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Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

An early lesson you want to teach your students is the difference in books that tell stories and books that give information.  I have found that the best way to teach this is within context of different types of texts.  Let's read more about some resources that I have used to teach the differences in the two types, as well as meet our pesky friend, the BOOK BANDIT!

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

We begin the unit learning the text features of both types of texts by creating this anchor chart and using real text examples to discuss the differences between the two.  I print the anchor chart from the pack as a poster, along with the two mini posters, for students to reference throughout the unit.   I printed the sorting cards on cardstock and students helped me attach them to the anchor chart during our whole group discussion.

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

They then completed their own sort below.  This is great to glue into their reading journal for additional reference during the unit.

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

I have lots of activities that I use included within the pack, but you don't have to use them in the order laid out in this blog post.  ;)  The activity below is one I like to always do with a new reading skill.  My students become reading detectives during this cooperative group activity.  Each group gets an envelope with the following recording sheets and a text, which might be a book or a passage, inside.  They work with their group to decide if the book tells a story or gives information.  They have to prove their thinking by providing three pieces of evidence from the text.  After you do a few rotations of these throughout your unit, you can add it to a learning center for additional practice.

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

Throughout the unit, I kept two bins of books labeled books that tell stories and books that give information.  I referred to a few of them during the unit.  But at the end of the unit, I threw them all over the classroom for students to walk in and find the next morning with a letter from the Book Bandit!  He had came in and made a mess of our sorted books, so it was the students' challenge to sort them back into their proper bins.  They had to provide three pieces of evidence from the text to prove their thinking and they attached it to a craft of the Book Bandit that they had made.  This was such an engaging activity and a great assessment!

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction


Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

I have included lots of other resources in the pack to use during your lessons.  Throughout the unit, students pretended to be detectives, so they wore these little badges!
Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

We used these interactive notebook pieces for different texts.

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

If you have Scholastic flyers, you can have students sort them in these flapbooks.  This is another great quick assessment!

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

We always finish our lessons with an exit ticket for me to quickly assess their understanding of the different features of these two types of texts.

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

After completing a unit, I love to give my students new bookmarks for them to use during independent reading just to remind them of the previous skill taught so that they can independently apply those skills during reading.

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction

Click any of the pics in the blogpost to check this resource out!  As always, happy teaching and happy reading!

Differences Between Fiction and Nonfiction



homeschool at home learning

My students absolutely LOVE playing Classroom Management Games!  I have designed this game set for May and June to cover any behavior needs you need to cover.  You just choose the behavior focus before playing the game with your class.  These games target those behaviors while positively reinforcing students meeting your expectations.  Classroom games are played as a whole group and end with some sort of reward.  You can also play the games in teams, tables, or individually.  These games are also great if you are homeschooling.  You can use these as incentives to complete activities and assignments during your day.  I have included a list of mostly free prize ideas in the resource.

I print the games on cardstock and laminate them.  I use Velcro dots to attach the game pieces to the game boards. 

homeschool at home learning

This game requires students to earn all of the shark's teeth by the end of the day.  If you are working on transitions, and students exhibit a quick, quiet, and smooth transition, they earn a shark tooth.  I attach the pieces with velcro dots.  If it's not completed by the end of the day, they have to start over the following day.

homeschool at home learning

Fill the Cup requires students to earn pieces to fill the glass of lemonade by the end of the day.  If you are working on cleaning up, and students exhibit that behavior, they earn a piece.  I attach the pieces with velcro dots.  If it's not filled by the end of the day, they have to start over the following day.

homeschool at home learning

Tropical Tic Tac Toe is played like traditional Tic Tac Toe.  When students exhibit the positive behavior, the student gets to add an X to the game board.  When students do not meet expectations, the teacher gets to add an O to the game board.  The first with three in a row wins!

homeschool at home learning

Hearties Hunt can be played as class vs. teacher or you can play it by tables or teams.  When a table or students are being on task, for example, they get to move their game piece.  The first to the treasure wins!

homeschool at home learning
For Beach BUMP, just choose what behavior you want to focus on.  When students do not meet expectations, the teacher gets to add a game piece to the board.  When a student meets your expectations, that student gets to add a game piece to the board.  The first with four in a row wins!  Don't forget that you can bump each other off the board!  

homeschool at home learning

BEE on Task Challenge is a students vs. teacher behavior whole group behavior management tool.  Reward students for positive behaviors by giving the class side of the board a game piece.  For negative behaviors, the teacher side earns a game piece.  At the end of the day or class period, the class must exceed the teacher side for a reward! 

