Loving Literacy Blog Hop


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With Valentine's Day approaching, our group of reading specialists, coaches, and teacher bloggers decided it was the perfect time to share our love of literacy with you.  Each of us is passionate about helping children develop a love of reading, and what better way to love reading than through our favorite books.  Each blogger participating in this weekend's hop is sharing materials for his/her favorite book, book about friendship, or for Valentine's day.  We hope you'll enjoy using them and sharing your love of literacy with your students. As a reminder, this hop ends at 10 PM EST, so all products shared in the linked posts will be paid items after that time.  We hope you enjoy all of the wonderful units that are shared. (I know I will be...lesson plans...Check!)  :-)  

When I was young, I learned to read with little difficulty, but I never read on my own.  My mom has mentioned it several times that as a child I just would not sit still long enough to complete a book and as I grew older, that habit never developed. The times were different and reading with your children was just not pushed.   Mom chuckles when she thinks about the fact that I am now a reading specialist. How did that happen?  How did literacy become so important to me when I was never a reader?  The answer is that it started with a good friend who happened to be a reading specialist too. 

Teaching with my friend Nancy probably impacted my career more than any textbook or instructor could.  She took me under her wing since I was green and was totally overwhelmed by the crew of first graders I had at the time.  It was a crew for sure. I still remember "the group" that became our project. (The names are fake of course)...Jim, Billy, Susan, and John.  Jim...adhd and slow learner (dismissed from special education), Billy...also with adhd (would race down the hall when he was the line leader and proceed to do a knee slide all in a split second as the rest of us watched), Susan...low income and parents with special needs, and John...mother on house arrest and filthy dirty with blisters on his feet and no socks ( I would go home each day to get him socks since my house was a block away during my planning time).  Well, I'm not sure Nancy and I were totally successful with these four, but the success came in the effort, modeling, and loving support we gave them.  Who knows whether they ever became readers, but they left us knowing we cared and loved them, and they took away great memories of experiences with great books. It was because of my friend, Nancy, that I developed a love of teaching reading and a passion to do what I can to support my parents and students.  She encouraged me to apply for an open Title 1 position when the opportunity came about and supported me through my master's program too.  Even though Nancy has retired, we still talk reading instruction when we're together probably at least a few times a month.  She was a great inspiration to me during those years of starting out as a reading teacher and eventually a reading specialist, but she's an even better friend.

Now...on to the unit I am sharing...

After 10 PM 2/2/14, this item will no longer be a freebie.  However, it is a great unit and reasonably priced.  If you have trouble with bullying, internet safety concerns, or struggles with cliques, I highly recommend taking a peek at it.  

One of my favorite authors back then and even today is Patricia Polacco.  I really enjoy teaching her books to my students because she is such an inspiration for overcoming challenges and her books are just filled with wonderful vocabulary and a vivid plot. I always start by sharing Thank You Mr. Falker, an autobiography that explains how she overcame dyslexia to publish 58 books.  My students are always shocked that she did not learn to read until she was 12 years old.  I share it to encourage my students to not give up and to work hard to reach their goals, and I read it myself as a reminder to be the kind of teacher Mr. Falker was to Patricia.

You may have noticed that the unit I'm sharing is not Thank You Mr. Falker, but rather my unit is for the book, Bully.  I picked this book up recently, and given the level of concern with internet safety, transitioning to school, cliques, and cyber bullying, I felt it was an important unit to write.  It is definitely one that will be useful in your upper elementary classroom or as part of classroom guidance.  I've included reading and writing activities to help get your students talking and thinking about how to handle these issues. This unit is available for free this weekend only and exclusively on my blog.  It will convert to a paid product after February 2nd at 10 PM.  I appreciate you dropping by today.  If you are interested in participating in my Giveaway, please complete the Rafllecopter below.
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Otherwise, it is now time to travel on.  Enjoy the hop and come back soon!   I believe Jessica at Literacy Spark is waiting for you, so...

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29 comments

  1. I love doing author studies. I really enjoyed Patricia Polacco when I taught upper grades. Now that I am in Kindergarten, I think my favorite is Jan Brett.

