Saturday, August 2, 2014

BACK TO SCHOOL TEACHERSPAYTEACHERS 2014 SALE!


I'm really excited to announce 
the TeachersPayTeachers 
2014
 Back to School Sale! 
Be sure to use the PROMO CODE 
BTS14
when you check out to get a larger discount!

Have a great year!

Ruth



Check out my FREEEEEEEEE 260 Journal Prompts
that will get your reluctant writers' pencils flying across their papers as they respond to my "kid friendly" prompts. 
They're great as discussion starters too. 
Grades 4 and up but third grade teachers tell me they're using them too!
Be sure to read teachers' comments 
below the description about this special resource!
As of today there have been 61,377 downloads! WOW! 

photo of 260 Journal Prompts, Free, ELA, writing, Ruth S. TeachersPayTeachers.com

Check back in a few days. I've been adding more to my popular 
Novel Response Task Cards. If you already have that packet, you'll be able to download the update, free of charge. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

What's Happening to Young Readers These Days?

Summer is here and I can't wait to check the books out of the library that I put on my "Summer Reading List" all year long. No, I didn't say download a book. I love going to the library any time of year, but summers are my favorite times. As I walked through the door the other day, I was struck by the fact that there were very few children there. 

Why were there so few children at the library? Unlike the years I was growing up, children's libraries today burst with color. Floor to ceiling stuffed giraffes. Over-stuffed comfy chairs. Art work everywhere. Displays of books everywhere...So where are the children?

What's happening to many of our young readers these days?

I can remember getting lost in books. How many times would I be so absorbed in a great book that I wouldn't hear my mother tell us it was time for dinner. I'd be riding the Black Stallion across the sand dunes of Arabia or clicking my heels with Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz.  

Those hazy, crazy days of summer and we kids read as many books as we could. Our local library ran book contests. Whoever read the most books, won. Won what? I don't remember! What was important to me was challenging myself to read as many books as I could. 

I'd go to the library with my friends and we'd scoop armfuls of books off the shelves, balancing them with our chins and swaying one way or the other, when the pile was off kilter. Sitting around the square wooden tables, we'd chitter chatter about each one. When I got my very first library card I thought i had died and had gone to heaven. I laminated it with clear contact paper and put it on the top of my dresser so it would always be in sight. 

Because we lived so close to the beach, but not close enough to walk, mothers planned times they'd drive us down for the day. We'd stuff our beach bags with radios (there were no iPads in those days!), sunscreen, food and binoculars. Huge ships often passed by in the distance and we tried to see the names on the ships or try to see their flags so we could figure out what country owned them.

On the top of our beach bag stuffing list were books. Which one would be the best to take to the beach? A mystery? a fiction book about horses? Nonfiction (not likely), science fiction? (maybe) A boy meets girl innocent type of story? In those days, there were no racy tweenie books, no books filled with extremely descriptive situations. They were innocent, "leave it to your imagination" types of stories that we girls giggled about.

Words were mesmerizing. Each time I came across a word I didn't know, I'd pull the huge Webster's Dictionary off my book shelf and look it up. 

Look it up??? That's the expression Mrs. Granger always shouted in the book Frindle! Love that book! 
She was so right. If you don't know what a word means.. well then... LOOK IT UP!!! Yes, we teachers encourage using context clues to figure out meanings of words, however, the dictionary provides us with invaluable information. The origin, parts of speech, one or several definitions, examples of the words in sentences and more. 

Doing a dictionary google search isn't like handling those big old dictionaries. I vividly recall the smell of the pages. The thinness of the paper. I was mortified, one day, when I turned a page too quickly and it ripped. I'll never forget it. Never. I was about seven and I asked my mother if I could write an apology to Mr. Webster. 

So, what's happening to our young readers these days? Texting their friends, instead of reading. Playing video games on the computer, instead of reading. Asking parents the definitions of words instead of looking it up in good old Mr. Webster's Dictionary. Pulling up websites with summaries of books instead of reading books word by word, page by page. 

One day I had three students ask me to suggest a good book from my class library. They turned up their noses when I pulled one particular book off the shelf. Why? Because the cover was so worn and tired, you could barely read the title. I told them that I'd read the book because it means it's been read time and time again, so people must love the story.

"Why else would the cover be so worn and tired looking," I asked them.

One looked at me and asked "REALLY? Okay, how many people read this book?" 
"Oh, at least a million people," I replied.
"No way"
"Yes, way"

Before I could state another "rather untrue, exaggerated" fact, they were discussing who would read the book first. I slipped away quietly as I heard one say "I'll read it first and then give it to you. You can give it to .....

I had made one small step that day... And will continue working my magic so all young people will value "REAL" books they can hold in their hands... 

                                     Ruth

P.S  I highly recommend reading "The Book Thief" this summer.  Sarah's Key is another, I highly recommend. 


Did you add these titles on your Summer Book List? :)

Have a great summer, everyone!

















Friday, June 27, 2014

101 Book Activities Kids Love!



When I was in elementary school, my teachers always gave us the same kinds of book reports to do. They were VERY boring and that's when I decided that when I became a teacher I'd NEVER give those kinds of book reports. 

Typical assignment:  Write a report about the book. Remember to include the main characters and setting as you write the plot. 

WHAT?? UH?? 
I wanted to write a short skit about the book, or a poem, or write lyrics for a song. I did NOT want to write a boring old report without pictures or something creative. 

So, when I was in fifth grade, the first book report was....yes you guessed it! The same boring assignment to explain what the story was about and where it took place. 

