Hameray Classroom Literacy Blog!

Halloween Sight Word Practice—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on Oct 25, 2016 2:55:00 PM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright, who will be contributing a series of posts over the next few months. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts from here and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

 

Add a little Halloween fun to your sight word practice! Two great stories that use repeated text and high frequency words can be found at Hameray Publishing.

With repeated sentence structure and picture support for the word that changes in each sentence, Halloween Night is a fun and easy read for your beginning readers.

kaleidoscope-collection-halloween-night-2.jpg

If you're looking for a little bit more of a challenge, Joy Cowley's Spooky House is a good choice. Two children approach a haunted house, becoming progressively more frightened as they move deeper into the house. Finally, they see and hear something that causes them to turn tail and run, all the while convincing themselves that they are very brave.

As you can see, there are many sight words included in both books. The repetitive text makes it easy for even your approaching level readers to pick up the rhythm of the words.

 A fun follow up activity is to play Read-the-Room: Halloween Style. Slide1.pngIt's a simple game to play with your whole class, or you can set it up as center. Simply print out the numbered cards at the bottom of this post and place them around the room.

 Slide4.png

Put the sight word cards in a pocket chart or display on the board for the children to refer to while they read the room. They will copy the word onto their answer sheet that complete the sentence on their card as they move from card to card.

                  Slide10.png                        Slide14.png

Take advantage of the excitement of Halloween and the abundance of seasonal stories to squeeze in some fun Halloween-themed sight word practice!

~~~

Lesley Boatright is an Early Childhood/Elementary Education teacher from Southwestern Pennsylvania. After graduating college, she moved to South Florida, where she taught kindergarten in the Palm Beach County School District for 8 years. After having children, she decided (with her husband) that Florida was too far away from the rest of the family, and she moved back to her hometown, where she took a few years off to spend time with her son. She has been teaching in the parochial school system for 18 years now, first at kindergarten, and currently in a first grade classroom. Lesley has also taught 2nd and 3rd grade Spanish and 4th grade social studies. Visit Lesley at her Facebook page, blog, Pinterest, and on Teachers Pay Teachers to get great teaching ideas.

~~~

Click on the links to learn more about the Kaleidoscope Collection and Joy Cowley Early Birds, which contain the books featured in this post. To download the Halloween sight word activity, click the image below!

 Halloween Read-the-Room

 

Read More

Topics: Joy Cowley Early Birds, Kaleidoscope Collection, Sight Words, Lesley Boatright, Halloween

Using Literature to Teach About the Seasons—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on May 21, 2015 5:19:00 PM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts, click here to see her other posts, and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

Every year in the spring, I teach a combined science and social studies unit on seasons.  It coincides with our literature story for the week, and since seasons are covered in both our science and our social studies curriculum in first grade, it's a great way to do some integrated, cross-curricular lessons.

I was looking for a way to spice up my tired old lessons about seasons, so when I came across Santa All Year in the Kaleidoscope Collection, my mind started turning. What a fun way to go through the seasons, talking about changes that happen, how we dress changes, and how our activities change in each season in relation to Santa!  How funny to see Santa in a bathing suit, or raking leaves and playing football!

Santa_All_Year_inside_spreads-5

Santa All Year­­ is a fun, short story to read to the children.  The pictures made my children giggle madly, especially the summer picture with Santa and the elves and the reindeer at the pool. After reading the story, over the course of two days, we worked together to make an anchor chart with a section for each season. I used the premade is/wear/do chart for each season that we filled out, and then I taped all four together to make a large chart.  Each child also got a copy of the is/wear/do chart to fill out and glue into their science notebook for future reference.

Santa_Packet

As a final activity, the children made a “Through the Seasons with Santa” flip booklet.  Each page has a description of a season on it, and a picture of Santa in his underwear!  The children have to read the description then draw the proper clothing on Santa for the season and add details that show what the weather might be like and an activity that is typically done in that season.  A quick glance at their drawings allows me to assess the children's level of understanding of the changes that each season brings, and typical clothing and activities of the season.

