Teacher Resources

Student Led Conferences

Here are some of the forms I used when doing student led conferences at school.  I really liked to give the students a check list of things to cover with their parent(s).  At the end, the parents wrote a letter to their child and left it on their desk to read the next day.

Conference form


Student Led Conference Agenda


Conference parent reminder

Student led conference parent letter

Book Room:

bbokroom Books sorted by DRA level for all to use.

QAR Poster:

IMG_7192IMG_7193IMG_7194 This is a poster we used to help the students figure out different types of questions and how to answer them using the book, their head, or both.

Book Reports:

Cereal Box Report

Biography Box Report: For this report you will need to supply students with a cube that students cut out of stiff paper and glue together.  On each side of the cube put the following:

1. Title and author

2.  Challenges the person faced

3.  Something important the person did

4.  What you admire about the person

5.  Draw a picture of the person

6.  Other information about the person

Students need to write and draw something on each face of the cube.

*The original report came from Instructor.

Here is a link for students to make their own word searches to put on their cereal box if they would like.

Write a Letter Report:

This book report involves writing a letter from one character in the story to another and then drawing a book jacket.  You just need to provide some blank letter stationary and a blank page to make a book jacket.

Write a letter

Birthday Party Report:

Students read a book of their choosing at their level and then choose a perfect gift for the main character.  The students dress up as the main character and open the gift in class for their presentation.  Students make sure to tell why is the perfect gift for them.  Then they give a brief summary of the book and tell if they would recommend the story.

Birthday Party Book Report

*I’m not sure that I would use the rubric in the above example because some kids may have trouble presenting and still have a great report.  I plan to redo it so that there are two grades; one for speaking and one for the report.

Sandwich Book Report:

Scholastic Sandwich I found this interesting page on Scholastic where students plug in story elements and it makes a book report sandwich.  This is similar to our book report idea.

This was a fun book report that we did for the month of April.  First there was the top bread. On this page students write the title and author of the book in neat writing.  Second is a piece of bologna.  Draw a picture of the main character(s) and write a short description about them on this page. Third is a piece of cheese where students draw a picture of the setting.  Fourth is a piece of lettuce where students draw and write about their favorite part of the story. Finally is the bottom piece of bread where the students write a letter to the class telling them their opinion of the book.  The letter should tell if they recommend the book, who would like to read it, and what the author did well or didn’t do well.


The students are supposed to cut out their sandwich pieces and put them in order in the sandwich bag provided to them.  Once the book reports were presented, we hung them in the hallway on a red and white checkerboard pattern.  It makes a very cute bulletin board for your hallway.

Sandwich Book Report

Sandwich Book Report Grading Sheet

Shopping Spree:

For the month of May, students will need to find a book of their choice on their reading level. Students then decorate a paper bag with important events  and the title from the book they chose.  Next they fill the bag with objects or pictures of objects that represent important parts of the story.  With each object of picture there needs to be a tag or written explanation on the back to tell  how the object relates to the story.  Bring the shopping bag with the objects to school to present.

Shopping Spree Book Report

On Display:

For this book report students read any book of their choice on their level and then collect 5 or more objects that go along with the plot of their book.  With each object they need a note card telling what it is, which character it belonged to and what it means to the book or character.  The students also make a poster with the title, author and a picture to display with their objects.  Students can choose to dress up as their character for extra points.

On Display

Game Board:

At the end of the year we always do a game book report.  This was such a great idea because we let the kids play their games in class during the last week of school.  It helped to keep down on worksheets and the kids enjoyed playing the games they worked so hard on.

The students need to read an adventure book like Bunnicula, Magic Tree House, The Swiss Family Robinson, Harry Potter, etc.  Next, they design a game board with spaces that tell the player what to do.  The spaces can have questions about the book (this might be harder if other kids have not read it), they can just have cute little things that go along with the story that happen to the player like “Go to the nurses office”, “Mom falls off the raft. Lose a turn.” The students get really creative with this.  They can use spinners, cards to match colors like on Candy Land or dice.  Students just need to incorporate the character names, settings, problem of the book, solution to make the game.  They also need to set a purpose for the game.  The purpose for Bunnicula would be to “Help Bunnicula escape from Chester.”

Students make the actual game boards with titles, the pieces to play, and directions.

The game boards can be made out of poster board or file folders, unless the students have other ideas on how to make the game.  The idea is to have fun and be creative while using elements of the book they read.

