Places You Can Go with Books - Dr. Seuss & Social Studies

http://teach123-school.blogspot.com/

Oh! the Places You'll Go! by Dr. Seuss is a book that the social committee at my former school gave to members of the staff when they moved away.  This was the perfect gift because it is full of advice when you are beginning a new adventure. 

When we start a new journey, we often need to be reminded of those things we've heard our parents, teachers, and others tell us.  In true Dr. Seuss fashion, he dispenses his timely wisdom in this book that can be easily used by a child who is moving to a new state, a student beginning college, or a adult who just retired.

(Click on picture)


This is one of my favorite memes.  As a teacher, you would think I was one of those kids who instantly loved reading and was in the blue birds group in first grade.  You couldn't be further from the truth.  I did not fall in love with reading, for reading's sake until 3rd grade.  Up until this point, reading was a chore, much like making my bed.  Something I had to do because some authority figure told me I had to do it.  There was no love or interest on my part - whatsoever!  I often think as teachers we think a student who isn't a strong reader must have a learning disability.  Granted, a learning disability can cause frustration when a child is learning to read.  But, there are many students who aren't zooming up the reading levels because of a lack of interest or connection.  

So what changed you ask?  In 3rd grade, my teacher read the Little House on the Prairie series to my class.  At the time, the t.v. show based on this series of books with Melissa Gilbert was popular.  People told me that I looked like Melissa Gilbert.  Basically we both had brown hair and freckles.  But, I could completely relate to Laura from the book because she seemed to get in trouble with little effort on her part.  Her father seemed to understand her best.  Once I bought my first Little House on the Prairie book from the book order my passion for reading was ignited.  The more I read, the more my fluency improved, the more I wanted to read, my comprehension and reading level improved and it continued from there.  It was this long line of cause and effect.  You start the chain of reaction and positive things happen!  

I have this life long love of reading.  My husband at one point in our almost 25 years of marriage made a separate category in our electronic checkbook for books.  One year he asked me if I realized how much I had spent the previous year on books.  I looked at him and said, "And your point is . . . .? "  The first few things I look for when we move with my husband's job transfers is the number of local libraries, used book stores, and thrift stores with a good selection of books.  Can you relate?

When we moved to Chicago from Texas, our daughter was going through adjustments.  It is hard moving to a new state, new home, new school, new climate, both parents with new jobs, and all of the other adjustments.  The social worker at my school was one of those amazing types who went above and beyond for everyone.  My daughter didn't go to my school but my social worker had chatted with her when she was helping in my classroom.  I had asked my social worker if she had any advice for me to help my daughter.  She and the sweet librarian at my school gathered several books that had characters who had moved to a new school for my daughter to read. These characters gave my daughter someone she could relate to when she was having a tough time.  Books are a friend in good times and bad!

Books are a magical place to me!  You can travel back in time, to the future or to distant lands  . . .  all from the convenience of your classroom or home.

Have you seen this?



Kara @ Happy Go Lucky made this adorable sign and even made it into bookmarks, too.  I thought you might like to print it and share it with your co-workers and students. I love it! 

Don't forget to enter my Dr. Seuss Mega Giveaway!  I will announce the winner on my Facebook page on the 25th.  



Looking for more tips?  Check out my Dr. Seuss Read Across America Pinterest board.  Click on the picture below.


Did you know that there is a big TPT site wide sale this week?  It is time to go to "my purchases" and leave feedback so you can earn credits to use at the sale.  My entire store will be marked down 20%.  Use code HEROES and save an additional 10%.  I am already wish listing a bunch of goodies that I plan to buy!

Click HERE to visit my store.

Be sure and visit my store because I plan to add a new freebie that will be perfect for Read for America.

Fern has a few tips to share with you, too.  Hop over to her blog!


Each week, Fern and I will share a teacher tip. We love to read teacher blogs and the latest teacher idea books and hope you do, too!  Stop by Fern's blog and my blog each week for our latest tips.  We hope you will share your ideas, too.  

How do you celebrate Read Across America?

Looking for more ideas?  Click on the pictures below.





Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE. Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Eye Spy: Hands on fun for Guided Reading and more!


Novelty has always been my best strategy for keeping students' attention.  Something new, different, and fun sparks an interest, engages students more which means less discipline issues.  And you know what that means, right?  You get to go home at the end of the day feeling like a teacher instead of a law enforcement officer.

On some of my most trying days . . . you know those days when you feel like you couldn't put one foot in front of the other, I did the exact opposite.  I knew that it was time to do a little retail therapy. I don't always find teachery stuff at the local teacher supply store.  Let me show you a few of my goodies I found.  It's kind of like a game of "Eye Spy" when I go shopping.


