Friday, April 26, 2013

Teacher's Notebook "Teaching Ideas for May" Program Launch

How would you like to pay only $8 for hundreds of dollars worth of amazing teaching resources?  Uh, DUH!  Yes, please!  Oh, what's that you say?  There are online presentations, too, from well known and wonderful teacher authors/sellers?  Count me in!!!

Want to check it out, too?  Just click below to learn more about the Teacher's Notebook's "Teaching Ideas for May" program!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gail Gibbons and Seymour Simon (AND A GIVEAWAY!!!)

As you know, we're into our "Author's Study" unit at the moment.  We always have done a week about Gail Gibbons-- let's face it, the woman is an amazing writer, and her books are SO very 2nd grade "friendly".  The kiddos LOVE to read her books, and they can learn lots of facts without feeling so overwhelmed with a non-fiction book. 
Each year, along with studying her in "Reading", we also use her an inspiration in our writing.  It is very simple for students to mimic her page layout, with a few lines of factual text and the bottom, an accurate illustration at the top, with a caption, and of course, heading!  The page we use is the single page "Authors as Mentors: Write Like Gail Gibbons" sheet that you can see and download from TpT.  It is a stress free (and fun) assignment that students can easily complete in one week!  :)

This year, though, we also threw in Seymour Simon to the week's studies.  He, too, is a great non-fiction author, and while his books differ in the amount of text (and information!) and the photographs, it's still nice to let students see the varying non-fiction texts. 

In fact, my students completed great venn diagrams comparing and contrasting the two authors (very easily on their own, too, I might add!). 


ANNNND, the best part of the week, you may ask?  WEEEELLLLL, it HAS to be the fact that reading, writing, AND social studies/science were all so easily integrated!  That's right...our "Natural Disasters/Natural Hazards" unit fit so well in with reading Gail Gibbons and Seymour Simon books, since they both have several non-fiction texts about topics such as hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.

So, on top of having the phenominal books to get information out of, my students could then apply that information to many of the graphic organizers in my Natural Disaster Pack!  How amazing is that?  Let me just say, it totally made for many seamless transitions throughout the week, and my students loved every minute of it!

Okay, you've made it through the the fun part: the giveaway!!!  The FIRST TWO PEOPLE to leave a comment about their favorite Gail Gibbons book to read to their class (or to use while teaching) will win a FREE copy of the "Authors as Mentors: Write Like Gail Gibbons" handout.  Simply remember to include your email at the bottom of your coment, and I'll try to get it to you ASAP!  :)

Happy Teaching and Learning!!!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Robert Munsch's Paper Bag Princess "Craftivity"

Hi sweet friends (or should I say, strangers?)!  I know it's been a while, but as I've posted before, for some reason this year has been a whirlwind of hustle and bustle, and now, just as I blink my eyes, it's already mid-April!!!  How crazy is that?!

I wanted to share a SUPER cutesy "craftivity" that is easy, fun, and cheap!  It can work for many grade levels, and I guarantee your kiddos will love it.  So what is it you ask?  Well didn't you read my title, silly?  :)  It's a great project using Robert Munsch's Paper Bag Princess story as a "springboard".

For the past few weeks, we've been in our "Author's Study" unit in our curriculum.  Last week, we focused on the amazing children's author, Robert Munsch.  His stories are always a hit, and the students always enjoy learning about him and reading his books!

After reading the story, The Paper Bag Princess, my kiddos completed a "4 Square" about the characters, setting, problem/solution, and their favorite part.  I used the printable from my Robert Munsch Author Study Pack, but technically you could just use any kind of notebook paper or plain paper.  Then, we cut out around the edges and glued it to the back side of a paper grocery bag from our local store. 

Next step?  Cutting up the front, cutting out a "neck hole", and cutting out 2 "arm holes".  Since we're in 2nd grade, and the latter part of 2nd grade I might add, my kiddos are a tad too big to fit in the paper bags as "dresses"...sooo we decided to make them more like vests!  (Which of course, the kids got a kick out of, because it immediately reminded them of Thanksgiving...)  :)  Anywho, finally they got to decorate their bag dresses with things from the story, maybe their favorite part, their favorite characters, etc. etc., and add a  "crown" (sentence strip) with the title of the book.

And that's it!  A super fun, easy, yet creative (and applicable!) "craftivity" to accompany Robert Munsch's story The Paper Bag Princess!

Oh, I almost forgot...the last step?  Show off the cute new "duds"!

(One final silly picture to round out this post...hope it puts a smile on your face!)

Have a fabulous rest of the weekend, and a great week next week!  :)