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Five Fun Halloween Books

Reading

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I love doing read alouds with my students and love reading holiday books too!  Today I’m sharing with you 5 Fun Halloween books that I read with them every year!

How To Catch a Monster – This was a new addition this year to my Halloween read alouds, but super cute!!!

Crankenestein – The kids loved this one!! They enjoy helping make the “Crankenstein” noises.
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Goodnight Goon – Who doesn’t love rhyming books?

The Hallo-Wiener – This has been on the Halloween read aloud list since I student taught. We used this book for one of my student teaching lessons and it’s been in my rotation ever since.
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There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Bat – My students always love the “There Was an Old Lady…” series.  This is a great one too! I love how they have themed books for each holiday!
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What are your favorite Halloween books? Comment below…

Jake Drake Know-It-All – Book Study

Reading
My students love reading Jake Drake books and we just finished up reading Jake Drake Teacher’s Pet as our first chapter book read aloud! We had a class set of Jake Drake Know-It-All with our reading series so I decided to make a book study to along with it!
I use book studies as an activity for my higher students during literacy small groups. Students work in groups of 2-3 on these projects. They read the text together, answer the questions together, and then discuss with me afterwards! Kids love doing book studies and I find it a great way for students to gain some independence and learn how to work with others.
Check out my Jake Drake Know-It-All Book Study – now available in my TPT Store.  I have other book studies available too…here..

Quick Synonyms and Antonyms Activity

Reading
Last week when we read our Journey’s story – What Do Illustrator’s Do – our vocabulary skill was synonyms.  We had been talking about synonyms and antonyms during small groups in past weeks and I had isolated the skills using activities from Florida Center for Reading Research.  
I decided since synonyms came up again to create a quick sorting activity with both synonyms and antonyms.  This activity was perfect for my small groups and gave me a chance to see who understood the difference between the two skills.  This would also be great in a literacy station or as a partner activity during reading. Synonyms and Antonyms Sort can be found in my TPT store…here.

Friday Favorites – Back to School Books

Back to School, Reading

Every Friday this summer I am sharing some of my favorite things with you! The month of July is focused on technology and academic areas.

Check out past Friday Favorites…
PD Books
Read Alouds
Kids’ Favorite Series
Book Studies
Tech Apps

PBL Activities

Today I’m excited to share with you some of my favorite books for the first week back to school! I’m sure some of these will be old favorites, but I hope to introduce you to maybe a new one or two as well.

First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg – This one surprises me every year. This is always the first book I read to students and I think it has been since I started teaching 11 years ago. Every year I ask students if they have heard this book before (I teach 2nd) and surprisingly the majority of the class says no.  Great book to discuss the jitters and nervousness that accompany the first day! It shows students that teachers also have some first day jitters too!

ish by Peter Reynolds – One of my favorite back to school books! This book discusses that it’s ok if things aren’t perfect.  As long as you are doing your best that is all that matters!

The Girl Who Never Made Mistakes by Mark Pett and Gary Rubinstein – This book is great for the perfectionist child.  I was one of these and am still one as an adult. It’s a funny story, but covers the important life lesson that it’s ok to make mistakes and no one is perfect.

The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires – I use this book to introduce Project Based Learning. This is a great book that also focuses on growth mindset.

Tattle Tongue by Julia Cook – This book has been one of my favorite back to school books for many years.  Kids love, love, love to tattle. It does a great job covering what is a tattle and what is actually important to tell. It even has a cute little chant!

The Recess Queen by Alexis O’Neill – I love this book! This book is a great book to use when going over recess expectations. It covers sharing, being kind to one another, etc.

Don’t Squeal Unless It’s a Big Deal by Jeanie Franz Ransom – I use this book the first week to discuss tattling.  Tattling is a big deal in the lower grades and discussing it using picture books tends to resonate more with the kids.

And I got two new books that I haven’t used before…

Spaghetti In a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy – This book has been recommended by many teachers and I’m excited to use it the first week to discuss how we’re all different and unique in our own ways.

Back to School Rules by Laurie Friedman: I’m planning to use this book when we discuss creating rules during my Johnson Elementary PBL.  To learn more about that PBL project – click here

What are some of your favorite back to school books? Comment below….

Next week, I’ll be sharing some of favorite community building activities to use the first few weeks of school.

Friday Favorites – Reading Activities

Reading

Every Friday this summer I am sharing some of my favorite things with you! The month of July is focused on technology and academic areas.

