Archive for March, 2012


March 22, 2012

Product DetailsBig Red Barn by Margaret Wise Brown

Cover Image Mrs. Wishy-Washy’s Farm by Joy Cowley

The Little Red Hen by Byron Barton
Cover Image The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall
Cover ImageClick Clack Moo: Cows That Type
Cover ImageBarnyard Banter by Denise Fleming
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Baa, Baa, Black Sheep
Little Boy Blue
Little Bo Peep


Black bean monograms: Your child can glue black beans onto his drawn on initials.


A horse on a stick is very simple to make.  Save a wrapping paper tube for the body. Then take two pieces of brown paper and cut out like a horse head.  Staple the head around the tube so that the tube is inside of the head.  Staple on the horse mane too.  Add the yarn reins and your child is set to ride around on his very own horse.

Big red barn: Cut out this simple red shaped barn and then your child can glue in people and animals that are often found in a barn.



March 22, 2012


Rabbits and Raindrops

Peter Rabbit

Runaway Bunny

Max’s Chocolate Chicken

Peter Cottontail

Happy Easter Little Critter

Max Counts His Chickens

Owen’s Marshmallow Chick

Minerva Louise and the Colorful Eggs

Muncha Muncha Muncha- great comparison with Peter Rabbit

Guess How Much I Love You

Max’s Easter Surprise

The Story of the Easter Bunny

Chickens Aren’t the Only Ones

The Rabbit and the Hare

The Easter Egg by Jan Brett

An Egg Is Quiet (book about all kinds of eggs)

Language Arts:

Easter Bingo- list sight words, spelling words, seasonal words on bingo game boards.  Play bingo and use seasonal markers. Easterbingo

5 Little Bunnies Book- this is a printable book where students color each egg on each page according to the rhyme.5 little bunnies

Songs and Poems:

Here is a bunny

(make a bunny with hand)
With ears so funny

(wiggle ears)
And this is his/her hole in the ground

(make a hole with other hand)
When a noise she hears

(listen intently)
She picks up her ears

(straighten ears)
And jumps in her hole in the ground.

(make bunny jump into hole)


jellybean5senses  Jelly bean observation.  Kids can bring a jelly bean from home or you can provide one.  Record what it smells like, sounds like, looks like, feels like, tastes like.  Students can draw a picture of it.  Last they get to eat it!

Place an egg in vinegar to see what happens!  Students can record their observations in journals.


Estimation jar: fill a jar with jelly beans.  Have the students use their strategies to guess how many jelly beans are in the jar.  They can then share the treat. You can also substitute the jelly beans for thematic erasers if you have students with food allergies.

Egg carton math-  In an empty egg carton, put number stickers in the bottom of each egg compartment.  I number them from 1-12.  Then place two puff balls into the egg carton.  The students shake the egg carton and then open it up.  They look to see where the puff balls landed and then write an addition or multiplication fact using the two numbers.  For example, if the puff balls land on 2 and 5 then students write on their answer sheet 2+5=7  or if they are working on multiplication, then they would write 2×5=10.  You can decorate your carton to look cute on the outside, with clipart and colored paper.  I used yellow puff balls, to pretend they were chicks.  This might also be a good way to introduce a dozen.   *My son also came up with the idea that you do greater than and less than with the two numbers that the puff balls land on.

Easter Egg graph-*eastergraph

Jelly bean math packet:jellybeanpacket

Die cut a bunch of eggs or bunnies and program each one with a different number. Students need to put them in numerical order. They may need a number line to help.

In this activity you print out 5 bunnies for counting.  I didn’t have enough all orange cubes to pretend they were carrots, so we used red for radishes, green for lettuce, and orange for carrots.  The student lays out 5 cards (they can be just plain old numeral cards) under each bunny.  Then he feeds each bunny according to the number under him.  Next, the student leaves all of the food in place, but switches around the numbers.  He then has to adjust the amount of food given to the bunnies to match the new number shown.  For example, Frank had 7 carrots on the first bunny and the new number was 4, so I asked him if he had to add more food or take some away.  He then took away 3 carrots to show the new number.  *If you do use the playing cards, then they naturally provide an extra support for the counting since they have the number of symbols shown.  Students can lay the cubes or manipulatives on top of the symbols to help count.

Provide each student with an Easter basket and 10 eggs, a plus and minus spinner, and a die.  Students take turns rolling the die and then spinning the spinner to figure out if they should add eggs or subtract them.  For example, if he rolls a 5 and then the spinner lands on plus, then he adds 5 eggs to his basket, but if it lands on minus, then he takes out 5.  If it is not possible for the student to add or subtract the amount rolled on the die, then he just skips that turn.  The first person to fill their basket with all 10 eggs wins or if time is up, you can spin the plus or minus spinner to see if the person with the most or least is the winner.

Fraction jelly beans-  Give your students a small bag of jelly beans or some other seasonal nonfood item (just make sure they are all different and there are a variety ) if you have allergies in your class.  Students then count how many items they have and record the answer at the top.  Next, they write the fractions for each color.fraction jelly beans

Graph if you like eggs or graph your favorite ways to eat eggs.  Brainstorm with the class the different ways they like to eat the eggs and then make the class graph.

Baskets are programmed with numbers. Students count out eggs to match the number on the basket. I put egg shapes at the top of the paper so students have some help to count. Other ideas are to program the basket with letters and then put picture eggs into the basket. For example: Write a C on the basket. Kids sort pictures that are on paper eggs, such as cat, car, etc. and place those eggs on the basket.

