Sunday, March 30, 2014


Another book post for my grad class... enjoy!

In Arthur Dorros' Abuela, a little girl imagines she is flying with her Abuela through New York City. They see Manhattan Island, the Statue of Liberty, clouds and more as they soar above the city. The little girl and her grandmother use Spanish throughout their conversation. The story shows a beautiful bond between grandmother and granddaughter.

This is a great book to use, especially if you have Spanish/English bilingual students in your class. This story uses Spanish throughout, but uses context clues for students who don't speak Spanish.

In my grad class, we have discussed how important it is for students to have books that serve as "mirrors" for them. Think about it, most of the books in your classroom probably feature white characters. It's not your fault, most children's literature unfortunately is primary featuring white characters. These books provide a mirror for white students in your class, but not for students of other cultures. Try to expand your classroom library to include as much multicultural literature as you can!

Reading Level:
DRA: 16-18
Guided Reading: K

Themes: Family, Grandmothers, Immigration, Love, New York City, Imagination, Adventure, Fantasy, Spanish Language

Teachers... here are some resources for you.

Web Resources:
  • Escape from Third Grade: This site offers an extensive list of activities to go along with Abuela.
  • Study Guide: Find a study guide with comprehension questions and vocabulary here.
  • Google Lit Trip: If you have google earth downloaded on your computer, you can show this lit trip to your students which shows some of the areas the characters fly to in the story.
Vocabulary: flock, harbor, glide, soar, swoop

Before Reading:
  • Have students create a word cloud for the word Abuela.

During Reading:
  • Use the Google Lit Trip while reading to show what the illustrated places look like.
  • As you read the Spanish vocabulary, have students create a vocab 4-square identifying the definition, using the word in a sentence and drawing a picture.

After Reading:
  • Have students create a family tree.
  • Ask students to write a narrative about an adventure with a family member.
  • Response notebook: 
    • Where would you fly if you could fly anywhere?
    • Create the next adventure for Abuela and her grandchild.

Teach Run photo ScreenShot2013-07-29at32149PM_zps10463e60.png

Friday, March 28, 2014

A Long (but exciting) Week

After being out with a stomach bug 2 days last week, a 5 day week felt VERY long! Today I'm linking up with my 2 favorite linky parties Five for Friday from Doodle Bugs Teaching and Freebie Friday from Teaching Blog Addict. The freebie is on #4 this week, it's a foldable for place value.

Here's my week...

Okay so this one is from LAST week, but since I couldn't link up last week, here's a cute Saint Patrick's day craftivity we did in my room. The kiddos cut out the hats, wrote why they were lucky which went inside the hat. It is my plan to post this as a freebie before March 17th of next year!

We've been working on poetry elements and as a second grade team we have taken our love for March Madness and created Poetry Madness! The kids are just loving it! We took a lot of fun poems from poets like Shel Silverstein, Judith Viorst, Jack Prelutsky and others for our bracket.

I was made the happiest teacher in the building on Tuesday when I FINALLY got the easel the PTO has been attempting to raise money for since December (2 events got snowed out!) It's the EXACT easel I had last year at my old school and after 4 days of teaching with it again, I don't know how I survived without it for so long. It also meant I had to move my room around a little which made my kiddos go nuts! I also went deskless in the past 2 weeks which I plan to post about to encourage anyone who is thinking about it to just GO FOR IT! I LOVE not having a desk!

I had to change up my morning meeting area now that we have an easel... I like it so much more now!

We are starting our place value to 1,000 unit in math. We made a pocket foldable (it uses a little bit of glue so I guess it's not a true foldable) for place value pockets. The numbers were made with index cards cut in half the long way. Get the foldable printout freebie here. Print back to back, but do just 1 first to make sure the pages are in the correct direction (I always have a hard time getting them in the right direction when it's a foldable!)

We had a ballet come to our school and perform Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs this week. It was one of the best performances/assemblies I've seen in the last 2 years!


I just LOVE some of the shirts my kiddos wear, they crack me up!

Teach Run photo ScreenShot2013-07-29at32149PM_zps10463e60.png

Monday, March 24, 2014

Yeh-Shen A Cindrella Story from China

Here is this week's multicultural book for my grad class...

Yeh-Shen A Cinderella Story from China retold by Ai-Ling Louie is of course a Cinderella story…A long time ago, a beautiful girl named Yeh-Shen was being raised by her stepmother. Her stepmother and step sister were unkind to Yeh-Shen and made her do all the housework. She didn’t have any friends except for a fish she had taken as a pet and would give her anything she wanted. When her stepmother kills and eats the fish, Yeh-Shen thinks she will never have a friend again. But the spirit of the fish lives on through its bones to help Yeh-Shen. When the Spring Festival comes and her stepmother won’t allow her to attend, Yeh-Shen turns to the bones of her fish and finds herself in a beautiful gown and glass slippers. Will Yeh-Shen find her love at the festival?

Reading Level: DRA Level 38
                   Guided Reading P

Teachers: here are some resources for you...

Web Resources:
  • Cartoon Version: Check out the cartoon version of Yeh-Shen at this link. It could be argued that there is some evidence of stereotyping, so view before showing your class and decide what your opinion is (and what the opinion of your parents may be) This could also be used as a conversation starter asking if there is evidence of stereotypes and/or comparing and contrasting to the book.
  • Cinderella Stories: This link provides a list of a bunch of Cinderella stories as well as information about each story.
  • Worksheets: Find worksheets on vocab, comprehension and more to go along with a reading of Yeh-Shen.
  • History: I found some interesting information about the history of this story as well as a link to a neat video showing cave dwellings like Yeh-Shen lives in in the story.
Vocabulary: stepmother, undaunted,  finery, fond, marveled, banquet, ivory, glimpse

Before Reading:
  • Discuss: What is a fairy tale? How do we know a story is a fairy tale? What fairy tales have we read before?
    • Teach Fairy Tale Elements, check out my post about fairy tales here.
During Reading:
  • While reading, ask students to consider how this story makes them think of other Cinderella stories they have heard.
  • Ask students to use think marks (sticky notes) while you read to keep track of their thoughts, connections, questions, etc. Get the think mark bookmarks I give my students to help them remember what to put on their stickies here.
After Reading:
  • Read another Cinderella story (or if you already have...) and compare/contrast Yeh-Shen and the other version of Cinderella.
  • Use a comparison matrix or simple chart as can be seen on my fairy tales post to identify which fairy tale traits are and are not in Yeh-Shen.

Read Run photo ScreenShot2013-07-29at31808PM_zps68eb8a00.png
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