Check out past Friday Favorites…
PD Books
Read Alouds
Kids’ Favorite Series
Book Studies
Tech Apps

Math Activities

Today I’m sharing some of my favorite reading activities and lessons with you. We use the Journey’s program at my school, but I also supplement using some of the lessons below. These are all lessons I’ve used in my second grade class, but could be used in third too!

Strega Nona Character Bubble Maps – I love the story Strega Nona. It is just a great story and the characters are awesome because they are so different.  I also like using Thinking Maps. My current school is not a Thinking Maps school, but I use the maps anyway since it helps the kids organize their thinking.  After reading Strega Nona, the kids and I come up with a bubble map describing both Strega Nona and Big Anthony. Then, they use the bubble map to help them write sentences describing each character.

The Gingerbread Cowboy – Setting Brace Map – Here is another Thinking Maps example.  The story The Gingerbread Cowboy is another great story especially to discuss setting.  I read it to my class and then we came up with the setting on the left of the brace and then evidence from the story that supported that setting on the right side of the brace map.
What’s In Miss V’s Bag? (this picture is from before I was married) – This activity is from Abby at The Inspired Apple and focuses on making inferences.  This is a great beginning activity before diving into making inferences in text.  I empty out a few items in my purse (select items of course) and the kids have to infer why I have those items in my person. This helps them start to understand the concept of inferring and being able to use evidence and background knowledge to draw conclusions.
Making Inferences – Whose shoe? – I don’t remember where I found this activity, but it’s another great inferring starter.  You bring in a shoe and the students have to make inferences about who they think the shoe belongs to. While making inferences, the students have to back up their thoughts with why they think the shoe belongs to that person.  
Inference Pictures – I found this one on Pinterest and it’s another great start to teaching inferences. If you can’t tell, I enjoy teaching about making inferences.  There are a variety of pictures out there if you search on Pinterest for inference pictures. Students then have to use the text/evidence + their schema to infer what is happening in the picture.
Prefixes and Suffixes – This isn’t a super involved activity, but a great way to learn about prefixes using a Thinking Map – a tree map.  To help students come up with words that have different prefixes and understand what they mean, we created this tree map as a class.  We discussed what each prefix meant and as students gave examples, we talked about how the prefix changes the meaning of the word. This could also be done with suffixes.
Vocabulary Flip Books – We have about 8-10 reading vocabulary words each week with our Journey’s program. One activity I like to do to practice is a Vocabulary Flip book.  Each book has four flaps. Students choose four of their vocabulary words and write them on the front and draw a picture that matches the word. Then, on the inside they write the definition and use the vocab word in a sentence.
Whole Class Book Studies – At my school, in addition to our weekly Journey’s stories, we read three chapter books as a class throughout the year. In the fall, we read Charlotte’s Web. In the winter, we read The Chocolate Touch. In the spring, we read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. These books are a nice break from the weekly story and the kids love them. They are entertaining and engaging. We focus on vocabulary and comprehension with these stories.
Thanks for stopping by! Next week I’ll share some of my favorite social studies/project based learning lessons and activities!

Friday Favorites – Book Studies

Reading

Every Friday this summer I am sharing some of my favorite things with you! The month of June is focused on books!

Check out past Friday Favorites…
PD Books
Read Alouds
Kids’ Favorite Series

This week I’m wrapping up talking about books for the month of June and sharing with you some of my favorite books to use for book studies…. I teach second grade and have used all of the books below with my second graders. Some books are great for whole group and some books are better for a small challenge group.

Chocolate Touch by Patricia Skeane Catling – This book is funny and entertaining. We always read this book every year as a class and the kids love it.  Every kid can relate to wanting candy and the situations John finds himself in throughout the story are humorous!
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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl – A classic book to read with your class. I also use this book whole group.  We read this one towards the end of the school year and of course we watch the movie when we finish.  This is a book that really captures the classes’ attention. We read a few chapters a day and every time I stop I always hear groans and please keep reading!
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Charlotte’s Web by EB White – Another classic! We read this book towards the first part of the year and it’s our first whole class book study. We also do a reader’s theater version of the book for grandparents on Grandparent’s Day.  This is such a sweet story and has many great life lessons in it!
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Surprises According to Humphrey by Betty Birney – My students have really started to get into the Humphrey series the last year or two. Since this is more of a fourth grade level book, I use it in small group for kids who are ready for a challenge.
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I Survived the Great Chicago Fire by Lauren Tarshis – I’ve also had students take a big interest in the I Survived Series. I’ve used the Great Chicago Fire book with a few small groups.  It is definitely a heavier content then say a Humphrey book, but for kids who enjoy history – they love it!
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Ivy and Bean by Annie Barrows – Ivy and Bean are great characters that again students can relate to.  I’ve used Ivy and Bean a few times also with small groups.  The characters have real-life situations and have some interesting personalities which keep the kids entertained.
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Thank you for stopping by to check out some of my favorite book studies! I do have book study packets available in my TPT store (Jordan Johnson) for many of the books above and more. If you are interested, check it out here….

