Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

30 New Kaleidoscope Books!

Posted by Sally Hosokawa on Mar 28, 2017 2:17:00 PM

 If you’re a frequent reader of our blog, you’ll be familiar with Hameray Publishing’s Kaleidoscope Collection. As our largest series, the Kaleidoscope Collection features both narrative and informational texts between Guided Reading Levels A – K. With its commitment to diverse representation, students have a kaleidoscope of options to choose a book that appeals to them.

We’ve just introduced 30 new titles into the Kaleidoscope Collection, which focuses on low-leveled readers at Guided Reading Level A–C. Books like My Birthday! and What Is a Pet? are sure to peak the interest of your beginning reader.

Many of the new books are complementary in topic or sentence structure, making them ideal for students to reinforce their reading skills. For example, students can familiarize themselves with the sight words “I” and “can” by reading I Can Read. Then, they can apply their knowledge to a new book, I Can Write. Using multiple books to reinforce a reading concept is crucial for developing confidence and fluency.

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Other complementary titles from the new Kaleidoscope additions include the following:

You can browse all of our new Kaleidoscope titles at our website. Remember, a portion of the Kaleidoscope Collection’s profits goes to the Reading Recovery Council of North America. It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

 

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Click the image below to download a series highlights about the newly-expanded Kaleidoscope Collection. 

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Topics: Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Preschool

Reader's Theater with Fables and Fairy Tales—with FREE download!

Posted by Kathy Crane on Aug 2, 2016 3:30:00 PM

This is a guest post by Kathy Crane, a kindergarten teacher, author, and curriculum developer. If you like what you see here, read her previous guest blog posts and click here to read her education blog

Fables are a great way to engage young readers along their learning-to-read journey. This year, after teaching some of my favorites tales like The Little Red Hen, The Three Billy Goats Gruff, and The Three Pigs, I decided to try a new story, The Fox and the Goat. This fun tale offers great teaching opportunities, and was a favorite among my students.  I added to the fable by using The Fox and the Goat Theme Set available at one of my favorite go-to publishers, Hameray Publishing.

In addition to the fable, the set also includes three informational books: Animals Are Clever, Goats on the Goand The Life of a FoxI really enjoyed having the supporting texts to expand the animals and situations in the fable. These supporting nonfiction readings added to my student’s understanding and enjoyment of The Fox and the Goat story. 

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To add to the fun of our fabled learning, my students love performing the fables through partner plays. You can download my "Three Pigs: Reader’s Theater or Partner Play," which complements Three Little Pigs from the Story World Real World series, for free at the bottom of this blog post! Please also be sure to check out my store for other reader's theater plays based on classic tales: CLICK HERE!

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Kathy Crane holds a M.Ed. in Curriculum & Instruction: Reading. A published freelance author of thirteen books, Kathy also develops teaching curriculum and has been a teacher of kindergarten for over two decades. She publishes the blog Kindergarten Kiosk

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For more information about the Fables and the Real World series, click on the image below.

Fables and the Real World More Information

To learn more about the Story World Real World Series, which contains the storybook complement to Kathy Crane's Reader's Theater, click on the image to the left below. To download Kathy Crane's FREE "The Three Pigs: A Young Reader's Reader's Theater" guide, click on the image to the right below.  
 
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Topics: Kindergarten, Download, Fables and the Real World, Reader's Theater

Nurturing Science Skills in the Early Childhood Classroom

Posted by Lily Erlic on Jul 26, 2016 3:30:00 PM

This is a guest blog post by Lily Erlic, a preschool and daycare teacher. Today, she shares creative classroom activities to bridge literacy and science in early childhood.

For preschool and kindergarten teachers, teaching science in the early childhood goes hand-in-hand with developing students’ reading skills. Using From Seeds and Farmers Grow Food from the My World: Growing Things series, I will share my ideas for teaching science in the early childhood classroom.

