Saturday, December 20, 2014

Who loves Jan Brett?...Me!


Who loves Jan Brett?  Me!  I bet you can tell too!  This unit bundle is my little Thanksgiving baby.  I worked through the whole Thanksgiving break to update it in time for the holidays, and the majority of the books are perfect for the winter months.  I thought I'd take time to blog about the unit and share what all is included in the bundle.  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.  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.

What a cute book!  I love that the main character is Hedgie the Hedgehog, and children love it because of all the animals.  The unit includes pages for vocabulary, sequencing, story elements, making comparisons, and cause and effect that include written responses.  I think this is important for students as it means they will be working on writing along with comprehension strategies.  In addition to comprehension strategies, I also include book project work for classes to write a group book and book reports. 

I think of all of Jan Brett's books, this is my favorite.  It is just so sweet.  I love the minds of children, and Annie's corncake dilemma is hilarious. She must have one large kitchen!  The unit includes before/during/after activities for vocabulary, making comparisons (2 pages), question task cards for group discussion or paired responses, a class book project, and a book project.

This is a lesser known book, but it is adorable too. I believe it is one of Jan Brett's oldest titles as well. The bears in the story are musical bears, and they are on their way to a concert. Unfortunately, they get stuck and can not get their wagon out of the rut. The unit includes work for sequencing, story elements, questioning, vocabulary, and several writing projects too. I just love the bears from Scrappin Doodles for this unit too.

Kids love fractured fairy tales, and this book is a winter version of the Goldilocks story.  Clever huh?  It includes ties to polar bear research, Beginning/Middle/End response, making inferences, story elements, synonyms/antonyms, questioning, and a WANTED project.


Another favorite,Trouble with Trolls, takes us to Norway. Treva and her dog, Tuffi, are having issues with a group of pesky trolls that are sneaking their things. This unit got a complete overhaul over Thanksgiving and includes quite a few more pages and activities. Like my other units, the lesson materials are structured in a before/during/after approach.  It includes cause/effect, character development, visualizing, story elements, whole class book discussion (Give One, Get One), and several writing options.

This version of The Gingerbread Man has become a favorite holiday tale. Children just love it. The unit includes materials for vocabulary, story elements, summarizing, making comparisons, question task cards, a class book writing project, and a glyph craftivity.  Fun, Fun and oh so cute!

The Gingerbread Baby has a sequel, and in this book, readers catch the Gingerbread Baby causing more trouble. However, it ends with the joy of friendship.  Like the other units, this one includes all of the materials you need for comprehension skills with a focus on cause and effect. It also includes a lapbook project which I used with my kids.They turned out so cute...perfect for displaying in the hallway.

This is the 25th anniversary of The Mitten. Can you believe it?  It has become a must read for every child in elementary school, and the number one skill taught with it? Sequencing of course! My unit includes more of course.  This one includes story elements, summarizing, question task cards, making comparisons, vocabulary cards and practice, written responses, and a class book of mitten mysteries.

This is another old tale retold, and the big skill for this unit is making comparisons.  The unit gives kids the chance to think about life in the country versus life in the city and encourages them to think about the pros and cons of each. The unit includes lots of writing, and I have used this book with fourth graders, so it does have depth. The reading level of the book is at a solid third, and some of the activities do require higher level thinking strategies. I think there is something for all levels though and enough to pick/choose what best fits your group.  Skills include vocabulary, B/M/E, a venn diagram, double bubble web, question task cards, a summarizing project, plot mountain anchor chart, and a writing prompt.

I think everyone's got a little cowboy/cowgirl in them, and we all can relate to Harmony Jean kickin' things up a notch with her new red boots.  This book is just awesome, and it's a great one any time of year. That's why I love this bundle.  You could teach Jan Brett all year long if you wanted to.  This book is a great one for the middle grades. Like Town Mouse, Country Mouse, this one hits a range of grades with the higher level thinking skills.
We may be a little late for this year, but this best seller includes lots of options for a great book. The deer are not cooperating, and it's up to Teeka to fix things.  Poor thing...how will she get the job done? Do you ever feel like her?  I know I do, especially during the holidays.  This unit is thorough including everything you need to teach the book well and make life easy on yourself.  It has graphic organizers, task cards, writing projects, and more.  All you need is the book or the read aloud link on youtube.

