Julie Danneberg Texts: Field Trip Fiasco and The Big Test

November 16, 2016

by Julie Danneberg

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We all know and love First Day Jitters.  Julie Danneberg has written others that help students understand big, special things that happen during the school year: field trips, and the BIG test.

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Read Field Trip Fiasco before heading out on a field trip to remind students of your rules and expectations while learning outside of the school building.

Read The Big Test before we start Smarter Balanced tests.  The teacher always says how important it is to show what you know, and that it is important to know HOW to show what you know.  One flaw in this book is that the Big Test refers to filling in bubbles.  So that would be a good talking point on the difference between the Smarter Balanced and the test these students are practicing for.

Both books are also good reminders for teachers NOT to overdo both situations.  Students want to have fun on field trips, while still learning.  And, students get really, really nervous at the Big Test time and teachers need to be prepared for worries, frustrations, and most importantly need to make the rest of the day fun and engaging.


We Are Growing AND The Cookie Fiasco

November 16, 2016

We Are Growing by Laurie Keller
The Cookie Fiasco by Dan Santat

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These books are for you Mo Willems fans!  Mo Willems is not adding any more books to his 25 Elephant and Piggie books, but he is working in collaboration with other authors to make similar funny books.  These new books are in the “Elephant and Piggie Like Reading” series.  Each book starts with a brief intro from Elephant and Piggie and then goes into the hilarious tale written by the author.  They still feature dialogue completely in speech bubbles, but each book does offer more than one character.  They are written with the same humor that will get kids laughing.

We Are Growing is a great book to teach comparative (adding -er) and superlative (adding -est) adjectives. (i.e. tall – taller – tallest).  Each blade of grass has a special trait claiming “I am tall! I am the tallest!”  “I am curly! I am the curliest!”  But the last piece of grass cannot figure out what makes him special, what makes him unique.  Well along comes a loud buzzing noise…you know what this is!  And suddenly everyone is back to being the same, but the last blade of grass does determine what his special trait is.

The Cookie Fiasco: How do you share three cookies with four friends?  GREAT FRACTIONS LESSON introduced in such a funny way.  Hippo has a nervous tick of snapping things when he is feeling overwhelmed.  Eventually Hippo has snapped the cookies into enough parts for everyone to share equally.  So funny, and such a great intro to any fractions unit!

Use these books to teach:

  • Adjectives
  • Character Traits
  • Being Unique
  • FRACTIONS!
  • Sharing

We Are Growing might be a good choice when setting goals for the school year — but that may be a bit of a stretch.


Baa Baa Smart Sheep AND I Love Lemonade!

November 16, 2016

by Mark and Rowan Sommerset

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FUNNY!

Sheep is bored.  Sheep comes across something that looks suspiciously brown, but looks delicious. Sheep tries to convince Turkey to eat this substance.  Spoiler alert: Poor Turkey!

But Turkey doesn’t learn.  In the sequel book (I Love Lemonade) Turkey is convinced he will NOT be tricked again and tries to trick Sheep.  But, somehow, Sheep turns it back around on poor Turkey! How clever!

YOU HAVE TO READ THESE BOOKS!  They are even better when read aloud!

Great for:

  • Context clues
  • Teaching dialogue with speech bubbles
  • Persuasive writing
  • Character Traits

What Do You Do With a Problem?

October 18, 2016

by Kobi Yamada

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A young boy is plagued with a problem–appearing as a black cloud–that won’t go away by worrying about it or avoiding it; it only grows bigger. The boy finally finds the courage to face the problem and learns its secret: It contains an opportunity to learn and grow.

Talk about problem solving with your students using this lesson plan.

 


We Found a Hat

October 18, 2016

by Jon Klassen

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Two turtles. One Hat. They found it together. So who should get it?

Great story about friendship, empathy, and sharing. What do you do if two people find one object? Who gets it? Is it right to go get it yourself if the other person is not watching?

Teach right and wrong with this great story!


The Noisy Paint Box

May 10, 2016

by Barb Rosenstock
illustrated by Mary Grandpre

Award Alert: Caldecott Honor 2014

During Dr. Seuss week I used this book on Wacky Wednesday to teach about abstract art, an idea that some think of as “wacky.”  Having earned the Caldecott Honor, the illustrations vividly paint a portrait of Kandinsky and his journey to creating abstract art.

Supplement this book with examples of Kandinsky’s abstract art as well as other abstract artists.

Use this book to teach

  • Onomatopoeia
  • Synonyms

See other lesson ideas here from the publisher.

  • Using Senses
  • Writing Descriptively
  • Phonemic Awareness — listen for the /b/ and /p/ sounds
  • Syllables


George Ferris’ Grand Idea: The Ferris Wheel

May 10, 2016

by Jenna Glatzer

Talk about grit and determination!  George Ferris has them both! Mr. Ferris had an idea (the Ferris Wheel), and he did not let any obstacles (and there were many!) get in the way of making his dream come true.

For teachers who want to emphasize the concept of grit and perseverance, read this book!