Wednesday, October 30, 2013



I've been boo-ed!  Now it is my turn to do some boo-ing!

Maybe you’ve seen or heard of this fun game in your neighborhood or even at school…This is the blog version!  A big thank you goes out to Carla at the Comprehension Connection for thinking of me!

Here is how it works:

If you’ve been booed, copy and paste the above pic and these "rules" into your post.

1. Give a shout out to the blogger who booed you and link back to their site!

2. Share 3-5 October activities, books, products (yours or someone else),
or freebie(s) that you love!

3. Share the Boo love with 5 bloggers- make sure you check this link to make sure you don’t boo someone again:  I’ve Been Boo-ed.  Don’t forget to tell them that they have been BOO-ED!

4. Link up here with First Grade Friendly Froggies so that others can find you and read about your October ideas!  And while you are there… check out the other great blogs!

Here are a few of my favorite October activities:

Created by Ashley Reed
Halloween Safety Book {Freebie}:  This is a great mini-book to emphasize the importance of staying safe while trick-or-treating. 

Created by Melissa Dalton
The Case of the Candy Snatcher {Paid Item}:  We are actually doing this lesson tomorrow in fourth grade.  I can't wait!  Students are so excited.  I posted the clue cards around the classroom.  Students will read through the details of the case.  Then they'll record clues about the suspects on a graphic organizer and draw conclusions about the thief.

Created by Anita Bremer
Autumn Writing Pages {Freebie}:  Love, love, love these writing center posters.  Halloween, Thanksgiving, and fall words are featured with corresponding pictures.  Super cute!


So now it's my turn to boo a few of my Pennsylvania blogging buddies. Time is running short on Halloween, but I know these bloggers have awesome fall and Thanksgiving themed activities to share.  :)

That First Grade Blog
Mr. First Grade
Two Friends in First
Sweet Rhyme - Pure Reason
First Grade Teacher Lady

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Super Sleuth Blog Hop, Stop 16

Welcome to the Blog Hop!

You've come to the right place for literacy tips, freebies, and a great giveaway.  If you are just joining in, you may wish to start at the beginning.  Click the link below to visit the first blog.

Read Like a Detective!

I had the opportunity to attend a reading conference this past week. Douglas Fisher, author of Text Complexity: Raising Rigor in Reading, was a keynote speaker.  He spoke about the practice of close reading. With the adoption of the Common Core Standards, many teachers have turned their attention to close reading.

What is close reading?  It is the instructional practice of having students critically examine a text in order to gain a deeper understanding of its meaning.  Rereading and interacting with the text are key elements.  Students learn to become detectives as the read, looking for clues as they uncover the meaning of the text.

Things to consider:
  • Use short passages that are more complex. 
  • Build in opportunities for rereading to develop a depth of understanding. 
  • Provide a new purpose for each reading. 
  • Ask students to read with a pencil and leave thinking tracks as they read. 
  • Encourage students to note new words, important ideas, questions, and text connections. 
  • Provide opportunities for students to interact with peers in discussion to gain a deeper meaning of the text. 

First Reading 

Focus: What does the text say?

In the primary grades, the first reading may be a shared reading by the teacher, while in the intermediate grades, the student reads the passage independently.

Students read the passage to figure out what the text is about, or get the gist.  They answer literal questions:
  • What is the main idea? 
  • What are the key details?
  • What is the sequence of events? 
  • Who, what when, where? 
Be careful not to do too much front loading before the first reading. Instead, provide the scaffolding between readings.  Allow students to get uncomfortable and struggle through the first reading. It’s healthy for them to problem solve and work through a difficult text.

Second Reading 

Focus: How does the text work? 

Students read with a pencil so that they can interact with the text. They look closer at vocabulary and figure out how the text works.

Questions for digging deeper:
  • How did the author organize the text? 
  • How do the words influence the book's meaning?
  • What is the author’s purpose? 

Later Readings 

Focus:  What does the text mean?

Students dig even deeper into the meaning of the text, forming opinions and arguments about the text:
  • What inferences can I make? 
  • What was the author’s point? Do I agree or disagree? 
  • How does this text compare or connect to other texts? 

A Reading Detective Lap Book

This little detective activity is great for exploring the practice of close reading with your students.  Students construct a *case file* with information from a fiction book of your choice.   

Reading Detectives:  Close Reading Lap Book

Pick and choose from twelve different tasks that give students a purpose rereading and digging deeper into the text.  Attach the sheets to a file folder to make a lap book or bind the pages together as a mini-book. 

Students can use the "Thinking Tracks" bookmark as they 'read with a pencil'.  

Are you ready for my clue?  On your form, you can record the letter...

Thanks for visiting today!  I hope you'll enjoy using my activity with your students.  If you'd like to keep informed of future posts and group events, please click the Bloglovin' link below to follow my blog.

I appreciate your interest in reading instruction and wish you a wonderful school year.  Now, on to the...

A special thanks to I'm Lovin' Lit, Melonheadz, and Scrappin' Doodles for the graphics used in this post. :) 

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Eek! A Spider!

I'm dropping in to share my favorite spider books and *free* activities today.

This time of year, students become increasingly more excited about trick-or-treat.  Visions of candy and costumes seem to preoccupy their thoughts.

Here a few books and activities that are sure to capture your students' attention.


These nonfiction selections offer brightly colored photographs.  They provide interesting facts and are written in kid friendly language.



My students have worn out my copies of Diary of a Spider...and who doesn't love Charlotte's Web?  I still cry every time I read that book.  :(


Education to the Core - Mini-Book and Writing

The Applicious Teacher - Spider Word Sort

Amy Lemons - Spider Craft and Poem
Deborah Perrot - Spider Day Pack
Amanda Bryant - Word Search

These are a few of my favorite Spider freebies.
Need more seasonal ideas?  Click {here} for a few more *batty* suggestions.

Coming Soon...

The Rungs of Reading and Comprehension Connection are hosting a Super Sleuths Blog Hop Friday, October 25 through Sunday, October 27th.

You can hop from blog to blog and pick up literacy tips, strategies, and materials.

You'll also have the opportunity to collect clues along the way to crack a mysterious code and earn the chance to win some super prizes.

See you at The Hop!