Sunday, June 26, 2016

Weekly Summer Link-Up #1: Canadian Book/Resources Week

Hi everyone, and Welcome to the first week of my Weekly Summer Link-Up 2016!

Please join in for ANY or ALL weeks that appeal to you.

In honour of Canada day this Friday, this week is intended to feature Canadian books. I'd REALLY prefer if your post was more about a book than about the awesome product you sell, but you can of COURSE share a product, just try not to make it the focus of the post you link up with me below.

Here is a reminder of all the coming topics. Below you will find the links to my prepared posts for each week. If it doesn't work, that means you are clicking on it before it is live. You're an eager beaver!

Now...  Onto MY Canadian Book Week Post!

For my post, I chose a book by one of my FAVOURITE Canadian Children's authors, Robert Munsch!

I have loved this author since I was in Elementary school and he CAME to my school to read some of his books to us. It was EPIC! Of course, I didn't use that word back in the late 80's, I probably said it was "so neat" "so cool" or maybe "awesome", although I'm not sure I was using awesome as my go to word just yet.

I know he read Paperbag Princess to us, and I'm pretty sure he read Mud Puddle (I can't believe the cover is changed!)....

But this post is not dedicated to either of these classics, I chose a book he wrote after a visit to my beautiful province, Nova Scotia.

Do you know which book? I hadn't learned of it until recently, in fact it's one of his newer books, and therefore didn't exist when I was a kid and idolized how he read stories. (To this day, I try to read like him when reading his books and others written in a similar style).

What book?
This very touching story is the story of a little girl and her father's night after the funeral of her grandfather. The little girl learns a lot about her father's memory of her grandfather and this lighthouse during this night, and gets to experience the memories with her father. It's a touching story of saying goodbye. Click on the title of the book above to read the lovely story about how Robert Munsch came to write this story, and hear him read the book to you. I will give you a hint. It has to do with a drawing a little girl left for him at a library reading.

This book is beautifully illustrated as well. I particularly love this page showing the pair climbing the stairs of the lighthouse.

There are so many ways to use this particular book in the elementary classroom. It could simply be read as one of many in a Robert Munsch author study, it could be read along with a series of books depicting Nova Scotian or Canadian symbols, or it could be read to the class that is experiencing grief. Maybe because one student alone has experienced a great loss, or if there has been a devastating loss to the school or community which all students are feeling.

Today I'm going to discuss this book in the sense of loss.

Sarah, the girl in this book, says goodbye to her grandfather in touching ways. 1. She climbs to the top of the lighthouse which meant so much to her grandfather and father and calls for her grandfather. 2. She throws a flower from his funeral out to the ocean in a spot that was special to him. 3. She slept beside a picture of him and her father at that spot.

If your student(s) experience loss, perhaps reading this book and doing some of these activities will help them through their grief:

1. Talk about their happy memories of that person, and share with both those who knew them, and those who are there for you.
2. Visit a place which gives them warm feelings for that person (an activity more suited for home, of course)
3. Send something to the person: a flower like Sarah, or perhaps a balloon, a letter (sent either through the mail or burnt as in some customs), or a song performed in their memory at a memorial.
4. Locate and share pictures of the person to look at.

The above ideas match the book, but there are other ideas which might help.
I like the idea of keeping a journal where you can write down either memories of the person or letters to them to let them know how you are feeling. There are several versions of this available on teacherspayteachers by some awesome teacherpreneurs, so I won't make my own, but you can easily look up "grief" and find whatever you want.

If you'd prefer to do a study on grief, I recommend also reading Velveteen Rabbit and The Giving Tree. It would be so easy to do a Venn diagram comparing any two of these. These two on their own or together can also help give your students a chance to talk about their grief in school.

I dearly hope none of you have to deal with this, but statistically speaking, many of us will need to be equipped to deal with the circumstances.


Now it's your turn! Add your link below to join the party and share your Canadian book!

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Friday, June 24, 2016

Summer Reading Series: My Book Blast

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to my new Summer Feature!

Every Friday I will be republishing a post by a fellow teacher-blogger featuring a book or books. I will also be sharing the bloggers answers to some questions for an interview section. If you would be interested in being a featured blogger this summer, please click THIS LINK and follow the directions on that page. I hope to hear from you soon!