I am so glad I found the book Santa All Year­­ to use with my students. Using the story was a fun and fresh approach to introducing the seasons to my students, and it made a great addition to my seasons unit.

~~~

For more information about the series shown in this post, Kaleidoscope Collection, click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action    Seasons with Santa Activity Packet CTA

 
 
Read More

Topics: Narrative Text, Kaleidoscope Collection, Science, Lesley Boatright, Social Studies

Using Literature As Part of a Bullying Prevention Program—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on May 7, 2015 3:30:00 PM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts, click here to see her other posts, and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

As part of our curriculum in the school where I teach, we have monthly meetings to discuss bullying and bullying prevention. We start out the year by discussing our school rules and how children should handle the situation if they or someone else is being bullied, including ways to help if they see someone being bullied.


I try to integrate literature as much as possible into these monthly meetings.
A good story, such as Chrysanthemum, really helps the children understand what bullying is and maybe even recognize if they, sophia_and_the_bully_402themselves, are engaging in bullying behavior. So I was very happy to find these two stories from Hameray Publishing that addressed the topic of bullying. I used these stories in two different sessions as an introduction to our monthly meeting.

The first story, Sophia and the Bully, talks about a new girl in school. It addresses the uncomfortableness of being a new child in a school. It also highlights how friends can intervene when they see bullying behaviors happening, which led to our class discussion about what children can do if they see another child being bullied. I had the children write and illustrate to the complete the sentence "If I saw someone being bullied, I would. . ." Their responses led to interesting discussions about why some approaches would be better than others. I did have to point out that beating up a bully was not the best, nor the safest, solution to the problem!

The next month, I read the story Are You a Bully? Now, of course, all the children immediately said NO! This book was particularly effective in showing behaviors that could be considered bullying behaviors. In our school, we are very careful with the tag "bully." There is a clear cut definition of bullying that includes a PATTERN of REPEATED behavior and an imbalance of power. ARE-YOU-A-BULLYSo much of what goes on in the course of a day is not true bullying. But I make it a point to tell a child if they are engaging in bullying behavior because they truly don't see some of their actions in that way.

This story talked about how giggling at someone who doesn't read well, calling someone names, making fun of what someone wears, excluding children, and teasing all can be considered bullying. By the end of the story, most of my children were somewhat shocked to recognize some of their own behaviors in the book. As a follow up, I listed the situations from the book on the board, and asked pairs of children to work together to come up with an alternative, following the format, "Instead of laughing at someone who can't read well, I could . . ." We gathered those papers together and made a class book "Bullying Behavior Is Not Cool."

These are just a few of my ideas of ways to incorporate this bullying literature into my classroom lessons. I'm sure you will come up with many creative ideas as well!

~~~

For more information about the series shown in this post, Kaleidscope Collection, click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action    Bullying Packet CTA

 
 
Read More

Topics: Narrative Text, Kaleidoscope Collection, Bullying, Lesley Boatright

Integrating Literature and Science for Sequencing—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on Mar 19, 2015 5:00:00 PM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts, click here to see her other posts, and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

As part of dental health unit, I made a sequencing activity integrating literature with informational texts by using the fiction story Brush! Brush! Brush! from the Kaleidoscope Collection and Terrific Teeth, an informational text from Story World Real World. We started with Terrific Teeth.

This book teaches children about why different animals have teeth and also about different types of teeth. The children were really interested to learn that herbivores and carnivores have differently shaped teeth. They studied each other's teeth and came to the conclusion that humans have both types of teeth.

After the children reached that conclusion, I continued reading about the teeth of omnivores. They were fascinated by the fact that humans are considered omnivores because we eat both plants and meat. The book then goes on to give other interesting facts about teeth, such as which animal has the biggest teeth and which animal has the most teeth.

5177_Terrific_Teeth_Cover_355 brush_brush_brush_402

After piquing the children's interest with the informational text, we then moved on to taking care of our teeth. First, I had the children brainstorm how they take care of their teeth by working with a partner to draw a picture of something they do to take care of their teeth. Then we used the pictures to sequence their daily dental-care routine. Things that didn't fit into the sequence, like visiting the dentist or limiting sweets, went into an "also" category. Then the children completed a how-to-brush-your-teeth writing and craft project.

Finally, we read Brush! Brush! Brush! and compared our own sequences to the sequence in the story. We found out that we actually know quite a bit about taking care of our teeth!

