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!


Sunday, February 5, 2017


Check out my newest resources while you are in my TpT! Also, be on the look out for my OLDER products to be updated with NEW CLIP ART, and FONTS, and EXTRAS! Over the past two years I have been blessed to be a seller on TpT and learn so much! What I thought was PERFECT two years ago, I look at now and think, YUCK! 

I'm very proud of some of NEWEST RESOURCES! Check these out:
This is HALF OFF today, February 5th until tonight for $2.50. Then price goes up to $5. Even at $5 you will not regret purchasing this product. The minute I posted, I sold, and got such a positive review! ALL my Close Reads are getting POSITIVE FEEDBACK! Each set gets better! I will be adding to the sets I first made in the fall this summer. If you purchased those, you will just download again. I will out in zip file so you will know what you need to download again, 

This set is a MUST have! Having Interactive Journal Activities for ANY BOOK, POSTERS ready for SKILLS, TASK CARDS that are for your ELA CENTERS, you will not believe how you ever made it without this set. Great for DIFFERENTIATION, EVALUATIONS, and ALL YEAR! For only $8 you have it all and are always ready for UNANNOUNCED EVALUATIONS because your students will know how to do the TASK already. ENJOY!

This one set is $4. You can get the ANIMAL SCIENCE GROWING BUNDLE for $7. It's a $14 VALUE so this means you're getting HALF OFF! There is still ONE SET LEFT to add to this BUNDLE, and a few surprise here and there. Here is the GROWING BUNDLE

                                           ANIMAL SCIENCE GROWING BUNDLE

This set is OINKTASTIC if I say so myself! You will LOVE all the ways you can use this resource! It features ALL species and comes with so many resources that are open ended. You will LOVE this set! $7 and still GROWING as will the price!

This is a colorful set that is great for Kindergarten through 3rd grade. TpT does not like us to choose more than 3 grade levels for a product unless it truly is FOR ALL GRADES. I make ALL my products NOW for K-3rd grade in mind. As a former 3rd grade teacher, I have a best friend who teaches 3rd, my daughter teaches 1st, and now I teach Kindergarten. So, I make products that ALL THREE of us can use.  It has students classify NOUNS as PEOPLE, PLACES, and THINGS. THINGS always seems to get my students the most. Then, VERBS they sort by PAST, PRESENT and FUTURE Tenses. This set is COLORFUL and has WORDS WRITTEN ON each TASK CARD. Your students will LOVE this set.

ENJOY and GOOD LUCK in the GIVEAWAY! My 500 FEEDBACK and 500 FOLLOWERS HUGE GIVEAWAY is coming up ANY DAY NOW on TpT! I am so happy to announce that I have over 25 TpT Sellers and still growing who are teaming up with me to celebrate this MILESTONE that I never thought would be possible! THANK YOU ALL for being an Oink4PIGTALES follower, bearing with me along this journey, and allowing me to do what I LOVE!


Saturday, February 4, 2017


 Help me in celebrating 500 FOLLOWERS with some of my TpT FRIENDS!
 Just click on the link below to enter the giveaway and follow the instructions!


Be sure and leave feedback on ALL your FREE and PAID PURCHASES from my store! I am only 60 FEEDBACK'S away from a HUGE GIVEAWAY  that other TpT SELLERS have teamed up with me to giveaway OVER $100 in GIFT CARDS, and PRODUCTS!