Game Board Book Report Rubric

Guided Reading Notebooks:

This is a reading folder that I use in the classroom.  Each guided reading group has a color that coordinates with a notebook.  On the cover I put our district continuum for comprehension and for word call.  I make sure that the levels above and below are there so that I am always teaching the skills the children are ready for.  Also, along the top are the reading levels with the DRA level just as a reference.  Inside the notebook I have tabs for each child.  I like to keep the skills that each child is working on at the moment in there and I highlight them as they accomplish those skills.  This is all to make sure that they are reading on the correct level and always being challenged.  I also keep my anecdotal notes under their tabs too.  Creating the tabs is easy for moving the kids up or down a group.  They easily move from notebook to notebook if needed.Take Home Reading Helpers:

The child takes these home to use with reading at home.  In the front pocket are some blends and digraphs charts to help the child sound out.  There is also a parent guide to help assist their child.  Next comes some sheets that allow the teacher and parent to communicate about the child’s reading.  Behind the communication sheets is a list of 100 most frequently used words.  Finally, on the back inside cover are reading strategies with cute little pictures that remind the child of what to do when they get to an unknown word.  On the cover is a hand with the five finger rule.

Shared Reading:

1.  In third grade we loved to use the Daybooks from Great Source.  There are a variety of genres to read and then different skills to practice.

2.  Time for Kids

3.  Reader’s Theater- plays

4.  Choral reading of finger plays or poems

5.  Echo reading- make sure to use short texts with short sentences.

6.  Weekly Reader

7.  Everyone reads the same story- make sure to have a class set of the same book.  Sometimes we used our Spider Magazine for this.

Math Journal:

This is a simple math journal that I had students write about how they solved problems in math.  Most days I would write a problem of the day and they would copy it down in the booklet.  Then they would show their work and answer the problem.  Finally, the students would explain the steps they followed to solve the problem.  If they wanted to exceed the standard then the students would show and explain a second way to work the problem.    I had put a rubric on the back of their booklets.  It helped for students to know exactly what was expected.  I would also have them figure out their grade from time to time and write it down on the page.  That really helped the students to be more aware of what quality of work .  problem-of-the-dayproblem-2

Little Books for the Writing Center:

Do your students love to write stories? These little books are so great to keep at your writing station. They are simple to make and can be low cost. First, I take some card stock and cut it in half (hamburger way). Now you have the covers for two books. Do the same with the inside paper. I usually use 3 sheets of paper per book so that when the sheets are folded there are 6 sheets for the books. I also trim a little more off all of the sides of the white inside paper so that it doesn’t stick out from the cover. Next put your book together in a stack. I use a paper piercer (cheap tool from Michael’s- which I am sure you could use a fat sewing needle too) to poke three holes through all of the layers down the center crease. Lining it up with the book open and poking the three holes from the inside of the book works the best for me. Using three strands out of the 6 on some floss, I thread it on a sewing needle and then sew through the holes and tie it off.

Sewing through the holes:
Starting on the outside of the book go down through to the inside of the book in the center hole. Make sure to leave a decent size tail since that is what you will tie with later. Once inside the book go down to the bottom hole and go up to the outside. Once outside, go over across the center hole and down the top hole. You will now be inside the book again. Now go straight up through the center hole back to the outside. Tie this end with the starting tail into a knot and you are done!

Digging Through the Dictionary

IMG_7172IMG_7173IMG_7174IMG_7175One of the centers I used on a weekly basis in my reading groups was “Digging Through the Dictionary”.  I got this idea from a book called, What Are the Other Kids Doing While You Teach Small Groups? by Creative Teaching Press.  It would be pretty easy to make up your own to go along with the center.  I kept a box of cards that had words on them next to the center.  The kids would select a word card from the box, a dictionary, and one of the lamenated worksheets from the folder.  At their seats they would find the word on the card in the dictionary and then record the word, the guide words, and the definition.  The folder had a list of all of the words in the word box for the students to mark off when they had found a word.  I did a pink sheet for the girls and a blue sheet for the boys.  This just made it easier for them to find their initials in their columns at the top and also saved space since we had 20 kids in the class.  This activity could easily be adapted for words that are easier to find and for harder words.  There could even be two different folders and word card sets for kids who need different levels.

In addition to the dictionary folder, I have a thesaurus one too.  The same activity can be found in the same book.  The words I use for the thesaurus are: flat, fold, full, heavy, get, give, gift, near, noise, slow, empty, large, small, go, stop, start, lose, many, grow, grumpy, hide, high, low, good, hold, tight, loose, few, join, jump, catch, kind, mean, land, leave, less, part, private, real, shine, said.


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