Saturday, April 16, 2016

Baby Animal Vocabulary Cards ~ Pictures, Animal and Baby Animal Names

Spring is here and baby animal studies are all the rage!  I have searched for the perfect baby animal poem and I found it {HERE}

First stanza:
Baby animals soft and sweet
Tiny mouths, still asleep. 

Kids need real pictures of animals and I found great pictures on Teachers by Teachers by Z is for Zebra to create my new vocabulary cards with.  I added the animal's name and the baby animal's name on each card.  I threw in a little phonemic awareness with syllable sort (by animal or  baby animal name) and we have a really neat baby animals activity that can be integrated into every classroom.

Below is a sample of the baby animals vocabulary cards.  There are 22 animals total in this product.

Here are a few of darling books to add to your activities.

National Geographic Baby Animals
Baby Animals of the World
Bright Baby Touch and Feel
My Big Animal Book

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Middle School Historical Fiction Novels & Literature Circles

I have spent quite a bit of time focusing on early intervention this year as that's how different groups of kids have panned out this year.

Half of my day is spent at our Middle School where we have an amazing, literature-rich literacy program grades 5-8.  Up next is historical fiction literature circles in grade 6.  We have a historical fiction universal text at each grade. 

    Our universal texts include:

After key comprehension skills are taught with each universal text, students are given choice of literature circles in which to apply these skills.  I have purchased OODLES of best practices literature circle texts this year and our students are so very engaged in these!

In sixth grade, students just finished Moon Over Manifest focusing on characterization, marking our thinking (Thought Jotting), elements of historical fiction, and digging deeper into factual events that occurred that were incorporated into the story.  What is neat about Moon Over Manifest, is that it is filled with flashbacks to World War I while being set in the time period during the Great Depression.  We were able to really delve into both time periods with examples of real historical facts.  The characters were very layered, making this an excellent text to discuss characterization.  The figurative language and literary techniques included similes, metaphors, flashbacks and foreshadowing and symbolism.  I cannot say enough about this book.  It is a MUST for any middle school teacher.

Below are my FAVORITE Middle School literature circle books. We offer historical fiction and/or true factual stories for choices. I added my favorites from all grades as we keep them separated with a wide variety of lexile levels at each grade so ALL students can  be successful!

City of Orphans by Avi
Sophia's War by Avi
Navigating Early by Clare VanderPool
Paperboy by Vince Vawter
One Came Home by Amy Timberlake
Bomb by by Steven Shienkin
Lincoln's Grave Robbers by Steven Shienkin
Code Talker by Joseph Bruchac
Just Juice by Karen Hesse
Breaking Stalin's Nose by Eugene Yelchin
Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith
Prisoner B8087 by Alan Gratz
Iron Thunder by Avi
Imprisoned by Martin Sandler
The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb
Kira-Kira by Cynthia Kadohata
Lily's Crossing by Patricia Reilly Giff
A Year Down Yonder by Richard Peck
Hannah's Suitcase by Karen Levine
My Brother Sam is Dead by James Lincoln Collier
The Fighting Ground by Avi
A Single Shard by Linda Sue Park
Countdown by Deborah Wiles
Sounder by William H. Armstrong
Elijah of Buxton by Christopher Paul Curtis

I created a literature circle writing book for students to use during their literature circles to help solidify these ideas.

Please share your favorite historical fiction books in the comments below. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Ten Little Dinosaurs ~ Antonyms, Rhyme and Early Literacy Activities

We are super excited to be reading about dinosaurs this coming week!  To focus on Concept of Word, I pulled in the traditional Ten Little Dinosaurs rhyme and "spiced it up" by adding the antonym, "big" instead of counting backwards.  This will allow me to focus on antonyms and more targeted vocabulary development as we progress this week.  Check out all of the universal and small group instruction activities that will be happening!

Concept of Word Pocket Chart Poem:  We use the dots for print matching to develop Concept of Word.

 Notice that I rewrote this poem to include the antonym, "big" to better target vocabulary development and extension.

 Sight words for your pocket chart... I added tens frames to help students with self-checking.

 Play-Doh mats with the same tens frames.  I like to use Wiki Sticks for this type of activity as well!

 Ready for some vocabulary enrichment?  These cards can be used in your pocket chart, to play Concentration or even Go Fish!

Need a quick literacy station? This is an antonym wheel where students match the correct "opposite" that has been glue "dotted" to a clothespin.  

If you haven't heard the traditional Ten Little Dinosaurs rhyme, check it out below.

Happy Teaching this week!
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