Sunday, October 2, 2016

NonFiction Text Four Important Facts

It's not unusual for students to have difficulty identifying the most important facts when they read nonfiction text.

Large group work 

I distribute a one page article or some other nonfiction text  to the large group and have them read it aloud. After each paragraph is read, I stop them and ask if there are any important facts within that particular paragraph. We discuss the answers that volunteers offer and I write them on the board.

Small group work

After they've practiced in the large group, I have them get into small groups and ask each group to work on one particular article or nonfiction text in order to find four most important facts. 

During the time they work in small groups, I ask them to discuss and brainstorm the text. I also tell them they can all use the same facts on their sheets, as long as they all agree about which ones are the most important. (A great tactile strategy is to use highlighters to highlight the most important facts).

Once we're finished the small group work, we get back into the large group.  I have one volunteer from each group summarize the article or text they read and then have others in the group read the facts they chose. As each fact is read,  I have the "audience" do a "thumbs up" if they think the fact is VERY important. 

The more practice the better!

Download this free worksheet by clicking on the cover!

Thanks for stopping by!

photo of nonfiction four main facts free PDF work page by Teacher Park
                                                 Nonfiction Four Important Facts Worksheet

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Author Project Books and Picture Books!

This is a great FREE project to motivate your students to explore new genre and to read more than one book by an author. They start by researching an author and and writing five facts they learned about the author's life.

Have them choose two books by the author and summarize them briefly, and lastly they should rate the books. When they're finished they can discuss their authors and novels in small groups. Laminate the cards and arrange them in a index card box in ABC order so they're available for students to view.
Click on the cover for more information.

photo of Author project free pdf picture books, student worksheet, research an author, genre, facts, author's life

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Close Reading Informational Text Polar Bears


I've never known anyone who doesn't love polar bears! Ask your students to state facts about polar bears and they'll most likely tell you they're cute, white and live at the North Pole. 

Wonderful. But definitely not enough information. They may think polar bears are cute because they have polar bear stuffed animals that aren't fierce predators and that have white "fur" unlike real polar bear fur that's translucent. 

Trust me when I tell you I had a friend's young son tell me that Eskimos have polar bears as PETS!!!!  I kid you not!

When our social studies curriculum included Native American cultures, I chose the Inuit (Eskimos) and each year, we did in depth research projects about them, as well as study animals indigenous to the Arctic region.

At that time, I developed several nonfiction packets that gave my students activities that  were both tied to English language arts, social studies and sometimes science.  I love to teach integrated units if possible. 

The information in this packet, describes polar bears lives, how they survive in the frigid temperatures and helps students make important assumptions about the fate of polar bears. 

The article is set up with columns on the right hand sides so you students can take notes about vocabulary words, concepts they may not understand or to write opinions about the article.

I love designing pages and used scenic photos of the Arctic with less opacity, so they wouldn't interfere with the text, then laid photos of the bears over the scenery. The pages print out beautifully and students love the realistic photos. 

This is my most recent informational text resource. Stay tuned for more! :)


photo of Polar Bears Close Reading Informational Text, PDF, ELA, student worksheets, Ruth S. Teachers Pay Teachers

You may also like another informational text article about the CHEETAH
Click on this link...

Examples of two of the pages

Teachers Comments :

~ Great work- kids very interested in topics! Thanks!
~Thank you for this wonderful product.
~ Love this!
~Thank you! Such good practice:)
~ Awesome!
~ Love this! Thank you!
~Great Common Core questions!

Monday, August 22, 2016


Teachers Pay Teachers is having a BONUS back to school site wide sale!

It's only ONE day and my entire store is ON SALE!

It starts August 22, 2016 EST

Use promo code OneDay when you check out and you'll receive another discount!

Browse through my store where you'll find many free and priced resources.

Click on the cover to visit my store. 
These are just a few of the many products in my store. 

All of my resources are ready to print to save you time!

Number the Stars 71 page literature guide This is my VERY popular literature guide for Number the Stars.  It includes an article about World War II with questions and answers, as well as maps of Denmark and Europe to give students a historical perspective before they read the story.

Book or Story Response Task Cards - Use with any book or story. 122 activities on 22 cards.

Figurative Language Chart and Student Worksheets - Students use my handy figurative language chart that has terms and examples. They keep them in their writing folders to use, as they work on writing assignments in class.

NonFiction Bingo - Students LOVE playing my Nonfiction Bingo game and teachers love how well their students learn nonfiction terms and definitions!

Bloom Ball Reports - My Bloom Ball reports resource is based on Bloom's Taxonomy. Students create a fiction and biographical report based on the latest verbiage of the Taxonomy. A unique hands on approach that students and teachers LOVE!

Trifold Book Report - Use my trifold book report ready to print templates, with any book or story. This book report includes templates for reading strategies and letters to parents about the reports as well as student rubrics. 

