Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

This Sunday: #rrchat with Hameray Authors!

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on May 19, 2017 10:34:00 AM

Do you know about #rrchat? The Reading Recovery National Council of America, which provides effective intervention for struggling readers in first grade, has developed an ongoing Twitter Chat series. Focusing on topics such as "Teaching Reading and Writing Vocabulary" and "Leveraging Deeper Professional Development," these forums allow you to discuss important literary issues with fellow educators... without having to leave your couch!

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This Sunday, May 21 at 7 pm EST, Adria Klein and Allison Briceno will be joining Reading Recovery's Twitter Chat as special guests and leaders of the discussion "Language and Literacy: Partners in Learning." Dr. Briceno is a co-author of Hameray's Oral Language Development Series, while Dr. Klein has participated in the Hameray Biography series and our Family Literacy Workshops book. Both authors have dozens of experience on literacy and language development, and we're so excited for them to be sharing their knowledge with you!
 
To participate in the discussion, all you need to do is follow @rrcna_org on your Twitter account, where Reading Recovery will post questions related to the topic. Make sure to use the hashtag #rrchat to contribute to the discussion.
 
Mark your calendar for this Sunday, May 21—don't miss this opportunity to speak with our Hameray authors!
 
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To download information about the Oral Language Development Series, which Dr. Briceno co-authored, click the image below.

Oral Language Development Series Free Teachers Guide 

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Topics: Adria Klein, Reluctant Readers, Reading Recovery, Allison Briceno

Fun Comprehension Activities for Zoozoo Animal World

Posted by Paula Dugger on May 16, 2017 3:34:00 PM

describe the imageThis is a guest blog post series authored by Paula Dugger, M. Ed. Paula is an educational consultant who has previously served as a Reading Recovery Teacher/Teacher Leader, first grade teacher, Title I and high school reading teacher, and a Reading Coordinator. 

Hameray’s Zoozoo Animal World series has been a favorite series of books not only for me, but also for my Reading Recovery students and other beginning readers I have worked with over the years. These informational texts not only help children learn to read, but they help them read to learn about a wide variety of animals. Vocabulary is enhanced and comprehension is built along with the discussion that takes place with the talking points at the end of each book.

Zoozoo Animal World contains 8 habitats with 5 animals in each. Forty nonfiction books leveled from C-F contain beautiful photographs that support meaning and repetitive sentence structure for beginning readers. My students enjoy having such a large selection of different animals to read about at their reading level.
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>> CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS BOOK <<

I have created a fun activity, a scavengers hunt of sorts, to help my students analyze and compare/contrast the different animals within the Farm and Forest habitat. Students enjoy rereading the books and searching to confirm their answers while building comprehension skills.

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You can download my free activity sheets, complete with answer keys, for the Farm and Forest Habitat Set. I hope your students enjoy displaying their knowledge with this activity!

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Paula Dugger has a B.S, M.Ed., and Reading Specialist Certification from The University of Texas at Austin and Reading Recovery training through Texas Woman’s University. A former first grade teacher, reading coordinator and Reading Recovery Teacher Leader, Paula has served as an adjunct professor at Texas Woman’s University and Dallas Baptist University teaching reading classes for current and future teachers. She also does educational consulting and training through Dugger Educational Consulting, LLC, in addition to writing blogs and early literacy books for Hameray. She can be contacted at pdugger11@gmail.com

Paula and her husband Neil have two married daughters and are grandparents to Carter, Blake, and Faye. She raises registered Texas Longhorns on the weekends. Her longhorn cattle are featured in her first book published by Hameray Publishing group, Longhorns. She has authored six additional titles in the Kaleidoscope Collection—Ben & Ruby, Buttons, Cowboy, Dinner, Going Up and Down, and Round, Not Round.

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To download Paula's free activity sheet, click the left image below. For more information about Zoozoo Animal World, click the right image below.

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Topics: Early Childhood, Leveled Readers, Paula Dugger, Zoozoo Animal World

Identifying Character Perspectives with Joy Cowley Books

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on May 11, 2017 3:44:00 PM

An essential literacy skill for reading fiction is the comprehension of character perspectives. In order for students to fully understand what is happening in the story, they must recognize that different characters are collectively contributing to the plot. Two Common Core Reading Standards relate to character perspectives: “Identify who is telling the story at various points in a text” (RL.1.6) and “Compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters in stories” (RL.1.10). 

Joy Cowley’s books offer two ways for you to teach character perspectives to your students: 1) through dialogue and 2) unconventional points of view.

1) DIALOGUE

Many of Joy Cowley’s books contain dialogue between different characters. Wishy-Washy Mirror, part of the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, features the characters Mrs. Wishy-Washy, the cow, the pig, and the duck. On page 3, 4, and 5, ask students to identify who is talking and how they can tell. Emphasize quotation marks and words like “said” as markers for character’s speech, which gives the reader insight into the character’s perspective.

