Tag Archives: Freebies

Dreading Summer Regression? All You Need is a Plan!

2 May

With summer nearly upon us, it’s time to start thinking about the dreaded summer regression (insert frustrated teacher sigh); however, the summer slide doesn’t have to be a reality for every student. Encourage parents to prepare now by developing a summer reading plan, and show them the importance of summer reading so their children don’t lose any of the gains they worked so hard to make this year.

Emphasize the Importance of Summer Reading

The “summer slide” is a common occurrence for many students. Often, summers get busy and reading isn’t a priority. Parents want to give their children a break from school, or they don’t wish to battle their children who are reluctant to pick up a book. Sometimes, they aren’t even aware the negative effects this academic break causes. Summer regression a big issue, especially for struggling readers, but it can be avoided.

Be proactive. Send home a parent letter explaining the benefits of summer reading, or email your classroom parents to share a few informative websites. This information may be just what they need to see the value of summer reading and may encourage families to take action and make a plan for summer reading.

Helpful Resources: 

Encourage Parents to Create a Summer Reading Plan

So often we say we’re going to do things, but unless we’re intentional with our time and an action plan is in place, it’s probably not going to happen. Being mindful of our goals and actually writing down our plans helps with accountability. Similar to my weekly “to do” list – writing it down doesn’t guarantee it will happen, but the act of creating a plan increases the chances immensely. 🙂

Consider sending home a planning page to help families start thinking about their summer reading plans. There is one planning page for families to complete together, and one for students to complete. Which form they choose will depend if it’s a whole family initiative – where every family member takes part in the summer reading challenge – or just the children.

I would encourage parents to fill these forms out with their children! You can model the conversation students can have with their families and make it the planning page part of their homework. Or if you don’t want to make it mandatory, get creative and think of some incentives that would encourage your students to have the conversation with their families. For example, students can bring in their plan into school to show you for a free homework pass to use during these last few weeks of school, or they can earn a ticket for a fun raffle drawing – perhaps for a prize or a fun lunch with you! (I’m not above bribery incentives! ;))

Download the free summer reading planning pages HERE or by clicking the image above!

I hope you found these ideas and resources to be helpful! Join The Reading Crew over the next few weeks for an entire month of literacy learning. There will be new blog posts shared each day so be sure to follow our hashtag #thereadingcrew on social media or check out our live calendar. The calendar will be edited each day to include clickable links as each blog post is published and made available. You may wish to bookmark it for easy access. Be sure to follow us on Facebook to receive updates about our upcoming blog events, too!

Happy Teaching!

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The Gift of Reading Blog Hop (Stop #20)

22 Nov

Blog Hop Overview:

At each blog stop, you will be gathering literacy-related gifts and freebies.  In each post, you will find a picture of a snowman with a letter on it. Collect all of the letters, record them on your Giveaway Recording Sheet, and solve the mystery quote. You will need this quote to enter the amazing giveaway at the end!

The hop is set up as a loop, so you may start anywhere along the hop, but if you would like to start at the beginning, to make sure you scoop up all the freebies, please visit the first stop: A Day In The Life of A Title I Teacher.  (This is also where you will go after you finish the hop to enter the giveaway!)

Welcome to Blog Hop Stop #20:

“Reading. Writing. Thinking. Sharing.”


The Gift of Reading:


The gift of reading is a lifelong gift. Helping the children in your life find the one book, the one author, or the one series they could fall in love with… it could change their lives forever. Maybe it’s the book that hooks them into the world of reading. Maybe it’s the series that motivates them to read moreto become better readers. Maybe it’s the author that helps them relate, connect, and understand life. Whatever it is, help your students understand the power of reading, and show them how it can truly change their lives.

I wish for you a holiday season filled with love, laughter, and MANY wonderful books! 🙂

Enjoy my FREE gift for YOU!

(NOTE: Starting 8 PM on Sunday, 11/24/13, this item will go back to being a paid item in my TpT store.)  

The Winter Escape” partner poetry product will bring some poetry fun into your classroom! Use the poem to reinforce fluency, and use the comprehension pages to reinforce visualizing, retelling, making inferences, and writing text-based answers. Send it home with students, or use it in the classroom as a literacy center. My students love the back-and-forth structure of this partner poem and the activities that go along with it. I hope yours do too!

