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This book companion has various  ’The Missing Mystery' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Summarizing the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: mitten, Math: Smitten with Mittens addition game and Narrative Writing graphic organizer and writing paper.

Are we really talking January?!  Yep!  We are here again this month to provide inspiration and resources to help you add sparkle to your January lesson plans!  Look at all these great books we have for you!
The Missing Mystery is a fun story by Steven Kellogg.  Annie and her dog, Oscar, have had a delightful day playing in the snow - but she soon discovers that she has lost one of her red mittens - her fifth lost mitten this year!  She retraces her steps to find it.   We get to relive her adventures of the day and we are entertained by her creative ideas on just where that missing mitten is - and what it is being used for....
This story is a perfect launch into cross-curricular activities:

Comprehension

You can to use this story to develop students' comprehension skill of summarizing by identifying the beginning, middle, and end of the story.  This flip book is a fun way to record their thoughts.


Writing

The middle of the story is filled with Annie's imaginings of where her mitten ended up.   You can use this section of the flip book to generate ideas from your students for their narrative about their missing mittens.

This book companion has various  ’The Missing Mystery' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Summarizing the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: mitten, Math: Smitten with Mittens addition game and Narrative Writing graphic organizer and writing paper.
You also get a pre-write graphic organizer and some winter-themed paper for the students to use for publishing.

The publishing papers came from my January Monthly Paragraph Writing Resources which is packed with resources to meet all your writing needs for January.  Just click on the picture below to see more of that pack.  
This Writing Resource set is packed with graphic organizers to meet all your writing needs for January. Your students will enjoy writing with these motivating resources. The resources are set up so that you and your students can choose the writing topics – you are not locked in to specific topics!

Making Words

This book companion has various  ’The Missing Mystery' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Summarizing the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: mitten, Math: Smitten with Mittens addition game and Narrative Writing graphic organizer and writing paper.

Mittens make this word-making activity just a little more fun!  You can use it in a variety of ways: morning work, literacy centers, partner activity, homework, or as a whole class activity.

Math

Data Analysis with Glyphs

Annie finds her mitten in the end of the story in a very surprising place - it has become the heart of her snowman!  I love to use this story as an anticipatory set for my Data Analysis with Snowman Glyphs unit.  

Just click here or on the pictures below.
If you are looking for an engaging way to teach/review the CCSS graphing standards, this may be what you are looking for. My students love making glyphs, and because they love their little creations, they love to collect and analyze data - I'm sure yours will too!


If you are looking for an engaging way to teach/review the CCSS graphing standards, this may be what you are looking for. My students love making glyphs, and because they love their little creations, they love to collect and analyze data - I'm sure yours will too!

Addition Game


Just click on the picture below to download your free book companion!
This book companion has various  ’The Missing Mystery' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Summarizing the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: mitten, Math: Smitten with Mittens addition game and Narrative Writing graphic organizer and writing paper.
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Click through my friends' blogs to find more inspiration for January.






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The Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett is the much-loved story of the gingerbread man retold with a delightful twist!  Somebody opened the oven door before the gingerbread man was finished baking and out jumped the Gingerbread Baby!

Most of your students have heard the traditional version of the Gingerbread Man.  The included Venn diagram is the perfect organizer to access their prior knowledge about it, and then use it to compare and contrast with Gingerbread Baby after you read.
This book companion has various ’Gingerbread' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Retelling the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: Gingerbread, Math: Gingerbread Measuring and Gingerbread Bump


This book companion has various ’Gingerbread' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Retelling the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: Gingerbread, Math: Gingerbread Measuring and Gingerbread Bump
As you read the story, encourage your students to make predictions about what will happen next.  Jan Brett's illustrations are rich with hints about what may happen next in the side panels.  Take a look at Matti above.  He is not out hunting for his Gingerbread Baby - but he is up to something. . . 

This would also be a great time to complete the Venn diagram that you started, comparing and contrasting the Gingerbread Baby with the Gingerbread Man in the traditional tale.

This story provides a doorway into many fun and engaging gingerbread activities!  Your students will be delightfully engaged as they learn in cross-curricular areas.

Language Arts Activities:

Retelling using the flap book

After you have finished reading, engage students in the retelling process with the four-flap book, recalling the Characters, Setting, Problem, and Solution.
This book companion has various ’Gingerbread' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Retelling the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: Gingerbread, Math: Gingerbread Measuring and Gingerbread Bump


Writing:

I have included some fun writing paper if you would like your students to write about the sassy little Gingerbread Baby.
This book companion has various ’Gingerbread' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Retelling the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: Gingerbread, Math: Gingerbread Measuring and Gingerbread Bump


Making Words:

This is an engaging activity that you could use in a variety of ways: literacy centers, partner activity, morning work, homework, or whole class activity.
This book companion has various ’Gingerbread' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Retelling the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: Gingerbread, Math: Gingerbread Measuring and Gingerbread Bump


Reading to Self :

Notice the gingerbread baby on his shoulder.  :)

This book companion has various ’Gingerbread' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Retelling the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: Gingerbread, Math: Gingerbread Measuring and Gingerbread Bump

Math Activities

Gingerbread Measuring

After reading the story I tell my students that the Gingerbread Baby and his friends have hidden themselves around our classroom.  (I hid them in plain sight before reading the story.)  'We need to catch them if we can and measure them!'