These games have made all the difference with my class!  But I have to say that in order for them to work, it's up to you, the teacher, to keep them going.  You do have to keep reminding them of the game and make it competitive.  Stay positive and be an encourager.  You will begin to see your students mirroring those same qualities.  

You can click any of the pics from the post to check out the resource.  I would love to hear how it goes in your classroom!  Please feel free to tag me on Instagram to share how they are going!  

You can also save by purchasing the Bundle for the Entire Year below!

homeschool at home learning

home school at home learning







reading comprehension at home learning

I have gathered all of the graphic organizers I created for second grade literature and informational text standards together in one take home resource. These can be used with any fiction or nonfiction text and cover all the Tennessee and Common Core standards. Simply print these as a packet to send home with students over the break or e-mail them to parents if you are no longer in school. This is just a great way for students to continue practicing the comprehension strategies and skills they have already learned when reading a text.

reading comprehension at home learning

As far as organization goes, I printed the covers of each section and attached them to file folders for each set.

reading comprehension at home learning

You can use these with books that you have or you can use them with online books, such as on Vooks, Epic, or Reading A-Z.

reading comprehension at home learning

reading comprehension at home learning

reading comprehension at home learning

Click the picture below to download the FREE set!  I hope this helps with at home learning for your little readers!

reading comprehension at home learning

classroom management


If you are a teacher, you have been asked this a thousand times.  ;)  I used to get so upset with my students for asking this, because I had already told them multiple times where to put it.  But then I realized that maybe I needed to look in the mirror.  Usually, when there is a management issue in your classroom, there is a solution that can help alleviate that issue that comes straight from the teacher.  

I wasn't always being consistent with where I wanted students to turn in assignments.  I have a finished work basket where most work goes, but I don't always want it to go there.  Sometimes, I want them to hold onto it so that I can give them immediate feedback on an assignment.  Other times, I want them to bring it to me at teacher table to have it checked.  I also have a number collector who collects them in number order if it's something that I am using as an assessment grade for my gradebook.  No wonder my students couldn't keep up!

So, I decided to create a visual reminder to help them know where to put their completed assignments.  It took about a week to get used to, but they NEVER ask me what to do with their work anymore.  

classroom management

I printed each of the cards on cardstock and laminated them.  I added them to binder rings and hung them on my front board.  I always reference it before independent or partner practice, but if they forget where to put it, they just refer to the visual.  

I have included in the resource all of the cards that I use and in three different color options.  I have also included some blank editable cards for you to customize to your classroom.  I hope that if you are having the same question asked of you multiple times a day, this little tool will help you out!  Click any of the pics to check the resource out.  Thanks for stopping by!

classroom management
classroom management





This post is sponsored by Studentreasures.

One of my dreams is to have a book published someday.  I love to share those dreams with my students to hopefully inspire them if they wish to do the same.  I was so excited to find a company that makes their dream of writing and publishing a book come true at such a young age!  Studentreasures is a company that publishes class books for your students.  When I shared this with my students, they were ready to celebrate and get started writing!    I decided to use this opportunity to teach narratives, since it’s probably my least favorite writing style to teach.  I knew this would be a fun way to get them engaged in the writing process!




You can cover so many standards with just this one writing project!  You can cover narratives, informative, opinion, persuasive, or expository.  When you receive your book, during your celebration, you can work on those speaking and listening standards, as well, by having students read their page to the class.



We have been reading Sideways Stories from Wayside Schools for our just for fun read aloud.  If you have read the story before, you know that the final chapter reveals that one of the main characters is actually telling the story.  All of the characters in the book, as well as the school itself, is just that, sideways and ironic!  The character from whose point of view who we are told the stories, begins to tell them about a crazy school and class that is completely opposite from them, which turns out to be the reader’s school.  It’s such a fun book for a read aloud for pleasure, and my students developed such a love for it and its characters.  So, I thought it would be fun to create our own Sideways Stories about our school! 

