Iditarod Dreams Worksheets

Posted by admin on February 20, 2012 in Uncategorized


Use these free printable worksheets to go with Houghton Mifflin's Iditarod Dream in your 5th grade class.

In reading class we are using Houghton Mifflin’s text  book, grade 5. Right now, we are in Theme Two, Expeditions and reading Iditarod Dreams by Ted Wood. I posted the worksheets we used in class below.

Tehy are a series of Word documents, so you can tweak it a little (or a lot) to suit your particular needs. Basically, I’ve just taken some of the questions from the teacher’s manual (and added a few little zingers of my own.)

Iditarod Dream Vocabulary – Before we actually start reading the story we always do a vocabulary activity. Usually, I do some sort of foldable booklet. This is the PPT I put together to go with the vocabulary activity.

Iditarod Dream p. 230B-230C – This worksheet includes a comparison and contrast Venn diagram where the students have to compare the Junior Iditarod to the Annual Adult Iditarod and answer a prediction question. (I did additional research on the adult Iditarod and presented to the class, as background information.)

Iditarod Dream 230D - This worksheet requires the students to identify if they think Dusty is a good musher or not. They must provide two examples from the story to support their conclusion.  Also, it asks the students to list descriptive words and phrases that the author uses to create a frantic mood during the sled team’s accidents.

Itditarod Dream 230F-230G – On this worksheet,  students must identify fact from opinion and list three dog chores that Dusty has to do in order to keep his dogs healthy and comfortable during the race.

Iditarod Dreams p. 230H – On this worksheet, the students must give two reasons why Dusty decides not to sleep while at Yenta Station and fill in a timeline depicting Dusty’s dog chores.

Iditarod Dream p. 230I- On this worksheet, the students must tell how they think Noah and Andy will feel about Dusty’s victory.  They must use information and details from the story to support what they think was Dusty’s most important racing decision.



The Mitten – Activites, Lesson Plans and Ideas


The Mitten, by Jan Brett is an excellent book to read with your ELL students during the long Winter doldrums that continue on after the return back to school from the long holiday break.

I’d like to give my friend Miss Christie a special shout out for reminding me about what a fabulous resource Jan Brett’s book, The  Mitten is for ELL students.


The main reason I like The Mitten is because it’s the  perfect Winter themed activity that is great to use during the January/February doldrums.


The sites I’ve included below, contain lots of activities,  lesson plans and ideas that you can use in your classroom.

The Teaching Heart

Homeschool Share

Carol Hurst

Hubbard’s Cupboard


Jan Brett’s Site – Includes some really cute PDF printouts that you can use to have the children retell the story while they  “tuck”  the animals inside the mittens.


Left Mitten

Right Mitten

The Animals that you can tuck inside the mitten.


The Fly Swat Game


The fly swat game is very versatile. You can use it for spelling, academic vocabulary, math and just about any subject that requires students to identify a word, sentence, phrase, number or equation.

I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of this game.

Here’s how we play it in my classroom. First,  I divide the board up into two sides, a side for the boy’s team and a side for the girl’s team.  Next,  I assign a score keeper.  The score keeper sits on a little stool off to the side and keeps track of the points.

On the board,  I put up the vocabulary words we are studying or short sentences that focus on the grammatical skills we are building.  I’ve even  put up clocks to reinforce time-telling skills.

This is also a great game to play for test reviews and reinforcing vocabulary.


Vocabulary Director & Word Detective Literature Circle Response Cards

Literature Circle response cards help students focus in on their task without overwhelming them.

I cruised through my little stash of literature circle resources and decided to condense them into a mini version of some of my favorite literature circle worksheets.

It’s a work in progress…

Vocabulary Director and Word Detective Response Cards - This page contains two vocabulary cards.

The first one is for the Vocabulary Director job. The instructions are below.

While you’re reading, write down at least four words that are new to you. Write down the page number, the paragraph and line you found it on. Write the word and the definition that best fits the sentence. Record the information in the space provided on the cart below. Your next task is to come up with a presentation plan. How will you present it to your group? Will you challenge your group mates to a race to see who will find the word first? Be creative!

The second one is for the Word Detective. The instructions are below.

While you’re reading, write down at least four words that are new to you. Write down the word and the word origin.  Does the word contain any Greek or Latin root words? What is the meaning of the root word? Find the definition that best fits the sentence. Record the information in the space provided on the chart below.


Free Prediction Worksheets

Prediction is a skill that every student needs to master.

Prediction is a skill that is on most standardized tests.

