Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Angry

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 22, 2016 3:43:00 PM

This is the fourth post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here. You can also read the second post about "happy" here and the third post about "sad" here.

ANGER

This weekly blog series discusses how narrative books help students develop emotional and literary skills. Today, we will focus on the emotion of anger. No matter the reason, every child feels angry sometimes. Recognizing this emotion and describing it with words is a crucial part of anger management. Reading about a fight from an omniscient point of view will also help students understand the different emotions of each character.

In The Letter Fight, part of the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, the characters all claim that they are the smartest. By examining the ways in which each letter expresses its anger, you can teach a lesson about healthy and effective ways to expres anger. Students can also practice their spelling skills while reading this book!

JCEBJ_LetterFight.jpg

THE LETTER FIGHT

p. 1:

  • What does it mean to fight? Why do you think the letters are fighting?

p .4:

  • Why do you think A kicks L? Is that a good way to show your anger? How do you think L feels about being kicked?
  • With what betters ways can you tell someone that they are making you angry? (With your words.)
  • Instead of kicking, what else can you do to release your angry energy? (Drawing, dancing, playing ball)
p. 9:
  • Do you think the other letters like A’s plan? How can you tell?
p. 10:
  • Which “talking” verbs show you that the letters are angry? (“Growled” and “shouted”)
p. 12–13:
  • Examine the illustrations. How can you tell that the letters are angry? (Open mouth, slanted eyebrows, narrowed eyes)
p. 15:
  • The letters feel better after sleeping. What are other activities that can calm your anger? (Playing with a favorite toy, singing a song)
p. 16:
  • How did the letters solve their fight?

Reader's Theater:

  • Select students to read the lines of P, A, L and S. Remind them to adopt a voice that reflects each letter's emotion (i.e., angry). This dramatic play will allow your students to experience each character's feelings on a deeper level. 

Numbers Exercise:

  • Teach your students that simply counting to six can help them calm angry feelings. Give each student a piece of blank paper. Fold it to make six boxes. Have students number the boxes in order. If desired, students can illustrate each box to show a progression from anger to contentment. Practice using the counting chart as a class, pointing to each box as you count aloud. If a student is ever feeling angry in the future, encourage him or her to use their counting chart.

Reading about fictional fights will not only improve students' reading skills, but it will also serve as a classroom management tool if there is a conflict between classmates. Next week, we will focus on how books about being afraid. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Click the image below to download a informational sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds, which includes the book featured in this article. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

Book Introductions With Guided Reading Groups, Part 2

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Sep 20, 2016 2:50:00 PM

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This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the second in a series about utilizing book introductions to help guided reading groups develop their reading strategies. To read the first post, click here.

The first blog in this series included reasons to use book introductions in a guided reading group setting. I also included hints for selection of a “just right book” and tips on teacher preparation for the introduction. Today's blog shares examples of effective book introductions for two differently-leveled Hameray titles: Buddy Boy and His Skateboard and Dragon's Friend.

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BOOK ONE: BUDDY BOY AND HIS SKATEBOARD

Series: Kaleidoscope Collection. Guided reading level: E. Genre: Narrative.

PREPARATION:

Imagine that your guided reading groups includes children who were not reading with fluency. As you read Buddy Boy and His Skateboard, you feel that the quotations in the book could be used to help children read more fluently and recognize the use of the quotation marks.

There are three compound words in the story: 'someone,' 'skateboard,' and 'grandma.' You predict that the children can use the pictures and meaning cues to determine the two latter words, but you decide to introduce the word 'someone' in your introduction.

BOOK INTRODUCTION:

  • Distribute the books. Ask the children to study the cover and meet Buddy Boy. Where is he? How do you think he feels about the skateboard? As we read the story we will discover how he enjoys the skateboard, and how something sad almost happens to him.
  • Ask the children to look through the pictures and decide who the other characters in the book are.
  • Use page 3 to introduce the quotation marks. Model what Mom said with expression and ask the children to read the two lines of conversation with you. Remind them to read all the quotations in the story in that way. You might emphasize the word 'Please.’
  • Now we are ready to read and find out what happens to Buddy Boy and his skateboard.
  • Watch and listen as the children do the first reading of the book. Did they read with fluency?

FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES

Follow up the reading with these discussion questions:

  • Why does Buddy Boy have the skateboard in bed with him?
  • What lesson do you think Buddy Boy learned?
  • Why do you think his dad threatened to take his skateboard?

JCEBJ_DragonsFriend.jpg

BOOK TWO: DRAGON'S FRIEND

Series: Joy Cowley Early Birds. Guided Reading Level: G. Genre: Narrative.

PREPARATION:

Three notable punctuation marks appear in the book. The apostrophes make the word a possessive. The quotation and exclamation marks can help students read with greater fluency and expression and understand the characters’ emotions.

Multiple-meaning words also appear in the book. Page 2 introduces the word 'poor.’ Page 10 introduces the word 'scales.' The picture on the two pages can help the children understand the meanings of these words. The word 'cared' on page 14 is important to help the students understand why the dragon decides he has friends.

INTRODUCTION:

  • Distribute the books. Ask the children to study the front cover. Read the title with the children. Why do you think the dragon is crying? How many dragons are in the picture? Why does the word “Dragon's” contain an apostrophe? Explain its meaning.
  • Use the title page to meet the other characters in the story. Where might they be? Why are they looking down? What do you think they may find?
  • Ask the children to read the first line on page 2. Encourage them to use the picture and discuss the idea of the dragon being 'poor.' Go to page 14 and use the double picture to discover the meaning of the word 'cared.' The readers need to understand why the children helped the dragon.
  • Ask the children to find some quotation marks and review why they are there. Do the same thing with an exclamation mark.
  • Invite the children to read and discover how the dragon's problem was solved.

FOLLOW-UP ACTIVITIES:

In addition to the follow-up activities below, the back cover of Dragon’s Friend has some excellent After Reading suggestions.

  • Do you think Joy Cowley gave the book a good title? Can you find another possible title on page 16? This will require the use of the understanding of the apostrophe.
  • Invite each child to write about a time that someone cared for him/her and helped solve a problem. Remind them that some of the words and spellings they need to use can be found in the book. The writings could be illustrated and compiled into a book for the classroom library.

Next week, I will conclude this blog series by examining one last book and offering tips for teacher reflection after the guided reading group meeting.

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Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children. 

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Click the left image below to download an information sheet with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains Buddy Boy and His Skateboard and books written by Geraldine Haggard. Click the rigth image below to download an information sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds, which contains Dragon's Friend.

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Kaleidoscope Collection, Geraldine Haggard, Guided Reading, Book Introductions

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Sad

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 15, 2016 3:24:00 PM

This is the third post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here. For the second post about "happy" emotions, click here.

SADNESS

This weekly blog series discusses how narrative books help students develop emotional and literary skills. Today, we will focus on the feeling of being "sad."

In Dragon’s Friend from the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, Dragon is sad because he has no friends. This topic may be especially potent for your class at the beginning of the year when students are still trying to adjust to a new classroom environment and make new friends. Not only does this story present a solution to sad emotions, Dragon’s Friend also teaches your students how to help when someone else is feeling sad.

DRAGON'S FRIEND

Before reading:

  • As a group, brainstorm different things you can do when someone you know is feeling sad.
p. 2:
  • How do you think Dragon is feeling?
  • Encourage students to put themselves into Dragon’s shoes. How would you feel if you didn’t have a friend? Identifying synonyms and related words such as “lonely” and “unhappy” will help your students build a rich emotional vocabulary.
p. 4:
  • Which words tell you that Dragon is sad? (cried/crying) How does the illustration tell you?
p. 8:
  • Discuss the meaning that Dragon found in the paper dragon. Clarify the meaning of the sentence “You cared about me!”
p. 14:
  • How does the illustration show that Dragon isn’t sad anymore?
p. 16:
  • How do you think Dragon and the children are feeling at the end?