Book One: FROM SEEDS

From Seeds provides photos of seeds and what grows from them. For example, the first page says, “From these seeds, carrots grow”. From page to page, it shows children the marvel of the seed and what it can produce.

Encourage the children to answer this question:

  • What kinds of seeds were in this book?

For a supplemental activity, provide a tray of different seeds with labels on them. Tape the seeds to the tray so they do not move around. Show the children pictures or provide the vegetables for the children to touch and feel. Ask them if they have tried all the vegetables. Ask: What is your favorite vegetable? 

MyWorld_FromSeeds.jpg

 

Book Two: FARMERS GROW FOOD

Farmers Grow Food depicts what happens on a farm to grow food. The first page reads, “Farmers grow food. Farmers plow fields.” It is a thorough and vivid account of what farmers do for us. The “Suggestions for Teachers and Parents” section also gives helpful tips for classroom use.

Ask the students this guiding question:

  • Where do you think our food comes from?

For a supplemental activity, create an activity sheet with vegetable drawings. Ask the children to color it with crayons. Ask them to write their own names on the paper. Display the sheets on a bulletin board and label the board, “FARMERS GROW FOOD.” 

MyWorld_FarmersGrowFood.jpg

Extended Activities:

  • Draw vegetables on the board and ask the children to identify the vegetables. You can also paste photos from books onto the whiteboard or from books. Ask them if they have eaten any of them for meals.
  • Provide the children with an activity sheet that states, “My favorite vegetable is _____________.” Print the word for each child and ask him or her to draw it.
  • Action Rhymes: Children like to participate in creative movement. They can learn about food while having fun, too! Finger Rhymes for Manners by Teaching and Learning Company includes food rhymes that would supplement the two books above. Another book, Finger Rhymes Content-Connected Rhymes for Science, Math and Social Studies, also lists food action rhymes under the fruit section.

I would recommend From Seeds and Farmers Grow Foodwith their colorful photos, they are great for teaching preschool and kindergarten students about science!

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Lily Erlic is a preschool and daycare teacher in Victoria, BC. She is an author of many books like Blue Bear Makes Blueberry Pie, Finger Rhymes for Manners and more. Her recent e-book is a science fiction book called The Golden Sphere.

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To learn more about the titles mentioned in this post and browse more titles with the Growing Things theme, click the image below and download an information sheet about the My World series.

My World Series Info Sheet 

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kindergarten, Preschool, My World, Science

How to Keep Students Reading Through Spring and Summer [A Classic Post]

Posted by Elizabeth Hall on May 26, 2016 2:07:19 PM

elizabeth hallThis is a guest post by blogger Elizabeth Hall that originally ran in April 2014. 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!

The itch of summer isn’t felt just by us. It spreads like wildfire through classrooms all over the place beginning at the end of April. May is crazier than the holiday season for me. I know you know what I’m talking about! There aren’t enough color codes on my calendar to organize all of the different activities and school programs that are happening at the end of the year.

Reading is one thing that seems to be put to the side at this time of the year. Most of the students have mastered the actual goal of learning how to reading, so parents and teachers do not emphasize at home reading as much. My biggest goal is to motivate my students to read more. I want them to want to read. One way I do this in my classroom (I usually start in April), is give them a 100 Book Challenge. If you start later in the year, you can make it be fewer books.

The 100 Book Challenge is exactly what it sounds like. Students have about five to six weeks to read 100 books. I tell them that the book has to have at least ten pages. If the book has twenty pages, then it counts twice. When the student reaches 100 books, we have a bit of a celebration. I let the kids dance around and they get a reading medal. They also get to sign their name on a poster in the hall. There are tons of trophy companies out there that have medals. You can find reading-specific medals as well.

Another way I try to keep my students engaged, even when I’m not with them, is by giving them a summer bucket. In the bucket, I always give them a book and a suggested reading list. I also fill it up with other fun summer things that they can use over the summer. The buckets can be purchased inexpensively at any craft store or on-line.

