Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday: The CAFE Book

Summer is almost over. AH! Where did the time go?

Okay, it is book talk Tuesday and I want to share an awesome resource with you!

The CAFE Book is written by Gail Boushey and Joan Moser ("The Sisters"). They are also the authors of The Daily 5. I've been a supporter and user of The Daily 5 for the last two years and decided I wanted to take it to the next level when I start my year in second grade.

This book will help focus my reading instruction, engage students in active learning, and take my reading workshop to the next level. If you haven't read The Daily 5 or The Café Book - they are a must read.

This book breaks down different reading strategies into four categories for students (and teachers ;) ): comprehension, accuracy, fluency, expanding vocabulary. Then it gives specific examples of what strategies students should learn to improve in these four areas. The book provides all the materials references, or you can find loads on TpT or Pinterest.

Now that I know how to spice things up with Power Point, I created these fun posters to use for my CAFE Menu instead of the ones provided. Click the link to grab and enjoy yourself.


My new goal is to create a four week unit for the beginning of the year encompassing the following:
*The Daily 5 Procedures
*The Café Menu Procedures
*Character Education/Classroom Community Building
*Read Alouds, Activity Pages, & any other materials listed in ONE place!!

Think I can do it? Let's see what the next 38 days bring!!

Link up with Deanna Jump by clicking the picture below.


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Tuesday, July 8, 2014


Hello! It is book talk Tuesday! I'm so excited to share my latest project with you!

So I'm working at Sonlight Child Learning Center for the summer (I've been coming back for many years because I LOVE the people and the CHILDREN!). Anyway, I was with the Pre-k kids today and the director told me I could plan something fun for them to do if I wanted. Of course I jumped on the opportunity. I choose to do a mini character education lesson.

First, I looked through all my favorite read aloud books and picked a book I thought they would love and learn from. I chose Something Beautiful by Sharon Dennis Wyeth. IT IS ONE OF MY FAVORITES! (click the picture to grab on Amazon)

The book teaches students about being good citizens, self-esteem, and empathy. It reminds the reader that they are something beautiful. Something that when you have it, your heart is happy. Because I was in pre-k, I focused on the letter B, reading the word beautiful, and the lesson that they are something beautiful.

We took a picture walk and made predictions. Then I introduced the book vocabulary (beautiful, launderette, and courtyard). After that, we look at the word beautiful and made a list of other words that also start with the letter b (we started with their classmates). Finally, I read the story and allowed them to share the reading when I came to the word beautiful.

They loved the story!

After reading, we made a list of the things we thought were beautiful. Here is it!

One little darling even said, "When my dad gets off of work in time to come to my soccer game, it makes my heart happy. So that is something beautiful!"

They just melt your heart -- it really was "something beautiful".

Next we worked on our handwriting. I didn't grab a picture of their precious handwriting, but this is the page we used.

Finally, I let them create a self-portrait because they are all SOMETHING BEAUTIFUL!

Look how cute this one is!!!

I'm so excited to share with you the Character Education Mini Unit I created to go with the book Something Beautiful. This book teaches citizenship, self-esteem, and empathy (caring). It would be an excellent first six weeks unit or could be used as the monthly character education theme.

Character Education Vocabulary
Character Education Vocabulary Cards for Word Wall
Story Vocabulary
Story Vocabulary Cards for Word Wall
Handwriting and Sight Word Practice for the Letter B and Word Beautiful
Synonyms Graphic Organizer for Beautiful
Cut and Paste Words for Synonyms Graphic Organizer (for differentiation)
My Something Beautiful Picture Organizer
My Something Beautiful Writing Prompt
I'm Something Beautiful because... Writing Prompt
10 Reasons Why I'm Something Beautiful
I'm Something Beautiful Portrait Paper Craftivity

All the activities are ready to use, just print and copy! Great for back to school.

If you want to link up and share great books too, click the button below!


