Monday, July 15, 2019

Free ate Word Family Word Work and Activities

This free ate Word Family Word Work and Activities pack includes over 30 different student centered phonics activities, not just worksheets, that promote reading, tracing, writing, building, cutting, pasting, and creating words in the ate word family with little to no prep work for you.



This free ate Word Family Word Work and Activities pack includes over 30 different student centered phonics activities, not just worksheets, that promote reading, tracing, writing, building, cutting, pasting, and creating words in the ate word family with little to no prep work for you. #wordwork #phonics #atewordfamily #free #teacher #firstgrade #secondgrade





The FREE Pack Includes


Word Family Poster 
Word Wall
Word Sliders
Color It! 
Stamp It! 
Trace & Connect 
Trace & Paste 
Trace, Paste & Color 
Word Sort 
Real or Nonsense 
How Many 
Build It! 
Artist Extraordinaire! 
Picture Book 
Fill in the Blank 1-3 
Mixed Up! 
Crack the Code 
Order It! 
Finish the Word 
Read, Circle, Write! 
I Have, Who Has 
Word Puzzles (Color & BW) 
Write & Wipe Strips (Color * BW) 
Write It! 
Story Time! 
Sentence Practice 
Reader (Color & BW) 
Word Strips 
Word Search 
Word Extender 1-4 




This free ate Word Family Word Work and Activities pack includes over 30 different student centered phonics activities, not just worksheets, that promote reading, tracing, writing, building, cutting, pasting, and creating words in the ate word family with little to no prep work for you. #wordwork #phonics #atewordfamily #free #teacher #firstgrade #secondgrade




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Need More Word Families?


Check them out here:
Word Work & Activities




Monday, April 22, 2019

Free ag Word Family Word Work and Activities

This free ag Word Family Word Work and Activities pack includes over 30 different student centered phonics activities, not just worksheets, that promote reading, tracing, writing, building, cutting, pasting, and creating words in the ag word family with little to no prep work for you.



This free ag Word Family Word Work and Activities pack includes over 30 different student centered phonics activities, not just worksheets, that promote reading, tracing, writing, building, cutting, pasting, and creating words in the ag word family with little to no prep work for you. #wordwork #phonics #agwordfamily #free #teacher





The Pack Includes


Word Family Poster 
Word Wall 
Word Sliders 
Color It! 
Stamp It! 
Trace & Connect 
Trace & Paste 
Trace, Paste & Color 
Word Sort 
Real or Nonsense 
How Many 
Build It! 
Artist Extraordinaire! 
Picture Book 
Fill in the Blank 1-3 
Mixed Up! 
Crack the Code 
Order It! 
Finish the Word 
Read, Circle, Write! 
I Have, Who Has 
Word Puzzles (Color & BW) 
Write & Wipe Strips (Color * BW) 
Write It! 
Story Time! 
Sentence Practice 
Reader (Color & BW) 
Word Strips 
Word Search 
Word Extender 1-4 



This free ag Word Family Word Work and Activities pack includes over 30 different student centered phonics activities, not just worksheets, that promote reading, tracing, writing, building, cutting, pasting, and creating words in the ag word family with little to no prep work for you. #wordwork #phonics #agwordfamily #free #teacher


_______________________________________________



Need More Word Families?


Check them out here:
Word Work & Activities






Thursday, March 21, 2019

Otto and Pio Book Review



Otto and Pio - Otto the squirrel is quite happy with his life, but one day an odd, green ball is outside his door. The green, spiny ball soon hatches and out pops a small, round, furry creature looking for his mother. With no mother in sight, Otto eventually sets out to help the creature. #OttoandPio #picturebook #childrenslit #childrensfictionMarianne Dubuc
(Author & Illustrator)
Princeton Architectural Press
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book, Friendship 

Publication Date: March 19, 2019

Otto the squirrel is quite happy with his life, but one day an odd, green ball is outside his door. The green, spiny ball soon hatches and out pops a small, round, furry creature looking for his mother. With no mother in sight, Otto eventually brings the creature into his house. Each night the creature, Pio, grows larger, and each day Otto looks for Pio’s mother.

