chat with your students about their amazing strengths as writers and areas in which they can grow. Write it down and get them set to work on reaching that goal. Have these powerful goal-setting conversations with your students, you will be truly amazed at the impact that it has on them! That is why I love using monthly writing journals filled with writing prompts for 3rd grade. It builds in a routine of hitting pause, checking in with my students, and setting or adjusting their writing goals. These goals help them create clear targets for where they want to be as writers. Each day when they open their writing prompts for 3rd grade writing journals, they see the goals that we set together and are reminded to keep working on them even if they are hard. If you want to explore the monthly writing journals and goal-setting pages that I use you can CLICK THIS LINK.


Tip #2 to Increase Writing Skills with Writing Prompts for 3rd Grade: Weave in Writing All Day

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When writing is a stand-alone block in your school day, it can easily get a big target on its back. Writing can be so challenging for our students and pinpointing all the writing focus at one time can easily build a dislike for writing as a subject. Why not try weaving in small writing activities throughout our day? When we incorporate writing into our daily routine in fun bite-sized activities, our students slowly learn to enjoy the subject without even noticing! If that isn't a big enough win, you can rest easy knowing that weaving in additional writing activities throughout your day will dramatically increase your students' writing skills. You can start incorporating writing in exit tickets, silly story brain breaks, and morning meeting activities too! There are countless ways to build little writing skills boosters into your tight schedule with ease. Let’s take a look at morning meeting as an example. You can use no-prep writing prompts for 3rd grade as an easy morning meeting activity each day! For example try using the “would you rather,” writing prompts for 3rd grade to boost opinion writing skills. You can have each student write down their three reasons for a would you rather prompt on a notecard. Then have students buddy up with someone with the opposite opinion as theirs for a quick share and debate. Another way you can use no-prep writing prompts for 3rd grade as a morning meeting activity is to use a writing prompt as a discussion question. Then use that same writing prompt for 3rd grade during your writing block for your quick write activity. Writer's block or brain freeze is something so many students face every day during quick write time. When you verbally discuss a topic in morning meeting, you are priming the pump for students to expand their thinking on the subject when it is time to put pencil to paper and share their thoughts. I love using writing prompts for 3rd grade in this way because it is a seamless differentiation strategy that allows all of your students to be massively successful during writing block warm-ups! When students are not worrying about what to write anymore, they are free to focus on their craft and their writing goals, thus improving their writing skills in small ways every single day. Want to start using the writing prompts for 3rd grade that I use and weave in throughout my day? CLICK THIS LINK.


Tip #3 to Increase Writing Skills with Writing Prompts for 3rd Grade: Make Writing Fun, Not a Chore


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If we want to increase student writing skills? Make writing a fun and desirable task, not a chore! We have discussed that many students dislike writing because it is hard. That is true but many students also dislike writing because they find it boring. When our kiddos are disengaged in an activity or task, they put in the minimal effort required to get the task done and out of their way. That is the last thing we want to instill in our writers! To build a love of writing we need to spice up the seasoning and boost that engagement baby! The easiest way that I have found to boost writing engagement is to use what I like to call “got to talk about it,” writing prompts. When I ask my students to write about a superhero pumpkin and a dastardly farmer, or a treasure hunt with a secret map, or what they would do if they were principal for a day, they are simply bursting to share! When the writing topic is engaging, students want to write because it is their ticket to sharing their thoughts and ideas with others. I have a million and one things on my teacher-brain at all times, so I rely on engaging no-prep writing prompts for 3rd grade to save me in the engagement department. We use these writing prompts as writing warm-ups, skills practice, and exit ticket shares. When our kiddos enjoy what they are writing about they increase their efforts and work harder on showing and practicing their writing skills. I love using writing prompts for 3rd grade to get my students excited about writing and working harder on mastering their writing skills. If you want to explore my favorite engaging writing prompts you can CLICK THIS LINK now. You can also check out my other writing tip blog posts by clicking here.


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There are countless ways to use 3rd grade writing prompts to increase the writing skills of our students. I hope you enjoyed reading my top 3 favorite tips for increasing student writing skills using writing prompts for 3rd grade. Would you like to try a FREE sample of the no-prep writing prompts that I love so much? I would love to share a printable and Google Classroom ready writing prompt resource with you so you can try out the tips you just read about! Simply click the button below and download your FREE writing prompt sample now! 