There you have it!  Eleven units in one big bundle. The unit is a $43.00 value and sells for $16.00...just a little more than a dollar per unit! Your time is worth more than that!  If you love Jan Brett, check it out by clicking the image below.  
Have a wonderful winter break friends, and enjoy special time with family and friends.
Sincerely,

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Thematic Thursday plans ahead for winter with Mitten Fun

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 "Mitten Fun", and bloggers are asked to share their favorite Mitten themed resources, book ideas, activities, and suggestions to help students kick off the winter.  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)  I am changing the rules just a little.  If you have a Mitten Freebie, you are welcome to link it up.  If you'd like to blog about a paid product, that is fine too, but please do not link up paid products that directly link to your store. The image to the right 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. Anyone who links up is welcome to pin to it.  I will add you as a pinner. Of course, I would love readers to follow the board so you have quick access to the mitten resources you plan to use.
I look forward to reading your posts.  Now, on to mine. Click on the image below to open and download the PDF.  You can access all the links to each of the images below in the PDF.  
Book Ideas
There aren't many mitten themed books,but there are enough to build a theme around and they are must reads for primary grades in particular. Of course the most popular book is The Mitten by Jan Brett, but there are several that have become more popular with thematic teaching.  Besides The Mitten, I also love The Missing Mitten Mystery. In fact, it is the inspiration of the partner script that I've developed for paired and guided reading.  The Mising Mitten Mystery is a great choice for late first to second grades.  It's about children playing outdoors in the snow and losing a mitten Imagine that.  In my house, mittens have a life of their own.  I think at night they secretly grow wings and fly up the chimney, and have you noticed that you never find the match??  Truly, I do not know where they go.  Both books work well as mentor texts for writing.  I love Jan Brett's description, and the details help the reader truly visualize the scenes. Children can imitate her writing with their own stories about mittens, winter play, or a beautiful walk in the woods.  Other books that work well into the theme are The Mitten by Alvin Tressault which I enjoy comparing with The Mitten by Jan Brett, The Mitten Tree, by Candace Christiansen, and One Mitten by Kristine George.
   
Besides books, you and your students may enjoy the partner script I mentioned earlier.  It is set up to address fluency, but also works well as a Close Reading activity.  The question task cards can be copied for each pair of students to respond to or used as a guide for post reading discussion. This script includes prereading activities, a graphic organizer for during reading, and a post reading writing prompt where students can write their own Lost Mitten Mystery, a story summary, or another winter prompt of the teacher's choice. This partner script will be discounted 50% for today and tomorrow since it is part of my post.
Another option from my store during Mitten Week is my unit for The Mitten. It includes materials for various comprehension skills (summarizing, story elements, sequencing, and making comparisons), vocabulary building, writing prompts and a class project. I've been very fortunate to meet and get to know Leslie Goldhardt who enjoys making clip art.  She created a custom clip art set for me to use with this book.  I absolutely love her hedgehog and badger.  They look so cute! Check out the preview below.  The unit will also be 1/2 price today and tomorrow til midnight.

Arts, Crafts and Other Mitten Fun
Before I sign off, I thought I'd highlight a few of my favorite pins from Pinterest.  What did we do before Pinterest, right??  They are all pinned to my Mitten board, and you can find them easily by clicking the  board widget above. 
  

  
If you have resources readers need to know about, you can link them up directly (free only) or write up a blog post telling about them and your mitten themed ideas. This is a wonderful theme to explore throughout the winter, and I hope these ideas and resources will help you get started and make planning easier.

