Tuesday, September 20, 2016

7 Ways to Teach Cause and Effect

Are you looking for ways to teach cause and effect?  I hope some of these will be helpful to you!

First, offer an anchor chart.  Tell students that cause and effect is found in both fiction and nonfiction material.  In fiction, the cause-effect relationship is often found in characters.

For example, Maddie was being bullied so she didn't want to go to school.
The cause is Maddie was being bullied.
The effect is she didn't want to go to school.

In nonfiction, cause and effect relationships are used to explain many social studies and science concepts.

For example, The battle began because there was a disagreement over taxes.
The cause is a disagreement over taxes.
The effect is the battle began.

Next, offer mentor text.  Below you will see a fun example using the Nursery Rhyme, Little Miss Muffet.  Also show cause and effect in other books.  Suggestions:

Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
If You Give a Mouse a Cookie by Laura Numeroff


1.  Photos:  Find photos that can show cause and effect.  Show them and the casue and effect relationship.  some photos may have more than one!

2.  Interactive Notebook:  Use the flower example from the anchor chart.  Give each student a flower pattern to cut out.  Students then need to write notes on the outside and flip open a pedal to write the signal words.

3.  Matching:  Make cards with cause on one and effect on the other.  Mix them up and have students match them.

4.  Nursery Rhyme Detective-  Invite students to crack the case of finding a cause and effect in a Nursery Rhyme!  They will love it!  You can either have them research on their own or provide nursery rhymes for them to crack open!

5.  Student Samples with Illustrations-  Students need to create their own cause and effect sentences and identify the cause and effect.  Illustrating them is always motivating too!

6.  Practice Page with coloring-  Allow students to use two different color crayons, pens, or pencils- even highlighers- when finding the cause and effect in a sentence.  Not only is it more motivational for them, it makes for easy grading!

7.  Task Cards-  Who can't use task cards?  Task cards can be used with any board game, in a center, or for reteaching!

I hope you found something to use in your classroom!  All of these ideas and more are included in my Cause and Effect study unit!


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Wednesday, September 7, 2016

How to Get Your Students Writing!

Do you want your students writing more?  These three ways will get your students writing!

Place a daily prompt on your white board using a projector or smart board.  Students should use writing journals to write to the prompt.  Supply engaging prompts with a variety of types of writing.   This PAPERLESS strategy will free up your time to do administrative duties required when students first arrive in the classroom.  For an effective way to begin the day with the students,  have them share what they just wrote in their journals!


How To

1.  Provide graphic organizers, writing templates, and checklists.  When students have everything they need, they will follow through the writing steps.  I like to provide these items together as one stapled packet.  This gem is 6-Tier Organizer to separate the different types of writing.  Click Here to find it on Amazon.  I used return address labels to label each section.
2.  Staple graphic organizers, writing templates, checklists, and rubrics together in a pack and place enough for each student on the correct shelf.

3.  At the beginning of the year, provide the materials for paragraph writing and towards the middle of the year, supply them for essay writing.

4.  Provide prompts for your writing center.   This can be done two ways.

Display the prompt cards in order and color-code the writing types.  Students can write the prompt on the blank space of the corresponding writing templates.  They can either go in the order of the cards circulating through the different types, or you can set out a few cards or type of cards for student choice.

The prompt cards can be displayed using a Brochure holder.  Click Here to find it on Amazon.

Have prompts already listed on the writing templates and numbered with the type of writing in the top right-hand corner.  This helps with easy organization.  Make them for paragraph writing AND essay writing if you are in upper elementary.

In the writing center or another designated area, place the CARD HOLDER so that the prompts are not showing.  If students finish early from an assignment, they can pick from the card holder and write in their journal.

I hope these ideas will help you and your students write more in the classroom!  


I offer two different resources for writing prompts.  With each resource, the prompts are listed for easy organization.  Print the list and cross off any prompt that was already used.

1.   The Grade Level prompts include 60 prompts (10 from each type of writing).  They are directly written on the pages and each writing template (graphic organizer, rough draft, checklist, final copy, and rubric) is numbered with the type of writing in the upper corner.  It aids in your organization.   There are different checklists and rubrics for each type of writing.   Cards are included.