Two Teacher Friends

Now onto the third feature.

Today's Post comes from Carrie from My Book Boost.

What was your favourite teaching moment and why?
Seeing improvement in the students' writing when you compare the beginning of the year to the end.

Who was your favourite teacher and why?
My favorite teacher was my 5th grade teacher, Mr. Meloy. He was caring, approachable, and had a sense of humor.

What would your Superhero name be and why?
My superhero name would be "Regenerative Wonder" because I'm always trying to think of ways to help the earth.

What animal do you think would make a great teacher and why?
An animal I think would make a great teacher would be a turtle because "slow and steady wins the race" when it comes to learning new skills. 

If you could have any other job, what would it be and why?
If I could have any other job, it would be something related to helping the environment, like resource management.


Ish Book Review
Originally Published January 23, 2015


You may be wondering, what does it mean when something is “-ish”? Basically, this story says it is something that closely resembles something. For example, if a room is pretty clean, but not perfectly clean, you could call it “clean-ish”. In the context of the book, it’s referring to when you draw. Kinda like my drawings of horses. They look horse-ish.

Peter H. Reynolds is fast becoming one of my favorite children’s book authors. The takeaways from his stories are useful for both adults and children. Ish is no exception. And I’m kind of a sucker for a book that rewards effort and perseverance over perfection.

I also really enjoy what happens between the sister and brother in the story. Without giving away too much, it appears that Marisol really looks up to her big brother Ramon.

“Tree-ish” is one illustration from the book.

Have you come across this book yet? If you haven’t read it yet, I’d recommend finding it fast-ish. (;


P.S. My latest resource is Ish Comprehension Questions and Reading Responses:

Friday, June 17, 2016

Summer Reading Series: Glimmercat

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to my new Summer Feature!

Every Friday I will be republishing a post by a fellow teacher-blogger featuring a book or books. I will also be sharing the bloggers answers to some questions for an interview section. If you would be interested in being a featured blogger this summer, please click THIS LINK and follow the directions on that page. I hope to hear from you soon!

Two Teacher Friends

Now onto the second feature.

Today's Post comes from Christina Morrison from Glimmercat Education.

What was your favourite teaching moment and why?
Why does this make me think of the time that I was deeply involved teaching a lesson in my 4th grade class and caught my heel on a student's chair as I was moving backwards, and did a fall worthy of the Great Chaplin himself?  I think I am proud of this moment, because I got up and told my shocked (and bless their hearts, respectful) class, "It's okay:  you can laugh.  I know it was funny."

Who was your favourite teacher and why?
My English teacher in High School.  There were certain kids that he seemed to really pour himself into.  Usually they were the ones who needed a healthy adult to be supportive, straight-forward and believe in them.  I was one of those lucky kids and will never be the same because of that. 

What would your Superhero name be and why?
Something from Star Wars, because I'm a sci-fi nerd.

What animal would make a great teacher and why?
Why, this is like the perfect lead-in!  Obviously, I chose a Glimmercat.  My friendly cat helps children learn by sharing her adventures with them.  She isn't afraid to fall in front of them, either.  That makes her relatable AND fun. 

If you could have any other job, what would you choose and why?
 I would homeschool my own children.  Wait!  I'm already doing that!  I have had the incredible joy of teaching many other people's kids before I had my own.  And now, I spend time with my children at home and Glimmercat and I teach them together.

Why did you choose to teach this book?
This wonderful story is such a delightful way to share about the passing of seasons with young children.  They learn along with the puppies, about the changing of the world, which is 'like a great wheel turning round and round' and empathize with the friendly red squirrel.


The "Four Puppies" Read Aloud
Originally Published Monday, September 28, 2015

When I was a little girl, my Grandma had this little book by Anne Heathers.  Originally published in 1960, this precious story tells the tale of four little puppies over the course of a year, as they explore their world during the changing seasons.  It is a delightful story, and I was thrilled when I found a copy of it in my thrift store.  I bought it and brought it home to read aloud to my own children, wondering if it was still as delightful as I remembered.

It was!  And for the next week, it was a favorite in our house and my son poured over the illustrations of the happy little dogs and the "friendly red squirrel in the hickory tree" who calls them "Silly billies" when they worry about the changing world.   Need a refresher?  Here it is on Youtube:

And when I got to the Letter P Reading Literacy Activity, this was the book I chose.  We created a Wheel (the story references the changing seasons as being like a wheel that turns round and round).