I found these googly eyes at Hobby Lobby.  I love the colorful ones.  These are fun manipulatives that are sure to catch your students' eye and hold their attention!


On one of my more challenging days, I went with my husband to the Bass Pro Shop so he could dream and drool over the boats.  While he was dreaming, I was wandering up and down the aisles when I found a large barrel of rubber worms.  Of course, I had to reach in and feel them which made the wheels begin to spin in my head.  I thought these would be fun for my students to arrange into letters, numbers, and words.  Sure enough!  They were a hit.  My boys especially loved it when I squirted a little water on them which made them seem squishy and more real.

Did you notice the green thing that the worms are sitting on?  This is rubber shelf liner.  You can find this at Dollar Tree.  Cut them into small rectangles.  I usually cut mine 12 - 18 inches.  These give students a defined work space and noisy and round manipulatives stay on these better.


Did your Mom have a adding machine with tape when you were growing up?  My Mom did and it was one of my favorite things to play with.  I used to get an old Sear Roebuck catalog and "shop".  I would add up all of my purchases on that adding machine.

Today families no longer use these rolls of tape.  I often find yellowed rolls of tape for sale at thrift stores.  These are a great addition to your word work center.


I spent a lot of time at fabric stores when I was growing up because my Grandma loved to sew.  She made most of my clothes when I was young.  I was at Joann's Fabrics when I saw a tracing wheel.  Tracing wheels come in a smooth (blunt) edge and a serrated edge.  The smooth edge is fun to use with playdough.

Do you have students that have trouble staying on the lines of their paper?  Trace the lines of their paper with a serrated tracing wheel.  They will be able to feel the line.


Do you have too many groups this year with too little time to meet with them?  One thing that will save time is improving how you distribute needed materials.  Something as simple as a lazy susan can save valuable minutes.


Does it seem like you have become Charlie Brown's teacher?  All your kids hear is "wah wah wah wah".  Then it is time for a new attention getter.  I found this xylophone at the Dollar Store.  The nice thing about a xylophone is you can have different chimes/songs/tunes mean different things.  Two taps on the red can mean "it is getting too loud".  Two taps on the green can mean "time to clean up".  Your students will quickly learn to "march to your tune"!

I hope you have been joining us each month for our Bright Ideas Blog Hop.  My friends and I enjoy sharing ideas with you.  Don't forget to pin these to your Pinterest board so you'll have them handy when you need them.


I hope you will follow me on Facebook, Pinterest, and Bloglovin' so you don't miss out when I share more ideas and freebies!

Looking for more ideas?  Click on the pictures below to visit my friends.




Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE. Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Dr. Seuss - Cat in the Hat Giveaway, FREEBIE, and Resources



One of my favorite ways to look for new ideas for lessons is to do a little shopping.  I was at Hobby Lobby and Party City last week when I saw some stuff that I thought would be perfect for a Dr. Seuss unit.  I know many teachers have plans for Dr. Seuss since it will soon be time for Read Across America.  The best thing about my shopping trip is one lucky teacher will win all of the fun stuff I found.  


Many of your students are familiar with the book, The Cat in the Hat.  It is a book that many parents read to their children before they go to school.  Why not introduce the book and your Dr. Seuss unit a new way?  I love to use feely bags.  Feely bags get volunteers up and moving to feel what is in the bag.  With the weather and inside recesses, you are probably looking for some activities with movement, right? Allow volunteers to put their hands in the bag, feel the object, describe it (great for enforcing your lesson about adjectives), and guess what is in the bag.  You can even have several different bags - maybe even set up a station with them.  Many of the objects in The Cat in the Hat are objects you have at home or in the classroom.  I found some fun ones on my shopping trip which I will mail to the winner of the giveaway.  In the picture is a hat, house, wooden box, ship/boat, and milk.  


The winner will also get a Cat in the Hat bulletin board set, border, children's wearable hats (30), 36 paper cutout hats, stickers, and Cat in the Hat fabric.  I give suggestions for using the fabric in the FREEBIE I made today.  You can also use the fabric as background on a bulletin board.


All of these fun things inspired me to make a new packet of cat themed lessons.  


 Rhyme Climb is a new activity that will save you time.  All you need to do is make one copy for each student in your class.  You can differentiate the assignment with the 9 extension cards included.  You can see 3 of the cards in the picture above.  I explained this differentiation system HERE.

Here is a larger picture of a Rhyme Climb assignment.