Pio grows into a gentle, but clumsy giant and with no sign of Pio’s mother, Otto has enough. He is beyond frustrated that his peaceful life has been intruded upon. As he storms out of his house and onto a branch, an eagle swoops down to catch him. But just as Otto realizes that he cares for Pio and that he maybe just needs a bigger house, the eagle’s talons come near, and Pio rushes to the rescue, scaring the bird away. While they never do find Pio’s mother, Otto and Pio are quite happy together.

If you’re interested in reading Otto and Pio, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon.


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Your Mind is Like the Sky A First Book of Mindfullness Book Review



Your Mind is Like the Sky - Though categorized as a children's book, the message of the text and the calm illustrations would be relevant for many adults as well. This book can help open up conversations for children about negative thoughts, worries, and anxiety while also providing realistic and useful ways to deal with those ideas. #yourmindislikethesky #picturebook #childrenslit #childrensfictionBronwen Ballard (Author)
Laura Carlin (Illustrator)
Frances Lincoln Children's Books
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book, Mindfulness

Publication Date: February 5, 2019

Children can struggle with understanding negative thoughts, but Your Mind Is Like the Sky offers kids a concrete connection for them to understand how our thoughts ebb and flow and what we can do about them. Comparing our thoughts to clouds, the book shows how some thoughts are light, fluffy, and nice, but some thoughts are dark, mean raincloud thoughts. It goes on to show ways people deal with those raincloud thoughts and offers a trick: see the whole sky, not just the raincloud. It also reminds us that we can choose which thoughts we pay attention to.

Though categorized as a children's book, the message of the text and the calm illustrations would be relevant for many adults as well. This book can help open up conversations for children about negative thoughts, worries, and anxiety while also providing realistic and useful ways to deal with those ideas.

If you’re interested in reading Your Mind is Like the Sky, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon.


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Bruno's Hat Book Review



Told from Peter’s perspective, Bruno’s Hat offers kids a realistic view of how friends act when someone is being teased. Friends don’t always make the best choices. Friends can sometimes hurt someone’s feelings too. But friends can apologize and make the situation better. #brunoshat #picturebook #childrenslit #childrensfictionCanizales
(Author & Illustrator)
Flyaway Books
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book, Social Story

Publication Date: January 22, 2019

Bruno wears a weird hat, and when Sergio makes fun of him, his best friend Peter stands up for Bruno. But then Sergio calls Peter a weirdo too. Avoiding conflict and trying to fit in, Peter decides to be friends with Sergio even though Sergio continues to be mean to Bruno. Peter misses his friendship with Bruno and finally realizes that his friendship with Bruno is more important.

Told from Peter’s perspective, Bruno’s Hat offers kids a realistic view of how friends act when someone is being teased. Friends don’t always make the best choices. Friends can sometimes hurt someone’s feelings too. But friends can apologize and make the situation better.

Children can relate to Peter’s struggle to be a good friend and learn that even if they’ve made mistakes in the past, you can always make better choices and repair broken friendships now.

If you’re interested in reading Bruno's Hat, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon.


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Monday, March 11, 2019

Who Is My Neighbor? Book Review



Who Is My Neighbor? is a child-accessible retelling of the “Good Samaritan” parable. Kids will quickly pick up on the main messages of the book about helping those in need and accepting others even if they are different than you. #whoismyneighbor #picturebook #childrenslit #childrensfictionAmy-Jill Levine (Author)
Sandy Eisenberg Sasso (Author)
Denise Turu (Illustrator)
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book
Flyaway Books

Publication Date: January 22, 2019


Blues know there is no such thing as a good Yellow, and Yellows know there is no such thing as a good Blue. They are just too different!

When Midnight Blue takes a tumble on his bike, he’s sure another blue will help him. After Navy and Powder Blue pass by like they don’t even see him, Midnight is shocked. But Midnight is more shocked when lemon--a yellow-- does stop. Through Lemon’s kind act, Midnight and Yellow come to realize that even though Blues and Yellows are different, that doesn’t mean they can’t be friends. They spread their message of acceptance to others, and Blues and Yellows find that they can make new friends and help one another.

Who Is My Neighbor? is a child-accessible retelling of the “Good Samaritan” parable. Kids will quickly pick up on the main messages of the book about helping those in need and accepting others even if they are different than you.

If you’re interested in reading Who Is My Neighbor?, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon.


