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November in a Snap {FREEBIE}

Happy Halloween!  I hope y'all are surviving the day with your little ghouls and goblins.
I just finished up my November in a Snap packet so I thought I'd drop by and give you a little treat.

You can download a freebie sample of the pack by clicking on the picture below.
The picture above will take you to the unit on TPT.
The unit is on sale until Monday.

Book Talk Tuesday: Silly Tilly

"Tilly was a silly goose," starts this adorable book by Eileen Spinelli. This book takes us on an adventure and shares with us the many silly things that Silly Tilly does.  She likes to kiss fish, take baths in apple juice, comb her feathers with a rake, annoying the rest of the barnyard with her wild antics.  When she sits on Rooster's birthday cake it's the last straw. The other animals tell her that she must stop all her nonsense and behave like everyone else. Sadly, she complies with their demands and the group soon realize that her behavior is what made living on the farm so much fun. "Hetta Hen remarked, I haven't laughed since-when? - since Tilly chased the garbageman!"

Realizing they were wrong to make Tilly try and be just like them, all the animals apologize. Tilly resumes her harmless pranks, and once again entertains the entire barnyard with her shenanigans.

This is a great book for helping children understand that it's okay to be different and that you shouldn't try to change just to fit in.  A great story of friendship and accepting each other's differences.

Book Talk Tuesday: The Book with No Pictures

 B.J. Novak from The Office fame has branched out as an author of a children’s books. And his first book is a book with no pictures. A book with NO PICTURES?  YES!  And it is hilarious!  Your kids will want you to read it again and again.  Novak is trying to teach your children what reading is really about. It’s about words on the page, and your students are  forced to rely on you (the reading-aloud adult) for entertainment. True to its title Novak’s book features no illustrations, just words in large typeface floating on the pages. “It might seem like no fun to have someone read you a book with no pictures,” the book states, before explaining how picture books work: “Everything the words say, the person reading the book has to say. No matter what.” Pretty quickly you will be pronouncing silly words, making fun of yourself (“I am a robot monkey”) and praising the child as “the best kid ever in the history of the entire world.” 

You can watch him read the book by clicking on the video below.  

If you have a book you'd like to share, you can link up below or leave a comment.
Happy Tuesday, y'all!

Halloween unit completely revised! and FREE downloads

If you already own my Halloween unit you will want to head on over to TPT because I just revised the WHOLE thing and it almost doubled in size.  :)
Click HERE to download the revised unit.
If you don't already own it... it's on sale until Friday!

Click on Frankie to download a free labeling sheet.

click on the image below to download four fun Halloween songs to the tune of "Bingo"

Happy Monday, Y'all!

How to make a Rekenrek

Last week at my conference I shared the rekenrek my husband made me and I promised to post directions.  I gave the ones he made me away as door prizes and I forgot to take a picture.  
Thankfully someone else took a picture at the conference.
There are many different versions of rekenreks that you can make.
My friend, Kim Adsit has this version that I really like but I wanted something a little taller with wider legs, so I had my husband change things up a little bit.

These are really easy to make and inexpensive!  It cost about $12.00 to make.

List of materials:
Two different colored pool noodles
2-  10" pieces of  1/2"" pvc pipe 
2 elbows
4 T joints
4 end covers

To assemble:
Cut your pipe in the sizes listed above.
Measure and cut your pool noodles.
I made mine using 1 1/2" cuts
you will need 10 of each color
NOTE: 2 pool noodles will make 3 rekenreks

If you're wondering what in the heck a rekenrek is you can download this great resource for FREE HERE!  It has tons of activities that you can use with your rekenrek.  

Enjoy the rest of your week!

Phoneme Segmentation! Make and Take Freebie and Book Talk Tuesday

Segmenting words is an important skill that we work on throughout the year.
Kids need a variety of hands on ways to work on this skill in order to make it more concrete.

We use a variety of manipulatives to work on phoneme segmentation.
Building words with unifix cubes as we say each sound,  stretching the words with a slinky,
sliding a pony bead for each sound and using our stretchy the word stretcher (as seen above).
To make the word stretchers you need the template (below) a pipe cleaner and four Perler Biggie beads.  These Biggie Beads are on sale at Amazon (the link is below) and there are enough beads to make 300 of these!  So grab your teammates and share a bucket of beads.  :)

To use these you would have your students start with all of the beads by the tail end of the snake.
Then say the word, cat and ask how many sounds do you hear?
So how many beads do we need to push?
Let's push a bead as we say each sound.
/c/  /a/  /t/   
Then as you blend the word together and say, cat you push all the beads back to the right.
I use these in the beginning of the year to develop phonemic awareness and then I use them throughout the year for those little ones who have a difficult time stretching words in their head and writing the letters that represent the sounds.  This gives them a concrete model for stretching words because I can say,  which sound did you say when you pushed the first bead?
Write it on your paper.

