Sunday, May 25, 2014

Boom Town - A Westward Expansion Must Read!!!

Hey there!  We are here to write our last Must Read Mentor Text linky post.  We may come back with the linky in August, but even if we don't, I promise we will still share books that we love and how we use them!

 Today I wanted to share a great book for Westward Expansion and the California Gold Rush!  It's called Boom Town by Sonia Levitin.
Here is the synopsis from Scholastic:  Finding herself with free time after her family moves to California during the Gold Rush, Amanda bakes a pie that leads her to starting a booming business. She encourages people she meets along the way to start their own businesses, and eventually, a town develops.

I love that this book is based on a true story!
Here are the first few pages from the book:

This is a really cute book, and not just because the main character's name is Amanda!  ;O)

Basically, throughout the book more and more people realize that they need different things for their town.  Amanda started by baking pies.  Her dad takes them to the mining fields and the men bought slices of pie from him.  That's the only way he made money.

Since she's making so many pies, she needs more supplies.  A peddler comes by and sells her some pans and she encourages him to stay because they needed a store.  He builds a store and then more and more people come: a tanner, a cooper, a blacksmith, etc.  It basically shows how towns were built back then, based on need.  They had someone who did laundry for all of the men mining for gold.  They set up a livery stable for the people traveling through because they had no where to put their horses.  It's just a great example of how towns were built in the west and that most people made money from starting businesses in town than they did mining for gold.

I ran out of time, but one of the teachers I work with had her students do a project with this book where they built their own town and they had to decide what their business or part in the town would be.  It was a really cute idea and the kids were so excited to work on it.  Hopefully, next year I'll have more time to do it!

Well, we are out for summer break (or we will be after a work day on Tuesday) so I plan on enjoying the pool really soon!!  Maybe I can find more time to blog, too!!  ;O)

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!  I am so thankful for all the men and women that have and are fighting for our freedom!

We are taking a break at least for the summer!!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Science Must Read Mentor Text {Pass the Energy, Please!}

Happy Sunday, Friends!

This week's Must Read Mentor Text is an awesome science book called Pass the Energy, Please! Description: "Here is a favorite of elementary science teachers for the food chain. Each of the creatures passes the energy in its own unique way. In this upbeat rhyming story, the food chain connects herbivores, carnivores, insects and plants together in a fascinating circle of players. All beings on Earth--from the anchovy to the zooplankton--depend upon the green plant, which is the hero of the story. The special talent of the author shines again (see also A Drop Around the World) for being able to present the science curriculum so concisely, creatively, and cleverly."

This book is so COOL! And the students LOVE it because of the vivid language and incredible illustrations! I love how the author wrote it in poetry form. She incorporates the important vocabulary related to our study of food chains and weaves it into a poem that is so engaging! 

This book sparks lots of discussion too. Before I even read a page, I show the students the illustration and have them describe what it happening either on their sticky notes or white boards. This allows me to see who has grasped some of the vocabulary we have been learning about and who has misconceptions. 

For example, on the page above, students may write: 
"predator- snake, prey- mouse"
"grass and flowers- producers"
"mouse and snake- consumers" 

I am thinking about even having my students try to write their own food chain poetry and drawing their own illustrations. Then, I can compile all of them together into our own class book. :)

I hope you can enjoy reading this fun book too! 
I would love for you to link up some of your favorite science must reads!  :)  
Have a great weekend, 

Next week's linky- Social Studies- Our last linky for this school year!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Whoop Whoop! Winners for our giveaway! Was it you?

Hey there!  We are so excited to have joined with C. Jayne Teach for a giveaway of some of her adorable teaching supplies!!  Here is our winner!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you didn't win, be sure to check out the amazing supplies in C. Jayne Teach's shop!!  Thanks for entering!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Math Must Reads OR Projects...

Hey there!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you out there!!  Whether you are a mother or you are celebrating your mom, I hope you have a wonderful day today!

How is your May going?  May just seems to be a month jam packed with so many things!!  Teacher Appreciation, Mother's Day, the end of the school year (for us anyway), graduations, and the end of extracurricular activities!  My son is graduating from Pre-K next week (sniff sniff), we had soccer tournaments this weekend (my daughter's team came in second after 4 hours of being at the fields and a shoot out...kinda the worst way to lose after they played their tails off), and we have a piano recital at the end of the month.  Plus, more end of the year assessments for our kiddos, even though we just finished state testing this week.  Sigh.  I'm so over testing.  May.  You wear me out!

Anywho, enough of all THAT!!  That's probably not why you are here, right?  ;O)

Well, I'm changing things up for this linky this week.  Mainly because I forgot to go through my math texts to find one to share and because I'm wanting to do something fun in math to alleviate some of this testing going on.  So, instead of sharing a book this week, I wanted to share a project that I'm hoping to squeeze in before school lets out on May 22nd.

So, as I was looking for fun activities, I came across two that I thought would do the job!

