Guided Reading

I decided to give my Guided Reading Resource Pack a make over. Its cover was looking a little tired so I gave it a fresh new look!

In the pack you will find student response sheets based on character, setting and plot. They can be used with any fiction book. Also included are word work response sheets. These focus on adjectives, verbs, adverbs as well as dictionary and thesaurus work.
A selection from the pack. Much more is included!
I love using question cards during guided reading. They are great for discussion prompts and also something for early finishers to answer whilst waiting for everyone to finish reading the text! There are 48 question cards altogether included in the pack. They are based on character, setting, plot and language, I laminated the cards and have used them over and over!
I love being prepared and organized for guided reading and I have also included covers for each of your guided reading group folders as well as a group recording sheet to record your student responses during the session.
Happy guided reading!


Hi everyone,

So, Halloween is nearly here! Do you have plans for some spooky classroom activities this week? Halloween is a fantastic opportunity for creative writing and there are plenty of activities to help fire your students’ imagination at this spooktacular time of year!

Here are some of my favorites:

Setting Descriptions
Get your students to imagine they are in a haunted house (or other equally spooky location!Encourage them to use their senses to describe the setting. What can they hear? What can they see? What can they smell?

Character Profiles
Halloween is the perfect opportunity for some creepy character description. Students could describe a well known character such as Dracula or Frankenstein or they could make up their own spooky character.

Adventure Stories
Have a go at creating a Halloween-themed adventure story with some spooky characters and eerie settings.
Students could write instructions for their favorite Halloween party game. You could even follow the instruction and have a go at playing the games!

I’ve been using my Spooky Halloween Writing Paper for some extra inspiration! Just click on the picture below to go directly to my Teachers Pay Teachers Store to grab them.


Morning Work

How do your students come into school in the mornings? Do they line up outside and come in together or do you have a window of time where they are able to come in? My class can come in any time between 8.45 and 9.00. This gives me a 15 minute period where my classroom slowly fills up. This makes it impossible to teach any sort of lesson with this staggered entry so it is important that I have something ready that is meaningful and my students can just get on with that requires no instruction from myself as I am taking lunch money and registering the students during this time. So with this in mind, I created my Times Table Daily Practise Sheets.


I test the students every Friday on their tables. If they get 10 or more out of 12, I move them onto the next table. If not, I keep them on the same table for the following week as they are not yet secure in that multiplication table and need further practice. On a Monday I set out the sheets in the students’ places. As the students walk in they begin straight away by filling in Monday’s column. They do this every day of the week until the test on Friday when I review whether the student is ready to move on to a different table or needs further practice the next week on the same times table. My morning work routines ensures that the students know exactly what is expected of them as they enter the classroom and ensures a calm start to the day. It also provides an opportunity for differentiated multiplication fact review. How do you ensure a smooth start to the day and what do you use for morning work? I’d love to hear your ideas!


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Hi everyone,

Hope the new school year is going well for all of you who have started back already. I’ve just done my first week and I am TIRED!! Sooo glad it’s the weekend! So, next Saturday 13th September is Roald Dahl day and next week I will be teaching a unit based on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I love using novels to teach across a range of different subject areas and this particular book is one of my favorites! I want to talk about how I use this novel in my class. All the ideas below, plus many more are included in my Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Novel Study available in my Teachers Pay Teachers Store.


I also get my students to write newspaper articles based on Charlie finding the final Golden Ticket. This pushes the students to write formally and use the features of a report.

I love using Charlie Bucket’s house and the Inventing Room in the factory for setting description. I read the passages to the children and get them to imagine they are in that setting and then discuss what each of their senses would be experiencing, i.e. the creaking door in Charlie’s house or the potions bubbling over in the factory. I get encourage them to use descriptive language and finally the students write a paragraph based on each sense.

The novel is also great to use as a basis for a unit on plants. you could get your student to write about the life cycle of the cacao plant and study the part of a flower.

You could also discuss nutrient and making sure the students understand the importance of a healthy balanced diet.

Social Science
Students can study a country where the cacao plant grows. Students could produce fact files on the country and learn key facts, main cities, river, and what life is like for the people who live there.

