Jul 29, 2015

Back to School Book Favorites {Freebie Linky}

I did a post earlier about my favorite back to school books, but I wanted to tell you more about A Bad Case of Tattle Tongue! {Plus there are some other blogging buddies linking up to this that will tell you about their favorite back to school books too!}

I just discovered this book this past school year when I asked for recommendations on my Facebook page and a few teachers recommended it. I ordered it right away on Amazon and ended up loving it! It's a book that you might want to revisit a few times through the school year, or just revisit the topic and remind the kids of "tattle tongues." They will remember what you are talking about! I even find myself saying it at home, then realizing that I haven't read it to my own kids yet! LOL
The book goes over rules of when you should and should not tattle. For example, if someone is in danger, you should tell someone immediately. But, if someone is not in danger and what they are doing has nothing to do with you, you shouldn't tattle. It's fun to give the kids examples after reading the book and see if they can transfer what they learned in the book into "real life" (even though it's on paper!) Then as the year goes on, you will find out if they can transfer the rules to real life too. If they start to have trouble, read it again!! 

This year, I'd like to give my students this quick "check for understanding" after reading and discussing the book. If you'd like your own copy for free, click on the picture below. Don't forget to leave feedback and then click on the others in this linky below for more ideas for back to school books to read!

Jul 19, 2015

Christmas in July! {Dollar Sale}

The Indiana Teacher bloggers always have great ideas! Like a Christmas in July DOLLAR SALE! All sellers that have dollar items on sale are listed at the bottom, but let me show you my 4 products that are marked down to one dollar!

Jul 18, 2015

Literature Companion Units {Corduroy}

Well, this is so fun and exciting for me! I've always had my certain favorite read alouds for my 2nd graders, and while I'm reading, I have all of those teachable moments and end up using the book for a variety of lessons. I've decided to organize all of those thoughts to share with everyone else! Earlier this week, I completed a Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse Unit (one of my FAVORITE read alouds!) and it was so exciting sitting down and writing down and PLANNING all of the things that I could use that book to teach! 

Now I have moved on to Corduroy...another favorite! I use a basal reading book in my district, but I love to incorporate in as many read alouds as possible. KIDS LOVE TO BE READ TO! It's amazing to sit down and dig into one book and discover how many lessons you could teach from it! 

I have created this "Companion Pack" to be used during and after reading Corduroy to your class. There are vocabulary cards and definitions included, ideas for anchor charts, graphic organizers for story mapping, 

I have also included five hand-on workstation/centers that can be used throughout the week that you read the story, or even all on the same day, whichever works for you! There are two centers to practice the vocabulary words, then there is a Cause and Effect center, Synonyms center, and Compound Word center. (All using words and scenarios from the story!) 


I also had a ton of great response to literature types of questions that I would ask my students, which I think would work great at writing time to tie everything together for your day/week, however you choose to plan this Corduroy unit! I'm showing two examples below of the writing that I included, but there are actually a few more in the packet. 

I said this when I blogged about my Lilly unit, I think it'd be great to use for an emergency sub kit..just leave the book and this unit. However, I wouldn't want to miss out on all of this fun with my kids, so I'd probably want to do with them! 

If you are interested in trying out this packet, please check it out in my store and see the full description, there honestly is a TON included. Also, be watching for future blog posts of me actually using these packets in my own classroom. Like I said before, I have actually pulled out a lot of these skills during those "teachable" moments, but I'm so excited to finally have all of my thoughts and ideas organized and ON PAPER! 

Just a quick sneak are some of the other books that I plan on working on "organizing my ideas" into companion units: Chrysanthemum, The Pout-Pout Fish, a bunch of Eric Carle books, and The Napping House. What are your favorite read alouds that you would like to have units to go along with? Let me know if you have any that you think I'd love too!

Jul 16, 2015

Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse {Literature Companion Unit}

I've been super excited today because I finished this adorable unit to go with Lilly's Purple Plastic Purse, which is one of my favorite books!! I just wanted to give you a sneak peek and I can't wait to use this with my 2nd graders this year!

