My name is Katie King, and I am a first grade teacher and mother of two. This is my seventh year teaching first grade and I can't, at this point in time, imagine doing anything else! I love teaching reading, being creative, and simply being with young people.
We LOVE a Jory John book in this house. Seriously, we may own them all. That's What Dinosaurs Do talks about being tempted and having to work through those temptations. And Pete Oswald's illustrations are amazing as usual!
Oh I just LOVE Dandy! This book perfectly showcases the lengths a dad will go to for his little girl. It is hilarious and engaging as well! I can't wait to find just the perfect moment to use this one with students.
We tried to think of all the things that you would like on those first few weeks from a book. Through these fun and easy puzzles, your students will have a chance to connect. The pigeon's anxiety serves as a perfect springboard for connecting to all kinds of emotions on the first day!
These simple but engaging STEM options will have your students giggling and creating from Day 1 in your classroom.
Brooke thinks of everything you need to make these challenges happen.
She even introduces simple machines to them through QR codes. Science the first week of school? Check!
This amazing book allows you to jump right in to discussing author choices, text to self connections, and vocabulary.
If you snag it today (7/13 or 7/14) you can get it at 20% off. I can't wait to hear what you think!
When Amy and I began creating our 2nd Grade Rooted in Reading curriculum we were solving a problem for both of our classrooms. We had both been using picture books to teach comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar, but we did not have a go-to resource. We had activities and lessons that we were creating year after year, but we wanted something that would bring consistency to our reading block.
That’s when we got together and decided we wanted to take what we were doing each and every day in our own classrooms and create something for the entire year, something that other teachers could benefit from as well. In the fall of 2015, we chose 4 picture books and began developing a curriculum that our 2nd grade students fell IN LOVE with. It TRANSFORMED our ELA block. It helped us fall in love with teaching again. It helped our students fall in love with reading in a way we had never seen before.
Over the next few years we began creating curriculum for 1st and 3rd grade classrooms. It has been a true blessing to see so many teachers use our curriculum over the years. It touches our hearts to see every picture, read every review, and hear how Rooted in Reading has impacted so many classrooms.
We know how beneficial it can be to use picture books in the classroom, but we know that some teachers need to provide evidence to their administrators. Well, now we have you covered! We have put together a document with information, testimonials, and more! You can click HERE to check that out.
We hope that this document is just what you need to help bring Rooted in Reading to your classroom. If you want to see the specific books we chose for each of our units you can find them all listed on Amy's Amazon storefront HERE.
The following are the four nonfiction readers included for the month. One to pair with each book! I love the topics for each one and found myself learning A LOT!
I haven't blogged a ton about the first grade units so I wanted to make sure you saw a good bit of what is in each one.
For the Magical Sea Creatures nonfiction reader, I chose to focus on the habitat AND habits of each animal. I think with more understanding of what lives below sea level, comes more compassion and effort to protect our beautiful oceans.
For each week, you will receive two to three digital anchor charts and relatively quick comprehension activities to allow your students to demonstrate their understanding of the whole group lesson.
After The Fall offers a wonderful opportunity to review nursery rhymes that your students may or may not be familiar with.
Have you ever read The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig? What a FANTASTIC book! I find myself giggling several times when I am reading it because I find the author so clever.
And because it is SO hard to show you everything but I don't want to miss anything, here are some more images. You may click on any of the pictures to see the unit in Amy's store!
It's been a minute sine I have shared about anything non-school related, but I figured since a large majority of the country has caught the Marie Kondo bug that this might be of interest! Last Sunday I caught the organizing itch hard! I didn't even get out of my pajamas. I just spent the whole day tossing and bossing people around :) dreamy, right??
I started with the laundry room, where we have our "pantry". You would not believe the dates on some of the stuff I threw out! I love having baskets to group like items. It seems to keep us a lot more organized! I was trying to link some similar ones from Amazon, but they are all too expensive...just go to Walmart!
I know I am a weirdo but I actually enjoy laundry...which is a good thing since 5 people equals TONS of laundry.
After the laundry room, I moved on to the kitchen. We just loved to our home a year ago and luckily purged a lot then so I was able to go through all the cabinets and fridge pretty easily. Y'all it feels SO good to know exactly where everything is and have a clear mind with less stuff!
The main reason that wanted to share these pictures is because I actually have found a few great organizational "things" to help keep everything in its place.
First up are these drawer organizers. I found them on Amazon and I actually ordered a few more, because they are saving my LIFE. The main reason I like them so much is that you can customize them for
All of Mr. Husband's things are organized and not rolling around in my drawers anymore!
Next up was my vehicle. I spend a good 3 hours a day minimum in my car. Between getting Smith to therapies and all of the kids activities... I live in my car. It was making my crazy the amount of disorganization I was dealing with daily!
First thing I realized was that I needed the whole family's help. So I have stressed to my kids that if they bring it to the car, they need to take it from the car!
I also needed to reign in Smith's toys. I took a bunch out of the car for good and then started using a basic shower caddy for the rest. Plus I keep a few books handy because we are definitely a family of readers!
