Thursday, November 20, 2014

Gift of Reading Blog Hop

Happy Holidays Readers!  Welcome to our Gift of Reading Blog hop!  This is our Second Annual Gift of Reading hop, and I would like to thank Wendy at Read With Me ABC and Andrea at Reading Toward the Stars for working together to get us all organized.  

Over the past two months, I've been gradually working on building a new product line geared toward fluency and comprehension, and I thought I'd share one with you this weekend for our hop.  Many teachers use a Daily Five approach to organizing their language arts blocks, and this product is intended to be used during the Read with Partner segment, in guided reading groups, or both.  These two person skits are a variation on Reader's Theater and are intended to help students practice fluency through repeated readings with the added component of comprehension skills and strategies. This unit is intended to be taught in segments.  The first step is pre-reading with a quick brainstorming activity.  Students make a list of the books they think would make great gifts for others.  Vocabulary words can be selected for pre-teaching depending on the level of your students, and I did select a few tier 2 words for vocabulary work.  I think the target grade for this particular script would be third grade, but since it isn't heavy with vocabulary, it might work for second or extend to fourth.

So once students have a purpose for reading, it's time to pair up.  The script is four pages in length and focuses on the book, The Polar Express and the idea of having faith in things even when it doesn't seem possible.  James is a struggling reader and hates to read (sound familiar??).  He and his mom read The Polar Express together, enjoy it, and on Christmas day, he gets a surprise gift.  (I know the story is not a likely Newberry Award winner, but remember the point is fluency building, right. :-)  

Once the students complete the reading, they are ready for comprehension. The set includes comprehension question task cards for group discussion (You might use a set for each group to discuss/respond in pairs during reading too), a written response page, and a holiday themed writing paper that can be used with the prompt provided. To access this file, just click the file preview below.

Free November 21-November 23 (midnight) Only
Look for more partner scripts coming in the future, and before you go on to the next stop, please enter to win a copy of my partner scripts or a bundle of your choice from my store in the Rafflecopter below.
I believe Colleen is ready for you "next door", so hop on over and see what great ideas await you there!
Happy Holidays!


   Photobucket


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thematic Thursday Gets Healthy


Thematic Thursday is a weekly teacher linky party focused on the sharing of ideas for a different theme each week. This week's theme is "Health and Nutrition", and bloggers are asked to share their favorite resources, book ideas, activities, and suggestions to help students learn about the Eating Healthy Foods, Exercise, and Taking Care of Yourself.  Please grab the image above as well as the template below, write up your post sharing your ideas, resources, and anything that fits the theme, and link up your blog name and intended grade level for the resources and ideas you share.  (Example-Comprehension Connection-4th and 5th)  Please remember that this link up is for blog posts only.  No store links will be allowed even with freebies as the hope is for readers to return to these themes later in the year or when they wish to focus on the theme.  Many themes can be used any time of year. The image below can be used to plan out your posts and once completed works beautifully for pinning. [This board] has been formed to collect our planning sheets as well as other themed resources.  I look forward to reading your posts.  Now, on to mine...

This week's theme is being done last minute because I posted over at Adventures in Literacy Land today AND I'm gearing up for a big blog hop starting tomorrow night.  BUT...it is important to me to stick to the schedule. So here we go.  I think in the end, you'll find a few valuable tools to use with teaching nutrition, health, exercise, germs or dental health, and if you have resources to share, by all means, please link up with me.

I have a few favorites on my planning page, so I'll take a minute to highlight them.  You can certainly save the plan page and access the ideas via my page (for some) or find them on my Pinterest board later.

Jack & the Hungry Giant {FREE book activity about the MyPlFirst up are the freebies I liked from Teachers Pay Teachers. I Can Fill Up My Plate! is a freebie from Loreen Leedy using the book, Jack and the Hungry Giant.  It teaches portion control and the importance of eating from all food groups.

Move Your Body: Classroom Exercise Chart (autism, special ed)
This morning, we just had an inservice about the importance of using a sensory diet to help children improve their focus in school. This unit encourages that, and you might find my Brain Breaks Pinterest board helpful too.  [Here] is the link to it.


Health And Nutrition: Free Mini UnitThis little mini unit would be handy as you get started planning.  It includes goal setting, nutrition, and staying fit.





Book Ideas
Now for book ideas.  I discovered a new author in preparing this post, and his name is Steve Smallman.  He has a line of fractured fairytales (Anyone else love them???), and here they are with a little blurb about each.  I think you all will find them great resources for teaching kids about health habits.

In Give Us a Smile, Cinderella! poor Cinderella is never allowed a bath – so it's no surprise that she's so smelly! When the fairy godmother conjures up a bubble bath, Cinderella is transformed, just in time for the ball.



