Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Join me in celebrating the completion of my Interactive Close Read Aloud Bundle being fully edited by my editor and Complete! You can find it by Clicking on the image below.


Interactive Close Read Alouds only require the teacher having the book. 

November 7 & 8
th select resources will be on SALE in my store. You will find the Interactive Close Read Aloud Bundle along with 28 other products in my store on the left side of the page under my NEW CATEGORY $ {SALE}. This is where I will post items weekly with unannounced SALE PRICES!

If you would liked to be notified of my newest and upcoming resources that are 50% off the first 24 hours posted and receive a MONTHLY FREEBIE that will NOT BE SOLD or offered in my store, email me at
oink4pigtales@gmail.com and choose either

For those of you who are already receiving FREEBIES from me know what goodies youhave received!


Be sure and check 
EVERY SUNDAY for new item to be added to $ {SALE} category tab on the left side of my page. These items may be FLASH FREEBIES, or paid  items discounted 20%, 30%, 40% or 50%. Just know it is ALWAYS A PIGARRIFIC DAY at Oink4PIGTALES!

For those who have not followed me on Social Media, may not have heard that On September 20, 2017, my 13 month old granddaughter Presley June (June Bug) was tragically hit by a car and went home to MY HEAVENLY SAVIOR. Needless to say, our lives have forever been changed, our hearts are beyond devastated, but we know and trust GOD during this difficult time. I only share this because I was on Social Media Daily communicating with many of you. When the timing is right, I will return.

You can ALWAYS reach me at my email, if you need or want to request a special resource. I’m truly blessed and thankful for each of YOU being loyal Oink4PIGTALES followers. My store has and is continuing to grow, because of each of YOU!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Welcome to all My New and Old Followers Close Read FREEBIE!

Welcome to all my NEW FOLLOWERS! I'm so happy you've decided to follow my TpT Oink4PIGTALES page! As a THANK YOU to ALL my followers, I'm GIVING YOU one of MY CLOSE READS for FREE! No hoops to jump through with this GIVEAWAY! 

If you've been wanting to try my Close Reads, already using them, or are New, now is the perfect time to get a WHOLE WEEK of Lesson Plans and a Craftivity for Back to School for FREE!

All you need to do is sign up to receive emails 
 from me on the right hand side of the page and I will email you YOUR FREE FULL WEEK 60 PAGE  CLOSE READ. 

You never know what goodies will await you! All you need to do is put in your email on the left side of the page, and I will send you RANDOM SURPRISES!

You can see how I differentiate for K-3rd grade with this BRAND NEW CLOSE READ SET! Be sure and let me know how you like it, or if you are wanting to see specific Close Reads added!

Remember, It is ALWAYS a PIGARRIFIC DAY at Oink4PIGTALES! You just never know what you'r going to get!

I look forward to hearing  from you!

Thank you to Graphics from the Pond for this OINKTASTIC font! You can check out all her great work by clicking on the link below.


Sunday, May 21, 2017

Email Freebies


I will be sending out my May FREEBIES very soon!  Be sure and sign up by email for your Oink4PIGTALES FREEBIES for May before May 27th! I will not be sending out FREEBIES again until the end of June. Just fill out the Follow by Email Tab on the right side of my blog to sign up!


Have you entered our Giveaway where five winners will receive one of Five $100 Gift Cards from either TpT Gift CardsAmazon Gift Card, Target Gift Card, or an Erin Condren Gift Card! Click on the link below to enter this MEGA TEACHER GIVEAWAY!

My Newest Products

Here are just of FEW of the newest resources I have added to my store. I have redone several products, so check your purchase and click on recently updated to download all the extras I've added to older products. In the future, I will make the additions in a separate folder labeled ADDITIONS, corrections in folder labeled Corrected, or if I have totally redone a product, it will just be left as is and you will choose RECENTLY UPDATED and download again. Then, you can choose if you like the old version, or newer version better.

Grab this YEAR LONG POCKET CHART and get it ready to use over the summer! This product is a DEAL compared to other sellers who are selling for $30. Grab this for only $8.50.

           POCKET CHART

What child doesn't like catching fireflies? Turn this fun activity into a learning opportunity with my FIREFLIES UNIT for Summer. You and your students will learn some truly amazing facts, make a Flip-It Book, learn about its life-cycle, and can even do online research.

Grab this FREEBIE and check out ALL the options you have with this cute, adorable, and educational center. Thank to Graphics from the Pond for such adorable clip art! This has been a huge hit with my PIGARROOS this year! 