Fantasy Essential Elements - Students LOVE fantasy stories. My 69 page fantasy essential elements literature guide contains everything you need when you read a fantasy story in class with your students.

If you follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers, you will be notified about new resources I post as well as updates of any resources you've purchased. Updates are free of charge! :)

Have a fantastic new school year!


Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Back to School "What are YOUR Favorites"?

I can remember one of my elementary teachers asking us what our favorite ice cream was the first week of fifth grade. Hands went up! Most yelled Chocolate! Many said Vanilla! Two who said strawberry were almost run out of the classroom.  "Ewwwww, how can you like strawberry ice cream?" one classmate whispered.

When I was growing up we didn't have fancy dancy ice cream. No Ben and Jerry's. Only chocolate, vanilla and strawberry, oh! and chocolate mint and chocolate fudge.

When I walk into ice cream stores today, the choices are mind boggling and I really WANT to try a new flavor, but always end up with a chocolate ice cream cone, dipped in chocolate piled to the ceiling on a sugary wafer cone. YUM!!

This is why I created my "What's Your Favorite" activity. I guess I really created it to see if kids still love plain ol' chocolate or vanilla ice cream. But honestly, I really like to get to know what other things my students really like.

Another sheet asks them to list adjectives to describe some of their favorite things. It's a great way to introduce adjectives the first week of school.

Click on my free Favorites pages but before you do, tell me... what's YOUR favorite ice cream??

Have fun!


photo of Back to School What are Your Favorites? Teacher Park

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Vocabulary Detective Cards 3

This is the third set of my FREE Vocabulary Detective Cards that I created when teachers told me how excited they were about my first two sets. Using these cards is a great way to motivate students to learn new vocabulary words and to identify nouns, verbs and adjectives when they read books in class. 

Here's how I do it.. 

Make a Detective Jar. A Mason jar with a wide opening is the best to use.  Print a label for it on a large piece of white paper that says "Detective Jar". Wrap it around the jar and tape or glue the ends.

Make copies of the cards for your students. Explain that you'll be running a weekly contest and that you'll pull three cards from the jar at the end of the week. Winners will receive a prize if they've entered the correct answers on them.  Be sure to have prizes for the winners. I order them online in bulk from the Oriental Trading Company. 

Tell your students they shouldn't cut the cards until they've entered the information on them. When they're finished, they can cut the cards,  fold them in half, then put them in the jar. 

Hope you and your students enjoy these contests! Thanks for stopping by!

Have fun!


photo of Vocabulary Detective Cards 3 Free PDF


Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Templates and Forms Save Time

I can't count the number of times I've looked for a template or some kind of school form and just couldn't find it. I'd THINK I had saved it in a "Template" folder in my desk, but NO! I was so frustrated that I decided to take the time to create the ones that I use the most. I save this in my sub folder on my desktop!

Here's the list of what's in my packet.. I'm SO happy to have this so I don't have to stress out looking for them. 

2 Bingo cards. One left blank at the top so that any topic can be added. 
2 pages primary lined paper. One is in landscape.
Parent conference sign up sheet
Lesson plan sheet for one session - objectives, procedure, materials needed, etc. 
Spelling test generic sheet Numbered 1 -10
Spelling test generic sheet Numbered 1 - 25
Generic answer sheet for longer answers
Multiple choice answer sheet (A, B, C, D) 1-50
True/False answer sheet ( 1- 30 )
Seating chart square design, seats around the perimeter
Seating chart (desks in rows, two side by side)
Roll the Dice Reading Use with any novel Good for your sub folder
Roll the Dice Math multiplication facts Good for your sub folder
Good Behavior Mini Poster
Parent Volunteer Sign Up Form 
Student Sign Out Sheet
Student Passes - Library, Main Office, Nurse
Bookmarks - 3 positive quotes, 1 blank (Design Your Own)
Library/Media Center Sign Out Sheet
Professional Development Chart Keep track of the workshops you attend each year
Parent Movie Permission Slip (For showing PG movies in class with explanation)
Make Up Homework and Class work Chart (Helps keep track of missing assignments all on one sheet)
Homework Buddies Sign Up Sheet Assign homework buddy groups of three or four kids at the beginning of the year. They exchange phone numbers so that if someone has forgotten what a homework assignment is they can call each other. Saves a LOT of teacher time! Display a copy in your room.
Article, Story or Novel comment slips (Quick, brief response-to-text slips) 
12 Positive comment slips - Give to students as they work in class
Year Planner by Month Good to list monthly projects and important dates to have posted in your room.
Transportation sheet Keep track of how students travel to and from school. Kids often change buses or have a different way of getting to school (parents drop them off, etc)

The majority of these are black and white only. Some have color graphics that print out fine in black and white. 

Click on the cover of my packet to see more....

photo of Templates and Forms Save Time Teacher Park