Goldilocks ran through the forest. Before long, she was lost and tired and her tummy was rumbling. She wished she’d eaten her breakfast.
Then she smelled something yummy! She followed her nose to a little cottage. No one was home, so she went inside. Will she eat her greens?
In Keep Running, Gingerbread Man! no one can keep up with the speedy biscuit. Only Fox is fit enough to stand a chance of a teatime treat. But the Gingerbread Man's not just quick on his feet– he's pretty quick-witted too. After outsmarting Fox, he leads the other characters in an aerobics class.
Finally, in Blow Your Nose, Big Bad Wolf!, the three little pigs learn a lesson about spreading germs. When they won't lend the wolf a tissue, their houses are blown down by his sneezes! And to make matters worse, they then catch his cold.
So are you running to Amazon now?  I think I am adding these to my list.
Craft Ideas
Food pyramid and nutrition activities for Thanksgiving #nutrition #food pyramid #thanksgivingI think as we approach Thanksgiving, this is a great activity.  Kids take a food pyramid and sort the foods that many will be eating for their Thanksgiving dinners.  Boy, we all love the sweet potatoes and stuffing, but everything in moderation.  (and I'm working hard at it at the moment....sigh).  
Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten: Plant Crafts! & Tops & Bottoms Companion PackI love this cute idea from Mrs. Lee's Kindergarten.  It works well with teaching plants, but how about putting the craftivity with a writing prompt about trying new veggies and fruits.  Sometimes giving kids construction paper, a scissors, and glue, and letting them use their imaginations to create their veggie people could lead to creative projects.
http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/236x/c8/bb/a8/c8bba8f6aa78eee2dcf15fa0892aa3d7.jpgOne more cute project before I go... I love this one about fighting germs from Mrs. Saylor's Log I think reading The Big Bad Wolf story I mentioned earlier or Bear Feels Sick and making this project would be a wonderful lesson.  

Do you have favorite healthy me resources you use and are willing to share?  Feel free to share your ideas in the comments, link up, or email me (and I'll add them to my post).  

Have a great weekend (and be sure to come by this weekend for our Gift of Reading Blog Hop).  



Check out this and other linky opportunities at Teacher Karma by clicking the image below.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Thematic Thursday Linky-Thanksgiving Resources


Thematic Thursday is a weekly teacher linky party focused on the sharing of ideas for a different theme each week. This week's theme is "Thanksgiving", and bloggers are asked to share their favorite resources, book ideas, activities, and suggestions to help students learn about the First Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving Themed activities, and Thanksgiving traditions  Please grab the image above as well as the template below, write up your post sharing your ideas, resources, and anything that fits the theme, and link up your blog name and intended grade level for the resources and ideas you share.  (Example-Comprehension Connection-4th and 5th)  Please remember that this link up is for blog posts only.  No store links will be allowed even with freebies as the hope is for readers to return to these themes later in the year or when they wish to focus on the theme.  Many themes can be used any time of year. The image below can be used to plan out your posts and once completed works beautifully for pinning. [This board] has been formed to collect our planning sheets as well as other themed resources.  I look forward to reading your posts.  Now, on to mine...
I am so excited about this week's Thematic Thursday because with a Thanksgiving Theme, I get to show my thanks to all my blogging buddies.  The blogging community is such a great PLC!  I tell my friends all the time how much I learn from reading blogs, and I hope you all feel the same.  I hope that this linky makes planning fun and easy for my readers. So...let's see what I can share with you...

First off, my planning page is located to the left.  I have included a few of my favorite book, and guess what??  The units I have for them will be...drum roll...Dollar Deals all Day Thursday!  You can access them with the picture links below. They include Pete the Cat-The First Thanksgiving ($1.00) In November ($1.50), Silly Tilly's First Thanksgiving ($1.00), Ready Freddy Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble ($2.00), and finally...my latest partner script, The First Thanksgiving 

    Ready, Freddy!  Thanksgiving Turkey Trouble Guided Reading
In November by Cynthia Rylant Guided Reading Unit Dollar Deal Pete the Cat The First Thanksgiving
Book Ideas
Speaking of book selections, I was so excited to locate these great pins with Thanksgiving book lists. Aren't they great?  I love being able to just print the graphic to carry the list with me.  They are linked to the pins, so feel free to pin to your own boards.  (or follow ours)

  
  
Craft Ideas
I was so excited to find such beautiful and thoughtful craft/craftivity ideas. One of my all time favorites from my search was this anonymous pin.  What a clever way to get your students thinking about what's important to them. I will be doing this next week I believe, and I look forward to displaying them.  
Speaking of hands, how about this helping hand tree.  We use the Bucket Filler program, and I think this would be a nice accent to show how we help others.  We have an angel tree each year, and I think we could go from hands to angels.  Nice ring to it huh??  
Easy I am Thankful Pumpkin Craft! Perfect for children's ministry or the classroom. We have paper and paper cutters down in the IRC, so not only can you make these but you won't have to worry about tediously cutting each strip one at a time with scissors!I also love this pumpkin from The Moffat Girls.  I think you could put a reading twist on it though and make book report pumpkins.  
Notebook and Teaching Printables
Here are a few more foldables and graphic organizer freebies that I just loved.  I know it helps to have someone do the searching and share them, so here you go....just click!
Thanksgiving Read Alouds {Response Activities}This little freebie has response activities ready for each of these read alouds.  How nice!
Thanksgiving Word Work Freebie for Little KidsThis nice little freebie is great for kinders and first. It includes handwriting practice and vocabulary.  
The First Thanksgiving ~ Mini-Book and Reflection / Close ReadI have really gotten into using Close Reading strategies with my students, and this looks great for the middle grades.  
Native American: Wampum - Reading Passage This Close Read from Teach 123-Michelle is for the upper grades.  It's perfect for guided reading.

