Teacher’s Brain

Host A Book Tasting With A Fun Twist

Have you ever done a book tasting with your students? 

Book tastings are a unique way to learn about different books, genres, and authors. It introduces students to a variety of books so that they can sample them and discover new interests. 

What Is A Book Tasting? 

Generally, you’ll set up “tables” or centers with a menu and you’ll “serve” your students different stacks of books to choose from. After they get some time exploring the books they were served, you rotate them out for a second stack of books. 

You can organize your books by genres, topics, authors, styles, etc. It is so fun to see the students branch out and check out books they wouldn’t normally look twice at. I have found this to be a great way to encourage a love of reading in my students. Even the students who claim not to enjoy reading get engaged in book tastings! 

This reading activity would be a great addition to your Read Across America Day celebrations! I love that it can be done with students no matter their age. So literally any teacher can host a book tasting. 

Take Your Book Tasting To The Next Level

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good book tasting. But sometimes, you just want to add a little extra something to get students really excited about reading. 

Cue escape rooms! 

Escape rooms are all the rage because they are so engaging for students. They make such a big impact on students that they often remember doing these activities long after they leave your classroom. How cool is that? 

Given my love of book tastings and escape rooms, I had to create a resource that is the best of both worlds. 

I created this Book Tasting Escape Room activity so that you can add it into your lessons too!

book tasting preview

This resource includes step-by-step instructions that guarantee student engagement while they learn how to work as a team and help the store owner discover new book genres and escape the room with a book tasting! 

Sounds fun, right? 

book tasting preview

With just a little prep, this activity will have your students teaming up to break into the box to escape the room. The best part? You can use any books you want to with this activity!

You’ll get everything you need including directions, menus, place settings, paper keys, signs, help cards, homework passes and bookmarks, banner pennants, and more! 

book tasting preview

Check it out here!

Have you ever hosting a book tasting for your students? Let me know in the comments!

Book Tasting Escape Room pin image


Reading Strategies For Read Across America Day

National Read Across America Day is coming up on March 2nd. This is a fun day to celebrate one of the best things ever- reading! This day was established to get students more excited about reading and the wonderful stories we get to enjoy. 

For younger students, reading is still a little more challenging because it is still so new to them. Unfortunately, this means they may not be as excited to read on Read Across America Day.

reading strategies

Here are some strategies you can work on with your students to help them find more joy and satisfaction in reading.  


This method is when students skim a text to get the main idea and important points before they start to read. Research shows that this improves comprehension which makes the reading experience more enjoyable and satisfying for students. 

Picture Cues

Teach students that the pictures in their books connect to the words on the page and they can look at them for clues about what is happening in the story when they get stuck. Ask students what they notice about the pictures in the book and what they think it means for the story. 

Making Connections

Show your students how they can connect what they learned in another story with what they are currently reading to help them better understand what is happening in the story. For example: “This story is about an elephant. Do you know any other stories about elephants?” This helps students think more deeply and get more engaged in the content they are reading. 


Readers can gain meaning from their text by predicting what will happen next in the story. They can do this by using their existing knowledge or illustrations to make an informed prediction. When reading, pause and ask them what they think will happen on the next page based on the information they have.  

Ask Questions

Teach your students to ask questions before, during, and after they are done reading to help them better understand what happened in the story and why. 

With some practice, these simple and effective reading strategies will increase reading comprehension and help your students gain more confidence while reading. Ideally, this will help them develop a lifelong love for reading! 

If you’re looking for some reading-themed activities to do for Read Across America Day, I have you covered!

reading strategies

These reading activities are just what you need to get students engaged. It comes with over 100 pages of language arts, math, STEM, and crafts with the “celebrate reading” theme in mind! 

reading strategies

Here’s a preview of what’s included: 

Language arts activities: rhyming words, creative writing with prompts, write the room activity, sorting nonsense words from real words activities, poems, and more. 

Math activities: word problems, adding to 10, shapes counting, 1 more and 1 less. 

