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!


Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Books Teachers Love [April]




It's that time of the month! My blogging friends and I are back for Books Teachers Love, which means you will be able to gather quite a few resources for April themed books + you'll have a chance to enter to win four different books! 



The book that I chose this month is Pete the Cat Big Easter Adventure. The kids always love it because let's face it, who doesn't love Pete the Cat? 

After reading the story, I give my students their own Easter eggs to cut out and use as tools in the classroom! My kids love using them in math for counting and they also get really excited about taking them home too!

I was super excited to make this printable Easter bunny that you can give to your kids to take home. There is a colored version and black & white one too, in case you want to allow your kids to color the bunny in.



For more ideas from Books Teachers Love, visit our Pinterest page!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Books Teachers Love {March}

We're back!!! It's time for Books Teachers Love and we're celebrating all books March themed! 

Aren't these just adorable stories? I bet you have read a ton of them in your class or have them on your bookshelf, so keep reading along!

I chose to share the book, The Night before Saint Patrick's Day. I love everything from the message to the illustrations so I couldn't wait to share it with you!

We start by reading the story in the beginning of March. It's a few weeks before Saint Patrick's Day but that's alright given the activity that we do with the story!
The kids love looking at the illustrations. They are so beautiful and kid-friendly. I even love them!


We stop on the page where Tim and Maureen make traps with a gold ring so we can talk about the connection between leprechauns and gold.


After the story is over, I tell the kids about how we are going to be collecting our own gold coins! However, I put a twist on it! I tell the kids that as a class, we are going to be collecting "coins for compliments."

To prep, all I did was trace a circle and made a pot to store the gold coins in!

Now, you see, I was always told growing up that a compliment is like gold. With that, I thought that my students could earn gold when another adult in the building gives them a well-deserved compliment. They eat that up and I just love seeing them so excited!
Would you like a chance to win March themed books for your classroom? Just enter below!

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