Shared Reading: Down on the Farm

Shared reading is one of those activities where you can get the most bang for your buck!  Especially in kindergarten and first grade, shared reading makes your students readers.  It teaches so many skills and makes your youngest readers feel like readers.  It turns non-readers into kids who believe they can read. Keep reading to learn all about my newest resource.


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What Is Shared Reading and Why It Is So Important

Picture this: you've got a book under the document camera just above the reading level of most of your students.  They are choral reading the book with you and you're stopped by a word covered with a sticky note.  The students are eager to figure out that word to see if they are right.  You work with the students to use vital strategies for figuring out tricky words and each child has an idea of what that word might be.  You slowly peel back that sticky note, read the correct word as whispers of "yes" are heard from throughout the group.  Your students are engaged and learning important reading skills.  This is shared reading!  Shared reading is a necessary activity in all classrooms, especially in primary classrooms.  Keep reading to learn more! 

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The Best Books to Start Your Year in a Primary Classroom

It's no secret that I love reading aloud to my students (I'm pretty sure I start every read aloud blog post like this #sorrynotsorry). Reading aloud is so important for the reading development of our students. See my blogs posts >>HERE<< and >>HERE<< to see why.  Anyway, I like to start reading aloud to my students on the first day of school.  Yes, THE VERY FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL!  I love getting into the routine of what read alouds look like so I start with them from the beginning and read a lot of books the first couple of weeks.  These are some of my favorites you should definitely check out.


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4 Reasons Why Every Teacher Needs an Instagram Account

Instagram is my jam!  It is by far my favorite social media outlet.  Who doesn't love looking at pretty pictures?  I've had my personal account since 2012 and my teacher account since 2015.  It was shortly after starting my account for Our Elementary Lives that I realized just how valuable it has been to me as a teacher.


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6 More Important Reasons Why You Should Read to Your Children

If you've been following my blog this summer, you know I've got a new mission: to support parents and families in reading to their children.  We know that reading aloud to our kids is so important.  I'm back to tell you 6 more (REALLY) important reasons why you should read to your children.
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5 More Tips to Get Writer's Workshop Up & Running

I love writer's workshop!  I've had the chance to go to Columbia University Teacher's College in NYC for the Reading & Writing Project run by Lucy Calkins twice for writing!  Writing has gone from my least favorite to one of my most favorite subjects to teach.  I want to give you 5 tips more tips to get writer's workshop up and running.  Want to see the first 5 tips? Check out >>THIS<< blog post.5 tips for K-3 teachers starting writer's workshop.
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Interactive Read Aloud: First Day Jitters

It's the first day of school and what book is ALWAYS in my plans?  First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg.  Always!  This is the perfect read aloud for the first day of school and this interactive read aloud resource is the perfect companion.  Keep reading to see why.


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My Classroom Theme & Why it Hasn't Changed in 10 Years

Bees!  It's my classroom theme and has been pretty much since the beginning of my teaching career.  If you're the type of person who changes themes every year, way to go!  More power to you!  Changing themes each year is not my thing and I'll share with you why.  If you're a newer teacher, this blog post may just be for you.  Don't feel overwhelmed with trying to keep up with that Pinterest classroom.  Do your thing and don't make it too hard.

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4 Important Reasons Why You Should Read to Your Children

Reading to your children is one of the best things you can do to prepare them for school.  My new project, RACE: Read Alouds Connect Everyone-RACE With Your Family, is here to help you learn more about reading to your kids.  Keep reading to find out why it is so important!
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Interactive Read Aloud: My Mouth is a Volcano

Do you know this book, My Mouth is a Volcano by Julia Cook?  It's a great book to read at the beginning of the year, especially if you have some kids with active volcanoes.  😉


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Everything You Need to Know About Interactive Read Alouds

Read Alouds are one of the single, most important activities you can do to support a child’s learning.  I have gathered all of my interactive read aloud blog posts in one place.  Learn why you should do them, how to do them, how to plan, different ways to prepare and more!  
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Interactive Read Aloud: Chrysanthemum

Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes may just be the greatest back to school book of all time.  Ask any primary elementary school teacher and they'll probably tell you it's in their top 5!  It is definitely one of my favorites and for that reason, I have just created an Interactive Read Aloud to go along with it.  Keep reading to find out what all is included in this resource.