Boatright-sequencing-teeth

If you would like a copy of the tooth-brushing sequencing packet, you can download it below.

~~~

For more information about the series shown in this post, Kaleidscope Collection and Story World Real World, click the images on the left below to download series information sheets with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action   New Call-to-Action Sequencing Activity Packet CTA

Read More

Topics: Real World, Narrative Text, Informational Text, Kaleidoscope Collection, Lesley Boatright, Sequencing

Supplementing Textbooks with Leveled Readers, Part 2—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on Dec 16, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts, click here to see her other posts, and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

Teaching social studies is always a challenge for me. As I talked about in my last post, I teach in smallish school with a limited budget, so I am always looking for trade books to supplement the text we use in social studies.  Luckily, I found this great My World series. I used these two books to teach about community and community helpers. 

Boatright-7-1-600

Very Important People is a very easy emergent text to read to the children with captions that exactly match the picture. It made a great addition to our classroom library because the children were able to read it entirely on their own, and even if they didn't know the words they were able to match the picture to the words.  The rich color and detail in the photos made for great conversations about the different jobs that the community helpers do, the uniforms they wear and why they are important to the community.

After reading the text and the discussions that followed, I gave the children this little riddle booklet I made.  

Boatright-8-300

They had to read the riddle and cut and glue the correct community helper to match the riddle.  To make it a bit more challenging, I made the community helpers into a puzzle to assemble.  

    boatright-8-300pic2-1        boatright-8-300-image3

Be sure to check back later this month for a special Christmas blog post about Four Seasons and Santa All Year!

~~~

For more information about the My World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action      New Call-to-action

Read More

Topics: Informational Text, My World, Lesley Boatright

Supplementing Textbooks with Leveled Readers—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on Nov 11, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts, click here to see her other posts, and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

Teaching social studies is always a challenge for me. In my smallish Catholic school, there is a limited textbook budget, and it seems like every time it's time to upgrade the first grade social studies books, the money runs out. The copyright date on the books I currently use is 2003! 

I have no beef with the textbook itself; it's a perfectly good text, and the information for first grade probably hasn't changed so much that we need to get new books every five years like we do in reading and math. But we no longer get any supplemental materials that come along with the texts, so we're left to our own devices as to how we want to teach the objectives (probably a good thing!). So I was thrilled to find these two little books from the My World series, What's a Community and Very Important People. I knew they tied in nicely with the social studies objectives.

Boatright-7-1-600

I started with What's a Community?. Using the posters I made to accompany the book, I started by introducing the key vocabulary from the book.

Boatright-7-2-300Boatright-7-3-300

Boatright-7-4-300Boatright-7-5-300

Then I read the story and we discussed all the different communities of which we are a member. We made an anchor chart of big paper as we talked about our communities.

After that, we talked about our place in the world, starting with our neighborhood. From there, we discussed that our neighborhoods were all a part of our town (city, if you live in an urban environment). We went on to say that our town (city) is a part of our state, our state is a part of our country, and our country is on the continent of North America. We completed this little foldable booklet to reinforce what we learned.

 
Boatright-7-6-300

Please enjoy the downloadable freebie I've included to help you teach about communities. Be sure to frequently check back to catch my next blog post to see how I used Very Important People to learn about people in our community.

~~~

For more information about the My World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action  

Read More

Topics: Informational Text, My World, Lesley Boatright

Using Paired Texts to Meet Common Core ELA Standards—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on Sep 11, 2014 8:21:22 AM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright, who will be contributing a series of posts over the next few months. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts, click here to see her other posts, and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

Hi! It's Lesley again, with another blog post about using paired texts. I've loved doing this series of blog posts, because it has introduced me to this great series of books, Story World Real World, which pairs fiction and nonfiction books on related topics. The fairy tale fiction books are great to use as a familiar taking-off point for the content of the nonfiction topic.

Through the units I've designed to accompany these books, I've been able to integrate ELA common core standards RL.1, RL.1.3 RL.1.5, and RL.1.7, as well as RI.1.4, RI.1.5, and RI.1.6. You can find the standards written out at many sites online. I use CoreStandards.org.

Today, my fiction focus is on the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.

This is a fantastic story to use to review the comprehension skill of sequencing. The events of the story happen in a clear-cut sequence that make it easy for the children to summarize the story. Summarizing a story helps the child understand the story because he or she has to wade through the fluff and just get down to the bare bones. If you've ever listened to a six-year-old tell a story, you know how hard that is for him or her to do!

To help out with the sequencing and summarizing, I developed these cards:

Boatright-6-1Boatright-6-2

And this sequence chain:

Boatright-6-3Boatright-6-4Boatright-6-5

After reading the story, the pictures are placed in the sequence chain in the order they happen in the story. Once the pictures are in order, the child can then summarize the story with the help of the pictures.

As an added practice, or as an assessment of sequencing and summarizing, I have two items I can use. I have a printable and a tabbed booklet condensing the story even more into a beginning, middle, and an end. 

You can see how all these activities are a great way to reach the reading literature standards in the common core.

In my next blog post, I will share how I tied Goldilocks and the Three Bears to the nonfiction story Too Hot! Too Cold! Just Right!

Thanks for joining me today! I hope to talk to you again soon.

