Thursday, 20 November 2014

Book Talk Thursday: Time Warp Trio

Ages: 8+

Summary: A group of three friends travel time via an unpredictable magic book. They must travel through the time period they are stuck in until they can find the book and return home. Along the way they learn trivia and get and get caught up in a variety of silly adventures.

Quote: "For all the times we've time warped, I've never gotten used to it. It's like dreaming you're falling, floating in the ocean, and spinning in one of those awful teacup rides at the carnival all at once".

Application: Do you have trouble engaging your students with historical fiction? If books like The Magic Treehouse series do not inspire your students, you might want to try Time Warp Trio. Though these books are not overflowing with quite as much educational information as The Magic Treehouse, they offer a sillier, fast paced adventure for antsy students. Though these books are geared towards boys with their cheesy humour these books are perfect for any reluctant reader.

If the idea of time travel is a subject that engages your students when learning history, you might be interested in my Time Travel Unit Studies.

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Thursday, 13 November 2014

Book Talk Thursday- Close Encounters Of The Third Grade Kind

This week for Book Talk Thursday I'll be looking at a book not for students, but for educators. Even teachers need time in the 'reading corner' with a good book, and as things ramp up towards the holidays it might be the time for a good relaxing read.

This week I'm looking at Close Encounters Of The Third-Grade Kind: Thoughts On Teacherhood by Phillip Done.

Summary: "an award winning veteran of the classroom for twenty-plus years Done chronicles a lively and unforgettable year in third grade".

My Expectation: A light read with student anecdotes that would hopefully provide a few laughs.

My Thoughts: This book definitely delivered the laughs. Done's stories about lost keys, spelling mishaps, and frozen neckties had me giggling out loud several times. Throughout all the stress that teaching provides Done has managed to see the good in every one of his students. What I didn't expect was how touching some of the stories would be. Stories of Christmas deliveries, struggling learnings, and the moments and students that stick with a teacher forever.

If you are looking for a book to get you back into the spirit of teaching- with all the ups and downs that come with it, I highly recommend this book.

How To Link Up
1. Add a link to your blog post in the Inlinkz at the bottom of this post.
2. Place the Book Talk Thursday button (below) somewhere in your post linking back to this one.
3. Explore! Come back to this post to see what other bloggers have shared.

Monday, 10 November 2014

Learning About The Arctic: Teaching Tools & Mini-Unit Plan

Winter is slowly drawing nearer and in both the classroom and at the kitchen tables of homeschooling families everywhere learners are drawn to lessons about snow, sledding, and chilly weather. One great topic to learn about during the winter is the Arctic. This environment is one that can grab the attention of students through topics polar bears, ice bergs, and extreme temperatures. Here are some great resources to supplement your study of the Arctic.


This is a lapbook I created to supplement student's investigation of the arctic environment. They look at the adaptations of different animals and complete 'can, have, are' organizers for four different arctic animals, learn about the 24 hours of darkness and daylight in the arctic, high arctic, low arctic, and some of the natural features and resources in the arctic. If you are interested you can get it here.  These pieces can also be used in an interactive notebook instead.


Here are a variety of great resource books that students can use to investigate the arctic environment and the animals that live there.



The video I suggest above all others to supplement your study of the arctic is the 'Ice Worlds' episode from the Planet Earth BBC series. It looks at the Arctic and Antarctic through stunning time lapse videos, the video footage of the polar bear swimming because of melting ice is truly powerful. You can buy this by the episode for a very reasonable price through Amazon or as part of the full series.

There is also a good webcast about the tundra, and a video that visualizes the midnight sun in an easy to understand way.


Here are a variety of websites to investigate to learn about the animals and environment of the Arctic. 

Mini-Unit Plan

I have a brief mini-unit plan that goes through the lapbook and additional activities day by day. You can view it here

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

Book Talk Thursday: The Twits

Ages: 7+

Description: The Twits is a wonderfully constructed book about Mr. and Mrs. Twit- the worst type of people, who do nothing but catch innocent Muggle-Wump birds and play mean tricks on one another. Until the Muggle-Wumps decide to take a stand...

Quote: "The hair on Mr. Twit's Face didn't grow smooth and matted as it does on most hairy-faced men. It grew in spikes that stuck out straight like the bristles of a nailbrush". 

Rohl Dahl is one of the masters of fun and quirky children's writing. Besides being a fun and engaging read for students, the most notable thing about the dreadful, smelly, terrible Twits is the descriptive language that surrounds them, making this the perfect mentor text with which to discuss colourful word choice and how students can paint a picture with words. The book is rich with funny illustrations, and students will be equally grossed out and amused by the antics of the dreadful Twits and the revenge of the Muggle-Wumps. 

If you are discussing descriptive language in your class you might also be interested in my product 'Expanding Sentences'. These sentence activities are a fun way for students to develop their descriptive writing skills. Students are given a sentence which they rewrite. They are given a word bank of words for each sentence that they might find helpful when they do this, however they can also use works that they personally know and use. 


I would love to hear about one of your favourite books to use in the classroom.

How To Link Up
1. Add a link to your blog post in the Inlinkz at the bottom of this post. 
2. Place the Book Talk Thursday button (below) somewhere in your post linking back to this one. 
3. Explore! Come back to this post to see what other bloggers have shared. 

Monday, 3 November 2014

Remembrance Day Resource Roundup

The poppy pins have come out once more and Remembrance Day is around the corner. This is a time in the classroom where we open up big discussions about sacrifice, war, remembrance, and peace. Though often difficult discussions they are important ones to have. 

Today I'd like to share a freebie with you. In Flanders Fields has been a poem I remember from every Remembrance Day ceremony I have ever attended. We hear it so often that sometimes we don't reflect on its message. You can download a copy of the poem and a few reflection questions here. 

This freebie is part of my Remembrance Day Writing Prompts package which contains a variety of writing activities such as a PEACE acrostic poem, poppy writing organizers, and a thank you letter to a peacekeeper, or a fallen soldier.   If you are interested in this product you can find it here.

If you are looking for a book to read to your students this Remembrance Day look no further than In Flanders Fields: The Story of the Poem by John McCrae by Linda Granfield. This book tells the story of how the poem was written and received by the public at the time. Well laid out and with illustrations by Janet Wilson its a great addition to your study of the poem. 
What activities do you use in your classroom surrounding Remembrance Day? I'd love to hear in the comments below or at 

Take a look below to see what other TpT sellers have created to help you in the classroom this Remembrance Day.