 I usually try to choose books that are readily available for these activities.  But this book is so priceless for the little people, and it's copyright has expired.  So, with a burst of inspiration, I decided to offer a read aloud for free so others can enjoy it.  And so before, I release our Letter of the Week for P,  I have uploaded the story read aloud HERE.

My children had a lot of fun creating their Season's Wheel from our Reading Literacy activity:

After they decorated their four seasons with paint and Q-tips, they glued their little dog in the season that they chose as their favorite.

This activity is available in our Letter of the Week packet for P, HERE

And again,  here's the link for the free Read Aloud download from my Teachers store


Monday, June 13, 2016

Weekly Summer Link-up 2016

I hope you'll link up many MANY times all summer. I find having a weekly linky helps to keep me blogging all summer, and I hope you feel the same.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Summer Reading Series: Two Teacher Friends

Happy Friday everyone, and welcome to my new Summer Feature!

Every Friday I will be republishing a post by a fellow teacher-blogger featuring a book or books. I will also be sharing the bloggers answers to some questions for an interview section. If you would be interested in being a featured blogger this summer, please click THIS LINK and follow the directions on that page. I hope to hear from you soon!

Now onto the first feature.

Today's Post comes from  Kelli and Lizz, your Two Teacher Friends.

What was your favourite teaching moment and why?
Kelli and I are next door neighbor teachers. When I started teaching 4 years ago I was lucky to get the room right next to hers! This school year we team taught. It was amazing. One of us would have the higher group of students for ELA and Math and the other would have the lower group for ELa and Math. Our students grew so much this year from switching. As a teacher, it is always great to see a student grow, this year they were like weeds. We are planning on switching next year too and all the years to follow.

Who was your favourite teacher and why?
I was blessed with a lot of great teachers growing up. I never had a teacher that I disliked. In high school I had an English teacher named Marsha Jones. She was awesome. She made every student feel welcome and made class exciting and fun. As a high school student, she made you feel comfortable and you could tell she genuinely cared. Let me set you up for a story: I had just gotten my license a few months before and was driving myself to school. It was raining outside and I was already late. On the short drive to school I 'rolled' through a stop sign. Long story short, the officer pulled me over in the school parking lot. This was my first pull over experience. I open my door and get out of the car (remember it was raining and I was late) and start to walk over to the cop car. He starts to yell, really yell, 'Get back in the vehicle. get back in the vehicle" with his hand on the holster to his gun. Fast forward a bit as I walk in late to Mrs. Jones' English class, soaking wet with tears streaming down my face. I talked, she listened. She gave me some good advice: always stop at a stop sign, never get out of the car, call your mom now and tell her so your whole day is not ruined, and leave earlier so I am not late. Looking back, I know now that had to be hard to do. Being a teacher I understand how it is difficult to drop everything and listen. She did just that.

What would your Superhero name be and Why?
Lizz's superhero name would be Glitter Gal. I would save the day one sprinkle of glitter at a time. Glitter makes me happy, I would spread that happy.
Kelli's superhero name wold be YaYa. This is her real life superhero name. She is a grandma, actually a YaYa, to a beautiful 3 year old with a head full of blonde curls.

What animal do you think would make a great teacher and why?
Monkeys would make great teachers because what kids wouldn't listen to a monkey? Am I right?!

If you could have any other job, what would it be and why?
If I could have any other job I would want to work at Walt Disney World. I would love to be Belle, but I have blonde hair. I also think it would be great to work on a cruise ship. Both of these jobs require high energy (check), are typically in nice, warm climates (awesome), and are happy places. Sounds nice to me!


Kelli's Top Ten Read Alouds
Originally Published Saturday, March 21, 2015

It's here!!  That week that we have all anxiously and patiently waited for...Spring Break!  While many are heading for sandy lands and warmer temperatures, including our amazing Lizzy, I chose to take a break on Hwy 31 and look for snow crocus and daffodils with Mr. R.  This break also gives me time to catch up with the blog world.

