Sunday, July 28, 2013

A Common Core Close Read using the Mentor Text Arctic Memories

Hi everyone!

I hope you had a great week! This was my last official week of summer. Our district goes back to school this Wednesday for pre-planning. I can't believe the summer has flown by! I'm not ready for another school year yet! I have waaaaaaaaaay toooooooo much to do!!!

But TODAY is a GREAT day because I get to share an awesome book with you AND it's my BFF's Birthday! Please give Amanda some birthday love!  :)  Happy Birthday, Amanda!!! (I had to sneak this in without her seeing...hehe.....)

But anyways, I am excited to share a new Social Studies Must Read Mentor Text with you today!

It is called Arctic Memories by Normee Ekoomiak. I just found this book at a book sale that I went to, and I am so glad I did! It will be perfect for our unit on Native Americans when we focus in on the Inuit tribe. It's also going to be great for a close read. Blurb: Ekoomiak, an Inuk from the James Bay region of arctic Quebec, describes--in both English and the striking Inuit language--various aspects of Inuit life and lore.

One really cool aspect of this book is that it is written in both Inuit language and English! I love that they are written together so that students can compare the languages. 

The book is broken down into different topics relating to the Inuit way of life on each page. When I read this with my students, I am going to choose sections at a time to read together rather than reading the entire book at once. I want to narrow in our focus of the Inuit each time we read.

So, the first time I read this with my students I am going to project the page up on my board. We are going to read the first page "In the Iglu" together. During this first reading, we are just getting the main gist of the passage.

Then, we are going to read it a second time, and this time we are going to focus on new or interesting words (vocabulary). I will circle the words on the board and I will have my students fill them in on their graphic organizer (see below for the FREEBIE). We will use context clues to determine the meaning and importance of the words, and we will discuss them together.

On the third read, we will sketch out what we are learning. I will have students draw pictures to show what information they have learned about the Inuit. I love the idea of having students sketch out their learning because students are visualizing what they are reading and are truly thinking.

Finally, we will read the passage a fourth time, and I will pose this text dependent question to the students- "How does the Inuit's shelter change throughout the year?" Students will have to use evidence from the passage to support their answers.

Here is the graphic organizer we will use to keep track of our learning. I will probably have my students paste this into their notebooks so that they can refer back to it during our study of Native Americans.

This graphic organizer will work with any nonfiction text. After I have modeled reading closely and finding text evidence, I will have students work in pairs to read another portion of the text and then fill in their graphic organizers together.

Click here to download this FREEBIE
I definitely wouldn't read every text this way. But, I think this repeated purposeful reading is extremely important for my students. The students are making sense of what they are learning rather than just listing facts they hear or writing definitions of new words. And by reading it more than once, they are developing a better and deeper understanding of the text.

Do you have any close reading strategies that you use? I would love to hear about them!  :)

Please leave feedback if you download the graphic organizer. :)  THANK YOU!

I can't wait to see what books you are using for Social Studies!

Have a wonderful week!
-Stacia  :)

(If you have never linked up before you can check HERE for more information.)

Next week's topic- Language Arts

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Sparking Motivation Saturday freebie and Our Clipart Giveaway Winners

I am linking up with my dear friend Joanne for her:

This is not so much a motivator for students, but for teachers.

A week or so ago I posted about this pin I came across as a guest blogger at my friend Christy's blog:

And I explained how I wanted to make one for my daughter's teacher this year because now my daughter is in 4th grade so one of my teammates gets to teach her!  So, since I know her so well, I thought I might send in a "survival kit" for her!

I bought her a supply box from Walmart that looks like a tin lunchbox.  It's thinner than a lunchbox, but I wasn't sure that she'd want a lunchbox with Batman or Hello Kitty, so I tried to play it safe.  I got a cute one that is hot pink one with black mustaches!!  Hopefully she will think it's cute!!

I made this "sign" to put the outside:
The background and clipart is from Glitter Meets Glue Designs and the font is from Cara Carroll!

I haven't decided if I want to Mod Podge the sign on or just tape it...she may want to use it for something else once everything is used out of it and she may want to take the sign off...I'm still thinking on that one.  What do you think I should do?  Tape or Mod Podge?

I made it a png file because if you'd like to use this, you may have a different sized box than I have so you can resize it.  If you'd like to download it, click on it and then right click and choose save image as and that's all you have to do!!

If you want to see more about what I was going to put in the box, go check out the post at  Christy's blog:.  :O)

Drumroll please........