Next week I’ll share some of my favorite technology apps and websites!

Friday Favorites – Kid’s Favorite Series

Reading

Every Friday this summer I am sharing some of my favorite things with you! The month of June is focused on books!

Check out past Friday Favorites…
PD Books
Read Alouds

This week I’m sharing some of my students’ favorite book series with you.  My group this year liked many different types of books so I wanted to share some of their favorites.  I definitely have stocked my library up with these series for next year…

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinsey – My students for the last few years have all loved the Diary of a Wimpy Kid Series.  They find them funny and I have many kids that once they start they then want to read the whole series.
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My Weird School by Dan Gutman – This series became a huge favorite this year! Again these are relatable because they are about school and they are also humorous. Some of my more reluctant readers have really enjoyed these and it’s helped them catch the reading bug.
My Weird School #1: Miss Daisy Is Crazy! (My Weird School series) by [Gutman, Dan]

Who Was, What Was Series by Various Authors – My only non-fiction series in this post – but these are amazing! These are definitely higher level books, but for some of my kiddos this was a great challenge. These books are awesome because they provide so much information. There are many written on different people, places, and events in history!
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Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew by Carolyn Keene – I loved reading Nancy Drew as a kid, but that was many, many years ago (I won’t tell how you how many).  Here is a newer Nancy Drew series with the same characters, but the stories are more relevant and modern.
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I Survived Series by Lauren Tarshis – I love this series as do many of my students. If you have students who love non-fiction, this would be a great fiction series for them. It takes real events in history and provides information through a fictional story.
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Judy Moody and Stink by Megan McDonald – Students also find Judy Moody and Stink funny. Judy and Stink are brother and sister so often kids will read both series.  Great for kids to relate to because most having siblings and can relate to the squabbles and funny stories.

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Clementine by Sara Pennypacker – I mentioned Clementine last week.  It is great for a read aloud, but also a fun series for students to read independently.  Most kids love funny stories and Clementine definitely does some funny, crazy things.
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Big Nate by Lincoln Peirce – This is a newer series that my kids have enjoyed this year. The comic book/chapter book is definitely very popular right now. This series appealed to some of my reluctant readers because of it being comics.
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Next week I’ll share some of my favorite books to use for class and small group book studies!

Day #1 of TPT Teacher Appreciation Sale

Reading
Today is Day #1 of the TPT Teacher Appreciation Sale. My entire store – Jordan Johnson – is 28% off with the code THANKYOU17.  Check out some of my book studies that are on sale below…
Surprises According to Humphrey – great for advanced second and third grade students and fourth grade.  Each chapter includes three comprehension questions. Answer Key included.
Surprises According to Humphrey - Book Study
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – We’re working on this book study as a whole class right now. I use the Charlie Check-Ins as a formative assessment to see if students comprehended the chapters read the day before. Also includes writing prompts about the book.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory - Book Study
Ivy and Bean – I used this book study during literacy stations this year. I had partners working on it. They took turns reading and then would answer the questions together.  
Ivy + Bean - Book Study
Happy Shopping!

Guess What?

Math, Reading, Writing

The TPT Big Teacher Appreciation Sale begins tomorrow! You heard me!! Tomorrow!  My entire store – Jordan Johnson – will be on sale May 9th and 10th for 28% off with the code THANKYOU17.  This is a great time to stock up on some goodies for the end of the year and for early planning for next year.

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Check out my Instagram to win a $10 gift card that you can use on the sale – Team J 2nd Grade Fun.

Check out some of my bundles below…

Grammar Fix It Bundle Provides practice with capitals, end marks, apostrophes, commas, verb tense agreement, quotation marks, and spelling high frequency words.  6 products make up this one mega-bundle!

Grammar Fix It -  BUNDLE

Nate the Great Bundle – Includes two Nate the Great Book Studies (Nate the Great Goes Undercover and Nate the Great and The Lost List). Perfect for small group book studies.

Nate the Great Book Study BUNDLE

Graphing Galore Bundle – Includes 3 of my popular graphing products – Graphing in 2nd Grade, Learning About Line Plots, and Create Your Own Graph Project. Perfect for covering the 2nd Grade Data Analysis standards!

Graphing Galore BUNDLE

These are just a few of my bundle products! Add them to your wishlist today and purchase tomorrow in the sale! Happy Shopping!