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Cindy Price

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Using Nonfiction and Fiction Texts for Fluency in First Grade

Posted by Cindy Price on Aug 25, 2017 4:08:15 PM

This is a guest blog post by Cindy Price, a first-grade teacher from Delaware. If you like what you read here, take a look at her blog at Mrs. Price's Kindergators, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!

In today’s classroom, there is a lot of focus on fluency. Children are supposed to be able to read to us as if they were talking to us. So we begin in the primary grades to focus on fluency using easy text.

In my room, I wanted my children to read fluently but not just fiction books. I wanted them to read nonfiction books as well. This is why I love the Zoozoo Into the Wild series by Hameray Publishing!

This series has a nonfiction section as well as a fiction section. This allows us to bring in various texts that will pique their interests and ones that we can use during our guided reading groups as well.

The books we read were Zebra, Oh, Zebra!, Frog, and Frogs Play.

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As usual, we began by reviewing the vocabulary. Each book had some awesome words to review with my kids! I love having my kids come up with synonyms for the vocabulary words.

We made inferences about the fiction stories. They looked at the cover and told me what they thought would happen. With the nonfiction stories, they shared all that they thought they knew about the animal. We completed can, have, and are charts using the nonfiction texts.

>> CLICK HERE TO SEE THIS BOOK <<

The text in both the fiction and the nonfiction books were perfect for my small group and my low readers. But all of my kids gravitate towards these books! They love the pictures and the easy to read text.

As I read the text to them, I stop and ask them questions. I also allow them to ask questions and to talk with a partner throughout the book. I love these pages. Look below and click on the picture for the link to the series.

The Nonfiction Texts

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After we discussed the books we then completed some activities! The pages that we completed are below! Click on the photo for the link to worksheets.

The Fiction Texts

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I love how we can compare and contrast the two series. That is a common core standard for first grade. Comparing and contrasting two texts about the same topic. But we could also compare the texts against each other, frogs and zebras. Students were able to discuss the differences in environments and storylines as well as diet and life cycles.

After we discussed the books, we then completed some activities. The pages that we completed are below. Click on worksheet image at the bottom of the page to .

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Click on the image below to learn more about the Zoozoo Into the Wild Series that is featured in this post.

New Call-to-Action Frog and Zebra Activity Packet

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Zoozoo Into the Wild, Nonfiction, First Grade, Cindy Price, fiction, Fluency

Zoozoo Storytellers Activities!

Posted by Cindy Price on Nov 29, 2016 2:58:00 PM

This is a guest blog post by Cindy Price, a first-grade teacher from Delaware. If you like what you read here, take a look at her blog at Mrs. Price's Kindergators, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!

I love the Zoozoo Storytellers series! In first grade we are comparing fiction and nonfiction books as well as learning about retelling a fiction story and the importance of making sure the text and photographs match in a nonfiction text. The series is perfect for this comparison.

The books we read were Frogs and Frog’s Play. As usual, we began by reviewing the vocabulary. These books have such an awesome vocabulary bank. The text was perfect for my small-group and my low readers, but all of my kids gravitate towards these books! The one thing I love about these books is the fact that they increase my students’ self-esteem. The easy-to-read yet informative text was a hit with my kids!

We can use these books for many Common Core Standards. We can use them for point of view, opinion writing, compare and contrast stories, text to self connections, listening and speaking standards, as well as reading fluency and writing activities! 

The nonfiction book, Frogs, had awesome photos that closely match the text. This is an important feature for the books to have, especially at this reading level.

Here is the cover and some pages from the nonfiction book!

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Here are some of the things my kids did with the nonfiction text!

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We read the book and discussed the parts of a frog. Then they labeled the frog with the word bank at the bottom of the page. We also compared ourselves to the frog. What body parts do we share with frogs?

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We also talked about what frogs "can" do, what they "have," and what they "are." We made a large class chart as well as the children making their own individual chart to share with their families.

Then we read the fiction book Frog’s Play. My kids loved the bright pictures and the easy-to-read text. We read it once as a class and then they read it individually. All of my readers loved this book despite their reading level. I also put it in our class library and it has been a constant hit!

Check out the cute pictures and easy print as well as some of the activities we did using this book!

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After reading, we retold the story. First we retold it with a friend, then as a class. Then, depending on their abilities, the kids either wrote what happened or drew pictures for what happened in the story!

Then we did this fill-in activity.