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Ask the students: why did the cow, the pig, and the duck see different things in the mirror? This comprehension question requires students to recognize that each character has its own perception—because mirrors reflect the things in front of it, each animal sees itself!

>> CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS BOOK <<

 

2) POINT OF VIEW

The Joy Cowley Collection includes three books called A Book for Pet Cats, A Book for Pet Dogs, and A Book for Pet Parrots. Each of these books contains advice for the reader to be an ideal pet—the narrator begins with “If you are a parrot and you want to be a pet, this is a book for you” (2).

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The second person “you” point of view implies that the reader is a parrot. This narrative frame requires the child to adopt the perspective of a parrot who wants to become a pet, not a pet owner (which would be a more familiar perspective). With this experience, the reader takes on the shoes of someone else and learns to dive deeply into a fictional character’s perspective.

 >> CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS BOOK <<

This blog post only mentions 4 books, but all of Joy Cowley’s books are stellar titles for teaching students about character perspectives!

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To download information about Joy Cowley Early Birds, click the left image below. To download highlights about The Joy Cowley Collection, click the right image below.

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Topics: Joy Cowley Collection, Joy Cowley, Joy Cowley Early Birds, Literature, Point of View

FREE Zoozoo Into the Wild Teacher's Guide!

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on May 9, 2017 3:56:00 PM

Long-time fans of Zoozoo Into the Wild will be elated to learn about a FREE Teacher’s Guide for the series! The comprehensive guide offers various classroom activities for the nonfiction, fiction, wordless books, and poetry cards that are included in the Zoozoo Into the Wild series. 

The series features eight different animals: Elephant, Frog, Giraffe, Hippo, Lion, Orangutan, Tiger, and Zebra. Each animal has a narrative, informational, and wordless book in which they are featured. By using these titles together, students can learn how to distinguish nonfiction from fictional texts, making them critical and active readers.

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The poetry cards include illustrations and a famous poem about animals. For example, the hippo poetry card features “One Hippo, Two Hippo” by Daniel Williams. The Teacher’s Guide suggest the following ways to introduce poetry into your literacy classroom:

“Listen to the Poem:

  • Read the poem to the children without showing the illustrations.
  • Ask them to listen carefully and try to picture what the hippos are doing in the poem.
  • Read the poem twice. Then ask the children to retell the poem in their own words.
  • Display the poetry card to the group and read the poem again” (12)

Reading the poem aloud allows the children to really focus on the semantic meanings of the words and boosts their visualization skills. After listening, the children can “Hear the Poem”:

  • “Read the first two lines of the hippo pome. Ask the children to identify any words that rhyme.
  • Reread the first two lines, leaving out one of the rhyming words. Ask the children to fill in the blanks.
  • Repeat this with the last two lines of the poem.
  • Read the whole poem to the group, leaving out some of the rhyming words. Ask the children to fill in the blanks” (12)

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For more tips on how to teach poetry and use Zoozoo Into the Wild with your students, look through the Flipbook and download the Zoozoo Into the Wild Teacher’s Guide for FREE!

 

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View the FREE Teacher's Guide at this link. To download information about Zoozoo Into the Wild, click the image below.

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Topics: Zoozoo Into the Wild, Poetry, Teacher's Guides

Hi-Lo Books for Movie Fanatics

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on May 4, 2017 4:17:00 PM

Books have a lot of competition in the modern day—children are increasingly turning to TV, video games, and the internet as their preferred form of entertainment. Many reluctant readers love watching movies, but find books to be stuffy or boring. Different media don’t have to exist in isolation to each other, though. Why not capture your reluctant reader’s interest with books about movies?

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Behind the Scenes: Special Effects, from the Download series, discusses the various cinematic features included in movies. Readers learn about stop-motion animation, stuntmen, CGI, and more! The book showcases many pivotal moments in moviemaking history, such as the first movie with special effects and the first IMAX film. Any movie buff will be thrilled to read about the work that goes into moviemaking. Best of all, the book is filled with photographs from famous movie franchises such as King Kong and Spiderman.

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The Hameray Biography Series highlights the life of Walt Disney, one of the most famous moviemakers of all time. The biography traces Walt Disney’s path to fame with Steamboat Willie and Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Today, Walt Disney’s name still makes any child perk up with excitement; even your most reluctant reader will be drawn to this high-interest book!

Specifically written for students reading below their grade, Behind the Scenes: Special Effects and Walt Disney are perfect high-interest, low-level books. Your students will realize that books are just as entertaining as movies … and some books can even make movie-watching more interesting!

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To download information about Download Series, click the left image below. To download a free Teacher's Guide for Walt Disney, click the right image below.