Easter Egg Probability: For this activity you need five of one color plastic eggs (orange) and two that are different colors (1 blue and 1 pink).  Students predict which color will be chosen out of a bag most and tell why.  Then have the students create a tally chart to keep track of which eggs are pulled out. Each time they pull out an egg they put a tally mark next to the color written on paper and then put the egg back in the bag.  Shake the bag in between picking eggs.  Do this about 20 times.  *You can also do this activity with jelly beans if it is an independent activity.

Mrs. Cox has a bunny pattern block pattern.

IMG_2970 IMG_2972 IMG_2978 IMG_2981











Bunny Boy Body Bunny Girl Body Bunny Head




Place Value

March 22, 2012

Place Value

Place value can be very difficult to master. Students often forget to put in zeros to hold places. In third grade, our students had to read the written form of a number, read the standard form, write the expanded form, and then be able to round. At our school we went up to the 100,000 place, so all of these activities go up that high. You could easily adapt these activities for lower or higher numbers.

Game 1: Place Value Concentration:
This game is played just like regular concentration or as other people might call it, memory. Make up a variety of index cards with numbers written to whatever place value you are working on. Then make a corresponding index card with the same number but in expanded form. Place all of the cards in rows upside down. Students take turns turning over two cards to see if they are a match. If not their turn ends. If it is a match, then they go again until they do not find a match.

Here is what I put on my cards:










Game 2: Partner Place Center (no partner needed)
At this center, students read the written form of numbers up to the 100,00s. They write the numbers on paper and then flip the paper over to find the answers and self correct. There are two sets of numbers for this center.

Place Value Activity Game 2
Place Value Activity #2

Game 3: Partner Place Value
In this game there are two students. One student holds number cards that have numbers that need practicing. The second student has number tiles, which are just squares with one number per square. I provide 0, 1, 2,3….9 on the squares. All of the numbers to be called don’t have repeat numbers so you don’t need more than one number. The student with the number tiles puts the numbers in order to match what is heard.
Here are the numbers I have on my cards to be called out:

Game 4: Place Value Bingo
Students sit in groups of up to 6. One student is the caller and calls out all of the number cards. The other students all have different game boards. The other students have to listen to what number is being called out and find it. The first to get Bingo gets to be the next caller. This is great practice for the caller to have to read the numbers and for the players to have to listen to them and picture what the numbers look like.

Here are the bingo cards:

Place Value Bingo

Place Value Bingo2

Place Value Bingo3

Place Value Bingo4

Place Value Bingo5

Place Value Bingo Calling Cards

Game 5: Math-o-Matic
This place value game works on the skill of rounding. There are two game boards. One is rounding to the 10s and the other is rounding to the 100s. Students roll two dice. They arrange the dice to make a two digit number. They can arrange the two numbers anyway they like. For example if they roll a 3 and 4, they can make it 34 or 43. So then choosing the number 43 they round it to 40 and then cover up a space under the 40 column. Game continues until someone covers up all of their squares. Sometimes they may have to miss a turn if the roll numbers that they don’t need.

. Place Value Dice Game-  Draw the number of spaces you want your number to have.  We just wanted to practice up to the 100s place so we drew 3 dashes for each digit.  Then player one rolls the die and places the number that shows up on the die in one of the spots.  Player 2 has his turn.  Repeat so that each player rolls the die 3 times and each time places the number rolled into one of the spaces.  The person with the larger number wins.


Writing and Language Arts

March 22, 2012


Spelling worksheets:

spelling homework1  spelling homework2   spelling homework3


Rainbow Words: If your child needs to write his spelling words multiple times for practice, then try having him do rainbow words.  Just write each of the spelling words one time and then your child traces the words one time with a red crayon, then again with a green, and a third time with orange.  You get to choose whatever colors you like.
Stamping Spelling Words: have your child write his spelling words and then stamp them.
spelling picureThis is a spelling idea to practice writing words over and over again.  Each student draws a picture and then writes their spelling words 3 times each all over the lines of the drawing. is a fun site for your student to practice his/her spelling list.  The features include teaching the words, games, and a spelling test.  We really liked the Hang Mouse game.

Roll a Word Game:  Today the kids each had different needs. One needed to work on his letters and the other needed to work on spelling words.  I made a little 6×6 rectangular grid and wrote either a word or a letter across the top of the grid.  Then for each letter or word I wrote a number that correlated with a die.  Each child threw his die and depending on what number the die landed on, they wrote that word in its column.  The game continues until one word or letter reaches the bottom of its column and wins.  So the idea is this is a race against the words or letters on their page.  The kids had to write their spelling words or letters each time the number it belonged to was rolled.  Here are some worksheets I made so you can play this at home.  All you need is a die for each child and a pencil.

spelling words dice game       spelling words dice gamewrdswith words for a sample