Each student has a chapter (page) in the book all about themselves.  They wrote it in a narrative style that tells a made up story about them, but that incorporates their own interests and personality.





We began the process by planning out their character.  We found a great video from Teaching Without Frills to introduce us to do just that.  There are also great resources and lessons on Studentreasures.  Afterwards, I would always model by doing whatever was in the mini-lesson.  The first chapter is all about me, Mrs. Gannon.  They helped me come up with ideas for the story I would tell about myself.  I then had them go out and do the same for their own characters.

Once their character and story was established, we wrote rough drafts of our chapter on notebook paper first.  I had them then do another after revisions on paper just like they would be given from Studentreasures.  You can print as much paper as you need from their website, which is so convenient!  After receiving their rough drafts, including their illustrations, I made revisions for them on their papers.



After giving them back, they were ready to transfer their writing and drawings to their paper.  You do need to make sure you use a good black pen for the writing and washable markers for the illustrations.  You may want to add in another step for them to practice depending on the age. 




I love that Studentreasures sends an example of a published book to share with your class.  It gives students an end goal to work towards.  You get to dedicate the book to someone, so we chose our families.  You also get to design the cover.  We decided to include a photo of our class for the cover, since it’s all about us! 

They include everything you need in the FREE kit you receive and make it so simple to create your book.  I love the concise directions and the organization of the materials.  It couldn't be easier for the busy teacher!



I can’t wait to receive our book after it is published!  I will be sure to share with you all!   We will for sure have a huge celebration when we receive our copy, including a book signing party!  Parents also have the option of ordering a copy, too, at a very reasonable price.  Studentreasures makes everything super easy for you and your students!  That was super motivating for me when choosing to work with them to make my little writers dreams come true!  I love seeing them tell their friends in other classes that we are writing an actual book.  They're friends are even asking me to share with their teachers!  I can't think of a better way to build a strong writing community in your classroom and school!

Be sure to use my link below to order your own kit!  It’s free for you!


1.     Select your FREE classroom kit that works for you.  There are different options.
2.     Have students collaborate to write and illustrate their stories using their free resources.
3.     Publish your book!  Submit your kit and receive a FREE hardcover copy for your classroom!

http://studentreasures.com/lemonadestandteacher





writing office for primary grades

My students were having difficulty staying focused at writing center.  I decided to make theses folders for them to grab from the writing center and take back to their seats.  I love that they have the resources and tools they need without having to physically be at the writing center.  It is also a visual reminder for other students to leave them alone while they write.

 I only make enough in my classroom for the number of students who will be at writing center.  You could also make one for each student in your class if it fits your needs.

writing office for primary grades

As you can see, there's not a lot of space for 4-5 students to work at my writing center.  I was also hanging our anchor charts back here, but when students would go somewhere else in the room to write alone, they couldn't refer to them.  This was a problem.

writing office for primary grades

So, these writing offices were born!  There are tons of amazing writing office options on TPT, but I was looking for something simple for my students.  I wanted them to have easy access to sights words, the alphabet, a writer's checklist, and graphic organizers.

writing office for primary grades

This is the front of the writing office.  I got the green file folders from Amazon.  Click the photo below for an affiliate link to the folders.


writing office for primary grades

writing office for primary grades

I recommend laminating the offices once you get them put together.  Students can also then check off the items on the Writer's Checklist after writing.  

They always want to ask what to do when they're done.  I included an early finisher list of things to do, so you never have to answer that question!

writing office for primary grades

My students really rely on sentence starters right now when writing.  Each type of writing's graphic organizer tool contains them for each sentence of their writing.  I also added the alphabet at the bottom, because correct letter formation is super important.

writing office for primary grades

Finally, I added a mini word wall for sight words. 

The printables for the writing office also come in black and white within the resource.  They would be really fun printed on Astrobrights paper!  For the color version, I went with cool colors to provide a more calming workspace.  

You can click any of the photos in the blog post if you think this might be a tool your young writer's need!  Happy writing, and thanks for stopping by!

writing office for primary grades