Welcome to Melanie's Lab and Library

Differentiated, Versatile, and Thoughtful Teaching Resources



Back to School with Food Allergies

Going back to school is such an exciting time of year, but for families of children with food allergies, it can also be filled with anxiety.


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Thematic Guided Reading Units

Teaching beginning readers is an awesome experience.  Seeing kids learn to use many different strategies to help them learn to read is one of my favorite things.

I work with a large population of English Language Learners, so in addition to learning to read, many of them are learning English.  This added an extra challenge for the beginning readers in my class.  As I was working with my kindergarten students, I was noticing that many of them were having trouble applying the reading strategies I wanted them to practice.  When I prompted them to “look at the picture” or “make the beginning sound” they couldn’t because they did not remember the name of the object in the picture.

Continue reading “Thematic Guided Reading Units”

Tens Go Fish

Understanding ten is HUGE in development of place value.  Kids should quickly be able to identify all of the ways to make 10 (2+8, 4+6…).  This should be automatic and playing a game is a great way to practice. Continue reading “Tens Go Fish”

7 Fun Ways to Practice Sight Words!

Sight words are those words that appear all the time in text, but are often difficult to read because you can’t use reading strategies to figure them out.

That is why children need to memorize sight words and learn them with automaticity! The more a child reads, and rereads a particular sight word, the more automatic it becomes.  This helps them to become a better, more confident reader.

But, drilling sight words with flashcards can be B-O-R-I-N-G!!!!!

Here are 7 Fun, Quick, and Easy Activities to help your child learn their sight words.


Please click on the image above to download this freebie from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Continue reading “7 Fun Ways to Practice Sight Words!”

NGSS: A Beginner’s Guide

I love science.  I was a biology major in college and I love sharing science with my elementary school students.  Their excitement is contagious!

So when I heard there were new science standards coming, I took a look and my mind was blown.

I was SO confused!  There were pages and pages of charts, tables, and appendices, explaining an intricate web of disciplinary core ideas, cross-cutting concepts, science and engineering practices…what?!?!?!   Slide1

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