Friday, 21 September 2018

Teaching Students to Connect to What They Read

To start Reading off this year we are focusing on learning the Reading Power strategies.If you haven't heard about Reading Power by Adrienne Gear (Note: All book links are aff. links) it is a must for anyone teaching reading. 

We have started by learning about how to make connections to what is being read. The beginning is very teacher directed with lots of modeling. 

I read a story and model how to make connections. Then students start making connections to what I am reading. See below for a graphic organizer to help with this.

The books I have read to the class so far are:
Miss Nelson is Missing by Harry Allard
Rotten Teeth by Laura Simms (My all time FAVORITE book for making connections)
Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse by Kevin Henkes
Reading Power goes into great detail on how to help your students make deeper level connections. This is fantastic because I have found students are good at making very basic connections like "I have a dog just like the main character." but they struggle to make deeper connections.

 Eventually, they will pick books and make their own connections. I want my students to have a variety of books to pick from so I have ordered some that are on Adrienne Gear's recommended list.  

Here is what I ordered: 

Now it's time for a freebie. The Reading Power book has many, many graphic organizers to choose from but I also created this one to go along with it. 

I have used this particular page with students in Grades 1-6. The higher the grade, the higher my expectations.'s%20Teaching%20Treasures&utm_campaign=Story%20Connections%20TTT%20Post
Click on the picture or here to get your FREE copy. Please remember to leave some feedback once you have tried it out. I love to hear your thoughts. 


Thursday, 26 July 2018

Back To School Bundles

How are you prepping for back to school?

It is back to school time for many teachers and it is time to start thinking about how to have a smooth first few weeks. 

Well I've got just the thing for you and your students!

I am SUPER excited about this one! 

I have teamed up with some topnotch teachers from Classroom Freebies Collective and together we are offering you Back to School Bundles of greatness. 

For a very limited (4 day) time, you can get your copy of a PK-2 Back to School bundle or a Grades 3-5 Back to School bundle for an incredible price.

Tell Me More!

I am directly part of the Grade 3-5 Back to School bundle, which includes 9 different, amazing products for one low price.

My contribution is my popular unicorn themed 3 & 4-digit addition and subtraction task cards. They are differentiated so all of your students can enjoy practicing their math skills with them.

Other topics included in this bundle are:
  • Text evidence and inferencing close reading activities
  • Fiction & non-fiction reading logs
  • Character building bands 
  • A teacher planner (WHAT?!! I am serious!)
  • Calendar cards
  • Back to school notebook journaling
  • 59 pages of back to school activites (YES...59 pages!)
  • Math challenges and brain teasers 
I told you this was an AMAZING bundle!

What if I teach PreK-2?

We've got you covered also! For the same limited time, there is a jam packed bundle for PreK-2 teachers.

Topics included in this bundle are:
  • Following directions activities
  • Sight word activities
  • Back to school forms and lists
  • Partner math games
  • Back to school starter kit
  • All about me poster GROWING BUNDLE
  • Addition and subtraction activities
  • Math work stations (these are super cute!)
  • Look and find hidden picture puzzles.
See cool things for the younger grades also!


You can get each of these for only $19. No way!

Yup, only $19 for each of these bundles. That is such a great deal.

Want an even better deal? 

Of course you do! If you buy BOTH bundles, we are giving them to you for only $26.

You pay $26 and get over $150 worth of valuable resources from the Classroom Freebies Collective Authors. 

That’s over 1250 pages for only $26.

Hurry... Don't Wait... 

The special pricing is only on until the end of Sunday. After that the price will go up.

Who wants to pay more when they can get the lowest price now? I know you don't! 

Tell Me More!

There are so many details about each of the products in the bundles.
To find out EXACTLY what will be in each bundle click here

OKAY, How do I get these FABULOUS bundles?

It's super easy!

To get one, or both, of these bundles just click on any of the pictures (or here) and you will be on your way to enjoying the resources and having a smooth back to school.

If you have any questions about the bundles feel free to leave a comment or email me at

 I know you will love these bundles as much as I do and your students will be completely engaged!


Sunday, 11 March 2018

St. Patrick's Day Multiplication Centers

I love changing up my Math centers to match the upcoming holidays. Even though students are practice skills they are familiar with, there is something about a holiday themed center that instantly gets them engaged. 
I recently completed math centers for multi-digit multiplication that will be part of my math centers this week.

I (like most classrooms) have to have differentiated activities because my students levels of understanding are spread so far apart. One activity rarely works for my entire class. Because (I know you shouldn't start a sentence with "because" ... lol) of this each of these centers has a differentiation option where either numbers are below and above 20 and/or there is a choice in the number of questions.
 Perhaps one of my favorite aspects of these math centers is how bright and cheery they are. We still have a ton of snow here (I think Mother Nature is confused this year) and we could use all the brightness out there. 
Each center also comes with a colored version AND a black line master copy so you can print on colored paper. This is a great ink saving option!
My students usually need a place to work through their equations and they usually do this on our mini whiteboards. I decided to switch things up for these centers and create some work mats ( I also included recording pages like I do with all my centers). I have printed the work mats and placed them in page protectors. Students will use whiteboard markers to write on the page protector and then they can erase their work when they move on to the next equation. This is a simple way to add engagement and student interest. 

The centers can be done as independent work (except the board game) or with a partner!

