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February 15, 2018

Engaging Activities for the Olympics

Have you been watching the Olympics? My family has been enjoying watching all of the athletes. Are you wondering how you can incorporate the Olympics into your classroom? Getting your students involved in learning about the Olympics can be so much fun! Incorporating it into your lessons is the best way to not get off track. Here are some ideas to help you teach about the Olympics through reading, language arts, and math. 

Having a folder for the Olympic activities will get your students excited for the upcoming lessons. Take a piece of large construction paper and fold it over. Glue the cover sheet on and voila you have a Winter Olympic Folder. 

Start off with an introduction to the Olympics. Many students may not have the background knowledge. Start off using the can, have, are interactive notebook activity. Have a large one on your poster paper so they can see what their friends are saying. Use this as a large group activity. 

There are so many great ways to incorporate vocabulary and writing into your interactive notebooks. You are going to love using interactive pockets in  your book. They are easy to put in their notebooks and your kids are going to love putting their vocabulary into them! Create an easy bulletin board by using the vocabulary cards provided. 

You are not going to want to skip the interactive flip-book Olympic activity! Oh my goodness, your kids are going to go crazy when you show them this activity. My students go nuts for flip-books and I know yours will too. This is so easy to create and it walks you through the writing process. This takes about a week from prewriting to publishing. They can use the new words they know and write about an event they would like to try or use their imagination and write a story as if they were an athlete at the Olympics. There are endless possibilities of story starters!

Make sure to grab this freebie! It is just one of many awesome activities in the Winter Olympic Bundle. Your students are going to have so much fun learning about the Winter Olympics and be engaged through wonderful interactive activities. 

February 6, 2018

Best Tips to Improve IREAD Scores

My goal is to help you understand the skills and abilities required of our students on this assessment and to give you tips to help them become successful. Okay, let's get started!


I know, we are talking about the dreaded IREAD assessment! You are probably wondering why in the world do we have to give this to our third graders and what does it even mean!?!  First of all, the IREAD stands for Indiana Reading Evaluation And Determination. Yes, that is a mouth full. The purpose of the IREAD-3 assessment is to measure foundational reading standards through grade three. Based on the Indiana Academic Standards, IREAD-3 is a summative assessment that was created with the House Enrolled Act 1367 also known as Public Law 109 in 2010. 

1. Reading Foundations

There are four key areas found in the Reading Foundations section for grades K-5: Print Concepts, Phonological Awareness, Phonics, and Fluency. The standard 3.RV.2.2, which is the relationships among words, has the highest percentage allocation on the test for this category. This standard includes synonyms, antonyms, homographs, homonyms, and multiple-meaning words. Practicing this every day in an assessment form as well as in a center is very beneficial.

2. Reading Nonfiction

There are three key areas found in the Reading Nonfiction section for grade three: Key Ideas and Textual Support, Structural Elements and Organization, and Synthesis and Connection of Ideas.  The standard 3.RN.2.1 which is, Questions based on Text, has the highest percentage allocation on the test for this category. We are always modeling how to ask questions before, during, and after reading. Our students need to understand text and be able to refer to the text as the basis for their answers. Using fun centers is a great way to help your students learn these skills. If you need more center ideas check here: Center Ideas 

3. Reading Literature

The standard 3.RN.2.1 has the highest allocation for this category as well. That just tells us we really need to make sure our students are comprehending what they are reading and are able to ask questions throughout the text. In this category the next highest percentage is characters and plots. We work on this all the time, right? Yes we do! Keep having your students explore in centers with a text. Have them find the characters in a fun way, have them draw the plot of the story. Make it a fun adventure for them. 

Making it easy and fun is my goal. Giving your students a quick assessment every day before the test will help them feel more confident in their ability to pass the test. Make it into a fun little booklet for them and have them keep track of their progress. Set goals in the beginning so they can see how far they have gone! Check this bundle out! 40 days of IREAD review that takes under 10 minutes! Uh...yes please! 

Are you looking for more activities/centers to prepare for IREAD-3? This bundle will be perfect for your classroom.

We all want our students to be successful. Giving them meaningful review is key to guiding them to be successful on the assessment. We are in this together. If there is anything I can help you with or questions, please let me know! 

If you have not printed the blueprint guide from the Indiana Department of Education, I highly recommend doing so. It is a nice guide to have as you go. IREAD Blueprint