Fun to Read Books - One Featuring a Curious Monkey and the Other a Sheep!

Happy Last Day of July!  It's even a Monday which means it's time to link up with Jen from Teach Mentor Texts and Kellee and Ricki from Unleashing Readers for:

Curious George Discovers Series

There's a whole series of these fun books, but this is the one that was at my library:

 I enjoyed this book because it included interesting facts about the seasons as well as experiments.  Of course, who doesn't like Curious George?

I love reviewing how the seasons are opposite on different sides of the equator!

 Check out one of the experiments!

Now that it's summer, winter seems so far away, and that's the way I like it!  Luckily, you can try out this activity any time!

The Sheepover

 Sweet Pea, the sheep, is an orphan:

She gets sick, and the vet has to come check her over.  At last, Sweet Pea is well enough to have a "sheepover!"

You can read more about Sweet Pea and her friends here.

 I especially enjoyed the personal note from the authors/farmers:

 Both of these books combine fiction and non-fiction in a fun way, and both include follow-up activities!  Also, kids will love these books because of the main characters - especially Sweet Pea, the Sheep - too cute!

Enjoy the last day of July!


More Really Amazing Reading Strategies To Check Out Now!

Happy Last Weekend in July!  I'm delighted to link-up with Teaching Little Miracles for another installment of:

If you'd like to catch up from the beginning of this book study, head here:

The Reading Strategies Book - Breaking It Down

Goals 1 and 2

Goals 3 and 4

Goals 5 and 6

Goal 7 ~ Understanding Themes and Ideas

Right in the introduction to this chapter, Jennifer Serravallo states:

...when it comes to interpreting themes.  I think that interpretation needs to be rooted in the details of the text, but that it's really also about the interaction the reader has with the text.  This means that two different readers reading the same story may interpret them differently, because the prior knowledge and experiences that each of them has is unique. (p. 191)

This quote underlines why it's so difficult for everyone to agree on theme, and then there's always this issue:

*7.2 The Difference Between Plot and Theme

I think this concept presents difficulty for many adults - let alone third graders!  I do appreciate the anchor chart:

7.7 Mistakes Can Lead to Lessons

I think this is one of the best reading strategies and life lessons ever!

Also, if you're looking for a different back-to-school read-aloud,  check out Stuart Goes to School:

Stuart is off to his first day of third grade, and we can definitely infer how he's feeling from the cover!

Goal 8 - Determining Main Topic(s) and Idea(s) in Nonfiction

Non-fiction is so important because it is a huge part of our state tests which underlines the importance of this chapter.  Luckily, most students LOVE non-fiction books!

*Strategy 8.11 - Add Up Facts to Determine Main Idea

When I read this book, I wish someone had taught me this strategy of reading each section and writing down the important information.  I always dreaded book reports because I didn't have any way of remembering what had happened.

I'm also wondering why no one ever taught me the importance and necessity of anchor charts.  Education has come a long way!

*8.15 Why Does the Story Matter?

Biographies are key in third grade both in reading and social studies.  We start learning about important people right from the start so this strategy is a must!

Here's what I'm learning - make these anchor charts and refer back to them often as they have such important information!

Thanks for checking in today as the month of July winds down.


More Really Practical Reading Goals form the Reading Strategies Book!

Hey there!  It's time for our weekly link-up with Teaching Little Miracles for:

Goal # 5 - Understanding Plot and Setting

Students "have to understand what's going be able to 'make a movie in their mind.'" (p.130)

Strategy 5.2 - Title Power

I love doing this with my students by asking them to predict what the book will be about based on the title.  By keeping the title in mind while reading, students can connect the problem back to the title.

The above book by Verna Aardema is one my favorite read-alouds, and the title helps students make easy predictions about the problem.

Check out the anchor chart from the book (just having access to these helpful and well thought out anchor charts is another benefit of buying The Reading Strategies Book!):

*5.11 - Retell What's Most Important by Making Connections to the Problem

"At and after levels M/N the characters often have multiple problems, both internal and external, and it's more likely that the problem is resolved instead of solved..." (p. 144)

I LOVE this strategy as an adult because not every story has a happy ending.  Sometimes getting to the solution is difficult, and the problem can't be solved the way you had hoped - what a great life lesson!

Have you noticed that some kids lead complicated lives full of multiple problems?  Making connections continues to be a meaningful strategy.

In addition, this strategy highlights the importance of developing those higher level thinking skills throughout school, and through our reading, we can learn important lessons.   The difference between resolved vs. solved is huge and difficult to grasp for many.

*5.16 - Summarizing with "Somebody...Wanted...But...So..."

 Summarizing is one of those extra important skills, and this strategy really breaks it down easily and helpfully with a formula!

