I've been working on this....however, I forgot to get it uploaded!!!
I wanted to have it uploaded for Halloween...and I barely made it!  But this sweet story is good for anytime! 
You can have it here...Hope you enjoy!
Chatterbox  Blessings,
If I close my eyes, I can go back in time and think about how I felt as a child on Christmas Eve...Oh the Anticipation!  Sometimes if my family was going on a trip that required several hours of driving, my parents would pack the car the night before, and we'd get in bed early.  Around 3 or 4 a.m. we would be carried to the car to lay down in the back-seat-turned-makeshift-bed on the road...Oh the Anticipation...  And then there's that yummy ketchup.....  
Ok....so now I'm really showing my age!  LOL

My point is....that anticipation really gets you excited for the things you love!  So, why not get kids really excited about a story?!?!?!

I love to use Anticipation Guides before reading (even though you can use them during and after reading too).  
  • Anticipation guides stimulate students' interest in a topic and set a purpose for reading.
  • They teach students to make predictions, anticipate the text, and verify their predictions.
  • They connect new information to prior knowledge and build curiosity about a new topic.

  1. When preparing an anticipation guide, think simple for younger students. Write four to six statements about key ideas in the text.  When I make mine, I have a place for them to choose if they agree or disagree with the statement before reading...and then the same for after reading.
  2. Begin by Modeling!  Introduce the text or reading material and share the guide with the students. Model the process of responding to the statements and marking the columns.
  3. Read each of the statements and ask the students if they agree or disagree with it. Provide the opportunity for discussion. The emphasis is not on right answers but to share what they know and to make predictions.
  4. Read the text aloud or have students read the selection individually. If reading aloud, teachers should read slowly and stop at places in the text that correspond to each of the statements.
  5. Revisit each statement during Closure.

Here's a good video of a teacher with her whole group during an Anticipation Guide.  You could also use a guide in a small group setting, as well.

Anticipation...Is it making you wait???

Chatterbox Blessings,

I love alphabet books!  Actually, I collect them! 
If you think that these wonderful ABC books are just for babies, toddlers, or littles, I'd love to share with you how I use them....in my 4th grade class!
I adore Graeme Base...and Animalia is an amazing ABC book!  The illustrations alone will keep you busy for hours!  
They are just STUNNING!  
AND....the rich vocabulary in this book  is a must for older students!


Alliteration is so much fun...think tongue twisters!  We loved trying those out as a kid...ok, so some of us still do...tee hee
Alphabet Soup is a book with gorgeous illustrations.  When Otter moves, he throws a housewarming potluck party.  26 friends (animals...one for each letter of the alphabet) are asked to bring something for that letter to put into the soup.  Sweet book with sweet pictures!

When doing a theme study, bring in alphabet books....there are a ton out there!  
Work your way through the alphabet as you learn about your theme!
Michael Shoulders is another author and illustrator of alphabet books.  I have had the pleasure of meeting him, when he visited our school!

OMG!  I love this book!  Liza loves her crayons so much....
but when she draws all over her wonderful blank canvas (unfortunately it was her wall) she gets her beloved crayons taken away for the day....so, she is left with using her imagination and creativity to fullfill that need for color. 
 LOVE this book!  

Create a class alphabet book!  Choose a theme, assign (or have students pick) letters.  and create!  You can do the same thing with a class alliteration book!

Really?  An ABC center in upper grades?  YES! Of course! Get a three ring binder.  Add a page for letters A-Z.  Whenever students come across things that start with a certain letter, they add it to that page of the book.  
Then when you have the ABC center out for use, they will choose a certain subject (i.e. on the "W" page they might choose George Washington) and research the subject.  My kids love this!

So...if you teach older students, and you haven't thought about it before....
Take out those Alphabet Books...and put them to good use!!
And if you use them already, I'd LOVE to hear how YOU use them!

Chatterbox Blessings,
So, the first nine weeks has come and gone.  I have the sweetest bunch of kids in my homeroom and in my Block 1 and 2 classes!  With starting in July however, I was ready to see Fall Break arrive!  The first week of break, I traveled to New York City for the first time with my bestie.  It was an awesome trip!  Before the nine weeks had ended, I started preparing lesson plans for the first week after break.  Every year, we read The Cricket In Times Square.  The kids always love it, as do I!  So with going to New York on the break, I decided that this novel was what I would be teaching when returning from break.  

I worked days and nights on a new Novel Packet for this book.  

During my second week of break, I put together the things that I had acquired while in New York City to share during this novel study.  I am so pleased with how it turned out!  Today, was our first day back, and we began this novel.  The kids are already loving it.  I knew they would!  So, if you teach reading, then you will want to pick up this novel packet.  It is geared toward 3rd-5th grade and you can find it here.  If you do purchase it, please let me know what you think, because I put my heart and soul into creating it!
Chatterbox Blessings,

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