JCEBJ_DragonsFriend.jpg

Extension Activity:

  • Create your own classroom dragon! Cut a large dragon out of poster or butcher paper. Ask all your students to contribute coloring the dragon’s body, wings and tail. This joint art activity will foster peer interaction amongst all your students. Hang the dragon on the wall. Any time a student feels comforted or cared for by a friend, help the student write a thank you note on a post-it and place it on the dragon. Over the year, the once lonely dragon will become filled with acts of compassionate friendship!

Next week, we will visit the emotion of anger. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Click the image below to download a informational sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds, which includes the book featured in this article. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

Book Introductions With Guided Reading Groups

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Sep 13, 2016 3:32:00 PM

GHaggardbiopic

This is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. It is the first in a series about utilizing book introductions to help guided reading groups develop their reading strategies.

Book introductions are an important tool to help guided reading groups practice and develop their reading strategies. When presenting a new book to the group, teachers can present a preview of the book, pointing out new vocabulary and drawing attention to the pictures. Today’s blog focuses on the importance of book introductions. In later blogs, I will share examples of book introductions for three books at three levels of difficulty.

WHY ARE BOOK INTRODUCTIONS IMPORTANT FOR GUIDED READING GROUPS?

The following reasons for the use of book introductions come from my Reading Recovery training and from my experiences in working with Reading Recovery students and tutoring children the past fifteen years:

A good book introduction helps children comprehend and become more fluent in the reading of the text. The readers need to know what the book is about. Setting a purpose for reading is important.

  • With an introduction, the teacher can scaffold and strengthen strategies used by successful readers.
  • Research tells us that young readers profit from talking about strategies they are beginning to use. Why is the strategy successful? What do they do as they use the strategy? When do they use it? Your introduction will serve as a model for their use.
  • The book introduction makes the first reading more successful and prevents the feeling that reading is difficult. This understanding can become the motivation for students to read more.
  • The teacher can introduce new language and encourage strategy usage when students come to an unknown word. (Multiple meaning words, names of characters, and/or verb tenses not used by students in oral language, etc.)
  • Young students cannot introduce a new book independently to others before they read. Your modeling can help them develop this skill as they grow as readers.
  • The book introduction is an opportunity for the teacher to support students at their "cutting edge" and to provide readiness for entry to higher level strategies.

 

story_children_000015576714_kali9.jpgSELECTION OF THE NEW BOOK

The first important guideline is to determine the common independent reading level of the guided reading group. Observing the children reading, running records, and recognizing oral language patterns that the children use can help you select a book that everyone will be able to read independently with 90 - 94 percent accuracy.

Explore two or three possible books at the level you feel is correct to use. Select some books that you think your students will enjoy and that they have strategies to use as they meet some new words.

Spend some time reading the books you have identified as appropriate for the group. Make sure you understand what is happening in the book, what new language is presented in the book and the presence of new sight words that will require decoding strategies. Think about the role of the pictures in the book and how they can be used to plant language and determine meaning. What strategies do you see your students using already that you do not need to include in your introduction?

Remember that placement in a guided reading group does not have to be a permanent placement. Some students will progress in their independent reading level and can move to another group. A running record can help you make the right decision about placement. Also consider rate and fluency as you make the decision.

 

ADVICE WHEN INTRODUCING A BOOK

Here are some tips for you to follow in order to effectively introduce a new book:

  • Be excited about the book as you introduce it. If the students desire to read the book, they can demonstrate the use of strategies and good fluency.
  • Be sure each child has a copy of the book to use during the introduction.
  • Provide just enough help. Expect students to use some of their developing strategies and those they are using independently.
  • Don't make you introduction too long. There needs to be enough time for the first reading and the use of new information given in the introduction.

Next week, I will share more ideas about effective book introductions for guided reading books. Make sure to check back to this blog for updates!