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My Summer To Do & Bucket Lists

Hello Summer!  It is the first Sunday of Summer Break, arguably, the best day of summer break because you don't have to set an alarm clock for Monday.  I don't know about you, but I'm all about making to do lists and I make several big ones for the summer.  Keep reading to see what I have on all of my lists and how you can get some fun to do and bucket lists that you can use!


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Senior Walk: An End of the Year Tradition

Did you see this article floating around about a senior walk that was started in Texas? Well, I did, and I LOVED the idea so I shared it with my principal who shared it with other principals who decided we needed to start it in our district too.  And so began the annual Senior Walk!

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How to Do Interactive Read Alouds

You know I love Interactive Read Alouds, right?!  They're one of my favorite activities to do in the classroom because of the conversations we have and ALL of the skills my students are practicing.  Check out this blog post HERE to read all of the reasons why you need to be doing them.  Anyway, I wanted to write a post about HOW to do them.  I want to back up and give you the basics of what an Interactive Read Aloud looks like and some tips to make them successful.  Keep reading to learn more about my favorite, essential activity in any classroom.  


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Interactive Read Aloud: Last Day Blues

Do you know Julie Danneberg's beginning of school year book, First Day Jitters?  It's probably one of your favorites, I know it's mine.  Well, did you know she's got a just as adorable end of the year book too?  I know, right?!?!  It's called Last Day Blues and it is just about the cutest end of year book there is.  I have created an Interactive Read Aloud for that book and I am so excited about it!

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Teacher Appreciation Sale-3 Things You Need to Know & a FREEBIE!


It's that time of year again! It's time for the TpT Teacher Appreciation Sitewide Sale.
Click on this image to be taken to my store.

My store will be on sale which means you can get up to 28% off EVERYTHING.  Don't forget the code: THANKYOU17.

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New Blog Design & GIVEAWAY


Hello there fabulous readers,
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The Best Headphones for Your Classroom

Headphones are an essential tool in my classroom.  With the amount of time my students use the iPads for various reasons, our headphones get a ton of use.  While my students bring them as part of their school supply list for technology class, I like to have some good ones to use just in my classroom.  I have gone through many, many pairs of headphones and I have FINALLY found the best ones for your classroom.  Keep reading to find out more.


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Disclosure

This policy is valid from 19 March 2017

This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. For questions about this blog, please contact Paige at ourelementarylives@gmail.com.

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3 Ways to Prepare for an Interactive Read Aloud

By now, you're probably noticing that I've got quite the Interactive Read Aloud blog series going.  I'm showing you how I plan and prepare for Interactive Read Alouds.  I believe they are one of the most important things we can do in our classroom and I want to make it easy for you to do them too.  Read on for 3 ways that I have used to prepare for an Interactive Read Aloud.


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5 Tips to Get Writer's Workshop Up & Running

Writer's Workshop is one of my favorite things to teach my first graders.  5 years ago, I would have never said that.  But after traveling to NYC to go to Teacher's College, Reading and Writing Project at Columbia University with Lucy Calkins, I now love it just as much as reading.  Here are some tips to help you get started and love it too!


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How to Plan an Interactive Read Aloud in 5 Easy Steps

Interactive Read Alouds are one of my favorite things to do in the classroom, as you may know. 😉  I love doing them with my class, but they can be a pain to prepare for.  Read on for 5 easy steps for preparing an Interactive Read Aloud.



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Compliment Circles: Creating a Kind & Respectful Classroom

Compliment circles are one of our favorite activities and probably one of the most important things I do in my first grade classroom.  They teach my students how to give and receive compliments as well as create a classroom of respect and kindness.  Keep reading to see how you can transform your classroom into a compliment giving, respectful and kind classroom.

A compliment circle is something that I do in my classroom every couple of weeks.  I'd love to do it weekly, and that's my goal, but you know how it can be, it just doesn't happen.
So, I'm sure you're wondering what is is and how to do it.  
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2017: Make It Your Best Year Ever Challenge


Goodbye 2016, hello 2017.  A lot of people, especially on social media, are saying that 2016 was an awful year that ended with the Mariah Carey debacle at the NYE celebration.  While I was not awake to witness the awkwardness, I have to say that November 2016, was definitely one of my best months ever!  The CUBS finally won the World Series and my second son was born!  But, if you're someone who feels it wasn't great, read on to find out how to make 2017 a great year!

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