Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Valentine's Day Freebies and Half Off our New Problem Solving Units!

Happy Wednesday! We are blogging over at the Primary Peach today, and we've shared some Valentine's Day ideas and Freebies! Please stop by to check out the Sweet Treats! Just click the image below!

And, we've created two brand new Math Problem Solving Units for Valentine's Day! They are on SALE today for HALF Off! Yep! Half Off today!
Just click the images below to check them out!

Thanks for visiting! Have a great day! :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Groundhog Day Must Read Mentor Text

Happy February! I love February because there are so many special days to celebrate, and one of my favorites is Groundhog Day! I've loved Groundhog Day since I was little. Waking up and watching the news to hear if the groundhog saw his shadow was always so exciting! :) Even though his predictions were often inaccurate, it was still fun!

A few years ago, I found the cutest book to read to my students on Groundhog Day (which is tomorrow, February 2nd!). It's called Groundhog Weather School by Joan Holub. It's definitely engaging and entertaining, but it hits on tons of important science skills too!

The story is written from the groundhogs and other characters' points of view, and it is told through speech bubbles. It quickly captures the students' attention!

In the story, Professor Groundhog opens up a Groundhog Weather School to teach groundhogs all over North America to predict the weather. The groundhogs learn all about what it means to be a groundhog, weather, shadows, seasons, and more. 

If you teach about weather, this book is a great way to introduce or review important weather topics. It also teaches about why we have different seasons and the Earth's tilt and orbit- ties in perfectly with our solar system unit!

The groundhogs experiment with shadows and learn how the form. This is great review if you teach about light energy!

There's also a page with facts about famous groundhogs around the United States and Canada!

This is such a fun book for Groundhog Day! I hope you and your students enjoy it!

Happy Groundhog Day tomorrow!!!  Have a great week!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Valentine's Day Freebies for Math and Language Arts {Sharing Sunday}

February is right around the corner, and that means Valentine's Day is too! I love integrating some Valentine's Day activities into my lessons for February.  We've found some amazing FREEBIES to share with you!

We're so excited to be participating in Sharing Sunday at the Primary Peach Blog! There are TONS of awesome resources here to help you plan for February!  :)

Here are some great resources to get your February planning started! Click on the images below to download the PDF. Then, click around on all of the images to visit those resources- clicking on the pictures will take you straight to them!

Make sure to visit The Primary Peach to see other posts sharing amazing resources!

We hope you find some helpful ideas!  :)

Happy Sunday!!!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Gravity and a Freebie {A Must Read Science Mentor Text}

Hi! I'm excited to share a quick Must Read Mentor Text for Science!

It's called Gravity by Jason Chin. It's great for introducing or reviewing the concept of gravity for students in grades 2-5.

I would use this book at the beginning of my unit on the solar system.  It uses simple language and beautiful illustrations to help students understand the importance of gravity and how it affects everything around us. 

At the end of the book, there are a couple pages with great facts about gravity. 

You could have your students make a class book about gravity. I always loved making class books! We would laminate and bind the completed pages and then put it in our class library so the kids could read it anytime for review. To make the class book, put the students into groups and assign each group a different concept about gravity to illustrate. For example, one group could do "more mass, more gravity" or "gravity keeps it all together." After students create their pages, you can laminate them and bind them together into a book. 

I've also created an interactive notebook flip book that you can use with students to record facts they learn about gravity. Students just paste it in to their science notebooks and write under the flaps. Click the image below to download this FREEBIE.

I hope you have a great week!

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution {Must Read Mentor Text for Social Studies}

Happy Tuesday, Everyone! Sorry I am a day late posting this week's Must Read Mentor Text.
This week's book is a great one for Social Studies! If you teach about United States government and the Constitution, then this is definitely one you want to check out! It's called We the Kids: The Preamble to the Constitution of the United States. The illustrations and forward are by David Catrow. It's very simple- it takes you through each segment of the preamble with adorable kid-friendly illustrations to go along with it.
The Preamble to the Constitution can be tough for kids to understand, and this book is a great way to introduce them to it. As we read the book together, I like to have my students write down what each segment means on sticky notes to help with understanding. Then we compile the sticky notes in our Social Studies Notebooks to reference later. 
After we've read the whole book and analyzed the Preamble, I have the students make posters for each section to explain what it means. Then we put the posters around the room so we can refer to them during our New Nation and Government unit. 
And I always LOVE to play the Schoolhouse Rock song about the Constitution because that reinforces everything we've talked about. And it's so catchy! Your students will have the Preamble memorized after you play the song a few times! :) You can find it by searching on YouTube. 
If you would like more resources for teaching about the Constitution and Government, please check out our articles with flip books and comprehension questions. Just the click the image below. 

Thanks so much for stopping by! Have a great week!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Penguin Mentor Text with Lesson Ideas- Where is Home, Little Pip?

Happy Happy Happy New Year! The weather has finally gotten more "Wintery" here in Georgia- we were at 75 degrees on Christmas and now we are down to 38 degrees! Wow!!!

So, for today's Must Read Mentor Text, I thought I would share an adorable book perfect for Wintertime! I love penguin stories, and this is definitely a sweet one.
It's called Where is Home, Little Pip? by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman. They are the creators of the adorable Bear Snore On books- Love all those too! This book is geared for the lower grades- first to third grade, and there are lots of possibilities for reviewing important skills.

One skill that this book is perfect for teaching is theme. There are a few different themes in the story- Home is where your family is, Each animal has a unique home, Always listen to your parents, Never wander off...