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Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. She spent 37 years in the Plano, TX school system. She currently tutors, chairs a committee that gifts books to low-income students, teaches in her church, and serves as a facilitator in a program for grieving children. 

~~~

Click the image below to download an information sheet with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains books written by Geraldine Haggard.

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Geraldine Haggard, Guided Reading, Book Introductions

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Happy

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 8, 2016 3:27:00 PM

This is the second post in a series about reading narrative books to develop emotional literacy. For the first post (introduction), click here.

HAPPINESS

Last week, we discussed how reading fictional narratives can help students develop emotional and literary skills. In the subsequent posts, we will apply this discussion to lessons that you can incorporate into the classroom. This post will focus on feeling "happy," introducing two books that exhibit happy characters and allow you to open up a discussion about feelings.

Smile and Little Rabbit’s Laugh from Joy Cowley Early Birds feature her newest character, Little Rabbit. Leveled at Guided Reading Level C and D, respectively, these two books employ repetitive text that will be accessible to all students at the beginning of the year. With endearing illustrations and uniquely Joy Cowley humor, the Little Rabbit books are sure to bring happiness into your classroom! 

LITTLE RABBIT’S LAUGH

joy-cowley-early-birds-little-rabbits-laugh-book.jpgDiscussion points:

p. 4:

  • Can anyone make a silly face? Have a volunteer stand and make their silliest face. Raise your hand if you laughed!
  • Discuss the illustrations. How does the illustrator show us that Little Rabbit isn’t laughing? This question prompts students to move beyond the text and recognize the illustrator's role in the story.
  • Repeat the same questions above for page 5 with a silly walk.
p. 7:
  • Do you think Little Rabbit is laughing now? How can you tell? (Squinted eyes, an open mouth)
p. 8:
  • Little Rabbit and Little Chick are laughing together. How do you think they are feeling?
  • How else can you make someone laugh?

SMILE

joy-cowley-early-birds-smile-book.jpgDiscussion Points:

p. 2:

  • How do you think Little Rabbit and Squirrel are feeling? How can you tell? (They are smiling.)
  • Do you think Chickie is happy? Why or why not?
p. 6:
  • What does Chickie do when he is happy?
p. 7:
  • Do you think Chickie is happy now? How can you tell?
p. 8:
  • Why does Little Rabbit say Chickie is “too happy”?
  • Do you think there is a such thing as being “too happy”? Accept several responses.

Writing exercise:

  • What do you do when you are happy? Have students complete the sentence “I ____ when I am happy” and draw an accompanying illustration. Are the people in your illustration smiling or laughing?
Everyone enjoys feeling happy, so discussing this positive emotion will serve as a lively introduction to our emotive exploration. Next week, we will focus on the opposite but equally important emotion, sadness. Subscribe on the right-hand sidebar to receive e-mail updates about new blog posts! 

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Click this link to browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions. Visit our website to learn more about Joy Cowley's newest character, Little Rabbit, and click the image below to download a informational sheet about Joy Cowley Early Birds. 

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Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy, Little Rabbit

Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Farm Fair

Posted by Becca Ross on Sep 6, 2016 3:30:00 PM

This is a guest blog post by Becca Ross, who usually writes over at Love, Laughter, and Literacy. To read more from her, come back here for more posts from her or check out her blog!

It’s the fair season and I can hardly wait to visit our local fair! The Evergreen State Fair is just a few miles from my school and a lot of kids will be going. This is the perfect opportunity to help kids activate their schema about the fair and animals, let them engage in retelling with some fun props, and read a book featuring one of my favorite characters… MRS. WISHY-WASHY!

Sharing Our Schema

Many of my students will have just gone to the local fair by the time we start school, so Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Farm Fair from the Joy Cowley Collection will be the perfect book to introduce the idea of schema.

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When I introduce schema, I start by telling the kids that our brains are like a big filing cabinet. Everything we read, experience, or observe goes into that filing cabinet. I use the example of hot air balloons because we live by a hot air balloon field. I tell the kids that I’ve read books about hot air balloons and I’ve filed that information away. I’ve seen hot air balloons taking off and landing, which I’ve also filed away. One thing I have never done is ride in a hot air balloon. I don’t have schema for that, but someone else may and that is what makes our schema different from one another.

