I am super excited to link up with Denise at Sunny Days in Second Grade for her My Truth Monday series. I think it's going to be a good time! Check out her introduction post HERE and see what it's all about then link up for some truth telling fun!

In the spirit of Halloween, here is...
Join in the and share the things that give you the willies!

Happy Sunday! Time to link up with Collaboration Cuties!

This week's subject is science. Confession time...science is not my favorite subject to teach! There I said it!! My brain just doesn't work so well on the math/science side. Never has. If I can find literature to tie into those subjects than I'm a happy camper. I try to get my hands on as many resources as I can when tackling science.

When I recently attended a reading conference in Orlando and I was excited to came upon this mentor text called Meet the Planets.  We have not started our study of space yet. In fact, in third grade science, we only cover Earth and the stars, but I don't see why I couldn't sneak this book in. Kids love learning about the planets! How stinkin' cute is this cover and the illustrations??

I think the kids will really enjoy this books. Here is the Amazon summary:
Soar into the Solar System to witness the first Favorite Planet Competition, emceed by none other than the former-ninth planet, now known as dwarf planet Pluto. The readers become the judges after the sun can't pick a favorite and the meteors leave for a shower. Who will the lucky winning planet be? Could it be speedy-messenger Mercury, light-on-his-feet Saturn, or smoking-hot Venus? Readers learn all about each planet as Pluto announces them with short, tongue-in-cheek facts. 
I can't wait to share this book with my class. I love how the planets have been given personalities and those cute faces. Perfect for teaching personification or anthropomorphism (love that term...try it with your kiddos). You will also find references to scientists and people in history, constellations, art, and classic literature. A good informational text and  resource for your classroom library.

I'm going to do a little cheating here since I haven't actually used the book yet, but I wanted to share it. I don't have an activity created for it, but HERE is a link to a teacher guide already created by the publisher for this book. They have provided some super cute activities, too. (Why reinvent the wheel all the time, right??)
I hope you check out this book for your space unit! Link up with Collaboration Cuties and share your favorite mentor text!

Only a few days left to take advantage of this Educents bargain bundle. 35 products for $29.99. Click HERE to check it out!

Who doesn't love a great deal?? If you love a bargain like I do, then you MUST check out this one from Educents! 

They have rounded up some awesome products (including one of my own) to create this 3-5 Bundle.You will receive 35 products in total for just $29.99!! 

I know you will love my President Pack. This pack includes two informational passages with questions, three alternatives to a traditional research paper (blog post, tweets, and a Facebook page), plus my "All About Presidents" poster.

Literacy, math, science, social studies, and so much more are included!   Hop along to see all the goodies you will get!!!

Fern Smith's Classroom

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The weeks have been jammed packed. Between after school activities with my kids and working on school plans, etc. and just everyday life, I've been neglecting this little ol' blog. I wanted to jump on today and post a few quickies for you!

I know that Columbus Day has officially passed, but in my room we are still going strong with our study. We have been working on geography in social studies, so discussing famous explorers ties in nicely.

I like to use three pieces of text when I discuss Columbus. Encounter (Voyager books) by Jane Yolen, Pedro's Journal: A Voyage with Christopher Columbus, August 3, 1492- February14,1493 and an excerpt from Columbus' journal which you can find HERE.

For our study, I created some graphic organizers that help students think about perspective since each piece is told from a different point of view. You can find this product at my TpT store and it's on sale today and tomorrow!

My students created some cute folder covers. They will store all their work in these as we study the voyage. I gave them the materials (no patterns) and told them to create one of the ships on their cover. I think they did a pretty awesome job! (love the pointy water on this first one!)

The first activity I asked them to do was to think about what they know about Columbus and what they know about the Taino people (which was nothing at all). I read aloud Encounter, which is told from the perspective of a Taino boy as Columbus lands in San Salvador. We discussed the story and they filled in the other half of the organizer which is to tell what they have learned. They will continue to fill these in as we go along.

This week I'm going to give them an excerpt from his original journal and ask them to work in groups, read it, and try to break down this very complex text. I will also read excerpts from Pedro's Journal, specifically the October entries when they finally spot land and meet the natives. We will continue to talk about the different view points and how perspective can effect a story or event.

**Be sure to check out my post HERE  at Owl-ways Be Inspired. This is a wonderful collaborative blog for 2nd and 3rd grade teachers.