Plus I found this lap desk for Smith to play with his dinos and sharks on! He loves it and so does Momma because it keeps the mess contained and him entertained for hours!
I also got this organizer for my trunk. It is a dream! I keep my yoga mat and other things that we need for activities. It has all kinds of pockets on the kids for wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, and water bottles. Seriously, such a good purchase!
And the last place I have tackled so far is Emmie's closet. I have finally come to term with the fact that she is too old for me to pick out her clothes for her (10 in March) so I asked her to go through and let me know the things that she wouldn't wear anymore. Such a beautiful pile of clothe! Luckily we have lots of little friends to pass them down too!
Even though I am not picking out her clothes anymore, I was able to pass down a habit to her. On Sundays Emmie picks out her clothes for the whole week and puts them in this organizer. We have done this since she was four years old and it is such a life saver for us!
Here's a picture of the finished product of Emmie's closet!
And just so you KNOW I don't have all my stuff together.... here is my next project to tackle! Book hoarders unit!
If you are interested in seeing more organizational posts or home in general, make sure to leave my a comment. I would love to hear any tips you have!
Did you have lots of great intentions for the week of Valentine's Day and now you are feeling all kinds of tired and overwhelmed. Yep, yep. I know that feeling. So let me help you out with some easy, print and go help!
When Amy saw Robot in Love at Barnes and Noble, we both knew right away that it was screaming to be a Rooted in Reading book. So, we made it happen!
The skills that we focused on for within the book are inferences, schema, and character traits. Take a closer look with me...
One of my biggest frustrations with adults is when they do not understand the complexity and rigor that picture books offer to our students. The amount of stuff going on in these illustrations is amazing! We need to talk about how characters act when they are "in love" and what is happening when the robot lands in the puddle. We can't assume that kids have been exposed to enough of the world to really GET it. And, folks that is what we do in Rooted in Reading. We zoom in. We give them time to talk and analyze.
I also LOVE using animated short films to really hit a Grand Slam with the kids. This "Cupid Love" video is a perfect addition to use alongside Robot in Love and gives students a chance to infer without the pressure of decoding words at the same time!
CGI Animated Short Film: "Cupid Love is Blind" / Cupidon by ESMA | CGMeetup - YouTube
If you are interested in seeing more of a Robot in Love, you can see it in Amy's store here:
I also decided to make this freebie for you! It has bookmarks to use as small gifts for your kids on Valentine's Day AND three printables to use for those of you that want to the Robot in Love unit but think it might be a little too challenging for your kids. You can find those freebies here:
AND since I decided to be an overachiever this week, Amanda Newsome and I decided to team up on a little Book Freebie. It comes with MORE bookmark options for any book, tags to use with gifts, book recommendation cards, AND a bulletin board idea. Phew! Look at the pictures below for more insight.
I hope that you are winding down from the week and preparing for a weekend of relaxation and rest....right?!?!
First and foremost after years of saying I am going to get to it, I FINALLY made an email list and I can't wait to start sharing some of my favorite books and other content with you all that way. You can sign up for it by clicking HERE!
Second, Brooke and I have heard you loud and clear. You wanted Kindergarten Storybook STEM after seeing how well our bundle has worked with first and second graders.
First, let me apologize for my disappearance from this blog space. Second, let me welcome you into the second semester of your school year....the time of year when the lightbulbs start to go off, the routines get mastered, and you truly fall in love with those sweet children in your classroom. Well, lets cross our fingers and toes that that's what is happening in your rooms right now. Amy and I just recently uploaded our February Unit for First Grade Rooted in Reading, and I could not be more in LOVE. These are not your typical February books and I think your kids will love the change of pace! I want to give you some insight into this unit so you can see detailed descriptions of the four books and then images from the preview that show you everything inside the units!
1. Cloudette- Much like the Little Engine that Could, Cloudette wonders her value because she is so small. She can't do the BIG cloud things like a massive storm or creating a lake from a torrential downpour. She understands that everyone thinks she is cute, but she wants to be so much more. Tom Litchenheld's humor and attention to detail is what I crave in a picture book. It makes it enjoyable for the grown-up too!
2. The Big Bed- If you have never read Bunmi Laditan's blog The Honest Toddler, you are seriously missing out on some full belly laughs. Bunmi has a way of connecting to adults and finding the humor in our sometimes hostage situation with children that is so refreshing. When I heard she was coming out with a picture book I immediately purchased it. I could not be more THRILLED with her end result. She packed her main character with so much voice and personality that you can't help but love her. The daughter's persistence and well-thought-out plan also makes for the perfect mentor text for persuasive writing as well. If you do nothing else today, find this book and read it!
3. The Radiant Child- Anybody else a podcast listener? I am a Podcast enthusiast and this morning I listened to the same sentence about ten times. The sentence was "Creativity was how I share my soul with the world." In a time when teachers have to fight tooth in nail to keep arts education in place that meant so much to me. It is so important that our students see examples of real life artists. The real life story of Jean Michel Basquiat is brilliant because it is so different than the ones our students are probably accustomed to hearing. And if you need a way to hook them, because well money talks, share with them that one of Basquiat's paintings was recently bought for 110 million dollars!