My Close Reads are quickly becoming fastest and best selling resources. Try a SAMPLE of my Close Read on The Tiny Seed by clicking on the link below. 

I look forward to hearing from each of you soon and hope you find the surprise in your email OINKTASTIC! I've only got 8 days to go until summer break, and 1 1/2 of those are without students. I think I will make it! 


Saturday, May 13, 2017

May 13, 2017


If you want FREEBIES that will be only given away here on my blog, leave your email and I will send them to you when posted. You will not receive any other emails from Oink4PIGTALES other than FREEBIES and GIVEAWAYS!! You can keep up with my all my new products and sales by following me on TpT. Make sure you always check your monthly TpT inbox for my Newsletter. You never know what you will find! I like to keep things HOG WILD and OINKTASTIC! 
I hope this blog post will help you wind down your school year, and prepare you for a smooth Back to School! These are just things I have done for over 20 years to make returning to school so much easier!

End of Year

I always end the school year by copying the materials, I KNOW for sure I will be using the first six weeks. I get all my parent handbooks copied, assembled, and stored. Supply List, volunteer sheets, etc. I put all of these things in a file folder storage box. You can put these things in any things that will keep them flat, and wrinkle free.

I copy ALL my "Back to School Resources".  You know those resources you have on hand for the First Day of School. I usually will put out a coloring sheet, Get to know you sheet, or just plain blank paper and crayons. This will depend on the grade you teach. Still gather that plain blank paper and add it to your Back to School Resource Box. I include lots of  FUN ACTIVITIES that go over our "CLASS GUIDELINES" to do my first week.

The first several weeks, I go over our Class Guidelines during my morning routine, and have them discuss their understanding of these FOUR GUIDELINE. I promise you can fit any classroom RULE into these guidelines! The set I use comes with a Flip-It Tab Book for students to work on each day, and gives daily review of our class guidelines. If you do not establish a POSITIVE CLASSROOM from the beginning, you will spend ALL school year managing behaviors. 

I use Piggy Money as my rewards and Behaviors. By using money, I am able to teach and integrate Economics into my curriculum on a daily basis.  Students learn the value of money, the differences between wants and needs, how to keep up with their own money, and make change. These are Life Skills every student needs. I carry multiple theme sets in my store of Character Education Money.  If I do not have your theme, please email me and I will be happy to make them and add them to my store. Below is a picture of my Teacher Book and Classroom Money Set. Click on the link below to see the FULL PREVIEW of this resource. If you are interested in this Resource in another Theme, message me on TpT in the questions set and I will be happy to make it for you.

Pig Theme Classroom Rules Flip-It Book Rewards and Behavior Set

Back to School Books

Books I Use:

I gather all my Back to School Books and Close Reads that go with them, crafts, etc. and place these all in one box that is labeled 1st six weeks.These are the books I use the first six weeks of school for my Balanced Literacy, CLOSE READS. These books will be coming soon as Close Reads, 5 Day Lesson Plans, Phonics, Vocabulary, Concept Sorts, Comprehension Cards, Crafts, and Digging Deeper Questions for EVERY PAGE in these books. These Close Reads will be added to my Growing Close Reads Year Long Bundle. You have got to check out my Close Reads. My Close Reads are unlike any Close Reads you have purchased on TpT or anywhere else before. I started making these to sell in October, and these are my Top Selling Resources! 
Click on the link below to see the completed Close Read for Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon, a must read book for every grade!

Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon Close Read

Coming This Summer in Close Reads:

Hooway for Wodney Wat by He
len Lester
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Mean Jean the Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill
Unique Monique by Maria Rousakis

 NONFICTION Close Reads Unit will be coming soon! Be on the look out to get it HALF OFF for the first 24 hours posted.

The First two week of school I read the following books to get students used to class guidelines, procedures, and fun activities to make them want to come back! I keep all of these in my First  Two Weeks of School Box. I do not do Close Reads with these books. I use these with lots of craftivities, games, and getting students used to sitting, digging deeper, and having fun with reading. I'm still cover ALL Story Elements, but they are just not putting it down in worksheets, and ELA Journals, yet. I will blog about my ELA Journals soon.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg
You are Special by Max Lucado
Coat of Many Colors by Dolly Parton
Dream Big Little Pig by Kristi Yamaguchi
Hogwash by Karma Wilson

I spend the first TWO WEEKS of school gradually working my students into our daily work routine. DO NOT get caught up in what other teachers are doing. It is NOT a race to finish the text book! Our jobs are to build a relationship with each students. Get to know and find something about each one that you LOVE! Those who need us the most are those that we have to look really hard to find that one thing. To do this, I have lots of fun things planned. I read LOTS of Books on Character Education, and we make LOTS of CRAFTIVITIES to go along with these books. You are NOT wasting time! Students are using fine motor skills, building relationships with their peers, learning how to use and store supplies, what they cannot do, follow oral directions, and build on Reading Skills.


