Tuesday, June 23, 2015


Wow, doesn't it look much better around here? I knew I needed something more professional looking for this little space since I've started using it more and plan on using it a lot in the future. Alexis from Laugh Eat Learn is the genius (see what I did there?) behind the new design. If you are looking for more bang for your buck when it comes to a custom design, you should check her out for sure!

To celebrate, I am going to be giving away any TWO items (your choice: up to a $10 value each) from my TPT store! This could be a huge value for you if you take into consideration some of my newer resources like my Exit Tickets for 4th and 5th grades and my Genius Hour Pack that is now my best selling item!

Entering is super easy, but it has to be helpful to me and this new little blog. Here is what you need to do to enter:
1. Follow this blog
2. Follow my Instagram (@literacyforbigkids)
4. Leave a comment on THIS POST with your usernames for Blogger, Instagram & Teachers Pay Teachers so I know that you followed all three stipulations!

Good luck and I hope that you'll visit Alexis AND come back here to get the skinny on lots of Upper Grades ELA resources and posts.


Saturday, June 13, 2015

#wecantputbooksdown My Reading Story

Hi Bibliophiles! I'm Stacey from Literacy for Big Kids. I'm going into my 4th year teaching (3rd, 4th, 5th, now back to 4th grade!) Today I'm sharing my 📚•READING STORY•📚 

Mine begins with lots of trips to our public branch of CINCINNATI LIBRARY as a kid. It was just a few blocks away so we often walked there for story time. Next is my EPICENTER READER: My Dad. My dad is an avid Non-Fiction reader. He loves all things Motorcycles and set a fantastic example for me by always having a magazine in his hands and always taking the whole family to Barnes & Noble very often in my childhood! 

CLASSICS played a huge part in my childhood reading! I was obsessed with Eric Carle, Mercer Mayer, Maurice Sendak and many others as a little lady. There's an Alligator Under my Bed & Miss Nelson is Missing are still two of my all-time favorites! 

In elementary, SCARY STORIES shaped me as a reader of the horror genre. I loved to be scared and Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark was THE book in the 90's. I devoured Goosebumps books and learned about Ohio's Spooky History!

In 5th-6th grade I became an avid fan of REALISTIC FICTION (still my favorite genre today) and ate up series like The Babysitter's Club, The Boxcar Children (This influenced me to camp out and eat wild onions or weeds rather outside with friends) and Sweet Valley High.

 In Junior High to High School, books like The Outsiders and Lord of the Flies had lasting impressions on me, however, I spent little to no time reading in high school because I was offered no choice in my classes. Sad. 

Enter college, where my focus within education was reading! I had finally found my people! I took African-American Lit, English Lit, Children's Lit, Women's Lit, anything to expose me to more books. Poetry classes! It was in college that I honed in on my love for animal rights pieces like The Jungle, became OBSESSED with my current two favorite authors Roald Dahl and Flannery O'Conner. They both have these volumes of short stories that are so raw, haunting and unforgiving. Two of my favorite books of ALL TIME! 

Which leads me here, being able to teach what I love! I love to read and love to share books. I wouldn't rather be doing anything else in the world. I read a lot of upper elementary and middle grades novels. I am a huge fan on YA, maybe because I always missed out on that piece in high school (take note HS teachers).. Now as a mother, I read to my little ones often and always take time to help them appreciate reading. My reading story continues, what is yours?? Check out the other girls to see theirs! (POSTS ON IG)

Monday, June 8, 2015

Summer Read Alouds for Upper Grades


Hi Guys! Stacey here from Literacy for Big Kids. My fantastic literary friend Courtney, asked me to Guest Post on possibly one of my favorite reading topics: Read Alouds! Can we start with some research and information on why you, yes you, should be reading aloud daily to your upper elementary students? Why should we start with research? You as a teacher should be ready to support the choices you make for your kiddos, and let's face it; saying you saw an Instagram friend do it in her class might not cut it.

 "Read alouds stimulate curiosity in children as they are invited into a safe environment to marvel at the concepts being presented (Harvey, 1998)."

From the now famous Becoming a Nation of Readers released in 1985 (the year I was born):
"The single most important for building the knowledge required for eventual success in reading is reading aloud to children."

Just because our kids are in grades 4-6, does not mean that they don't benefit from having a fluent reader read aloud to them regularly. Let's dig in to FIVE of my favorite read alouds for upper grades with a fun theme: Summer!

The One & Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate
Looking for an amazing read for your summer book club? Look no further. Why not meet up in fun summery places like an ice cream shop? (You know Bob is always hungry...) Have your final meeting for the book club at a local zoo where you can check out the place that Stella describes as "how humans make amends." This idea came to me from... wait for it... and Instagram friend. :)
All joking aside, The One & Only Ivan is a read aloud I do with my 4th-5th graders every year, no matter what. It gives kids an introduction to animal rights and advocacy; sharing with them that they can make a difference in the life of others. This book will change you. 
*Also important to note: Katherine's new book Crenshaw is due out September 22, 2015*

Holes by Louis Sachar
If you know me, you know that I love Holes. I love the book, I love the movie.
What a perfect summer reading for the hot, humid, sultry weather. Bring your canteen! You'll feel like you're at Green Lake with the juvenile delinquents yourself. Stanley Yelnats will steal your heart and you'll love to see him grow and change as a character. When you finish the book, you can watch the 2003 movie and get your compare and contrast on.

Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Have you ever read a DOAWK book aloud to your class? It is so fun. Teachers and Parents will love all of the hilarity that ensues when Greg's family sets out on a road trip for the summer. This series is one of the top grossing children's book series of ALL TIME. Yeah, let that be proof enough!

Sisters by Raina Telgemeier
Need another road trip inspired tale? Wondering how to read aloud a graphic novel? This book is easily relatable for all older kids. Raina wants a little sister more than anything, but what she gets is a little {not so nice} sibling that is nothing like what she imagined. Raina delves into childhood with a realistic  eye that will leave kids shaking their heads in agreement. When mom decides that they need to go visit family out West, all heck breaks lose on the road. Share this one with your kiddos on the ELMO or just side-by-side so everyone can see the beautifully illustrated panels.

Half a Chance by Cynthia Lord
"When Lucy's family moves to an old house on a lake, Lucy tries to see her new home through her camera's lens, as her father has taught her—he's a famous photographer, away on a shoot. Will her photos ever meet his high standards? When she discovers that he's judging a photo contest, Lucy decides to enter anonymously. She wants to find out if her eye for photography is really special—or only good enough."
Sounds pretty compelling, right? If you liked loved Rules, then be sure to add this one to your summer read-aloud list. I had a decent amount of kiddos this year that ate this one up!

There you have it guys! Good luck with your Summer TBR list. I know mine is never-ending at this point, and I'm okay with that. 
"I was born with a reading list I will never finish." -Maud Casey