Back to the concept of the fair, I ask the kids to tell me what they know about the fair to activate their schema before reading the text. More specifically, we focus in on the competitions they have at the fair. Some kids in our area participate in 4-H and may be able to share exactly what the animal competitions are all about. After we’ve activated our schema and shared things we know about animal competitions at the fair with our classmates, we’re ready to read the book. I usually stop during reading and ask the kids if they have schema to add.

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Retelling With Props

A few plastic animals, a spray bottle, and a plastic bin (so water doesn’t get everywhere) are all you need to create this retelling station. Some kids will be able to easily pick up the props and start reenacting the story, talking out loud as they go. Other kids will quietly spray an animal but won’t tell the story out loud. This is a great opportunity to jump into playtime and listen, model, and encourage. Adding some of the language in the story and talking with kids about the meaning behind different words is a great idea as well.

Mrs. Wishy-Washy is always a favorite character in my classroom with my kindergarten students. I imagine this year will be no different. I can’t wait to hear about my students’ fair experiences and share Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Farm Fair with them!

Happy reading!

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To learn more about Mrs. Wishy-Washy and see Joy Cowley's books, you can click here to visit our website or click the Joy Cowley Collection series image below to download an information sheet with key features.

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Topics: Mrs. Wishy-Washy, Joy Cowley, The Joy Cowley Collection, Becca Ross, Farm Fair

Reading to Develop Emotional Literacy: Introduction

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Sep 1, 2016 3:27:00 PM

At the beginning of the school year, your students arrive with different histories, households, and emotional experiences. Developing social and emotional skills not only influences a student’s willingness and ability to learn—these skills also plays a crucial role in classroom behavioral management.

That being said, abstract topics like emotions do not necessarily lend themselves well to explicit instruction in a classroom. How can you effectively teach emotional literacy? Reading narrative texts will help students develop their emotional and literary intelligence! This five-post blog series will demonstrate ways that narrative books can teach four basic emotions: happiness, sadness, anger, and fear.

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Emotional Literacy Also Links to Common Core State Standards

The ability to identify and describe various emotions is crucial for reading narratives. The Common Core State standards for Grade 2 require students to “describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.2.3), which they can only accomplish after learning how to “use illustrations and details in a story to describe its characters, settings, or events” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.17). By building an emotional vocabulary, students can begin to understand how characters feel in different situations.

The skills used to describe fictional characters easily apply to real-life people as well. Scanning illustrations to find clues about the characters’ thoughts is comparable to reading facial expressions. Particular diction and inflection within an utterance can signal the intensity of the emotion. By practicing these reading skills, students also improve their emotional literacy.

Beginning with next week's post, we will share books from Joy Cowley Early Birds and the Kaleidoscope Collection that promote emotional literacy. Today, we’d like to highlight Hameray products that are specifically designed for developing emotional skills: 

A Box Full of Feelings

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A Box Full of Feelings features situational pictures, finger dolls, and posters to introduce emotions. With an emotive music CD and “feelings” masks, there are limitless opportunities for classroom activities. This blog series centers on the same four feelings addressed in this box—happy, sad, angry, and afraid. Familiarizing your students with different facial expressions will help them identify those emotive clues in a story's illustrations.

 

 

 

 

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The Feelings Artbook

Students familiarize themselves with emotional issues through drawing activities. The “Empathy” section prompts students to think from different perspectives. This emotional skill serves as the basis for considering the feelings, responses, and personality of fictional characters in a book.

