Friday, October 20, 2017

4 Books to teach Character Traits

We come back to character traits all though out the school year. Characters traits help our students understand the character. Although what I really love about teaching character traits is it is a way for us to show students what good character is! Through the lens of looking at darling book characters, they can learn about themselves.
I do go back to teaching character traits through out the year, but below are the list of 4 of my favorite books to use when teaching character traits. So without further ado here we go!

1. The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill. What I love about this story is you have two characters that you can do character traits with, Mean Jean and Katie Sue. You can also have the frank conversation about bullying. As I have talked with teachers who have used this story one of my favorite things I hear often is how after they read this story students will say "Don't be a Mean Jean" when they see someone being unkind. How cute is that?!

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I also created a darling book study for this book. You can check it out by clicking the image below:

2. Honestly any book by Kevin Henkes can be used for character traits. One of my favorites of his though is Chester's Way. Again in this story you are able more than one character and their different traits. I even have a unit that dives into Understanding Characters once you have established the traits.
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For the book study click the photo below. 

3. Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty. I love when I can tie in a little STEM while also teaching about important reading comprehension such as character traits. With Ada Twist I can do exactly that. Ada is such a darling character. Look here I am calling her by her first name, that is how much I love her, and her scientist spirit!
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I also have a book study for this one as well. I took a little twist with character traits on this and as a class you come up with Ada's traits that make her a great scientist. Click the image below to check out the book study.

4. The Invisible Boy by Trudy Ludwig. OH MY GOODNESS! If you haven't read this story go find a copy now! I literally teared up the first time I read it. It is a darling story of a little boy who is quiet and not seen by the rest of the class until a new boy moves in and sees him. I want to create a book study for this book, but I just haven't had a chance. It is on the to do list. Either way it is excellent for talking about a darling little character who the quiet ones in your class will relate to. 

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I have also developed my character trait and understanding character teaching ideas into an all in one product that can be used with ANY book. It has anchor charts, worksheets too practice with, crafts, and more! Click the image below and it will take you to the product.

Happy Teaching!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

5 Books to Teach Cause and Effect

Reading Comprehension Strategies is so fun to teach with all the fabulous literature around us! Here is a list of 5 books to help teach cause and effect.

1. If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Really you could use any of the If You Give a... books by. Laura Joeffe Numeroff. I even have an activity you can get for free on my blog for these books. Just click here!

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2. A Bad Case of Stripes by. David Shannon. One of my all time favorites! This book is perfect for Cause and effect as things happen to Camilla as she continues to not be true to herself. I even have full on book study for this book.

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3. The Rain Came Down by. David Shannon. This book is a Golden Kite Award Book. It goes through the cause and effect of a rainy day and how it effects people. It also shows the cause and effect of different people and their attitudes!

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4. When Spring Comes by. Kevin Henkes. This is a newer book by Kevin Henkes and I am in love with it! It is actually not illustrated by him. It is great to use during cause and effect and also if you are teaching seasons! I also love it as the illustrations also portray cause and effect not just the  writing. So students have to look at the images and see a cause and effect. I love it as you can use the book to answer questions like "What about spring cause plants to turn green?".

 (affilaite link)

5. Officer Buckle and Gloria by. Peggy Rathman. This book is so perfect to use when teaching not only Cause and Effect, but also why we should follow the rules at school! Students always love the dog Gloria and all her tricks. I also have a book study for this book. That has an adorable Cause and Effect Officer Buckle Craft!

 (affiliate link)

Still feeling overwhelmed when teaching Cause and Effect and need more activities and teaching ideas? I have developed my Cause and Effect teaching ideas and activities into a huge unit!! Check it out below or click here to see it in my store.

Friday, May 5, 2017

Flying First Graders - STEM Project with Rosie Revere, Engineer

Oh my goodness! Yesterday was such a fun day. I had a fabulous time in a first grade classroom getting this S.T.E.M. project up and going. The students were totally engaged! They were also on their best behavior! What a difference it makes when learning is fun! Okay, okay I might be using too many explanation points, but that's just how fun it was!!!!

So first if you haven't heard of Rosie Revere, Engineer by. Andrea Beaty then you need to go get it now! This book is so darling!!! It is a must in every household and classroom in my opinion! You can get a beautiful hardcover for not very much on Amazon!! Click the image below (aff. link).

Now let's talk about this Rosie Revere unit! I love tying literature in with STEM. This product has been one of the most enjoyable for me to create. I take you through 5+ Days of teaching with printables, crafts, experiments, and more! Below you can see a sneek peak image:

Now back to the first grade classroom I worked with. They are actually still working on the unit. I am going to show you some of the things they have done so far. The teach started off with teaching Vocabulary. She picked 10 of the words I suggested and used my Vocab teaching cards and definitions.

She also made an anchor chart about story structure before I came in. Part of the flying Rosie Revere that they make has them identify the problem and solution in the story.
Now we are ready for then I came in. Time to make our flying craft! Can they have a successful flop like Rosie??

In my unit I have several different suggestions for making the plane. It differs as to what grade level you are doing this with. As this was first grade I did pre-cut the wings. You will notice though in the images below that I used different boxes. This changed the aerodynamics of the planes. The students could also add weight to the planes using Popsicle sticks and beans. I told them before they need to decide if they though their plane would fly better if they added different weights in different places. I did not sway them in either direction. Below you can see some images of the added weights.