My secret letter is:


Thank you for stopping by! If you’re not already a follower, and you would like to be the first to know about new post, giveaways, and blog hops, follow me on Bloglovin’ (click the image bel0w). You can also sign up for my blog posts via email (see right-hand navigation). 


Don’t stop now! Hop on over to Thinking Out Loud to pick up another amazing reading gift! If you get lost along the way download the Blog Hop Map here to easily pick up where you left off! 

Happy Hopping &

Happy Holidays!


Roll-a-Dice Literacy Fun

11 Aug
Roll a Dice Literacy Fun | This blog post includes ideas, activities, and free printables for using dice in the classroom.

Roll a Dice Literacy Fun

With my small group pull-out sessions limited to half-hour increments, I’m always looking for quick (fun!) reading and writing activities to reinforce literacy skills. For some reason though, when I think of dice games, my mind always jumps to math and probability. Little did I know, there’s a whole WORLD of possibilities for using dice with literacy! My mind is churning (uh oh!) and I’m already making lists of all the resources I want to create. I have a feeling this year will be fun as I continue to explore and develop literacy-focused dice activities to use with my students. It may be a little loud, too…

Let’s Shake & Roll!

Here’s a sample of what I’ve been creating. I hope you find these resources helpful as you head back to school and continue to build up your own instructional toolbox!


This summer I taught a writing workshop at a local bookstore and had my students create story starters using the  following Roll-a-Story chart. With each roll of the dice (three total!), the students had a character, setting, and problem to use as a basis for their creative stories.

(Download your copy here or click the picture below!)

Roll a Story FREEBIE (MsJordanReads)

Once students collected their three story elements, they recorded them on a graphic organizer (included in freebie!) and planned out the rest of the story. If they weren’t happy with their story starter, they were able to roll again, but I did have to put a time-limit on this loud, rolling fun.


For fluency practice, I created a Roll-an-Emotion! activity to reinforce reading with expression. Essentially, students roll-a-dice two times… once to determine which word/phrase card to read, and a second time to determine which emotion to apply to their reading! Cards are not included in the sample, but you can use any cards you have that list simple words, phrases, or sentences.

(Download your copy here or click the picture below!)

(Note: This is a sample activity page from my Fluency Boot Camp product which I referenced in my “Fluency Boot Camp!” blog post this past February. It is my most popular product and includes everything you need to get started with fluency, including phrase and sentence cards. Feel free to check it out!)

Roll-a-Reading Partner!

It’s “clock partners” with a twist! Each student has to find six reading partners and record their names on the planner, one partner in each spot (see picture below). The trick is for the partner to write the corresponding student’s name in the same exact spot or it won’t work! The teacher or class helper rolls the dice and whatever number is rolled will be the listed dice partner pairs for the task/activity. Big foam dice are perfect for this!

(Download your copy here or click the picture below!)

Other FREE Dice Activity Resources

All Things Dice:




(NOTE: For variation with activities, you can make choices more challenging by using numbers greater than 6 and having students add the numbers of the two dice!)

A Tip for Your Sanity

Here’s a helpful management tip I came across that will prevent flying dice in your classroom! It’s still loud, but it helps… a lot. Use small plastic container to contain the individual dice. (Isn’t that brilliant?!) Of course, being slightly addicted, I found this wonderful idea on Pinterest (shared by Sunny Days in Second Grade, who also got the idea from Pinterest). For my small groups, I bought a package of small plastic containers and filled each with one or two dice. My sanity is still intact, and my teaching colleagues whom I share a room with don’t hate me as much since my students aren’t distracting their groups trying to find their dice. I guess I should change all my product titles to “Shake-a-Dice” activities now though. 🙂


If noise is an issue, you can use foam dice (large or small) or even colorful foam sheets as individual dice placemats for each student! It doesn’t prevent rolling or bouncing, but it does help with the noise.

Happy Back-to-School Teaching!

**This post contains affiliate links. Click HERE to learn what that means!

Looking for Additional Materials?

Check out my Roll-a-Dice Activity category page here which includes my popular interactive “Roll-a-Story” Writing Activity resources!

Roll-a-Story Writing Activities PROMO



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