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Friday, March 8, 2019

The Not-So-Brave Penguin Book Review


The Not-So-Brave Penguin has a message that kids can relate to. Being brave doesn’t mean not being scared. Being brave means acting even when you are scared. #thenotsobravepenguin #picturebook #childrenslit #braveThe Not-So-Brave Penguin

Steve Smallman
(author & illustrator)
QEB Publishing
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: November 13, 2018


Percy the penguin isn’t scared of anything. He’ll slide down slopes on his belly, and he’ll jump from great heights and splash into the water. Posy, on the other hand, is scared of many things: snowstorms, heights, loud noises, the dark.

When a huge iceberg floats near their island, Percy goes to explore, but Posy stays back. When Percy doesn’t return, Posy springs into action. Even though Posy is scared, she goes to save her friend.

The Not-So-Brave Penguin has a message that kids can relate to. Being brave doesn’t mean not being scared. Being brave means acting even when you are scared.

If you’re interested in reading The Not-So-Brave Penguin, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon.


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Tuesday, March 5, 2019

The Cave Book Review


The Cave - A hungry wolf stands guard by a cave trying to lure a little creature out. Day after day the wolf attempts to persuade the little creature to leave, but the little creature stays put. In a twist that adults may see coming (but the kids who I read it to didn’t), the wolf is finally successful, much to his surprise.  #picturebook #childrenslit #childrensfiction #thecave 
Rob Hodgson
(Author & Illustrator)
Lincoln Children's Books
Children's Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: May 18, 2017


A hungry wolf stands guard by a cave trying to lure a little creature out. Day after day the wolf attempts to persuade the little creature to leave, but the little creature stays put. In a twist that adults may see coming (but the kids who I read it to didn’t), the wolf is finally successful, much to his surprise.

When I read The Cave by myself, I enjoyed it but thought the twist was obvious. I’m so glad I also read it with kids, because they were literally on the edge of their seat, worried about the little creature and then laughing with delight at the wolf’s surprise ending. Even after knowing how the book ends, kids request it again and again. It’s a fun read!

If you’re interested in reading The Cave, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon.


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Tuesday, February 26, 2019

Just Like You Book Review


Just Like You
Just Like You is a cute picture book with an important message given in a friendly way: while we all have differences (and some can be very apparent like our height), we also have many similarities. We don’t have to be exactly the same to be friends, and sometimes our differences help our friends experiences things in a new way. #JustLikeYou #childrenslit #picturebook #friendship 
Sarah J. Dodd (Author)
Giusi Capizzi (Illustrator)
Lion Hudson
Children’s Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: March 23, 2018

Miki the meerkat is happy to hear a new family is moving in next door at the zoo and he will soon have a new friend named Raffa that is just like him! Only, Raffa isn’t like him at all. Raffa is a tall giraffe and she and Miki find it hard to see any similarities. They are both just so different.

When Miki can’t get to sleep, he waits for his mom to doze off before climbing out of his burrow to look at the moon. As he climbs out, Miki sees that Raffa is already out there. Raffa also can’t sleep and also enjoys looking at the moon. Some of Miki and Raffa’s similarities quickly become apparent as lightning flashes, thunder booms, and they are both scared. Both come away from the experience realizing that they do have a lot in common.

Just Like You is a cute picture book with an important message given in a friendly way: while we all have differences (and some can be very apparent like our height), we also have many similarities. We don’t have to be exactly the same to be friends, and sometimes our differences help our friends experiences things in a new way.


If you’re interested in reading Just Like You, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon



*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Thursday, February 21, 2019

Sugar and Snails Book Review


Sugar and SnailsSugar and Snails

Sarah Tsiang (author)
Sonja Wimmer (illustrator)
Annick Press
Children's Fiction, Picture Book

*2019 Amelia Bloomer Top Ten List* 

Publication Date: March 13, 2018



If boys aren’t made of frogs and snails and puppy dog tails and girls aren’t made of sugar and spice and everything nice, then what are they made of? A grandfather’s ponderings about what his grandchildren are made of are paired with fun illustrations to create a playful take on an old saying.

Sugar and Snails hits the theme of individuality and not being forced into a box. Why be made of sugar and spice and everything nice when you could be made of monkeys and dirt and lemon dessert?

If you’re interested in reading Sugar and Snails, you can check it out at Annick Press or purchase a copy here on Amazon.