Look, say, cover, write, check


Write the words in salt
Write the words in shaving cream
Dirty words- write the words in pudding/mud
Rainbow words- write over the word using different colors of marker
Spell the words with playdough
Type the words on the computer- use fun fonts
Use sign language letters
Spell words using Scrabble pieces
Spell out the words using your body to form letters
Use letter stamps
Spell with pasta- cooked  or dry
Cheer the letters for the words
Use Wikki Stix
Write on a dry erase board
Write on a Magna Doodle
Use pipe cleaners
Punch holes in paper to spell words look through on a light
Unifix cube letters
Letter blocks to spell out words
Write the words and stick stickers on
Make pancakes with letters
Bingo daubers
Chalk outside
* Trace, magnetic letters, write- 3 columns
Writing Ideas:
sticker storySticker Story- place a sticker on a page and then your child writes a story about it.
Noise Poetry- These noisy poems though are fun and use “noisy words” to tell about the subject matter. Kids love funny words and noise, especially young five-year-olds. I think they poems are a simple and fun way for kids to write poems. Have your child participate in an experience and then brainstorm all of the words and phrases that come to mind from that experience. Write your poem.
I love all the leaves
I wish I could be a leaf
Scritchy-scratch, scritchy-scratch
Srunchy, srunchy
All kinds of leaves
Red, yellow, green, orange
I love blue leaves
Here I go
Here is one we did together:
Raking leaves
Beautiful yellow and brown leaves
Scratch scratch
hot and sweaty
Crunch, crunch, I’m done.
Cover Image
 Mirror Mirror by Marilyn Singer (interesting way to do poetry)


Cover Image Won Ton by Lee Wardlaw

Cover Image Dogku by Andrew Clements

Letter Writing:

Business Letter Self-Assessment

Friendly Letter Self-Assessment

Paragraph Writing:

I use Step Up to Writing to teach basic paragraphing.

Writing Paragraph Self-Evalutation


Editing Checklist

Summary Writing:

Book summary main idea sentence

Book summary paragraph


Student planning sheet


March 22, 2012

Alphabet/ Letter Sounds:

 A Was Once an Apple Pie

Hooper Humperdink…? Not Him!

If Rocks Could Sing

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

letter on the busMy youngest loves buses and so we did a fun spin on the song “The Wheels on the Bus” today using letters.  I found the idea for the song long ago in Mailbox Magazine.  I just changed it to him sitting in his bus tent and holding magnetic letters.  Here is how it goes:

Hold up a letter and start the song:

The P on the bus goes “puh-puh-puh, puh-puh-puh, puh-puh-puh”

The P on the bus goes “puh-puh-puh” all through the town.

Continue with the other letter sounds you are working on.

Match up magnetic letters to alphabet cards.  I again sorted out a few cards and letters to make it easier.  Once your child knows his sounds well, you could have him sort the letters onto the pictures.


Alphabet Train Puzzle


Letter Bingo- you can buy a set or make your own.  We just made our own game cards with random letters and then wrote each letter on little paper squares.  We placed the letters into a box and took turns drawing a letter out to read and find on our bingo card.

Letter Hunt: for this game you hide letter cards around the room.  Your child hunts the letters and brings them back to you to say the letter name and its sound. You could also have him say a word that starts with the letter.

Beginning sound sort: find objects around the house and sort them with their first letter.
abc begin sound book

Beginning Sound Booklet: A good way to practice beginning consonants is to name things and then listen for the beginning sound.

Alphabet Path Game: This idea came from Teach Mama. Her blog is full of wonderful ideas for learning.  To  make this game just make a pathway and put the letters your child needs to work on on the pathway squares.  Then make clip art squares that begin with the same letters and place in a box ( I did 4 different clip art objects per letter).    Each player takes out a clip art square and says the name of the object, stressing the first sound and moves his playing piece to the nearest spot with the matching letter.  The first person to the end wins.  I put all of the letters on the last space to make it easier to win at the end.

Here are some links for both of these resources:


Zoo Phonics Website

Sight Words

IMG_7733I found this website that has all kinds of games to print off for sight words and math games.  The website is called The School Bell.  Today we played the game to the left where you print off their printable game board and then each player rolls a die and has to read that corresponding number of sight word cards before he moves that number of spaces.  The first to the finish line wins.

sight wordssight words 2 Sight Word Flip a Card Game: This is a quick and easy game to play using sight words.  First choose up to 10 sight words to practice (10 for each player). I like to put in some words that are known, some that are somewhat familiar and some that are new.  Place the cards facing up so that everyone can see them.  First have each player read his cards aloud to practice.  Then player one rolls a 1-6 die.  Depending on what number the die lands on, the player reads that amount of cards.  If he gets them all right then he flips them over.  If he misses one that is okay, he is told the word and maybe he will remember it for next time.  Play continues between players until a player has turned over all of his cards.  I played this with my son this morning and used Spanish flash cards for me to study.  So that is another option.  You could also play this game using addition facts. I adapted this activity in a Mailbox Magazine. In the magazine they recommended covering the 5 and 6 on the die with lower numbers, but we just said to roll again if a 5 or 6 was rolled.

Sight word bingo- this game board came from Mailbox Magazine.  I fill in the squares and then we read the words together first.  Then your child covers the words that are called out.  You can switch and have your child be the caller for practice too.

Write the words in salt

Write the words in shaving cream

Rainbow words- write over the word using different colors of marker

Type the words on the computer- use fun fonts
Use sign language letters
Spell words using Scrabble pieces
Spell out the words using your body to form letters
Use letter stamps
Cheer the letters for the words
Word Families:
IMG_7259 A quick and easy way to do word families is to write the rime on a piece of paper, then place magnetic letters  next to the rime to see what the word says.  We went through the consonants today and then recorded the words under real or nonsense on a piece of paper.  The only problem I had with this was that some words were real, but the student did not have them in his vocabulary.  So it could be an opportunity to go over some vocabulary or maybe leave out those consonants that would make unknown words.
Early Readers:

syndetics-sc Bob Books (these start with a simple level 1 and go up to a first grade level)

syndetics-sc Biscuit (I Can Read Books are the ones that are an easier level. There are other Biscuit books that are more challenging)

syndetics-sc Green Light Readers (these come in two different levels, both are easy)

syndetics-sc Mittens (these are similar to Biscuit, but has a cat)

