Book Talk Thursday - Good Winter Reads

Here is my very late Book Talk Thursday Post! With all of the hecticness of the holidays I am finally getting around to posting this. I am linking up with Andrea at Reading Toward the Stars for her linky! Also, I am lucky to be part of a group of terrific reading specialists and literacy teachers who are launching a collaborative literacy blog called Literacy Land. We will launch in about a week so stay tuned! I think it will be awesome!

My favorite winter read is the classic, The Mitten by Jan Brett! What a clever story. It is so neat to see the story unfold as each animal tries to squeeze into the mitten as they seek shelter. The mitten stretches and stretches... The ending is so fun, and I love how the boy brings back the mittens to his nana (I think) who had warned him not to lose one! I am always losing mittens and gloves so I know the feeling!

Now I don't have any great resources myself for this book but I found that Nicole King has a free Jan Brett author study pack on Teachers Pay Teachers - click here to see it - and Erin from Creating and Teaching has a free sequence activity. Click here to see that. Click on Andrea's image for Book Talk Thursday below to see her favorite winter read and see who else linked up!

Click on the image of The Mitten to learn more about it from Amazon.

I had a couple other winter book runner ups that I almost picked - here are the links to them on Amazon so you can can check them out.

Five for Friday : Christmas Edition

Happy Vacation all! I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for this week's 5 for Friday (albeit a little late!). Click on her link to see who else linked up (hint: tons of awesome teacher bloggers)!

1. Reindeer Puppets! I have no idea where I found this project - I found it about ten years ago on a piece of paper in a folder. I have since lost the original directions but think they came out a ok. It is so fascinating how the same pattern and directions can lead to many different variations!

This one does not have the antlers on yet. It looks like a concerned reindeer to me. I like how she put both the pupils in and the colored part of the eyes!

This one looks cute - she designed her own antlers and cut them out.

2. Hi Touch Hi Tech Science (Plants)
A teacher came in from Hi Touch Hi Tech to teach us about plants. The PTA paid for it and it was awesome! One thing she did was teach them about chlorophyll and show them how using a coffee filter, wax paper and a popsicle stick they can basically scrape the chlorophyll out of the plant. It gets transferred to the coffee filter and the leaf becomes just a transparent shell which then disinigrates because it is so delicate. (how do you spell disinigrate?!)

She also used chromotography paper to show them how you can find out how many colors make up black with this little experiment. They were so engaged in this lesson!

3. December Dog 
Instead of the Elf, I have December Dog visit. He does all sorts of fun things, like practice math facts with the desk fairy (hint: kids, you should be practicing too) and write in someone's handwriting book (hint: let's work on neater printing :)  ) 

He also led a reading group with some other classroom stuffies. Another day he was reading some of Joy Berry's books (Gossiping, Being Lazy, etc.).

December Dog was an inspiration for us to do some writing.

D.D. as we call him was "trying to incerige us to practiss our hand writing".. :)

D.D. made her happy!

D.D. should get an iPhone for Christmas so he can call Santa and play Minecraft!

4. Bailey has been getting ready for Christmas . Here is the big boy at the groomers. He actually is great for them and loves the attention but when he spotted me I could tell he wanted to get down and go home right away. He gets pretty exhausted standing up for that long (3+ hours).

Big Boy got an early Christmas present too, a new beddie! Yay! I can leave the old one at my moms house now!

5. Secret Snowpals - my coworker shared this with me - I am sure some awesome teacher came up with it but I dont know who. The kids randomly pick a secret snow pal and their job is to make a personalized card for their pal and include clues to who they are. This girl's pal loves football so she wrote him an amazing football poem!


Here are some kiddos listening as someone reads their clues out loud and tries to guess who their pal was. They made the cards at home and brought them in , sneaking them to me so no one would see. It was super.

I hope you all have a restful and fun holiday season!!!

Here are some links to the books I mentioned that December Dog was reading. Click on the images to get details.

Need a New Year's Book Idea for Your Class?

How can it be almost the end of December? I can't believe when we get back from vacation New Year's Eve will have also gone by and it will be 2014. I always like to start January with some New Year's activities and put together this collage for you of books on both New Years and also Chinese New Years. Chinese New Year's is great to learn about especially if you do holidays around the world as part of your curriculum. This Grace Lin book is great- we have the story The Ugly Vegetables in our Treasures reading book so I have liked her stuff for a while. Do you use any of these books? Any you would like to suggest?

If you want to check out any of these, click on the links below to find out more at Amazon.

Book Talk Thursday - my Favorite (almost) Christmas Book!

Hi everyone!  It's Book Talk Thursday  time! I am linking up with the lovely Andrea from Reading Toward the Stars tonight to discuss my favorite (almost) Christmas book! Click on her image below to go to her blog and see her favorite and who else is linking up.

The reason I say my ALMOST favorite Christmas book is because I really already talked about a couple of books that are probably tied for #1 Christmas book for me: The Night Before Christmas with illustrations by Jan Brett and Pussycat's Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown (I will post shots of their covers below).

So... coming in a close 2nd/3rd is Jolly Old Santa Claus by Mary Jane Tonn with Oil Paintings by George Hinke. This book is so sweet. The paintings are gorgeous and the story is endearing, delightful and funny. My kids laughed out loud today at the pictures of Gran'pa Elf falling down because he never wears his spectacles and Junior Elf goofing off. The pictures have so much detail and I think the story is inventive because the author talks directly to the children during the story. For example she, when describing the wonders of the toy shop, asks the reader, "Do you think he has enough toys for all the good little boys and girls?". Worth a look if you haven't see it before! Click on the image to get more info from Amazon!

Here are the other books I mentioned earlier. Click on them to take a look at Amazon. Thanks Andrea for the chance to link up!