Showing posts with label spelling and vocabulary. Show all posts
Showing posts with label spelling and vocabulary. Show all posts

Carl the Cantankerous Cat by Donna Paul and Karen Patel

If you are a cat lover like I am, you need to read Carl the Cantankerous Cat by Donna Paul and Karen Patel.  I first heard about Carl the Cantankerous Cat in a teacher group on Facebook when some elementary school teachers were raving about it.  I downloaded it from Amazon to see what the hype was about and became an instant fan!  Not too long after that, I received a copy of Carl the Cantankerous Cat and some swag from the authors.  I had entered one of their giveaways on Instagram and won a prize bundle.  Yay!  What did I win, you ask?  Keep reading to find out!

Expand your vocabulary and learn how to use a glossary with the children's book Carl the Cantankerous Cat by Donna Paul and Karen Patel.

Goo on My Shoe by Jacqui Sheperd + STEM Activity

When teaching reading to young or struggling readers, teachers often use poetry as one of the strategies to help them.  There are a lot of reasons why we use poetry:

🍎 Poems tend to be brief and easier to read.
🍎 Repetitive reading and mastery of poems build students' confidence.
🍎 Choral reading of poems encourages hesitant students to read out loud with the others.
🍎 Teachers can use poetry to teach word recognition skills and build vocabulary.
🍎 We feel emotions when we read poetry.  Talking about those emotions helps to build a better understanding of ourselves and others.

Goo on My Shoe (affiliate link to Amazon) by Jacqui Sheperd is a story for young readers that is written in poetic form.  It has a likable main character and a storyline that will keep students engaged and motivated to read.  Read on to learn more about Goo on My Shoe and how you can integrate it into your language arts lessons.  There is even a simple goo recipe for you to make with your students!


Learn about rhyming words, words with the /oo/ sound, and how to make your own goo with the book Goo on My Shoe by Mari Schuh.

Make a Wish on a Fish by Jennie Wiley

Rhyming words is one of the first skills children learn as early readers.   Being able to rhyme words teaches children about how language works, how to identify sounds within words, and can even help children in decoding the words they read.  Rhyming is sometimes a predictor of how well children will learn to read.  The more children listen to poetry and participate in activities like fingerplays, the easier it will be for them to connect and make sense of what they're reading.  Make a Wish on a Fish by Jennie Wiley (affiliate link to Amazon) is a book written as poetry and with lots of rhyming words.  Keep reading to learn more about Make a Wish on a Fish and how to use it in your reading lessons.

Language arts lesson about reality vs. fantasy and rhyming words for young readers using the book Make a Wish on a Fish written by Jennie Wiley.

Great Cape o’ Colors by Karl Beckstrand

Great Cape o' Colors... fully known as Great Cape o' Colors - Capa de colores (affiliate link to Amazon)... is another fun book written in English and Spanish by Karl Beckstrand.  In this book, Karl Beckstrand introduces new colors and professions to children.  He also encourages children to use their imaginations and indulge in a bit of make-believe.  Keep reading to learn more about Great Cape o' Colors and how you can use it as inspiration for making a class book.

Learning color names in English and Spanish with Great Cape o' Colors - Capa de colores: A Story in English and Spanish, written by Karl Beckstrand

It Came from Under the High Chair: A Mystery by Karl Beckstrand + STEM Activity

It Came from Under the High Chair... fully known as It Came from Under the High Chair – Salió de Debajo de la Silla Para Comer: A Mystery in English and Spanish (affiliate link to Amazon)... by Karl Beckstrand is a funny book that children who speak either English or Spanish can enjoy.  It features Ivan, a messy baby, who drops food under his highchair.  Somehow this food magically comes to life and becomes an icky, ooey-gooey, slimy food monster.  Read on to learn more about It Came from Under the High Chair and to find an ooey-gooey slime recipe inspired by the book!

Language arts lesson and slime recipe for Karl Beckstrand's It Came from Under the Highchair-Salió de Debajo de la Silla Para Comer: A Mystery

The Adventures of Noah by Lori Brown

Animal shelters provide an important service in our communities.  They bring in dogs, cats, and other animals who are homeless or unwanted.  The people who work at animal shelters make sure the animals get proper food to eat and clean water to drink.  They also clean their cages, take the dogs on walks, and provide medical treatment to the animals as needed.  It is estimated that as many as 62 million dogs and 64 million cats are in animal shelters across the United States.  Some of these animals will be adopted into loving homes.  Unfortunately, many will not.  The Adventures of Noah (affiliate link to Amazon) tells the story of one lucky puppy who finds his 'happily-ever-after.'  

Adjectives and characterization with The Adventures of Noah by Lori Brown. Noah is a rescue dog who found his forever home. Based on a true story.

Grow! How We Get Food from Our Garden by Karl Beckstrand

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a blog post called How to Grow Celery from Food Scraps.  In that post, I talked about the disconnect children have about their food and described a science activity you can do with them.  Since then, I learned about a new book hitting the market in October 2020.  It's called Grow!  How We Get Food from Our Garden (affiliate link to Amazon) by Karl Beckstrand.  Grow! would be a good book to read with your students to help them realize where their food comes from.  Yes, food does come from the grocery store.  But before it gets to the grocery store, it was grown in someone's garden.  Read on to learn more about Grow! and to get ideas on how to use it in your classroom.

Learn where our food comes from with Grow! How We Get Food from Our Garden by Karl Beckstrand. Children learn that the food we eat comes from gardens.

What is a Word Spree?

One of the first writing assignments I have my students do at the beginning of the school year is something called a word spree.  A word spree is a short, 10-minute assessment that checks students' abilities to recall words they already know by heart. . . or in more professional terms. . . how many words they can control with automaticity.  (Automaticity comes from the word automatic and refers to the ability to do things without occupying the mind, without thinking about them.)  To do a word spree, all you need is a blank piece of paper and something to write with.

A word spree is a simple spelling and vocabulary assessment elementary teachers can conduct in the beginning and end of the school year.

Creative Ways to Practice Spelling

Are you tired of the same old, same old when it comes to spelling practice? Are you tired of having your students write their spelling words five times each or having them write their spelling words in sentences? If so, keep reading. In this post, I present to you four strategies that have helped my students with spelling over the years. I didn't invent these strategies... these strategies have been around for years. But these are the strategies my students have enjoyed the most and have gotten the most benefit from. I hope they'll help your students too. Enjoy!

Change up your spelling homework routine with these creative alternatives: rainbow words, pyramid words, red and blue words, and word scramble.
(This is an updated version of a blog post I wrote in 2015.)