Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Thematic Thursday Gets Down to the Bones

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 "Dem Bones", and bloggers are asked to share their favorite resources, book ideas, activities, and suggestions to help students learn about spiders.  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...

It's a spooktacular day for Thematic Thursday.  This week, it's all about skeletons and the human body.  Bloggers might share materials about other systems of the body beyond the skeletal system, but my post focuses on it.  Here is my theme planning sheet, but I'll elaborate on a few of the items.
This week, I thought I'd share some of the cute skeleton themed activities I came across.  I am thinking this theme may be especially fun for Halloween day.  Personally, I am going with the ideas from my candy corn link from two days ago, but I'll share a few possibilities for those who want an easy planning day.  Who knows...my students may vote for skeletons instead.

Of all the books I included, my favorite has to be Skeleton Hiccups by Margery Guyler.  It really is a great book, and I found this great reading of it on Youtube. Just click on the book jacket to get to it, and while you're reading/listening to it, you can have your students sequence the events on this story frame.  I think a great writing prompt after it would be writing a story about how you'd help skeleton get rid of his hiccups.

Freebie
Need a stretch break?  This link includes the text and the music for students to read along.  Using music with the lyrics is a great way to work on reading fluency.  Check it out!
Halloween songs for the classroom.  Teach parts of the body with Shake Them Skeleton Bones song.

Finally, I thought these craftivities would be great fun and with labeling, would teach your little people about the bone names.

Easy Q-Tip Handprint Skeleton Craft #Halloween craft for kids to make | CraftyMorning.com Kindergarten Skeletons (LizzLessons via RainbowsWithinReach) My bones like to __ SKELETON CRAFT | learningenglish-esl - can be used for science unit on human body or used for art project at Halloween or for Halloween decorations
Well, I hope these ideas helped you bone up on your skeletal system and gives you a few resources to use.  Have a spooktacular weekend!




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

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

National Candy Corn Day...How fun!


I just saw the cutest post by Jungle Learners celebrating National Candy Corn Day.  Who knew there was such a thing?  I figured why not highlight it on my blog too.  After all, Mel from Graphics from the Pond has an adorable candy corn set that I've been wanting to use anyway.

So just how can you celebrate National Candy Corn day?  Well, how about these cute pins and freebies.  We all love them don't we?

Candy Corn ContractionsFirst up is Candy Corn Contractions from Chalk One Up for the Teacher.  It is perfect for center time or in teams during guided practice. Check it out for free!

Candy Corn Math Craft for Related Facts and Number ModelsNext on my list is great freebie for math since we can't do all literacy related activities.  This is from Diary of a First Grade Teacher.

Candy Corn Place Value CardsOr this from Mrs. Heather.  I think it'd be a great math center. 

Candy Corn Synthesizing Story Map FREE
Now we're ready for a little reading fun.  How about this freebie from A Modern Teacher.  You can use it with any book, but I'll leave you with a few suggestions shortly.

Candy Corn Making Words: A Small Group ActivityFor young readers, I like this making words freebie.  Fun!

Candy Corn Opinion Writing
To complete the language arts block, you have to add in a little writing.  How about teaching your students how to write opinion papers with this neat activity from Teaching with Passion.  (We're working on these now, so I know my students would enjoy it.) 

Now what would you like to read with your students??  Here are a few recommended books to add to your collection for the day.

   

Since I can't find any science or social studies related activities, you will have to make time for art and cooking.  Here are a few fun pins to try out.
Halloween candy corn cake - beautifully decorated with candy corn, even the cake layers are candy corn colors! Candy Corn Popcorn Balls - Perfect for Halloween & just 6 ingredients. #Halloween 25 Candy Corn Crafts at artsyfartsymama.com #candycorn #Halloween

I will leave you with two funnies to enjoy. The second might be one you hear at school, but we hope not. :-)

 

Now...go out and eat some candy corn to celebrate!  

Monday, October 20, 2014

Mentor Monday-Books that Teach Perseverance

I always enjoy linking up with The Reading Tutor/OG for Mentor Monday.  It gives me an opportunity to reflect on book options and ways to use them in future lessons.  Today's topic is perseverance, and I have two favorite books to use that demonstrate well the need to stick with a task, even when it is hard, and I bet my readers will be nodding their heads in agreement with my choices. 