They also love working with the Stretchy the Word Snake mat.
To use this mat you will need three cars (or three chips) so that they can push a car up each time they say a sound.  Make sure you have them blend the word together at the end.
The video below shows another way to use the mat.
In the video, Madison is using a magnetic wand and magnetic chips.
They LOVE this one!


another great strategy that I learned when I used Fundations was finger tapping where they touch their fingers to their thumb for each sound.  For example, cat would be pointer finger to thumb for /c/ middle finger to thumb for /a/ and ring finger to thumb for /t/.
They could also tap out the word on a table.
I gave them little plastic Dollar Tree hammers and they could pound out the word on the table.

Click on the picture below to download the Stretchy the Snake word mats.

My Book Talk Tuesday selection this week is a Professional Development book that is so helpful when we have those struggling readers and writers.  

When Readers Struggle: Teaching That Works is a comprehensive resource on struggling readers. It's filled with specific teaching ideas for helping children in kindergarten through Grade 3 who are having difficulty in reading and writing.
We want these young students to think and behave like effective readers who not only solve words skillfully but comprehend deeply and read fluently. To achieve our goal, we need to place them in situations in which they can succeed and then provide powerful teaching. Gay Su Pinnell and Irene Fountas offer numerous examples and descriptions of instruction that can help initially struggling readers become strategic readers. When Readers Struggle: Teaching That Works focuses on small-group intervention and individual interactions during reading and writing. Pinnell and Fountas also illustrate how to closely observe readers to make the best possible teaching decisions for them as well as how to support struggling readers in whole-class settings.

Spider Fun! Throwback post with FREEBIES!

Click HERE to download the graph.

Click HERE to download the spider book.

We read lots of poems.  Our favorite poems are the ones that use our names.

Pumpkin Read Alouds :Book Talk Tuesday

From Seed to Pumpkin

Pumpkins can be baked in a pie, carved into jack-o'-lanterns, and roasted for a healthy snack. But how does a tiny seed turn into a big pumpkin? With clear text and detailed, colorful illustrations, this book explains what a pumpkin seed needs to help it grow! This book also includes delicious pumpkin recipes and easy experiments to do with pumpkin seeds.

How Many Seeds in a Pumpkin?
Here is an adorable picture book for curious kids, which explores skip counting and estimation in a fun pumpkin-themed classroom experiment. "How many seeds are in a pumpkin?" Mr. Tiffin asks his class as they gather around the big, medium, and small pumpkins on his desk. Robert, the biggest kid, guesses that the largest one has a million seeds; Elinor, sounding like she knows what she's talking about, guesses the medium one has 500 seeds; and Anna, who likes even numbers better than odd ones, guesses that the little one has 22. Charlie, the smallest boy in the class, doesn't have a guess. Counting pumpkin seeds is messy business, but once the slimy job is done, to everyone's surprise, the smallest pumpkin has the most seeds! As Charlie happily exclaims, "Small things have a lot going on inside of them." This book makes a wonderful read-aloud companion to any math or science curriculum, and it's a fun way to reinforce counting skills at home.

Pumpkin Jack
This is the perfect book for teaching about the life cycle of a pumpkin.
When Tim carves his first pumpkin, he names it Jack. When it finally begins to decay, he puts it in the garden rather than in the trash bin. As the months go by, Jack grows moldy, sinks into the leaves, hides in the snow, and finally sprouts a new plant. By the next fall, there are plenty of pumpkins for Tim to share at school. He keeps just one for himself and when he finishes carving it, he says "Welcome back, Jack!"

I put this book in the Science center with our very own Pumpkin Jack.  The kids record the changes they see taking place in their pumpkin science journal and also match what our Pumpkin Jack looks like to the illustrations in the book.  You can see our pumpkin Jack experiment below.

Too Many Pumpkins
Rebecca Estelle, had to eat lots of different  pumpkin dishes during her poor childhood, and now she hates them so much that when a pumpkin accidentally falls into her yard, she shovels dirt over it so she won't have to see or think about it again. In spite of all her efforts to try and bury the pumpkin, she has a yard FULL of them in the fall. Instead of letting the pumpkins go to waste she makes all of the pumpkin dishes from her childhood and carves the jack o'lanterns and invites her neighbors over to share in the festivities.  This is one of my favorite books!

Batty Over Bats!

Happy Monday Y'all!  This is a throwback post about another unit that I LOVE to teach during the month of October.  BATS!!  Oh, my word!  I absolutely love bats.
Okay.  I'll admit that I wouldn't really want to meet one up close and personal but they are fascinating and little ones love learning all about them.
If you already have my bat unit you'll want to head on over to TPT and download the updates that I just added to the unit.  The link is at the end of this post.

We always start our nonfiction units with a schema chart.  This is a great way to activate their background knowledge and find out what they THINK they already know.
Everyone's thinking is valued.  As we read nonfiction books and learn about bats we add our new learning to the chart and IF we find out that their schema doesn't fit then we move it to the misconceptions box.

I always teach about owls the week before we learn about bats so this is the perfect time to compare and contrast the two animals.
I just added the pieces for the venn diagram to the unit.

Out bat books.  The kids love recording all of the cool facts they've learned in their very own book that they can take home and share.

Their is a link in the unit for a super easy echolocation experiment.

This song is one of my favorites!  But I have to warn you it is one of those songs that gets stuck in your head. FOR.DAYS.  


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