Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Favorite Read Alouds

I absolutely love the first week back to school. One of the big reasons is of course the read aloud books that I read to the kids. I think this sharing, modeling, and engagement with the books sets a perfect tone to that first week. The books I choose are usually connected to some kind of activity that we do to build our community of learners. Here are the ones I usually start with:

*The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf.
The theme centers around acceptance of diversity and being able to see how everyone can work together. A box of crayons at a store do not get along because each thinks their color is the best. A little girl buys the talking box and takes them home. Needless to say they learn a lesson. I follow up this activity by giving each student a cardstock stencil of a crayon. They draw the labels, color it the color they wish, we put their name on it, and I put all of the crayons on a poster that I bought of a box of crayons. It stays up all year.

Here is a picture of our display. I include a quote from the book and a copy of the cover. I use tape to put the crayons on the poster and put them on it just like they would be in a box.

*Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes. Diversity is again the theme--being able to accept others--even those with a very different name. Chrysanthemum goes to school so excited only to wilt after others make fun of her name. Great book for discussion! I usually create on paper an acronym name poem form for each student. We discuss how to do these poems. Each student creates their own acronym poem. This is a great activity for a class book.

*Only One by Marc Harshman. This book is about working together as a group no matter how many in a group. All through the book you will find examples like: 12 eggs, but only 1 dozen. The activity that I do involves using 2 pre-made blank puzzles. I get the ones that are 24 pieces so that you have a total of 48 pieces. I write across the top of the puzzle (laid side-by-side vertically) "___ Students , But Only One Class". I also write each student's name on a puzzle piece. I also include my name on a piece. (**I finally figured out that if I turned the puzzles over and numbered them on the back, it was easier to put it back together again.) Each student decorates their name piece-around their name-and another blank piece. I put them together and into a poster frame that fits the size. It hangs all year in our classroom as a reminder we are a class!

I could not leave this post without mentioning the first chapter book I read to the class--in fact for 31 years I have read this book at the beginning and the children love it! I have "voices" I use for the characters. The kids love the voices of the characters. If I happen to use the wrong one--they will be sure to let me know. I love this book!

*The Trumpet of the Swan by E.B. White. "Louis"--is born into the world lacking a voice. His parents soon figure out that he will not be able to go as far in life without a voice. So, Louis's father gets him a trumpet to use as his voice. The story shows how Louis overcomes his problem and the story is full of adventure and lots of life lessons.

Wishing you all a wonderful start to the year---choose some read aloud books to build your learning community. I think kids sense your love for reading from these activities, and it sets a wonderful tone for the year.

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Imagination Station      http://jazzygrandma.blogspot.com/

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The Teacher's Chair

Monday, July 29, 2013

2013-2014 Calendar Set Freebie

Here is a freebie-----2013-2014 Calendar Set with a woodland animal theme. I hope you enjoy it! You can pick it up at either of my stores:


  Don't forget to follow my blog!!!  :) Susan

Lesson Plan Binder

Hello everyone!
Let me share my ideas about lesson plans. First of all, I distinctly remember using the corporation plan books...way back in the '80's. I like having a template and at that time colleagues showed me how to draw one on each page...then, copy the 2 pages to tape in or staple in each week. I could write in what I needed and other routine stuff was already there.

Boy, have we come a long way! I told them no more plan books for me. I bought a 2 inch white binder with the clear sleeves on the front and back. I created a collage of family pictures that I slipped in the front of the binder. I designed a template on Excel that worked for me. I can tell you I changed it so many times over the years to correspond to schedule changes, subject matter, and whatever decorative matter I wanted to add. I really like color so I even color-coded the cells. Here is a sample:

You can see my plans included Daily 5 activities in the morning during our 90 minute reading block.  I put down the subject, times, brief idea of what was to be done. You have the M-F divisions down the left/right sides and subjects across the top. Special columns were made for Morning Work, Special Classes, and Lunch. The cells across the bottom allowed me to insert birthdays, meetings, etc.

On the left are the afternoon plans. Again, M-F on the left and right with subjects across the top. Special columns include Read Aloud and dismissal. Cells at the bottom were used to remind me about special things during the week.
I used tab sheets to divide the months in the binder. I also added clear pockets to insert the schedule, emergency information, class list, etc.