Hall-8-1-198  Hall-8-2-198  Hall-8-3-198

I know you are just as excited about the days of staying in your PJs until noon as I am, but we still owe it to our students to encourage them and believe in them. Each time you say or think “I am so over it,” remember all of the hard work that you have put in to each student!

Happy Summer Reading! 

~~~

Author Bio (2014)

This 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!

  ~~~

We're pleased to offer ready-made classroom libraries to supplement your collection and give your students plenty of books to choose from for their challenge! Click here to see them on our website, or click the image below to download a brochure!

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Topics: K-2 Literacy, Kindergarten, Elizabeth Hall

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 2

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 17, 2016 10:27:09 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 second post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. You can see the first post here.

In this series of blog posts, I have been looking at the use of guided-reading-leveled books in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. I gave one book as an example in my first post, and today we will look at two more examples. You'll be able to easily generalize from these examples how to apply similar strategies to the books in your classroom library.

knock_knock_400.jpgBook Two: Knock, Knock

The second book that I have chosen as an example of how to teach these inference skills is Knock, Knock by Susan C. Jensen. This book can be used for guided reading and can also be a take-home book to read. Before reading, display the cover page and ask the children how they could get the door to open. Invite them to 'knock' as you open the book to the cover page. Then walk them through the book, inviting them to make inferences along the way.

Cover Page:

Encourage students to ask questions as they study the pages. Prompt questions and answers.

  • Why do you think the picture of the boy and the dinosaur are on this page?

Pages 2 and 3:

  • Why does the boy say, "Who is there?"
  • Where is the dog in the picture? (Answer: outside)
  • Why are the bubbles on the pages needed?

Pages 4 and 5:

  • Where is the dog in these illustrations? (Answer: inside)
  • Where is the cat now? (Answer: inside in both pictures)
  • Were you surprised when you saw the dinosaur? Why?

Last Page:

  • What do you know about dinosaurs?
  • Would you run if you saw one? Why, or why not?

After reading, ask students to draw and write about what they would not want to see if they opened a door and were surprised. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.5)

Book Three: Kit and Henry Like Different Things

Kit and Henry Like Different Things by Miguel Perez-Soler has illustrations that can be used to predict unknown words during shared reading or read aloud from an Elmo. The book could also be used in guided reading with readers who have achieved the instructional level of the book, and it can also be used as a take-home reader. The book is an excellent one to use for modeling cause and effect.

As teacher you can use this book to encourage problem solving of unknown words as students use illustrations and beginning sounds of words.

kit_and_henry_402.jpgBefore reading, introduce the characters of the two brothers using the front cover. Invite the children to talk about what they know about the brothers as they study the front illustration. They might also predict how the brothers are alike and different in what they like.

As you read the book to the students, stop at the words that tell what each brother likes and ask them to predict the words using beginning sounds and illustrations. Use a pointer to help the students identify and use those sounds. Explain that good readers use these two pieces of information to predict unknown words.

The last page shares how the boys are alike. Prompt the students to list other ways that the boys might be alike that are not shared in the story. (Sample answers: they are brothers; they live in the same home; they have the same parents; they probably go to same school, etc.)

Invite the students to sit with a partner. Each writes his/her name at the top of a page and copies the following incomplete sentences from the board:

  • I like to play ___________.
  • I like to eat ____________.
  • I like to ride ___________.

Each child completes the sentences and compares his responses to the other students' responses. After the students have had time to respond, invite the pairs to share how they are like and different.

This concludes part two of my series on teaching inference skills, wrapping up the kindergarten portion. Next time we will look at how similar strategies can be applied at a higher level in grade two.