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Joseph's Big Ride Book Review


Joseph's Big Ride
Joseph's Big Ride 
Terry Farish
Ken Daley
Annick Press
Children's Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: September 12, 2017


While growing up in a refugee camp, Joseph only wants one thing: to ride a bike. He’s just not big enough to reach the pedals. He helps fix bikes while waiting for his legs to grow long enough to finally ride one day.

Joseph doesn’t fully understand why, but he and his mother move to America where life is different from the camp. One thing is the same though: Joseph’s wish to ride a bike. When Joseph sees a neighbor girl has a bike, he tries everything he can to get to ride on it. After putting his bike repair skills to good use and helping his neighbor, his chance finally comes. Joseph gets to ride a bike!

Lively, energetic illustrations pair well with the sweet story that captures a boy’s dream come true.

If you’re interested in reading Joseph's Big Ride, you can check it out at Annick Press or purchase a copy here on Amazon.

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Wednesday, February 13, 2019

The Man with the Violin Book Review


The Man with the Violin

The Man With the ViolinKathy Stinson (author)
Dušan Petričić (illustrator)
Annick Press
Children's Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: March 22, 2016


A boy walking through the subway with his mom hears music and wants to stop to listen. The music soars and swoops, and the man playing the violin sways as his fingers move and his bow dances. The boy wants to listen and enjoy the music, but his mother pulls him along into the hustle and bustle of the station and their day. Later at home, the boy hears the same beautiful sounds coming from the radio and his mother realizes they should stop and enjoy the moment together.

Based on the true story of Grammy winning musician Joshua Bell playing a priceless Stradivarius in the subway in Washington D.C., The Man with the Violin sends and important reminder to not be so busy and caught up in the frantic pace of life that we forget to stop and enjoy the moment.

If you’re interested in reading The Man with the Violin, you can check it out at Annick Press or purchase a copy here on Amazon.

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.


Monday, February 11, 2019

The Dog Who Wanted to Fly Book Review


The Dog Who Wanted to Fly

The Dog Who Wanted to Fly - Best Picture Book of 2019Kathy Stinson (author)
Brandon James Scott (illustrator)
Annick Press
Children's Fiction, Picture Book

Publication Date: March 12, 2019


Zora wants to fly. She needs to fly. She wants to prove Tully the cat wrong and get to that chittering squirrel on the fence. Despite Zora’s best efforts, she just can’t figure it out. Flapping her ears and wagging her tail? Launching off a teeter-totter? Nothing seems to work… until Tully needs help and Zora springs into action – and flight.

The expressive illustrations often say as much as the text. Kids will laugh out loud at the humorous story and lively pictures. I know it’s only February, but The Dog Who Wanted to Fly may be the best children’s book of 2019! This is one of the best picture books! I highly recommend it!

If you’re interested in reading The Dog Who Wanted to Fly, you can check it out at Annick Press or purchase a copy here on Amazon.

*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Sunday, January 20, 2019

Blended Book Review


Blended
Blended packs a lot into a middle grade novel, but kids deal with these situations everyday: blended families (in race), blended families (in living situation), questions about who you are, where you belong, and how others and society perceive you. Blended will hit home for many while offering insight for those who haven’t experienced these things.  It’s a thought-provoking read that middle grade students will enjoy. #reading #book #middlegrade #fiction #middlegradebook 
Sharon M. Draper (Author)
Atheneum/Caitlyn Dlouhy Books
Middle Grade, Fiction

Publication Date: October, 30, 2018

Isabella switches lives every week. One week she lives with her dad, his girlfriend, and her son in a very fancy house, and the next week she lives with her mom and John-Mark in a comfortable house.

She's eleven years old and stuck between two parents who argue all the time about her, and she's stuck in two different worlds. Switching houses every week is more than just switching clothes and names (Izzy with her mom, Isabella with her dad). It's also switching identities.

Isabella is the same person, but her life experiences with her black dad and her white mom are very different.  Isabella and Darren (her dad's girlfriend's son) are stopped by police, and things escalate quickly when a cell phone is mistaken for a gun. 

Blended packs a lot into a middle grade novel, but kids deal with these situations everyday: blended families (in race), blended families (in living situation), questions about who you are, where you belong, and how others and society perceive you. Blended will hit home for many while offering insight for those who haven’t experienced these things.  It’s a thought-provoking read that middle grade students will enjoy.