2.  180 Prompt Cards and White Board Display:  All 180 prompts are provided on cards and white board size.   In addition, blank templates (graphic organizer, rough draft, checklist, final copy, rubric) are provided for the teacher or student to write the prompt in.  There are different checklists and rubrics each type of writing.

Below are the products I found to use with my writing center:


Other similar blog posts:



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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Classroom Must Haves: Things I Can’t “Picture” Myself Teaching Without

When it comes to organizing and planning a classroom, every teacher has a few items they couldn't possibly ever go without!  It might be that favorite stapler, the perfect book, or an amazing resource!  I know I know.  I just posted about Supplies I Can't Live Without but I wanted to join my peeps from Upper Elementary Snapshots where we will all share our Must Have supply, book, and resource.  I have so many things I can't "Picture" myself teaching without so it was a no brainer for me to share more!  Plus, be sure to check out how to collect Must Have freebies from each of us!

***Click on each picture below to an Amazon link to the product.   I like my readers to know they are affiliate links.  If you purchase from the link, the tiny portion is invested right back into my blog so I can keep providing teachers with helpful tips for their classrooms!  

This cascading wall organizer is great to place student's writing work!  

There are 6 colorful folders- perfect for writing steps.  
1.  Prewriting
2.  Rough Draft
3.  Revise
4.  Edit
5.  Peer Reflections
6.  Final Copy

At the end of each writing block, have students place their papers in the correct folder!  Each folder is removable!  You will have quick access to see who needs help and you can take the final copy folder home to grade!  I also like to match up partners for the next day for peer reflections so this is perfect to know who is ready for that step!  

Amazon Description:
Save desk space by utilizing often overlooked wall space
Six cascading pockets are removable to make document access easy
Elastic cord closure for secure and easy transport
Colored pockets each hold 25 sheets
Convenient loop on top for easy hanging
Durable poly material is tear proof and water resistant. Acid free, PVC free and archival quality

A few moons ago, I met an intriguing man, Mychal Wynn.  He shared a story, The Eagles who Thought They were Chickens. which was related to bullying.  I took it home with me and immediately started planning how I would use it in my class. I read this story EVERY year and we would discuss how people need to soar throughout their lives and realize they have the potential to reach their dreams.

Description from Amazon:  An African folktale chronicling the birth of eagles in a chicken yard. Separated from their homeland, unknowing their historical past, and ridiculed for their differences they struggle with their sense of self-identify until they are encouraged and inspired by another eagle. This inspiring story of self-identify and self-discovery provides a strategy to reduce bullying, eliminate disruptive behaviors, and challenge students to affirm their potential and pursue their dreams.

This is a COMPLETE WRITING WORKSHOP program with step-by-step instructions and creative ideas.  STUDENTS LOVE IT are motivated to write!  It is specifically designed for teachers to follow through the WRITING PROCESS with already prepped modeled lessons. Every lesson builds upon the previous skill within one piece of writing, which give students a thorough understanding of how to put a piece of writing together.


★ Anchor charts WITH STANDARDS great for smart board or printed for posters

★ Interactive Pages WITH STANDARDS to go along with each mini lesson.

★ Writing Workshop lessons and plans

★ Independent practice

★ Model writing

★ Assessments

★ Student Resource pages to place in notebooks

★ Graphic organizers

★ Tracking charts and Forms

★ Rubrics

★ Homework assignments AND MORE!

Use this resource to help students write a paragraph or essay to go along with the book:

Write a narrative story of a person who changes from having bully behaviors to being kind and compassionate.  Describe the bully behaviors, the event or action that made the bully change, and the effects of the change.

I couldn't end without steering you to a free resource for your classroom.  Use these graphic organizers to help your students organize their writing!

After you've downloaded my free graphic organizers be sure to visit each of the blogs below to add 12 more FREE RESOURCES to your own collection of things you can't picture yourself teaching without. Afterwards swing by our collaborative blog, Upper Elementary Snapshots for lots of great content and ideas you can put into practice in your own classrooms!

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