This is also a great book for introducing or reviewing a couple types of figurative language. There is a simile- "She was as fluffy as new fallen snow..." There's also a lot of onomatopoeia words. I have students keep a list of onomatopoeia words in their notebooks, and we also have a class chart that we add words to as we find them in our books.
The author uses a lot of dialogue throughout the story. You can review how to use quotation marks and have students practice writing their own stories with dialogue. Using dialogue in writing is something my students always struggled with, so it's great to show some examples from favorite authors. 
You can integrate a Science lesson on animal habitats as well. In the story, Pip wanders around searching for his home. He asks other animals where home is and each replies with a short poem describing their unique homes.
You can analyze each animal's poem and talk about why they live in that habitat. It's a great way to start discussing adaptations too! Then, you can have students do a science writing project. Have each student choose an animal and research its habitat. Then, let students write a poem using the facts they learned about their animals. You can discuss rhyme and rhythm and lines and have students model their poems after the author's poems. Or, you can let students write their own free verse poems. I like to include some grammar as well, so I would tell my students to make sure they have four amazing adjectives and two vivacious verbs (or whatever you choose for your students). When students finish their poems, they can share them with each other and compare/contrast the different habitats and adaptations. 
I hope you've gotten a few ideas to use with your class! Thanks so much for stopping by!
Happy Monday!
Have a great week!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Sharing Sunday: January Snowy Freebies and Activities for Grades 2-4

We hope you had a very Happy Holiday and a Happy New Year! Can't believe it's already 2016!!!

It's always fun to integrate some snowy books and activities into January planning. We're so excited to be participating in Sharing Sunday at the Primary Peach Blog! There are TONS of awesome resources here to help you plan for January!  :)
Here are some great resources to get your January planning started! Click on the images below to download the PDF. Then, click around on all of the images to visit those resources- clicking on the pictures will take you straight to them!

Make sure to visit The Primary Peach to see other posts sharing amazing resources!

We hope you find some helpful ideas!  :)

Happy Sunday and Happy New Year!!!

Monday, December 14, 2015

The Polar Express Figurative Language Activities {Must Read Mentor Text}

All aboard the Polar Express!!! This is always one of my favorite books to read with my students in December. And I think they love it as much as I do!
This week's Must Read Mentor Text is The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg. It's a Christmas classic!

There are endless possibilities for using this book in your classroom! I usually spend one to two weeks close reading and analyzing the story and author's craft with my students. And it's fun to watch the movie adaptation at the end of our unit, so we can compare and contrast.
One skill that I love teaching with this text is figurative language! I love focusing on all the figurative language and incredible word choice that Chris Van Allsburg uses to bring this story to life. Before reading the story, I review different forms of figurative language with my students. We sometimes make an anchor chart or, we look back in our reading notebooks at the notes we've taken or examples we've recorded. Click HERE to download our FREE figurative language mini book- great for note taking!
As I read the story, I ask my students to listen out for figurative language. I give each student sticky notes to record the figurative language they hear. Then, I let the students share the figurative language they've recorded. We either put our sticky notes onto a class chart or we stick then right in our reader's notebooks to refer back to later.
After you have discussed the figurative language in the story, you can have your students make figurative language posters. I let the students pick one of the figurative language examples from the book, and I give them large white paper or chart paper to illustrate the figurative language. On the poster they have to include: the type of figurative language (simile, personification, etc.), a definition of it, the example sentence from the book, and an illustration depicting the example they've chosen. Then, I put the students in small groups to share their posters and review the figurative language.  :)
I'm sorry I don't have any poster pictures....

What activities do you like to do with The Polar Express? I'd love to hear your ideas!!!  :)

I hope you enjoy this Must Read Mentor Text! Have a great week!

*We will not be posting Must Read Mentor Texts over the holidays- Monday, Decemeber 21st and Monday, December 28th but we will be back on Monday January 4th with a new text!

If you didn't enter our Merry and Bright Holiday Giveaway, please click the image below to read all about it in yesterday's post- there's still time to enter!  :)

Thanks so much for visiting us!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Huge Winter Prize Bundle and Teacher Tips to keep you feeling Merry and Bright through the Holidays!

We can't believe that the holidays are so close! We are linking up with our blogging friends from Teach 3-4-5 to share Tips and a HUGE Winter Prize Bundle to keep you and your students feeling merry and bright through the holidays! These last few days before break are always tough!

Are you singing the song with us?  "May your days be merry and bright..."  :)

So, first we are sharing a tip for this crazy time of year!
Our tip is to integrate holiday themed games into your Math time! 
We love using games during Math time, and we also love celebrating the holidays with our students, so we put the two together! There are so many important Math skills that you can review with games, and there are tons of Christmas and Winter themed Math games out there that you can use. Check out a few multiplication games we've used by clicking the pictures below. We use them during Math Workshop rotations, centers, partner work, early finisher work, and even morning work sometimes. The kids love them!

Now on to the HUGE prize pack! Yay for Winter Giveaways!!! We are all giving away a winter product that you can use now or after winter break! 
You can win a Winter Prize Bundle from the amazing bloggers above! Just enter the Rafflecopter below!

And be sure to check out all of the amazing tips linked up by clicking on the Blog Buttons below.

Have fun! And we hope you have a VERY MERRY HOLIDAY!  Good Luck these last few days! :)

Thanks for stopping by! 
Come back tomorrow to check out Monday's Must Read Mentor Text! 
Have a great Sunday!

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