I clean and pack all the things up so they are fresh and clean when I return to set my room back up. I store them in totes, or copy boxes from our school's paper boxes. I take larger items and store them in clear cheap garbage bags, like my lamps and lamp shades.
I clean out all centers, check for missing pieces, Clorox the manipulatives, and then pack them away. I go through my Classroom Library checking for books that need repaired, or replace. I do not throw away books that are falling apart. We will use these pages in the school year to Highlight parts of speech, find main idea, words we do not know, etc.  So many uses for these pages. I put things books back on bookshelves making sure they are in correct order, then I wrap the WHOLE BOOKCASE in SARAN WRAP. This way, nothing is moldy or dusty, doesn't fall out when being moved, and when I return, all I do is cut off the Saran Wrap and I am ready.

Purchase, Make, and Complete TWO resources this summer.

Find at least two TpT products, or store bought products over the summer that will make your return to school easier. Don't procrastinate! Work a little once a week getting this ready. Even if you only add ONE new resource, get it copied, laminated, and stored, that puts you one step ahead of where your were, and you will love being ahead of the game in August.

No need to consume your whole summer dreading back to school once you learn to end your school year as I have been doing for over 20 years! This really takes the stress, pressure, and tiredness out of those hardest weeks of the year.

Be sure and check out some of newest TpT products. I've got some great ones for Summer School, Preschool, and Back to School.

Check out a Sample Freebie of the Tiny Seed Close Read.
Freebie Sample Close Read


Check out North America's only luminous insect. Once a year in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, these Fireflies light up the night, for only three weeks. Find out why in this fun fact filled book!


Check out this Animals Around the World Bundle. I just  added this set in March, and it has quickly made its way to my number 16th best selling resource.

Animals Around the World K-3rd Grade Bundle

I hope you found this post useful and helpful to you! If you can't accomplish all of these things,  pick one or two things that will help YOU the most at the beginning of school, and each year, add one more thing to your to do list.

Friday, March 31, 2017


Oink4PIGTALES and LuLaRoe Mandi Dunlap are joining up for an OINKTASTIC GIVEAWAY to celebrate Oink4PIGTALES 500 FOLLOWERS and FEED BACKS on TpT! There is no better way to celebrate than by honoring YOU, the possible winner of one of these THREE PIGARRIFIC prizes! You could win a $50 TpT Gift Card, $50 LuLaRoe Cash, or Oink4PIGTALES $150 Close Reads Year Long Growing Bundle. There are only two of us in this Giveaway and we are offering you 11 options to earn entries.Only 2 are Mandatory, the others just give you a better chance at winning! This giveaway will begin at MIDNIGHT tonight, and will run through MIDNIGHT Sunday. Winners will be announced Monday afternoon after being chosen by Rafflecopter. Click the Rafflecopter link for all the ways to enter this Giveaway.!
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I will be having a two day sale during this GIVEAWAY to let you know how much I value you as an Oink4PIGTALES, Follower and Customer! Thanks so much for ALL the love and support these past 25 months! I never thought I'd see 500 people who wanted to follow me. I'm truly humbled at your support! Here's to the next 500!

Enjoy, and Good Luck!

Tuesday, February 28, 2017


Join me February 28th and March 1st for 20% off ALL products in my store in honor of National Pig Day and pick up a FREEBIE and TWO $4-$5 products for $1! Just type in#TeachersAreWinners to find over 200 products from some of the best TpT sellers that I have teamed up with for this OINKTASTIC promotion for YOU!

I have added several NEW PRODUCTS, REDONE SEVERAL OLDER PRODUCTS, and I am in the process of REDOING other older products as well! Lots of exciting things are happening for me on TpT right now! I'm so close to 500 Feedbacks, and 500 Followers! I never thought I'd see this number!

I am so happy to see so many repeat customers! THANK YOU all for allowing me to make your life a little easier in your classrooms! I look forward to providing you with many more quality products in the future!

Check out these new and updated products by clicking on the link below!
As of Tuesday night, February 28th the TpT sight is still down! Hoping sight will be working March 1st! If not, I will extend my SALE!



