Thursday, August 11, 2016

Product Revamp and Something New -Plus Something Free for You!

I love creating literature units to go along with the CCSS. Kids love traditional stories, so it's great to find ways to include these classic stories into lessons. But, the more units I've created, the more disjointed they started to feel. I looked at my TpT store, and saw that all of the covers looked so different.
Last year I participated in the TpT Summer Challenge group where TpT sellers were encouraged to revamp a project and give it a makeover. This year, I decided to do the same thing ... on ALL of my CCSS Literature units. I wanted to give them all a cohesive look. (To check them out on TpT, click on the picture).

Here's the finished product(s):

I am really happy with the way they turned out. So happy, that it inspired me to finally finish another product I've had in the works all summer.

I've had the framework for this unit created since June, but it just kept sitting on my desktop .... unfinished. Thankfully, nap time this week has been peaceful and allowed me to get down to work and finally put the finishing touches onto the product.
I'm really excited about this because it's going to pair nicely with one of the 3rd Grade Units we created this summer during curriculum writing. Take a peek:

One skill I wanted students to understand in this unit was character traits. But, in order for students to understand how to find character traits, they must first understand the foundation of character traits. Sometimes, students confuse outside traits, for example, what a character looks like, for an actual trait. Saying a character has brown hair is very different than saying a character is bossy. Below you will find an activity I created to help students with this foundational skill. This 10-page activity is available for free on my TpT store, so hop on over to download yours now! 

How do you use classic literature in your classroom? What are your favorites?

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Little Red Riding Hood - Understanding Theme Using Speech Bubbles (Free Resource)

So, being a mom has gotten the best of me. Meaning, it's truly the best, but doesn't leave me much time for my other favorite pastime ... blogging! As a new school year approaches, I am trying to recommit myself to my blog.

This summer I spent some time working on writing curriculum with a team of third grade teachers. We looked at standards, and studied standards, and looked at more standards .... you get the idea. Our goal was to use backward design to help construct cohesive ELA units that will help our students grow as readers.
Our district is not currently using a purchased curriculum, so we, as teachers, craft our own units. It's a big job, but also allows for a lot of teacher input and passion.

I had so much fun when it came to the creative part of the units - picking out literature and creating engaging learning activities. One piece of literature we chose for a focus of the "Cultures Around the World" unit was Little Red Riding Hood. It's a great familiar folktale, and has many versions. I particularly love Lon Po Po, written by Ed Young.

One thing we really wanted students to understand was point of view as well as how to find the message of the story. For a third grader, that's a lot to think about! In an effort to scaffold their learning, we crafted lessons that would building upon their current knowledge in order to help them understand how stories can teach us lessons, and how we can learn a lot about characters based upon who is telling the story.

In order to build these foundations, lessons were crafted with whole group (teacher led) and guided practice sessions.

One thing I really wanted was to engage the students in creative activities so they could show their learning and have fun! I wanted the students to think about how each character would feel about the message of the Red Riding Hood story. 

Click HERE to get the speech bubble activity for free from my TpT store! 

Interesting in using Little Red Riding Hood to teach core reading skills? These are the books I love!

Text Suggestions: 
Little Red Riding Hood by Trina Schart Hyman
Lon Po Po by Ed Young 
Red Riding Hood Was Rotten by Trisha Speed Shaskan 
Petite Rouge by Mike Artell 

Interested in more activities to teach Little Red Riding Hood? Check out my CCSS Look at: Little Red Riding Hood.