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When we were finished reading both books, we also compared the two texts. The kids loved this entire mini-unit.

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Click on the image below to learn more about the Zoozoo Storytellers Series that is featured in this post.New Call-to-Action

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Zoozoo Storytellers, Nonfiction, First Grade, Cindy Price

Ocean Life Study in First Grade—With FREE Activity Sheet!

Posted by Cindy Price on Aug 16, 2016 3:00:00 PM

This is a guest blog post by Cindy Price, a first-grade teacher from Delaware. If you like what you read here, take a look at her blog at Mrs. Price's Kindergators, and be sure to check back here for more of her guest blog posts!

What do all kids love? Animals, especially ocean animals!

In first grade, we are focusing a lot on nonfiction readers. Sometimes, it is hard to find a nonfiction reader that is right for all of your students. The nonfiction readers in ZooZoo Animal World's Ocean Animals Set, however, are great for all of your learners. Below, I’ll walk you through the lesson that I teach to my class using the Sea Turtle book.

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To begin the lesson, we always start with our Wonder Wall. For those of you who have never heard of a Wonder Wall, it is a place in the classroom where the kids can post their wonders and refer to them throughout the lesson. On a sticky note, students write one thing they wonder about or want to know about sea turtles.

After the Wonder Wall, I show them the cover of the book. The kids look at the cover and then turn and talk with a partner to see what they know or think they know about sea turtles.

After discussing the cover, we begin to read the book. I love the pages of this book because the pictures are bright and colorful, and the text is easy enough for all learners to be successful. With a clean page layout, the reader can focus on what the text is saying. 

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As I read the text to them, I stop and ask them questions. I also allow them to ask questions and to talk with a partner throughout the book.

After we discussed the books, we completed some activity sheets. You can download my activity sheets for FREE at the bottom of this blog post! I created an activity sheet for each book: Sea Turtle, Octopus, Dolphin, Shark, Seahorse, and Killer Whale.

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I love these books! I used Sea Turtle as an example in my post, but the Ocean Animals Set also includes Octopus, Dolphin, Shark, and Seahorse. We also read Killer Whale from the Arctic Habitat Set!

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Click on the left image below to download Cindy Price's FREE 15-page activity sheet about Ocean Life Animals! Click on the right image below to learn more about the ZooZoo Animal World Series that is featured in this post.

Ocean Life Activity Sheet      New Call-to-Action

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Zoozoo Animal World, Nonfiction, First Grade, Cindy Price, Ocean Animals

3 Wishy-Washy Lessons with Joy Cowley Early Birds—with FREE Download

Posted by Cindy Price on Jun 28, 2016 2:34:34 PM

Today's guest blogger is Cindy Price, who is currently teaching first grade after 20 years in kindergarten. If you like what you see here, be sure to check back frequently for more posts, and take a look at her blog, Mrs. Price's Kindergators!

I am excited to share with you some of the ways I used these awesome Mrs. Wishy-Washy books in my classroom. My kiddos and I love Mrs. Wishy-Washy and they were so happy to be able to read more books about her.

The books we read were Wishy-Washy Sleep, Wishy-Washy Card and Wishy-Washy Road.

As usual, we began by learning the vocabulary. Each book had some awesome words to teach my kids! I love having them try to come up with synonyms for the different vocabulary words. The one they had fun with was "roared." This word was found in Wishy-Washy Road! The words they came up with surprised me.

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We made inferences about the stories. They looked at the cover and told me what they thought would happen. The text was perfect for my small group and my low readers. All of my kids gravitate towards these books. They love the characters and their adventures.

The one thing I love about these books is the fact that they increase my kids' self esteem and they become more confident in their reading. This is because these books have text that is easy for them to read as well as characters they love.

We can use these books for many Common Core Standards. We can use them for point of view, opinion writing, compare and contrast stories, text to self connections, listening and speaking standards, as well as reading fluency and writing activities.

Wishy-Washy Sleep was a book that my students related to. They discussed how they are similar to the animals in the book. They made a personal connection with the characters. Once they did this, we described and wrote about sleep.

Here are some of the things my kids did:

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We used this graphic organizer to write down our thoughts about sleep and then to create the book pictured here as well! They then shared their books with the class. This worked on their listening and speaking standards as well.

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The next book, Wishy-Washy Road, was one of their favorites! They discussed the safety rules and how we should never go in the road. I asked them what they thought should happen to the animals for not being obedient and for going into the road. They made many personal connections and shared with us what their parents would do if they were playing in the road.

