Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Thematic Thursday Gets Historical

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 "Historical Fiction", and bloggers are asked to share their favorite books and activites for a specific time period  Please grab the image to the above to use as your post header above, 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-Revolutionary War) You may use the planner below (if you like). At this time, I am allowing direct links of free products that fit the them of the week.  If you'd like to include a paid product, that is fine too, but please do not link up paid products to your store.  Rather, include them in your post. The image to the below can be used to plan out your posts and once completed, works beautifully for pinning. 

This Pinterest board has been formed to collect our planning sheets as well as other themed resources. Feel free to follow it or pin to your own collection.
Follow Comprehension's board Historical Fiction Resources on Pinterest.
Book Suggestions for the Revolutionary War

Revolutionary War Sneak Peak FreebieMy favorite book to use with the students I teach is Revolutionary War on Wednesday.  I have a sampler that I made last summer for a blog hop, and you can download it with the image to the right.  The image to the left is my full unit which is $3.20 -10% through tomorrow.

Another favorite author of mine is Gary Paulsen, and when I taught in the regular classroom, I always used his books.  My boys would be instantly hooked with Hatchet.  He has come out with so many more, and after meeting him in person, I love his books even more.  Woods Runner is set during the Revolutionary Wary.  Sadly, I do not have a unit for this book or a group that could read it.  However, I did find a few links that would be helpful.  [This link] is to a discussion guide that is aligned to Common Core.  I also saw a few examples of projects done on Glogster.  An example of one of the projects is on the left.  This is not a program I'm familiar with, but I was amazed at how neat they looked.  I can see doing a simpler version on Powerpoint with younger students.

George VS George {FREEBIE!}Picture books with any subject work well for mini lessons and mentor texts with writing.  George vs. George could lead to great debate.  It's about George Washington vs. King George.  The freebie to the right has great organizers to use with it.

Finally, I love the book, John, Paul, George and Ben.  Here is a Youtube video clip for it. I also found [this unit] to go with the book and [this webpage].  There were many options on this site, so be sure to check it out.  One resource I know I will use with my students is a Readers Theater script.  

 Fun Classroom Activities
There are so many great ways you can make the content meaningful to the students at this age, but one of my favorite things to do is project based learning.  The Revolutionary War provides a great opportunity for team research and projects.

For independent work, there are quite a few options for lapbook freebies.  Here is one from Jimmie's Collage.


Revolutionary War FreebieMy friend, Emily, also has this sampler available in her store. Just click the image to the right.

Close Reads Pack: American Revolutionary War Heroes- 3rd GIn addition to the lapbooks, you might include Close Reading opportunities. I love this set from 2 Brainy Teachers.  You can check out this Abigail Adams article sample, but the rest of the set includes all the key people from the Revolution.

The Causes of the American Revolution Bingo GameFinally, I liked this Revolutionary War Bingo game.  Kids love games, and this would be great to use as a culminating activity.

Before I go though, just a quick reminder that my store will continue on sale one more day.  Just click the image below if there are items you're interested in.
If you have favorite historical fiction books or activities to share, please leave me a comment. I can't wait to get your favorite book list.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

My Teacher Hero

Who is your teacher hero?  Think back to your elementary days?  Did you have a teacher that just happened to touch you by something simple such as remembering your birthday with a special inspirational card on your desk?  Or, did you have a teacher stay after school to tutor you when you struggled with a math concept?  How about showing concern when you lost your favorite furry friend?  

As I think back on the teachers I had in my school experience, the person that stands out probably would not guess that I'd pick him.  I was a quiet kid, and honestly, I just wanted to stay under the radar.  However, as an adult and teacher, I appreciate his humor, the caring way he made himself available if kids needed help, and his crazy mad scientist demeanor.  I still remember him throwing on those goggles, hair sticking straight up, and his white lab coat as he tossed some chemical into another sending smoke and pops in the air. Yes, Mr. Holste was a great teacher, and I still love teaching science concepts because of him.  Of course, he's retired now, and this picture I found through Google (and I hope he won't mind).  Can you picture the white lab coat??  