Very Easy Chapter Books

 Fly Guy series

syndetics-scYoung Cam Jansen (These books are great since there is an older Cam Jansen later)

syndetics-scBones mystery books

syndetics-scsyndetics-scsyndetics-scsyndetics-scCynthia Rylant Series: Poppleton, High Rise Private Eyes, Henry and Mudge, Annie and Snowball

syndetics-lcFox series by James Marshall

Frog and Toad by Arnold Lobel (other good titles available by this author)

Corduroy’s Garden by Alison Inches

Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa (for horse lovers)

Harder Early Chapter Books

These are all series books.

syndetics-scCam Jansen

syndetics-scMagic Tree House

syndetics-scRicky Ricotta

Snot Stew

Chapter Books

 Pain and the Great One Series by Judy Blume (plus other Judy Blume titles)

 Roald Dahl books

DRA Leveled Books

Level 1:

Anno’s Counting Book by Mitsumasa Anno

Do You Want To Be My Friend? by Eric Carle

Level 2:

Have You Seen My Duckling by Nancy Tafuri

Have You Seen My Cat by Eric Carle

How Many Fish? by Caron Lee Cohan

Level 3:

The Fox on the Box by Barbara Gregorich

Pancakes for Breakfast by Tomie dePaloa

Pancakes, Crackers & Pizza by Margorie Eberts

Raindrops by Larry Brimmer (I thought this was kind of hard for a level 3)

Tell Me Something Happy Before I Go to Sleep by Joyce Dunbar

Level 4:

Up Went the Goat by Barbara Gregorich (easy read)

Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin and Eric Carle

I Went Walking by Sue Williams

Joshua James Likes Trucks by Catherine Petrie (okay read)

Roll Over by Peek

What Time is It, Mr. Crocodile ? (I thought this had a lot of words that were not level 4… too hard 6/18)

Level 5:

The Cat that Sat by Marie Vinje

I Am Water by Jean Marzollo

Footprints in the Snow by Cynthia Benjamin (this was kind of hard for level 5)

Level 6:

How Many Bugs in a Box by David Carter

Mary Wore Her Red Dress by Merle Peek

Ice is…Whee! by Carol Greene

The Chick and the Duckling by Mirra Ginsburg

Happy Birthday Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff

Level 7:

Night Train by Caroline Stutson

Buzz, Said the Bee by Wendy Cheyette Lewison

Mrs. Sato’s Hens by Laura Min

If I Were an Ant by Amy Moses

It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles Shaw

In a Dark, Dark Wood

Machines at Work by Byron Barton

The Foot Book by Dr. Seuss (level 7-8)

Shake My Sillies Out by Raffi, illustrated by David Allender (level 7-8)

Level 8:

Hi Clouds by Carol Greene

The Hungry Billy Goat by Rita Milios

Who Is Coming? by Patricia C. McKissack

Where’s Spot by Eric Hill

Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed by Chistelow

A Bug, a Bear, and a Boy by David McPhail

Wishy-Washy Day by Joy Cowley

All By Myself by Mercer Mayer

Mrs. Wishy Washy by Joy Cowley

Level 9:

Jog Frog Jog by Barbara Gregorich

Just Like Daddy by Frank Asch

Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

Dinosaur Garden by Liza Donnley

Pizza Party by Grace Maccarone

Level 10:

Amy Loves the Snow

Across the Stream by Mirra Ginsburg

Roll Over! by Merle Peek

Clifford’s Christmas

Thank You, Nicky! by Harriet Ziefert

Bubble Trouble by (Hello Reader) Mary Packard

Cookie’s Week by Cindy Ward

Dark, Dark Tale by Ruth Brown

Harry Takes a Bath by Hariet Ziefert

Pumpkin Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington

Little Drummer Boy by Ezra Jack Keats

I’m a Seed (Hello Reader) by Jean Marzollo

Ten, Nine, Eight, Bang by Molly Bang

I Am An Apple by Jean Marzollo (Hello Reader)

Are You My Mommy?  by Carla Dijs

Caps, Hats Socks and Mittens by Louise Borden

Cat Games by Harriet Ziefert

Cat Goes Fiddle-I-Fee by Paul Galdone

Color of his Own by Leo Lionni

Dear Zoo by R. Campbell

A Dozen Dogs by Harriet Ziefert

Have You Seen the Crocodile? by Colin West

I Need You Dear Dragon by Margaret Hillert

Itchy Itchy Chicken Pox

Johnny Lion’s Rubber Boots

Jump Frog ,Jump by R. Kalan

Just Like Daddy by Frank Asch

Lady with the Alligator Purse by  Nadine Westcott

Mama Cat Has Three Kittens by Denise Fleming

Mama Zooms by Jane Cowen-Fletcher

Pizza Party by Grace Maccarone

Rosie’s Walk by Pat Hutchins

Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews

What is That! Said the Cat by Grace Maccarone

Who Will Be My Friends? by Syd Hoff

The Yellow Boat by Margaret Hillert

Level 11:

Just Me and My Babysitter by Mercer Mayer

Cat Game by Harriet Ziefert

On Top of Spaghetti

More Spaghetti I Say by Rita Gelman

Harry Gets Ready for School  by Harriet Ziefert

Dinosaurs, Dinosaurs by Byron Barton

Wait, Skates!  by Mildred Johnson

Sometimes Things Change  by Patricia Eastman

Each Peach, Pear, Plum by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

Level 12:

Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews

Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss

Peanut Butter and Jelly by Westcott

A My Name is Alice by Jane Bayer

Titch by Pat Hutchins

My 5 Senses by Aliki (level 12-14)

Level 13:

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly

Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans

Level 14:

We Are Best Friends by Aliki

Come Out and Play Little Mouse  by Kraus

Cave Boy by Cathy East Dubowski

My Tooth is About to Fall Out  by Grace Maccarone

Sammy the Seal by Syd Hoff

Goodnight Moon by Margaret Wise Brown

Sir Small and the Dragonfly by Jane O’Connor

Bones, Bones, Dinosaur Bones by Byron Barton (level 14-15)

Swimmy by Leo Lionni (14-16)

Very Hungry Caterpillar (14-16)

There’s an Alligator Under My Bed (14-16)

Level 15:

Are You My Mother? by P.D. Eastman

Wake Up, Sun by David Harrison (Step Into Reading)

The Bunny Hop by Teddy Slater (Hello Reader)

Just Grandpa and Me by Mercer Mayer

All Tutus Should Be Pink by Sheri Brownrigg (Hello Reader)

Night in the Country by Cynthia Rylant

Fish Eyes: A Book You Can Count On by Lois Ehlert

Michael Bird-Boy by Tomie dePaloa

One Snowy Day  (Hello Reader)

Level 16:

Spot’s Birthday by Eric Hill

There’s a Nightmare in My Closet by  Mercer Mayer

A Kiss For Little Bear by Else Minarik

Quarter From the Tooth Fairy (Hello Math Reader)

Very Busy Spider by Eric Carle

Itchy, Itchy Chicken Pox

Fire Fighter by Angela Royston (Eyewitness Reader)

Henny Penny by Paul Galdone

Just Me and My Puppy by Mercer Mayer

Rainbow of My Own by Don Freeman

Dinosaur Dinners by Lee Davis (Eyewitness Reader)

Frog went A-Cortin’ by John Langstaff

Just Me and My Dad by Mercer Mayer

Noisy Nora by Rosemary Wells

Dolphin by Robert Morris (I Can Read Book)

Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus

Little Red Hen by Paul Galdone (level 16-18)

Level 17
Ask Mr. Bear by Marjorie Flack
The Doorbell Rang by Pat Hutchins
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Danny and the Dinosaur by Syd Hoff
The Gruff Brothers by William Hooks
Stone Soup by Ann McGovern
Level 18
Aunt Eater’s Mystery Vacation by Doug Cushman
Jamberry by Degan
Little Blue and Little Yellow by Lionni
Drummer Hoff by Emberley
A Little House Birthday by Laura Ingalls Wilder
The Listening Walk by Paul Showers
Winter Days in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Me Too by Mercer Mayer
Winter on the Farm by Laura Ingalls Wilder
Happy Hippopotami by Bill Martin Jr.
More Tales of Oliver Pig by Jean Van Leeuwen
When I Get Bigger by Mercer Mayer
The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats
Owl at Home by Lobel
Little Bear by Else Minarik
Fox and His Friends by Edward Marshall
Charlie Needs a Cloak by DePaolo
Sam and the Firefly by Eastman
Clara and the Bookwagon by Nancy Smiler Levinson
Buck, Buck the Chicken by Amy Ehrlich
A Tree Is Nice by Janice Udry
The Owl and the Pussycat by Jan Brett
The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Suess
Clifford the Big Red Dog Series
Frog and Toad Books
Anansi and the Talking Melon
If You Give a Moose a Muffin by Laura Numeroff
Starring First Grade by Miriam Cohen

Books For Boys

Super Diaper Baby (This book has lots of potty humor, but my boys loved it.  It also has some misspellings if that bothers you.)

Diary of  a Wimpy Kid


I got this assessment from another teacher a few years ago.  Assessment for reading

Running record 100 squares to do a running record, retelling guide, DRA level descriptors

Word analysis

Body of Evidence:  Our school keeps a body of evidence for each child.  In it we keep the most recent running record or miscue analysis at the student’s instructional level, retelling rubric, fluency checklist on a book at the instructional level, a student evaluation, DRA scores, reading continuum checklist, written retelling or written response, and ILP goals for students on an individual literacy plan.

In reading groups I keep a folder for each group.  On the outside of the folders I tape on the DRA level ranges with descriptors of skills that students are supposed to be working on at their level.

Early concept skills word identification


Character reflection paragraph

Reading Reflections Retell

Partner retell checklist ( I have the kids practice retelling a story to a partner)


For parents, I send home a folder with some useful information to help their child read.  The folder has the five-finger rule for picking a just right book, blend sounds, comment sheet for parents and teachers to communicate about the reading done each night, tips for parents to help with reading, list of sight words students should know, and a reading strategies page.


