Follow Us on Twitter

Find Us on Facebook

Taking Grades for Teachers

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Powered by MailChimp


Free Stuff

   Keep these three ELA Bell Ringers on hand for those unexpected schedule glitches or add them to your substitute’s folder.  This one starts with a seek-a-word puzzle loaded with “zz.”  Next is a homophone activity.  The last page is a compound word workout. 

   This Bell Ringers set is packed with a little more challenge than the 4-5th grade collection, but the two of them would work well together in most 4th-8th grade classrooms.

   Download your freebie HERE.

     Use this set of three ELA Bell Ringers yourself or file them in a substitute’s folder.  You get a spelling activity, a homophone activity, and a compound word challenge appropriate for 4 and 5th graders.

Get your free download HERE.       This one is exclusive to Taking Grades.  You won’t find it anywhere else!


In this back-to-school Informational Text, students will take a look inside a blab school where pioneer youngsters were forced to talk during class.  And, they had better be loud about it or get whacked!  Hopefully your young scholars will come away from this literary resource with a new appreciation for their school, their teacher(s), and their right to sit silently.

 The text is accompanied by 12 CCSS aligned questions and a graphic organizer for a compare/contrast writing assignment. 

 Answer keys are included.  CCSS alignments are listed here, not in the text.

 It’s FREE!!  Download your copy HERE.

Each of these 20 task cards presents a set of 5 words or phrases associated with the winter holidays. Four of them are further connected by a particular category, and one of them is a misfit. Students are challenged to identify the category of the four related terms and pinpoint the word or phrase that doesn’t fit.

The file comes with a half-sheet answer page, fully answer keys, a cover card that can double as a container label, and a student instruction card.

Download your FREE copy HERE.


Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer is the star of this FREE Informational Text.

Rudolph’s story is chronicled from his origins as a promotional strategy for the Montgomery Ward Company to his rise to world super stardom. Students will be interested in the little-known history of this holiday favorite and adults will find that Rudolph’s true story has some surprises.

Students can practice their CCSS skills with the accompanying 12 questions.

Answer keys for the 12 questions also list the CCSS alignments.

The Teacher’s Resources section presents additional writing prompts and ideas for CCSS activities including making media comparisons (a book and a film, for example) and research ideas to give students a more in-depth look at some of the people and events mentioned in the article. The e-bibliography used to compose this Informational Text is also included.

9 total pages of text.

Download HERE. (Use back arrow to exit your free download and return to the site.)

This free, original Informational Text Activity is taken from my teaching pack for Gordon Korman’s popular book SCHOOLED.

The selected article–“The American Search for Utopia”– is designed to provide students with background information that will heighten their understanding, appreciation, and enjoyment for Mr. Korman’s story and its characters. However, it can also stand alone as a independent reading resource with social studies connections. The ten questions and the writing challenge are CCSS aligned for 6th, 7th, and 8th grades, but this download is appropriate for some high school classrooms as well.

Download your free Informational Text HERE.

Use the back arrow to exit your free download and return to the site.

View the full Informational Text Component and the complete Novel Teaching Pack HERE.

This free download (aligned to CCSS L. 3.4, 4.4, and 5.4) features the names of ten common animals that have multiple meanings. This printable challenges students to study a set of three sentences and choose the one that correctly matches a given definition. Since animals are the subject, this freebie can be used as part of a science class as well as language arts.

Full answer keys are included.

Download HERE  (Use the back arrow to exit free download.)


This free download (aligned to CCSS L. 6.4, 7.4, and 8.4) features ten words with numbers connections. Students are instructed to study a set of three sentences and identify the one word that correctly completes all three. A final assignment challenges students to write their own sentence groups with five additional number-related words.

Full answer keys are included.

Download HERE.  (Use back arrow to exit free download.)

This download is for those students and their teachers who enjoy solving somewhat twisted, definitely unusual (aka “tricked out”) word math problems. An equal combination of language arts and basic math skills. Participants must begin with common data, such as the number of days in a year, shuffle it around according to instructions, and come up with a targeted answer.
The activity is divided into two parts of twenty problems each. Full answer keys are included. Eight total pages counting the cover page.

Download HERE.  (Use back arrow to exit free download.)

Add BACK WORDS FOR BACK TO SCHOOL to your bag of tricks for getting the new school year off to a happy start.

First, is a two-part activity that requires students to interpret clues and identify fifty terms or phrases that contain the word back. Full answer keys are on page 5.

Next, also located on the answer key page, is an idea for a WELCOME BACK word-chain bulletin board that students can construct on the spot.

Finally, a list of back words and phrases not used in the two activities and a separate list of school words and phrases are included as a teacher’s resource for assigning student-created puzzles, poems, posters, etc. Everything is free.

Download HERE  (Use back arrow to exit free download.)