Tips, Titles and Tools for Teachers

Instructional Resources and Book Recommendations

Wow! I can't believe it's the end of the first trimester. Where has the time gone? I know this time of year is full of phrases like "I should have...", "I can't find the time to.." or "I still haven't...". Take a minute to reflect on the last few months and celebrate all of the things you have accomplished! Amazing things are happening in classrooms in both of our buildings! Students are reading, painting, singing, writing, solving problems, cooperating, playing games, building relationships, and LEARNING! I know our "to do" lists are long and our hopes are high for the next two trimesters, but you should all feel proud of how much you have done with your students this fall. As you meet with parents this week, take the time to celebrate how far you have come with your students, not how far you still feel you need to go.

In this month of gratitude, I am thankful for the chance to celebrate the incredible things I see in our classrooms and to have the opportunity to work in both buildings. Learning from all of you is a gift!

Happy reading,


My Favorite Picture Books for November

Build a Story ~ A Vocabulary Instructional Strategy

Build a Story is one of my favorite vocabulary strategies for all ages! It's a great way to help your students interact with words before reading a text. You can use this strategy with any picture book, a chapter from a longer text or a short text.

Step 1:

Create a list of interesting and important vocabulary words from the text. (Avoid proper nouns.)

Here is a list of words for the picture book Princess Furball.















You will want to consider the age and background knowledge of your students when selecting your words. At the K-2 level, you will want to select a handful of words that will help your students' understanding, as well as words that students are likely to hear again.

Step 2:

Post the words on a piece of chart paper in the order that they appear in the text. Begin your lesson by reading through the words on the chart and having a brief discussion of the meaning of any unfamiliar words with your students.

Step 3:

As a class, create a story using the vocabulary words on the chart. The words should be used in the order you have listed them on the chart paper. As you write the story on chart paper for all students to see, underline the vocabulary words or write them in a different color so they stand out from the text.

Step 4:

Read the mentor text. As you read, stop and pause when you come to the vocabulary words from your chart. You will find your students highly engaged and interested in the use of the word in the actual text!

You can reread your modeled writing and discuss the similarities and differences between the story that your class created and the actual text. Build a Story is a fun way to interact with vocabulary in a way that connects reading and writing!

I am more than willing to teach a Build a Story lesson in your classroom. Let me know if you are interested in trying out this fun and powerful instructional approach!

Black Bear Book Program at WES

The Black Bear program started last week at WES! Rose and I are hoping to plan a book version of the March Madness basketball bracket to do with students this spring. Encourage your students to participate in this great program! I am hoping to highlight a few of the books on the list each week in my newsletter. All of the titles this week would be great titles for a classroom read aloud!

Bumblebee Book Program at Atwood

Big image
Amy is excited to begin reading aloud the books that have been selected for the new Bumblebee Program at the Atwood Library. I will include the titles in my weekly newsletter for the next few weeks so that you can see the incredible picture books that she will be sharing with your students. These books would be great read alouds in the upper grades, too!

I Don't Want to be a Frog is a silly story (told through hilarious dialogue) of a frog who wants to be anything but himself! This book has a great lesson for students of all ages!

Atwood Teachers:

Here are some activities that you could do in your classroom to extend the book after Amy's read aloud in library!

Big image
Here's an interesting interview with the author:

Click on the image below to check out the book trailer for I Don't Want to be a Frog!

I Don't Want to be a Frog Picture Book Trailer
Big image

Shelly Moody

Instructional Coach, K-5

Atwood Primary School

Williams Elementary School