We have a winner for our clipart giveaway!  Whoop whoop!!
There were an amazing number of entries and we are so thankful for each of you that entered the giveaway!  Thank you!!!!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, don't forget to follow the collaborative Pinterest board we have joined and enter the giveaway for following!

We know that you're thinking about all of the items on your TpT wishlist as you are switching into back-to-school mode. Wouldn't it be nice if you had a TpT gift certificate to use? Well, it's your lucky day! These upper elementary bloggers are going to help foot the bill!

Here is what you need to do to enter for a chance to win a TpT gift certificate:
  • Click the picture above or {here} to take you to our collaborative board.
  • Follow the board.
  • Find the pin description that contains the special code.
  • Enter the code in the Rafflecopter.
  • Easy-peasy!!
  • Contest ends Sunday, July 28th at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Have a wonderful weekend!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Pinterest Scavenger Hunt Contest

Hey there!

We have been completely MIA this week and we are so sorry!!!  We are headed back to school next week and we have been prepping and planning like crazy and are excited to share with you what we have been up to in some upcoming posts!!

But, right now we are excited to share with you a contest we are participating in!

We know that you're thinking about all of the items on your TpT wishlist as you are switching into back-to-school mode. Wouldn't it be nice if you had a TpT gift certificate to use? Well, it's your lucky day! These upper elementary bloggers are going to help foot the bill!

Here is what you need to do to enter for a chance to win a TpT gift certificate:
  • Click the picture above or {here} to take you to our collaborative board.
  • Follow the board.
  • Find the pin description that contains the special code.
  • Enter the code in the Rafflecopter.
  • Easy-peasy!!
  • Contest ends Sunday, July 28th at midnight.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So, tonight I am having nine 9 year olds spend the night at our house for my daughter's birthday party!  I hope we'll live through it!  It's a spa karaoke party!  What was I thinking????  ;O)

(Another reason I have been MIA with all this planning for a fun night!)
:O) Amanda

PS- I haven't forgotten our giveaway has ended!  I promise I will announce winners very soon!!  :O)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Must Read Science Mentor Text- Nonfiction Book for Weather

Hi there!

I realized that a lot of times when I choose a mentor text, it's generally fiction.  With common core, I need to be sure I am incorporating more nonfiction!!

I do think it's more difficult to use a nonfiction text as a mentor text (using the same text all week, finding a mentor sentence, etc.) but it's possible!

I have a great book in my classroom library that I think is a fabulous nonfiction text for our unit on weather!

First off, it's by National Geographic Kids!  I think they do a phenomenal job of using text features and photos to really capture a student's attention!  Here are some of the pages from the inside of the book (courtesy of Amazon):

As you can see, there are text features and facts galore in this book!  Photos, captions, table of contents, index, headings, subheadings, and on and on!

Here is a graphic organizer that I have used when we talk about the importance of nonfiction text features.

Yes, it's plain, but that's ok!  :O)  If you'd like it, you can click the picture of the graphic organizer and download it!  Please leave feedback if you do.  :O)

The way I used this with my class is each student had a nonfiction text.  They worked in partners (they all had the same text) and only used the text features from the book to find facts and information (instead of reading the body of the text).  Then, they filled in the graphic organizer.  They wrote the chapter and page number, the information they learned, and the text feature they used (from the word bank at the top).  This is just one way for them to see how much information they can get even just from the text features.  

So, an example using the book above, maybe in the first chapter, they read a caption and learn that most animals need shelter during a storm and us a hole for shelter.  They would fill this out on the graphic organizer.  They did not have to read anything but the caption to learn this.  That's what I am trying to show them!  You can learn something everywhere, but not only that, they can add captions (or other text features) in THEIR informational writing and give information there, not just in the body of their paper.

If you have any questions or need any clarification, please let me know!  I hope you find this helpful!

(If you have never linked up before you can check HERE for more information.)

Also, if you haven't entered our giveaway, click the button below and it will take you there!  :O)

Next week's topic- Social Studies

Friday, July 19, 2013

Favorite Pins Friday- Back to School Ideas for Gifts

Hi there!

I don't know about you, but I have been pinning back to school ideas like crazy.  I probably already had a ton of back to school ideas pinned, but there's always something new popping up!

I wanted to share a few of the new ones I've seen (new to me anyway)!

(You can find the original link to each of these by clicking the picture of what I pinned!)

I was a guest blogger over at Christy's blog Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road and I blogged about how I'd use this pin:

Check out the post at Christy's blog by clicking the link above the picture to see how I'd do this!