The first choice for me is Thank You Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco.  In fact, I think many of her books include themes of perseverance.  I start with this book every year, and my favorite scene is when her grandfather pours the honey on the book to show the sweetness of reading.  I've thought about doing that in class many times, but I treasure my library so much that I hate the thought of ruining the books. When I share it, I swear, I look a little like this by the end. Anyone else?  
How to Practice “Love and Logic” Parenting, Part 2: Teaching Kids to Listen… the First Time | Our Holistic Journey
Read Aloud Tip #1-Have tissues handy.
The thing about this book that gets to me is the image of Patricia actually living through years of heartache and no one noticing.  I think it's honestly a book that has motivated me to be the teacher I am today.  I just can't bear the thought of a child leaving my class with reading issues going unnoticed.  (so I'm off the topic of perseverance a bit there...sorry).  Anyway, children who struggle need to realize they are not alone and that through hard work and focused assistance, they are not destined to a life of poor reading.

The second book I just love is Amazing Grace by Mary Hoffman.  The book has a black female named Grace as the main character, and Grace has grown up spending most of her life in dramatic play.  She shoots up her hand when her class is getting ready to assign roles for Peter Pan, and Grace wants to be Peter.  Naturally, there are some who believe she has no place in the cast much less in the lead because A: She's a girl.  AND B: She is black.  She has moments when she fails to believe in herself, but when this happens, her grandmother, who has been her mentor for a long, long time, calls her on it.  She pushes her to believe in herself and work harder to earn the role.  There are so many life lessons in this one, and it is a must teach in third to fourth grades.

With this month being Breast Cancer Awareness, I am donating all proceeds for Amazing Grace sales to the Breast Cancer Society in honor of four amazing women in my life who have persevered through treatment.  Here is a glimpse of this unit if you're interested.
$4.00-All Proceeds Go to Breast Cancer Society
What are your favorite books for teaching perseverance?  Share them in the comments below, or better yet...link up with Emily.  I'm sure she'd love it.

Happy Monday and have a great week!  Come back Thursday (or before) for this week's Thematic Thursday.  We'll be focusing on the Human Body, Skeletons, and Ghosts. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Comprehension Connections Sunday Scoop

Welcome to The Sunday Scoop!  I am linking up with The Teaching Trio to share a little scoop on my week.  It is going to be a busy, busy week, but once I get to Friday, I get to spend 2 glorious days away with my hubby.  I know there will be long days ahead this week, but one day at a time, right??


If you have not had an opportunity to hop through the Virginia Blogger hop, be sure to start [here] and enter my giveaway for these Partner Scrip sets.  Each partner play includes a set of 12 question cards specific to the script, a vocabulary page, and a post reading comprehension page.  If you don't win, they are just $2.00 each.  

Have a wonderful week and enjoy the fall colors.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Getting Festive for Fall with the Virginia Bloggers

Fall is a beautiful time everywhere, but especially in the mountains of Virginia. Each weekend in September and October, you are sure to find Apple Butter Festivals, Fall Festivals, Wine Festivals, or a Music Festival somewhere in our state, and the Virginia Bloggers wanted to celebrate a little fall festival of our own. There are fifteen of us participating today, and our posts are all different. Some may choose to share what's happening in their classrooms this fall, share a favorite fall recipe, show you a few pictures from local events, but we'll all have a freebie for you to enjoy.  

I am sharing a Partner Script which is a new product type for me.  I've used partner poems with my tutoring students quite a bit as well as reader's theater, and this is sort of a combination of both.  The script includes just two parts and is intended to be used in a Daily Five model or in guided reading. Well, this all sounds great, right??  Well, I had an interesting problem arise with my freebie this week when I made the mistake of uploading it as soon as I finished it.  I did not expect it to sell so quickly, and I didn't feel like it was quite fair to give it away for free five days later. Instead, I chose to create another one.  It is just as well because now I can highlight a favorite event from my part of Virginia, Apple Butter Festivals!  

When our kids were young, we really enjoyed heading up with our friends and camping in the orchard our friend owns.  Picture the crazy kids running around having apple fights between the tents. This is after spending the day going through the corn maze, getting their faces painted, eating way too many sweets, and picking out pumpkins and apples.  I didn't have time to dig through our old pictures, so I am sharing a few from my friend, Ruth from last year's festival.  There is so much work that goes into these things, and there is always a huge crowd to enjoy it.  In fact, "Pick Your Own" weekend is coming up, so I believe a trip is in order!

