Logic Smart

You Can’t Ride a Bicycle to the Moon!

Posted by on Jan 9, 2014 in Art, Early Learning, Key Ideas and Details, Logic Smart, Non-Fiction, Range of Reading, Science, Vocabulary | 1 comment

You Can't Ride a Bicycle to the Moon!Happy 2014! My goal this year is to share more nonfiction titles with you, so your Common Core Reading Standards Bingo Board will always have Range of Reading covered! I’m enjoying the new “You Can’t” series from Blue Apple books, especially You Can’t Ride a Bicycle to the Moon! by Harriet Ziefert and illustrated by Amanda Haley.

This picture book has short chapters and all the informational text features we educators love, including informative illustrations with labels (why hello, Integrating Knowledge and Ideas!) Your students can use the fun space facts they learn from You Can’t Ride a Bicycle to the Moon! in a creative project that incorporates using labels on a diagram or picture as a part of informative writing.

After sharing the book, discuss as a class why you can’t ride a bicycle to the moon, and discuss the features a spaceship needs to support human life. Create a class-made checklist of spaceship essentials: food storage, sleeping area, etc. Students can design, draw, and write about their ideal spaceship. (If you are extra-crafty, get out the cardboard and glue along with the paper and markers to make the spaceship 3-D!) The spaceship should have everything inside that astronauts need to live, as well as something to make your spacecraft go. Encourage students to use labels on any illustrations to convey information as well as write a paragraph or two of explanatory text.

With interesting informational books like You Can’t Ride a Bicycle to the Moon!, all your students will be superstar readers!

For more information about the You Can’t series, please visit blueapplebooks.com.

 

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Wumbers

Posted by on Nov 14, 2013 in Craft and Structure, Early Learning, Integrating Knowledge and Ideas, Letter / Number Knowledge, Logic Smart, Phonological Awareness, Print Awareness, Print Concepts | 0 comments

wumbers“What do you get when you combine a word with a number? A wumber!” Wumbers  is wri10 by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustr8ed by Tom Lichtenheld, the dynamic duo who made Duck! Rabbit! and other books I love passion8ly. With Wumbers, kids have 2 pay at10tion to the sound of the number word to figure out how to read the wumber. 1ce your students get the gist of it, they’ll want 2 make up wumbers of their own!

Because Wumbers focuses kids’ attention on the small sounds in words, it’s an ideal book to hit the CCSS of Phonological Awareness. Distinguishing the numbers from the letters in the words is part of Print Concepts. 1 book for 2 standards = gr8ful teacher and 4tunate students!

As you read Wumbers to your students, call at10tion first to the way the wumber looks. What number is mixed with letters to make a new word? 1ce students identify the number, say it out loud a few times, then blend the number name with the other letters slowly. Let kids have the thrill of calling out the wumber. It7ly! (Get it – it’s heavenly? Ok, I’m still working on a good one for 7.)

Before you let your students loose on reading and writing wumbers on their own, practice as a group. Choose a number, an easy one like 2 or 4 (because obviously 7 will pose challenges, even for those of us with plenty of wumber po10tial.) Write the number word and any phonological variations: 2 is two, to, too, tu, etc. Now, see if you can come up with words that have that to-tu sound in them.  Tuba becomes 2ba. Toothbrush becomes a 2thbrush. Because she is genius, Amy Krouse Rosenthal has a free activities kit available through her website: whoisamy.com. If you and your students come up with some 1derful wumbers, email me! 2gether we will celebr8 Wumbers!

For more about the illustrator, please visit tomlichtenheld.com.

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Go Out and Play!

Posted by on Aug 21, 2013 in Body Smart, Early Learning, Key Ideas and Details, Logic Smart, Nature Smart, Non-Fiction, Print Concepts, Range of Reading, Self Smart | 0 comments

gooutandplay Go Out and Play! Favorite Outdoor Games from KaBOOM! is like a chocolate-covered peanut butter cup: it combines two good things to make something wonderful, and it is something I cannot resist.

The peanut-butter-part: Go Out and Play! is a nonfiction book, so sharing it with your students hits that Range of Reading Common Core Standard. Use the the table of contents (nice informational text feature) to help you choose from the dozens of games listed. Use the key at the bottom of each page (another nice informational text feature) to see how many players you’ll need, the recommended age group, how large an area you’ll need, and what, if any, materials you’ll need. Each game has one short page of information explaining how it is played. To build informational reading comprehension, give each student or group of students a page from the book to read. Each group can teach the class how to play that game. (Key Ideas and Details? Check!)

The chocolate part: Go Out and Play! will make your students want to go out and play. So yes it’s an informational book for teaching reading skills, but it’s all about games and playing outside – woohoo! Physical Education teachers will want to keep a copy all to themselves, but get one for your classroom, too, so when your students (or you) need a brain break you can grab this book and play.

For more information about KaBOOM! and its mission to encourage outdoor play, please visit: kaboom.org.

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This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations

Posted by on Jul 31, 2013 in Craft and Structure, Early Learning, Fluency, Logic Smart, Math Tie-In, Print Awareness, Print Concepts, Self Smart | 2 comments

This Plus ThatNot only is this week’s picture book a fun way to teach some of the Common Core State Standards in Reading, it is also the best inspiration for your “welcome back to school” classroom bulletin board.

This Plus That: Life’s Little Equations written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and illustrated by Jen Corace is sheer brilliance. It starts with:

1 + 1 = us

I love it! Not only will your students know how to read math symbols after sharing this book, but they’ll look at math much more creatively.

Smile + wave = hello
Smile + ocean wave = beach

Some are compare and contrast (I love what does and does not equal a sincere apology!), some are stand-alone sentences. Most are addition, but other math ideas come into play as well:
cozy + smell of pancakes – alarm clock = weekend

This would be fun to pair with 1 + 1 = 5 by David La Rochelle and Brenda Sexton if you’d like to hit Integrating Knowledge & Ideas, but all on its own This Plus That teaches Print Concepts and works beautifully to build Fluency.

After you share This Plus That, brainstorm and write equations with your students. In the book:

leaves + hot soup = fall

What things add up to fall for your students? And I’d love to make a welcoming bulletin board with:

1 + 1 = us    and       Joe + Gabriel + Julia + Matt…. = our class

This Plus That + your students = a whole new way of writing with math symbols!

For more information about the author, please visit whoisamy.com.

For more information about the illustrator, please visit jencorace.com.

 

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