Students will practice making real and nonsense centers with the Sentence Shuffle Fluency Center.  I like to use green and red puff balls that students put where the sentence begins and ends.  There is also an extension assignment.  Students will record some the sentences that they made on one of the 3 recording sheets.  There are 3 different ones so you can differentiate.  I also more Fluency Centers for grades K-5.


You can also set up these fluency centers as file folder games.  These work great when you have a small classroom or use them with your early finishers.  I have used them when I assess my students at report card time.  Click HERE to read my tips.



Use the mini book with your Guided Reading group or small group.  Then send it home for homework.



My students have always enjoyed playing charades.  It is another one of those activities that gets them up and moving.  You can also play it at inside recess.  There are 12 picture cards included with the ABC order center.  

  • Put the pictures in a sack.  Let a volunteer pick a card and then act it out.  The volunteer will call on 2 people to ask the volunteer QUESTIONS.  You need to emphasize the QUESTION part.  They are not guessing the answer.  They will ask a question about what the person is acting out.Students will write down their answer on a piece of paper or white board.  This helps with the blurting out problem.  They will ask a question about what the person is acting out.
  • Example:  If the person was acting out reading a book, a student might ask the volunteer "is this something that you can do at school?"
  •  Draw a name from your popsicle cup or however your choose volunteers to act out the next picture.  Once again students will ask 2 questions.

You can set this up as a center or use it as seat work.  There are 2 interactive journal printables included.  Students will read a Dr. Seuss book or a cat book for the Beginning, Middle, and End assignment.  The Cat Fact assignment is an easy way to add an informational text lesson to your plans.


Click HERE if you'd like to read more about this packet. 

Giveaway Guidelines:
  • February 20 - 25
  • Winner will be announced on my Facebook page on February 25th.  
  • The winner will have 24 hours to email me his/her address to claim the prize.
  • If I don't hear from the winner, I will choose another one.  So, watch my Facebook page closely.
  • You will need to comment or like my posts from time to time in order to see them in your newsfeed, too.
a Rafflecopter giveaway



Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE. Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Dr. Seuss Birthday - Read Across America & Social Studies Map Skills


It will soon be time for Dr. Seuss birthday (March 2nd) and you know what that means, right?  It is time for Read Across America.  Read Across America is a great way to integrate social studies with language arts.  I would suggest that you take a little time now to begin gathering some books from different states.  You can talk to your librarian for some extra help or my latest FREE packet has a note you can send home to ask parents for help.


Read Across America can be organized different ways.  One way you can do this is to divide your class into the regions of the United States.  Have these groups read books from their region.  The tub signs are included with the packet.



At the end of the week or unit, let the group share about the books they read.  Students will begin to see how the climate and terrain influenced the stories that they read.


Play "3 Clues".

  • Have students write 3 clues about the state from the book.  You can either use the form below or use notecards.
  • It is helpful if you model how to do this. Example: Read the book - Dancing with Manatees
    • Clue #1: The setting for Dancing with Manatees was set in a state along the coast of the United States.
    • Clue #2: The Crystal River flowed into the Gulf of Mexico.
    • Clue #3:  Manatees live in warm places.
    • What state was setting of this book? (Answer: Florida)
  • Turn in notecards / papers to you.
  • Have each group sit around a map.  You can either use a poster sized one like the one in the picture or click HERE for one you can download. 
  • I made game pieces from foam marshmallow shapes with a sticker on top. (Click below)
  • I used different colored stars so I could see how the team answered each question. Example:  I would draw a red star next to the first question (notecard/paper) that I asked my class, green star on the second question, purple star on the third question, etc.  
  • If you use the downloaded map, students can draw different colored stars.
  • After asking all of the question, go around and check their answers on the map.  The group with the most correct answers wins.
Students take ownership by writing the questions and answers.  You can see what they learned when they worked with their region's group.  Working collaboratively to answer the questions will strengthen their team work skills. 


Click HERE to download this FREE packet.




Need a few ideas for books that are set in different states?  Click on the pictures for more information.



Looking for more tips?  Check out my Pinterest board that has more links to book lists, map games, and more books set in different states..  Click on the picture below.


Come back next week for Part 2 - 
Tips to celebrate Read Across America.

Fern has a few tips to share with you, too.  Be sure to hop over to her blog!


Each week, Fern and I will share a teacher tip. We love to read teacher blogs and the latest teacher idea books and hope you do, too!  Stop by Fern's blog and my blog each week for our latest tips.  We hope you will share your ideas, too.  

How do you celebrate Read Across America?