I've got one last thing to share before I go, and that's the link to my bloglovin page.  New resources are normally shared on my blog and/or my Facebook page first after I upload them, so following both help you know when something new is added or modified.  Over the break, I plan to update my current resources, and I'll share the changes on these locations.   
Now, have a great last day tomorrow (if you're getting out for the winter break), and come back next year for additional thematic ideas.  The next Thematic Thursday will be scheduled for January 8th, so mark your calendars! The topic will be Martin Luther King Jr.

Thanks so much, and until next time...happy reading and happy holidays!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

A Day of Giving Back with Autism Speaks

Today, my post is all about this little guy right here pictured with my mom and dad.  This is Carson, and he has autism.  We do not care though.  We love him and will do what it takes to care and support him. 
At the time this picture was taken, he did not show many signs of autism, but as other children began their language explosion, it just didn't happen with Carson. After testing and more testing, finally, an autism diagnosis was handed down. I say that because that is how it feels as a parent when you learn that all the dreams you had for your child are forever changed. I know if there were a cure for autism, no doubt, my sister and brother in law would probably become those crazy people you hear about on Black Friday to get to it. That's how crazy they are about him. We all are.
Carson is now eleven years old, and he has transitioned to middle school.  He participates in horse therapy classes and receives speech and language, occupational therapy, and respite services. Coordinating all of the services for him is a full time job, and without them, Carson have great difficulty navigating even simple interactions in the world and the family unit would be challenged to the max.  The services help Carson keep from falling further and further behind.  Even with the services, his learning rate is much slower than his peers, so until a cure is found, Carson and all children struggling with autism need us to advocate for them. They are OUR children, and WE need to treat them as if they were our own.  Today, I am joining a group of TPT sellers for A Day of Giving Back.  Erin Colon from Nitty Gritty Science organized the event (Thanks Erin!), and each seller in the linky below has chosen a charity near and dear to them.  I am donating a minimum of 50% of the profits I receive from my sales to Autism Speaks. (I hope it's a record day, and if it is, I will be sending much, much more!) If you'd like to make a direct donation, I would be thrilled with that too. Just click the link below. 
Autism Speaks was begun when the Wright family learned their son, Christian, had autism.  They formed Autism Speaks to provide awareness, advocacy, research, and assistance with getting services for children. The organization has worked to improve diagnosis and treatment for children.  Early intervention is extremely important, and sadly, many families are uninformed of the services available and the children are diagnoses much later. The services early in life help the children learn to cope with scary situations such as crowds, loud noises, food textures, and even the feel of clothing, but they also help those interacting with the child learn to be more sensitive and understanding of their needs.  Children with autism look like any other child, so their behaviors stand out and cause difficulty in pubic situations.  The looks and responses can be difficult to receive, and it's time we as a society work to make the children and their parents feel comfortable and make accommodations to help ease social situations. 

To learn more about Autism Speaks or to see how you can become involved, click the link below.  

I thought before I sign off, I'd highlight a few of the bargains available in my store.  Check out the previews below.  Each is linked to the product to make shopping easier.
    Christmas Book Unit Bundle Featuring Six Books
Thank you so much in advance for supporting my sweet nephew, my neighbor Coy, and all those looking for a cure for autism. I want to leave you with one more picture...our birthday buddies.
Sam (18) and Carson (11) were born on the same day. Imagine the excitement Carson's birth brought back then. If Carson were yours, would you be passionate about helping him? Whether a child with autism is ours or not, we need to keep in mind that they need to be treated as if they were our own.

Please feel free to comment below about your connections to autism.
Sincerely,

If autism is not your passion, that's okay. You can check out these other great projects and support those that match your need or choice.