And of course we read an emergent reader that I wrote about Wishy-Washy Road.

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The last book I got to discuss was Wishy-Washy CardThis book is great to use during the month of February because the animals are making their valentines. So I made Mrs. Wishy-Washy Valentines for the kids to color and share with their friends. I also created a letter for the kids to send to someone who they would like to be their Valentine!

These books were awesome! There are so many things that we can teach our students using Mrs. Wishy-Washy books.  Group discussion, increasing self confidence in reading, causing kids to smile as well as foster a love for reading are just a few things these books accomplish. If I could, I would read Mrs. Wishy-Washy everyday!

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I am now a first-grade teacher, so that makes me a first-grade teacher for one year and a kindergarten teacher for twenty years. Every day is a new and exciting learning experience for both myself and my students. I believe that kindergarten should be a fun yet educational experience where the students are immersed in poetry, children's literature, music, kinesthetic and hands-on activities, as well as hugs and love!

~~~

To download the activity packet, or an information sheet with key features about the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the images below.

New Call-to-Action Early Birds Wishy-Washy Mini Unit

 

 

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Topics: Mrs. Wishy-Washy, Joy Cowley, Joy Cowley Early Birds, Teaching Writing, Writing Activity, Teaching Reading, Reading

Five Great Activities for Wishy-Washy Ice Cream—with FREE Download!

Posted by Cindy Price on May 3, 2016 2:31:10 PM

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Today's guest blogger is Cindy Price, who is currently teaching first grade after 20 years in kindergarten. If you like what you see here, be sure to check back frequently for more posts, and take a look at her blog, Mrs. Price's Kindergators!

I love Mrs. Wishy-Washy! I mean who doesn't! I have read Mrs. Wishy-Washy and Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Farm for years in my classroom and the kids love them! When I discovered that there were some books about Mrs. Wishy-Washy that I had not yet heard of, I was excited. I have to tell you the one I used this week, Wishy-Washy Ice Cream, I absolutely love! So do my kids!

Anything that has ice cream is amazing to me, so I couldn't wait to use this! Mrs. Wishy-Washy is a beloved character and combining her with ice cream provides us with so many things we can do in the classroom! Here are five activities my kids did!

  1. We began by reviewing the vocabulary. We talked about what ‘clop’ and ‘flop’ and ‘plop’ meant. We also talked about how these words rhymed and began to make a list of other rhyming words.

 

  1. We made inferences about the story. They looked at the cover and told me what they thought would happen. Some thought it would be similar to the other Mrs. Wishy-Washy stories. The text was perfect for my small group. The kids loved it, and they loved the fact that they could read it themselves. The pictures were perfect, not overwhelming!

 

  1. We used our five senses and described ice cream. We filled out this chart together. Their adjectives were both amazing and funny! 

 

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  1. We created a mini-book about ice cream. I had them fill out a graphic organizer, then take it and write their own book using the book template. This organizer is so helpful, and the kids are able to write a book successfully when they use it. They love it when they get to be the author!

 

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  1. We did a small writing for morning work the next day about ice cream. They made a giant paper ice cream to glue their writing to.

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I also read an emergent reader that I wrote about Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Ice Cream, and we read that. My kids and I loved this book! There are so many more things you can do!

If I had had more time, we would have made homemade ice cream. We then would have written about the experience as well as write a how-to book. Then we would have graphed about whether or not we liked the ice cream we made ourselves better than the ice cream we get in the store.

 You can download the pages I used with my class at the bottom of the page! I've also added some Mrs. Wishy-Washy clipart to make Mrs. Wishy-Washy pointers for your kids to follow along with! All you have to do is copy, laminate, cut, and hot glue to a popsicle stick!

I cannot wait to share my ideas about the other Mrs. Wishy-Washy books I will be reading with my kids! Check back soon! 

 ~~~

I am now a first-grade teacher, so that makes me a first-grade teacher for one year and a kindergarten teacher for twenty years. Every day is a new and exciting learning experience for both myself and my students. I believe that kindergarten should be a fun yet educational experience where the students are immersed in poetry, children's literature, music, kinesthetic and hands-on activities, as well as hugs and love!

~~~

To download the activity packet, or an information sheet with key features about the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the images below.

New Call-to-Action  Mrs. Wishy-Washy's Ice Cream Unit 

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Topics: Mrs. Wishy-Washy, Joy Cowley, Joy Cowley Early Birds

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