Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Look To The North: A Wolf Pup Diary by Jean Craighead George

Why I use Study Guides in my classes. I love reading about animals and I have always had students that love reading books about animals. The Informational Narrative, Look To The North: A Wolf Pup Diary by Jean Craighead George is the sweetest nonfiction book that tells the story of three wolf pups as they grow up in the north. Jean Craighead George loved animals and this love comes through in all of her books. The book is beautifully illustrated by Lucia Washburn. The lexile level is 580L. (

I didn't choose the book because of a certain grade level, I wanted my students to enjoy reading a beautifully illustrated book, with a clear sequence, and one that they could find details in the text to answer questions and new vocabulary words. I don't think anyone is ever too old to read a story with beautiful illustrations. To make sure that my students were receiving the instruction that followed the Common Core, I made a Study Guide. You can download a preview of this study guide at my teacher store on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Student has finished the research section and is now working on connections  to the story.
I made this Study Guide so that my students can get all the information needed, plus work at their own pace. I included some research, phonics, spelling, vocabulary, lots of critical thinking questions and writing. I also included a Science and Social Studies Integration. While students are busy working together or independently, I can pull students in small groups and monitor other student's progress. I always makes sure students have access to a computer, dictionary, pencils and erasers, and always a book and a nice box of crayons.

The Vocabulary section pulls in the vocabulary words that a student might not be familiar with. There is a section at the bottom of this page where students must come up with a word from the text that they think should have been a vocabulary word.

There is a poem with relavent questions to answer and also a section on personification. 

My favorite part of the study guide is the front cover. Students draw a new cover and they must use color and details from the text!

Each student uses a dictionary for the Vocabulary section.

Students reference the text to answer the Comprehension Question. Each question has the Revised Blooms level so students know why this question is important.

Each section has the Common Core alignment. You can also see the Revised Blooms Levels above each Comprehension Question.

The Science Research has the Essential Question and give students a chance to learn more about an Arctic animal. I also post urls and videos on Edmodo so students have a starting point for reference.

Finished cover showing the Alpha pup. 

Finished Cover. This is before I look over the Study Guide. Students will be given a chance to correct handwriting and grammar mistakes before turning the guide in for grading.

Another sweet cover.

All my students wanted their cover on my blog. They did a great job of using details from the story to make their cover. If you have read the book, you know that Talus is smelling the grizzly and alerting his siblings. The blue flowers are Harebells.

Cover showing originality. 

Fast finishers spend time coloring and usually find parts where they might need to erase and start over. Coloring not only gives my students a chance to process the information they learned, it also gives them a chance to check back over their work.

I like the way this student illustrated her vocabulary word. Not only did she draw the harebells she also illustrated that they bloom in July.

I always include a Phonics section. Students in 4th and 5th grade still need phonics instruction, even if it is just reinforcing what they already know.

This is a very creative cover, this student wanted to include the title after drawing so she put it into her moon and clouds.

A lot of pictures I know! My students love seeing their work on my blog. I wish I could show their sweet faces while they are working on these study guides. This guide has 12 pages. This might be daunting if I had given them 12 pages of worksheets. In a nice booklet, they are able to read and study the book without being intimidated by the workload. And I have a product showing their learning and growth.

Study guides can be useful tools teaching the Common Core way. Students are involved, there is a section where they must read a poem to a buddy and then listen while their buddy reads back to them. Students are working independently but can discuss and collaborate as needed. I can monitor, check for understanding and also work individually with a student or with small groups. Students are using the computer and a reference book. They are involved with their learning and delving deeper into the text with the comprehension questions.  This book seems like a nice picture book, but students are learning to infer, evaluate and question the text they are reading.

Let me know if you have any ideas about using Study Guides in your classroom.

As always, thanks for visiting! 

Sunday, April 14, 2013

4th Grade Common Core Workbook

Common Core is beginning to be 'common' language to my students. In my classroom we talk about the Common Core way of learning and my students are starting to really like learning this way.

Why? Mostly because Common Core is activity or project based. I like to use the term, Craftivity. My students get excited when they know that there is a craftivity involved with their learning. They know that they can cut and paste, and glue, research and write, and color. While they are doing all of this, they are learning and processing information. I am giving them more challenging assignments, but with Craftivity • technology and the ARTS combined, they are ready to learn.

I have been wanting a new book that is now available. The Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook

This book is packed with Common Core Craftivities, lessons, and more .... all for 4th grade! This is the information from their website: 

This Fourth Grade Common Core Workbook is the largest collection of resources for teaching the Common Core State Standards. This workbook includes over 850 pages of Worksheets, Activity Centers, and Posters that teach all the Fourth Grade English Language Arts Common Core Standards.   

Common Core Craftivities, lessons, and more .... all for 4th grade! Go to the website linked above and look around.

I will be so excited to get this book. I'll be sure to take pictures of how my class is using this book, so please stay tuned for more!  Update! My good bloggin' buddy, Joanne at Third Grade Is The Place To Be,  sent me a note (see comment below), letting me know she had the 3rd grade preview and it is amazing! She also said there is a code to save 15% off your purchase. Had to add this! 15% off of anything nowadays is a great savings. 

As always, thanks for dropping by!

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Bloggy Olympics!

Get Ready for Bloggy Olympics!

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Join The 3AM Teacher, the Reading Olympians, and over 80 SUPREME education bloggers as we take you through a tour of the Reading Olympians Root Study Program!!

My sweet class has already completed their Greek Myths  Unit. I wish we could have spent more time on this. Here are some pictures of student work that didn't get taken home!
They made Greek Myth Trading Cards. They wrote DETAILS on the back of the cards.
More Trading Cards. We did this towards the end of the unit.

We read LOTS of Greek Myths. 

My students love to color. I wrote a grant for large boxes of Crayola Crayons!
Compare and Contrast.
Story Maps.
Story Maps. I don't know if you can tell, but these are still hanging up in the hall.
More Story Maps
My class enjoyed Greek Myths. We are still working on our Greek and Latin Affixes. This will be a year long project.

Discover the program IN ACTION in more K-6th grade classrooms as you Pass the Torch! Get ideas, discover the progression of the program, and enter the Raffle for a chance to win ONE of the three prizes listed below!!

First Place Winner: Gold Medal

  Prizes: Complete Reading Olympians Program

            $50.00 Amazon Gift Card
            50% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Second Place Winner: Silver Medal

   Prizes: $25.00 Amazon Gift Card

              40% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Third Place Winner: Bronze Medal

    Prizes: 30% off Discount Code for a 1-Day shopping spree at The 3AM Teacher's Etsy store!

Pass the Torch!
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