Sunday, April 15, 2018

Spring Literacy: Book Companion for Stuck by Oliver Jeffers


One of my most favorite spring books is STUCK by Oliver Jeffers!



I just finished updating the activities in my Book Companion pack for the Oliver Jeffers book Stuck. I added a few more pages at the suggestion of a few teacher friends, updated the formatting to maximize the use of space and cleaned up the design and organization. I even added a completely new STEM based retelling activity!


The pack includes three different picture/props for retelling: Large pictures for cutting out, small pictures for attaching to blocks and small foldable 3D pieces.



The story blocks or foldable 3D pictures can also be used for retelling and a Build & Balance STEM based activity! The picture below is what the 3D foldable pieces look like. You'll need a cardboard tube for the trunk ( I rolled brown poster board) and assorted sizes of popsicle sticks (I used about twelve 3"-8" green sticks).



The following block sets (affiliate links included for your convenience) contain blocks that are the proper size blocks to create the story blocks:



Worksheet options include pages for retelling (using pictures and/or words), story elements, main idea, creative drawing & writing, and problem solving.


Don't miss the printable mini book FREEBIE!



Check out my old post about this unit HERE where you can see some more pictures of the activities in action!



Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Literacy Center: Secret Message CVC Words

Looking for something new and unique to add to your classroom literacy centers?! I've got just the thing!


After creating my Secret Message Sight Words activities, I was inspired to create a similar activity for CVC words. It works exactly the same as my Secret Message Sight Word activity:

1. Print & Prep - There isn't really too much to do to get this activity ready. Simply print the word cards on white card stock and laminate for durability. There are 20 word cards divided into two sets; the sets are clearly marked with a shape in the upper right hand corner. Two printing options are included: full color pictures OR black and white outline pictures. However, the cards still MUST be printed in color on white paper for the activity to work properly!

2. Make or Buy a Decoder - Instructions for creating a decoder window from dollar store materials are included; all that you'll need is cards stock, glue, scissors and red cellophane. If you don't feel like making a decoder, it's also possible to purchase a decoder pretty cheaply. See some suggestions below!



3. Choose a Worksheet - Choose and print the recording sheet that is most appropriate for your students. There are many differentiated options so all of your students will be able to enjoy this activity at their level! Options include: write the word in Elkonin boxes, fill in initial, middle and final sounds in Elkonin boxes, write or trace the word with or without lines, color the picture (great for non-writers!), color and trace, and color/say/segment. There's also an answer key so that students can check their own work.

   

4. Set Up & Teach the Center - The activity can be set up as either a Write the Room activity or a stationary literacy center; you decide what's best for you students! Show your students how the activity works; they'll catch on quickly and will actually be eager to read the hidden words!



Still not sure about this activity? Try this Secret Message Sight Words SAMPLE pack that includes 10 Fry sight words and the recording worksheets. It's perfect for a mini literacy center!


To find other Secret Message activities, click on the pictures below:

            




Here are some of the things  you might need to make or buy a red filter decoder:

     

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

A Few of my Favorite Books: Paul Galdone


(Affiliate links included for your convenience)

Despite the fact that I’m a Montessori teacher, I still have a deep love for fairytales and folktales and frequently enjoy sharing these classic stories with my students. My all-time favorite author and illustrator of classic fairytales is Paul Galdone.


His books usually use concise to-the-point language, which is great in special education (i.e. I don’t usually have to drastically modify the story as I read so that my students will understand). And his illustrations are beautiful,  and enhance student comprehension of the story (I hate when the illustrations don't do much for understanding the story!)

Here are a few of my favorite Paul Galdone books:

Goldilocks and the Three Bears

The Three Billy Goat’s Gruff

The Little Red Hen

Three Little Kittens

The Gingerbread Man

Jack and the Beanstalk



I will give a little warning and suggest that you preview his books before reading them aloud so that you're not surprised by the content and/or storyline - specifically Jack & the Beanstalk! While I still love this book, his version includes the giant drinking lots of wine and passing out... I do tend to skip over this part!


Saturday, March 31, 2018

Literacy Centers: Secret Message Activities

My own son was struggling with learning his sight words AND he absolutely hated practicing! So, I started brainstorming fun ways for him to practice his words...

We tried many different ideas from building words with letter magnets to rainbow writing to making them with pipe cleaners... By far, his absolute FAVORITE way to practice words was this Secret Message activity:



Here's how it works:

1. Print & Prep - There isn't really too much to do to get this activity ready. Simply print the word cards on white card stock and laminate for durability. The cards MUST be printed in color for the activity to work!

2. Make or Buy a Decoder - Instructions for creating a decoder window from dollar store materials is included; all that you'll need is cards stock, glue, scissors and red cellophane. If you don't feel like making a decoder, it's also possible to purchase a decoder pretty cheaply.


3. Choose a Worksheet - Choose and print the recording sheet that is most appropriate for your students. There are many differentiated options as well as a blank option to be used with any set of 10 word cards from the pack.

4. Set Up & Teach the Center - The activity can be set up as either a Write the Room activity or a stationary literacy center; you decide what's best for you students! Show your students how the activity works; they'll catch on quickly and will actually be eager to read the hidden words!


Here's a clip of my son practicing his words in the dark before bed using a little red LED flashlight keychain as the decoder:







Still not sure about this activity? Try this Secret Message Sight Words SAMPLE pack that includes 10 Fry sight words and the recording worksheets. It's perfect for a mini literacy center!


To find other Secret Message activities, click on the pictures below:

            



Here are some of the things you might need in order to make or buy a red filter decoder: