Friday, June 27, 2014

five for friday

My son has been able to go to band camp this week!  It's been really great for him.   We get to hear the concert tonight.  Amazing to think that the band has only been together one week!  

I started reading this book, and so far I find it interesting, but not as eye opening as The Book Whisperer.  I am not even through the first chapter, so I'll press forward!  

I've been trying to get ready for this trip!  We are going east to my parents house, and we are planning on sight seeing along the way!  My hope is to just have fun!  
More writing by my little girl.  

The Important Book Writing

I used Margaret Wise Brown's The Important Book as a mentor text and this four-square graphic organizer to help her write a cute paragraph about koalas. 

The important thing about a koala is that a joey eats its mother's poop.  They have two thumbs and a claw.  Their wide noses smell the best leaves.  Cars hurt koalas and koalas get into danger!  But, the most important things about a koala is that it east its mother's poop.  

I've been reading about Australia and its animals for my Australian unit.  I really wanted a picture of a joey coming out of its mother's pouch.  I found this great youtube video instead!  Even better!  

So join in the weekly linky post!

Monday, June 23, 2014

Monday Made It--Pie

Today I'm linking up with 4th Grade Frolics for Monday Made It, and Teaching Tales Along the Yellow Brick Road for a Recipe Linky!  There are some very productive teachers with great ideas and recipes!

I made pie last night--Yummy!  
Strawberry Rhubarb Pie!  
I used the recipe from epicurious.  But I can't wait to go to my parents' house this summer and get her recipe.  I love it!  

Can't seem to get enough of my little girl this summer.  It will be hard to send her back to school in the fall!  My boys play, play, play together all the time--so we get a lot of girl time!  We even went to Australia together.  

Join in the fun!  

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Five for Friday--on Saturday

Today I'm linking up with Doodlebugs for five on Friday.  

I finally posted a product for TPT this summer!!!!  I've been working on my Australian Unit--which is fun--but still had time to put together a fun comprehension package of Robert Munsch's book Stepahanie's Ponytail

It's at my TPT store 

Robert Munsch's Stephanie's Ponytail classroom activities

I loved doing the character poem with my daughter.  

I love how the character poem turned out. 

Character Poem for Stephanie's Ponytail

nice, silly, independent.
Who love ponytails.
Who feels angry when her friends copy her.
Who needs a new ponytail.
Who ends up with a nice ponytail coming right out the back.
The smartest character in a Robert Munsch book.
written by Emily.  

I have really loved using Story maps with Emily as a way to build her comprehension and comprehension strategies.  I really hope it builds a great foundation for her reading as she moves into second grade!  I also created some story maps for Munsch books that are free: Mortimer and I Have to Go Pee.  It's so nice to allow her over the summer to pick the books she wants to read, and just help her work on the skills with her top picks!  Munsch is such a great pick for her because she builds vocabulary, reading levels, and sets a great foundation for comprehension.  

I loved getting comments from Australian bloggers!  It's been so fun to read books about Australia!  It's been fun to see Emily's imagination grow as we've been studying about Australia.  We've been trying to save koalas from fires, cars, and construction workers.  

First Day of summer!  
Kid's Wash

Kid's Wash Slip and Slide! 

We are going to set up our kid's wash with the slip and slides to celebrate!  
You can always make one yourself!  


I cleaned out the crisper of the refrigerator and put in some delicious watermelon!  We can grab some whenever we want a healthy snack!  

Playing piano with my girl!  Love being able to connect with her through music.  I've also enjoyed nice walks with my boys, and reading, reading, reading!  

Happy Summer Everyone!  

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Book Talk from the Down Under

Australian Books

I love, love doing theme learning!  I think it gives students an opportunity to explore their own interests while they learn.  I've been working on my Down Under Critter Unit--and of course came across some great books!  Love, Love, love these.

Alison Lester is award winning Australian author and illustrator.  In Are we there yet?  you'll meet Grace and her family and they travel through Australia with its many different landscapes, people and culture.  Of course with any road trip, you will always hear, "Are we there yet?"  

Alison Lester also wrote other great books about Australia!  Ernie Dances to the Didgeridoo explores what it means to move, learn about other cultures, and gain new friends. 

Ernie writes to his friends from his old home as he is making new friends in his new home.  

This book is written in rhyming couplets.  It has spectacular illustrations that children and adults will love.  Edward become bored with being an Emu and tries out being several different animals. In the end, he realizes that being an Emu is the best thing to be.  If you don't believe me read the book and see.   It's a fun book to help students feel comfortable in their own skin.  Of course, once you've read Edward the Emu, you will want to read   Edwina the Emu.