Do you have favorite Thanksgiving activity you use and are willing to share?  Feel free to share your ideas in the comments, link up, or email me (and I'll add them to my post).  

Have a great weekend (and feel free to link up through next Wednesday readers).  





Check out this and other linky opportunities at Teacher Karma by clicking the image below.

Night for Family Literacy (NFL night)

Welcome readers!  Today, I thought I'd share a fun parental involvement event we had recently at my school.  Each year, we host NFL night.  Yep...we combine sports with reading!

Our night begins with lots of fun with family and friends over dinner.  We laid out the spread of tailgating fare....hot dogs, beans, chips, fruit, and of course a yummy cookie for dessert.  Families came prepared with their lawn chairs, and our kids came with lots of energy! They played hard out on the field, and I almost got caught in the crossfire trying to grab a few pictures! Here are a few shots of our kids in action.

Well, parents did insist on the kids taking time out for dinner too, and I just love the family time that everyone got to have together.  So many of the kids came decked out in their favorite team shirt too. Do you see a favorite team??

As the sun began to set, we stoked up the fire and brought out our storyteller, Dr. Ramsey, from Lynchburg College.  He shared a variety of mountain tales and even entertained us with a little harmonica music. He talked about the importance of sharing stories with your children both orally and with wonderful literature

What a fun night it was!  Coming next week, we will be hosting our second annual Literacy Book Fair.  We are looking forward to seeing all of the family projects that our students created about their favorite books.  I'll have a post to share highlighting all the great book projects.

Now, I hope you'll come back tomorrow for Thematic Thursday and all kinds of great Thanksgiving ideas.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Tech Tuesday: How to Make Blog Post Graphics


Happy Tuesday, readers! Today's post is dedicated to a group of young readers who are just getting started with blogging.  My blogging buddy, Michelle over at Big Time Literacy, is blogging with her fourth and fifth graders, and I thought both my students and hers could benefit by reading and seeing how blog post graphics can be made easily with Powerpoint.  Since the Techie Turtle Teacher hosts Tech Tips Tuesday, I thought why not link up and write my post.  So here we go...

Step 1-Set up your Powerpoint Page
The first step is to open a new file in Powerpoint.  Once open, you need to set up your page size. For the graphic above, I set the page size to 7 1/2 x 7 1/2.  Square graphics work well for pinning and for Instagram.  I find that square works well with blogger too even at the "extra large" size.  My page is too narrow for an extra wide graphic, so I have to keep an eye on that. This graphic was a full page graphic.  To set the dimensions of the page, you click on the design tab and pull down to custom.















Step 2-Select your background and graphic shape
For my graphic, I wanted to fill my page with a background "fabric", and I wanted to frame it.  I used two steps to do that.  First, while I was on the design tab, I selected "format background".  I chose to fill the background with a picture, and I selected the "fabric" from the folder I had my backgrounds in. Here is what that step looks like.
Then, I clicked on Apply to All.

Once the page color was chosen, I added a frame by clicking on insert shape and selecting the frame button.  I drug the toggle from top left to bottom right to make it the same size as the outside of my page.  Then, I grabbed the yellow toggle on the frame and shrunk the width of the frame.  You can recolor it any color you choose. Just go to Format shape border and fill with the appropriate colors.
Step 3-Add your clip art and words.
I just love the cute stick people I got from Scrappin Doodles, so I added them to the picture by clicking insert picture.  First I added in the frame, and then, I selected the stick girl.  I resized her to fit the space I had for her.  I also added in the cat, but I had to flip him first since he was looking right instead of left.


To add the text, you use a text box.  Fonts make a difference, and so does Word Art.  I selected a font that came with my Powerpoint software (Cooper Black) and one of the Word Art designs.  For Title pages and graphics, that add a nice touch.  Here is what the page looks like with the text box part.


Step 4-Final Step
The last step is to save your page as a jpeg or png file. To do that, you just Save As (choose your file name) and select a jpeg file type.  That's it.  Your page graphic is done.

Need just a small header and want it in a circle?  
No problem.  The steps are similar.  Simply start with the shape you want and fill it with the color or pattern you like.  Next add your graphics (by layering), and finally add your text.  Here is the step by step idea.


Once all of the layers are set, use Control A (Select All) and then right click and "Save as Picture".

That's it. Now, open up Powerpoint and play around.  If you still can't figure it out, you can try searching for a Youtube Tutorial.

Have a great Tech Tuesday, and be sure to come back Thursday for Thematic Thursday which will be focused on Thanksgiving.  For more Tech tips, check out Cheryl's post.
  

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