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Exploring Nature and Building Character with A Week in the Woods

Exploring Nature and Building Character with A Week in the Woods

As an educator, you’re always on the lookout for ways to engage your students and spark their curiosity. One way to do that is by using literature in the classroom. Andrew Clements’ A Week in the Woods is a book that is not only engaging and fun to read but also has several educational benefits.

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Why you should use A Week in the Woods in your classroom and how it can benefit your students?

  • A Week in the Woods fosters a love of reading: A Week in the Woods is a well-written and engaging book that will capture your student’s attention from the first page. This novel will spark an enjoyment of reading and encourage students to read more books.
  • A Week in the Woods promotes critical thinking: The story follows a young boy named Mark who is sent to spend a week in the woods with his class. During their time in the woods, they encounter challenges and have to work together to overcome them. This plot provides an excellent opportunity for your students to think critically about problem-solving and teamwork.
  • A Week in the Woods teaches important life lessons: Throughout the book, Mark learns important life lessons about responsibility, perseverance, and empathy. By discussing these themes in class, you can help your students develop important life skills that will serve them well in the future.
  • A Week in the Woods provides opportunities for cross-curricular learning: A Week in the Woods has many connections to other subjects, including science, social studies, and language arts. By incorporating these connections into your lessons, you can provide your students with a more well-rounded learning experience.

 

See what people are saying about the A Week in the Woods Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

Try a free sample of the novel study for A Week in the Woods

From outside appearances, Mark has it made coming from a wealthy family. As you get into his head, you realize having money isn’t as great as it may sound. Mark faces adversity in a different way, to work to break through the predetermined opinion people may have of how easy his life must be. The story makes you stop and think before judging, no matter the subject. The adventure of being lost in the woods adds a sense of adventure that will capture the attention of your students.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany A Week in the Woods for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Exploring Social Justice and Black History With One Crazy Summer in Your Classroom

Exploring Social Justice and Black History With One Crazy Summer in Your Classroom

As a teacher, you’re always on the lookout for great literature to inspire and engage your students. One book that fits the bill is One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia. This Newbery award-winning novel follows three sisters who travel from New York City to Oakland, California in the summer of 1968 to spend time with their mother, who abandoned them years earlier.

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Benefits of Using One Crazy Summer in Your Classroom:

  • Provides Diversity and Representation: One Crazy Summer tells the story of three sisters who travel from New York City to Oakland, California to spend the summer with their estranged mother, who is a poet and activist in the Black Panther Party in 1968. This book provides a rare and powerful representation of Black girls in literature. The novel also introduces students to the history of the Black Panther Party and the Civil Rights Movement, which is essential for understanding our country’s past and present.
  • Provides a Historical Context: The novel takes place during the summer of 1968, a tumultuous time in American history. The Black Panther Party was gaining traction, and the Civil Rights Movement was in full swing. By using One Crazy Summer in your classroom, you can help your students understand the historical context of the time and the social issues that were at the forefront.
  • Encourages Critical Thinking: One Crazy Summer offers plenty of opportunities for critical thinking and discussion. The novel tackles themes such as family, identity, activism, and resilience. Students can explore these themes through group discussions, writing assignments, and class debates. The novel also touches on more complex issues such as police brutality and the criminal justice system, providing a chance for deeper analysis.
  • Has an Engaging Storyline: At its core, One Crazy Summer is an engaging and well-written story that will captivate your students. The novel has won numerous awards and has been praised for its compelling characters and vivid imagery. Your students will be eager to read and discuss the book, making it an excellent addition to your classroom curriculum.
  • Encourages Empathy and Understanding: Reading One Crazy Summer will help your students develop empathy and understanding toward others. The book’s characters face real-world issues such as poverty, racism, and family conflict, which will resonate with many students. Through reading and discussing the book, students will learn to see the world through someone else’s eyes and to appreciate the diverse experiences of others.
  • Has a Connection to Real-Life Issues: One Crazy Summer deals with real-life issues that are still relevant today. This book will allow your students to connect their reading to current events and develop a deeper understanding of the world around them. Through reading and discussing the book, students can explore the history of social justice movements and how they continue to shape our society today.

One Crazy Summer is a must-read for any classroom. This novel is an excellent tool for teaching critical thinking, writing skills, empathy, and understanding towards others. Its representation of Black girls in literature and introduction to social justice issues make it a valuable addition to any curriculum. By using One Crazy Summer in your classroom, you will not only enhance your student’s learning experience, but you will also empower them to make a positive impact on the world.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany One Crazy Summer, which includes an informational WebQuest to learn more about the Black Panther Party’s Free Breakfast Program, for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

 

 

Try a free sample of the novel study for One Crazy Summer

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:

 



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Engage Students in Quirky Learning Adventures with Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger

Engage Students in Quirky Learning Adventures with Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger

As a teacher, you are always on the lookout for engaging and interesting books to share with your students. One book that should be at the top of your list is Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger by Louis Sachar. This beloved children’s book is not only entertaining but also contains important life lessons that can help students learn and grow.