Sunday, February 19, 2017

Close Reads or Guided Reading

What is Close Reading?
To put in simple terms, Close reading of text is simply a strategy to help students REALLY understand what they are reading. The Common Core standards now call for students to be actively engaged with text. Close Reads require students dig deeper into text by using their schema (personal experiences) and how to use text evidence to support their understanding of what they are reading. Close Reads teach students how to approach reading stories, by breaking them down in to smaller chunks, having them write with Daily Focus Questions, about open ended, but specific questions.

Remember, students need to:

1. Read closely to determine what they think the     text is
really saying.
2. Make logical inferences from the text.
3. Refer back to text for to find text evidence that
supports their answers.

4. make text to self connections.

The teachers job in Close Reads is to:

1. Select complex text so students can connect with the stories or text.
2. Give students a purpose or reason to read.
3. Expose students with varied genres and text difficulty.

Close Read Questions are higher level, vocabulary is selected to expose students to higher level words.

Guided Reading Teacher are asking:


Close Reads Teacher ask more of:

Close Reading has a direct instruction of vocabulary, text dependent questions, has ALL students reading at a level higher than their Ability Level which helps teach students to learn by digging deeper into text with teacher modeling, and close reads meets ALL COMMON CORE STANDARDS in ELA.

Guided Reading is the name given to the "old school approach" of keeping students ability grouped in small group. Students are taught in a way that best meets their individual needs without frustrating them, but still encouraging progress. From what all I've been reading, guided reading is more a name given
to teachers who prefer to teach reading in SMALL GROUPS and vary difficulty of reading materials based on students reading level.

For me, I think my CLOSE READS can fall somewhere in the middle of Close Reads and Guided Reading. Small Group Instruction is still apart of Close Reading for me. I DO PUSH ALL MY STUDENTS, we ALL READ at HIGHER GRADE LEVEL TEXT, but, I have found that I can take ANY BOOK, and DRAW HIGHER LEVEL THINKING needed to meet Common Core requirements.

* For example, Polar Babies, Polar Babies, What did you Learn? Is a Kindergarten level book. I have 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade teachers who use this Close Read and are amazed at how engaged their students became when the questioning, writing, and vocabulary activities came into play. They use this book as a starting point in science and ELA to integrate the two subjects into one.

This is what I found on Close Reads and Guided Reading, by searching multiple state web sites, reading various books on reading instruction, and how to best teach reading. 

Bottom line... call it what ever you want, just create a LOVE of reading for your students and model, model, model, how to teach them to understand what they are reading and why.

Here is a chart I made to help me understand the differences I found between the two.

CLOSE READING                                 
* Reader-directed way of approaching text.
* Meaning is on the focus of the actual text
Skills are not introduced before reading
they are explored and taken from text.
* Vocabulary is looked at by reading text
over several times.
* Reread chunks of text or small pages of
text at a time to dig deeper into what the
meaning really is.
* Text is challenging but can be not to hard.
* Text may be on a lower level, but more
complex questioning is used to expand and
build upon vocabulary or topics.
* Show what you know by discussions and
daily writings.
* Is used in primary and intermediate grades
to teach and model for students what it
takes to be an independent and successful
* Students work in small groups, whole
groups, and with partners.
* Students over time become more
independent readers able to read text on
their own answering questions they've been
taught to use.
* Main assessment is through discussion and

written responses.

* Teacher lead approach to text
* Focus is one building on or more reading
* Vocabulary is introduced before beginning
reading story or passages.
* Use picture walk through before beginning
reading context.
* Focus is to build reading fluency and
practice decoding strategies.
* Books and stories are chosen based on
grade level/student ability levels.
* Students may show what they know in a
variety of activities chosen by the teacher.
* Students answer text based questions with
own response.
* Used mostly in primary grades.
* Students read only small passages or
* Students work mostly in Small groups
based on leveling abilities.
* Student is slowly given more independence
as time progresses.

* Main assessment is about story comprehension

I hope this blog from my research and point of view help you better understand the differences between the two strategies in teaching reading. Since I was making so many Close Reads, I felt they also fell in the category of Guided Reading too. So, I took out my reading strategy books, went online, and began my own research to make sure what I was calling Close Reads were truly Close Reads, not Guided Reading. I think Thematic Reading Units would best be an appropriate name for those units that fall somewhere in the middle of Close Reads and Guided  Reading.

Hope you enjoyed this LONG blog! Be sure and check out ALL my Close Reads in my TpT Store. My March Bundle is already up!