Reading Week

Are you all celebrating the Dr.'s birthday this week? We are, or we're trying.  We had a 2 hour delay today because of more snow.  I'm about over this white death.  I really wasn't made for winter...AT ALL! 
Today we did a few Cat in the Hat activities and then had a visit from author and illustrator Steve Harpster.  If you don't know Steve, you have to check him out. You can visit his site by clicking HERE. He's amazing with kiddos and teaches them to use their imagination and work hard to achieve their goals.  He also teaches kids to draw animals and monsters with numbers and letters.  The kids have a blast and their drawings are adorable.  The best part of it all is that Steve does both in person, and online visits. He also presents for free and 30% of the sale of his books go to your school.  I have all of his books! Love them, and so do my kids. 
Here are a few pictures from his visit. 
 Steve and 5 of his drawing books. He is also an author and illustrator of many popular books. 
 Teaching Kids to draw a porcupine from a lowercase h.
The kids take paper and pencil to the assembly so they can draw along with Steve. Here is a during the presentation picture and their drawings after. 
So much fun! 

Speaking of reading, many people have been asking about my Shared Reading units. I wrote a post not long ago, describing reading in my room.  You can read it here.  I've also just started making my units available on TpT.  Last week we did a nonfiction Shared Reading unit on penguins. I was so excited to hit the informational text standards deeply with a topic that was fun for my kiddos. So penguins definitely did the trick.  I often get asked, where do get multiple copies of a book?  I know my topics and book titles ahead of time, so I often have our library order multiple copies for me, but for the book I used on penguins, I actually ordered 14 copies through Scholastic with my bonus points.  They were very inexpensive.  
The main book I used was Penguins by Emily Bone. It's the perfect length and level of difficulty for first and second grade readers. 
And here are the lessons I created to hit the standards! 
Students use what they know and what they read to make meaning of the text. 
 In this lesson you review the text features in nonfiction and use those features to find information. 
 I created two lesson for comparing text. Not only can you compare two nonfiction texts and the way they are written, their features, etc. You can also compare the information that they give. That is what we did with the second comparison lesson.
We also discussed the importance of asking and answering questions through reading and the two types of questions that we can ask, thick and thin.  In this lesson students sorted thick and thin questions and then created their own questions about the nonfiction text. 
Main Idea or Central Theme or Message is also very important.  Students used the book and worked in groups to identify important details and the main idea. They then uses the interactive notebook page with a book of their own to apply their learning. 
Lastly, we talked about word meanings with domain specific words. I made this sheet editable so you can choose your own words if you choose to use a different book.  

I hope you are having as much fun learning and reading as we are. 
Happy Read Across America Week. 








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4 comments

  1. Thank you for a great post! I have never heard of Steve and now you have me super excited to check him out! I love his idea of using letters and numbers to draw. I always have a few students that always tell me they don't know how to draw. I'm thinking that his resources may help inspire these students. I also wanted to say that your reading units are AMAZING!!!! I used your Splat the Cat unit around Valentine's Day and I was very pleased with the easy to follow format and extremely engaging activities. My students loved it too! Thanks again for a great post! I always love your ideas and suggestions.
    -Monique
    More Than Math by Mo

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  2. So much fun! I love the drawings!! Do you think a visit would be appropriate for kindergarten kiddos?

    Amanda
    A Very Curious Class

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  3. Amanda-Yes. He met with our kindergarten and preschool kiddos. He has young children of his own, so he's great at adjusting.

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  4. Hello!

    My school is hosting Steve in late May and I am the coordinator of his visit! He directed me to your lesson plans on his website, and I wanted to thank you for providing them! Our building has not had an author/illustrator for a long time, and my 2nd graders were fascinated when I showed them some of his "How To Draw" videos! Any tips or "detail lists" you can share to help me make his time with our students more memorable would be appreciated!

    ~Jennifer Reynolds
    http://storiesandsongsinsecond.blogspot.com
    storiesandsongs2@gmail.com

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