Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Free Groundhog Day Mini Book

Today, I am back with a Groundhog Day freebie.  Groundhog Day connects so well to science.  It is also a great day to connect to reading and writing skills.Click here to access this mini book.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Free Groundhog Day Writing

Can you believe that it is almost February? Do you know what that means?  It is almost Groundhog Day.  I have a Groundhog Day freebie to share.  It has Groundhog Day writing prompts and two types of writing paper.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Free Inference Task Cards (Organized by Lexile/Guided Reading Levels)

Do you sometimes feel as though there is not enough time to get everything done?  Help is here!  Try out this sample version of my differentiated inference task cards for free. The full version has task cards for each guided reading/Lexile level.  Fiction and nonfiction passages are included.  Questions are written at different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy to help students at all reading levels practice critical reading skills and infer ideas.

  • Save hours of planning time.  Since the passages and task cards at written at different levels, students at different reading levels can work on the same skill at their own individual reading levels.
  • Use for progress monitoring.  The Lexile level/guided reading level is written on each task card.  Each level comes with a student recording form and an answer key.
  • Use as a test prep resource.  The questions are written at different levels of Bloom's Taxonomy.  Multiple-choice and short response questions are both included.
  • Use as an RTI (Response to Intervention) resource.  The leveled nonfiction and fiction passages make it easier to review comprehension skills.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

70 Animals Passages Organized By Guided Reading and Lexile Levels

Guided reading has just become easier.  This bundle contains five passages per guided reading level.  Questions and an answer key is included.  These nonfiction passages are a great time saver.  Cut down on planning time as students read nonfiction passages at their own reading levels.  This is great for reading and science instruction.

Click Here To Access Them

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Using High-Interest Nonfiction to Build Comprehension

The more students know about a topic, the more they tend to like it.  Students love reading fiction.  The tricky part is trying to get them to read informational text.

Doing something as easy as taking a nature hike might be enough to grab their interest.  I love nature and enjoy going into the field to experience nature before I write about it.

The pioneers and Native Americans made salads
using dandelion leaves.

I foraged for native plants that have been used throughout history for food.  I would not recommend doing this with a class, but teaching students an unusual fact about plants that are in their own backyards can spark interest in reading more about plants.

Black walnut seeds provide food for squirrels and other rodents.  They also are the home of maggots that
keep safe in the warm layer under the outer shell of this seed.

This is a picture of a wild plant called bloodroot.  It is an ephemeral.
Ephemerals are plants that bloom for just a few weeks out of the year.
They grow in early spring before larger plants are able to grow and 
compete with them for sunlight.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Task Cards That Are Organized By Guided Reading Levels

A year ago when I was working with my first graders, I wished that there were task cards that were organized by guided reading and Lexile levels.  There are so many books that are organized this way.  That is when I decided to create my own.  These task cards save so much planning time and make it easier to differentiate instruction.  

Main Idea Task Cards Organized By Guided Reading Levels
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels A-I
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels J-M
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels N-P
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels Q-R
Main Idea Guided Reading Levels S-U

Inference Task Cards Organized By Guided Reading Levels
Inference Guided Reading Levels A-I
Inference Guided Reading Levels J,K,L,M
Inference Guided Reading Levels N,O,P
Inference Guided Reading Levels Q and R
Inference Guided Reading Levels S,T,U
Cause and Effect Task Cards Organized By Guided Reading Levels
Cause and Effect Guided Reading Levels A,B,C,D

Inference Task Cards 


How Do Authors Create Book Illustrations?

Thank you for stopping by to see another Behind the Scenes blog post.  I am always working on multiple projects simultaneously and wanted to provide a sneak peak of the process of creating illustrations.

My eleven-year-old daughter Jaden is the artist this time.  Just like me, she loves to draw.  She is creating the mock up for a short graphic novel book about ratios that will be released soon.  

She did her overall sketches.  Then, she added specific details.

Next, I will use Adobe Illustrator to outline, scan, and color the images.  Or, I might use watercolors.

If you are interested in drawing or creating your own illustrations, I would highly recommend gouache.  They are commonly used professionally to create children's book illustrations because they produce vivid and bright colors.

I highly recommend using high quality watercolor water as well.  This is my absolute favorite ~Blick 140 lb. paper.

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