Foldables galore

You are going to LOVE today’s featured post on ELA foldables for the differentiated classroom! There are so many ideas offered by the clever educators over at Upper Grade Memoirs. You will find ideas for teaching cause and effect, biographies, literary elements and more.

Foldables are so useful for teachers supporting diverse groups of students as they provide all students with a [read more…]

DI in literature circles

ESL instructor Dara MacKay has some great tips on differentiating using literature circles in this short article I found on the ESL Literacy Network. She provides not only a rationale for use of lit circles, but offers a step-by-step plan for incorporating them into [read more…]

Rainy day word play

You all know how much I love active learning, especially in the early grades. Therefore, I was delighted to see this post about building a “word hop” in the hallway for kindergartners. Teacher Marsha illustrates not only how to create your own hop, but gives advice on which materials to purchase. She also shows examples of the words she uses in her [read more…]

Close the gap

I am back from a long spring vacation and ready to give you a little boost to get you through the rest of the school year. My May ideas are going to be focused on literacy and I am going to kick off the series with this short and to-the-point post from two professors with expertise on the topic of teaching to diverse learners. The piece can be found on [read more…]

A space for those who love space

Lately I have been hooked on NASA’s Kids Club page. I think I am interested in this flashy site because I am currently plowing through and loving The Astronaut Wives Club and because I love sites with bells and whistles. If you are intrigued by space and have students who are similarly intrigued, you will be a fan too. There are many tools and resources on this site. Kids can learn science, math, and language arts while learning about space and the work of NASA. Games are aimed toward [read more…]

Story starters for all ages

The Story Starter is a great resource for writing prompts. When you see a child who is having a hard time getting started on a writing assignment, you can connect to this site and generate a random prompt. You may also want to print some out and keep them in a box on your desk so students can access them easily.

Of course you can also give your students the option of either thinking of their own story or using one of the generated prompts. Once they see some of the fun choices, however, don’t be surprised if most want to pick off the site. Who can resist prompts such as “The retired handwriting expert wrote a story in the vault to wake up the President” or [read more…]


Be prepared to lose hours of your life to doodling once you click over to Draw a Stickman. How could you use this in the classroom? To teach and reinforce vocabulary for ELL students, to assess the following of written directions for children with disabilities, to inspire a reluctant writer, to teach young students how to use a mouse, to practice the drawing of [read more…]


If you follow this blog, you know that one of my favorite sites is Today I’m featuring their Myth Brainstorming Machine.

This nifty tool allows the user to click through and choose different characters (monsters, goddesses) and scenery to create a visual map of a myth. Then, students can click over to the idea outline tab and see a graphic organizer of the myth they have mapped. It is really fun for kids and it is sure to [read more…]


Do you have students who love games? Some who need to hear cues vs. see them? Others who like repetition? Have them all practice at Spelling City! Here they start out by entering their new spelling words into the site. Then, they choose from a variety of spelling activities such as finding the missing letter in a word, alphabetizing words, or practicing writing sentences with their words. Learners can even [read more…]


Students who struggle to connect to content may suddenly “get it” when we integrate pop culture and favorite flicks. Check out Movieclips for a huge selection of movie scenes and video clip mashups to share.

This fantastic site not only has clips on every topic but the very best part of the site is being able to make your own mashups (a collection of clips strung together)! Here is a mashup of inspirational speeches– this one might be used by an English teacher [read more…]