What did I do? I drew an original cover for the book. I spent hours cutting pictures from magazines that would tie in with the plot. I laid it all out, and pasted everything on colorful construction paper. To me the bright colors livened up the plot, and was visually appealing.  On the last page, I wrote my opinion of the book and recommended that everyone should read it. 

As my teacher walked around, collecting the book reports, I handed it to her with a huge smile on my face. She took it from me, flipped through it quickly and said

YOU DIDN'T FOLLOW MY DIRECTIONS

I remember it like it was yesterday. I cringed, slumped down in my seat and mumbled something and thought to myself, I did follow the directions, I just presented it differently. 

Did my teacher understand that there are kids who like to express themselves using art or music? No.
Did my teacher understand that creating a report with hand drawn pictures and presenting it in a colorful way is a lot of work and demonstrates that I'm artistic? No. 
Would she see that I followed her directions? Probably not. 

When I first started teaching, I decided to give my students book report choices. Over the many years I've been teaching I've been collecting ideas and creating new ones. It was a year or so ago I decided to compile them and offer them for free on TeachersPayTeachers. 

Why? Because I want teachers to have this list at their fingertips, so they can offer their students many different ways to report about books. Give them a list of two or three to choose from and you'll feel their excitement as they talk about which ones they really, really, really want to do!

photo of 101 Book Activities Kids Love, FREE, PDF, Ruth S. book reports, Ruth S. TeachersPayTeachers

Have fun!

Ruth



Common Core Setting Comparisons

I've spoken to many teachers who are searching for Common Core materials. Many have said that the professional development workshops they attended to prepare them for the Common Core didn't include specific resources they can use with their students.

For that reason, I designed this setting comparison packet so that it could be used with any book or story. 

Included are five setting selections from five different books. I selected books on different reading levels to accommodate a wide range of readers. 

The student friendly rubric helps students understand what's expected of them in a way that's easy for them to understand. 


The excerpts are from:
Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo
The Indian and the Cupboard by Lynn Reid Banks
Gooney Bird is Absurd by Lois Lowry
Give Me Liberty by L.M Elliott
The Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare

photo of Common Core Setting Comparisons PDF, Teacher Park

Enjoy!

Ruth

Sunday, May 4, 2014

TeachersPayTeachers Super Sale May 6, 7 2014


HAPPY TEACHER APPRECIATION WEEK! 


THANKS TO DANIELLE KNIGHT FOR
CREATING THIS AWESOME POSTER OF ALL OF US WHO TEAMED UP TO
OFFER YOU DISCOUNTED PRICES ON OUR RESOURCES 
AT TEACHERS PAY TEACHERS!

WHY?

BECAUSE TPT IS HAVING A HUGE SALE

MAY 6TH AND MAY 7TH!!!

AND WE KNOW HOW HARD YOU WORK. THE LONG HOURS. WRITING LESSON PLANS,  CORRECTING, ASSESSING AND SO MUCH MORE!
WE TOTALLY UNDERSTAND AND CARE ABOUT YOU! 






YOU CAN BROWSE AT YOUR LEISURE (LEISURE??? UH???WHAT LEISURE???)
AND WISH LIST RESOURCES YOU MIGHT NOT HAVE TIME TO MAKE. 

DON'T FORGET THE PROMO CODE FOR 
MORE DISCOUNTS
WHEN YOU CHECK OUT!  

TPTXO 

ENJOY!

RUTH



Participating Stores:


Ruth S.  I offeUpper Intermediate and secondary resources http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Ruth-S

Jean Adams http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Jean-Adams


Danielle Knight http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Danielle-Knight


Juggling ELA http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Juggling-Ela


The SuperHERO Teacher http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../The-Superhero-Teacher


The Creative Classroom http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../The-Creative...


A Space to Create http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/A-Space-To-Create


Teaching High School Math http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Teaching-High...


4mulaFun http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/4mulafun


All Things Algebra http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/All-Things-Algebra


Miss Math Dork http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Missmathdork


James Whitaker http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/James-Whitaker

For the Love of Teaching Math http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../For-The-Love-Of...


The Classroom Sparrow http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../The-Classroom-Sparrow


Teaching Math by Hart http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Teaching-Math-By-Hart

2 Peas and a Dog http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/2peasandadog


Addie Williams hhttp://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Addie-Williams


21st Century Math Projects http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../21st-Century-Math...


Michele Luck’s Social Studies http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Michele-Lucks...


Margaret Whisnant http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Margaret-Whisnant


Created by Mr. Hughes http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Created-By-Mrhughes

Making it as a Middle School Teacherhttp://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Making-It-Teacher


Tracee Orman http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tracee-Orman


Science Stuff http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Science-Stuff


Teaching FSL http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Teachingfsl


Krystal Mills http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Krystal-Mills


Kate’s Classroom Café http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Kates-Classroom-Cafe


Nikki Kersbergen http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Nikki-Kersbergen


FisherRena Education http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../Grade-Level/9-12


Charlene Tess http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Charlene-Tess


Live.Love.Math http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Live-Love-Math

From Chopsticks to Mason Jars http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/.../From-Chopsticks-To...


Liz's Lessons http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Lizs-Lessons


The Tutor House http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/The-Tutor-House


Connie http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/StoreConnie

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TeachersPayTeachers 3 Million Teachers Strong Sale!

Can it be true?
Another great TeachersPayTeachers sale? 
YES!!


Thursday, February 27th and February 28th! 
Mark your calendars for this fantastic sale
Please note the promo code on the sign.
TPT3
Use it when you check out, to get more off
each resource you purchase! 

photo of TeachersPayTeachers Sale!, February 27 and 28th,TeachersPayTeachers.com/Ruth-S


Everything in my store will be on sale