                                        Download Series Highlights    Bio TG

 
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Topics: Biography Series, Download, Reluctant Readers, Hi-Lo, Movie

Brand-New Letter Buddies Teacher's Guide!

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on May 2, 2017 2:16:00 PM

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Hameray is excited to announce "Letter Learning with the Letter Buddies," our brand-new Letter Buddies Teacher's Guide! This free guide provides ideas to boost your students' alphabetic knowledge with the Letter Buddies

The Teacher's Guide covers every product from the extensive Letter Buddies series:

The skills chart, included in the Teacher's Guide, matches Letter Buddies products to different alphabetic skills. For example, if your teaching goal is to have students identify beginning letters and sounds with accompanying pictures, the skills chart says that you can use the LetterMats, Alphabet Booksand Letter Books. Look no further than the skills chart to decide which product will best suit your students!
 
Libby Larrabee, the author of the Letter Buddies series, offers a multitude of alphabetic activities that you can use in the classroom. The Letter Buddies Alphabet Books are large and lap-sized, lending them well for whole-classroom or small-group settings. Students draw upon their vocabulary knowledge of common settings, such as the store and the classroom. Using these familiar environments, students learn to recognize and identify letter sounds and shapes. 
 
Larrabee offers many ideas for using Alphabet Books in the classroom:
  • "Talk about the features of the lowercase and uppercase versions of each letter.

  • Finger-trace the letters to demonstrate formation using verbal directions from the Child Talk Table (see pages 3–4).

  • Name the letters and give students practice naming the letters.

  • Talk about how certain letters are grouped together to form a word. Explain that there is a word under each picture naming what the object is.

  • Show that the letter at the top of the page is the same as the rst letter in the word below.

  • Demonstrate and practice alphabetical order using the picture glossary.

  • Engage in storytelling and conversation while playing the I-Spy game included" (5)

For more ideas and information about the other Letter Buddies products, read through the free "Letter Learning with the Letter Buddies" at our website!
 
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To download information about each Letter Buddies product, click the images below.

Letter Buddies Letter Books Sales Sheet Letter Buddies Blends Sales Sheet Letter Buddies Best Friends Sales Sheet Letter Buddies Starters Sales Sheet Letter Buddies Alphabet Books Sales Sheet

 
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Topics: Letter Buddies, Letter Learning, Teacher's Guides

Visualizing Relative Words with Low-Leveled Books

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Apr 27, 2017 3:28:00 PM

Why is it so important to directly teach vocabulary to children? Children have an amazing ability to soak up new words every day from their environment without being explicitly taught. Many words in our English vocabulary, however, are relative and abstract in their meaning. With informational texts, you can teach your students about the meaning of relative words!

 

Directional words, such as “up” and “down,” are dependent upon the position of the speaker and the listener. The meanings of directional words are difficult to grasp without concrete visual aids. Going Up and Down, a new level B reader from the Kaleidoscope Collection, offers images of common activities such as sliding down a playground slide and climbing up a rock-climbing wall. The familiar images help the reader become situated and understand the spatial meanings of “up” and “down.” 

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If you want to add a science twist to teaching the vocabulary, read Up and Down from the My World Series. Leveled at Guided Reading level E, the book features plants that grow up from the ground (like a sunflower) and plants that grow down underground (like a carrot).

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Big and Little (Level D) from the Kaleidoscope Collection also uses adjectives with relative meanings. The meaning of the words “big” and “little” only make sense if the reader knows what the object is being compared to. The boy’s shirt is big compared to Baby’s shirt. Baby’s pants are little compared to her brother’s pants. Ask your students: Would the boy’s shirt be big compared to his dad’s? Would Baby’s pants be little compared to a doll’s pants?

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Using photographs for reference will help your students distinguish between these relative words that are understood through context. Their vocabulary skills will go up, up, and up!

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Click the left image below to download information about Kaleidoscope Collection. Click the right image below to download information about My World.

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Topics: Informational Text, Early Childhood, Kaleidoscope Collection, My World, Pictures

Teaching Character Traits with Little Red Riding Hood—with FREE download!

Posted by Hilary Gard on Apr 25, 2017 3:07:00 PM

Today's post features our new guest blogger, Hilary Gard, who is a 2nd grade teacher. If you like this post, make sure to check out her blog, Primary Planet!

Hi! I’m Hilary from Primary Planet and I am guest blogging at Hameray today!

Today, I want to talk about teaching character traits. I recently used Little Red Riding Hood, retold by Alan Trussell-Cullen from the Story World Series, to teach character traits in my classroom.

Most of my students had heard the story of Little Red Riding Hood, so before we started reading, we had a conversation about the important events in the story. With so many versions, sometimes the ending differs from book to book.

We read Little Red Riding Hood together and talked about how this particular version was the same or different from the other versions we know.

