Sharing my LOVE of Literacy!

If you can read this, thank a teacher !!

January 24, 2011

My Favorite Unit

When I was a classroom teacher this was the time of year I started to prepare my favorite social studies unit. I always tied it into reading, too!

I loved teaching about the Underground Railroad. What I loved even more is the ways I could tie it into my home state of New York! This aspect always made the history lessons more real to my 4th graders. I hope you are lucky enough to have something wonderful in your hometown to connect to your lessons!

Here are my favorite books that I have used:









Here are two websites to use with 4th or 5th graders:

Traveling the Underground Railroad

Scholastic's Underground Railroad


Happy Reading!

January 22, 2011

Non-fiction

Here is one way to engage students in reading nonfiction:

1. Partner students up.

2. Introduce the topic/nonfiction book. This week the book I read aloud was about Colonial America and the topic was "food from colonial times."

3. Have students make a prediction about the topic. I had the students partnerships write their list of what they thought colonial kids ate and drank.

4. Read aloud the book/text.

5. I had my students take notes. Then we discussed and compared our predictions.

Pros of this type of lesson:

1. Keeps the students engaged b/c they are active learners.
2. Reading aloud a nonfiction text helps with comprehension.
3. Making predictions and then discussing new learning makes it more meaningful to the students.

Happy Reading !

January 12, 2011

MLK Ideas

Books and ideas I have used in the past when I taught 4th grade. Below are two of my favorite books I loved to share with my students:


Title: Martin's Big Words: The Life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Title: Who is Martin Luther King, Jr.?


The first thing we did in my classroom was sign a peace pact. I think I found the copy from my January books or Mailbox.com. I would then hang them on our classroom door.

A few different things I did over the years are listed below:


Martin Luther King Jr. believed in solving disagreements without violence. Write about a time you solved a disagreement in a peaceful way.

Class discussion on how might things be different in your school and neighborhood if Dr. King had not worked to change unfair laws?

Journal Topic: Dr. King once said, “Let freedom ring.” What do you think he meant?

Make a collage of pictures that represent what Martin Luther King Jr. stood

Make a poster with the heading :I Have a Dream" and have the children draw a picture of what their dream is for themselves.

I also made copies of small doves. Anytime a student did something peaceful during the month, a student or myself would write it down and add it to a bulletin board with the title, "Keeping Peace in Room ____ "

I hope there is something you can use in your classroom.

Happy Reading!

January 9, 2011

Winter Read Alouds

I love books about winter and snow. Click on the link below to read about three books I posted about last January.

Books About Winter

Here are some more of my favorite books about snow and winter:

Owl Moon has beautiful pictures. This is a wonderful story that lends itself to a visualization lesson. Read aloud the book twice without showing the pictures. Have students return to their seats and draw a scene from the book. After sharing the pictures and talking about them, read the book again sharing the pictures.

There is nothing better than a snow day. Snow is all about a boy and his dog as they watch the snow continue to fall, piling on the streets and houses, until the entire city is blanketed in white. Have students write about what they love to do on a snow day!

Thomas Snowsuit is a humorous story about a boy who does not want to wear his snowsuit. His mother, teacher and principal try to get him to wear it, but this stubborn child will not listen to them! This is a great book to discuss how the little boy behaves. This stroy lends itself to a great discussion about text tot self connections!

The Snow Bear is a sweet story about a polar bear who loses his Mom. His snow friends help him make a snow blanket so he can stay warm. This story has the themes of teamwork and friendship, as well as family!

What are you favorite books about winter and snow? I am always looking for a new read aloud for my class!

Happy Reading!