Make sure to click this link to browse our full list of products that will support this blog series.

 

Next week, we will begin with the most familiar and desired emotion, "happy." Check back on this blog next Thursday to learn about Joy Cowley books that develop emotional literacy!

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Click this link to view the products featured in this blog post and browse all of our products about Feelings and Emotions.

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Sally Hosokawa, Emotional Literacy

A Digraph Scavenger Hunt with Fables and the Real World

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Aug 30, 2016 3:30:00 PM

The Fables and the Real World series pairs narrative and informational texts together to help students make connections between fiction and reality. This series isn’t just created for teaching valuable life lessons, however. It also serves as a valuable resource for developing foundational literacy skills.

By Grade 1, the Common Core State Standards require that students “know the spelling-sound correspondences for common consonant digraphs” (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.3.A) Digraphs, where a combination of two letters represents one sound, occur frequently throughout the English language. However, early readers can easily mix up the sounds of similar digraphs. The downloadable Fables and the Real World Teacher’s Guide lists different digraphs to focus on in each book, perfect to use for a digraph scavenger hunt with your students! The Teacher’s Guide also offers various exercises to teach digraphs:


fables-real-world-marvelous-milk-book.jpg

CONSONANT DIGRAPHS

 Nets for Work and Play (from the Dove King set)

  1. Have children identify words in this book with consonant digraphs: there, catch(ing), things, sh, ships, trucks, with, something, they, beaches, sharks, other, throw, through, stick, kick.
  2. Write the words on the board and ask children to take turns circling the letters that make the consonant digraphs.

animals-are-clever-cover.jpeg

Marvelous Milk (from the Milkmaid and her Pail set)

  1. Have children identify words in the book with consonant digraphs: where, what, there, things, with, cheese, pudding, milkshakes, whipped, chocolate, chip, healthy.
  2. Together, brainstorm words with consonant digraphs. Then have children use the words to make up rhymes.

Sun and Wind Energy (from the North Wind and the Sun set)

  1. Have children identify words with consonant digraphs wh, th, sh, ph, tch, ck, ng. Ask them to write the words and circle the digraphs.
  2. Create a chart with digraphs (including ch) as heads. Have children brainstorm words they know with these digraphs.

Turtle or Tortoise? (from the Tortoise and the Rabbit set)

  1. Have children find words in the book that use consonant digraphs wh, ch, th, sh. Ask where they can be found in words.

Animals are Clever (from The Fox and the Goat set)

  1. Help children identify words in this book with consonant digraphs th, sh, wh, ch, ck, tch, ng, ph.

 

VOWEL DIGRAPHS

seeds-cover.jpgSeeds (from the Dove King set)

  1. Have children find words in the book with final silent e as well as long vowel digraphs: seed(s), inside, waiting, three, goes, rain, sunshine, tree, eat.
  2. Have children sort the words by their vowel sounds, and then sort them by their vowel combinations.

The Tortoise and the Rabbit

  1. Have children find words in the book with final silent e as well as long vowel digraphs: time, race, see, each, ate, tie, shoes, came, eat(ing), take, woke, line.
  2. As children read other books today, have them look for words with final silent e and words with long vowel sounds made by using common vowel combinations.

The Donkey and His Driver

  1. Help children identify words in this book with vowel digraphs: donkey, mountain, road, looked, below, see, straight, slow, stay, head, tail, hay, instead.
  1. Help children identify words in other books that use the vowel digraphs contained in this book.

 

Going on a scavenger hunt through the Fables and the Real World series is a great way to learn how to distinguish both vowel and consonant digraphs. You can download the complete Teacher’s Guide for free at the bottom of this post.

What are other clever ways that you use the Fables and the Real World series to teach literacy skills to your students? Let us know in the comments below!

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Click here to download a Fables and the Real World Teacher's Guide for FREE! Click the image below to download an information sheet about the Fables and the Real World series. 

Fables and the Real World More Information

 

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Digraphs, Grade One, Fables and the Real World

Why Are Big Books So Special?

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Aug 25, 2016 3:42:00 PM

 