If you would like a copy with empty cells for subject matter, please click on the links below to my TPT or TN stores where you can grab a free copy.   http://www.teachersnotebook.com/shop/JazzyGrandma


I'd love to have you sign up to follow my blog!

The Teacher's Chair

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Hoosier Hospitality

A big "Hoosier Thank-You" to all who joined the Indiana Blog Hop. Wow! I am so excited to have new followers, have shared my freebie with so many, and enjoyed the journey myself. As the new school year approaches, it's really nice to get some new freebies to use as well as see so many wonderful products people have been creating. And, of course, it's terrific being introduced to so many bloggers out there in Indiana. I knew I couldn't be the only one, but did not know any others until recently. Indiana Bloggers--You rock! Enjoy the rest of the weekend everyone!

Blog Hop Freebie

 Hello everyone! I'm so excited you've stopped by. Please grab your freebie at the right by going to either my TPT or TN stores. This Research Fact Sheet can be used to research any nonfiction topic. It allows students to record 5 important facts from the reading along with also creating an illustration complete with a caption. Enjoy!!


I'd like to share with you my "Back to School Fun Packet." It helps classroom teachers build a community of learning as the students participate in fun activities getting to know each other. Many activities including both primary and intermediate are included. You can find this product in either my TPT or TN stores. Your kids will love the fun--I had so much fun creating them.


Thanks for joining the "Indiana Goes Back to School Blog Hop"! Have a great day!! Your next link is below.


**Don't forget--there is a $75 gift card giveaway at the end of the Hop on Brenda's blog, "Primary Inspired".  You will need to visit and follow all blogs in order to enter                                    the giveaway.

Click on the Indiana Blog Hop button.
Hop on over to Hilary Gard's blog:  Second Grade is Out of This World!

Second Grade is out of this World!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Monday Freebie

Here is a freebie I made for back to school. It's an acronym poem form for "SCHOOL". You will find it in my TPT/TN stores. Enjoy!!!

  Susan  http://www.classroomfreebies.com/2013/07/MM-7-15.html

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Back to School Freebie

I am going to try to post this sheet as a freebie from my packet. I'm still working on it, but wanted to share. It's an acronym form for School. You can get it at my teacher stores. I'm not sure yet how to embed a document. Someday I will!! I will let everyone know when the packet is finished. Have  a great afternoon!!


Sunday, July 14, 2013

School Ads are Out

Looking through the Sunday paper and I'm seeing ads appearing--Office Depot, Target, Wal-Mart. I'm looking forward to taking my grandchildren school shopping. #1 granddaughter has been asking about that for the last 6 weeks. She's one that's just about ready to go back after she gets out.

I am working on a Back to School Fun Packet. I will be posting a freebie from it tomorrow. The packet will have material for both primary and intermediate levels. I love the excitement that "Back to School" generates. I think I did as a kid too. :-)
Enjoy your Sunday!!


Friday, July 12, 2013

Indiana Bloggers

Wow! I have a whole new list of bloggers to follow...the amazing part? They are Indiana bloggers--like me--only I didn't know any other Indiana bloggers. I really appreciate the postings about your get-together. I did link up just so others know there is another Hoosier out here :-)  And, maybe next time I will be able to meet and share with everyone. I am still so new at all of this blogging. I have lots of questions, but I am sure in time it will all work out. Have a great day everyone!  

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Summer Review Packet

This is definitely the time I begin to "hunt" for school goodies. I also begin to look at room arrangement--do I want to stay with the table arrangement from last year? What about that first week?

Well, I've created a "Summer Review Packet" to use to get an idea of student skill levels. There are writing, poetry, reading, math, vocabulary activities included. I've also included some lesson plan suggestions.

I think the kiddos will have fun with it because it also includes some fun stuff like coloring. The packet is in both of my stores. I hope you'll stop to take a look. Let me know what you think.

Don't forget to follow me on Bloglovin!  Susan 

Monday, July 1, 2013

News Story Writing Packet

I finally have it finished!! I did only a part of this last school year, but I wanted to expand it before posting it on TPT/TN. It is so much fun for kids to study newspapers. This packet allows them to write a news story of their choice--or yours--and take it all the way through the publishing process. For those go-getters, I have included additional rough draft and final copy pages. Their newspaper can then be 2 sided. Visit my stores to see the packet. Let me know what you think! Have a great 4th of July!!

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