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Tacky the Penguin Lesson Plans (plus a free download)

January is such a fun time!  Some of my favorite activities center around January themes!

Several years ago my friend Deedee Wills and I sat down and discussed some of our favorite January read alouds.  Deedee mentioned that she felt as if she was skimming the surface with her read aloud and that she was looking for ways to make her instruction more intentional.  She felt like she was bouncing from one idea to another and not going deep enough.  Does this sound like you?

What we came up with was Guiding Readers.  This transformed her classroom!   Now 2 years later, I'm reaping the benefits of these units that we created in my own classroom.  We also love hearing how other classrooms were transformed.   Listen to this sweet feedback:

“I used one of [your] lessons for my observation a few weeks ago and scored the highest possible rating you can get in my state. My principal LOVED it. I normally do these units, so my kids really rocked it. Thank YOU! You have totally changed my classroom. Teaching is fun again, and my kids are exceeding my expectations!!!!”

When asked if we could share her testimonial, this is now she responded:

“Absolutely yes! And use my whole name if you want to! I feel very strongly about the quality of your reading units! They ROCK! They really can change the way you teach. My biggest eye opener was that my students are capable of so much more then I gave them credit for. They know what an inference is. They can use a Venn diagram. Of course, there are varying levels of readiness, but the presentation of your reading units allow for differentiation. They really move kids along! And did I mention the fun? Thank you again!”

Thank you, Betsy Walsh, for making our day!

A glimpse inside

Each week we focus on one read aloud, and we read it multiple times.  Each day we focus on a different reading comprehension strategy as we peel back the text and go deeper.

For Tacky the Penguin, we start the week with making predictions.

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.

On the second day, we work on recalling text details and retelling the story.  Students work together to put the story in the correct order.
Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.
Once the story is in the correct order, the students practice retelling the story orally with their partner.  They can use the class display to support them if necessary.    Then students create their own retelling strip!
Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.
We also work on unpacking the vocabulary of the text.  This was the word companion.
Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.
With this book, we worked on making connections (plus a cute craft).

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.
I am a good artist because I like art.
We infer!
Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.
Yes, because Tacky saved the day.  It was good.  He was glad.
And naturally, we offer our opinions!
Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.
I liked it when he gave him a good slap on the back because it was funny.

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.
I like the end part because of how they loved Tacky.

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.
I liked when he was an odd bird because it was funny.

Want to try it for FREE?

We created a free version of our Guiding Readers for the book The Mitten by Jan Brett.  You can grab your copy by looking at the end of this post.
Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.

Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.

You can find all of our Guiding Readers resources by clicking HERE.
Winter close reading with your favoite books.  Perfect for kindergarten and first grade.  Reading comprehension, opinion writing and more.  Tacky the Penguin and FREE lesson plans for The Mitten by Jan Brett.
Ready to try out the free unit?   Just add your email in the box below and it will be sent directly to your inbox!  SIMPLE!

Gingerbread Week

For the last few weeks, we have been working on all things Gingerbread!


We spent a few weeks reading and studying Gingerbread stories (Gingerbread Baby and Gingerbread Girl), at the end of the study we had fun creating our Gingerbread Glyphs analyzing the data, and we made Gingerbread houses! 


Our gingerbread glyphs turned out adorable! 


Here's a peek at a few our comprehension activities. Love these student drawings!

   

  

   

 

  

 


And some more pictures of our fun! As you can see, my students LOVED it!

 






  



The reading activities can be found inside my Guiding Readers December pack!



If you're looking to add in some more math and literacy activities, this Gingerbread Unit has over 70 pages of gingerbread fun!


 

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Christmas Calendar Parent Gift

Need a fun and unique gift idea that's quick and easy with no mess? Look no further! This would make the perfect gift for Christmas! Includes calendar pages all the way through December 2017! 




Okay, y'all let's face it, December is a cuh-razy month and the thought of painting 22 hands x 12 times each to do a handprint calendar gives me a serious eye twitch!  These calendar gifts are so much easier!  Here's a peek at one of the calendars we made last year! It turned out SO cute and I know her parents LOVED it!



 

  

    





 This calendar is available to purchase in my TPT Store. Click on the image below!




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