4. The Koala Who Could- Growth Mindset is all the rage in education and for all the right reasons. Students need to learn to persevere when things are tough. Even as a 34 year old woman I have to remind myself not to quit (like when I can't remember my password for the thousandth time). Students need to know that tremendous growth happens when we are uncomfortable and take risks!
I hope you enjoyed the little tour, and I promise you that I won't stay gone as long this go around!
There is nothing that I love doing on this here blog more than I enjoy bring you a themed book round-up! My Back to School Superhero unit is one of my favorites in my store so I have always been on the lookout for great mentor texts to pair with it! So here we go:
Click on each picture to access Amazon Affiliate link:
1. Ten Rules of Being a Superhero:
As soon as I read this book, I envisioned the perfect way to incorporate it in the first week of school! Prepare the anchor chart a head of time and after reading the book as a class, ask how you can apply that rule to your classroom! I think this is a great way to stay on the positive side of how to create a classroom community where students look out for each other!
2. The Day I Lost My Superpowers:
This book is DARLING. I love the illustrations so much and the simple text lends itself perfectly for introducing comprehension strategies. I think older students would benefit from this book when talking about perspective. And for younger students it would be a great way to hear about special people in their life without making it directly about "family".
3. Even Superheroes Have Bad Days:
I had seen this book around for a long time now, but never made the effort to find it. Well, boy was I wrong. This book is FANTASTIC! I think students would be incredibly engaged listening to it. I also love that the author acknowledges that upset feelings are okay, crying is okay, we don't always have to be tough, but we do need to pick ourselves back up!
4. Be a Star, Wonder Woman!:
Wonder Woman is not only great for gender equality, but she shows students how to take on the challenges of a new school year with grace and strength! I also have to say that the illustrator does a great job of representing students of several ethnicities AND has dad bringing Wonder Woman to and from school!
5. Bedtime for Batman:
This one might be a little more for home, but I couldn't resist adding it in. My little 3 year old batman is working on routines so this book is a great way to reinforce what we do every night before bed.
Like I said earlier, these books would be a great addition to the B2S unit I used for several years with my 2nd graders. You can see some snippits below!
Hi all! A few of us that believe strongly in the power of Workshop got together and decided to write out quick blog posts that will help you start out your year successfully. When you get to the end of this post you will find links to take you to four other blog posts so make sure to check those out too!
I was lucky to start my teaching career in a school that provided a reading specialist as a mentor in addition to my district provided mentor. She helped me construct my Writers Workshop in such a way that my students were given ample amount of time to write even at the beginning of the year. She encouraged me to not focus on the content of what my students were writing so much as establishing Rituals and Routines. I found though that some of my students wanted a little more direction at this point in the year. You know know who I am talking about..."Mrs. King- I don't know what to wriiiiite."
I figured out that this was a GREAT time to focus on illustrations. Something that would allow all my students to be successful. These mini-lessons will serve a dual purpose. 1. You will be asking them to think deeply as readers 2. You will show them ways to enhance their writing. I call that a Win-Win!
In this blogpost I will show you five books that I used and the point of emphasis for that book/illustrator. If you click on the pictures, it will take you to my Amazon Affiliate links, but I think you will find that you have many if not all of these books in your classroom already!
1. Book: Today I Will Fly!
Teaching Point: Speech Bubbles
Really ANY of the amazing Elephant and Piggie books will work for this objective. LONG before students are comfortable writing dialogue in their narrative, writers will stare drawing speech bubbles above their characters' heads. What a great way to get students adding personality and action to their "stories" early on.
2. Book: This is My Book
Teaching Point: Humor
I just discovered this book a few weeks ago, and I just adore it! In fact I might have tried to figure out a reason to post about it because it is just that good! As the illustrator, Pett uses his characters to make the reader laugh by disobeying the author and main character. Point out all the funny tidbits and discuss with students how they can add similar elements in their illustrations.
3. Book: The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear
Teaching Point: Clues
One of my favorite things about picture books is the amount of high level thinking is involved by asking readers to infer based on the pictures. Illustrator Don Wood adds so much context to The Red Ripe Strawberry, and The Big Hungry Bear. Talk to your students about all the clues and how much more interesting the story is due to the drawings.
4. Book: The Rabbit Listened
Teaching Point: Mood
The Rabbit Listened is another new to me book. I would put this book in the Top 5 most important books to have in your classroom library. In fact you could spend a whole week studying this one. Cori Doerrfeld is able to add so much feeling into this book by how she draws the characters. Students will have a lot to say about how the character is feeling AND how it makes them feel as a reader. I can't wait to hear what you all think of this one!
5. Book: Hey, Little Ant
Teaching Point: Different Points of View
I am SURE you all know Hey, Little Ant! The drawings that require the reader to turn the book sideways have ALWAYS been some of my favorites. I love when my students start doing this in their own books too! It allows the reader to gain a whole new perspective just from the drawings!
Alright folks, I hope you have a wonderful start to your school year, and I also hope you enjoyed my thoughts and head on over to my friends' blog and read some more!