Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Writing a Wishy-Washy Valentine

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Feb 9, 2017 3:29:00 PM

 

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner—this year, celebrate the day of love with Mrs. Wishy-Washy

In Wishy-Washy Card from the Joy Cowley Early Birds series, the animals on the farm decide to make a Valentine’s Day card for Mrs. Wishy-Washy. By reading this narrative text that is topical to the real world, your students will realize that reading is relevant and important to their lives, not just an isolated action that takes place at school.

In addition to its seasonal pertinence, Wishy-Washy Card also allows students to familiarize themselves with onomatopoeia (7) and high-frequency words such as “then,” the,” “she,” and “big” (3).

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Use this opportunity to introduce card writing into your classroom. For your students to become strong and confident writers, they must learn to recognize and write in a variety of genres. Although the Common Core stresses opinion writing (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.1), explanatory texts (W.2), and narrative texts (W.3), we use many other kinds of writing in our everyday lives. By writing Valentine’s Day cards, students can directly experience the purpose of writing for interpersonal connection and communication.
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Use page 8 in Wishy-Washy Card as a guide for card writing. Have the children replace “Mrs. Wishy-Washy” with the name of the recipient. Encourage your students to decorate their card with hearts, glitter, or other craft supplies. Just like the cow made a “big heart” (3) and the pig made a “little heart” (4), each student will be able to make their unique mark on their Valentine’s Day card! 

By using writing to express their emotions, students will learn that writing is an important tool. Help them spread the love!

 

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Click the images below to learn more about Joy Cowley Early Birds, which contains the book featured in this post.

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

Groundhog Day Science!

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Feb 2, 2017 3:12:00 PM

Happy Groundhog Day! Punxtsutawney Phil saw his shadow today, which means that we still have six more weeks of winter...or do we?

Groundhog Day is always filled with anticipation, so children are always disappointed when they learn that the custom has no concrete meteorological reasoning. Although the groundhog’s shadow might not accurately predict the arrival of spring, you can teach students that we can actually shadows on the ground to tell the time!

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What’s The Time? from the Story World Real World series explains different ways in which humans can measure time. Before reading, discuss that shadows occur when an object blocks light. If your students have already learned about opaque and transparent objects, this discussion will review the concept that only opaque objects create shadows.

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  • Read about the relationship between the sun and a shadow. When a groundhog sees its shadow, where is the light coming from? (The sun.)
  • If you have a portable projector or another movable source of light in your classroom, use it to demonstrate that when the light source moves, the shadow moves, too. 
p. 5:
  • What is a sundial? Ask students to point to the shadow in the image. This exercise teaches that images illustrate and support key ideas in the text (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.6).
  • How does a sundial look similar to the clocks you see today? How is it different?
p. 6–7:
  • If it’s sunny outside, make a class sundial as shown in the book. All you need are stones or chalk and a tall stick. You can make a sundial with snow on the ground, too, as long as the sun is in the sky!

 

Groundhog Day itself doesn’t have scientific credibility, but you can teach real science lessons about shadows and time instead. Students will be thrilled to turn off the classroom lights and watch shadows move! Make sure to read the rest of What’s The Time? to learn about egg timers, hourglasses, and other clocks that don’t use shadows.

 

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Click the images below to learn more about Story World Real World, which contains the book featured in this post.

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Topics: Real World, Informational Text, Holiday, Science

Gingerbread Kids: A Listing and Sequencing Lesson

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Dec 22, 2016 3:45:00 PM

The holidays bring so many seasonal joys to the neighborhood--decorations, carols, gifts, and more! Perhaps the most anticipated part, however, is the bountiful sweets and treats that we can only enjoy once a year. 

Children love joining their parents in the kitchen. Why not bring this exciting experience to the classroom with Gingerbread KidsPart of the Story World Real World series, Gingerbread Kids is leveled at Guided Reading Level K.

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Before reading:

  • Ask your students if they have ever baked in the kitchen. What did they bake? What was the experience like?
  • What is a gingerbread cookie? What does it taste like? Write down adjectives that describe gingerbread cookies on the board. Has anyone baked a gingerbread cookie before?

