Reading CAFE Board


I couldn’t be more pleased with how my reading CAFE board turned out. Thanks to a fellow teacher for giving me the large pockets, I have a place to keep my strategies until I need to add them to the board. I purchased my menu and strategy printables from Teachers Pay Teachers. I’ll have more pictures up soon of the rest of my classroom. Only a few more days until students and parents come for Open House.

Reading A to Z Summer School Theme Pack

Teaching summer school gives me the opportunity to try out some new things I’m wanting to incorporate in my classroom next year. I’m using Reading A to Z’s Summer School Theme Pack. It’s broken down by 1st grade, 2nd-3rd grade, and 4th-5th. You are provided with a whole unit of study broken down into lessons spanning 5 days. All of the materials are provided too, such as the leveled readers and graphic organizers. You’ll need a subscription to print the materials. I would highly recommend talking to some fellow teachers and splitting the cost. I’ve done this with my grade level techers and a few others in the building.



Share My Lesson

It has happened again! I have stumbled upon another great teaching resource with lesson plans! The website is Share My Lesson. The best part of this one is that you can network with teachers all over the word and it is free! You can search by Common Core State Standard, topic, grade, and subject. I haven’t played much with it to see just how much is on there, but from what I’ve found in the first few minutes, it’s a keeper!


Read Tennessee

During one of my Pinterest pinning marathon sessions, I decided to go back through my boards and tidy them up. I wanted to get rid of pins I didn’t need and take the time to look at ones I hadn’t yet. This led me to the Read Tennessee website. I wish I looked at this pin earlier in the school year! The Common Core  State Standards for ELA are outstanding. There are links to lesson plans and units with materials needed. There are also links for math.



Brain POP Jr.

I am lucky enought to teach in a district who provides a subscription to the Brain POP Jr websites. If you are not familiar with this site, it offers educational videos featuring Annie and Moby. Together, they teach about many different topics covering reading and writing, math, science, social studies, health, arts, and technology. There are also quizzes and teacher lesson resources. FOr older students, there is a Brain POP.

I used the Nonfiction Text video today to remind my 2nd graders of the informational text features. My kids love Brain POP videos because they are funny. I don’t think the realize they are learning as they are laughing.

Great reading website

My year has been saved by this website. is full of of reading lessons for kindergarten to 6th grade. There are materials, a list of more books for each strategy and skill lesson, and it is aligned with Common Core State Standards. There are also novel study units and leveled reading passages. The best part of this website is that it is free! 🙂

Veterans Day: The Wall

I was on the hunt for books to use this week for my reading mini lessons and found this post on one of the blogs I follow. I plan on using it for Veterans Day tomorrow, as well as part of a schema lesson about veterans. If you have a chance, visit this blog.

Read Aloud Picture Books

The Wall

Eve Bunting made a career out of writing about topics few in the picture book world would even consider. The Wall is another offering from the land of taboo topics. This time it’s the Vietnam Memorial, which means that war and death are on the docket.

In Buntings story a father and son are visiting the wall to see Dad/Grandpa’s name. This is a children’s book, so she guides us through these topics gently. But the pain and loss are real, real enough for me to think over whether or not I would get an angry parent phone call for reading about death in school.

In the end I chose to read it. Those who served and made the ultimate sacrifice deserve to be honored, and Bunting masterfully delivered this book with reverence fitting the fallen.

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Picture Books to Teach Reading CAFE Strategies

I am in a constant search for picture books to use during my Reading CAFE strategy lessons. I have found a couple of websites over the weekend that have lists of books that for each of the strategies. You can find the websites that I have found so far on the Reading CAFE page of this blog. I will be continuing to add more websites as I find them. I am also making a Google document with a list of books I have used this year with my 2nd graders.

Handout for Building a Better Reader

As teachers we often have parents asking us for advice and ideas for helping their child to become a better reader. While searching Pinterest, which is my way of relaxing after a school day, I found this handout on Primary Junction.

This would be helpful to handout to give parents at conferences since that’s when the conversation of what can be done at home comes up. I’m sending this home with my newsletter this week.

Sight Word Superstars

My 2nd graders have become really motivated to learn their sight words thanks to the Sight Word Superstars motivational program I downloaded from Finally in First.

In this program kids must read a list of 20 words from the Fry’s Word List in 20 seconds or less. For each list of 20 words a kid earns a sticker for their star. Once they have mastered all 5 lists, they receive a Sight Word Superstar Award.



This program allows for individualized instruction. My kids are excited to master a list and move on to the next one. I send home the word cards to be used at home as practice. I also have the kids read their list during Word Work before they practice their spelling words.