Sunday, April 15, 2012

Strawberries,Strawberries, Strawberries!!

                My wonderful Spring Break has come to an end!  Oh boy, did I have fun with my boys!  We spent Easter Weekend at the Beach.  On Monday, we ventured to Charlotte for Camp Rowdy!  A three day adventure with my best friend and her three boys.  Five high energy boys enjoyed playing hiding go seek, building a lemonade stand and lots of yogurt from Cherry Berry!  On Friday, I took the boys for the first time to pick delicious, ripe strawberries.  I think Worth ate more than he picked.

                     We ended our wonderful morning after picking, cleaning, and eating with our all time favorite book.  

                             I instantly became inspired to create my first mini unit!  Please check out my Teachers Pay Teachers store to download your FREE copy!
  Let me know what you think......
                     Do you have favorite books that you read about strawberries?  I would love to hear your favorites.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Powerful Books

      My first graders have had lots of experiences with a variety of books this year.  We discussed how “You are what you read!”  I shared with my students how books have impacted my life and asked them to share books that were powerful to them.  We worked for several days on this project.
      Our completed projected ended up as a class book for us to read over and over.  I thought my students might get some ideas of new books to read from their friends.  This was truly a rewarding activity!  I was able to learn even more about my students and understand their thinking as well as what excites them.  Enjoy the pictures!

Here is a copy of the sheet I created. Just copy on card stock.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Books Tell My Story

       We recently received a Scholastic Non Fiction Library for our classroom.  This library is filled with a variety of trade books that relate to the Common Core Standards.   I was able to attend a workshop held by Scholastic to train us on the types of books we received and ways to use them in our instruction.  During this training, we were asked to think about our Text Lineage. We were asked to share three books that had impacted us throughout our life.   As I reflected over my three books to share, I realized that my childhood favorites impacted the way I teach every day.  I thought this activity might help you learn a little more about me.
        My first book is Corduroy by Don Freeman.  I loved watching Captain Kangaroo as a child.  One day I was sick and stayed home with my grandmother.  This book was featured on the show.  I fell in love with the book because I was able to connect to this story in so many ways.  All children know what it is like to want a new toy.  Lisa was so much like me because I loved to mother my stuffed animals. In fact, I had a special teddy bear named, Cuddles.  My mom bought this book for me.  I felt so special because I had a “famous” book.  I continue to read this book each year to my students. They know this was one of my favorites as a child.  

          My next book is Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein.  I received this book from my parents after making the A/B honor roll in Third Grade.  I still have my original copy.  This may be surprising but reading didn’t come easy for me.  I struggled in school to learn how to read.  I remember how excited I was to make the A/B honor roll. This book was filled with incredible poetry that I could read!  I sat in my room for hours and read these poems over and over because I felt successful!

The last book in my Text Lineage is

           I was given this book while I was a facilitator.  I immediately began reading and could not put the book down.  I don’t know if I have ever had a book that changed my thinking as much as this book.  I knew I had to get back in the classroom and try Donalyn Miller’s approach to reading.  This is my first full year of using the Reader’s Workshop approach in my classroom.  The results are amazing! I just assessed my children and over half of my class is reading way beyond where they should be at the end of the year. Just think we have another nine weeks left.  I took the jump, gave up my basal and implemented 90 minutes of Reader’s Workshop and 30 minutes of Literature Stations/Guided Reading. 

The books we read and our experiences shape who we are.  What is your text lineage? 

First graders that have had lots of experiences with books can begin their text lineage.  Stay tuned to pics of my student’s “Powerful Books”.

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