I read...a lot.  In fact a friend text me this week asking me for recommendations for a child she is working with and I got so excited thinking about book recommendations for a young adult.  I try to read all of the current series that come out so that I know what's out there...what's available...what resources we have, as teachers.  In keeping with this theme, I thought it would be a great time to do a top 10 list.  I love reading to children.  All teachers do but it's so hard to keep up with all of the many books available.  There are some amazing authors, but there are some that are not so good for read alouds in the classroom.  I looked through my own collection of favorites and decided upon a top ten pile of books for read alouds.  Here goes...

Kelli's Top Ten Books for Read Alouds
 First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg. This one's been around for awhile, but it's still my go to for the beginning of the year.  Everyone is a little anxious and needs some reassurance.  This book is a great one to talk about how everyone is feeling, including the teacher...hint...hint.  If you haven't read it, slip on over to Amazon right now and order it.  It'll be here by the time Spring Break is over.  You won't be sorry.  In fact, it will go on your list of gifts for new teachers!  p.s.  Julie has a new book out called Last day Blues.

Waiting is Not Easy! by Mo Willems.  Oh my...Oh my.  I can't say enough.  Just go get it.  It's a lower elementary book, but I read it aloud in fourth grade.  When you're finished with it, you just sigh.  Please go get this book.  Can you tell I get really excited about books?  It's a sickness.

Dogzilla by Dav Piley. read that right...he's the underwear superhero guy!  He also writes picture books.  This one is AMAZING!  He uses pictures of his own pets for his characters.  Kids LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book!  They ask me to read it again and again, even though they know the ending.  Amazon is your best friend today...admit it!  You know you want to order it.  He has a similar book, called Kat Kong.  Another great one, but this one is my fav.

Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey.  Hmmmm...Dav Pilkey again...a dog again...I see a trend here.  But hey, kids love dogs, and kids love to laugh.  While I love the books that make you sigh at the end, kids love to laugh and they need to have fun while reading.  Dav Pilkey gives them that combination.  Sometimes books need to be less about making connections and more about just having fun with a book!  Again, Dav gives us that!  This is a great one too!

The Hallo-wiener by Dav Pilkey.  This is the last one.  I promise.  Pilkey again.  Dog again.  This one is a Halloween book.  Poor guy gets made fun of by bullies and has to wear a costume his mom made for him that gets him made fun of even more.  Hallo-wiener saves the day and becomes everyone's favorite buddy!  I've seen boys that hate reading come and beg me to hold and read this book themselves after I've read it aloud.  It's a winner!

The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant.  It's been around forever and it's still fantastic.  Great for teaching personal connections.

The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant.  Great feel good read aloud,  Good for teaching character development and endings.

Those Shoes by  Maribeth Boelts.  Sigh...Double sigh.  Character education at its finest.

Guji Guji by Chih-Yuan Chen and Stellaluna by Janell Cannon.  I couldn't choose so I'm listing them both.  They are both about characters that end up in a family in which they are very different.  One is funny.  One is feel good.  Both are just so good and both have read alouds on  What the heck?  Get them both.  You won't be sorry.

I could do this all day, but I said ten, even though, I will have listed eleven.  Oops. Forgive me.  I've saved the best for last.

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo.  I love that a movie came out about this because authors are underpaid, especially this one.  There isn't an amount of money that equals her ability to put words together onto a page.  She is just so incredible.  I hate that a movie came out about this because now kids say, "Oh yeah.  I know this.  I saw the movie."  Do you know how hard it is to get kids to remove the characters from the big screen from their heads and to replace it with their own schema?  It's impossible because that movie is now a part of their schema.  Oh well.  Occupational hazards of being a teacher.  Schema frustration.  I have used this book for many years at the beginning of the school year.  I use it to teach the beginning stages of making connections because I have a gazillion connections to this book.  I am a preacher's daughter.  I moved more times than should be allowed so I was always the new kid.  I always had dogs that saved me from insanity.  As many times as I've read this book, it never gets old and never stops moving me to the core.  Kids love it too and find many connections to Opal as the story progresses.  Everything this author writes is on my shelf and on a list of mine somewhere, but this one can never be topped.

Happy reading everyone.  I'm off to do something non-teacher like.

 Much love to all, especially to my sweet Lizzy who is traveling today.  Miss you already!  Have fun with the fam!  p.s.  Look for some beach picture from our girl this week!

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