Wednesday, November 25, 2015

The BEST Christmas and Winter Books for Children

'Tis the season to get out your favorite Christmas & winter books!
Here is a list of a dozen books that my students absolutely LOVE, and some fun resources to go with each one!

The Polar Express
This Christmas classic is written by Chris Van Allsburg. It is a Caldecott Medal award winner, and has been translated into stage productions and a movie.
Classroom activities to go along with this book can be found {here}
Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Christmas
We LOVE Mrs. Wishy-Washy, and this adorable book features Mrs. Wishy-Washy and her animal friends...all about making mistakes, being sorry, receiving forgiveness, and showing love. The spirit of Christmas at its best!
Classroom activities to go along with this book can be found {here}
The Gingerbread Man
There are so many versions of this story! I love this one by Eric A. Kimmel- it has fun characters, and a refrain that students love to chant together.
Classroom activities that go along with ANY Gingerbread Man book can be found {here}
The Snow Globe Family
This book is about a tiny family that lives inside of a snow globe, in the home of a big family. The story leads to students imagining what it would be like to live in a snow globe.
I made this little FREEBIE to go along with it {here}
Sneezy the Snowman
Poor Sneezy keeps doing things that make him's a good thing that he has friends that are there to help!
Classroom activities to go along with this book can be found {here}
Frozen Noses
Frozen Noses by Jan Carr is filled with winter fun, and the colorful cut paper illustrations are beautiful.
 Classroom activities that go along with this book can be found {here}
Snowmen at Night
Ever wonder what snowmen do at night while you're asleep? This book will give you some ideas of what could be happening!
Classroom activities that go along with this book can be found {here}
The Hat
Poor Hedgie gets stuck in Lisa's woolen stocking, making it look like a 'hat'. All the animals start laughing at him, but it's Hedgie who has the last laugh.
Classroom activities to go along with this book can be found {here}
The Mitten
Nicki loses his white mitten in the snow, and animals squeeze inside of it, seeking a warm, cozy refuge.
Classroom activities for this book can be found {here}
Tacky the Penguin
Tacky the Penguin is an odd bird, who doesn't fit in...and it is his unique characteristics that save the day!
Classroom activities for this book can be found {here}
The Snowy Day
The Snowy Day is a Caldecott Medal award winning book by Ezra Jack Keats. The book details Peter's fun snowy day adventures.
I made this little FREEBIE to go along with it {here} 

The Jacket I Wear in the Snow
This winter story details the main character's preparations to head outside to play. Layer after layer of clothing is added, and the story is fantastic for sequencing activities.
Classroom activities for this book can be found {here}
What are YOUR favorite winter books?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Sentence Writing

We started our writing unit by learning how to create
First we learned how to distinguish between sentences and sentence fragments.
Then we moved on to capitalization.
They had to highlight the letters that should be capitalized, and then rewrite the sentence the proper way. 

Using highlighters to show the mistakes in the sentences was a HUGE motivator!

Then it was time to talk about punctuation.
Periods, exclamation marks, question marks, quotation marks...oh my!
We learned that sentences are MUCH more interesting when they include adjectives.

Then it was time to choose some character cards, to use as the subjects of their sentences...

 ...and to select some action cards to create interesting sentences using verbs.
Next up, some time to practice writing STRONG sentences!

The checklist at the bottom of the page helped students double-check their work.

These little bitty character books were a fun activity to keep on practicing that sentence-writing!
This little flip book helped students focus on the characters, verbs/action and setting in the story. When the pages flipped, they made silly sentences!

Does your class need some help with writing SUPER sentences?
Packed with lots of practice pages focusing key sentence-building skills, word cards and flip books! 
Find the pack {here}

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Centers Galore!

I have been busy preparing some exciting center packs, stuffed with hands-on, engaging, and educational activities that are perfect for young learners!
 First up, my November Literacy Pack. It includes 20 centers, and works out to only $1 each!
 The pack includes literacy activities in these 5 areas of learning:
 1) Writing
 2) Listening to Reading
 3) Word Work (sight words)
 4) Phonics/Alphabet/CVC Activities
 5) Phonemic awareness

 This pack is laid out, week by week, for the entire month. It includes 5 stations for students to rotate through per week, with all of the components you’ll need for each activity. 

 Assessment tools are included to help keep learning on track and to keep your students accountable. 

 Learning is spiraled throughout the month, to help students build on their prior learning.
 It builds on the prior learning from these:

I am so excited to introduce my Christmas Centers!
This is a print and go pack! 
It includes 5 print and go literacy activities that focus on these skills:
Fireside Phonics
 -students practise identifying beginning and ending letter sounds by putting the missing letters in the words, based on the picture clues (students use letter stamps for the black and white pages; laminate the color copies and use letter tiles or magnetic letters
Cookie CVC
 -students practise identifying beginning, middle, and ending sounds by filling in the missing letters, using the picture clues
 -various versions are included to accommodate for a range of ability levels (beginning letter only, vowel only, ending letter only, or all 3 letters)
Stocking Syllables
 -students practise identifying the number of syllables in words
 -students will say the name of the picture on each card, and will place it on the corresponding syllable sorting mat 
 -a student recording page is included
Reindeer Rhyme
 -students practise identifying rhyming words by matching the rhyming picture cards together
 -the activity includes 10 sets
 -a student recording page is provided
Santa's List {ABC order}
 -students practise putting words in alphabetical order by sorting the picture cards, then printing the words in ABC order on their recording pages
Get them while they're at a discounted price!
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