There is so much scope here to develop students’ skills. I have had my students aim to be the next Willy Wonka by designing their own chocolate product. I got them explore different ingredients which could go in their product, think about packaging and create a persuasive poster advertising their product. We even made the new chocolate product – lots of fun!

What are your plans for Roald Dahl day?

Flash Freebie – 200 Facebook likes!

Hi there everyone,

Yay! I’ve reached 200 Facebook likes! To celebrate I’ve made my Place Value Task Cards FREE in my Teachers Pay Teachers store for the next 24 hours. I know many of you are teaching place value at the beginning of the year and this set helps students to reinforce their understanding of place value up to 1000 in a variety of ways! Check them out by clicking on the image below.


You Oughta Know About… Speed Challenges

Hi everyone,

I’m very excited to be involved in my very first blog hop. I’m teaming up with Jasmine over at Buzzing With Mrs McClain to tell you about something you oughta know!


And that is… Speed Challenges on the Top Marks website! This is a mental math challenge against the clock! Each challenge gives the students 10 questions to answer. They are ideal for displaying on an interactive whiteboard or students can access the challenges on computers or tablets.
First you must choose the area of mental maths. There is wide range of topics from number through to fractions and measures.
The next screen takes you through to more specific areas within the chosen topic so you can choose the level suited to abilities of the students in your class. On this page you must also select the length of time the students will have to answer each question. This ranges from 2 second to 20 seconds. I love decreasing the time my students have to answer the questions over the course of a teaching unit and watching how their mental recall skills have improved.
As soon as you click on the specific challenge the questions will start. I usually get my students to record their answers on mini whiteboards with a dry wipe pen.
Next the answer page will be displayed. You have to click on each question to reveal the answers, so you can  reveal them one at a time. I usually get my students to mark their own work.

You can use this anytime during the school day. It is great to use for a mental warm up in a math lesson or if you have a spare couple of minutes before lunch! It really does help the students to practise their mental calculation and recall skills and it is great watching them get quicker at the challenges over time. Check the site out – I hope you find it as useful as I have!

100 TpT followers!

Hi everyone,

I want to tell you all about my milestone!!! I’ve finally reached 100 followers on Teachers pay Teachers! I’ve been watching that little number go up and today it has finally hit 3 digits!! To celebrate I’m holding a flash freebie on my Guided Reading Task Cards for the next 24 hours!


Grab them while they’re FREE!

Alternative to ‘hands up’

Hi everyone,

Imagine the scenario – you’ve just asked a key question. You want to make sure your students understand the concept you are teaching, you want to get them all involved, you want to quickly assess their understanding of the math concept you have just taught them. This is where multiple choice answer cards come into play.


I give each student in my class a set of four multiple choice answer cards labelled A, B, C or D. They are quick and simple to make from pieces of colored card. Here’s how it works –  I ask a question and  give four possible answers labelled from A through to D, one correct and three incorrect. The students work out the answer and pick the correct answer card. They can either move it closer to them, away from the other cards, or hold their chosen answer up. This way, every student in the classroom is actively involved in working out the answer. It relieves the ‘everyone is looking at me’ pressure on the more reserved students and gives them a chance to provide an answer in a less stressful way. Its is also great for those kinaesthetic learners as they can physically manipulate the answer cards in front of them, moving the answers they have discounted away from them. When the students have chosen their answer, you can do a quick assessment of the understanding of every individual in your class.

It is great to use in paired talk and get students to consider the different options. The cards can also be used as props in discussion, i.e. which of the following four items do you consider to be the most important for…?  Students can order the cards according to their own thoughts and opinions.

Obviously I still do use traditional hands up as well when the students are given no answer options and it is still important to ask open questions but this is nice little alternative to use now and again to get every student in the class involved in providing answers!

Reading Strategy Posters

Hi everyone,

I have been using my Jungle Themed Reading Strategy Posters this past year. They have been absolutely fabulous in helping my students remember strategies to decode words.


The Beanie Baby characters are so memorable and my students have found them so helpful in remembering the decoding strategies. They have really helped build my students’ independence and fluency when reading. Download all seven posters here for FREE now at my Teachers Pay Teachers store!