Mentor Texts {Author's Purpose}

There are so many books you can use to teach author's purpose. Here are a few that I just recently purchased to use to help teach this strategy.

 Turtle Tide by Stephen R. Swinburne

Summary from Amazon: A mother turtle swims to shore. She digs a hole in a dune where she lays one hundred eggs. Following her instinct, she covers the eggs with sand and slowly makes her way back to sea. What happens next, from eggs to hatchlings, is one of the most extraordinary occurrences in nature. For the eggs provide food for other animals, and the eggs that survive produce hatchlings that, again, provide food for birds and crabs. Even those hatchlings that make it to the ocean face an uncertain future.

I read this book to my son and he thought it was SO sad. He didn't like hearing how many of the baby turtles didn't make it to the sea.

Dogs by Gail Gibbons

Summary from Read Works: An introduction to dogs including their history, types of breeds, senses, and ways of communication.
 I Wanna Iguana by Karen Jaufman Orloff

Summary from Amazon: Alex just has to convince his mom to let him have an iguana, so he puts his arguments in writing. He promises that she won't have to feed it or clean its cage or even see it if she doesn't want to. Of course Mom imagines life with a six-foot-long iguana eating them out of house and home. Alex's reassurances: It takes fifteen years for an iguana to get that big. I'll be married by then and probably living in my own house. and his mom's replies: How are you going to get a girl to marry you when you own a giant reptile? will have kids in hysterics as the negotiations go back and forth through notes. And the lively, imaginative illustrations show their polar opposite dreams of life with an iguana.

 Hey, Little Ant by Phillip and Hannah Hoose

Summary from Amazon: What would you do if the ant you were about to step on looked up and started talking? Would you stop and listen? What if your friends saw you hesitate? That’s what happens in this funny, thought-provoking book. Originally a song by a father-daughter team, this conversation between two creatures, large and small, is bound to inspire important discussions. It might even answer that classic childhood question: To squish or not to squish?

*This book would also be good with point of view. It is a CUTE book. My five year old LOVED it!

There are SO many books that can be used to teach author's purpose. These are just a few.

What books do you use to teach author's purpose?

Monday Made It {June 28th}

Happy Monday! It's time to link up with Tara at Fourth Grade Frolics for Monday Made It.
This past week I focused on my classroom library. I went through every book I own and decided which ones I'd take with me, which ones I really wanted to keep (just in case I ever teach a lower grade, and which ones I'd donate to a friend of mine who is also a teacher.
After I organized my books, I created new labels and put a sticker inside every book I'll take with me to my new school.

I also have about 20 mentor texts that I will keep to the side to use to teach various strategies. I created labels for those as well and put them inside of the front of each book. 

It doesn't look like much, but it was a huge task! I am so glad to have matching labels in every book. 

Five for Friday {June 26}

It's hard to believe that it's nearing the end of June. Ahhhh, summer is going by way too fast! I've been out now exactly for a month and it has flown by. I sure wish time could slow down.

We celebrated Father's Day earlier this week. My favorite part was this homemade card that Easton made. I wrote the words on another piece of paper so he'd know how to spell them and asked him to fill in the blank. He did the rest all by himself and was SO proud. This is worth more than any store bought card!

This week I finally decided to bring my school bag inside and go through it. I found this cute little calendar I'd purchased at the Dollar Tree earlier this year. It was so cute I couldn't pass it up, but I hadn't used it once. I decided to turn it into a blog planner.

It's been so hot here this week we've played outside at night just to escape the hot temperatures. I finally got two cute picture of my dogs, Molly and Maggie.  

This week I went to my new classroom for the first time. I can't wait to get my materials in and decorate/organize. I took 1 load while I was heading that way. Check back next week for a look in my new room!

We are spending time with family today and tomorrow and thoroughly enjoying my mom's pool!

Have a great weekend!

Mentor Texts {Drawing Inferences}

When I see or hear the term "drawing inferences", I always think of a little boy in my very first class. One of the test questions on a pre-made test said "drawing inferences" and then asked the question. He thought he was supposed to draw his answer!

I can understand the confusion. Drawing inferences, making inferences, inferring, etc...
Link in picture!

Thankfully, I have a lot of books to use for this strategy.

Fly Away Home by Eve Bunting 

Summary from Amazon: A homeless boy who lives in an airport with his father, moving from terminal to terminal trying not to be noticed, is given hope when a trapped bird finally finds its freedom.
How Many Days to America? by Eve Bunting

Summary from Amazon: After the police come, a family is forced to flee their Caribbean island and set sail for America in a small fishing boat.

*I've used this book before to correlate to Social Studies standards.

Teammates by Peter Golenbock

Summary from Amazon: This is the moving story of how Jackie Robinson became the first black player on a Major League baseball team when he joined the Brooklyn Dodgers in the 1940s, and how on a fateful day in Cincinnati, Pee Wee Reese took a stand and declared Jackie his teammate.

Babushka's Doll by Patricia Polacco

Summary from Amazon: Natasha isn't really a bad girl. It's just that she wants to play on the swing now, not after the wash has been hung up to dry. And she wants her soup now, not after the goats have been fed. Looking after Natasha keeps Babushka, Natasha's grandmother, very busy. Then, after lunch, Natasha notices a doll sitting on Babushka's shelf...a doll Babushka tells Natasha she played with just once when she was a little girl. When Natasha plays with the doll while Babushka goes to the store for groceries, she discovers why once is enough with Babushka's doll...and finds out just how tiring it can be to take care of a child who wants everything now.

