Saturday, January 31, 2015

Bye, Bye, Basal!

I think 90% of teachers would agree that using a Basal reading curriculum is really just "eh". First, I understand that most school districts choose curriculum to put the school on the same page... I also understand that some teachers like to have a guide to go by. However, I really am not a fan. I think the Basal system lacks a lot of important elements that we need in the classroom. Anyway, when returning to school from winter break I was really eager to change things up for 2015. First of all, quick side note, I started selling on TPT to create resources for my school's Basal reading system to make it more meaningful and to add more activities for the units. When I was lesson planning over the break I was really uninterested in the current unit I was in, mainly because it was all about seeds, plants and spring like stories/vocabulary. It's January for goodness sake. So I started browsing TPT and came across Deanna Jumps new Guiding Readers units. It's exactly what I've been craving for my Shared Reading time with my Kinders. Not only is more rigor, but it's meaningful! From the writing, language arts, and phonics it's all on key. And the stories are selected specifically for a certain month. That way you are reading stories that are meaningful to the time of the year. I thought I'd show you a little bit of what we read and learned in January using her January Guiding Readers unit. Needless to say I will be purchasing all of them and will hopefully (with permission from my admin of course) replace my current Basal with these units instead.  Note: I had the flu the first week back from break so one of the stories was not covered.

Here are the resources you will need for this unit. Click on the image below for a direct link to Deanna's product. It's on sale this weekend too :) She has February available too!
Books you will need for the lessons....
click on the book images to be directed to Amazon. :)
I'm just going to briefly do a run-through of what you can expect from these new unit from Deanna.
This stories come with writing prompts, retelling, phonics practice, and word work. Below is a picture of a retelling activity that came with The Snowy Day.
It even comes with a student version of retelling cards for them to cut out and color, to take home and retell to mom and dad!


Students using the word wall for their opinion writing.

CVC words in the "snow"

Noticing details!
This unit even includes an adorable craft!!!
Also! With the Tacky the Penguin week, I also purchased Deanna's Penguin Chit-Chat! Awesome way to include non-fiction and science..

Oh and hey! want to know an easy penguin snack? One of my students parents found some penguin "goldfish" type crackers... I mixed the penguins with some marshmallows to have penguins and snowballs while we watched March of the Penguins Friday. Lots of fun!
Didn't get a lot of pics from the 100th day! But I just love this simple craft I found on Pinterest! Just thought I'd share the cuteness!


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