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Benefits of Using Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger in Your Classroom:

  • Engaging and Fun: Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is a highly entertaining book that is sure to capture your students’ attention. The book is full of humorous characters and unexpected twists and turns that will keep your students engaged from start to finish.
  • Promotes Critical Thinking: Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is full of situations that require critical thinking skills. Students will have to use their reasoning skills to understand the motives of the characters and how they solve their problems.
  • Helps Develop More Advanced Reading Skills: Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is a chapter book, which requires students to read longer passages and follow a more complex storyline than a simple picture book. This can help students develop their reading skills, such as comprehension, vocabulary, and fluency. Additionally, the book includes various literary devices, such as similes, metaphors, and personification, which can help students identify and analyze these elements in their own writing.
  • Teaches Life Lessons: Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger has several themes that can help students learn important life lessons. For example, the story teaches students the importance of teamwork and how everyone has something to contribute. It also teaches students to be accepting of differences and to be themselves. These lessons can be used to initiate discussions in the classroom about character traits, self-esteem, and acceptance.
  • Supports Literacy Development: Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is an excellent tool for developing students’ literacy skills. The text is written in an engaging and accessible style that will help students develop their reading and comprehension abilities.
  • Provides Writing Prompts: Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger can be used to inspire writing prompts that help students develop their creative writing skills. For example, students can be asked to write a sequel to the story or to write a narrative from the perspective of a different character. They can also be asked to identify and analyze literary devices in the story or to write their own examples of these devices.

Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger is a highly engaging and entertaining children’s book that is perfect for the classroom. By using the book as a teaching tool, you can help your students develop important literacy skills, critical thinking abilities, and valuable life lessons. With the tips outlined in this blog post, you can optimize your use of the book and create a positive learning environment for your students.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger for use in the classroom or homeschool. The unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom.

 

See what people are saying about the Wayside School Novel Studies by The Teaching Bank!

Try a free sample of the novel study for Wayside School Gets a Little Stranger

 

You can purchase this novel study at the following locations:

                                                                            

You can also buy all four units together in a discounted bundle!

 



Are you interested in reading about and sharing ideas with other educators on using children’s literature in your classroom? My goal is to bring together teachers and homeschoolers who teach grades 3-8 and use novels with their students. I’d love for you to join me to learn, share, and grow together!

Click here or the image below to join my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank


*The Teaching Bank participates in the Amazon Associate Program and earns a fee from qualifying purchases made on the Amazon.com site.

Join in the Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

Join in the Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

Would you like to engage in discussions and exchange ideas with fellow educators about incorporating children’s literature into your classroom? I’m assembling a community of teachers and homeschoolers who work with students in grades 3-8 and utilize novels in their teaching. I invite you to join us for an opportunity to learn, collaborate, and progress together!

Click here or on the image below to become a part of my Facebook group, Book Talk with The Teaching Bank!

Click to join Book Talk with The Teaching Bank

How to Teach Grammar, Spelling, & Punctuation in the Language of Teens

How to Teach Grammar, Spelling, & Punctuation in the Language of Teens

For years, I employed the Daily Oral Language sentences to reinforce grammar, punctuation, and spelling skills in my classroom as part of our bellwork routine. Witnessing noticeable progress in my students’ everyday writing validated the effectiveness of these short morning lessons. Notably, this improvement extended to their performance in standardized tests throughout the year. Despite its effectiveness, both my students and I found this method rather dull. I realized there had to be a more engaging approach.

During my search for alternatives, I stumbled upon an article in the Los Angeles Times discussing the impact of texting on the grammar abilities of tweens and teens.

This particular quote caught my eye:
“Basically, kids aren’t able to “code switch” — shift between standard grammar and the abbreviations used in text messages, Sundar said. Those abbreviations have essentially become the words for them.

Adults not raised on text-friendly abbreviations in their formative years are able to shift between formal and informal language, Sundar said. Kids consuming a steady diet of “textual adaptations” aren’t.”

We’re well aware that teens often use “text speak” to convey thoughts in the fewest characters possible, causing chaos in grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It can be quite challenging to read at times! Unfortunately, this shorthand finds its way into their everyday classroom writing. It’s crucial for students to grasp proper writing conventions essential in the professional world.

How do we guide our students to “code switch,” allowing them to employ the convenience of texting while maintaining proper grammar, spelling, and punctuation?

I devised a method that merges DOL-style practice with “text speak.” This approach lets students engage in practice that feels more intriguing and relevant to them—in their own “language,” so to speak. Simultaneously, they learn that while “text speak” suits casual texting, formal writing demands adherence to conventional rules. It truly offers the best of both worlds!

The structure mirrors the DOL format I previously employed: about two sentences per day for bellwork. I prepare a weekly sheet featuring 10 sentences composed in “text talk,” requiring correction using standard writing conventions. Each morning, students independently rectify two sentences, followed by a class review as part of our daily routine.

For example:
Passage: n Aug he didnt nvr do gud

Answer: He didn’t do well in August.

This might seem like an alien language at first glance! For tweens and teens, though, it’s their language and a sort of puzzle to translate it into proper English. It reinforces the notion that their “text speak” is valid for casual communication, yet emphasizes its unsuitability for formal writing in school or the professional sphere. This clear distinction aids in understanding the disparity between the two modes of communication.

Try out a free sample here:

For an engaging and practical approach to offer grammar, punctuation, and spelling practice to your middle/high school students, explore Text-to-English Grammar Activities. The complete product is available for purchase by quarter, semester, or for an entire year! Every download comprises printable, interactive notebook, and digital formats compatible with Google Drive™!