Friday, March 29, 2013

Peeps, Peeps, Peeps

Oh, how I love Peeps! In fact, the Easter bunny always leaves a box of Peeps for each of my kids and a box of Peeps for me (so I don't eat their Peeps).

Imagine my excitement when my good friend, Jennifer (Rowdy in First Grade), shared her For My Peeps: Easter Candy Themed Literacy Stations with me!  Jennifer was one of my first bloggy friends and we've been keeping in touch over the past few years.  From across the country, I waited for her to post wedding pictures, jumped up and down when she got a new car and smiled when the Winter X games came on TV.

Jennifer and her husband just moved (yep, in the middle of the school year).  Been there, done that...ughhh. It is all worth it in the end, but ya know. Perhaps you could stop by and leave my friend a positive message...

Now about those literacy stations...

 They are amazing! We've been doing lots of "how-to" writing this year. My students LOVED writing about how to decorate an egg! Another favorite was the compound word station.  You can check out Jennifer's For My Peeps literacy stations by visiting her Tpt store.

Today is my first day of spring break. I love spring break just about as much as I love Peeps. Ha!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Zippin Down the Freebie Trail

I'm excited to be joining an amazing group of bloggers for Zippin Down the Freebie Trail! Brenda, from Primary Inspired, organized this week full of freebies for all of you. 

We're gearing up for baseball season at our house! In the spirit of opening day, I'm sharing a baseball themed common core math pack today. You can click on the image below if you'd like to download it.

Next stop on the freebie trail is Little Literacy Learners! When you visit Julie (from Little Literacy Learners), she'll direct you to the next stop on the freebie trail. 

Happy hopping!

Monday, March 11, 2013

Mentor Text Monday Linky - Math Mentor Texts

Thanks for stopping by for this weeks mentor text monday linky! I received lots of emails last week asking questions about mentor texts and how I use them. I will answer those as soon as I can. I got attacked by strep throat and a nasty cold last week. Between that and a presentation I did over the weekend, I'm backed up on responding to my emails. Sorry... You can head back to my post from last Monday if you want to download a copy of my list of favorite mentor texts.  You can find that post here.

The mentor texts that I'm writing about today are a few of my favorites for working on math related skills.  The first book is from Stuart Murphy's Math Start series, which I love. I use Tally O'Malley at the beginning of the year when we work on tally marks, then again when we start yes/no surveys (and need to rely on tally marks for data collection).

I use How Many Feet in the Bed? to help me introduce skip counting and number combinations.  My students always love to count how many feet would be in a bed if their whole family climbed in bed together.

The Best Vacation Ever - doesn't that just sound good?  This book is also from the Math Start series.  It is the book that I use to introduce collecting data and surveys.

If you have a favorite math book or two that you like to use as a mentor text with a specific lesson, please link up. Don't be shy! According to the number of emails I received about mentor texts last week, inquiring minds want to know.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mentor Text Monday (#1 Literacy Mentor Texts) + freebie

 Thanks for stopping by for the first Mentor Text Monday! 
The mentor texts that I'm asking everyone to share today (or whenever you get a chance to link up to this post) are any book that you use to help you teach a literacy related topic. I'm doing a whole separate week for writing mentor texts at the end of this 4 week series. There are just so many great mentor texts for specific writing lessons, that I thought they deserved their own week. 

 I recently discovered two (new to me) books that are perfect mentor texts. The first one is Kitchen Dance by Maurie J. Manning. I used this story to introduce the concept of small moment stories and to help my little ones focus on the word choice within the text. I reread it when we started writing small moment stories.
 The second book is called Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack. This is a beautiful story about a boy who rides his bike to visit his grandma each week. My students LOVED the illustrations in this book! I used this book as an example of a personal narrative story and we focused on dialogue in the text.

As promised, I also wanted to share about how I organize the mentor texts that I use in my classroom.  Three years ago,  after switching grade levels and/or rooms for 6 years in a row, I decided that I needed a more organized way to store the books that fit in the "hey, this is a perfect book to teach..." category.  

My mentor text bins are not fancy, but they are organized in a way that saves me tons of time and keeps my favorite books to teach specific topics right at my finger tips.  Each book has a piece of card stock in front of it with the title, author and teaching focus on it.  My bins are organized by the order that I would teach specific topics throughout the year.  

I typed a list of all of the books that are currently in my mentor text bins.  I only keep my favorite books in the bins...ones that I know I will use year after year as mentor texts.  I don't want my bins to be cluttered with "maybe" books.  
Here is the list of my favorite mentor texts.  The list is not in any specific order.  You can click on the image below if you'd like to download a copy.


Sunday, March 3, 2013

Currently March & Mentor Text Monday Announcement

It's that time again! I'm linking up with Farley for the March Currently.
Stop by to visit Farley, at Oh Boy 4th Grade, to read about what everyone is currently doing. 

And...stop back here to visit tomorrow for the first linky party in a 4 part series called Mentor Text Mondays. 

 Tomorrow, I will be posting about a few of my favorite mentor texts to use for literacy mini lessons. I will also be sharing a complete list of my favorite mentor texts. I hope you will visit, link up about your favorite literacy mentor texts and then come back over the next few weeks to link up and/or read about math, science and writing mentor texts.