The first is from Matt at Digital Divide and Conquer.  It's his Zoo Design Area and Perimeter Pack.  Students create their own zoo and then find the area and perimeter of each zoo habitat.

I love this project because, for 1, it's differentiated.  Number two, it fun.  Number three, it incorporates what we've been learning about in science, which is ecosystems.  I like that students can create their zoo habitats, find the area and perimeter, and then I can go a step further with it and have them explain what the animals they've chosen to include in their zoo need in their habitats and add it to their blueprints.  Or, if there isn't room, they can write about it (or probably both!).  It's really a win-win for me and my class!!

Another option I found in my friend Emily's store from I Love My Classroom.  It's her Zoo Maps pack.
This is also differentiated and another great option to use.  Both of these would give me the perfect amount of options to differentiate this project with all of my students.  I'm excited to get started with it (after our assessments of course)!

If you want a book that goes with area and perimeter, you can check out my post HERE about a book I use.

Now, you can link up math must reads or a math project if you'd like!  If I'm going to change the rules for myself, of course I'll change them for you too!  ;O)

Also, today is the last day to enter to win some adorable teaching supplies from C. Jayne Teach!  Head to that post HERE to enter to win!

Have a great day!

Next week's linky- Science

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

How would you like to win some adorable teaching supplies??? Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

Well, you definitely want to try for this giveaway for sure!!  I was lucky enough to be following C. Jayne Teach on Instagram and when she asked if there were some bloggers that wanted to review her new product line, I jumped on it!

Even so, I had no idea the cuteness that was going to be coming in the mail!  Oh, happy day!!!  I really didn't know what to expect but when I opened the box, I was so excited!!  My husband was the only one nearby, and he was like, "What?  What is that?  School supplies?"  but he was using his "So what?" voice.

So, I brought the box to school to show Stacia, and sure enough, I got the reaction I wanted.  She oooooohed, and aaaaaaaaaaahed!!

AND, I left everything on the table for a full day, and any teacher that came in my room during that time commented on how adorable all of it was!  And, they wanted to know how I got it and where it was from!!

My point is, you're gonna want to enter this giveaway when you see our goodies!

Here are some cute notecards!
Here are two adorable notebooks we got!
And my absolute favorite, that I called dibs for (which probably wasn't fair since I called dibs when I was at my house and Stacia was at hers...but then I called dibs when I showed it to her and although she wanted it too, she let me have it because she's really sweet like that!), the turn it in bin!!!
This bin takes the cake and is waaaaay cuter than the basket I have right now for finished work.  I had to keep my eye on this tray because I'm pretty sure a few teachers wanted to walk off with it!!

Here's another example of a bin that C. Jayne makes:
How adorable, right?

C. Jayne Teach is launching their updated line of teaching products and it goes live on Friday, May 9th!  In celebration, C. Jayne Teach (Chandra) is giving away $20 worth of products!!!  And, Stacia and I thought we'd throw in a prize too, so if you win, you can get $20 worth of products from our TpT store!!

C. Jayne Teach has also updated her Complete Teacher Anchors and is super excited to say that they ship for free and her other products ship for a flat rate of $5!!!  Ya can't beat that!!!

So what are you waiting for??  It's Teacher Appreciation Week afterall!! You deserve this!   Hurry and enter this giveaway!  I assure you, you'll have no problem spending $20 in C. Jayne Teach's store!!  But, you'll have to wait until Friday to see her new line!  The giveaway will end Sunday at midnight!  Good luck my friends!!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Hamster Mentor Text and Teacher Appreciation!

Happy May!!! And Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!  :)

Between state testing and being sick, let's just say it has been a stressful week!!!!!  But the weekend has definitely helped! I have a short post to share with you about a very cute, cute, cute animal book!

I am linking up an adorable hamster book for our Language Arts Mentor Text Linky. I LOVE all of the books in this cute hamster series, and when I saw Happy Birthday, Hamster at our Scholastic Book Fair, I knew I had to add it to my collection!  :)

These books are definitely geared to the younger grades, but since I LOVE hamsters, I just always have to share them with my fourth graders. I use the books during my Writing Workshop as we talk about amazing adjectives. The author has some great word choice!  I also love the rhythm of the words!

Since I just got this book (The Happy Birthday version), I haven't gotten to use it with my class yet. But, I think what I may do is create an "Adjective Cake" when I read it with my students. I will make a giant cake (like the one on the front cover) where the students can record all the adjectives from the story. Then, as we read more books throughout the year, we can keep adding adjectives to our cake. It would be like an adjective anchor chart, but in cake form! Yum! And a great resource for the kids to refer back to!

In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week, Teachers Pay Teachers is having an AMAZING Sale!  Our store will be on Sale, PLUS enter the code below for additional savings!  :)  My cart is WAY TOO FULL Already!!!!!

Have a happy Sunday! I can't wait to see what books you link up!

Next week's linky- Math

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