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Thematic Thursday Celebrates Reindeer Week

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 "Reindeer Week", and bloggers are asked to share their favorite Reindeer resources, book ideas, activities, and suggestions to help students celebrate the holidays during December.  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)  I am changing the rules just a little.  If you have a Reindeer Freebie, you are welcome to link it up.  If you'd like to blog about a paid product, that is fine too, but please do not link up paid products that directly link to your store. The image to the right 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. Anyone who links up is welcome to pin to it.  I will add you as a pinner.
I look forward to reading your posts.  Now, on to mine. Click on the image below to open and download the PDF.  You can access all the links to each of the images below in the PDF.  
Book Ideas
Reindeer Books for KidsThere are several homerun Reindeer themed books, and my favorite of them all is Wild Christmas Reindeer by Jan Brett. It is a must read for every primary classroom. This unit for Wild Christmas Reindeer is available as a single unit or as part of my Christmas Book Bundle or Jan Brett Author Study. I set the unit to half price through Friday morning ($2.00).  The unit includes resources to use in guided reading as well as for writer's workshop.  Questioning task cards can be used in pairs or small group too. You can check it out by clicking the unit preview to the left.
There are many other Reindeer themed books too, and the resources below are what I could find for free. However, there are many excellent and inexpensive resources for these books too that you might check out.
   
Reindeer Close Reading Freebie- All About Antlers- DiffereCaribou: A two-page informational articleBesides books, you and your students may enjoy these nonfiction options. Students love researching, and these worked very well with my students.This week, we researched Caribou with multiple resources. I had my students use Close Reading strategies with the two articles I had as well as with the websites we visited.  The article to the left was perfect for my fourth graders. I used it to model how a research report should be organized. We also used the article to the right.  It was intended for a younger audience, but it still offered my students a little different perspective. It is best suited to a second grade class I think.

FREE Christmas Reader's Theatre! Bob the Goofy Reindeer!Another options during Reindeer Week is Reader's Theatre. This free script from Lisa Frase would work well for small group instruction.  There are six main parts and four choral responses, so a teacher could easily use it with guided reading.  It's about a goofy reindeer named Bob.

If you love Reader's Theatre like I do, you might also like my latest partner script. This skit would work well paired with the Wild Christmas Reindeer since it's about reindeer problems.  Sue, the reindeer trainer, is having difficulty with Prancer.  She just can't get her timing down and is quite frankly *digging her hooves in*.  Sue is beside herself with worry that the deer will not be ready in time and Christmas will be ruined.  With the help of the lead barn elf, Jason, the two elves are able to solve the problem. Teamwork is a beautiful thing. You can check it out with the preview below.
Writing and Craft Ideas
As if these ideas aren't fun enough (and if you are lucky to have the time for more), there are *tons* of great writing and craft options available.  These were my favorites, and I hope you'll head over to my Pinterest board to repin them for later.
Two different activities included: Create a wanted/lost poster for one of Santa's missing reindeer. Fill out a job application to become one of Santa's reindeer.  Kindergarten Rocks!: I "Deerly" Love This Time of Year!  Reindeer made from Burlap Ribbon ♥
Handpainted Recycled Light bulb Reindeer by KlassyKreations3, $9.95...adorable  

Finally, before I sign off, I want to share one last thing.  The Library Patch has this wonderful Clickable PDF available with Reindeer Websites.  This made it so easy for us to be able to research safely, and I appreciate that she's shared it for all to use.
Wow...I am tired now after all this typing, and I hope that you find this post helpful.  I haven't prompted in a while, but if you enjoy reading the Thematic Thursday posts, I sure would love to have you become a blog stalker (I mean follower).  Just click my blog button below which is linked to my bloglovin page.   
Do you have a fun resource for Reindeer Week?  Did you use a freebie that you just loved and think others should know about too?  Do you have a blog and want to share your ideas too?  Well, let's link up!  Add your resource ideas below. 
Have a great week, and come back next Thursday for the final Thematic Thursday of the year that will get you ready for January.  The theme next week will be Mittens.  I will share the calendar I'll follow for the rest of the school year next week as I've made a few modifications to my original plan to help readers make the most use of the posts.  Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday will be the theme for January 8th post, the first week Thematic Thursday returns after vacation.

Thanks so much, and until next time...happy reading!

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
;