To read the next post in this series, please click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

~~~

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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To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the image below.

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Topics: Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Inference Skills

Using Books to Teach Inference Skills in Early Grades, Part 1

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on May 12, 2016 4:56:41 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 post in a series of posts on using books for building inference skills. 

In this series of blog posts, I will look at the use of guided-reading-leveled books and oral language readers in the early grades to develop problem solving and inference skills in young readers. First, let’s look at some definitions for ‘infer’:

in·fer /inˈfər/ verb

  1. to search for a conclusion about something from known facts or evidence
  2. to reach a conclusion about something from known facts
  3. to make an educated guess based on looking carefully at facts and coming to a possible conclusion

How can we teach our students to possess this skill that is so necessary to the rest of their education, and, indeed, their lives?

child_reading_1953537_Arvind_Balaraman-300.jpgWhat Reading Recovery Has Taught Us

Marie Clay, in Reading Recovery: A Guidebook for Teachers in Training, stated her belief that "the child learns to read by attending to many aspects of text (letters, words, pictures, language, and messages).” The young reader responds as he learns these ways for working at problem solving. She stresses the teacher’s role in helping the child learn to search and simplify the complexity of print. Searching is one of the strategies to be modeled and prompted by the teacher as he or she works with emerging readers and writers.

In Becoming Literate, she states that the search for meaning enables the reader to notice new things about words, print, and messages. The children can then link these discoveries to other things they know. This inner control of reading helps the child construct information from the text and what he knows. Clay expressed her belief that every child is “entitled to an introduction to a text before reading.” This introduction can allow the student to connect things he knows and the text as he reads. Searching strategies can lead the young reader from what he knows to something that he hears or reads.

A Look At Common Core Standards Connected To Inferring

First we will explore kindergarten. The following standards are related to inferring at that level. As you study these, you will see the importance of listening and speaking activities.

LITERATURE:

  • With prompting and support ask and answer questions about key details in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.1)
  • With prompting and support describe the relationship between the illustrations and the text in which they appear. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.7)
  • With prompting and support compare and contrast the adventures and experiences of characters. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.K.9)

INFORMATIONAL TEXT:

  • With prompting and support identify the main topic and retell key details of a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.2)
  • With prompting and support describe the connection between individuals, events, ideas, or pieces of information in the text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.3)
  • With prompting and support ask and answer questions about unknown words in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.4)
  • With prompting and support identify the reasons the author gives to support points in a text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.K.8)

SPEAKING AND LISTENING:

  • Ask and answer questions in order to seek help, get information, or clarify meaning. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.3)
  • Describe familiar people, places, things, or events with prompting and support. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.4)
  • Add drawings or other visual displays to describe and provide additional details. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.SL.K.5)

I have selected three books that can be used in different ways to help kindergarten children as they receive modeling, prompting, and opportunities to problem-solve by inferring. I’ll introduce the first one today and the others in part two of this series of posts. In part three, we’ll look

Zoozoo_cvr_TheSurprise-300.jpgBook One: The Surprise

The first book I chose is The Surprise by Alan Trussell-Cullen, which is part of the Zoozoo Storytellers series of oral language books for fluency. This book can also be used in guided reading. Before reading, share the cover illustration using an Elmo. Invite the children to study the projected picture and think of questions they might ask based on the picture before they hear the story. Examples of questions might include these:

  • What might the man be writing?
  • Who is the lady in the picture?
  • Why is there a calendar in the picture?

Invite the children to share their additional questions and write the questions on the board. Ask them to think about answers to their questions as they hear the story. Ask for sharing and prompt for replies. 