Both teachers and students love Hameray’s Big Books collection, which feature select titles from the Joy Cowley Collection, My World Series, and Fables Real World Series. We’re excited to be releasing 30 more Big Books in September from the Joy Cowley Early BirdsColleción Joy Cowley and Kaleidoscope Collection—keep an eye out for our new catalog coming soon! 

mwwfairlg.jpg

What makes these books so special? First and foremost, the large book size immediately commands the attention of any reader. In order for students to understand the importance and the joy of reading, you need to make sure that books are literally a big part of their lives!

MWBB_covers-MC-300.jpgThe enlarged text and illustrations also ensure that every student can visually access the book. You could try using a document camera to project the book during a read aloud, but not all schools offer this technology, and there’s always the risk of technological failures wrecking havoc on your lesson plan. When you use a standard-sized book for a read aloud, though, some students in the back of the reading circle grumble or shove other students in order to see. Other students will simply stop paying attention because it is too difficult to follow along from a distance. With a Big Book, you can prevent class conflict and keep all your students engaged!

Apart from the story itself, every young child’s favorite part of the reading experience is flipping the pages. Even reluctant readers will be itching to get a turn at flipping the large and satisfying pages of the Big Book, resulting in a more positive attitude towards reading time.

 

A Big Book also works wonders outside of read aloud time. During sustained silent reading, many students like to look through books already read aloud by the teacher. Rereading is also an essential tool for developing reading fluency (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RF.1.4). Because of the popularity of the book, however, arguments may break out over who can read the book first.

Fables-Dove-250.jpgHameray offers combo sets with a Big Book and matching readers, but your limited classroom library size might prevent you from purchasing matching readers for every book you read aloud. Standard picture books are only large enough for 1-2 children to read at a time, so other students might lose enthusiasm if they have to wait their turn or read another book that doesn’t pique their interest. The Big Book solves this problem entirely—its size is large enough that four students can easily share the book at the same time!

 


By now, it should be self-evident that Big Books are a must-buy for every classroom. Check out all our available Big Book products here at our website or downlaod the brochure below!

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Click the image below to download a brochure containing Hameray's narrative and informational Big Books. Keep an eye out for the upcoming Fall 2016 catalog, which will feature 30 new Big Book titles!

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Topics: Joy Cowley Collection, Leveled Readers, Big Books, Sally Hosokawa

Tips for Classroom Management with Richard Giso! [Classic Post]

Posted by Richard Giso on Aug 23, 2016 3:30:00 PM

This is a guest post by Richard Giso that originally ran in September 2013. Click here to see his other posts. You could also check out his blog, Mr. Giso's Room to Read, in which he writes about fun classroom activities, behavior management, and classroom management.
Richard Giso 200

Classroom Management

I am often asked how my classroom runs like a “well-oiled machine.” My response always notes how important the first few weeks of school are in setting a positive, yet well-managed, tone for the remainder of the school year. Without establishing clear expectations starting day one, a teacher is setting his or her classroom up for a year of potentially ineffective instruction. I’m pleased to have a chance to share some of my strategies with you today.

Mr. Giso’s Top 10 Tips for a Well-Managed Classroom

1. Be as FIRM and as STRICT as you can be from day one—especially for new teachers. You can always “ease up on the reins” as you move through the year, but you will never “tighten them up” successfully midyear. You are not your students’ friends; you are their teacher. Don’t worry—in the end, they will still love you.

2. Establish a routine for everything, starting on the first day of school. This includes daily before-school work, walking in the halls, sharpening a pencil, getting supplies, using the bathrooms, assembling on the rug, using your classroom library, placing the date on written work, unpacking snacks, turning in homework, taking attendance, collecting lunch money, dismissal—EVERYTHING!

3. Develop classroom rules and expectations as a community on the first day of school. Phrase words in a positive manner. Instead of “No running!” use “We will walk.” Have them numbered and posted in a central location by the second day. Don’t forget them! When a student breaks a rule, bring him or her to the rule board for a discussion. Send the rules home to parents the first week so that they know your expectations too.