Page 6:

  • One-by-one, read and discuss the list of ingredients to make gingerbread cookies. Ask your students if they’ve eaten or baked with each ingredient before. If so, what does it taste like?
  • Use the glossary to look up the definition of
  • What do the numbers represent? (Measurements; or, in other words, how much of an ingredient you need.) Why are these numbers important?

Page 7:

  • How is the list on this page different from the list on the previous page?

 

5252_Gingerbread Kids_Inside_FINAL (dragged).jpgAfter reading:

  • Discuss the function of lists, using the 2 ingredients lists and your adjective lists as a guide. In the case of ingredients, the lists help us easily understand different items that go into making gingerbread cookies. In case of adjectives, the list gives us a lot of information in a concise fashion.

Sequencing activity for guided reading:

  • Photocopy pages 6 for each student. Using pages 8−13, ask students to number each item on the ingredients list as they are used. For example, “flour, baking soda, and ginger” will be numbered 1, 2, and 3 because they are used at the very beginning of the baking process.
  • This sequencing activity is not only useful for baking, but will also help students improve their comprehension skills for narrative plots!

 

 

If you have time, don’t forget to check out the classic story, The Gingerbread Man, that inspired Gingebread Kids.

What is your favorite holiday treat? Let us know in the comments below!

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Click the image below to download an informational sheet about the Story World Real World Series, which includes the books featured in this blog post.

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Topics: Story World, Real World, Holiday, Sequencing

Helping Out During the Holidays

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Dec 16, 2016 1:42:00 PM

 

No matter what holiday you celebrate, one universal truth exists—the holiday season is busy!

Although December can be one of the most exciting times of the year, your students are definitely experiencing the hectic feeling in the air, too. With the cooking, cleaning, and shopping, their parents have very little time to simply sit down with their child and spend quality time. How can you assist your students during this busy but lonely time?

Hameray Publishing’s Kaleidoscope Collection includes a book titled Helping Mom. As the title suggests, the book follows ways in which the child narrator can assist his mother with errands. However, it also offers ways in which the mother can help the child, indicating a reciprocal and mutually productive relationship. Because the book is not explicitly tied around a holiday theme, the book’s subject matter will be accessible to all of your students!

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Before reading:

  • Do you help out around the house? As a class, discuss the different chores that your students do.
  • What are different chores that your mom and dad do?
  • Introduce the book and explain that you’ll be reading about how a boy helps out around the house.
  • Look at the cover together. What do you think is happening in the picture?

During reading:

  • After every page, take a survey to see how many students have ever helped their parent out with the particular task. For example, on page 4 ask your students, Have you ever helped set the table?

After reading:

  • Have each child think of different ways that they can help their parents at home. Especially encourage them to think in the context of holidays. (Can your student help make latkes, like the boy on page 3? Can your student help by looking after younger siblings, like page 5?) In pairs, have your students share their ideas aloud.
  • On page 7 and 8, the roles are switched—the mother helps the boy with his homework. What are different ways that your parents can help you? Share ideas with the same partner.

Helping Mom can help students understand and cope with the holiday season and their busier-than-ever parents. This book can also be a spectacular book for students to take home for family reading.

Happy holidays, and happy reading!

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Click the image below to download an informational sheet about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which includes the book featured in this blog post.

Kaleidoscope Collection Info Sheet

 

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Topics: Literature, Narrative Text, Holiday, Kaleidoscope Collection

Classic Post: A Thanksgiving Lesson on Where Food Comes From—with FREE download

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Nov 22, 2016 3:34:00 PM

Thanksgiving, our biggest food holiday of the year, provides the perfect opportunity to do a short unit on food and how it gets to the table. As a harvest celebration, Thanksgiving naturally lends itself to discussions about farms and what a harvest is, as well as the various other steps in the food production process from farm to table.

thanksgiving dinner 250The foods traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving are generally minimally processed foods that are easily traced back to their farm origins. Try introducing your class to some food-related fictional literature, such as Thanksgiving Dinner (which lists traditional Thanksgiving foods in a playful rhyme), The Little Red Hen (which traces the bread-making process from seed to table), or your favorite Thanksgiving story or food/farm story.