~~~

Lesley Boatright is an Early Childhood/Elementary Education teacher from Southwestern Pennsylvania. After graduating college, she moved to South Florida, where she taught kindergarten in the Palm Beach County School District for 8 years. After having children, she decided (with her husband) that Florida was too far away from the rest of the family, and she moved back to her hometown, where she took a few years off to spend time with her son. She has been teaching in the parochial school system for 18 years now, first at kindergarten, and currently in a first grade classroom. Lesley has also taught 2nd and 3rd grade Spanish and 4th grade social studies. Visit Lesley at her Facebook page, blog, Pinterest, and on Teachers Pay Teachers to get great teaching ideas.

~~~

For more information about the Story World Real World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action  Goldilocks Retelling and Sequencing Packet Download

Read More

Topics: Story World, Real World, Narrative Text, Lesley Boatright, Fairy Tales

Using Paired Texts to Teach about Homes, Part 2—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on Sep 3, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright, who will be contributing a series of posts over the next few months. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts, click here to see her other posts, and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

Using Nonfiction Text

A few weeks ago, I shared ideas on how to use the fiction story Three Little Pigs from the Story World series to learn a bit about houses. Today, I'm going to show you how I plan to use the nonfiction text Where Would You Like to Live? from the Real World series to learn more about houses.

Before we begin reading, I plan on introducing the features of a nonfiction text to the class by looking through the book and pointing out and discussing the features the book has. Then I will let the children put sticky notes on the features in the book.

Boatright-5-1

After reading the book to the class, I have flashcards that show different types of houses from all around the world. We will discuss the different houses. Using a map, I will have the children find the different places in the world where the houses are found. They will glue pictures of the houses onto the map.

Boatright-5-2

Next, I will ask the children to pick two houses to compare and contrast using a Venn diagram. They will have to tell at least one way the houses are the same and different.

Boatright-5-3

Finally, the children will work with partners to complete a class book about homes, using the format found in the Where Would You Like to Live? story. I will encourage them to be creative and silly, with nothing being too far out there to use as a house!

Boatright-5-4

After writing, making pictures, and assembling the class book, I will put all three books into a take home bag, and the children will take turns taking the bag home to share our stories with their families!

Check back in a few weeks for another post about using paired texts in the classroom. I will be showing how I will use The Little Red Hen and Who Made our Breakfast? to teach about food from the farm to the table.

~~~

Lesley Boatright is an Early Childhood/Elementary Education teacher from Southwestern Pennsylvania. After graduating college, she moved to South Florida, where she taught kindergarten in the Palm Beach County School District for 8 years. After having children, she decided (with her husband) that Florida was too far away from the rest of the family, and she moved back to her hometown, where she took a few years off to spend time with her son. She has been teaching in the parochial school system for 18 years now, first at kindergarten, and currently in a first grade classroom. Lesley has also taught 2nd and 3rd grade Spanish and 4th grade social studies. Visit Lesley at her Facebook page, blog, Pinterest, and on Teachers Pay Teachers to get great teaching ideas.

~~~

For more information about the Story World Real World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action  A Home for Me Nonfiction Packet Download

Read More

Topics: Story World, Real World, Informational Text, Lesley Boatright

Using Paired Texts to Teach about Homes—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on Jun 23, 2014 3:41:19 PM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright, who will be contributing a series of posts over the next few months. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts from here and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

Well, school is out for me, and my summer break has begun. But as you well know, that doesn't mean I am not thinking about school. I've started planning some social studies units, and one that I want to focus on is homes. What better way to introduce the concept of houses and homes than to read Three Little Pigs?

I found a great pairing of fiction and nonfiction text in the Story World Real World series. It pairs Three Little Pigs and Where Would You Like to Live?

I plan on reading Three Little Pigs first. After reading the story, we will take a minute to discuss the structure of a fiction text, identifying the characters, the setting, the problem, and the solution using first, middle, last. Since this will be close to the beginning of the year, I will not have the children write this out. Instead I will use my story stepping stones to have the children practice summarizing the story.

stepping_stones

SWBS-400

After we finish this, I will have the children use flashcards to order the houses from weakest to strongest.

We will analyze and compare the three types of houses, filling out a three-part chart as a group that tells the good and the bad about each house.

straw-200sticks-200bricks-200

At the end of the lesson, the children will write about which house they would like to live in and tell why.

This is the first part of the lesson I have developed to go along with the fiction story, Three Little Pigs. Look for my post in a few weeks that outlines how I will work in the nonfiction story Where Would You Like to Live?

You can download the lesson packet at the bottom of this page.