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    1. If you've visited my store, then you know I love her books too. :-)

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  2. My favorite author is Lio Lionni! I think he is such a prolific writer and my students can always relate to his stories.
    Joyfully,
    Sam

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    1. With Leo Lionni, I always enjoyed using the collage technique to illustrate after my students wrote a mouse tale of their own. Thanks for joining in.

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  3. I enjoyed your story. I too learned how to read easily after being deaf for the first 2 years of my life. I still to this day despise reading unless it is research. But no one would ever guess this about me. I read frequently to my children and buy books as gifts. I am a stay at home parent who volunteers as much as possible at the school to help the children learn to read and spend my free time following teacher blogs and FB pages looking for info to give to my daughter's teacher. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. That is wonderful, Trina! I hope you pass on the material to your daughter's teacher for her to use in the classroom. What a nice treat that would be to receive! Be sure to tell her where you got them from though. :-) Have a great weekend!

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  4. Favorite author: Judy Blume
    Favorite book: Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing (I do teach 4th grade and the children really relate to Peter.)
    chief9937@Yahoo.com

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    1. Oh, the children do love the Fudge books! Thanks for joining in.

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  5. Favorite Author: Jan Brett
    Favorite Book: Wild Christmas Reindeer

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    1. That unit is one of my best sellers, and I love that one of hers too. I also love Annie and the Wild Animals too. Thanks for joining in.

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  6. This past summer I was introduced to both Cynthia Rylant & Patricia Polacco...I used their books as mentor texts during our narrative writing unit. Thanks for sharing!

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    1. I love Cynthia Rylant too. We used Scarecrow and In November as mentor texts this fall for two writing pieces. I loved the In November poems my students wrote. They were so expressive...just the way I was hoping they'd be.

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  7. I don't know how to choose a single author or book. I tutor all ages and taught all ages in special needs classes, so I love Kevin Henkes, Patricia Polacco, Mary Pope Osborne, Eric Carle, etc. etc.

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    1. Oh boy...I do hear ya, Cecile! These are all wonderful choices. Thank You Mr. Falker has just spoken to me so deeply through the years with various struggling readers, but you're right...love these all for different reasons...Cynthia Rylant, Jan Brett, Mem Fox, and Tomie dePaola too.

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  8. Would love to win your author study!
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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    1. Good luck!...be sure to follow my buddies' blogs too along the way. They have amazing information. :-)

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  9. Favorite Author: Andrew Clements (this regularly changes...I have many that I love)
    Favorite Book: there is NO way I can choose I favorite...I love love love Children's Literature!

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    1. I'm the same way. Thanks for jumping in on the Rafflecopter. Good luck!

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  10. Patricia Polacco has written several books that I enjoy.

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  11. Favorite Author: Patricia Polacco
    Favorite Book: Thank You, Mr. Falker. I read it to my first year students 11 years ago. Couldn't hold back the tears. Love it!! I would love to win your unit.

    tinysmiles34@gmail.com

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    1. Well...you are in luck then...get to the end of the hop. :-)

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  12. My favorite author right now has got to be Roald Dahl - my kiddos are loving his books!! My favorite book right now has got to be The BFG - we're reading it in class and I forgot how much I loved it.

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees
    ventrellasara@gmail.com

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  13. I love this idea!! I can't wait to use these units to connection with different authors.

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  14. Love all of Polloco's books. What an opportunity!

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  15. Jan Brett is awesome! I even won am autographed copy of one of her books for my school- since it is at school in our library, I don't recall the title- I just know she congratulated me by name and included my school :). Now I want to go to school on Monday and get it to show my students how special our school is :)

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  16. I LOVE LOVE LOVE teaching Bridge to Terabithia-so many great themes, and it is an easy read so students can really get into the themes of friendship and bullying!! The movie is also awesome and you can do so many great things with music and how the musical selections are important to the entire production!! (e.g. Why Can't We Be Friends is the PERFECT song for the scene!!)

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  17. My favorite authors are Jan Brett and Patricia Polloco.

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  18. I love anything by Laura Numeroff!

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Thanks for visiting my blog today. I love to hear from my readers, so if something from my post speaks to you, please let me know. Feel free to share what has worked well for you or anything else on your mind.

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