Included are 3 main multiplication centers (all focused on 2 digit x 2 digit equations) and these 3 templates can be broken up into 9....yes 9 different math centers!!!!
If you want to check out these math centers more just click here or on the picture above.

If you are interested in any particular concept/theme for math centers please leave a comment below and I will see what I can do. Using math centers in my classroom makes me happy and I am always looking for new ones to create!

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Free Valentine's Day Cards

It feels like Valentine's Day has snuck up on me this year. These last few days all I have done is shovel snow and haven't had time to think about planning Valentine's Day. I am glad I have my Valentine cards already printed. I just have to cut them out and label. Oh yah....and buy something to give my
I have 8 super cute designs to choose from, which is great for personalizing to my student interest.
I have them FREE in my TpT store so if you want a copy for yourself, just click on any picture.

I also keep a few on hand at school on the day we hand out Valentines. They are perfect for those kids who forget their cards or who don't have any to give.

Other than having my Valentine cards ready, the only other thing I have ready to go is a couple math centers. Sorry kids, Mrs. Browne is busy with life these days! 

Valentine's Day fractions activities can be found here. 
Multiplication and division color by numbers can be found here

Sunday, 21 January 2018

Engaging Homophones Activities

I have been doing a lot of updating of products lately. I have added more engaging, interactive activities that I have tried in the classroom and are student approved. One of my favorite updates has been to my Homophones unit !It went from being boring worksheets to engaging activities and literacy centers.

Here is a photo tasting of some of the activities now included: Interactive notebook pages / Matching literacy center Posters Magic Square in 2 formats. The colored version is ideal for literacy centers and the black and white puzzle is ideal for student seat work.

A wide variety of engaging practice pages!


This unit includes everything you will need to help your students fully understand the concept of homophones.

Click on any of the photos, or here, to get your copy today.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Halloween Literacy Fun

I LOVE Halloween time! There are so many wonderful, descriptive words that go with Halloween which leads to many literacy activities.
 If you have a class that you have to differentiate work for, these FREE alphabetical order pages will be perfect.
They look similar, and have most of the words the same. The difference is in the number of words on the page. If you have students who work a little slower, or who do not do so well with a large number of choices -- give them the page with only 10 words on it. If students love a challenge or work quickly -- give them the page with 15 words on it.
If you want to turn these into a literacy center that can be reused, time and time again, pop them into page protectors and have students write on them with dry erase markers. If you provide the answer keys, students can mark their own pages! 


Friday, 11 August 2017

Stop Buying Tissue Paper Flowers!

I beg you to STOP buying those tissue paper flowers. Yes, you can buy them everywhere and they are convenient to throw in your shopping cart, but please, please, PLEASE stop. They are super easy and cheap to make. I am going to show you how you can make your own and in any colors/patterns you like.

Supplies Needed: 
  • scissors
  • string (I use the embroidery thread for friendship bracelets but any string will do. Use fishing line or clear thread if you are hanging them) 
  • tissue paper in any color/patterns you want
  • push pins (for mounting on wall)

 Step By Step Instructions:

1.) Select your tissue paper. The bigger you want your flowers the more sheets you will need. To create the blue flower above I used six sheets. For larger flowers I use 12-16. I would never use less than 6 sheets but you can play around with it. If you are hanging the flowers and want petal all around in a ball, you will need more sheets. 

2.) Lay your paper on the table. If you are making smaller flowers, cut the tissue paper in half (Yay you get 2 flowers out of each package!!!). Arrange the paper so that it is vertical in front of you (hot dog not hamburger shaped... lol)

3.)  Start folding your tissue paper back and forth like an acordian fan. The fold should be no bigger than 2 inches. There is no harm if the folds are bigger you will just get less petals. 

4.) Once you have completely folded you paper, tie your sting in the middle of the strip. If you are hanging you flower you will need to leave a longer string hanging. It is also important that the knot on the string be on the edge side of the strip (see the picture).

5.) Cut through all of the tissue paper ends in any shape (curved, pointed, etc) you like. This will form the petal design. Here is a link showing a variety of petal shapes. 

6.) Now for the most delicate step. Starting at one end of your strip, fan out your accordion fold. Starting with the top piece of tissue paper CAREFULLY separate it from all the others, pushing it in towards the middle where your string is. Go sheet by sheet until you are finished that side. Once done flip it around and do the same to the other side. Once all your sheets are separated you can start playing around with it to fluff it up. 

If you are going to put the flowers on a bulletin board or wall, like in the picture here, leave one side of the flower flat and push all the petals forward. To attach them to a flat surface, I found push pins work way better than staples. Staples tend to flatten too many of the petals and will tear them when you take the flower down.
 If you are going to hang your flowers, make sure you spread the petals on all sides of the flower to make a flower ball. Once it is hung you can play around with the exact placement of the petals.
 These are so simple to make that I have done these with students in Grades 2-7. Everyone loves making them and they were ALL successful.

Layer colors or use patterned tissue paper for more unique flowers.

The main thing is to have fun, be creative, and SAVE money!!!! I can buy a package of tissue paper (12 sheets) for $1 and make 4 flowers out of it. If I luck out and get the 30 sheet packs for $1 during seasonal times, I can make way more (this isn't a math post so I won't figure it I know I will NEVER buy pre-made flowers again, and neither should you. 

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