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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:

                                                                            

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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™!


Dedication and Endurance with Sounder

Dedication and Endurance with Sounder

Sounder by William H. Armstrong is a powerful and thought-provoking novel that captivates readers. Whether you are a student, a teacher, or simply an avid reader, this classic work of literature is an excellent choice for a novel study.

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Sounder was published in 1969 and went on to be awarded the Newbery Medal in 1970. It has also been made into a feature film that earned several Academy Award nominations in 1972.

Sounder is a great choice for a novel study

  • Relevant and Timeless Themes: Sounder is a novel that explores timeless themes such as poverty, racism, and family relationships. These themes are still relevant today, making it an excellent choice for a novel study that will engage and challenge your students.
  • Inspiring Characters: The characters in Sounder are complex and relatable, making them ideal for students to study and analyze. The protagonist, a young African-American boy named David, is especially inspiring as he learns to overcome adversity and grow into a strong and compassionate person.
  • Beautifully Written: William H. Armstrong’s writing style is simple, yet beautiful and evocative. The prose is easy to understand and will engage students, making it an ideal choice for middle school students.
  • Engaging Plot: The plot of Sounder is both engaging and thought-provoking. It tells the story of a young boy and his family who must struggle to survive in the face of poverty and racism. This powerful story will keep students engaged and invested in the novel.
  • Cultural Significance: Sounder is a historically important novel that offers valuable insights into the lives of African Americans during the 19th century. It will broaden students’ understanding of American history and culture.
  • Supports Critical Thinking and Analysis: Reading Sounder will encourage students to think critically and analyze the themes, characters, and events which will help them to develop essential skills such as close reading, analysis, and interpretation.

This book takes a quiet look at the life of a poor, black sharecropping family in the South. It gives students an eye into the turmoil and adversity many families such as this faced at that time. Using literature in this way can help students empathize with the issues and gain an understanding of the history of those who came before us here in America. It is a tale worth using in your classroom.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Sounder 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 Sounder Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

Try a free sample of the novel study for Sounder

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.

How Long Can Fifth-Graders go with NO Talking?

How Long Can Fifth-Graders go with NO Talking?

No Talking by Andrew Clements is a humorous book about words unspoken, words spoken in anger, and especially about the power of words spoken in kindness. Andrew Clements has created a thought-provoking and entertaining novel that will appeal to the average fifth-grader.

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Benefits of Using No Talking in Your Classroom:

  • Promotes Literacy Skills: No Talking is a literary gem that can help students develop essential literacy skills. Through Clements’ vivid storytelling and rich character development, students are not only entertained but also encouraged to engage critically with the text. The novel provides ample opportunities for students to analyze character motivations, identify literary devices, and make connections to their own lives.
  • Fosters Critical Thinking: One of the central themes of No Talking revolves around the power of words and the importance of effective communication. By exploring this theme, students are prompted to think critically about the impact of their words and actions. They can reflect on the consequences of speaking without thinking and consider alternative ways to communicate and resolve conflicts. These critical thinking skills are invaluable both inside and outside the classroom.
  • Encourages Classroom Discussion: No Talking is an excellent catalyst for stimulating classroom discussions. The book raises thought-provoking questions about gender stereotypes, peer pressure, and the dynamics of social interaction. Teachers can guide discussions around these topics, fostering a safe and inclusive environment where students feel comfortable expressing their opinions and exploring diverse perspectives. These discussions not only deepen students’ understanding of the novel but also promote empathy and respect for others.
  • Supports Social and Emotional Learning: In addition to its academic merits, No Talking also addresses important social and emotional themes. The characters in the novel grapple with issues such as friendship, empathy, and self-expression, providing valuable lessons for students navigating their own social interactions. By empathizing with the characters’ experiences, students can develop greater self-awareness and interpersonal skills, laying the foundation for positive relationships and emotional well-being.
  • Sparks Creativity and Engagement: Finally, No Talking is simply a fun and engaging read that captivates students’ imaginations. Clements’ witty dialogue and relatable characters keep readers eagerly turning pages, eager to discover what happens next. Teachers can leverage this enthusiasm to inspire creative activities such as writing prompts, role-playing exercises, or multimedia projects. By tapping into students’ creativity, No Talking can transform classroom learning into a dynamic and memorable experience.

No Talking by Andrew Clements is a must-read for teachers seeking to enrich their curriculum with a compelling and educational novel. From promoting literacy skills and critical thinking to fostering social and emotional learning, this book offers a wealth of benefits for students of all ages. By incorporating No Talking into your classroom, you can inspire a love of reading, spark meaningful discussions, and empower students to become thoughtful communicators and empathetic individuals.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany No Talking 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 No Talking Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

Try a free sample of the novel study for No Talking

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.

Be Enchanted with Stuart Little

Be Enchanted with Stuart Little

Before authoring the classic novel, Charlotte’s Web, E.B. White wrote of a mischievous mouse, Stuart Little. White’s premise for the story came to him in a dream as a young boy and through his prolific gift of storytelling brought it to life. While the tale of Stuart’s journey may seem like a simple story on the surface, its depth and richness offer a plethora of educational opportunities for young readers.

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Benefits of Using Stuart Little in Your Classroom:

  • Stimulates Imagination: Stuart Little takes readers on a captivating journey through the eyes of a tiny mouse navigating the vast world of humans. By immersing students in Stuart’s adventures, teachers can ignite their imaginations and inspire them to see the world from different perspectives. The whimsical settings and colorful characters in the novel provide ample fuel for students’ creativity, encouraging them to envision their own extraordinary adventures.
  • Cultivates Critical Thinking: As Stuart encounters various challenges and obstacles on his quest to find his place in the world, readers are prompted to think critically about problem-solving and resilience. By analyzing Stuart’s decisions and actions, students can develop their critical thinking skills and learn valuable lessons about perseverance and adaptability. Moreover, discussing the themes present in the novel encourages students to engage in thoughtful reflection and analysis.
  • Promotes Empathy and Understanding: One of the most remarkable aspects of Stuart Little is its exploration of themes such as acceptance, belonging, and identity. Through Stuart’s experiences of navigating a world where he doesn’t quite fit in, students gain insight into the importance of empathy and understanding towards those who are different from themselves. By fostering discussions around empathy and inclusivity, teachers can create a more compassionate classroom environment where every student feels valued and respected.
  • Enhances Language and Literacy Skills: E.B. White’s masterful storytelling in Stuart Little provides an excellent opportunity for students to develop their language and literacy skills. From rich descriptive language to engaging dialogue, the novel offers countless examples for students to explore and analyze. By incorporating activities such as vocabulary building, comprehension exercises, and creative writing prompts, teachers can help students strengthen their reading and writing abilities while immersing them in the enchanting world of Stuart Little.
  • Connects Curriculum Across Disciplines: Stuart Little serves as a versatile educational tool that can be integrated across various subject areas. Teachers can incorporate the novel into lessons on science by exploring topics such as animal habitats and adaptations. In social studies, discussions can revolve around themes of diversity and cultural understanding. Additionally, the novel’s historical context provides opportunities for interdisciplinary learning, connecting literature with history and geography.

Incorporating Stuart Little by E.B. White into the classroom offers a wealth of educational benefits, from stimulating imagination and critical thinking to promoting empathy and understanding. By immersing students in the whimsical world of Stuart Little, teachers can inspire a lifelong love of reading and learning while nurturing essential skills for success in school and beyond.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Stuart Little 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 Stuart Little Novel Study by The Teaching Bank!

Try a free sample of the novel study for Stuart Little 

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.