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Friday, April 8

Teach Inferencing Like a Boss with Inferring Worksheets

Teaching inferencing can be a challenge. Honestly, when I first started teaching I found myself Googling, “what is an inference?” It took a good deal of trial and error and years working around the kidney table with my kiddos before I finally felt like I had figured inference instruction out. Targeted reading instruction is my favorite method of guided reading instruction. So how can you teach targeted inference skills? How can you help your kiddos master inferring understandings? Read more to learn how I teach reading inference skills with ease using inferring worksheets, videos, inferring anchor charts, and more.

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What is an Inference? 

When I first introduce the inferring concept to my students, I use video. I try to teach multiple intelligences as much as possible, so incorporating a technology component to an otherwise visual-auditory lesson is a plus. My favorite video to us when I teach inference is the Inferring video from Brain Pop Jr. You can explore that video by clicking HERE. I love this video because it does an excellent job of boiling down the inferring concept and using basic inferring examples that we can use as a stepping stone later in our lesson. 

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Using Inferring Anchor Charts:

Using visual tools to anchor student learning is a must-do. I love using colorful visuals like my inferring anchor chart when introducing and practicing inferring reading skills. I use the inferring anchor chart to break down how to infer, step by step. Once my students have a firm foundation for what an inference is, it is time to practice! I use inferring worksheets that pair with my inferring anchor chart to practice applying inference skills in texts. You can explore the inferring anchor chart and inferring worksheets that I use by clicking HERE.


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Using Inferring Worksheets:

After I demonstrate inferring and work through examples alongside my students, it is time for them to show their inferencing knowledge. I accomplish this through inferring worksheets. These worksheets are easy, engaging, and no prep. I love using inferring worksheets initially at the guided reading table, then as independent practice. Using inferring worksheets allows my students to demonstrate their inference knowledge and push their thinking by requiring them to provide text evidence to support their thinking. You can grab their inferring worksheets that I use FOR FREE by clicking HERE now.



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After my students are getting their groove with inference, I expand their opportunities to work on inferencing. I provide my students with a different inferring worksheet, an inference graphic organizer. This is a graphic organizer that allows my students to continue working on their inferencing skills inside the books that they are currently reading. If you want to explore the inferring worksheets/ graphic organizers that I use, click THIS LINK.

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Wednesday, March 9

3 Reasons Why I Love Writing Prompts For Spring

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The snow is melting, birds are returning, and writers are writing. Yes, that’s right. Every day my students work on their writing skills through the use of daily writing prompts. Since spring has sprung, it is time that we bust out our writing prompts for spring! I love allowing my students the opportunity to share their spring favorites in morning meetings and writing time through the use of my writing prompts for spring. From Spring holidays, Spring “would you rather” prompts, and more, the student engagement is up and pencils are moving when I switch over to our writing prompts for spring. Want to know what I’m a buzz about? Read more to explore how I use our writing prompts for Spring in my classroom now.



Writing Prompts for Spring- March

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March is time for Women's History month, leprechauns, and Spring fever! If your students are like mine, then that means they have a lot to talk about and a great desire to share about these events. Why not let your students use their voice inside of their writing prompts for Spring? I love using the St. Patrick’s Day writing prompts as we lead up to the lucky day. (Explore more St. Patrick’s Day activities by clicking HERE). Students can type or write on the worksheet when I use these writing prompts for Spring. The kiddos love the chance to write and share about leprechauns, luck, and all things green. I love the increased engagement that the seasonal writing prompts for spring bring into the classroom. If you want to explore the No-Prep March writing prompts for Spring that I use, click THIS LINK.


Writing Prompts for Spring- April

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April is time for gardening, poetry, and ugh rain! Because poetry is such an expressive writing exercise, I love to use the April poetry writing prompts for Spring. I find it fun to save the poetry writing prompts for Spring that my students complete and compile them into a Spring poetry booklet. Kiddos love being able to look back at their first poetry prompt and compare it to their last. You can use these writing prompts for Spring to have powerful conversations with your students about their growth as poets and writers. If you want to explore all of my April writing prompts for Spring, including the poetry prompts, then CLICK THIS LINK.


Writing Prompts for Spring- May

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May is the time to help students fine-tune the writing skills that they have learned all year long. I use May to teach and review target writing strategies such as proper use of dialogue, showing not telling skills, and more. This targeted skill instruction can be a bit dull for my students at times. During these lessons, I ramp up the student engagement by using writing prompts for Spring. The writing prompts for Spring that I use in May range from silly to mysterious, but they all have one thing in common, a must-share factor. When I designed the May writing prompts for Spring, I knew that I needed to include topics like buried treasure, Mother’s Day, chocolate chip cookie thieves to keep my students yearning to write and share. By using May writing prompts for Spring that peak my student’s interest, the student buy-in battle is easily won and I can focus my attention on helping my students flourish as writers. Want to use the May writing prompts for Spring that I use? Click HERE to explore the prompts now.


