Thursday, July 19, 2012

Nonfiction Fun

I have been working on putting together some activities that focus on nonfiction texts.  One area we I want to focus on is text structure.  I found a great site called Literacy Leader with tons of great resources for teaching text structure.  They have a great poster of signal words and questions.  Click on the picture for a link to the pdf.  Be sure to check out all their other GREAT resources here.
For Comparing and contrasting I love the hula hoop Venn diagrams I have seen out in the bloggy world but I wanted one my kids could to take back to their desks.  I headed to the Dollar Tree and found the perfect thing for making desktop version!
A snip here and a snip there..
and viola! the perfect portable venn diagram!
Here are some of the books I'm going to put out for the kids to use.
I whipped up an activity sheet and put it all together in a gallon bag to use as a literacy center.  

Click the picture to get a copy.  Now your ready for some nonfiction fun!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Must Have Picture Books Linky!

The Teacher Wife is hosting a must have picture books linky party and you've got to check it out!  If you are addicted to picture books ('re a teacher) this will be a great resource!  If you are a husband of a teacher you might need to hide the debit card.  I've posted before about my serious addiction to picture books.  It's a real problem.

This summer I have been working on building up my collection of mentor texts for comprehension strategies.  I have sooooooo many favorite picture books it would be hard to pick just five so I narrowed it down to these five picture book mentor texts.  Click the pictures to get your own copy!

Making Connections - The Big Orange Splot
In the book Reading Power Adrienne Gear says, "an important thing to make make children aware of is the individuality that comes from making sense of text."  I think this picture book does a great job helping my kids see that we are all unique and that our different experiences will cause us to make different connections with the stories we read!
Visualizing - The Storm Book
This book is PERFECT for introducing how to visualize.  The text gives very vivid descriptions of each setting in the story.  The best part is that the pages rotate from text only to picture only so the kids have to make the picture in their mind first and then turn the page and compare what they visualize to the illustrator's picture!
Questioning - The Magic Fan
This is a little gem I found at Goodwill!  It will keep your kids guessing and questioning with each page.  
Synthesizing - The Snowball
This might seem like an odd choice but it's fun and quick to read aloud.  The giant snowball collects things on it's way down the hill including people!  This is a great way to start a discussion about how stories change as they "roll along" and how they might look a little different in the end.  I like to type the text up and put the "poem" in our reading notebooks as a reminder of how we pick up new information as we read.
Inferring - The Gardener
I found this book through Ms. Bonger over at Life in 4b.  If you have not visited her amazing blog you are in for a treat!  I would love to just sit in her class and watch her in action.  She is truly inspiring!   On her resources page she recommends a book called Interactive Read Alouds (Grades 4-5) by Linda Hoyt.  It is loaded with mentor texts for comprehension strategies and writing.  This sweet story is suggested as a mentor text for inferring.  It's also a great reminder that one person with a positive attitude can make a difference no matter where they are "planted."

I could go on...and on...and on...what a GREAT idea for a linky party!  Head on over an link up your must have picture books. 

 I can't wait to see everyone's list!  I've got some major blog hoppin' to do.  I think my Amazon wish list is about to go into overdrive!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Library Craftivity

You know what it's like.  You're trying to find the "just right" book.  One catches your eye.  You eagerly take it off the shelf.  You flip through the pages and realize it doesn't fit the five finger rule {gasp}.  You look down at the shelf and your heart starts to race...oh no!  Where does it go?  The Librarian starts to give you the eye and with sweaty palms you shove the book back on the shelf somewhere and make a bee line for the exit.  Okay...maybe you don't have that problem but your kids probably do and I have the perfect solution.

Say hello to my little friend.
This little bookworm craftivity is just what your kids need to help them select their "just right" book and they are so easy to make!  

1)  Grab a set of paint sticks from a home improvement store.  My store gave me a class set.  
2)  Spray paint the front and back.  Any light color will work.
3)  Let your kids finger paint the bookworm's body using green acrylic paint.  
4)  Once it's dry, make two white dots for eyes.  I do this part myself.  I dipped the end of a little paint brush in white acrylic and made two dots for eyes.  You can use google eyes but this way is super quick and easy.
5)  When the white paint is dry let your kids use a sharpie to finish the eyes and make the rest of the face.
6) I print this little poem on two labels and stick them on the back.

7)  Now you are ready to head for the check out counter (no more duck and run to the exit!).
Happy book hunting!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Get Fired Up About Reading

At the end of the school year I like to talk about using the library and encourage my kids to check out books over the summer.  I want them to read, read, and read some more!  To get them fired up about summer reading I share one of my favorite books.
This is a great story about the library and how a character can change! 
When they are headed home for the summer I send a Get Fired Up Reading Record home with them along with an addressed envelope so they can mail it to me along with a letter about their favorite summer book.  

When I get their completed form in the mail over the summer I put together a little treat for them. 
 I stick a note in a box of Hot Tamales, tape it shut,
slap a label on the back, and drop it in the mail 
just like that!
And yes, yes-I-did make a teeny, tiny sticker to cover up the words on the hot tamale...
because I'm OCD like that.  The laundry might not be done but there MUST be a cute little sticker on the hot tamale.  Priorities people, priorities.

Here's a freebie!  Click to download.

I'd love to hear how you get your kids fired up about summer reading!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

SUPER Grammar

I've been taking a little summer break from blogging which has given me plenty of time to blog stalk and surf and pin and pin and did I mention pinning?  I found some great ideas for the classroom out there and I just had to share one of my favorites with you!  I was working on a new grammar curriculum and the lessons were...well...a little dry.  So I was looking around for something to pump up the lesson on fragments and I came across this guy.
Oh. My. Word!  Will the kids love this guy or what!?!?  
Talk about making grammar (excuse-me-did-I-just-yawn) fun and exciting!  There is a Super Grammar book coming out in September and I promise you it will be in my Amazon cart.  
On top of the SUPER fun book they have a SUPER helpful blog.  
It is loaded with pictures and information about their characters and how to use them.  You are going to love this.  Your kids are going to love this.  You have to go check this out.  Right now.  Seriously.  Click on the pictures above to check out the book and the blog!  

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