Teachers are heroes, and here is why.  You connect with the children in your classroom each day. You look for the little things that help the kids feel good and enjoy learning.  You spend your time writing up plans, preparing special materials just for them, and you are constantly on the look out for better ways to help them understand.  You spend your planning period (what's that, right??) tutoring, calling families, and monitoring recess time (or playing kickball.)  You spend your own funds to buy materials that will help your kids learn better.  You remember them on special occasions such as holidays and birthdays, and if they don't have gifts coming, you do what it takes to make sure they have something under the tree.  You come in on your free time to set your classrooms with special nooks and crannies that will be "fun" for your students, and you show your creativity with the "artsy" anchor charts that will cover the walls of your classroom.  You make a point to make it to your students' ball games and concerts, and you spend time selecting just the right books that will inspire your kids to read.  You work, work, and work some more, and I appreciate that about you.

Tomorrow is "Teachers Are Heroes" Day at Teachers Pay Teachers.  Most stores will be set at 20 % off, and with the promo code, Heroes, you can save an additional 8%.  My store is set to 20 % off now, and if you click the Superhero link below, that will take you to my store, but I hope you'll take a moment to also check out the other Teacher Superhero stories.  Thanks Jenny at Luckeyfrog's Lilypad for hosting this fun link up.
Have a great week, and come back tomorrow to check out this week's Thematic Thursday.  The topic is Historical Fiction and each blogger will share a period of time.  I'll be featuring the Revolutionary War resources.  


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Book Talk Thursday gets Ready for Spring

Hello readers!  It is Book Talk Thursday over at Reading Toward the Stars, and I thought I'd share a few books for spring I love.  Yes, I know technically it is winter, but we're in the deep freeze this weekend and we've had a snowy week here in Virginia. After a full week off from school, I'm ready now for warm weather.  I booked a week at Topsail Beach for spring break (Big Smile) and I made plans to go to the TPT Conference in Las Vegas (Bigger Smile)...and my husband REALLY wants me to get back to work!!  We haven't had a full week in a LONG time, and guess what...more rough weather coming!  Best we can do is think warm thoughts, so therefore...warm books it is!!

Product DetailsSooo...in the spring, I think of Eve Bunting.  I love a few books of hers in particular, and I'll share what I enjoy doing with them.  The first is Someday a Tree.  This book is about a special tree that sits on top of a hill on this families farm.  They love sitting under it and creating special memories.  Sadly, it gets sprayed with a chemical that ends up killing it. 

The book works very well with Earth Day and environmental studies, but the plot is great for modeling plot structure and cause/effect relationships. The themes that come from the book work well for the trait, ideas, if you teach Six Traits.  However, Bunting's writing style is also great for word choice and sentence fluency.  This unit is available for the book in my store.


Another great Eve Bunting book I love is Butterfly House.  I just love this book about a young girl and her grandfather.  They grow butterflies, and their relationship is just touching.  This book works well for Grandparents' Day or with writing about special things children do with older friends.  Here is the preview of this unit.


The last Eve Bunting book I use is Sunflower House. It is about some children who get creative with their sunflower planting.  They make a clubhouse by planting the sunflower seeds in a circle.  The plants grow up to form a hangout place in the middle.  It reminds me of the times my sister and I would pull out the card table and tip over my mom's big rocking chair, cover them all with blankets to make our own "tent" for playing.  We made such a mess of things! Here is the preview of this unit.  


Eve Bunting Spring Author Study Bundle
If you like the looks of these unit and want to save a little money, I did bundle them for a reduced price. You can get all three units for $6.00

As I mentioned at the start of my post, we've had all week off.  I've done quite a bit of work and checked a few things off my list.  One thing I've been meaning to do is send out a newsletter on TPT sharing the latest things I've done.  Well, I got busy today and sent that out. I am sharing a little exclusive freebie in it, but in order to put the image in, I had to have an Image URL.  Well, that means the image has to be uploaded to the web somewhere.  I figured this time I'd load it to my blog, so that means my blog readers get the freebie too!  (Smiling??)  It is a March Spelling Menu.  I have uploaded January and February to my store already, so if you'd like them, you can access them with the links below too.
    January Spelling Menu FreebieFebruary Spelling Homework Menu Freebie
Have a happy Friday readers, and don't forget to check out this week's Thematic Thursday and more great book ideas over at Reading Toward the Stars.

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