~~~

Lesley Boatright is an Early Childhood/Elementary Education teacher from Southwestern Pennsylvania. After graduating college, she moved to South Florida, where she taught kindergarten in the Palm Beach County School District for 8 years. After having children, she decided (with her husband) that Florida was too far away from the rest of the family, and she moved back to her hometown, where she took a few years off to spend time with her son. She has been teaching in the parochial school system for 18 years now, first at kindergarten, and currently in a first grade classroom. Lesley has also taught 2nd and 3rd grade Spanish and 4th grade social studies. Visit Lesley at her Facebook page, blog, Pinterest, and on Teachers Pay Teachers to get great teaching ideas.

~~~

For more information about the Story World Real World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the lesson packet, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action  Homes Lesson Packet Download

Read More

Topics: Story World, Real World, Narrative Text, Informational Text, Lesley Boatright

Using Paired Texts to Teach about Dance—with FREE download!

Posted by Lesley Boatright on Jun 9, 2014 8:00:00 AM

Lesley_Boatright-150This is a guest post by Lesley Boatright, who will be contributing a series of posts over the next few months. If you like what you see here, check back frequently for more posts from here and click here to read her blog, Practice Makes Perfect.

With one and a half days of school left, the days got hotter in our non-air-conditioned school, and my little ones really started to get antsy! As I was looking for ways to keep the learning going but have fun at the same time, I stumbled across the pairing of Cinderella and Let's Dance in the Story World/Real World paired texts series.

Boatright-3-1-500

I know my kids love to dance, and I decided to create a resource that would let them learn a little about different types of dance and do some writing, and then we would have a "Final First Grade Friday" Dance Party.

First I read the children Cinderella. We reviewed the fictional story format, and then I had the children complete a worksheet outlining the characters, setting, plot, and sequence of the story. 

Boatright-3-2-250 Boatright-3-3-250

Next, I read the informational text Let's Dance to the class. After reading and discussing, we went over four different types of dance using flashcards I had made, and we watched YouTube video clips (prescreened for content) illustrating the four types of dance I chose to focus on: hip-hop, ballet, ballroom dancing, and '80s-style let-the-music-move-you dancing, which I referred to as free dancing. After viewing the clip for each style of dance, I played it again, letting the children attempt to dance in the same style. They also competed a little booklet about the types of dance.

Finally it was time for the "Final First Grade Friday" dance party! Again, I used prescreened brain break videos on YouTube and let the children dance along. They had a great time. One boy asked me if he could dance his own way instead of dancing like the video. My answer: of course you can!

Boatright-3-5-500

Just like at a real dance, some of the children were either too shy or too cool to dance!

All-in-all, our "Final First Grade Friday" dance party was a huge success, and I was proclaimed "the awesomest teacher ever!" for making such a fun lesson that combined a little bit of learning and writing with a lot of fun.

Boatright-3-4-500

If you would like to try the dance party in your room, you can download the file at the bottom of the page.

I hope your last days of school are fantastic!

~~~

Lesley Boatright is an Early Childhood/Elementary Education teacher from Southwestern Pennsylvania. After graduating college, she moved to South Florida, where she taught kindergarten in the Palm Beach County School District for 8 years. After having children, she decided (with her husband) that Florida was too far away from the rest of the family, and she moved back to her hometown, where she took a few years off to spend time with her son. She has been teaching in the parochial school system for 18 years now, first at kindergarten, and currently in a first grade classroom. Lesley has also taught 2nd and 3rd grade Spanish and 4th grade social studies. Visit Lesley at her Facebook page, blog, Pinterest, and on Teachers Pay Teachers to get great teaching ideas.

~~~

For more information about the Story World Real World series shown in this post, click here to visit our website, or click the image on the left below to download a series information sheet with key features. To download the booklet sheets, click the image to the right.

New Call-to-Action  Dance Party Booklet Sheets

Read More

Topics: Story World, Real World, Narrative Text, Informational Text, Lesley Boatright

Subscribe to Email Updates

Recent Posts

Posts by Topic

see all

Follow Me