ClassRules

4. Establish fair and logical consequences for breaking rules beforehand and communicate this to children AND to families. They should always know what to expect for which behaviors. This avoids making a threat that is not possible to follow thorough. Avoid surprises.

5. Be careful with rewards. Way too often, children expect to get something for behaving. Make good behavior the norm, the expectation. Avoid bribing at all costs. Children need to behave because that is what is expected of them. This is not to say that offering raffle tickets for a raffle at the end of the week or having children have their own mini-banks to save up for a class store is a bad idea, just don’t overdo it. Keep candy at home. It has no place being handed out for rewards in the classroom.

6. Give your class’s line behavior extra attention. Your students’ behavior in line is a mirror image of their behavior in your classroom. The only difference is that, in line, you have NO door to close. Quiet voices, hands by sides, facing forward, etc., must be reinforced daily. Have a “mystery walker.” Pick a random student each day (popsicle sticks work great to draw names). At the end of the day, announce that student’s name, discuss his or her line behavior, and praise accordingly.

7. Half of your class should not be on daily behavior reports. First of all, who has time to complete these during the course of your busy day? Spend your time on your curriculum and lesson planning. Only send home behavior reports on an extreme basis, such as a student having a legal documented need, going through an unusual hard time at both school and at home, being unable to get a student to comply despite all your efforts, etc. Make the behavior report easy (rubrics work best) and always include a behavior to rate that you know the student will be successful at displaying. Parents must be on board, too, otherwise it’s a lost cause.

8. Plan how you wish to monitor the level of talking, or lack thereof, in your classroom. Implement a nonverbal sign for quieting down like holding up the “peace" sign. Have a “Noise Gauge” which lets students know what their voices should sound like throughout the day: whisper voice, speak up voice, no voice, 3 inch voice, etc. Also make a “Noise-O-Meter” to monitor noise level throughout the day. Is you classroom too noisy, could it be better, or is it just right?

NoiseGaugeNoiseOMeter

9. Move around often, and have your students move around often! If you have a distracted student or a group being chatty, move your body close to them—your body’s proximity, without even needing to speak, can do wonders. Also let students move around as often as possible. Use carpet samples to let them use the floor, have plenty of side tables around the perimeter of your room, and have a large carpet for whole class meetings, etc. Do a stretch between long lessons, something like Simon Says, the Chicken Dance, the Macarena, the Hokey Pokey, etc. I recently purchased those gymnastic twirling ribbons to have my students wave them around to classical music. They love them.

10. Establish a classroom community. Celebrate classroom spirit. Always focus on the positive. Arrange the desks in small groups. Make EVERY child have a classroom job that rotates each week. Explicitly teach character education, explicitly role model what it means to be a good friend, etc. Remind children that when they misbehave, it brings down the whole community. Use peer pressure to your advantage! Always remember to point out positives and devote your attention to them. Statements such as “I like how Joe is being a good friend by picking up the paper that Cara dropped on the floor” and “I’m so proud to see Shane not talking when Winston is trying to get his attention during our math lesson” are more effective at managing a classroom than “Stop talking right now” or “Stop dropping your pencil.”

With these helpful tips you are ready to a successful tone for a great school year. Good luck!

- Richard Giso

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describe the imageI'm a proud teacher with over 15 years of teaching experience. I began my teaching career as a fourth grade teacher at the Bates Elementary School in Salem, Massachusetts. Since then, I have taught fourth grade for eight years. From there, I moved to a job as a reading coach under the Reading First grant. Having missed my true passion—having a classroom of my own—I returned to teaching as a first grade teacher for the next five years.

Now I've moved to the Carlton Innovation School, also in Salem, Massachusetts, where I am ready to begin my first year as a member of a team of four teachers that teach grades one and two. In addition, I teach undergraduate and graduate students at Salem State University. My courses involve literacy, children's literature, and elementary education. My educational interests include early literacy, effective reading interventions, and positive classroom climates. Click the image to check out my blog!

 

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