March 22, 2012

Picture Books:

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc Cover Image  Cover Image

How Spider Saved Halloween

Dragon’s Halloween

Harriet’s Halloween Candy

The Ghost-Eye Tree

The Little Green Witch (compare to the Little Red Hen)

Easy Readers:

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc

Beginning Readers:




Older kids books 5th grade and up:


Easy read alouds for first graders to do:

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc

“The Little Orange House”

by Jean Stangi
Once upon a time a very small witch was walking in the woods.  The cold wind was blowing the dry leaves all around her.  The little witch was frantically searching for a house for the winter.  She could not find one.  Suddenly a piece of orange paper blown by the wind landed at her feet.   She picked it up.
The little witch looked closely at the paper and then she said, “I shall make myself a house from this piece of orange paper.”
She folded the paper in half and took her scissors (she always has a pair in her pocket) and cut off the two corners to make a roof . ( fold the paper in half and then with the fold on the bottom, cut the two top corners off-see photo)
“This will do just fine” she said as she looked at her new house.  “But I will need a door.” With her scissors she cut a door.  Since witches always wear pointed hats, she cut a special door. It looked like this. (Cut a door with a slant going up.  See the photo of the door.)
The little witch walked through the door and into the little orange house.  It was very dark inside.  She quickly hurried back out.
“I will need to make windows to let in the light,” said the little witch.  She cut a front and a back window that looked just like this (cut out a rectangle in the middle to the right of the door- see photo.)
Oh, it was a fine looking house.  Her very own little house with a roof, a door, and windows was all finished.  But just as the little witch started to go inside for the winter, she saw a tiny ghost floating down the windswept path.  As the tiny ghost came to a stop near the little house, the little witch saw that she was crying.

“Why are you crying?” asked the little witch.
The tiny ghost stopped crying and answered.  “It is cold and windy.  It is getting dark.  And I have no place to spend the winter.”
“You may spend the winter with me in my new house,” said the kind little witch.
“Oh thank you,” the happy tiny ghost said as she peeked through the window.  “This is a very nice house.”
“First,” said the little witch, “I will need to make you a little door of your very own.  She took her scissors again and began to cut.  She cut a very tiny door.  It looked like this.  (Cut out a triangle shaped door next to the large door but slanting towards the door- see the photo).
The two happy new friends went inside.  The tiny ghost went in the very little door, and the little witch went through her own special door.    All winter long they lived happily together inside the little orange house.
If you want to see inside of their little orange house, get a piece of paper and do just what the little witch did. Then unfold the paper. Surprise!

Language Arts:

Look for erase-a-rhymes on the Internet.  They work on rhyming. I like to list the parts that will be erased for kids who need more assistance.  A few different rhymes can be found on Little Giraffes.

Go Away, Big Green Monster! on the felt board.  This was easy to make since you can use the book for your stencils.

Go Away Big Green Monster Coloring  Sheet

Monster pieces if you don’t want to make the pieces out of felt


For Halloween I like to read Harriet’s Halloween Candy and then do Halloween Candy Graph.  Read the story and pass out the graph before Halloween so that students save some candy to graph with.

 Measure Pumpkins using standard and nonstandard units.

Counting Spiders


For this activity we compared an orange and a pumpkin. I used a Venn diagram to do the comparisons.

Pumpkin Lifecycle

Flying ghosts- This is a science experiment where you bend the ghost arms in different positions to see how they float down.  I have yet to find a good printable for this.  Stay tuned.


IMG_8147IMG_8148Here is a little bat craft that came from No Time for Flashcards.

Halloween cat

Scary Story Contest Research:Cover Image Ben and Becky in the Haunted House
Cover ImageBrave Ben
Cover ImageBy the Light of the Halloween Moon
Cover ImageGhost’s Hour, Spook’s Hour
Cover ImageGhosts in the House
Cover ImageIn a Dark, Dark Room (the kids liked this one a lot)
Cover ImageRoom on the Broom
Cover Image One Scary Night (wordless)
Cover ImageScared Silly
Cover ImageThe Teeny-Tiny Woman
Cover ImageThe Bones of Fred McFee
Cover ImageSpooky Hour
Cover Image Psssst! It’s Me… the Bogeyman by Barbara Park
Cover Image A Thump from Upstairs by Richard Keep

Resources for Parents

March 22, 2012

syndetics-scThe New Social Story Book

Asperger’s Syndrome: a Guide for Parents and Professionals by Tony Attwood

syndetics-sc The Autism Social Skills Picture Book

syndetics-sc Helping Your Anxious Child

The Ideal Classroom Setting For the Selectively Mute Child by Dr. Elisa Shipon-Blum

syndetics-scHelping your child with selective mutism :practical steps to overcome a fear of speaking by Angela E. McHolm, Charles E. Cunningham,and  Melanie K. Vanier

syndetics-scOut of Sync Child Has Fun

Language Arts Resources:

Write on Track: A Handbook for Young Writers, Thinkers & Learners

Writer’s Express: A Handbook for Young Writers, Thinkers & Learners

Writers Inc: A Student Handbook for Writing and Learning (high school level)

A children’s dictionary (nonspecific)

A children’s thesaurus (nonspecific)

A children’s rhyming dictionary (nonspecific)

Math Resources:

Math on Call: A Mathematics Handbook


On the Spectrum (autism spectrum information)


Learn to type link. (learn to type)


March 22, 2012

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-scsyndetics-lcsyndetics-sc

Jingle Bells, Homework Smells

Gingerbread Pirates by Kristin Kladstrup

How Santa Got His Job

Merry Christmas, Curious George

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

If You Take a Mouse to the Movies

The Night Before Christmas

Christmas Cobwebs

The Christmas Humbugs

Firefighter’s Night Before Christmas

M is for Mistletoe

Mrs. Wishy Washy’s Christmas

Santa’s Snow Cat

Santa’s Snow Kitten

Santa’s Stuck

Petunia’s Christmas

Christmas Trolls

Who’s That Knocking on Christmas Eve

Too Many Tamales

Clifford’s First Christmas

Minerva Louise on Christmas Eve

McDuff’s New Friend

McDuff’s Christmas

Polar Express

Christmas Cookies

The Baker’s Dozen

Three Bear’s Christmas

Merry Christmas, Big Hungry Bear

Wild Christmas Reindeer

Mr. Willowby’s Christmas Tree

Night Tree by Eve Bunting

The Littlest Christmas Tree

Max and Ruby’s Christmas Tree

Where is Christmas, Jesse Bear? (about the 5 senses)