I've included vocabulary words that you can discuss before reading the story to front load your students' understanding. I've made them on big cards that you could put in a pocket chart.

There are graphic organizers to complete after reading the story. You could even have students working on them while you read, you could stop at various places and complete them together. Or you could enlarge them and do one big one as an anchor chart!


I have included five literacy centers to go along with the skills that I found in the story. These could be used for independent workstations or in a small reading group. If you really wanted to, you could print an activity for each kid and use it more like seat work. It's up to you! I even think this would be great to leave for emergency sub'd keep your kids busy for your entire reading block for sure! All of the literacy centers have accountability/recording sheets included with them. I love having these so that the kids aren't just playing around, but they are actually held accountable with something to turn in as proof! {Sounds like I've had a lot of off task kids...right?!}

I've also included some writing activities that I would use in centers/workstations in my room. One of them includes response to literature questions, which students will respond to questions regarding the story, but also use details from the story to support their answer. Another writing activity is to write a letter to Lilly about what she should have done in the story. Last, there is a writing activity that refers to a simile found in the story. 

 If you are interested in this unit, please check it out in my store. If anything, add it to your wishlist for when you really need something fun for your room (i.e. Emergency Sub Plans...or maybe a day off...then again, you'll really want to do this SUPER FUN unit WITH your kids and not leave it for someone else to enjoy all of the fun!)

Click on the picture to see it in my store.

Other Literature Companion Units in my store:


Jul 6, 2015

Back to School Read Alouds {Who's Who and Who's New Post}

I'm a guest blogger over at Who's Who and Who's New today! Here's a little peek at what's over there...

Last year, over the summer, I asked my readers for some suggestions and I was amazed with how many books I hadn't heard of. How can I have a classroom FULL of books (and I mean, FULL!) and also be so "out of the loop" on current books? It just goes to show how many books are out there and that we need each other to collaborate and share our finds with each other! I can't say that I didn't know about ALL of these, but I had kind of "forgotten" about them. 

First Day Jitters is just hilarious. The kids love it and it breaks the ice with them about being nervous for the first day. Spoiler Alert---it's the TEACHER that has the first day jitters, even though you assume through the entire story that it's a kid that has the first day jitters. A good book to make connections with your new students on the first day! Plus, it will make them laugh!

Just like the title says, this book is great for teaching kids how to treat others! I think everyone needs that reminder at the beginning of the school year! (And maybe again later!)

A great story for reminding kids how to act...OR ELSE..... Also for letting them know how they should act if they ever have a substitute teacher. You never know when an unplanned day could pop up. This past year I had to take a day off the first week of school! Talk about stressful! 

I have read Chrysanthemum at the beginning of the year for quite a few years. I like reading it because it reminds the kids again how to treat others and how we are all different and unique in our own way. Plus, I just love Kevin Henkes! 

Sadly, this past year was the first year that I read about filling each other buckets. Why didn't I do this sooner? We made a great anchor chart after reading the story and talked about how we could fill buckets in our room everyday. That chart was a reminder all year to ourselves, "Are you filling someone's bucket today? How CAN I fill someone's bucket?"

Love Enemy Pie. It's a cute story and AGAIN, shows kids how to treat others! (Even an "enemy"!)

The Recess Queen is a good story to show kids how to treat each other on the playground and how to make friends with people, even if they are being mean to other people. It teaches kids how to be the bigger person and maybe even be FRIENDS with the "mean" kid. Maybe you will find out they aren't actually mean....

Tattle Tongue is definitely one of my favorites and it's one that I just discovered this past year. It teaches kids about appropriate and inappropriate tattling, when you should and SHOULDN'T tattle. I found myself referencing this book all year long! I was even asking my own kids at home, do you have a "Tattle Tongue"? Then I remembered that I really needed to bring that book home and read it to them!