Then bolster the ideas from those fictional stories with informational texts that teach children about farms, harvests, and where food comes from. In the Story World Real World series, the Little Red Hen theme set comes with the storybook and three food-related informational texts: Different Kinds of Bread (which explores different breads from around the world), Who Made Our Breakfast? (which uses real photography and facts to explain the seed-to-table process of breadmaking introduced in the story book), and Great Grains (which discusses how grains are used for food).

Other books that introduce children to farming include the following:

1) General: Where Does It Come From?; On the Farm

2) Animals: the books in the Farm habitat in the Zoozoo Animal World series

3) Plants: the books in the Growing Things theme of the My World series

Pretty much any books that help children make the connection between their food and its source will be helpful for this lesson.

One way to really tie the concept to the holiday is to ask your students to bring a Thanksgiving recipe from home, then trace each of the ingredients in the recipe back to its source. You can let the children or parents choose the recipe, or you can brainstorm a list of foods as a class, then divide the class into groups of assigned recipes. This also allows children who might not have traditionally American customs to suggest a special holiday dish from their own culture and share the information with the class.

You can download a free worksheet at the bottom of this page to use in this lesson! It spaces for recipe ingredients, whether the ingredient source is a plant or an animal, and a space for children to try to draw the ingredient (either in natural or processed form) or cut and past an image of it.

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To download your free reproducible worksheet, click the worksheet image below. To learn more about the series mentioned in this article, visit our website by clicking the book and series links embedded in the text.

Thanksgiving Recipe Worksheet

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Topics: Story World, Real World, Holiday, Lesson Plan, Kaleidoscope Collection, Zoozoo Animal World, My World

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day 2015

Posted by Malissa Lewis on Jan 19, 2015 9:00:00 AM

"The time is always right to do what is right."

- Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Every year, the third Monday of January is recognized as an important day to celebrate the legacy, moral and character of Martin Luther King, Jr. As you take this time to enjoy this federal holiday, remember Dr. King as the leader that peacefully changed the attitudes and practices of society for the greater good of civilization.

If you are interested in learning more about the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., click here. To learn more about the Hameray Biography Series, click here. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Topics: Holiday, MLK, Martin Luther King Jr., Peaceful Change

Classic Post: A Thanksgiving Lesson on Where Food Comes From—with FREE download!

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Nov 25, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Thanksgiving, our biggest food holiday of the year, provides the perfect opportunity to do a short unit on food and how it gets to the table. As a harvest celebration, Thanksgiving naturally lends itself to discussions about farms and what a harvest is, as well as the various other steps in the food production process from farm to table.

thanksgiving dinner 250The foods traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving are generally minimally processed foods that are easily traced back to their farm origins. Try introducing your class to some food-related fictional literature, such as Thanksgiving Dinner (which lists traditional Thanksgiving foods in a playful rhyme), The Little Red Hen (which traces the bread-making process from seed to table), or your favorite Thanksgiving story or food/farm story.

Then bolster the ideas from those fictional stories with informational texts that teach children about farms, harvests, and where food comes from. In the Story World Real World series, the Little Red Hen theme set comes with the storybook and three food-related informational texts: Different Kinds of Bread (which explores different breads from around the world), Who Made Our Breakfast? (which uses real photography and facts to explain the seed-to-table process of breadmaking introduced in the story book), and Great Grains (which discusses how grains are used for food).

Other books that introduce children to farming include the following:

1) General: Where Does It Come From?; On the Farm

2) Animals: the books in the Farm habitat in the Zoozoo Animal World series

3) Plants: the books in the Growing Things theme of the My World series

Pretty much any books that help children make the connection between their food and its source will be helpful for this lesson.