Plus a STEM activity, awards, reading pledge, bookmarkers, journal cover, and a recipe for a treat! 

reading strategies

I hope you love these activities! Let me know your favorite Read Across America activities in the comments!


How to Make Alphabet Worksheets Fun

Teachers cringe in primary grades with they hear the word “worksheets”, but we all understand that they are important hands-on tools for developing readers and writers. They truly are the simplest and most straightforward way to give students lots of practice with the skills they need to learn. 

Worksheets get a bad rap in my opinion! 

If you have worksheets that require cutting, coloring, painting, folding, thinking, and creating, they serve as great learning tools for developing minds. It also gives students a variety of ways to practice their skills so they don’t get restless. They don’t have to be boring! There are so many ways to make them fun.


 Center time is a great time to use worksheets. 

This is because students can work together to create a group project or individually to learn beginning sounds, letter formation, and practice letter identification.  These worksheets and crafts are great for that. 

Here are some creative ways to use alphabet worksheets in your classroom


  • Add playdough to a worksheet to form letters for fine motor skills.
  • Add them into plastic sleeves and let students use dry erase markers to fill them out. This saves on paper and also gets students engaged because who doesn’t love using those markers? 
  • Have a snowball fight with them afterward. Students will be more motivated to get their work completed and excited to do them! Just tell them when they are done with their worksheet, bring it to you to check, then if all is well, they can ball it up and make a snowball. When everyone is done, let the snowball fight begin! 
  • Add a soccer goal or basketball hoop! This is a great way to get students up and moving. Once they complete their worksheet and have it checked off, they get to shoot a basket or kick their “ball” into the soccer goal. 
  • Make crafts out of them! As mentioned above and in this post here, crafts are so great for little learners for so many reasons. If you are working on letters, have students create something with their letters. For example, turn the letter A into an alligator by coloring or painting, adding googly eyes, and a mouth. 

I created these alphabet worksheets as a way to give students lots of practice with the letters of the alphabet without getting bored. 

Each letter comes with a variety of activities and ways to practice. It is a complete A-Z bundle so it will be all you need for your reading or writing lessons!

What are your favorite ways to use worksheets in the classroom? Let me know in the comments!

The Importance of Alphabet Practice in Preschool

Preschool teaches so many foundational skills for young students that they will go on to use every day. Shapes, colors, and numbers are skills that must be learned before students can start learning the basics covered in later grades. 

One of the most important concepts to learn, however, is the alphabet. It’s true that they will cover this in kindergarten as well, but preschool is a great time to get them familiar with the concept so they start elementary school with the skills they need to succeed in reading and writing.

The alphabet can be tricky for students at first. 

Not only are there 26 letters to memorize, but you also have to learn the uppercase and lowercase versions of it! The shapes of letters don’t necessarily come naturally to young learners. If not practiced frequently, they could struggle with letter identification through kindergarten or even first grade.  

Along with letter identification, it is also important to teach them what sounds each letter makes.

Ensuring that they know the sounds of each letter is an important precursor to learning to read. Students will begin working with sight words in kindergarten so making sure they have a basic understanding of letter identification and sounds will give them a headstart. 

Alphabet tracing worksheets are a great way to practice with this age group. This can scaffold students’ writing skills and help with letter recognition and formation. Crafts are also a great way to do this because writing, tracing, coloring, cutting, and gluing help with their fine motor skills.


This Alphabet Practice A-Z Bundle is all you need to help your preschool students perfect these skills. 

This alphabet packet includes crafts, worksheets, and activities for each letter of the alphabet. You can use these printables and crafts in centers, whole group, small group, or for homework.

These provide hands-on options as well as worksheets to help with busy mornings. Students will learn how to work independently after the first couple of letter sets are used because every unit follows the same pattern. You will get so much to choose from each week. 


These activities will have your students confidently identifying and writing their letters as well as recognizing their sounds. They will be proud of the cool crafts they create for each letter and want to share them with others. It’s the perfect way to get them engaged! 

For more creative ways to practice the alphabet, check out my post here.

What are your favorite ways to work on the alphabet with preschool students?