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Warm Up Winter with Mitten Fun

Celebrate winter with mitten themed fun. This post includes activities, ideas, and more. Freebies included.

Celebrate winter with a fun mitten theme. Imagine how excited your students will be with great mitten literature, craftivities, and more. Surprisingly, there are many mitten themed options to choose from. 

Making Partner Work Work for ALL

Do you love having your students work with a partner? It's a great way to get your kids collaborating. Check out this post to learn how you can get the most out of partnerships.
Children naturally love reading with a partner, and the majority love it if you let them get up and move too. Another reason working in pairs is beneficial is that it provides our students with the opportunity to collaborate, and in today's workplace, collaboration is key. In fact, I'm collaborating with others today. We are each sharing teaching tips, so I know I'll learn a few too.

With children though, we need to keep in mind that some find it easy to let one or two lead in a group and do the work, but with just two group members, accountability is a non-issue. Having students work in pairs means high productivity which is especially important during that time when the teacher is working with small groups. If a group isn't on task, it shows very quickly, so today, I'm going to share a few options I love for working with pairs.

Teaching Kids to Infer with Silver Packages

This post featuring Silver Packages as a mentor text for teaching inferences steps you through a print and go lesson perfect for December.

One of the toughest skills for young readers to learn is to infer what isn't stated by the author. For students who lack experiences or who don't pick up on story clues authors share, explicit instruction is needed to help make sense of the unknown. Through think aloud and targetted instruction, we can help struggling readers improve. Today, I'm going to share how you can use a lovely Appalachian Christmas story to model making inferences.

Celebrate the Holidays with Gingerbread Fun

One way teachers can include ALL students in non-holiday celebrations is through thematic teaching. Check out this post for ideas for a Gingerbread theme. Freebies included.

One of the nicest ways to include every child in your classroom is with thematic teaching. I love the warm smell of gingerbread and making gingerbread houses has been a tradition for many years. Each year when I taught in the regular classroom, we enjoyed decorating candy houses and taking them to the local nursing home for the patients to enjoy. The children loved the "extra" candy supplied too. ;-)
Today, I'd like to share the thematic ideas I've collected. Some I've tried, while others just look like so much fun. I've added all the links to the Pinterest board below, so check that out if you'd like to do this theme too.

Building Readers and Writers with Patricia Polacco

Pause for a moment and think about your favorite authors from childhood. Maybe it was Dr. Seuss or Gary Paulsen, or perhaps you loved Clifford and Curious George. As a reading specialist, I quickly developed a love of Patricia Polacco's work. The connection she forms to struggling readers is just huge. More important than connecting to them is the fact that with hard work and perseverance, she was able to overcome many of her challenges. This is huge for the type of students I've worked with. By the time students reach fourth and fifth grade, they often perceive themselves as failures and doubt things will ever get better. No matter how often we tell them that we believe in them and that they can do it, they've  had too many setbacks to believe us. Sound familiar?  If so, I would encourage you to begin working in her books.

Discover the Magic of Jan Brett

Jan Brett is a favorite author, and this author study bundle will help you and your students celebrate her work all winter and beyond.

Who loves Jan Brett?  Me!  I bet you can tell too!  Jan Brett's books are a favorite this time of year.  Whether you discovered her books while sharing them with your children, have given them as gifts, or used them with teaching reading and writing lessons, you are sure to love them all. Today, I thought I'd share ideas from my author study bundle as well as supplementary activities you might like. The bundle includes individual units for The Hat, The Mitten, Armadillo Rodeo, Annie and the Wild Animals, Wild Christmas Reindeer, Trouble with Trolls, The Three Snowbears, Town Mouse Country Mouse, Gingerbread Baby, Gingerbread Friends, and Berlioz the Bear as well as a Jan Brett Author Lapbook.  For individual unit details and previews, just click each unit title. I am not hyperlinking the images since you may want to enlarge the picture to look more closely at the pages.


This policy is valid from April 25, 2015
This blog is a personal blog written and edited by me. The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely mine. I share what has worked in my classroom and what I've learned through my reading program and from my experience. I will only endorse products or services that I have used and found beneficial, based on my expertise, which I feel are worthy of such endorsement. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.

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