Sunday, September 8, 2013

Back to School Pennant FREEBIE

I know this is probably a little late for most of you... but if you're still wondering what to put up in the hallway outside your classroom (ahem... like me), this is a quick and easy {and CUTE, of course} activity to get your kiddos to complete before Back to School season is a thing of the past.  I'm always at a loss as to what to put in the hallway at the beginning of the year before students have produced something truly meaningful. Since pennants seem to be all the rage these days, I decided to create my own "getting to know you" bunting.  If you're a more organized teacher than I am and you already have your hallway decorated, you might also like to showcase these pennants INSIDE your classroom and keep them up all year!  I think it would be a neat keepsake to give kids at the end of the year.

I've made different versions for use in Grades 1-6.  CLICK HERE to get yours for FREE in my TpT store!  Please leave Feedback and a Rating if you like them!


Here are my super simple directions:
1. Print one copy of the pennant that you would like to use.  Use a copier to make a set for your class.  (No need to waste your printer ink!)  Use colored paper if you won’t be having your students color their papers.  Use white paper if you plan on having students color their pennants.  Use card stock if you want the pennants to be super durable.
2. Use a paper cutting machine to chop off the diagonal edges of the pennants.  (I like to leave a little bit of a white edge, so I don’t cut the top of the page.)
3. Have students fill in the blanks in pencil.  When a student doesn’t know the spelling of a certain word, write it on a sticky note so that they can copy the correct spelling (since this is a paper you will likely display for others to read!).
4. After a student’s spelling has been checked, s/he may color the heading, stars, and border.  The star frame can be used for students to draw self portraits OR you could place students' photos inside them.
5. If you want to hang the pennants on a string or ribbon, simply punch a hole in the top corners of the pennants.
6. Voila!  You have a fantastic Back to School display!

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Nonfiction Short Text Jackpot

Are you suffering from a shortage of high-interest short nonfiction texts to use for whole group and small group lessons?  Well, suffer no more!  I just read a fantastic blog post by Jen Jones from Hello Literacy.  In her post, Jen lists tons of online sources for finding engaging nonfiction texts to use in the classroom. Click HERE to begin your nonfiction treasure hunt!

I also discovered another great site thanks to I'm Lovin' Lit's recent blog post.  If you go to, you can access nonfiction articles written by the Associated Press.  Not impressed? Well... you may be interested to know that ANY of the articles can be translated for ANY reading level from grade 2 - grade 12!  Crrrraaazzzyyy Cool!  Welcome to differentiated instruction heaven!  You can have all the readers in one classroom read *the same* article on their individual reading levels.  So... what's the catch?  You have to pay for a subscription.  Just kidding.  You CAN pay for a subscription OR you can login for FREE like this:

username: CommonCore.Teacher
password: CommonCore.Teacher

The login is case sensitive, so be sure to enter it exactly as shown above.

Please leave a comment below if you have any other nonfiction short text suggestions to share!

Get those kids reading nonfiction texts!

p.s. Check out these fabulous blogs when you get the chance.
I'm Lovin' Lit   Grab My Button