Saturday, October 15, 2016

Books Teachers Love: November Edition

This is probably, hands down, my favorite month of the year! I love all of the stories that come with the month of November. Plus, it's my birthday month! Woo hoo! In other words, we have a lot of fun in November!

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Today I am sharing my favorite project that I have been doing for the past, well I won't even tell you how many years. Over the years it has received a few tweaks and updates and I am happy to tell you about the new and improved, Disguise a Turkey project that goes with the story, Turkey Trouble!

First I read the story, Turkey Trouble which talks about a turkey who is hiding from Thanksgiving! He doesn't want to be caught by the farmer and cooked for supper! 

As an extension to the story, I have created a project where the students disguise their own turkey! They get a regular looking turkey and can take it home to use any unique materials they want!

Over the years I have seen so many amazing disguised turkeys! Here is a sweet one that came in last year [it's a cupcake!].

My project comes with examples for your students to look at to get their minds in the disguising mode! 
Want to try out a couple of pages for free? Try it HERE! Your kids can brainstorm what a disguised turkey would look like and there is also a story elements page included if you choose to read the story, Turkey Trouble! 

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Thursday, September 15, 2016

Books Teachers Love [October]

Can it really be time to share about our favorite picks for October already?!
Books Teachers Love is a group of bloggers who join together to bring you our favorite stories as well as resources for you to use!

I love this story, Goodnight Goon for many reasons. It is great to show rhyming and the illustrations are just gorgeous.

I created a rhyming activity that you can use as a center with your students. It asks the students to show rhyming words versus non rhyming words and there is even a recording sheet that you can collect to see if the students understood.

Not only can you get my activity for FREE, but you can also enter our giveaway to win books for your classroom!
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Sunday, August 14, 2016

Books Teachers Love [Wemberly Worried]

Books Teachers Love is a small group of bloggers that have come together to share our favorite read alouds with you! We've included free corresponding units, guides, or samples that you can use to go along with the stories as you read them to your classroom!

I am so excited to be back, blogging with the BTL group for the 2016-2017 school year! I hope your find the books we have chosen helpful and great to use with your students!

September is a great month to talk about emotions. We never truly know how our students are going to arrive at school and what they are feeling those first few weeks. Wemberly Worried is a story about a little girl who is worried about her first day at school, among other things, and shows how she transforms into a comfortable student at school.

My class does a Wemberly Worried unit with a variety of activities that explore how both Wemberly and they are feeling. I like to choose my read alouds carefully and check comprehension in different ways when possible. I have created a Wemberly Worried Comprehension Guide & Craft that has everything that you need for this story to check student understanding and knowledge of Wemberly! 
You can try two of the comprehension pieces from my unit out today with your class from my sampler pack! These two pieces are great to check the knowledge of the beginning, middle & end, as well as comparing an contrasting with your students!

Grab my sampler pack here.

I love the Wemberly craft that is included in the unit! There are simple, easy to cut pieces that the students can either cut from construction paper or they can color them in! It's your choice! The craft comes with a writing piece that has students explain why it is not good to worry, in their own words.
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Sunday, May 15, 2016

Books Teachers Love [May]

June is such a fun time of the year! I always enjoy pulling the books off of my shelf because they are so beautiful and well, summery!
My bloggy friends and I are sharing 12 perfect read alouds for the month of June! Keep reading to enter for a chance to win four books of your choice! How perfect is that?
This month I love reading the story, Swimmy by Leo Lionni. The illustrations are just beautiful, but so is the message inside. The message also fits perfectly with my "classroom family" motto that I've spent all year teaching. It's just an amazing story that talks about the importance of working together and it even shows a visual of that, which makes it easy for kids to see and understand! 
I walked into Starbucks on the morning that I had Swimmy in my lesson plans and saw the mermaid splash sticks. I immediately did that teacher thing that we do and had that a-ha moment! These would make great reading pointers! 
The kids loved using the splash sticks as reading pointers. It helped them work on fine motor skills as well as making sure they pointed to every single word! 

After we read Swimmy together, I told the kids we were making an anchor chart to show how Swimmy and the other fish worked together in the story! And guess what, it was worksheet free! 

All you need is...

1. Sticky notes or colored paper
2. Scissors
3. Pencils
4. Glue sticks
5. Anchor chart paper

That's it! I promise! 

I have to be honest, I had no idea if the kids would be able to make the fish! I put a picture of swimmy underneath our document camera. If you don't have one of those, just put the book on your board or walk around with it.

The kids used the picture from the book as a guide for how to draw swimmy. And, it worked!!
Didn't they do an AWESOME job? I was so proud of them. As they were making their fish, I kept saying, "Oh my gosh!" and "These look amazing!" They were laughing so hard at my honesty! 
When you are done... glue them together on a piece of anchor chart paper to show the same visualization from the story. The story shows the fish in the patter of another fish, but I wasn't skilled enough to do that! So, instead, I put them in the shape of a heart. 

The black fish inside of our heart was made by me and shows the leader of the school of fish [Swimmy]. 

If you loved that lesson and you'd like to read more, just head over to my friend's posts! I know they will have amazing stuff for you! Plus, enter our giveaway to win your choice of 4 stories that we blogged about this month! 

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Earth Day Lapbook & Freebie

I love Earth Day. Don't you? It's a time for a solid classroom conversation that gets pretty deep, even with seven and eight year olds. We first conceptualize what "Earth" is by looking at a map as I try to explain that our state isn't the only place. I also ask if the kids have ever traveled with their families to help them visualize different parts of the world. We then discuss different ways that we care could care for our Earth.
 We've been using lapbooks since the beginning of the year, so when the kids saw this, they knew exactly what we'd be up to next! I print out the colored version as my example and the kids get the black and white version to color in and add their own style.
Each lapbook has a cover and a quote. We spend some time reflecting on the quote together. 
I am a huge supporter of lapbooks for many reasons:

1. They are books that the kids can keep forever.
2. If the kids keep a certain lapbook at school, they can use it as a tool just like any other book.
3. Lapbooks offer a sense of accomplishment for students.
4. There are many fine motor skills that students work on as they complete their lapbook.
The students also made Earth Day Posters to make a pledge for doing their part with the three R's [Reduce, Reuse, Recycle]. You can get this free here!

Friday, April 15, 2016

Books Teachers Love {May}

I absolutely love this time of the month! I am teaming up with some of my fabulous blogger friends to give you some freebies that go along with the books we chose to tell you about for the month and you get a chance to win 4 of the books in our Books Teachers Love giveaway! Let's get started!
This month I chose to use the story Monarch Butterfly with my class. I also created a butterfly flipbook that you will want to check out and perhaps, use with your class too!

I created a flipbook that goes along with this story, but you can use it for any butterfly story or text that you want! 
The kids start by folding the flipbooks, cutting the flaps, and decorating the cover. I love all of the fine-motor skills that they get to work on!
Then comes the writing. This flipbook is in the KWL format. The kids write their "What I Know" and "What I Want to Know" before we read the story together. You can even have this be a morning job!
After the kids write their KWL pieces, they get to draw/color a picture on the other side of the flap. Easy and fun as that!
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Don't forget to check out the other books that were blogged about for May!