Looking for more ideas?  Click on the pictures below.






Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE. Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Dental Health Resources and a FREEBIE


February is Dental Health Month. This month is a great time to invite your local dentist to visit your class.  Many of them will even bring a little goodie bag for your students.

Do your students ever lose their teeth at school and then can't find their tooth when it's time to go home?  It can create quite a commotion at dismissal time.  I found these little tooth treasure boxes and tooth necklaces help solve this problem.  Quite a few come with each order, so you may want to ask a teammate to split the order with you. Click on the pictures below for more information.








I know that as teachers we often teach lessons about brushing and flossing teeth this month.  Those lessons are important.  Sometimes we need to reach out to parents, too.

As you are aware, there are many families who do not have access to health care.  Some of these children may be in your class this year.  Did you know that in some communities there is free or low cost dental care available to them?  Often times, parents do without because they are unaware of the resources that are available.  I found a site called America's Dentists Care Foundation that has links to different sponsored events. For example, on May 15-16, 2015, the Arkansas Mission of Mercy will hold an event in Little Rock for children and adults.  The event will provide FREE cleaning, fillings and extractions.  Click HERE to read more about it.  A link to events such as this would be a good thing to add to your class newsletter or website.




If you read my blog on a regular basis, you will know how much I love to integrate curriculum.  This topic is one that I thought would be fun to integrate with figurative language.  Have you ever thought about how many different expressions involve teeth?  Brainstorm a list with your class.  I made a little freebie for you.  You students can match the meaning to the idiom.  Or you can  divide your class into small groups.  Give each group an idiom and have them write a story with each or research the origins of it.  Click HERE to download this freebie.


Looking for more tips?  Check out my February Pinterest board.  Click on the picture below.


Fern has a few tips to share with you, too.  Be sure to hop over to her blog!


Each week, Fern and I will share a teacher tip. We love to read teacher blogs and the latest teacher idea books and hope you do, too!  Stop by Fern's blog and my blog each week for our latest tips.  We hope you will share your ideas, too.  

How do you study Dental Health?

Looking for more ideas?  Click on the pictures below.




Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE. Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

Figurative Language Similes Idioms & FREE Sample

http://teach123-school.blogspot.com/


Do your students have the wiggles?  Is today another inside recess day? Then it is time for the Mystery Hat Game!  It is a fun way to learn figurative language and get the wiggles out at the same time.

Mystery Hat Game:
Students draw an expression out of the hat or choose an expression and make a hat. There are blank hats and a list of expression included.
Students will turn in the hats without stapling the hat. 
Call up one student at a time and put a hat on the student that another student made. 
Do NOT let the student see the expression on the hat.
When all of the students have a hat, the Mystery Hat game will begin.
Students will walk around the room asking their classmates questions about the expression on their hat until they can guess the expression.  There are two different question sheets included so you can differentiate this activity.
Options:
The first student who solves the mystery is the winner.
Play until all of the students know what expression is on their hat.

After everyone has figured out the expression on their hat, have the students stand or sit in figurative language groups.

 
These hats are part of my packet that I just finished.  There are 3 blank hats and a list of idioms of similes (see picture above) that you can use to play the Mystery Hat Game.  To make it extra fun, cut up the list of expressions and put them in a hat.  I love to use visuals like hats with lessons like this.  I think these are the things that give students those hooks to remember these lessons later when they need to remember the information.


There are 2 question sheets included.  Suggestion:  Have you students put one of these answer sheets on their clipboard and then walk around asking their classmates questions on the page about their mystery hat.  The object is to try to figure out what expression is on their hat.


There are also 14 hats with a graphic and idiom written on the hat.  Students will: 
  • Write what the expression means
  • What type of figurative language
  • Use it in a sentence
  • Illustrate the sentence


There are also 14 hats with a graphic and simile written on the hat.  Students will: 
  • Write what the expression means
  • What type of figurative language
  • Use it in a sentence
  • Illustrate the sentence
You can set these hats up as a center, use them as seat work, or give each student a different hat, and then play Mystery Hat Game.  


There are cards with similes and idioms that students can sort in a center.  Answers are included so it can be self-checking center.  


There are 3 different recording sheets for the sorting center so you can differentiate.


There are also 4 different interactive journal printables.  One of the printables is open-ended so you can use it with any type of figurative language.  The other 3 have different expressions written on hats like the one in the picture above.  Students will write what the expression means under the hat.

Click HERE to download a FREE sample.


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Sources to make my blog post graphics can be found HERE. Click HERE to read my blog's disclosure statement.

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