Edwina layed ten eggs, and leaves Emu sitting on the eggs while she leaves the zoo in search for a job.  Edwina, of course, couldn't find a human job.  She decided that being an Emu was the best job there was. 

In You Wouldn't Want to Travel with Captain Cook! you become a 16-year old boy who travels with Captain Cook for 3 years.  During this time, you watch 41 members of the crew die, eat biscuits with worms, and are attacked by islanders.  You also are with the first European to chart the entire coastline of New Zealand and the eastern coast of Australia.   The book is filled with handy hints such as, "It's best to eat the ship's biscuits in the dark, so you can't see the pesky weevils!" and "The Maori traditional welcome is rubbing noses."  The book is packed with information! 

A great companion book to  Bergin's book is Meet Captain Cook by Rae Murdie.  

In 1768, Captain Cook, along with his crew on the HMS Endeavor, leave England and set out to look for signs of a large southern land form.   Meet Captain Cook is the story of how he and his crew discovered eastern Australia.  The illustrations are amazing.  

Meet Captain Cook, illustration

He was a scientist, an explorer, and at one time a farm boy.  It is a great book to learn more about Captain Cook. 

Luckily Mem Fox wrote two books about Australian Marsupials.  

Koala Lou, is a feel good book about love, loss, and yes love again.  As always with Mem Fox, amazing writing, and superb lesson.  There is someone who always loves us!  The illustrations bring to life the main character and the supporting characters.    We chose to study Australia for its unique habitat and animal kingdom.  The book does not disappoint in bringing wonderful illustrations and animals to life.  

Of course if you like this book, Possum Magic my Mem Fox is also a great read!  

Possum Magic is about a possum that turns invisible, but can't be turned visible again.  Of course, like all wonderful children's books the problem is solved.  Grandma starts looking for the food that would turn Hush visible.  They travel through Australia in search of the perfect food.  They finally find the right combination, so Hush could stay visible.  A great book to teach students about geography and food of Australia.  

It's always nice to go on an adventure with Jack and Annie, especially when everything is still, absolutely still.  This book is set in ancient Australia, and they are trying to save the dog Teddy. 

This is a warm photographic journey of Jimmy, a koala joey, from his rescue to his return to the forest. Within the story's framework, you will learn about koalas: their birth, habitat, and their way of life. In addition, you will learn about the dangers koalas face, and their struggle for survival.  Finally, you will meet caring adults who help save the koalas.  For animal lovers and non lovers alike--you will love the book for its beautiful writing and photography.

I love these Pebble Plus Series.  They are the just right book to introduce students from pre-k  kindergarten and the primary grades to nonfiction.  

I found these otherbooks about Australian creatures as well.  

These are a great way to engage young readers to the animals!  

Once you learn about Wombats, you will also want to read a diary.  This is a fun book that shows just how much a wombat sleeps and eats.  They are peaceful slow moving marsupials who dig holes everywhere.  Very fun introduction to wombats and the structure of telling a story in a diary format.   

This book describes Australia, including its climate, landforms, plants, animals and its people.  It was a great beginning to our Australian unit.

I just love the illustrations of this book!  They are truly art.  They have the same feel as aborigine cave art and face art.  Love, love all her books!  

I couldn't forget Nic Bishop's book on Marsupials.  His great photography and writing always bring any subject to life.  Because Australia hosts the most Marsupials, this is a perfect book for our Australian unit.  

I have always loved a good story, and this book has ten!  In Stories from Billabong, Marshall elegantly and accurately retells ten aboriginal legends. Readers discover how a kangaroo got his pouch and the unique origins of the platypus.  It is a welcome addition to an Australian Unit and can be a great addition to a folktale unit. The illustrator stays true to aborigine art: using the four traditional colors: red, black, yellow, and white.  The illustration of the crocodile and platypus are truly stunning.  The books includes a three page glossary of terms, symbols of the aborigine, and an introduction to the aborigine people.  

Of course with any list, there are always ones you miss!  Like Alexander and the Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, by Judith Viorst.  Although not about Australia, I still think Australia is pretty cool after reading this book. 

I don't want to leave out Australian author John Flanagon.  My son read the entire Ranger Series.  He even dressed up as Will for Halloween.  We are now awaiting book four of the Brotherband Series.  

Ranger's Apprentice

Just in case I missed more, you can find great recommendations directly from Down Under.  She gives her top 30 Australian book.  

Please find other great books on the book talk linky.    I know I have found some!