Bear Stays Up for Christmas

Bear’s First Christmas

Gingerbread Baby

Gingerbread Man (many versions)

Gingerbread Girl by Lisa Campbell Ernst

Gingerbread Cowboy

Gingerbread Mouse

Matzo Ball Boy

Santa Claus, the World’s Toy Expert

The Amazing Christmas Extravaganza

(not pictured)

There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bell

Santa Mouse by Michael Brown

Morris’s Disappearing Bag

The Jolly Christmas Postman

The Bump on Santa’s Noggin

Yoon and the Christmas Mitten

Welcome Comfort

Dream Snow

Santa and the Three Bears

The Twelve Days of Christmas

A Pussycat’s Christmas

Olive, the Other Reindeer

Crispin, the Pig Who Had It All

The Best Christmas Present of All

My Penguin Osbert

Stick Man by Julia Donaldson

The Baker’s Dozen  (Baker’s Dozen for Reader’s Theater)

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc

Christmas by Trudi Strain Trueit (Rookie Reader)

The Christmas Penguin by Mary Packard (Hello Reader Level 1)

Gingerbread Kid Goes to School (level 1 reader)

Bunnicula and Friends: The Fright Before Christmas (Level 3 Ready to Read)

Happy Christmas Honey

The Gingerbread Boy: Level 2 by Harriet Ziefert

Early Readers:

Brown Reindeer What Do You See?

Reindeer Christmas Book

I Can See Christmas

My Gingerbread Man from Marcia’s Lesson Links

5 senses what do you see Christmas     5 senses what do you see Christmas2  (the first one has no pictures and the second one has clip art)

Polar Express Ideas:

After reading The Jolly Christmas Postman, have the students create their own holiday cards at a classroom post office center with stationary, stickers, special pens, etc.
 An ornament to write about your favorite Christmas tradition

Pattern blocks designs: You can find a bunch of different ones online.  Instead of using pattern blocks, you could cut out the shapes and glue them onto paper for cute Christmas card designs.  These designs come  from Pre Kinders.

Candy Cane Patterns: Use tribeads and wire to make these.  Kids practice patterning and make an ornament at the same time.

Counting ornaments worksheet

Gingerbread ideas from Math Wire

Math Wire’s Gingerbread Graph Art

Here is a cute preschool Christmas Craft that you can make.  You just have the students glue on different shapes and then put glitter glue all over.  This tree is glued to a white lunch bag and then used as a gift holder .

Arts and Crafts:

Reindeer thumbprint cards

Reindeer handprint

Here is another idea for ornaments for your student. I bought the Shrinky Dinks, traced a design, colored it, cut it out, and then baked it. Make sure you punch the holes at the top before you shrink it. That way you can put a hanger in it.

Tonight we made these neat little Christmas ornaments from Alpha Mom.

The template fit our ornaments perfectly.  The only thing I would do differently next time is to trace the circle with a vis-a-vis marker so that I can erase the circle tracing mark.  Also, my preschooler crushed two of the glass ornaments so it wasn’t a safe craft for him.  Click on the link above to get the directions.

Here is a little gift you can make for your students. The first picture shows everything you need: small marshmallows, hot chocolate packets, Hershey’s Kisses, snowman stamp, stamp pad, little cellophane bags to hold it all, small candy canes (I forgot those in the picture), stapler, zigzag scissors, pen, red paper.

1. Cut out your tag so that it folds in half.  Stamp on a snowman and write Snowman Soup on it.  Cut the tag with zig zag scissors.

2.  Fill the cellophane bag with a hot chocolate packet, 2 Hershey Kisses, a small candy cane, and 5 marshmallows. Put the tag over the top and staple.

I have seen little poems that go with this, but I just write “Merry Christmas” on the back.

Here is another website with a cute tag you can print.

Here are some cute ornaments to make with your class.

The snowman is made out of 7 popsicle sticks, foam pieces, ribbon, and google eyes.

1. First glue 6 of the popsicle sticks together and one going across for the brim. Make sure to let this dry the night before students paint it.

2.  Have the students paint the face and hat. using black and white paint (we used acrylic). Let this dry.

3. After the paint dries the students add the details with the foam cutouts and glue the ribbon on either side so that it can hang. I used hot glue.

4. The last step is the spray paint it with some glitter paint.

The handprint ornament is my favorite. You will need some Crayola Model Magic, red paint, glitter spray paint, and a cute little handprint.

1. First, roll the Model Magic out on wax paper using a rolling pin.

2.  Cut out the circle. I pressed a circular plastic dish into the Model Magic and cut around the edge with a knife. If you have a giant round cookie cutter that would work better.

3.  Then, I pressed my little guy’s hand in the middle of the circle, making sure to get all of his fingers pressed down.

4.  Finally, I stuck a straw through at the top two times for holes to hang a ribbon later. This has to dry for 24 hours.

5.  Once the Model Magic dries, paint the inside of the hand using an acrylic paint

6.  Last, spray on the glitter paint. Here is a cute little poem to put on the back with the child’s photo:

Sometimes you get discouraged because I am so
small and always leave my prints on the table,
chair and wall. But though I am so little
now, someday I’m bound to grow. Then
perhaps you can’t remember how those
prints looked long ago. So here’s a final
handprint just so you can remember
exactly how these prints looked in 2009

These are two cute Christmas crafts.  The first one is a reindeer made out of a triangle, two handprint antlers, and a sparkly painted nose.  The second one is a countdown santa.  The kids glue on a cotton ball for each day until Christmas.  There is a poem on top too.