I hope you enjoyed hearing about how I use writing prompts for Spring in my classroom. Did you know that I have daily, NO PREP writing prompts for the whole year? CLICK HERE to explore my Year Long Writing Prompts now! Want to use daily writing prompts to help your students increase their writing skills? CLICK HERE to read my blog post all about it!

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There are countless ways to use writing prompts for spring to increase the writing skills of our students. I hope you enjoyed reading my top reasons that I love using writing prompts for spring with my students. Would you like to try a FREE sample of the no-prep writing prompts that I love so much? I would love to share a printable and Google Classroom ready writing prompt resource with you so you can try out the tips you just read about! Simply click the button below and download your FREE writing prompt sample now! 

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Sunday, February 27

Top 4 Must-Do St. Patrick’s Day Worksheets and Activities

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Hey teachers! Can you believe that it is almost St. Patrick’s Day? That means that it is time for stories of magical little leprechauns, St Patrick’s Day worksheets, and a pinch of all things green. I love celebrating holidays in my classroom. And even though decorating the classroom or having a party is a blast, there just isn’t always time in the school day. So how can you still bring some St. Patrick’s Day fun to your students this year? With St. Patrick’s Day activities and St Patrick’s Day worksheets! Whether you share a read aloud about luck or use a St Patrick’s Day worksheet to help students spin a leprechaun tale, St Patrick’s Day in the classroom can be fun, seamless in your schedule, and no prep. Read more to explore all of my favorite St Patrick’s Day activities and St Patrick’s Day worksheets now!

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St Patrick’s Day Worksheets- Spelling Activities


Can you spell lucky? Because lucky is exactly how I feel when I pull my Editable March spelling activities out of my teacher bins. These spelling activities are not only great St Patrick’s Day worksheets for spelling practice but for the whole month of March! In the past, my students have had so much fun playing pin and write spelling activities, doing Shamrock St Patrick’s Day worksheets for spelling practice, and so much more! You can explore the editable March spelling activities that I use for St Patrick’s Day worksheets and spelling practice by clicking THIS LINK. 

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St Patrick’s Day Worksheets- Writing Prompts


Writing prompts are a daily tool inside my writer's workshop. We use them as warm-up activities or exit tickets. You can read more about how to use writing prompts to help your students boost their writing skills in my blog post, just CLICK HERE. When March comes around, I simply print (or assign on Google Classroom) a whole new set of themed prompts. These March writing prompts are the perfect St Patrick’s Day worksheet because St Patrick’s Day writing prompts are included. These writing prompts include topics like how to catch a leprechaun, defining what luck means to each student, snatching a leprechaun's pot of gold, and more! These St Patrick’s Day worksheets make awesome Morning Meeting activities too. Simply have students pair up to write their St Patrick’s Day story and then save time for a share. This St. Patrick’s Day activity makes for easy mornings that your students will love! If you want to explore the March writing prompts that I use for my writing St Patrick’s Day worksheets, click THIS LINK now.

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St Patrick’s Day Activities- St. Patrick’s Day Stories


If you follow me on social media, you know that read aloud time is one of my favorite parts of the school day. I love gathering my students together to share in the love of a good story! So, I wanted to share another one of my favorite St Patrick’s Day activities with you, read alouds! CLICK THIS LINK or the PHOTO below to explore my favorite St. Patrick’s Day stories now.

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St Patrick’s Day Activities- St. Patrick’s Day Project Based Learning

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Project based learning is my jam! When you can incorporate interdisciplinary learning and boost student engagement through the roof, my teacher heart just signs! You can learn all about Project Based Learning in my blog post, just click THIS LINK. I have found that project based learning is excellent to implement around holidays and before school breaks. During these times students are overflowing with energy and need a hands on, deep thinking project to keep them engaged and attending to their learning. This is exactly why I designed a St. Patrick’s Day Project Based Learning unit all about leprechauns! In this St Patrick’s Day activity pack, students are tasked with designing and building a leprechaun village. The St Patrick’s Day worksheets inside this unit guide students through their building and planning process, helping them stick to their budget as well as area restraints. These St Patrick’s Day worksheets also include math about their leprechaun village and writing prompts too. Trust me, your students will feel so lucky to participate in a St Patrick’s Day activity like this one. If you want to explore my St. Patrick’s Day Project Based Learning Unit, click THIS LINK now.


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I hope you enjoyed reading about my favorite St Patrick’s Day worksheets and St Patrick’s Day activities! Hopefully, these teaching tools and ideas will help you to bring a little four-leaf clover fun into your classroom this St. Patrick’s Day.