Once the weights were added they wrapped the plane in paper. This made the edges smooth so that we could hot glue the wings.

Finally they add their Rosie to make her fly, and their problem and solution circles. They had the choice of choosing blank circles to draw pictures, or they could use the lined ones and write out the problem and solution. They also had the option of adding "rockets" to the bottom. They are mini red cups purchased at Dollar Tree, and Pompoms also purchased at Dollar Tree. I will also include some link to amazon ones below, if you don't feel like running to the store (aff link).

The next thing to do was to send her off. We went to the school courtyard. We layed out Yard sticks in a long line so we could test the distance. Some flew great... some not so much. We recorded all the data on a sheet that was provided in the unit.
We then had a conversation why or why not some flew and some didn't. Clearly weight was a factor why some didn't fly well. We then did a speed test. Since the center of Rosie is a paper towel tube we were able to run a string down her that we tied to a chair. I held it in the air and we timed how long it took to get to the other side. The heavy ones out shined the lighter planes in this activity! It was so much fun! We also recorded time in seconds on our data sheet. Today students are comparing and contrasting the data. They are also focusing on some character traits in the unit, and learning a little more about Engineers in the non-fiction foldable book reader I included in the unit. Click on any image to purchase the unit!

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Pumpkin Activities

Don't you just love the fall?! That smell of pumpkin spice just fills the air with goodness! It is also that time of year that many teachers pull on their rain boots and drudge through pumpkin patch farms with their class. With that we teachers are busy teaching all things pumpkin! So you may be asking yourself... how can I teach it? How can I make it different then so many other teacher lesson? What pumpkin literature book should I use? Are there YouTube links you could show my students? The answer is yes to all of the above. You can tune into my Facebook page to hear all about how I teach pumpkins. Or you can read through this post that contains...FREEBIES plus a sneak peek of my pumpkin unit.

Okay first let's talk anchor charts. I like doing the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin Anchor Chart, but I also like to include sequencing, and the Parts of a Pumpkin.

 I also always have my vocab anchor chart no matter what unit I am doing. It is so important to teach my students the vocabulary I am going to be using as I teach them. Other wise what I am saying might go over their heads. I want to make sure they also interact with the vocabulary. That's why I like to laminate my vocabulary teaching cards and pull them on and off, and can then use them as a center station.

I also like to pull sequence of events in when I am teaching Pumpkins as there are so many different areas I can direct this with pumpkins; The Life Cycle, Pumpkin Carving, or a pumpkin literature story. There are so many different stories that I can choose, but my personal favorite is Pumpkin Jack by. Will Hubbell. It is a darling story about a boy named Tim. He has to put his beloved Jack-o'-lantern Pumpkin Jack out in the yard because he is rotten. Pumpkin Jack decomposes, and is left just as seeds. Tim discovers a pumpkin sprout in the spring. The book then takes you through the life cycle of a pumpkin. Yes that's right this story is pulling in the life cycle AND you can do sequence of events. SCORE! Below you can see my sequence of events anchor chart for Pumpkin Jack along with the sequence of Event craft that goes along with Pumpkin Jack.

  (aff link)

Next I want to dig deeper in the Life Cycle of a Pumpkin. I have a focus wall poster, but I also have an anchor chart in order to bring it to life as I teach it. I have laminated images of the parts of the life cycle. Again I use a tape that makes it easy to take it on and off, that way I can again turn this anchor chart into a sorting center for stations by simply taking the cards off and the students put them back up. (All these cards are in my Pumpkin Activity Pack)

I also love doing "mobiles" in my classroom. So I created a Life Cycle Mobile. These are simple, but are fabulous to hang from the ceiling through the fall as it contains your student's beautiful artwork AND writing.

I am also big on having foldable books that students read. Having taught in areas that were very poor I have found the importance of having paper books. These are great as they can take them home and read them where they often have no books at home. And the bonus of them being a printable book they don't have to bring them back! I do want to see there comprehension of the short emergent reader so I generally have them do comprehension questions like picture below. This is all available in my pack.

So now what about going to the pumpkin patch... okay you guys here is where the freebie comes in. Here is a fun sheet that they graph things they see at the pumpkin patch! Now naturally the pumpkin part will get filled to the top, but it is fun for them too what else they see. Right click the image below and save it to your computer to print it!

Now your students have had a wonderful time at the pumpkin patch. They are now back in the classroom. Time for them to write! Write all about the pumpkin patch! Once they are done with the writing it is glued onto a pumpkin and a little farm boy or girl that they make to look like them is glued above. How cute are they below?! I mean really!  Again this is all in my pumpkin pack.

So I have one more freebie for y'all... yes one more! This freebie is actually already in my store! It has been there for about a year! It is my Number bond/ Math Mountain Headbands! This is a fun way to tie in a little Pumpkin Spice with your math this fall!  Students make the number bond out of pumpkins! Check it out below! Click the image and it will take you to my store where you can download it for free!!

Okay... now there is even more in my pack! Yes more in my pumpkin pack. Click the image below to check it out in my store.