March 22, 2012


Cover ImageFall Is Not Easy


Cover Image Apples and Pumpkins by Anne Rockwell

Cover ImageApple Fractions by Donna Townsend

Cover Image Apples, Apples, Apples by Nancy Elizabeth Wallace

Cover Image I Am an Apple by Jean Marzollo

Cover ImageThe Life Cycle of an Apple Tree by Linda Tagliaferro

Cover ImageThe Seasons of Arnold’s Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons

Cover ImageTen Apples Up On Top by Theo LeSieg

Cover Image Up, UP Up!: It’s Apple-Picking Time by Jody Shapiro

Cover ImageApples by Inez Snyder
Apple Pie Tree


Tale of Squirrel Nutkin by Beatrix Potter

Scaredy Squirrel Books by Melanie Watt

In a Nutshell by Joseph Anthony (about an acorn)

Nutmeg and Barley by Janie Bynum

Earl the Squirrel by Don Freeman

The Busy Little Squirrel by Nancy Tafuri

Hello, Squirrels by Linda Glaser

Nuts to You


Leaf Man

Clifford’s First Autumn

Clifford: The Big Leaf Pile

When Autumn Comes by Robert Maass


The Scarecrow’s Hat

The Little Scarecrow Boy

The Lonely Scarecrow

The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything



5 Senses Fall Book: on each page have students write what they see, hear, feel, taste, and smell in fall.  I wrote on the board each starter sentence for them to copy and then they completed the sentence.  You can take a paper divided into 5 squares and then go outside first to record what students observe about fall.

Scarecrow Erase-a-Rhyme

Counting Leaves: students glue or stamp small leaves to correspond with the correct number. I used a paper punch.

IMG_8088Graphing Leaves: we collected leaves on a nature walk and then graphed them.

IMG_8031Use shapes to make a scarecrow.

Scarecrow Pattern Block Design

Christopher Columbus

Here are some great songs to help your students learn about Christopher Columbus.

Columbus coloring page

More coloring pages found here. You can

Thanksgiving, Native Americans, Pilgrims

March 22, 2012

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc Cover Image

Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting

I Know an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Pie

Turkey Trouble by Wendi Silvano

The Firefighter’s Thanksgiving by Maribeth Boelts

Arthur’s Thanksgiving

The Night Before Thanksgiving by Wendi Silvano

Sometimes It’s Turkey, Sometimes It’s Feathers by Lorna Balian

Turkey Surprise by Peggy Archer

In November by Cynthia Rylant

Over the River: A Turkey’s Tale by Derek Anderson

A Plump and Perky Turkey by Teresa Bateman

The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc

Henry and Mudge: Under the Yellow Moon

*Turkey Trouble is a great story to use with an art project of disguising a turkey.

Native Americans:

syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc syndetics-sc

Giving Thanks

The Girl Who Loved Wild Horses

Dream Wolf

Her Seven Brothers

Iktomi and the Coyote

Love Flute

The Return of the Buffalos

The Story of Jumping Mouse

The Rough Face Girl

The Legend of the Blue Bonnet


How Chipmunk Got His Stripes

Squanto’s Journey

Mama, Do You Love Me?

Corn is Maize

The Legend of the Indian Paintbrush

Arrow to the Sun

It Happened in Colorado by James Crutchfield (Read the article called “The Great Buffalo Hunt.”

The Gift of the Sacred Dog

Native American Report

IMG_7616IMG_7618IMG_7619IMG_7622IMG_7623One of the standards for our third graders was to create a report about Native Americans.  Our school used the Step Up to Writing method, so we had the students pick a Native American group and write paragraphs on their food, homes, clothing, and tools.  They wrote on one topic at a time with at least 5 sentences and then illustrated it.  Other topics were optional such as art, etc.  The report also included a United States map with the location of the tribes marked.  At the end the report had a test that the author of the report created to go along with their report.  The class would read the reports and then answer the questions on the test.  There were opportunities to exceed the standard by creating a poem, word search, puzzles, or whatever creative idea the student could come up with.  On the cover each student drew a colorful illustration of their Native American group.  My picture shows a folder used for an animal report, but it is the same idea.  I hung up posters with each topic heading that the students had to have in their report with ideas on what to research.

This was a great way to practice using encyclopedias, the Internet, and researching in the library using books.  The students used T-outlines to take notes on each topic during their research.

To meet the standard:

  • report has 4 topics with 5 sentence paragraphs
  • each paragraph has a colorful illustration
  • table of contents coordinating with numbered pages
  • map illustrating where the group of Native Americans lived
  • colorful outside folder
  • neat handwriting

clothing t


food sheet


houses sheet


tools outline


gif of the sacred doggift sacred dog2

After reading, The Gift of the Sacred Dog by Paul Goble, the students divided a large piece of butcher paper into thirds.  In each third they summarized and drew pictures to tell the beginning, middle, and ending.  On the back the students self assessed their work and told what they think their grade should be and why.  There is also a movie that goes along with this book.


Supermarket of the Plains: If you teach about Native Americans, this poster is great.  I just traced a buffalo and all the other parts onto a piece of paper.  Then I transferred it to an overhead to enlarge it onto a poster.  The kids love to hear about all the different ways that the Plains Indians used parts of the buffalo.  Each student got his/her own small version to put in their folder.