Archive for the ‘Read Aloud’ category

Z is for Zing!

June 20, 2017

tagedo kids want teachers to beZ is for zing. Synonyms for zing include energy, enthusiasm, and liveliness. These are traits that we found middle school students want in their teachers. “Ask the Real Experts about Good Teaching,” an article published in the April 2014 issue of AMLE magazine, elaborates on these traits. And that’s what we think about when we are designing discussion and activity guides, lesson plans, and units—what will engage students and make learning fun and meaningful. And, so we are guided by our vision that our professional work is motivated by the possibility that every child will have great teachers.

ALL OUR PRODUCTS ARE ON SALE 20% OFF JUNE 21-23!

Surviving to Thriving TPT

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W is for Wonder

June 14, 2017

W is for Wonder, one of our favorite novels, recommended by my granddaughter, 5 years ago, shortly after she came into our lives. Her third grade teacher started reading Wonder aloud in the last few days of school. Since Taylor was hooked, I thought it would be great if I read it too and that way we could talk about the book together, which has become a long-standing practice—but that’s another story.

I wanted to do something for the teacher who introduced Wonder to us and a tradition for sharing books, so I decided to create a literature unit for the novel.  As I created questions, prompts, and mini-projects, I prevailed on my granddaughter’s expertise as a kid to determine if all of this made sense to her.  It did! Taylor is in high school now and we still share books and she still is my number one expert on kids!

From there we created four products:

SALE 20% OFF June15-16 Wonder Unit Plan, Wonder Discussion & Activity Guide, Wonder Mini-Unit (English Only) and Wonder Mini-Unit (English & Spanish Activities)

 

N is for Novel Studies

May 27, 2017

Teaching a novel effectively is challenging, especially if you want your students to engage deeply with the themes the authors are presenting and discover how novels can connect to their lives and perhaps show them how to cope with life’s challenges. And, above that, we want students to experience the pleasures of reading. The units and discussion and activity guides were intentionally designed to do all of the above while allowing for choice for students and teachers.  Another goal was to design the discussion and activity guides for independent study or for small groups, to help differentiate and to meet the needs of students. Here are the five novels that are popular with students and teachers.

Hunger Games: Unit Plan and PowerPoint Fact Game

Catching Fire: Discussion and Activity Guide

The Giver: Discussion and Activity Guide

Son: Unit Plan and Discussion and Activity Guide

The Fault in Our Stars: Discussion and Activity Guide

SALE 20% off May 28-29: Hunger Games: Unit, PowerPoint Fact Game. Catching Fire: Discussion & Activity Guide. The Giver: Discussion & Activity Guide. Son: Unit & Discussion & Activity Guide. The Fault in Our Stars: Discussion & Activity Guide.

 

 

 

 

m is for mockingbird

May 25, 2017

mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine is one of my favorite novels—you smile, laugh, sniffle, cry. We developed a unit and a discussion and activity guide for mockingbird, which stand on their own or work together. Both products are grounded in best practice and use a wide variety of strategies that include step-by-step guidelines for implementation as well as handouts that facilitate that implementation. Our research and our work with classroom teachers over the years indicated to us that sharing how to implement best practice saved teachers time and increased the use of best practice in the classroom. Our goal with all of our products is to engage students and facilitate implementation for teachers.

mockingbird Discussion and Activity Guide includes:

  • Teacher Activity and Discussion Guide (34 pages)
  • Emotion Face Chart and 16 Emotion Face Cards for Forming Student Groups
  • 8 Summative Assessments
  • Personal Dictionary Project
  • Student Literary Log
  • PowerPoint Slide Presentation (109 slides) and PowerPoint Teacher Guide 25

mockingbird Unit Plan includes:

  • Instructional Plan for the unit
  • Caitlin’s Phrases Lesson Plan
  • Setting Analysis Lesson Plan (Part 1 & 2)
  • Character Analysis Lesson Plan
  • Fabulously Fun Theme Thursday Lesson Plan: Part 1, 2, & 3
  • 10-Second Rule Game for Chapters 1-14 and for Chapters 15-27
  • Mini-Assessment Project
  • Caitlin’s Rituals Lesson Plan
  • Figures of Speech Lesson Plan (Literal vs. Figurative Language)
  • Quotes Activity: Fact Checker Lesson Plan
  • Friendship Lesson Plan
  • Blooming with Knowledge—Mini-Projects for Mockingbird plus Rubric
  • Literary Log for Students

SALE 20% OFF May 26-27 mockingbird Discussion and Activity Guide and Unit Plan

L is for Lesson Plans for the First Week of School

May 24, 2017

Lesson Plans for the First Week of School: The Crayon Box that Talked and The Color of Us