  • The man is inviting friends to a birthday party for the lady.
  • The date on the calendar is her birthday.
  • The man did not want the lady to know about the party and asked the animals to deliver the note, but to be quiet as they did the deliveries.

As the book is shared the following inferences might be made:

  • On cover page the man is happy. Why?
  • On page two do you think the lady understands what is happening?
  • What do you do if you "pass something along"?
  • On page 8, why is the lady 'up in the tree'?
  • On last page, do you think she was surprised?

Discuss the role of the illustrations as they discuss the questions' answers. The page with the discussion idea can be shared as you invite responses for each question.

This is the end of part one in this series of blog posts on teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the next post in this series, click here. You can subscribe to our blog in the upper right sidebar to get new posts delivered to your inbox.

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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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To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which the post author has written books for, and Zoozoo Storytellers, which contains the book mentioned in this post, click the images below.

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Topics: Reading Activities, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Zoozoo Storytellers, Inference Skills

[New Post] Using Leveled Books to Teach Science in Kindergarten: Part 5

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Apr 7, 2016 4:06:18 PM

GHaggardbiopicThis is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. 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.

This is the fifth post in a series of posts on teaching and using leveled books for learning science in kindergarten. To read the first post, click here. To read last week's post, click here. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get our guest bloggers’ new posts in your inbox.

 

Today, we will be going over our final reading activity in this series about using leveled books for kindergarten science. Last week, we outlined and discussed two reading activities, based on two leveled books for kindergarten, Who Needs Water and Baby Food. During the reading activity for this week, we’ll be exploring a new book, Snack Time, from our series of 150 leveled readers for K-3, the Kaleidoscope Collection.



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Teaching Kids About Food  |  Kindergarten Reading Activity #7

This activity will be based on the book, Snack Time, from the Kaleidoscope Collection. To start, with your students, take out and display the cover of the book, and introduce the story’s two characters, Kylie and Max. Share with the class that both Kylie and Max are very hungry.

Tell the students that both Kylie and Max know that they need food to eat, and that one of them is going to make good choices, while the other one is going to learn a lesson about making good food choices. Ask the question to your students, "What do you do when you make a choice?"

Snack-Time.gif

Kylie and Max are making choices on the foods that they want to eat. As you read the story with the children, decide which child learns a lesson and what exactly that lesson is. Gather the students around you, and read this book as a read aloud.

Read slowly, and provide time for the children to make spontaneous comments. After the story is completed, ask the students to sit in groups of three to decide which child learned a lesson about eating food. Pose the question, "What did he or she learn?"

Put the names of the book characters on the board and, as the children supply the names of the foods that each ate, record those foods by the character's name.

The following series of questions may be used for group discussion:

  • How did Kylie feel at the end of the story? How do we know this?
  • How did Max feel: How do we know that?
  • Which character learned a lesson?
  • What lesson was learned?
  • Even though you are a living thing and need food, does that mean you should eat just anything?
  • What are some good food choices for you to eat?


In conclusion, tell the students that they need to eat foods that help them grow, and stay healthy and happy. Tell the students that it is okay to occasionally eat candy and cookies, but that they need to eat the good, nutritious foods also.

After these questions have been asked, the school cafeteria menu for the day might be studied and talked through. Ask the students, “Does it sound like good choices were made as the school menu was prepared and created?” In addition to this, a cafeteria person might be invited to visit with the children, to talk about and discuss food choices, as well as answer any questions that the children might have about eating food, and about food choices.

This is the end of Part 5 in this series of blog posts on teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the first post in the series, click here. To read the previous post, click here. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get new posts in your inbox.