One way to really tie the concept to the holiday is to ask your students to bring a Thanksgiving recipe from home, then trace each of the ingredients in the recipe back to its source. You can let the children or parents choose the recipe, or you can brainstorm a list of foods as a class, then divide the class into groups of assigned recipes. This also allows children who might not have traditionally American customs to suggest a special holiday dish from their own culture and share the information with the class.

You can download a free worksheet at the bottom of this page to use in this lesson! It spaces for recipe ingredients, whether the ingredient source is a plant or an animal, and a space for children to try to draw the ingredient (either in natural or processed form) or cut and past an image of it.

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To download your free reproducible worksheet, click the worksheet image below. To learn more about the series mentioned in this article, visit our website by clicking the book and series links embedded in the text. If you want to order the books mentioned, you can buy them on our website—they will arrive within five business days of your order, so you will have them in time for your Thanksgiving lessons! Have a great holiday, and check back here frequently for more lesson ideas and downloads!

Thanksgiving Recipe Worksheet

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Topics: Holiday, Lesson Plan, Kaleidoscope Collection, Zoozoo Animal World, My World

How to Catch a Gingerbread Man—with FREE Printable Download!

Posted by Elizabeth Hall on Dec 20, 2013 8:00:00 AM

Gingerbread Man Cover Final 250This last post before we go on a two-week holiday blog hiatus is a guest post by blogger Elizabeth Hall. If you like what you see here, you can check out her blog, Kickin' It in Kindergarten, for more of her writing, or you can click here to see her other contributions to our blog!

Hi all, Elizabeth here from Kickin’ it in Kindergarten! Let me tell you, we have been kickin’ it for the past few weeks! I am sure you have, as well. We have been able to read some fantastic holiday books. We spent an entire week reading and comparing different versions of The Gingerbread Man. I like doing a week of gingerbread stories because it gives you the option of being “holiday-ish” without having to talk about Christmas. Even though you might love Christmas, not every child in your class celebrates it. One year, I had a student that didn’t celebrate any holidays. He didn’t even get to celebrate his own birthday! I had to be careful around every holiday. Gingerbread stories give you the feeling of Christmas, and students don’t feel like they are being left out of a celebration. It’s a win-win situation!

Thursday, we completed our very first “how-to” writing activity after having read Gingerbread stories since Monday. The students had plenty of time to compare the characters, discuss the settings, and debate over which was their favorite story. When we read Hameray's version of The Gingerbread Man from their Story World series, most of my students said it was their favorite version. A big part of the reason was the illustrations. The illustrations in this particular gingerbread story seemed to stand out. They liked the colors, and they thought the old lady in this story was hilarious.

When we finished the book, we talked about how we would catch a Gingerbread Man. I cut out the transitional “writing word” cards printed with first, next, then, and last. I put magnets on the back of the words and posted them on the easel.

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We talked about step-by-step writing for the first time. I had every student hold up four fingers. Each time I would use a “writing word,” they would put a finger down. I had them practice with their partners. I kept the words up on the board after we brainstormed and did several together.

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We discussed how writers have to use steps to organize their thoughts. We will have many more step-by-step “how-to” writing activities this year. This was our first attempt, and I was impressed by how well they did!

They didn’t need too much help from me. I continued to remind them about using their transitional words. I was very happy with how they turned out! I hope this blog post with printouts is a resource and idea that will be helpful to you in the classroom! Be sure to check out these great books!

Happy Holidays!

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elizabeth hallThis is my fifth year as a kindergarten teacher. The best part of kindergarten is watching a child fall in love with reading. It has become my passion to show children the possibilities and amazing adventures literature can offer. I love watching their eyes light up when they tell me they can read their favorite book, or they can’t wait to go back to the library! I have the best job in the world!

I am so lucky to have such a wonderful support system in and out of school. My family lives close and I get to spend a lot of time with them! While I am not at school, I enjoy running, teaching spin class, swimming, playing kickball, spending time with my husband, and traveling. I also have a sheltie named Maggie, which is spoiled rotten. I am married to the best guy in the world, work with wonderful people, and have fabulous students!