Using literature to appreciate diversity in the classroom is one way to build a classroom community—vital to student learning. These two literature based lesson plans focus on diversity, inclusion, and building relationships of respect. And, while these two lessons are designed for K-4, they could easily be adapted to intermediate and middle grades—maybe even high school. This product includes:

  • Lesson #1 The Crayon Box that Talked Crayons Lesson Plan.jpg
  • Lesson #2 The Color of Us

SALE 20% off May 24-25 Lesson Plans for the First Week of School

I is for Ivan

May 19, 2017

I is for Ivan as in The One and Only Ivan, a wonderful novel with lessons for both kids and adults. The novel is based on a true story, a gorilla in Atlanta. We were all taken with the novel and the nonfiction book, Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla. So, we created a unit for the novel and a read-along guide for the nonfiction book—both pair well. And, then of course we had to add bookmarks, which are free. Give yourself, your students, and/or your children or grandchildren a treat—read both books!

The One and Only Ivan unit includes:

  • Instructional Schedule for Unit Plan • 12 Lesson Plans with instructional guide and reproducible student handouts • Introducing the Novel Lesson • Setting Analysis Lesson • Character Analysis Lesson • Ivan-isms Lesson • Habitats, Groups, and Offspring Lesson • Pair Read Aloud & Prediction Lesson • Friendship Lesson • Ivan’s Letters Lesson • Novel Quotes Lesson • Ivan’s Many Families Lesson • Pair Read Aloud and Face-to-Face Slide-By Lesson • Ivan’s Billboard Lesson • Summative Assessment w/Rubric • 1 (19 page) Reproducible Student Literary Log • 16 Reproducible Student Bookmarks • • Unit PowerPoint to Guide Daily Lessons w/Teacher Guide • Formative Assessment PowerPoint (includes 3 quizzes) w/Teacher Guide and Answer Key

Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Read-Aloud Guide includes:

  • Pre-Reading, During-Reading, and After-Reading Activities
  • Pre-Reading and After-Reading
  • Vocabulary Activity
  • Making a Timeline of Ivan’s Life
  • Ivan Mapping Activity
  • Advocacy, Protests, and Petitions
  • Illustrations in Nonfiction Literature
  • Research Project
  • Ivan’s Story Cube
  • Suggested Resource List
  • Ivan Grouping Cards
  • Ivan Bookmarks

Sixteen free reproducible bookmarks with quotes from The One and Only Ivan. Use for forming groups or just for fun. Your students will love them.

SALE 20% off May 20-21 The One and Only Ivan Unit and Ivan the Remarkable True Story of the Shopping Mall Gorilla Read-Aloud Guide

Save more and buy both products in the bundle!

Avoid Teacher Burnout: Learn Something New

March 23, 2015

You can learn new things at any time in your life if you’re willing to be a beginner. If you actually learn to like being a beginner, the whole world opens up to you.  Barbara Sher

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There is something about doing or learning something new that is invigorating. Sharing that experience with your students is another way to avoid teacher burnout according to Ben Johnson, in his article: 10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout. Johnson suggests sharing a new book you are reading with your students or learning about how the brain learns and sharing that. Here are five things to consider connected to doing and/or learning something new.

  1. Go to a large bookstore and browse through their magazines. Choose a magazine you probably would never even look at, let alone buy. Buy it and page through it; look for connections to your own life and/or work.
  2. Read A Whole New Mind by Daniel Pink—lots of ideas and suggestions about looking at life differently.
  3. Choose a genre of music with which you have little or no experience. Share some of this music with your students and get their opinions about it.
  4. Try a new recipe every weekend and report back to your students what you tried and whether or not you liked it.
  5. Learn to do magic tricks. Share your magical ability with your students—but no disappearance acts for you or them.

One of the things I did when I was working on a master’s degree in literacy is to share new things I learned about literacy and new learning strategies with my high school students. I would tell my students that I am trying out this new learning strategy with them and after we use it, I want their opinions about how well it worked for them. This was stumbling into magic—students took the new strategy very seriously and then shared their critiques. It was awesome!

I also discovered that students love to learn about their brains and how they learn. There are so many reliable resources online connected to the brain and learning. Recently I pinned an infographic on Movement and Learning that summarizes the benefits of movement in the classroom. As for adding more movement to your classroom, again there are many resources available including brain breaks that are fun and still serve the purpose.

As my colleagues and I create teacher materials for Teachers Pay Teachers, we always include activities that get students up and moving. Check out our store, Surviving to Thriving LjL on Teachers Pay Teachers. Here’s a list of the novels for which we have developed curriculum materials.

Movement and Learning Infographic

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Wonder by R. J. Palacio

Mockingbird by Kathryn Erskine

The Giver by Lois Lowry

Son by Lois Lowry

The One and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate

References

Johnson, Ben. (April 22, 2014).  10 Steps for Avoiding Teacher Burnout. Edutopia.


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