~~~


Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection, which contains the title mentioned in this post, click the images below.

 

 

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Science

10 Fun Facts About Elephants for Kids in Kindergarten and First Grade

Posted by Nick Bennett on Apr 5, 2016 8:08:36 PM


This is the beginning of a new series of blog posts on fun, unique animals which many students are sure to love — we’ll be writing easy-to-read, quick and informative posts on animals from dolphins and lions, to panda bears, tigers, and penguins.

This is first post in this series. To read the next post in this series, please check back next week. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get new posts in your inbox.

 

Each new post will go over a different, fun, unique animal, and explore the interesting traits and characteristics of the specific animal with 10 fun facts. The purpose of this series of posts is to help teachers share information on some of the world’s most interesting animals, and to get students in kindergarten and first grade excited about reading, exploring, and understanding more about these animals in class and at home.

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This week, we will be going over and discussing one of the largest animals in the wild — the elephant. There are several remarkable, fun facts about the elephant that are sure to fascinate young students. Following are just 10 facts that are sure to get your students excited to learn more and read more about elephants. You can use this information in units or lessons on elephants, or fun classroom activities around elephants.

     Fun Fact 1
  • Elephants are the largest mammals, and largest land animals, in the world. Some elephants weigh as much as 14,000 pounds, and are as tall as 13 feet.

     Fun Fact 2

  • Elephants are able live to be over seventy years old when living in the wild.

     Fun Fact 3

  • Elephants have a very highly developed brain; their brain is larger than the brains of all other land mammals.

     Fun Fact 4

  • Elephants are very social animals and have a well-developed system of communication.

     Fun Fact 5

  • Elephants like to eat plants, and they like to live next to bodies of water.

     Fun Fact 6

  • Elephants are like humans — they are either right-tusked, or left-tusked, like humans are either right-handed or left-handed.

     Fun Fact 7

  • Elephants one of only a few mammals which are unable to jump.

     Fun Fact 8

  • Elephants lack great vision, and have an average sense of sight. Elephants do, however, possess both a very good sense of smell and sense of hearing, as well as a great sense of touch.

     Fun Fact 9

  • Believe it or not, elephants are able to swim — they use their trunk to breathe, similar to a snorkel, when submerged in deep water.

     Fun Fact 10

  • Elephants are able to have an improved sense of smell by waving their trunks up in the air.



This is the end of the first post in this series of blog posts on
 fun facts about animals for kids in kindergarten and first grade. To read the next post in this series, please check back next week. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get new posts in your inbox.


To view and learn more about titles from Hameray on the topic of elephants, please click the images below.

          ITW_NF_Elephant-1.jpg     ITW_F_BigElephant.jpg     ITW_W_PlayBall.jpg

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To download an information sheet with key features about the Zoozoo Into the Wild series, which contains the books about elephants mentioned above, please click the image below.


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Topics: Making Learning Fun, Kindergarten, Zoozoo Into the Wild, Animals, First Grade

[New Post] Using Leveled Books to Teach Science in Kindergarten: Part 4

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Mar 31, 2016 4:05:24 PM

GHaggardbiopicThis is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. 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.

This is the fourth post in a series of posts on teaching and using leveled books for learning science in kindergarten. To read the first post, click here. To read last week’s post, click here. To read the next post in this series, please check back next week. You can always subscribe to our blog to get our guest bloggers’ new posts in your inbox.

 

Continuing from where we finished last week, the following are a couple supplementary examples of fun classroom activities, using leveled books, to use and introduce to your classroom of young readers, when teaching science. Last week, we discussed science-related classroom activities around 2 particular books, A House for Me and We are Thirsty. This week, we’ll look at 2 different books, namely Who Needs Water?, from the paired-text series Story World Real World, and Baby Food from the series of 150 leveled readers for K-3, the Kaleidoscope Collection.



story-world-real-world-who-needs-water.jpg


Activity 5  |  Book    Who Needs Water? 

In this activity, we are spending time with the book Who Needs Water, from Story World Real World. To begin, opening the book, across pages 4–7 of the title, we both revisit the fact that living things need water to drink — in order to live — as well as are introduced to other interesting uses of water. With your classroom, share these pages (pages 4–7). With your students, look through them and review them, and ask your students to brainstorm other, additional ways that water may be used. Tell the children that you want them to predict what other ways they think they need water — for more than drinking.

Write any of their responses to these questions on the board. The rest of the book can then be explored and shared. After reading the last pages of the text, refer to the predictions made by the children about how water is used. Let them figure out what they predicted, and what they didn’t predict. Before doing this, read the list to and with the students. Discuss how each of these other uses of water provides things that we may need. One example might be “Without water I would have to wear dirty clothes.” Another example you might use: the page with the picture of the dam could be introduced to the classroom by turning off lights in the classroom, and turning them on again. Some of the children may offer the word ‘electricity’. 