Tuesday, January 25

How to Help Students Master 3rd Grade Spelling Words

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The knowledge of spelling words and patterns is crucial for our learners. As teachers, we understand the importance that these skills have in reading and writing, but how do we get our students to practice their 3rd grade spelling words? Even more, how can we help students master 3rd grade spelling words? Let’s dive into it! Read more to explore my favorite methods for helping students master 3rd grade spelling words.

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Using Differentiation to Help Students Master 3rd Grade Spelling Words


If I was a basketball player (mind you I’m not due to my lack of coordination and athletic abilities), I would need to practice shooting skills. If I master making a free throw shot but my other teammates have not, do you think my coach would have me continue to only practice free throw shots until the entire team mastered them? No way José! A great coach recognizes their player's abilities and customizes practice to strengthen each player’s needs. Teachers are just like great coaches! Teachers know that differentiation is key in driving our students forward. 

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Be sure to give a spelling pre-test before assigning any 3rd grade spelling words to your students. A spelling pre-test is simply a spelling word quiz that is given before the weekly word pattern or word list is taught. This will allow you to see which students are struggling with a list of 3rd grade spelling words, and which students are ready for a more challenging list of 3rd grade spelling words. Once you have that data, you are golden and ready to differentiate for your kiddos! Providing your students with spelling words that appropriately match their current abilities is key. Use spelling pre-tests to keep students in that sweet spot of their zone of proximal development. When students feel the next rung on the ladder is achievable, you'll be amazed at how high they will continue to climb!


When I am differentiating my 3rd grade spelling words for my students, I like to use editable spelling activities and editable "3rd grade spelling words" worksheets. Editable spelling activities allow me to type any word list into the document and then the word list will autofill my 3rd grade spelling words onto each 3rd grade spelling words worksheet. Talk about easy-peasy differentiation! I love using editable spelling activities and worksheets because I can easily differentiate word lists and the activities still appear the same to my students the only thing that has changed is their individual word lists. Easily differentiating spelling word lists through pre-tests and editable spelling activities is one method I use to help students master their 3rd grade spelling words.

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Using Engaging Centers to Help Students Master 3rd Grade Spelling Words


F-U-N is not usually the word that comes to mind when our students think about spelling practice. Elementary students typically find spelling activities repetitive and boring and thus are completely disengaged when doing them. What if we tried to change that? I place a big emphasis on fun in my classroom and student engagement holds a special place in my heart. This is why using engaging spelling activities is another one of my favorite methods for helping students master their 3rd grade spelling words. I know what you’re thinking, great another thing I have to find online, create or make! No worries teacher friend! Creating engaging spelling centers can be as simple as adding paper clip spinners, allowing students to draw the visualization of their spelling words, or write in funny fonts! Try writing the alphabet on a pop-it fidget or using erasable sleeves and letter beads for even more student engagement in your spelling word centers!

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My kiddos loved practicing their 3rd grade spelling words using these simple and engaging tips! I noticed a huge increase in their desire to practice spelling words. They also had much improved retention of 3rd grade spelling words and spelling skills after implementing more engaging spelling centers in my classroom. You can explore the editable spelling centers that I use by clicking HERE.

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Using Weekly Spelling Homework to Help Students Master 3rd Grade Spelling Words


Let me be honest teacher friend, I hate giving homework! I push my kiddo's brains all day at school. I want my students to enjoy their downtime when they are home; play sports, spend time with their families, and not stress about my assignments. However, I do acknowledge the benefits that homework can have. From increasing home to school communication of current skills to additional skill practice time, homework can really help your students master their 3rd grade spelling words. However, If you’re not a fan of assigning homework like me, allow me to share an idea with you. Have you tried weekly spelling packets before? The keyword here teacher friend is weekly, not nightly. I print out homework spelling packets for my students and pass them out on Monday. I will typically assign three 3rd grade spelling words activities in the packets I create. I then tell my students that their 3rd grade spelling words homework packets are not due until Friday. My student's families love this flexibility! Assigning weekly spelling packets instead of nightly 3rd grade spelling words worksheets allows students to practice their 3rd grade spelling words on nights that are best for their schedules. This flexibility increases the completed spelling word packets that I receive each week and thus my students are practicing more each week. This weekly extra practice is a great help in your students mastering their 3rd grade spelling words.


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I hope you enjoyed reading my favorite methods for helping students master their 3rd grade spelling words. If you want to explore the resources/ teaching tools that I have used to help my students master their 3rd grade spelling words, CLICK HERE to see them now.

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If you want to learn about my no-prep fall spelling activities, click here to read my blog now!