Saturday, March 21, 2015

Ladies with Class Blog Hop ~ $40 TpT gift certificate up for grabs!

The collaborative blog Ladies With Class are hosting a meet and greet blog hop!  Come check out everybody and get some great freebies and a chance to win $40 for TpT!

 Thanks Mrs. Hug-a-Bug for the great job on our graphics!

I get excited about Spring because I am way into nature lessons with my kids.  I get to play around with frogs and butterflies, and hatch chicks and garden!

Hey, had you heard that gardening helps with depression because of the nutrients in the soil actually act as an anti-depressant?  Way cool!  My students are city kids, and not many have had a gardening opportunity- so they have a lot of fun with me this time of year.

I've been out looking for frog spawn lately, but haven't found any.  I don't want to order it from somewhere on-line, but I think I might be forced to.  Sheesh.  And I'm hoping that this year I'm able to do butterflies without a catastrophe like I had a couple of years ago.  I have already picked out the chicken eggs I'm going to attempt to hatch and have decided not to have them until a bit later in May so that I don't have a Memorial Day hatch date like last year.

This weekend I'm at a science retreat at a State Park in Virginia.  We're going to be doing all sorts of activities from Project Wet.  I can't wait to bring back what I've learned to my classroom and get my kids out to the pond preserve behind our school!

To celebrate Spring- I'm offering one of my first clip art packs as a freebie this weekend. (It's usually $4)  Click the pic to go to my store and get a set!  If you download and leave feedback- that would be awesome!

I've also decided to put all of my spring themed art and teacher resources on sale for 20% off, grab yourself a deal this weekend!

And last but not least, I'm giving away  winner's choice from my store to THREE lucky winners. Enter using the rafflecopter below.

But don't forget to hop ALL the way to Ladies with Class to try your luck at winning a $40 TpT gift certificate from all of us! Enjoy the hop and get yourself some great freebies!

Next stop? 
Lopez Land Learners

Friday, March 6, 2015

Read-Alouds and Digital Citizenship - Virginia is for Book Lovers Blog Hop

I'm always excited to join my VA blogger buds for a blog hop.  This time we're embracing our love of reading! Each of us will be sharing a book and resource that we LOVE to use in the classroom for this very special hop. Even more THRILLING, is that you'll find a book giveaway on each page of the hop, with a super huge giveaway at the end over at Mrs. O Knows.

Mom and Dad always read to my sister and I growing up; picture books, chapter books, fairy tales, comics in the paper, the Bible, everything.  Traci was two years older and started reading independently before me, so then she ended up modeling it for me as well.  Mom took us to the library a lot.  I know for years I always checked out Colleen Moore's Fairy Tale Dollhouse book.  Never even read it until I was 32, but I adored the pictures and made up my own thoughts and stories to go along with what I saw.

I grew up in Alaska.  and I know there were book stores, because I can remember always visiting "The Book Cache".  But I think I bought a great many books at the grocery store. They had books at in the checkout lanes as impulse sales. Get a pack of green Hubba Bubba and a book.  Good times. When we went to the store, often we were told before we even made it through the doors that we were not buying anything not on the list.  But get to the check out counter and ask for a book, and Mom and Dad never said no.  Traci and I ended up with countless Archie Digests and fantasy chapter books this way.

My first year teaching fourth grade, I started building up a class library.  I only filled one four shelf bookcase that year.  By my ninth year, I'd graduated to needing six book cases and I was up to 50 labeled baskets.  A bit out of control, perhaps, but I love it!

I like to vary my read-alouds between picture books and chapter books for variety.  Shocking that I'm a little ADD, I know. When I first started teaching second grade seven years ago, I was a bit worried about having to give up my chapter books.  But it turns out- chose the right one, and there's nothing to worry about!

The Shredderman Series by Wendelin Van Draanen turns out to be perfect for second graders for a couple of reasons.  One, there is the occasional cartoon picture.  And they come often enough to keep the kids antsy to see it.  Two, the main character is in fifth grade- so the maturity level is not too far out of their frame of perspective. Three, the issues of bullying, good kid standing up against tyranny, and wishing to be a superhero are all applicable to the seven/eight year old mind.  Plus, as an added bonus, as you read it aloud, you get to say "butt".  This thrills the second grader to no end.

My students beg me for this book every year.  And they even check it out from the library, and beg me to continue reading the rest of the series.  Interest engagement alone makes this book worth it.

However, in the past few years, society norms have changed enough to make this book interesting for kids and teachers in a new way.  Published in 2004, anti-bully campaigns in schools were already in full force- but cyber bullying was not quite getting the attention yet that it does today.  For this reason, I like to read Shredderman to my second graders with the lens of thinking about the choices Nolan makes to end the physical and emotional bullying at school through his website.  It's a great way to talk about digital citizenship, and whether or not Nolan should have made other choices when working against Bubba.  It's also a great book to read with kids to talk about the choices the adults make in regards to the bullying both at school and over the web.

I read this book in the first month of school prior to introducing my kids to their digital portfolios and while I also teach them about writing appropriate response comments in our other website uses.  It allows for discussion on building a classroom community, establishing group norms, and also discussing citizenship in both the digital world and the real one.

My simple freebie includes a Digital Citizenship poster, and a book discussion form to talk about Nolan's choices.  This will be a forever freebie offered at my store.  Click the picture to go get your download!

Fill out the Rafflecopter below for your chance to win your own Paperback copy of Shredderman: Secret Identity by Wendelin Van Draanen.  I'm willing to mail it anywhere, so no worries if you're overseas! :)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Make sure you hop through all nineteen of us, and don't forget the Amazing Mega-Giveaway at the end of the hop at Rachel's Mrs. O Knows page.  There you can try to win ALL NINETEEN of the books in one go.  Each one of us will individually mail you our book.  Just imagine getting nineteen different packages at your door, each box with an amazing read-aloud for your kids!

Click below to keep on hopping to Jen at An Adventure in Literacy!

An Adventure in Literacy