These cards are also perfect for:
  • Task Cards in Math Centers
  • 'Solve the Room'
  • 'Solve the Room' with Partners
  • Scoot
Here is a fun way to introduce and or review measuring in inches with your students. This cute Gingerbread Activity is the perfect activity to use during this Holiday Season! It gets them up and moving and they are still learning!
This Gingerbread Man Measuring  activity is in my TpT store.  
Just click on the image below to download it.
Here is a fun way to introduce and or review measuring in inches with your students. This cute Gingerbread Activity is the perfect activity to use during this Holiday Season! It gets them up and moving and they are still learning!

Gingerbread Bump

Another fun math activity your students may enjoy is 'Gingerbread Bump'!  Kids will have fun with this game and be practicing the mental math strategy of 'making a ten' at the same time!
This game is included in the 'Gingerbread Baby' Book Companion.  (Watch for the link below.)  It is also part of my Holiday Math Games, if you would like to see the rest of these engaging games - click on the picture below.
This book companion has various ’Gingerbread' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Retelling the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: Gingerbread, Math: Gingerbread Measuring and Gingerbread Bump

Here are some of the best-loved December books!  Find lesson ideas, activities, free book companions for all 12 books!

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Here are some of the best-loved December books!  Find lesson ideas, activities, free book companions for all 12 books!






November provides so many fun thematic teaching opportunities!  Books are a great way to introduce standards in other curricular areas.  We have 12 amazing books and activities for you this month!
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting is a delightful story about the Moose family at Thanksgiving.  The illustrations are totally engaging and add sweet charm to this story.

A Turkey for Thanksgiving is a delightful story about the Moose family at Thanksgiving.  The whimsical illustrations are totally engaging and add a sweet charm to this story.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting is a delightful story about the Moose family at Thanksgiving.  The illustrations are totally engaging and add sweet charm to this story.
The story begins with Mrs. Moose getting reading for Thanksgiving dinner and wishing she had a 'turkey for Thanksgiving'.  Mr. Moose is determined that she shall have her turkey and sets out to find one for her.
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting is a delightful story about the Moose family at Thanksgiving.  The illustrations are totally engaging and add sweet charm to this story.
He is joined by many friends in his search, and we can see that Mr. Turkey does NOT want to be found!  (He has even posted signs to deter any hunters!)
A Turkey for Thanksgiving by Eve Bunting is a delightful story about the Moose family at Thanksgiving.  The illustrations are totally engaging and add sweet charm to this story.
There is a surprise ending when Mr. Moose brings home the turkey for Thanksgiving!  Your students will be quite relieved as Mr. Turkey is invited to join the family and friends AT the dinner table, not FOR dinner.

I use this story to launch various 'Thanksgiving' cross-curricular activities:
Reading: Retelling the story
Spelling: Word making with the word: Thanksgiving
Poetry: Acrostic Poem
Math: Turkey Fractions

This book companion has various 'Thanksgiving' cross-curricular activities: Reading: Retelling the story, Spelling: Word making with the word: Thanksgiving, Poetry: Acrostic Poem, Math: Turkey Fractions
The Turkey Fractions activity is one of my favorite fall activities and is part of a larger unit on fractions.  Click on the picture below to see more of this creative way to incorporate math into this busy time of year!
Are you looking for an engaging Fall Craftivity with educational value! Here it is! Your students will love interacting with fractions with this hands-on turkey feather fraction craftifity! I have also included 2 Anchor Posters to use as you review/teach fractions. If your time is limited, I have included an quick print and make option.


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November provides so many fun thematic teaching opportunities!  Books are a great way to introduce standards in other curricular areas.  We have 12 amazing books and activities for you this month!







Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant is a lovely story about a scarecrow who has other things going on in his head than doing his job of scaring crows away.  We are entertained and challenged to live a little more fully, as the scarecrow does . . .Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant is a lovely story about a scarecrow who has other things going on in his head than doing his job of scaring crows away.  We are entertained and challenged to live a little more fully, as the scarecrow does . . .


Before you read the story, help the students access their prior knowledge of scarecrows with some leading questions:
Have you ever seen a scarecrow?
Where have you seen scarecrows?
What is the purpose (job) of a scarecrow?

As we read this story, let's see if our scarecrow fulfills the purpose (the job) a scarecrow.

Pause and invite your students to enjoy the illustrations and the beautiful language of the story.
Ask:
What is our scarecrow doing?
Is he doing his 'job'?
Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant is a lovely story about a scarecrow who has other things going on in his head than doing his job of scaring crows away.  We are entertained and challenged to live a little more fully, as the scarecrow does . . .
Use the flip flap book to record observations about the scarecrow.
Scarecrow:  'has' - 'likes' - 'thinks' - 'knows'
Scarecrow by Cynthia Rylant is a lovely story about a scarecrow who has other things going on in his head than doing his job of scaring crows away.  We are entertained and challenged to live a little more fully, as the scarecrow does . . .