The next ones were completely new to me!  I had no idea that you could buy push pop containers to fill!  You can find them at Amazon!
Pencil Push Up Pops
These are pencils made from cake!!  I looked at the directions because I was curious of what it was and it looks really easy!  I can't see myself making one for each student in my class (time factor) but I think it would be adorable to have for my personal kids when they got home from school on the first day!

I thought these were cute!  They are filled with York Peppermint pieces!  I think I might put something else on the label that says Edible School Glue but I haven't gotten that far with my thoughts since so many ideas are rolling around in my head- something about eating paste maybe... ;O)

I definitely love this idea from Teri at A Cupcake for the Teacher.  She has the printable on her blog if you want to head there to check that out!

I think the pretzels are cute and super simple, plus she has the tags on her website that you can print right off!!

Here's another one that looks pretty simple!  I searched high and low to find the original source, and this is as close as I could get (by clicking on the picture)
Teachers Gift by superstar7998

I was hoping if I could find it there would be a free printable, but no such luck.  Maybe you can check out the link and tell me how to get to the site?  It looks like a Crystal Light container with Andes Mints inside!  Simple enough!

Ok, so there are just a few of the pins that I came across this week!  Hopefully this next week I will be able to get myself focused and commit to what I really want to do...right now, there's lots of ideas just floating around and I need to just take the plunge and commit!  

Maybe that's kinda the downside of Pinterest!  There's always one more idea I might want to try instead!  ;O)

Be sure to check back at Cara's blog The First Grade Parade for more pins from the week!

Have a great weekend!  Oh, and make sure you've entered our big clipart giveaway!!

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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Our 1000 bloglovin followers Clipart Giveaway!

Hey fabulous followers!!  Guess what??  We are super excited to see that we have 1000 followers on bloglovin!!

We are soooooooo thankful that you are following this little ol' blog and find something interesting or useful now and then, and keep coming back for more!

As a thank you, we have some amazing clipart creators that have donated to our giveaway!!

Do you like clipart?  We LOVE it!  We should probably start a clipart junkie group!  Wait til you see this giveaway!  We are so appreciative of these amazing ladies for donating to this giveaway!

Enter to win all of these wonderful sets here!!  We will pick one winner on July 25th.  Good luck!! And thank you again for following us!! :O)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Math Must Read Mentor Texts Linky {Estimation}

Hi Friends!

I'm excited to share another Must Read Mentor Text with you. This week's topic is Math, and I can't wait to see all of your books you link up! :)

The book I've chosen is Betcha! by Stuart J. Murphy Book Description: What do cars, toys, people, and jelly beans have in common? They can all be estimated. Two friends try out their estimating skills and find out that estimating can have real rewards––especially when there’s a contest to enter!

I just found this book a few days ago, and I'm really happy that I did. One of the skills that students always struggle with is estimation. Sometimes they have trouble with rounding numbers, and other times they just forget how to estimate. This book does an awesome job of showing students real world examples of estimation. It reminds us that we use estimation every day, and that estimation is a quick way to find a total. It also shows the importance of mental math.

As I read the book, I brainstormed ways I can use this with my students next year. I think that I am going to use this book to introduce my unit on estimation. I am going to give each of my students a whiteboard and marker. They are going to solve the problems in the story as the kids in the story do. I will use my document camera to show the illustrations so that they can see them up close.

The format of the book has one friend asking the other friend to find a total. On this page, he is asking for the total number of people on the bus. 

The other friend then uses mental math to estimate the total. In this example, he uses multiplication to estimate. (Before showing the students this page I would ask them how they could find the total number of people on the bus. Then, I would have them try to find the answer on their whiteboards.)

On this page, the boy is finding the total of all the items in a store window. I love that it uses a real world example with money!

After reading this book, I will take the students around the school and we will try doing some real life activities- estimating cars in the parking lot, chairs in a classroom, seats in the cafeteria, etc. I think the students will enjoy it, and they will practice their mental math and estimation skills! 

Do you have any mental math or estimation activities that you love doing? 

Please link up your Math Mentor Texts! :)

Have a great Sunday,
Stacia  :)

(If you have never linked up before you can check HERE for more information.)

For the Linky- Please make yourself a SANDWICH!  Please comment on the person who linked up before you and the person that linked up after you.  I know everyone puts in a lot of time and effort to these posts and I want everyone to feel the love!!!  (Haha, see, you're a know...because you are in the middle of the you get it?)  ;O)

Next week's topic- Science

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