**Check out this awesome giveaway at 2 Brainy Apples. There is something for every grade level!!

**If you haven't heard yet there is a sale going on at TpT! They have reached 100K followers on Facebook and they are offering 10% off until tomorrow. Use the code FB1000K at checkout. I'm offering an additional 10% off everything in my store, too!! Happy Shopping!

**Check back tomorrow! I will be posting about an amazing Educents bundle. It is the bargain of the century!!

Thanks for stopping by!

Mentor Text Linky time with Collaboration Cuties....

The Scholastic Book Fair is currently underway at my school. Without fail, there is always a new one that I just MUST HAVE. Yesterday I came across that book. It's  Each Kindness  by Jacqueline Woodson.
 Here is the beginning:

The book continues on as Maya (referred to as "Never New" because her clothes are old) tries to reach out to the girls, but they continue to reject her and make fun of her. Chloe eventually decides to stop, but it's too late because Maya's family moves away. The teacher brings in a small stone and a bowl of water. She drops the pebble in and the kids watch the ripples. The teacher says, "This is what kindness does. Each little thing we do goes out, like a ripple, into the world." Chloe realizes that she missed her chance to show kindness to Maya.

This story is absolutely BEAUTIFUL! It teaches friendship, kindness, empathy, acceptance. It leaves so much to discuss since we don't ever learn of the damage or hurt done to Maya because she has moved. I promise this story will touch your students!

As I read it, it reminded me of this classic, The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes.

This book, published in 1944, tells the same story. A poor immigrant girl enters the school and the girls make fun of her because of her old clothes and strange culture. Wanda tells the girls she has a hundred dresses all hanging up in her closet. The girls, of course, don't believe her. Wanda eventually moves away, but she leaves a gift for the girls--her drawings of 100 dresses. Both books tell the same story and leave students with a very powerful message, as well as open up the door for some rich conversation.

I decided I will use both of these books to not only talk about the important themes of each, but as a way to teach comparison of characters, setting, and plot. Both are so similar even though they are written almost 70 years apart! You can also include a lesson on how the illustrations help convey the meaning and mood of both stories.

I created three graphic organizers to use as we read these stories. I will complete these with the students the first time and  later, they will use these as their rough draft for a reading response letter to me.

Click HERE to get this FREEBIE. Great to use with any book!

I hope you check out these two stories!

Happy October! It's Currently time with Farley over at Oh Boy in 4th Grade!

While I'm working tonight I'm LISTENING to the show 19 Kids and Counting...no matter how many times I watch this show I can not believe the size of this family! It would be like having my whole class living with me. YIKES! I do give them a lot of credit for raising such kind children.

I LOVE OCTOBER! Though we have no leaves changing or cooler weather (yet) I just love the whole feel of fall!

In a few weeks, I will be heading off to New York City with my daughter, sister, niece, and cousin! I CAN NOT WAIT! My 11 year old has been dying to go and this is her year. We have our sight seeing tickets already purchased and we are especially excited about seeing the Disney play Newsies! I can not stop THINKING about this trip. 

I attended a reading conference this past weekend up in Orlando. In the exhibit hall, there was a Crayola booth. Now maybe I'm WAY behind the times, but I have never seen their dry erase crayons and colored pencils. I thought these were pretty cool and I'm WANTING to buy some for my classroom.

I NEED to get working on some new TpT products that I've had on my mind for a while. It just seems that life has taken over lately and I haven't been able to fit in the extra work time at home. I'll get there though!

Here is a little TREAT...do you use Edmodo? I am lovin' it this year. I decided to use this site in place of a website I used in the past. Edmodo is a wonderful educational site that allows you to collaborate and share with families, students, and other teachers. The site has the look of Facebook, so it really appeals to my students and it is super easy to use. You can post homework, load a document, or send reminders. Best of all...it's FREE! Give it a try!

Please stop by and visit my bloggy buddy Alison from Australia! She is having an amazing giveaway!

Hope this October finds you well and happy! Thanks for stopping by.

For the month of October only, you can purchase an ELA, Clip Art, and/or Math Bundle for only $25 each. These bundles are PACKED with a ton of resources and most have an original value of anywhere from $65 to $150! The best part...ALL proceeds with go to Breast Cancer Research!

It is so wonderful to be a part of this amazing project and to be able to give to such a worthy cause! TpT and it's sellers never cease to amaze me! Hop on over and get your bundle today! 
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