Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Some new units, some new-ish units and a TpT SALE!

Are you counting down the days until Spring Break? Yeah, me too. We're at less than two weeks here and I can.not.wait!

In other exciting news, did you hear about TpT's Teachers are Heroes sale?

Starting tomorrow, my whole store will be 20% off and if you use the promo code: HEROES, you'll get an additional 10% off in savings.

I only need the slightest nudge of encouragement to buy clipart, so my TpT cart will be filled!

Some of my new units that will be on sale:

Some of my new-ish units that will be on sale:

A few favorites:

While you're there, you may as well pick up a few freebies, too!

Happy shopping!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

10 of My FAVORITE Chapter Books for Kids!

I am so excited about this post. I LOVE reading. Picture books, novels, non-fiction, I get excited about it all. So today I wanted to talk about 10 (I know, how could I narrow it down to only 10?!) of my favorite chapter books for kids.

When I was making this list, I was getting excited. That is the power books hold over me. Just glimpsing the cover of a book I haven't read in years is enough to bring back great memories.

I have to preface this list by saying that it may seem completely unorganized and seemingly disconnected. There is no set age-range or theme, but rather I solely chose books that have somehow impacted me. These are books that have stayed with me since childhood or have somehow impacted my teaching. This list is a book of favorites - my favorites. I'm sure I've left out some masterpieces, but when I sat down to think, these are the 10 that popped into my mind. So without further ado, let's move on to the list!

10) The BFG by Roald Dahl

All books via Amazon
Of course I had to start my list off with a Roald Dahl - you'll see that this will be a reoccurring theme! I first heard this book as a classroom read-aloud in third grade and have loved it ever since. The detail, the humour, the suspense, it is great.

9) From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Mystery, intrigue, and New York City, what more do you need?

8) The Tale of Despereaux by Kate DiCamillo

I love this book because it is the perfect first chapter book read-aloud for young readers. Plus, it's a really great story - who can't help but love that sweet, little Despereaux?

7) The Giver by Lois Lowry

When I read this book in seventh grade, it was so different than other books I had previously read. The concept had a powerful impact on me then that still resonates to this day.

6) Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

When I read this book, all I wanted to do was eat tomato sandwiches and carry a spy notebook. Love it.

5) James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Another Roald Dahl. I'm sure I could have filled this entire list with his books but I limited myself to three. This one makes the list because it was the first novel read-aloud I heard while in school. One of my favorite teachers read it to my class in first grade and it sparked my interest in novels. Before that I had been a voracious reader, but I had only ever seen picture books for kids - I thought novels were limited to adults! The thought that there were novels - amazing, long, intricate stories - for kids, opened a new world of reading for me.

4) Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

This is another book that has stuck with me since childhood. Novels can be powerful way to introduce tough historical topics to students, and this novel does just that.

3) The Breadwinner Trilogy by Deborah Ellis

This book came out when I was in university and by the time I started student teaching it was SO popular among students. The school library could not keep it on the shelves and boys and girls alike were devouring it. It brings current news and issues into the classroom and sends a powerful message.

2) The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

This series came out when I was a kid, but for some reason I didn't discover it until adulthood. I heard about it over and over again, but for some reason, I resisted reading it - big mistake! As soon as I picked up the first book, I couldn't put it down. It was a stay-up-until-2a.m. read for me and I continue to re-read the series all the time. I always feel that the hallmark of a great children's book is that adults love it too, and this series is a perfect example.

1) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Hands down, this is my favorite chapter book for kids. It's great as a class read-aloud, to inspire struggling readers or for students to re-read over and over again. This book has stuck with me since childhood. When I was in elementary school, as soon as my teacher finished reading it to the class, I immediately went to the local library and checked it out. I have read it countless times over the years and it will always hold a special place in my literary heart.

So those are my favorites, what are some of yours? Even as I was going through the list, I know I've left off a bunch, so I might have to make a 2.0 list!

I've seen a lot of students that struggle with reading & responding to chapter books. If you're interested in something to help your students with their comprehension, I have a bunch of prinables just for that . . .

You can click {HERE} or the above pictures if you'd like a closer look.

If you're interested in similar printables designed for use with picture books, you can check out a blog post I wrote {HERE} about using picture books to make predictions.