If you’re interested in reading Blended, you can purchase a copy here on Amazon


*A copy of this book was provided free of charge for an honest review.



Monday, January 14, 2019

Don't Let Bad Handwriting Habits Stop Your Students

In the digital age, handwriting is getting pushed to the side to make way for other technology-based skills. There is no doubt that technology skills are necessary for students who are growing up in an ever changing digital-saturated world, but being able to put pen to paper and scrawl legible words is still a needed skill.

So what can you do when students come to you with illegible or barely legible writing?  

Don't let bad handwriting stop your students. You can develop their fine motor skills and help them build muscle memory with repeated practice. #handwriting #writing #writingskills #3rdgrade #4thgrade #5thgrade #6thgrade #7thgrade #8thgrade


Handwriting is a skill that needs to be tackled in two ways:

1) Fine Motor Skills

Many students do have a lot of dexterity in their thumbs these days, but the rest of the muscles in their hands don't get the same use. Crayons, glue, scissors, and colored pencils in younger years that helped develop fine motor skills over time have given way to tablets and smart phones. 

Bring back some of the fun of fine motor skills with detailed coloring books, sculpting with clay, board games that require pieces to be moved, knitting, or crocheting.  Tracing squiggly lines and curves in the "C" shape also help build basic fine motor and basic handwriting skills.

Utilizing basic pencil grips like these ones: Ergonomic Pencil Grips can also help students with finger placement.


2) Practice, Practice, Practice!

The most effective way to build handwriting skills is through good-old-fashioned practice!  Muscle memory is needed to produce legible writing, and the older a student is, the more practice may be necessary to break bad habits. 

Handwriting practice sheets help students practice the needed repetition to develop muscle memory of proper letter formation. 

These handwriting packets combine practice with mastery tests so students can progress through proper formation of each letter of the alphabet at their own pace.  If students need more time, they can have it. If students show mastery and are ready to move on to the next letter they can.  

Handwriting RTI Practice Sheets and Tests - Print #handwriting #writing #ela #3rdgrade #4thgrade #5thgrade #6thgrade #7thgrade #8thgrade #9thgrade


Handwriting RTI Practice Sheets and Tests - Cursive #handwriting #writing #ela #3rdgrade #4thgrade #5thgrade #6thgrade #7thgrade #8thgrade #9thgrade


Handwriting RTI Practice Sheets and Tests - Script D'Nealian #handwriting #writing #ela #3rdgrade #4thgrade #5thgrade #6thgrade #7thgrade #8thgrade #9thgrade


There is no quick fix for handwriting, especially with older students.  But utilizing the organized, systematic approach the Handwriting RTI packets employ is the most effective way I've seen to see dramatically improve any student's handwriting.



Don't let bad handwriting stop your students. You can develop their fine motor skills and help them build muscle memory with repeated practice. #handwriting #writing #writingskills #3rdgrade #4thgrade #5thgrade #6thgrade #7thgrade #8thgrade



Sunday, January 13, 2019

Use Pictures to Teach and Develop Inference Making Skills


Making inferences can be a tricky skill for students to learn.  It can be an especially difficult skill for students who have difficulty decoding and reading fluently at the grade level expectation.  Students can spend so much time simply trying to figure out what the words on the page say that by the time they finish reading a passage, they have no idea what they actually read. Comprehension is hard when decoding is hard, and advanced reading skills like making inferences are even harder. 

One way to still develop advanced reading skills even with students who are not yet fluent readers is to utilize pictures.


Use Pictures to Teach Making Inferences #inference #criticalthinking #readingskills #ela

Pictures provide a concrete, accessible avenue for students to dive into advanced skills. 

With pictures students can learn, practice, and develop inference making and then transfer those skills to text-based resources as their mastery increases. 

The main resource I use to help student develop their inference making skills is: Making Inferences from Pictures

Use Pictures to Teach Making Inferences #inference #criticalthinking #readingskills #ela


It has 40 weeks worth of high-quality photos.  Each week has five photos (one for each day) for a total of 200 pictures altogether.  

The best part of the resource is that it is flexible. It can be used as a quick bell-ringer activity to get students seated, working, and thinking.  Teachers can also use the lesson to build into larger conversations about inference or utilize narrative writing extension activities. 

Have you used these Daily Picture-Based Inference Prompts in your classroom?  I'd love to hear about it in the comments section!


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