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To download Elizabeth's "How to Catch a Gingerbread Man" worksheet and word cards, click the worksheet image. For more information on Story World and its accompanying informational texts Real World, click here to visit the webpage, or click the information sheet image below to download series highlights with key features. After today's post, we will be on a two-week blog hiatus, to return January 6th, so check back then for more great classroom ideas!

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Topics: Story World, Holiday, Teaching Writing, Elizabeth Hall

Get FREE Shipping Because We're Thankful for YOU!

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Nov 20, 2013 8:00:00 AM

thanks post header

It's been nearly ten months since we started this blog, and we're happy to have gained such a wide audience since then! We love being able to provide a platform for innovative and creative educators to share their fun lesson plans and classroom-tested strategies with the educational community at large, and we love the great ideas that YOU (and educators like you) have submitted to give your colleagues ideas for how to make the most of our books!

Because we appreciate you so much—readers and contributors alike—we have a special Thanksgiving deal for you: FREE SHIPPING on all orders placed between now and the end of the year! To receive your discount code that will give you free shipping on your order, just fill out our quick, two-question survey about this blog—it's easy, we promise! We want to make this blog even better, and you can help!

CLICK THIS LINK TO ACCESS THE SURVEY AND GET YOUR DISCOUNT!

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Topics: Holiday, Giveaway, Survey

A Thanksgiving Lesson on Where Food Comes From—with FREE download!

Posted by Tara Rodriquez on Nov 11, 2013 8:00:00 AM

Thanksgiving, our biggest food holiday of the year, provides the perfect opportunity to do a short unit on food and how it gets to the table. As a harvest celebration, Thanksgiving naturally lends itself to discussions about farms and what a harvest is, as well as the various other steps in the food production process from farm to table.

thanksgiving dinner 250The foods traditionally eaten on Thanksgiving are generally minimally processed foods that are easily traced back to their farm origins. Try introducing your class to some food-related fictional literature, such as Thanksgiving Dinner (which lists traditional Thanksgiving foods in a playful rhyme), The Little Red Hen (which traces the bread-making process from seed to table), or your favorite Thanksgiving story or food/farm story.

Then bolster the ideas from those fictional stories with informational texts that teach children about farms, harvests, and where food comes from. In the Story World Real World series, the Little Red Hen theme set comes with the storybook and three food-related informational texts: Different Kinds of Bread (which explores different breads from around the world), Who Made Our Breakfast? (which uses real photography and facts to explain the seed-to-table process of breadmaking introduced in the story book), and Great Grains (which discusses how grains are used for food).

Other books that introduce children to farming include the following:

1) General: Where Does It Come From?; On the Farm

2) Animals: the books in the Farm habitat in the Zoozoo Animal World series

3) Plants: the books in the Growing Things theme of the My World series

Pretty much any books that help children make the connection between their food and its source will be helpful for this lesson.

One way to really tie the concept to the holiday is to ask your students to bring a Thanksgiving recipe from home, then trace each of the ingredients in the recipe back to its source. You can let the children or parents choose the recipe, or you can brainstorm a list of foods as a class, then divide the class into groups of assigned recipes. This also allows children who might not have traditionally American customs to suggest a special holiday dish from their own culture and share the information with the class.

You can download a free worksheet at the bottom of this page to use in this lesson! It spaces for recipe ingredients, whether the ingredient source is a plant or an animal, and a space for children to try to draw the ingredient (either in natural or processed form) or cut and past an image of it.

~~~

To download your free reproducible worksheet, click the worksheet image below. To learn more about the series mentioned in this article, visit our website by clicking the book and series links embedded in the text. If you want to order the books mentioned, you can buy them on our website—they will arrive within five business days of your order, so you will have them in time for your Thanksgiving lessons! Have a great holiday, and check back here frequently for more lesson ideas and downloads!

Thanksgiving Recipe Worksheet

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Topics: Holiday, Lesson Plan, Kaleidoscope Collection, Zoozoo Animal World, My World

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