Wednesday, September 6, 2017

The One and Only Ivan in Your Classroom!

Last year my son came home from school and told me, "Mom, I am reading the best book and you really need to make a unit for it!" Not a crazy comment by any means, but from my son it is a bit out of the ordinary because he is a reluctant reader. It takes a really, really good book to hook him into raving about it!  There really isn't higher praise for a book than that!

What is this awesome book you ask? It is The One and Only Ivan, by Katherine Applegate. In addition to the highest accolades from Sam, it also won the Newbery Medal in 2013 among many other awards. From Katherine Applegate's You Tube Channel:



I put it on my summer to-do list and I am happy to say I am finally done and my new novel study is published!  I also have to say my son was right, it is a really, really good book! I am a huge animal lover and love animal stories so of course, there's that, but I also really enjoyed the poetic way this story is told through the eyes of Ivan, the shopping mall gorilla.  I was also astonished to learn that this story isn't totally fictitious. There was a real Ivan who lived in a shopping mall in Washington State for 27 years!

While creating this novel study I wanted to incorporate as much of the non-fiction aspects as I could to help the student learn a little about Silverback Gorillas, elephants, living in captivity vs. the wild, and of course the story of the real life Ivan! I hope that your students can walk away from this book with your hearts filled with excitement as much as Sam did!




I want to help you get this story in the hands of your students.  I am offering a giveaway of a classroom set (25) of The One and Only Ivan books, plus a $10 TpT gift certificate!  To enter, please visit The Teaching Bank's Facebook page for the Ivan Giveaway post. Please share the post and leave a comment sharing what you loved most about this book and what you hope your students will walk away with after reading it.  



A winner will be chosen from the Facebook comment section at 10:00 PM CST on Thursday, September 28. I will announce the winner on the Facebook post and contact the winner via Facebook messenger to deliver the electronic $10 TpT gift certificate and to get your mailing address for delivery of your class set of 25 books.

Please check out the completed The One and Only Ivan Novel Study that contains both a printable and Google Drive™ compatible format available in my store. 



I can't wait to read your comments and thoughts! Good luck! :)



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Back to School Organization



It's that time of year again, the end of summer and the new beginning of a school year. Mixed feelings are sure to be had with missing the relaxing days of summer, time spent with family, etc.  There are also good feelings to be had with the anticipation of a new year, starting with a fresh slate.

One way to start off on the right foot is to have a classroom organized like a well-oiled machine ready the first day. To help you with this I have collected some ideas to help you save time from tedious hours of web surfing. I have included some web links below and a link to a Pinterest board that is chock full of classroom organization and money saving tips. Hopefully, these tips will help you devote the little bit of free time you have left to fun things and not work! ;)


Organizational Ideas for the Classroom Pinterest Board



Back-to-School Tips and Resources for Teachers











Good luck on a bright new school year! Let it be your best one yet!



Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Fight for Net Neutrality!






This is true, not just for video, but for all digital materials offered online, including teaching resources from sites such as Teachers Pay Teachers! Fighting for Net Neutrality is fighting for the freedom of what you have access to and how much you can be charged to access it. 

Don't give up that power to the cable companies!
#NetNeutrality



Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Using Google Lit Trip with Number the Stars

I came across a wonderful discovery recently, Google Lit Trips



This site is amazing to expand the background knowledge of a novel and to add a whole new dimension to the book.  From the Google Lit Trip site:

What is a Google Lit Trip?
Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain "just in time" resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about "real world" references in that portion of the story. Our focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.


It is free to use for individual educators and classroom teachers. There is an option to sign up for a multi-user registration to use within a classroom. All you'll need on your computer is to download Google Earth. The Google Lit Trip "Getting Started" page explains all you need to do.


One of the available titles for a Google Lit Trip is Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry.




This Google Lit Trip maps the journey Annemarie and her family take between Denmark and Sweden to help their Jewish friends escape the Nazis.






Along the way, you can make a stop and read about the location. This information can tie into the story and/or add background information to the reader to enhance the story using photos, videos, Google Earth visuals, and descriptive information.




If you are using my Number the Stars Novel Study, I highly recommend you check out this accompanying Lit Trip to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the novel for your students.





I can't sing the praises of this Lit Trip highly enough. It is such a fantastic addition to using this novel in the classroom. 




Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Using Google Lit Trips for Bud, Not Buddy

I came across a wonderful discovery recently, Google Lit Trips



This site is amazing to expand the background knowledge of a novel and to add a whole new dimension to the book.  From the Google Lit Trip site:

What is a Google Lit Trip?
Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain "just in time" resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about "real world" references in that portion of the story. Our focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.


It is free to use for individual educators and classroom teachers. There is an option to sign up for a multi-user registration to use within a classroom. All you'll need on your computer is to download Google Earth. The Google Lit Trip "Getting Started" page explains all you need to do.





This Google Lit Trip maps Bud's journey to find his father.





Along the way, you can make a stop and read about the location. This information can tie into the story and/or add background information to the reader to enhance the story using photos, videos, Google Earth visuals, and descriptive information.



If you are using my Bud, Not Buddy Novel Study, I highly recommend you check out this accompanying Lit Trip to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the novel for your students.




I can't sing the praises of this Lit Trip highly enough. It is such a fantastic addition to using this novel in the classroom. 




Saturday, March 25, 2017

Using Google Lit Trips for Esperanza Rising

I came across a wonderful discovery today, Google Lit Trips



This site is amazing to expand the background knowledge of a novel and to add a whole new dimension to the book.  From the Google Lit Trip site:

What is a Google Lit Trip?
Lit Trips are downloadable files that mark the journeys of characters from famous literature on the surface of Google Earth. Along the way, placemarks with pop-up windows contain "just in time" resources including relevant media, thought-provoking discussion starters, and links to supplementary information about "real world" references in that portion of the story. Our focus is on creating engaging and relevant literary experiences for students.


It is free to use for individual educators and classroom teachers. There is an option to sign up for a multi-user registration to use within a classroom. All you'll need on your computer is to download Google Earth. The Google Lit Trip "Getting Started" page explains all you need to do.



One of the available titles for a Google Lit Trip is Esperanza Rising, by Pam Múnoz Ryan



This Google Lit Trip maps Esperanza's trip from her home in Mexico to California.




Along the way, you can make a stop and read about the location. This information can tie into the story and/or add background information to the reader to enhance the story using photos, videos, Google Earth visuals, and descriptive information.


If you are using my Esperanza Rising Novel Study, I highly recommend you check out this accompanying Lit Trip to enhance the learning and enjoyment of the novel for your students.



I can't sing the praises of this Lit Trip highly enough. It is such a fantastic addition to using this novel in the classroom. 




Monday, February 6, 2017

Using Shiloh in the Classroom

Shiloh, written by Phyllis Reynolds Naylor, is a wonderful book to use for a novel study or for literature circles in the classroom. Shiloh, was first published in 1991, and among the numerous awards given was the Newbery Medal  in 1992.  Shiloh is an endearing book that will draw the interest of the most reluctant of readers and is relatable to both boys and girls.




Summary of Shiloh:

(from the book jacket)



When 11-year-old Marty Preston finds a young beagle up in the hills behind his home near Friendly, West Virginia, he is convinced that the poor pup is in trouble. Certain that the dog is being abused by his owner, Judd Travers, Marty names him "Shiloh" and immediately feels that he will do anything to save the dog from further harm.

When the dog runs away from Judd to Marty's house, Marty is faced with a number of ethical dilemmas: Should he tell his parents? Should he return the dog to the abusive Judd? Should he steal food to feed the mistreated pup? Marty finds that there is a fine line between telling the truth and lying by omission. He struggles to stand on the principles he knows are right, even if they go against the law.

As Marty's half-truths begin to pile up, however, the villainous Judd comes closer and closer to finding Shiloh, who Marty has hidden in the woods. Then when Marty discovers that Judd is poaching, he blackmails him and makes a deal to work for Judd to pay for the dog, but this is not what he tells his parents. In the end, readers will rejoice when Marty and Shiloh are allowed to be together.




This is a great novel to accompany a study of:
• Investigate animal abuse laws in your area.
• Explore the role that the animal control department plays in your community.


I offer a complete novel study to accompany Shiloh for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.






Here's a preview sample of my Shiloh Novel Study:



Please go to my TpT store to see this free preview as well as the complete CCSS alignment checklist for grades 4-6 in its entirety. Please email with any questions you may have!