You can download a copy of the prediction worksheet that I whipped up for my class, below. I saved it as a Word document, so you can add additional columns/rows. It is best to use with picture books that are light on text. You can adapt it to go with any book you choose.

Prediction Worksheet

Below you will find links to other resources that contain lesson plans and worksheets all geared to mastering the fine art of making predictions.

Have Fun Teaching – links to a website that has some worksheets.

The Teacher’s Corner links to a page with a lesson plan that reinforces prediction skills.

Reading Rockets – links to a website that lesson plans and anticipation guide templates.

Making predictions about pictures – links to a pdf file.

First Lines- explains when and how to use this strategy.

The Reading Lady – links to a page with a list of PDF worksheets and Word documents you can download for classroom use.



Globish, The New English

Posted by admin on May 6, 2011 in Uncategorized


Globish is the new English.

Speak Globish!

“We thought we were speaking English, but we were not.”

My dad calls it “pigeon English.” You may also hear it referred to as  Chinglish or Spanglish. It is a practical kind of English that is used by non-native speakers to communicate with other non-native speakers.

It may not be grammatically correct or pronounced correctly, but it is used as a tool to communicate. Unfortunately, sometimes misunderstandings may arise due to language inaccuracies, but I guess that is all part of the process.

As for me, I prefer Standard North American English (SNAE).


Conjunction Junction

Using School House Rock's Conjunction Junction is a really clever way to teach your students how to use and, but, or and nor.

Here’s a great little activity you can do with your intermediate level speakers.

Divide the class up into boys and girls. Teach them the lyrics to Conjunction Junction from School House Rock’s classic animated short video. It’s only about 2.14 minutes long, so it is totally doable, especially if you have to fit it into an assembly or some other school production. Since I’ve already divided the script up for you, all you need to do is teach them the song. It is a bit fast in some places and the girls seem to get all the easy parts, but if you closely work with the boys, I’m sure they will catch on quickly.

Be sure to coach them on the subtle intonation and inflection found in the song. Really have them listen carefully to the lyrics and encourage them to mimic the singers. Trust me, you don’t want them singing in a flat monotone voice for this production.

It’s lots of fun, especially when it comes to the part where the boys get to bellow out Boo-hoo-hoo-hoo-hoo!

You can download the video here.

School House Rock – Grammar – Conjunction Junction – this is the link to the song only.

An alternate source for the video can be found here.

An alternate source for the lyrics can be found here.

Free Online Gradebook

Posted by admin on February 14, 2011 in Gradebook, Quizzes, Uncategorized is a user friendly online gradebook.

I ran across the best free online grade book a few months ago. I shared it with the administration at my school. They liked it so much they decided to adopt it for the entire international department.

Check it out at

You can do so much more than use it to keep track of your grades. One of my colleagues uses it to post quizzes and homework assignments.

Best of all, it’s free!

Winter Camp PowerPoints

The activities are built right into the PowerPoint. Bring some some extra paper along so you can create the menus and make sure the kids bring their notebooks and crayons with them too.

This year our Winter camp will be held in another building far away from the new campus, so we don’t have access to a copier. Fortunately, we will bring the LED projectors with us, so I decided to put everything on PowerPoints, instead of handouts.

Below are the three PowerPoints I used for camp. They don’t have to be exclusively used for Winter camp. Take a look at them and see if they could be useful to you…

Winter Camp 1.1 – This PowerPoint reviews when to use before and after, ordering food, descriptive food words and a few conversational activities that can also be used as writing assignments. I’ve thrown in a creative writing assignment too. The kids have to create their own menus. I’ve provided a sample Mexican menu on one of the slides, but you will have to search for your own Italian menu or use Luigi’s Italian menu instead. After the menus are done, they take turns placing their order. While one pretends to be the waiter, the other one places their order.

Winter Camp 1.2- This PowerPoint has lots of grammar and conversation exercises, as well as, a classroom survey. Everything is built right into the presentation. All the students need is a piece of paper, a pencil and an eraser.

Winter Camp 1.3- This short PowerPoint reviews some simple grammar and requires the student to identify several activities within a paragraph.

Winter Thematic Unit, Part 2

Posted by admin on January 5, 2011 in Uncategorized

Why not work a Winter theme into your curriculum this January?

Winter time is a fun time, especially when you use these resources to get you and your class through the winter doldrums.

Winter clothes worksheets has several free worksheets that can be printed out or saved. is a fantastic resource with loads and loads as free pdf worksheets. Here is the a short list of their winter worksheets: has a whole page devoted to Winter-time themes.

Laura Candler has a free Winter word sort activity that focuses on dictionary skills.

Winter word search

Winter booklets for emergent readers:

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