 Goal #6 - Thinking About Characters

*6.1 How's the character feeling

 This anchor chart makes me so excited because it's interactive and can be used with multiple stories.  Plus, we all know how much kids LOVE to write on sticky notes!

Again, the prompts for the strategy involve checking the picture for clues on how the character feels as well as noticing what the character says.

*6.9 Text Clue/Background Knowledge Additions

I'm just in love with this anchor chart and making inferences - one of my favorite reading strategies!

*6.12 Empathize to Understand

My favorite book to teach empathy is Just Grace Walks The Dog:

Grace uses her "empathy power" frequently!  

According to my son, Andrew, who just became an official pharmacist, empathy is a key skill in his interactions with people!

Today is a perfect 10 day so I'm hoping to get outside after I finish procrastinating to do my cleaning chores by blogging!  Enjoy your day!


Show and Tell Tuesday - July Edition!

Happy Terrific Tuesday!  Today I'm linking up with Stephanie from Forever in Fifth Grade for:

Affordable and Adorable Whale Shirt

On Amazon Prime Day, I bought several purchases including this most adorable whale t-shirt:
I'm a huge fan of whales and Vineyard Vines whale shirts, however I'm not happy about their prices.  This shirt was $11.96 which is substantially less that the $30 that I pay for a boy's extra large at Vineyard Vines. 

Guided Math Goal

My goal for next year is to implement guided math.  I took a step in the right direction by purchasing this bundle while it was on sale:

King Arthur Flour Truck

While leaving Whole Foods yesterday, I happened upon this cool truck which travels around offering delicious cookies!

That's the driver in the above picture.  She is unfurling the awning.  Since I was leaving, I didn't get any delicious cookies, but this truck is quite a sight - it has a HUGE spatula on the roof!  Plus, I love the slogan:  "Eat a cookie.  Give a meal."  As if I need any incentive to eat a cookie!

Click here or on the truck to learn more about this fun truck!

That's all the excitement for now!  Thanks for checking in today!


Sensational Books to Check Out Now!

Happy Summer Monday!  Today I'm linking up with:


 Classroom Hoopla for:

Please note:  Click on the cover of each book to read more at Amazon.

Carrot & Pea, An Unlikely Friendship by Morag Hood

In this delightfully written and illustrated debut picture book, Morag Hood explains the advantages of having a friend (Carrot) who is different in many ways:

This is an excellent friendship book for any time and could also be used to review three dimensional shapes!

Stick and Stone by Beth Ferry

Stick starts out lonely while stone starts out alone, but then Stick rescues Stone from Pinecone's taunting.  Right from the beginning, there are many friendship lessons in this fun book!

Over the Ocean by Taro Gomi

This book was written in 1979 but was translated into English in 2016 so it's a "new" old book.  In this fun book, a young child stands by the edge of the ocean wondering what's on the other side.  Having grown up near the ocean, I used to imagine the same thing myself - actually I still do!

I hope you're all enjoying the summer wherever you are!  Mondays are a lot better when you're on vacation!

Thanks for visiting today!


More Practical Reading Strategies and a Great Giveaway!

Happy Friday!  Today I'm linking up with Crystal from Teaching Little Miracles for another installment of:

Goal #3:  Supporting Print Work

*Strategy 3.1 Check the Picture for Help

This is an incredibly helpful strategy!  Many picture books contain tricky words - reluctant is a common one - looking carefully at the pictures can definitely help clarify the general meaning of the story.  I emphasize this strategy often during read-alouds.

*Strategy 3.6  Try, Try, Try Again

I often tell my students to go back and reread - I often wonder if they listen to my advice.  This strategy contains an amazing graphic that I had to share.

This is one BIG advantage of having the book - you have access to these great anchor charts - I LOVE this one!

Strategy 3.7 Slow Down the Zoom, Zoom, Zoom to Make Sense

Now this strategy applies to all subject areas!

Goal # 4:  Teaching Fluency

I always tell my students how my younger son had to read a picture book to his class in middle school with expression as well as talking like the characters.  He chose a perfect book (of course, it helped that I had the book at home!):

The importance of the story is that he read the book out loud to me at least 20 times (maybe more) to get the expression and voices just right.  Reading out loud with fluency involves practice reading out loud to whoever will listen.

*Strategy 4.6  Punctuation at the End of a Sentence

I love to practice this strategy while doing choral reading because it's easier for a student to change their voice when they're reading together.

You can about Goals 1 and 2 here.


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 1 x $200 TPT gift card; 1 x $200 Amazon gift card; 1 x $25 Starbucks gift card; and 1 x $15 Starbucks gift card!

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