Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday (Linky)

Thank you so much Deanna for hosting this weekly linky.   I am loving reading about all the great books that everyone is enjoying!  (And getting some new ideas for sure) .

Oh my goodness,  I could not wait to get home today to share about this awesome book that I finished up last week.    I can not say enough good things about it.  It is such a great read.  I was shocked, I laughed, I cried and really felt the struggles through the characters.    I am talking about the book Wonder by R J Palacio

This book is such a gem.   It was written for middle school ages,  but is an emotional and very special story of acceptance of/ and for all people.    Wonder is a book about August,  a fifth grader who is in his first year of public school after being home schooled for many years.   August's face is severely deformed (from birth) but after much discussion and struggle he and his family agree that it is time to try to go to  school.   The chapters of this book are broken down into the voices of different people in the story.    The amazing thing about this book for me is the growth that we see take place in August and the people (adults and children alike) around him.  August just wants to be "normal" and accepted.   One of my favorite quotes from the book is when August is feeling excited and happy for his sister Via after she played the lead in "Our Town",  he said  "I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their life".   I love that!   

 There are so many positive adult role models in this book who are a champion for August.   As a teacher,  it struck me over and over again at the importance of how we treat children with great need.   We must be their champion.    

This book is obviously written for middle school ages (I think it should be a must read for all middle school children in fact. ),  but ALL will enjoy this special story of love and acceptance.     It is just a terrific book about striving to be better to one another and learning from our mistakes.   It is an uplifting read.  

Hurry!  Go get it now!  

Blessings to you, 


Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Let's Talk About Books Linky

I am linking up today with Deanna Jump's Book Talk Tuesday!   

I am so  excited to share about one of my favorite books ever.  I love the book 
The Day the Crayons Quit!  
One of my favorite things every is that my sweet sister sent this to me as a gift for my class last year.  I had not read it before but it has quickly become one of my favorites.    I have the sweetest sis! 

Quick synopsis :  This is the story of Duncan who open up his crayon box and just wants to color.  But when he opens up his box of crayons,  he only finds letters -  all pretty much saying the same thing.  He crayons have had enough.   They all quit.  Red is tired.  Beige is bored.  Pink wants more color time.  Black wants to be used for more than just outlining. Orange and Yellow aren't talking because each one believes he is the true color of the sun.   Peach is naked (we had a good laugh at that)!   The result of all this letter writing is that Duncan begins to be sure to use his crayons to create a great masterpiece and shows that they all have a purpose.    I will never look at my crayons the same way again!  

Besides enjoying a great story,  this book has many great purposes for Readers and Writers Workshop.    Readers will enjoy learning the parts of a book,  what authors and illustrators do and being able to tell about the events of the story.   I also use this to compare adventures and experiences with other text,  like My Crayons Talk.     Writers will enjoy using this text to learn about adding wonderful illustrations,  backgrounds,  outlining,  good color choice, etc. as well as all kinds of other text features - spacing,  punctuation,  etc..    This book can also be used to teach story structure, such as major events and problem/ solution.   

Overall,  it is a great book to share with your class from the first week of school to the last!   

I would love to hear about your favorite kids books and how you use them!   Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!  

Blessings to you all,

Monday, June 9, 2014

Why I Love Pete the Cat and How You Can too! (freebie included)

Click on the pictures to go to Amazon to get each book!  

Pete the Cat!  Oh he's my favorite!    I hope that you have gotten to know or will come to know and love this adorable cool cat as much as I do!   This series of books are so near and dear to me.  It is absolutely one of the first books that I read to my students.    The reason why is there are so many amazing character lessons to help get our classroom off to a great start to the year.     Because no matter what,  it's all good!   You can hear my students repeatedly throughout the year using the phrasing,  Groovy!,  Did Pete Cry,  goodness no...?      ____ may come and ______ may go.. , but we keep on singing (working) all day long.
We read Pete the Cat I Love my White Shoes first thing and then we go on a tour of the school to see if we can find him.  He has "left" various colored shoes with information on them for us to follow his trail as we learn about the different parts of the school.    The shoes lead us back to the classroom where Pete has left us a treat (a bag of skittles usually) and a note.  We then read the book Pete the Cat Rockin' in My School Shoes and talk about the different parts of the school that we saw guessing what it was that Pete saw.  Click here to get this really cute set:   Pete the Cat School Tour!

As we begin to create our class rules,  we talk about how Pete handled struggles in his day.  Did Pete cry?...  what could we do if something happens,  etc...  It is amazing to me how they always pick up so quickly on how to make a better choice because of their Pete connections.

I use Pete everywhere throughout my classroom.   I have two different sets of Pete Classroom decor in my TpT store if you are interested.   The newest is with some awesome primary color backgrounds.  So cute..     I have so many Pete themed products that encourage my students to always do their best and to make it a groovy day.      Here are some of my favorites.  Click the pictures to find them in my store.  I hope that you like them too!

That Cute Cat Classroom Decor in Primary Colors :
This is on sale for the next 48 hours in my TpT store!  

My Original Pete the Cat Classroom Bundle ( Be sure to read the details to see all the great items that are in this bundle!  )

One of my favorite activities at the beginning of the year is learning to know the difference between a letter,  a word and a sentence.  I created this activity to help my students get a much better grasp on it.   I introduce it as a small group activity and then it moves to my pocket chart center and we add a response sheet to help students stay accountable and help me to quickly know if they are understanding the difference between a letter, a word and a sentence.   I have heard such great positive feedback on this activity!    Is It a Letter, Word or Sentence Sort?


I have so many other ways that I use Pete throughout the year!  Be sure follow my blog and FB  page to stay updated on the latest things going on in my groovy room!

I want to thank you for following my blog and keeping up with what's going on  in my world.  Here is a wonderful set of Pete the Cat Thank You cards and a To Do List to help you stay organized.  



I would love to hear who you use Pete with your kiddos and any questions, suggestions or ideas you have!

Blessings to you all,