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Then, we started talking about the characters. We decided that the two main characters in this story are Little Red and The Wolf.

We talked about what character traits are, and decided that there are character traits that you can see (outside traits) and traits that make the characters the people that they are (inside traits).

Then, using the activity sheets that you can download below, we listed outside and inside traits together for Little Red Riding Hood. I completed mine on the document projector with the help of the students.   

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Next, we had a discussion about the wolf. The kiddos had a great time talking about his character traits. Then, they worked with a partner to fill out the page with the character traits of the wolf. We also switched partners to see if they could add anything new to their pages. After that, we came back together to compile our findings on a class page about the Wolf.

Teaching character traits is an ongoing lesson in my classroom.  We talk about the traits of characters often during read alouds, reading conferences, and in small groups.

Thanks so much for stopping by today! I hope you and your students enjoy the little freebie!

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Hilary Gard has been teaching for 17 years, 13 of those years in 2nd grade. She is a children’s book collector and does a weekly book series called Book Talk Tuesday on her blog, Primary Planet.

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To download Hilary's character traits activity sheet, click the left image below. For more information about Story World Real World, click the right image below.

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Topics: Story World, Character Traits, Hilary Gard

Engaging Readers with Literary Mirrors

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Apr 20, 2017 3:02:00 PM

“How can we engage children with books?” Teachers, literacy specialists, and publishers face this big question every day. Even if we teach young children about phonics and sight words, they will not successfully become independent readers unless they think that books are interesting.

One obstacle to reader engagement is that very few children’s books feature meaningful characters with minority identities. Classic children’s books feature white children living with two parents in a financially stable home. However, many children today do not fit this lifestyle, and they have trouble becoming invested in characters that seem so different to them. The library becomes an unwelcoming place that doesn’t accept minority identities—as a result, the children lose their interest in reading.

Rudine Sims Bishop describes this situation as a lack of literary “mirrors,” where readers can see their own lives and experiences reflected in the text. A mirror encourages self-affirmation and helps readers make connections between the book and their own lives. Thus, it’s essential that every child have access to mirrors in the books that they read.
 
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Hameray is committed to featuring diverse characters and stories in our products. The Kaleidoscope Collection features authors of "diverse geographic and teaching backgrounds, [allowing] every student an opportunity to find the right books that best suit them":

  • Narratives such as Tortilla Sundays and The Hospital Can Be Fun feature stories about children with different cultures and abilities.
  • My Big Sister, The Tarp Monster, and The Friendship Shell feature protagonists of color.
  • Children of ethnic minorities will even find mirrors in nonfiction informational texts such as Here I Am! and Hot and Cold.
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This blog only mentions a few of the many Hameray titles that will engage any child. All readers should have the right to be engaged with literary mirrors!

 

 

Bishop, Rudine Sims. “Mirrors, Windows, and Sliding Glass Doors.” Originally published in Perspectives: Choosing and Using Books for the Classroom, v. 6, no. 3. 1990.

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For more information about the Kaleidoscope Collection, click the image below.

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Kaleidoscope Collection, Diversity, Reading, Mirrors

Reading About Weather

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Apr 18, 2017 3:14:00 PM

Spring has sprung! Because spring is a transitional season, the weather outside often changes drastically from day-to-day—even if it’s sunny and pleasant today, it could be windy and raining tomorrow. Unpredictable weather fluctuations might be frustrating for your students, who are ready to play outside on the playground. On the other hand, though, since it’s possible to experience a vast range of weather during a short amount of time, the spring is the best time of the year to teach lessons about the weather.

Hameray offers a multitude of books, both narrative and informational, that discuss the weather and the changing seasons. On a rainy spring day, keep students engaged by reading narratives about puddles and umbrellas from the Kaleidoscope Collection:

  • In Puddles, a young boy frolics outside in the rain by jumping into puddles—he even sees a rainbow!
  • Whose Umbrella? traces a rabbit’s quest to find the owner of a lost umbrella.

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On a sunny day, teach your students about the importance of sunlight with these titles from Fables Real World:

  • The Sun describes how the sun is so hot that “nothing can even get close to it without melting”!
  • Sun and Wind Energy discusses how the weather can be used for sustainable energy and for generating electricity.

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On windy days, mix up the genres with one informational and one narrative book:

  • Wind, from Fables Real World, discusses the different words that we use to describe wind (breezes, gusts, gales, hurricanes, tornadoes, and blizzards). Students will be enthralled by the power of wind!
  • Hurricane Dog, from Kaleidoscope Collection, follows a dog that looks for a new home after a disastrous hurricane hits his town.

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Selecting reading materials based on that day’s weather keeps your lessons relevant and engaging. Happy spring!

 
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For more information about the Kaleidoscope Collection and Fables and the Real World, click the images below.

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Kaleidoscope Collection, Science, Fables and the Real World, Weather

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