Train to Somewhere by Eve Bunting

Summary from Amazon: Marianne, heading west with fourteen other children on an Orphan Train, is sure her mother will show up at one of the stations along the way. When her mother left Marianne at the orphanage, hadn't she promised she'd come for her after making a new life in the West? Stop after stop goes by, and there's no sign of her mother in the crowds that come to look over the children. No one shows any interest in adopting shy, plain Marianne, either. But that's all right: She has to be free for her mother to claim her. Then the train pulls into its final stop, a town called Somewhere . . .
*I've used this book before to correlate to Social Studies standards.
The Circus Ship by Chris Van Dusen

Summary from Amazon: When a circus ship runs aground off the coast of Maine, the poor animals are left on their own to swim the chilly waters. Staggering onto a nearby island, they soon win over the wary townspeople with their kind, courageous ways. So well do the critters blend in that when the greedy circus owner returns to claim them, villagers of all species conspire to outsmart the bloated blowhard. With buoyant rhymes and brilliantly caricatured illustrations evoking the early nineteenth century, Chris Van Dusen presents a hugely entertaining tale about the bonds of community — and a rare hidden-pictures spread for eagle-eyed readers of all ages.

*We have this book for our son and he LOVES it! I actually have an entire blog post about it HERE.

The Other Side by Jacqueline Woodson

Summary from Amazon: Clover's mom says it isn't safe to cross the fence that segregates their African-American side of town from the white side where Anna lives. But the two girls strike up a friendship, and get around the grown-ups' rules by sitting on top of the fence together.

The Memory String by Eve Bunting

Summary from Amazon: Each button on Laura’s memory string represents a piece of her family history. The buttons Laura cherishes the most belonged to her mother—a button from her prom dress, a white one off her wedding dress, and a single small button from the nightgown she was wearing on the day she died. When the string breaks, Laura’s new stepmother, Jane, is there to comfort Laura and search for a missing button, just as Laura’s mother would have done. But it’s not the same—Jane isn’t Mom. In Eve Bunting’s moving story, beautifully illustrated by Ted Rand, Laura discovers that a memory string is not just for remembering the past: it’s also for recording new memories.

I'm sure there are tons of other great books to teach students to make inferences, but I have a great start!

What books do you use?

Mentor Texts {Synthesizing}

I am continuing my theme of mentor texts to teach various reading strategies. As always, PLEASE let me know if you know of any other texts to teach these strategies. I am always on the lookout for a good book to teach these strategies.
Today's strategy is synthesizing. I love the way this picture sums of synthesizing. Click the link to see where I found it.

I only have two mentor texts from my list so far, but I have included a couple others I plan to get at the bottom.

The Story of Ruby Bridges by Robert Coles

Summary from Amazon: The year is 1960, and six-year-old Ruby Bridges and her family have recently moved from Mississippi to New Orleans in search of a better life. When a judge orders Ruby to attend first grade at William Frantz Elementary, an all-white school, Ruby must face angry mobs of parents who refuse to send their children to school with her. Told with Robert Coles' powerful narrative and dramatically illustrated by George Ford, Ruby's story of courage, faith, and hope is now available in this special 50th anniversary edition with an updated afterword!

The Wretched Stone by Chris Van Allsburg

Summary from Amazon: In a story recounted through the daily log of Captain Allan Hope, the sailors aboard the Rita Anne become mesmerized and transformed by a mysterious glowing rock, and only music and books can restore them to normal.
These two books by Chris Van Allsburg are on my list to purchase.  


What books do you use to teach students to synthesize?

Monday Made It {June 22}

Happy MOnday! I am linking up with Tara's Monday Made It over at 4th Grade Frolics. I love to see what other teachers create for Monday Made It and it always keeps me on my toes to complete my never ending to do list.

My first project was inspired by Leslie at Life in Fifth Grade. I love how she stores her task cards in these Dollar Tree containers. I have tons of task cards in my TPT wish list. I bought the containers and then used my Cricut machine to label them. I love how they turned out!


Now it's time to fill these containers with task cards!

We are in the process of redecorating some of the main areas of our home. Stay tuned for future Monday Made It's! I've been looking for a basket to put on my dining room table that was a distressed white or cream. I've looked everywhere. I have a vision of putting green moss balls in the basket. I found a basket that would work at TJ Maxx, but it was the wrong color. No problem! Spray paint to the rescue! It actually took coat after coat until I used an entire can of spray paint. It turned out nice, though. You can still see some dark spots, but it looks distressed so I'm good with it. Now to find green moss balls.

My final project for this week was a strange one. If you have followed my blog for the last couple of years, you'll know that I have a little classroom museum area with different finds of mine. Well, I was at the beach two weeks ago and found the shell of a horseshoe crab washed up on the beach (he was dead) with his tail still attached! I have one shell already that I found two years ago, but his tail was gone. I was SO excited to see that this crab A) had a tail and B) all of the meat/legs/etc. was already gone! So, I brought him/her home with me. I scrubbed and cleaned it and then used Shellac to preserve it! You just never know what neat things you'll find. I love finding things like this for my classroom. It makes me feel like a real life Ms. Frizzle! HA! 

I made two bingo games to play with my son who will be going into Kindergarten this coming year. One has sight words and the other has color words. I tried to remember as many sight words that was on his assessment for Kindergarten. I may have missed or have added a few, but it'll be a good start. He knows almost all of them, but we are still working on them and that. He LOVES to learn so we'll make these into a fun game to play this summer!

Have a great week, y'all!
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