Additionally, you may discuss rain, and snow. What have the children done in rain and snow? What happens to their clothes? When snow melts, what does it become? Page 14 answers that question. Page 12 tells us that drops of water are in the air all around us. 

On the following day, the children can start to draw three pictures in their journal that show how they use water in some way. Suggest that they share with two other neighboring students their drawings. Revisit the list of ways to use water from the previous day. Read the list and ask the children to raise a hand if they included that use of water in their drawings. Ask the children which use was the most chosen, and then, ask them why they thought that particular use was the most important.
 

Activity 6  |  Book    Baby Food

For the next classroom activity, using the book Baby Food, from the Kaleidoscope Collection, students can explore the theme of living things needing food in order to survive. To begin, invite the students to write about, as well as illustrate, their favorite foods in their personal journals. Then, ask volunteers to come to the classroom’s author's chair and share their creations. After several students have shared, some example questions that might be used to guide a discussion are as follows: Do you think other members of your family have the same favorite foods as you? Why exactly do you think that? Is there a young child or baby in your family? Do they (the young child of baby) eat in the same way that you do? Are there things you can eat, which a baby cannot eat? Invite those with younger family members to share.


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Next, explain that you are going to read a story, Baby Food, to them. Share the book's front cover with the class, either with a classroom projector or by holding up the book in-front of the class. Invite the children to predict what they think will happen in the story. Some may want to share what they have seen happen to a baby or younger child in their own families. In the story, the character, Big Sister, encourages the baby to eat certain things. Let the children know that you want them to listen, and remember things in the story that they themselves have eaten. As you read try to use different voices for the mother and big sister.

After reading, compile a list of foods from the story that the children have eaten. Talk about why the baby eats his or her in a different way. Ask the students questions, such as “Why do you not eat like a baby?” Then, at a center or the art table, provide grocery ads for the children to cut out pictures of food. Provide baskets or envelopes for children to place their cut-out pictures in. Discuss and talk with the students about the differences between vegetables, fruits, and meats. Provide a large poster or bulletin board for students to place their pictures on. This display can be used as you use the last book later.


This is the end of Part 4 in this series of blog posts on
teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the first post in the series, click here. To read the previous post, click here. To read the next post in this series, please check back next week. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get new posts in your inbox.
 

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Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection and Story World Real World series, which contain the books mentioned in this post, click the images below.

 

 

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Topics: Real World, Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Geraldine Haggard, Science, Creative Activities

[New Post] The Use of Leveled Books in Kindergarten Science: Part 3

Posted by Geraldine Haggard on Mar 25, 2016 12:42:50 PM

GHaggardbiopicThis is a guest blog post by Dr. Geraldine Haggard, who is a retired teacher, Reading Recovery teacher leader, author, and university teacher. 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.

This is the third post in a series of posts on teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the first post, click here. To read last week’s post, click here. To read the next post in this series, please check back next week. You can always subscribe to our blog to get our guest bloggers’ new posts in your inbox.

 

Let’s begin this post by continuing from where we left off last week, with another set of classroom activities. To view last week’s classroom activity, please click here.


Book Three: A House for Me

To begin, use the book, A House for Me, from the Kaleidoscope Collection, with an Elmo or classroom projector as a read aloud. The front of the book might be used on the Elmo or classroom projector to introduce the title’s characters to the classroom. You can then do a read aloud. In the book, the sentence, “I need a house for me”, is on each page. Introduce the sentence to the children and ask them to repeat it with you each time you read it. Explain to the children that the character, the Spider, does not have a home and visits his neighbors, hoping to find one. Read the book slowly, sharing the pictures and asking the children what each home presented is called. Use a different voice for the spider. After completing the entire story, ask the students who helped the spider and how. After this, the last picture might also be shared on the Elmo or classroom projector. What does the dog call his home? Although the Spider character does not call his home by a name, ask the children if they can tell us the name of the spider's home.