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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Workin' on it Wednesday: Back to School

I'm linking up with Kindergals for Workin' on it Wednesday! I missed last week because I was traveling and enjoying friends and family. Now that I am back, I wanted to show you what some hours in an airport can lead to... BACK TO SCHOOL ESSENTIALS!

I know, I know, you are probably not ready to start thinking about going back to school, but this pack is going to rock your world. It is filled with activities and fun for an easy, stress free (as much as humanly possible of course) first week of school. I used many of the activities this year and we had a blast. I can't wait to try the rest in August (AHH!).

This back to school unit contains 11 great back to school activities for the first week of school. Not only are they great for the first week of school, but also present many learning opportunities! There are differentiated versions of all activities to meet your students needs. Just print this great pack and USE! ENJOY!


>>>Click the picture to grab<<<

Included Materials:

Directions for all activities.

Sample pictures for activities.

-Classroom Banner Activity (Kindergarten, 1st Grade, & 2nd Grade Templates)
-Classroom Bulletin Board Craft
-All About Me Poster

-Get to Know You Graph (Favorite Ice Cream Flavor)
-The "Scoop" on Skip Counting Teambuilding Activity or Center Activity  (5s, 10s, & 2s)

-My Hopes and Dreams (graphic organizer and writing paper)
-A Letter to My Teacher (two versions for differentiation)

-Hive 5 Reader's Review (two versions for differentiation)
-The Giving Tree Reader's Theater

Language Arts
-A "Scooper" Classmate or A Super Classmate (adjectives)
-"Scooper" Student Actions or Super Student Actions (verbs)

After your purchase, earn TpT credits to redeem on future purchases by leaving quick feedback.

I'm really excited about this unit. It is so user friendly. All you have to do is print and use. Makes my first week planning a breeze. Students love the educational, hands-on activities and I enjoy a stress-free (as much as allowed) return to school. Hope you check it out!

If you want to link up or check out other great blogs, click the picture below.

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday - The Great Fuzz Frenzy

Hello! It is book talk Tuesday! I missed last Tuesday because I was traveling to see friends. Here are some of the highlights!

First stop - MISSISSIPPI! I flew into Memphis and Abigail picked me up. We HAD to get some ribs on Beale Street before we headed to Lexington, MS.

The next day, I was able to meet up with one of my previous students. She is such a sweet girl and so is her family.

Abigail and I hit up Cups for coffee in Jackson the next day while shopping and checking out some consignment stores. We also stopped at Mellow Mushroom for some delicious pizza!

After my wonderful visit in the 'sip, I headed to Chicago to see Ali and Cheryl! We went to the aquarium and saw the bean.

(Cheryl and I also went shopping.... good thing I didn't have to check my bag for the drive home....)

My mom and uncle met me and we drove to see family that live near Chicago. At the end of the 10 days, I was ready to come home! It was wonderful to see my friends and family. I already miss everyone!

Now, back to the real world! I was able to go see my classroom. Pictures to come! I hauled in a few more boxes and found the book I wanted to talk about this week.

This week I thought I'd share one of my FAVORITE read-aloud books. The kids absolutely love listening to this story and I have a lot of fun reading it. It is a great book to use when building classroom culture, teamwork, and empathy.


In the story, a dog drops his tennis ball down a prairie dog hole. The prairie dogs are not sure what to do, until someone pokes it. Then, they all poke and pull to get the fuzz off. It starts a fight. In the end, they have to work together to rescue one of their own. It has neat pull open pages and silly illustrations. It is always a class favorite. Click the picture to grab it on amazon. ENJOY!

Link up with Deanna Jump by clicking the picture below.


Check out my Tutoring Toolkit for a comprehension story cube!
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P.S. Did you know that if you leave feedback on purchased TpT products you earn TpT credits which you can redeem on your next purchase? I used all my feedback-leaving credits to buy some awesome products for my 2nd grade classroom. Happy feedback leaving!