Encourage students to retell the story,  using their the 'Scarecrow' flip flap book.

Reviewing all these things about the scarecrow will set the stage for you to lead your students into a deeper meaning of this story - there may be more important and meaningful things to do than just our jobs. . . .  Perhaps we are meant to appreciate the wonder and beauty around us in its richness and have a sense of joy and contentment with ourselves, as we are.
Discussion questions:
Do you think the scarecrow did his job?
Did he fulfill his purpose?
Why or why not?
Do you think he had a more important purpose than being scary and scaring crows?
In your opinion, do you think he loves his life?
Why? Encourage students to use examples from the text to support their reasons.

Use the attached 'In My Opinion' graphic organizer for your students to write a rough draft for their opinion.  I have also included some paper for publishing their final draft.
Use this book companion to help your students analyze, reflect, and write an opinion about ‘Scarecrow’ by Cynthia Rylant.
Use this book companion to help your students analyze, reflect, and write an opinion about ‘Scarecrow’ by Cynthia Rylant.
Use this book companion to help your students analyze, reflect, and write an opinion about ‘Scarecrow’ by Cynthia Rylant.
I also love using this story as an introduction to my Data Analysis with Scarecrow glyphs unit.  If you would like to see that - just click here or on the picture below.
Are you looking for an engaging way to teach/review the CCSS graphing standards, this may be what you are looking for. Your students will love making their scarecrow glyphs and then collect, graph, and analyze their data.  My students love making glyphs, and because they love their little creations, they love to collect and analyze data.



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Here are some of the best-loved October books!  Find lesson ideas, activities, free book companions for all 12 books!




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Teaching the difference between facts and opinions is such an important comprehension skill for students - actually, for all of us!
Just because we saw it on TV or read it on the internet does not make it a fact.
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.
I am so delighted to be teaming up again with some great blogger-friends to bring you our favorite books for September!
My book for you is....
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is one of my all-time favorite back-to-school books!  It is perfect for helping to create a caring, empathetic classroom.

It's a delightful story of Mr. Rabbit, who worried (perhaps terrified) about his new neighbors who just moved into his woods - the otters!  Fortunately he has a wise owl for a friend who wakes him up from his worried frenzy with a wise saying: 'Do unto otters as you would have other do unto you'.
We of course know it as 'The Golden Rule'.

Mr. Rabbit takes the words of wisdom from the owl and starts pondering how he would like the otters to treat him. This is the perfect story use to inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn will foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.

I love to gather my students to the rug area for all our read alouds.  It is easier to capture and keep their interest and attention there.  

Before reading the story, show your students the cover and encourage them to make observations and connections.  Some may recognize the play on words that the title is making - otters for others.  Encourage your students to access any prior knowledge (schema) that they may have.

Ask leading questions:
Does the title remind you of anything you have heard before?
What do you think this story might be about?
What do you know about rabbits?
What do you know about otters?
How are rabbits and otters different?
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.
{A Venn diagram is perfect for using their schema 
to compare and contrast.}

How are otters and rabbits alike?
Even though rabbits are different in many ways, how are they alike? (They have many of the same needs.)
Do you have new friends that are different from you?  Do they have some of the same needs?
This is crucial in developing empathy for others - understanding that we all have the same basic physical, social, and emotional needs!
The story unfolds with Mr. Rabbit knowing exactly how he wants the otters to treat him.  The book is rich with great ideas on using good manners in the things we say, do, don't do, and are.

Encourage your students to make connections with the things Mr. Rabbit would like the otters to say, do, not do, and be.

Record these ideas as you go through the story so that the students will have lots of ideas to refer to as they apply the Golden Rule to what they are going to say, do, don't do, and be to others.

You may want to create an anchor chart with the 4 questions, or use the flap book and have the students fill in the information as you all read through the story.
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.

After reading, discuss with your students how they want others to treat them.   Encourage them to refer to the anchor chart or flap book that they filled out while you were reading the story.  Record some of their responses on a new chart (using the included header and questions). 

Now ask them, "If we want others to treat us like this, how should we treat others?"

Students use the triangle flip book to record four things they want others to do for them and then the corresponding things they are going to do for others.

After they have completed the flip book, have them share it with a partner, and/or ask for volunteers to read to the entire class.
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.

I hope you will read this story to your class!  I know you will love it, and they will love it, too!
I have included all of the printable and anchor chart pieces in the book companion.  
Enjoy!
'Do Unto Otters' by Laurie Keller is an all-time favorite back-to-school book!  This story will inspire your new students to follow the Golden Rule, which in turn with foster a safe, caring classroom community from the start.  A free book companion is available for download.
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Here are some of the best-loved back-to-school books!  Find lesson ideas, activities, free book companions for all 12 books!

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Check out these September read aloud books and find more lesson ideas, activities, free book companions!





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