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After this, in the classroom, use two hula hoops or an enlarged Venn diagram, to compare the dog and the spider. Fill in differences first. (For example: What are their homes called? How large are the two living things? How does each animal get its food?) The center of the diagram can include: is a living thing, eats in home, needs a home. Students may think of other ways the two animals are alike or different. Ask the children why they think each animal is similar or different, and invite all the children to help make the decisions on what to include in the diagram. Inform the children that scientists do this kind of thinking and praise their thinking and sharing.

After class, the students can visit with their parents and talk about their own homes. The next day, in the classroom, provide a sharing time and allow the students to talk about their homes and what they learned about them. Discuss how long each child has lived in his or her home, and what exactly his or her favorite things to do are, while at home. How many people live in the home? Where exactly is the home? Does each of the children know their street address

Introduce the word 'shelter' and invite the children to visit with their families to discuss how their homes provides shelter. Provide an activity sheet for the students and ask them to record examples of how their homes provide shelter and personal needs. The next day, the students can draw a picture on one way their home provides shelter on a sheet of drawing paper. This can be done while you are with guided reading groups. Later, invite them to sit in groups of three or four and share their findings. The groups can then share the group findings with the entire class. Collect their drawings and make a list of ways that homes provide shelter. Create a classroom bulletin board titled, “Why We Need Shelter”, and include the students’ findings as well as some of their pictures. The children can help create the display.

During this part of the study, a museum collection can be displayed by both the children and the teacher. (For example: shells, bird nests, an ant farm, a fish in a bowl, a small aquarium, a web, etc.) Each unique home can then be labeled and either individual children, or groups of children, can write captions for the compiled museum collection. In the captions, include what lived in the home, and where the particular home might be found. The captions can also include the labels of 'living' or 'non-living'.


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Book Four: We Are Thirsty

For the second section of this blog post, the wordless picture book, We Are Thirsty, from the series, Zoozoo Into the Wild, can be used to introduce the fact that living things need water to drink, in order to live. On the inside of the back cover of this title, a synopsis of the book, for teacher use, can be found. Use the first two activities suggested on the inside of the back cover. Use an Elmo or classroom projector to share the book’s cover and pages. Ask the children to talk about why the zebras, in the book, might be thirsty. Ask questions like: When do they get thirsty? Where do they find water to drink? Where do the children find water to drink? Where do the zebras find water? Why are the zebras living things? Do the children think that all living things need to drink water? Using the pictures of scenery in the book, ask the students where they think the zebras live. How do the students know this? After, revisit the last picture in the book, and discuss how the zebras must have felt after they drank the water.

In the classroom, display two living plants that look alike and similar. Water one plant, but do not water the other plant. On a daily basis, the children can look at the plants and create a record of what they see happening to the plants over a period of time. Ask the children what exact conclusions can be made about the two plants? In addition to this, the children might plant seeds in small containers in the classroom together, bring their plants home, and watch how their own plants grow at home. They can then share what is happening to their plants and possibly record, on a calendar, comments about when they water their plants and what they have observed about their plants.

 

This is the end of Part 3 in this series of blog posts on teaching and using leveled books for science in kindergarten. To read the first post in the series, click here. To read the previous post, click here. To read the next post in this series, please check back next week. As always, you can subscribe to our blog to get new posts in your inbox.

 

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Geraldine Haggard is the author of several books from our Kaleidoscope Collection. To download information sheets with key features about the Kaleidoscope Collection and Zoozoo Into the Wild series, which contain the books mentioned in this post, click the images below.

 

 

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Topics: Leveled Readers, Reading Activities, Kaleidoscope Collection, Kindergarten, Zoozoo Into the Wild, Geraldine Haggard, Science, Creative Activities

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