  
The freebie, as I mentioned, is about apple picking.  The children in the script have a bet going about who will pick the most apples and win an apple pie from the other.  If you are teaching fables, I tried to weave a bit of "The Tortoise and the Hare" into the theme.  In fact, it would be fun to use this script in conjunction with reading and writing fables.  Here's a glimpse of what's included.
Click to Download
Now, I did mention the other partner scripts I wrote.  I will share the previews of them both.  They are priced at $2.00 each if anyone is interested. 
                  
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now I will send you on to Haley at Owls and Lesson Plans for more Fall fun.  Have a great time and happy hopping.



Owls and Lessons, Etc.


Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Thematic Thursday-Pumpkins Galore

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 "Pumpkins Galore", and bloggers are asked to share their favorite resources, book ideas, activities, and suggestions to help students learn about spiders.  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...

Welcome to another fun week with Thematic Thursday.  This week, I am teaming up with my blogging buddy, Krista at Teaching Momster.   Krista's blog is focusing on pumpkin math activities for her weekly Math Madness Linky while my blog will focus on literacy. Those who link choose to link up can choose one or the other or both!

I thought I'd start with what's happening in my classroom. My students have had great fun with two fall themed partner scripts I've made.  The first set I used focuses on pumpkins and is  called The Great Pumpkin Heist.  I am using it with my fourth grade group, and the readability of the script between 3rd and 4th.  Here is the preview file I put together. The set includes a vocabulary page, question task cards, and a post reading character traits page. ($2.00)  The children started out with me for prereading vocabulary and schema building.  Then, I paired them for partner reading.  Afterwards, I brought them back to our small group table to use the task cards for discussion (Day 1).  On day two, we reviewed the vocabulary, did a mini lesson from an Interactive Notebook set I have on character traits, practiced a second time, and used the character traits organizer for post reading.  The children thoroughly enjoyed it.  

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B0WRApjFnFcTak5aTi04Yzh5QUE/view?usp=sharing
Another great freebie that I've taken advantage of comes from my friend, Erin at Mrs. Beers Language Arts.  It fit perfectly since I've been using Close Reading Strategies with my students in both fourth and fifth grades.  However, it worked best for my fifth graders due to the reading level of the text.  I loved that it was an informational article since we've been working on summarizing strategies for nonfiction.  Gail Gibbons book, The Pumpkin Book, would work well as a read aloud to compare and contrast with the article later too.
This week, we've also focused heavily on paragraph formation.  I've discovered my students in the middle grades need a refresher on writing paragraphs that follow the Hamburger Model, and several of the themes from previous weeks work well for quick writes that stick to a topic.
A Cupcake for the Teacher: Perfect Pumpkins {a Writing Craftivity}Bat Facts Writing OrgainzerSpider Writing Organizers and Writing Paper {Freebie}

When planning out this theme, I was reminded of many favorite books.  I love the book, Pumpkin Soup.  It's one that is recommended quite often as a mentor text for writing recipes.  Of course From Seed to Pumpkin and Pumpkin, Pumpkin are a great ones for introducing plant life cycles, and The Biggest Pumpkin Book is always a hit for fiction.

In the activities section of my planning sheet, there are three activities that I want to point out specifically.  I love Jen Runde's 3-d pumpkins for story elements.  Students love doing crafts, but at a time where content demands allow little free time, this is a nice one to do both.  I also love the options available with Mel Lloyd's Pumpkin Flapbook. I can see using this with a Halloween/Fall book of choice as a book report project.

The links I have included provide options too.  The first link is to a blog post with 40+ ways to carve and use pumpkins in other lessons. For pumpkin research, All About Pumpkins offers factual information about how pumpkins grow, etc.  The final link is well...just a fun little thing for students to do on your smartboard.

Before I sign off and add the linky code, I would love to share one little freebie with my fans.  It's a little poem I wrote that is part of my Fall Poetry for your Pockets set.  You can use it for fluency work, for word hunts, and reviewing high frequency words.  
Before you move on to your next Bloglovin post, you would probably like to see what's coming up in the coming weeks for Thematic Thursday.  I decided to map out the rest of the year using the suggestions I got from my readers.  You might want to print and save this if you are a blogger and want to join in.  Others may want to use it to plan centers, book choices, etc.  I will be working on getting Pinterest boards made for all of them and will add to them as I have time. Remember, those who link up are added as contributors, so I hope you'll give it a try.  
Just a reminder...Don't forget to check out Krista's pumpkin math ideas and the other links below, and don't forget to come back this weekend for a little fun with the Virginia Teacher Bloggers.

Thanks for dropping in, and just think...only one more day til the weekend!




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


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