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Brave Hearts Come in Small Packages: The One and Only Bob

Brave Hearts Come in Small Packages: The One and Only Bob

The One and Only Ivan is a favorite book of mine. I was so excited to learn that Katherine Applegate wrote a sequel, this time showcasing Bob, Ivan’s loyal stray dog companion. Applegate takes the heartwarming, humorous, and thought-provoking recipe of her creation of Ivan and brings it again to The One and Only Bob. It is a new favorite for teachers and students alike!

Take a look at this book trailer from Katherine Applegate’s YouTube Channel:

From the book jacket:

Return to the unforgettable world of the Newbery Medal-winning and #1 New York Times bestselling novel The One and Only Ivan (soon to be a major motion picture!) in this incredible sequel, starring Ivan’s friend Bob!

Bob sets out on a dangerous journey in search of his long-lost sister with the help of his two best friends, Ivan and Ruby. As a hurricane approaches and time is running out, Bob finds courage he never knew he had and learns the true meaning of friendship and family.

Bob, Ivan, and Ruby have touched the hearts of millions of readers, and their story isn’t over yet. Catch up with these beloved friends before the star-studded film adaptation of The One and Only Ivan hits theaters in August 2020!  **NOTE: The One and Only Ivan movie is currently available to stream via Disney+.

Just as The One and Only Ivan is a favorite book to use in the classroom, The One and Only Bob is ripe for you to use as a novel study as well.

Please check out the completed The One and Only Bob Novel Study that contains both a printable and Google Drive™ compatible format available in my store.

You will love The One and Only Bob just as you did The One and Only Ivan, but maybe in a little bit different way. Bob brings the humor. He was the comedy of The One and Only Ivan after all! You still have the heartwarming journey of the character who is seeking acceptance of themselves, who is trying to find out where they belong in the world and who they can depend on. This journey will resonate with children who are on that same path in life, many adults as well! Should Bob go it alone, or is it okay to rely on others, and at the core, is it okay/safe to trust? Take your students on this journey with Bob. You won’t be sorry!



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.

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia

The Chronicles of Narnia series, written by C.S. Lewis was a fantasy series published between 1950 and 1956.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is probably the most well-known book of the series and many mistakingly believe it is the first in the series, but it is really book #2. The first book in the series is The Magician’s Nephew. The Horse and His Boy is #3, Prince Caspian is #4, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is #5, The Silver Chair is #6, and the final book of the series is The Last Battle.

The fantasy world of Narnia is full of magic, mythical beasts, and talking animals. Each book focuses on children and their central roles in the history of the Narnian world. Throughout the series, children are magically transported to Narnia from the real world as they work with the Narnian lion, Aslan, to protect Narnia from evil. 

The Chronicles of Narnia series is the best-known work of C.S. Lewis. The stories parallel his childhood during World War II and he weaves in his theology work throughout the series in subtle ways. There is a Christian thread through the books, but it is not overt. This makes the books good for use in both Christian and public schools alike. The base of the story, good vs. evil, is one that can be analyzed and interpreted by all. 

 

 

I offer complete novel studies (click on covers below) to accompany each of the Chronicles of Narnia books for use in the classroom or homeschool. You can also buy the entire series of novel studies bundled together for a discount. Each unit includes both a printable format and a Google Drive™ format for use in a paperless classroom or with Google Classroom and follows a similar layout as shown in the video for The Magician’s Nephew.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are have been movies made, some big-budget releases by Disney, for some of the books. There are also rumors that Netflix will be producing a series on their streaming platform in the near future to accompany all the books in the series.

Fantasy lovers have been enthralled with the Chronicles of Narnia for decades. They are often the books that spark the love of the genre for readers to branch off to older-aged works such as The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit. J.K. Rowling, of Harry Potter fame, has noted that the series was one that had a profound impact on her as a child and helped to influence her fantastical mind in authoring the Harry Potter series. Your students will be in good company and will likely fall in love with the Narnian world as countless others have over the past 70 years.



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.

Persevering through Love and Loss: Turtle in Paradise

Persevering through Love and Loss: Turtle in Paradise

The Turtle in Paradise by Jennifer L. Holm is a wonderful historical fiction novel set in Depression-era Key West. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

 

 

This historical fiction published in 2010, will give students a taste of life during the Great Depression and the Labor Day Hurricane of 1935. Author, Jennifer L. Holm, writes in a humorous style that garnered this book both the Newbery Honor of 2011 and the Golden Kite Award.

From the Book Jacket:

Life is nothing like the movies. But then again, 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She’s smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it’s 1935 and jobs and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle’s mama gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn’t like kids, Turtle says goodbye without a tear and heads off to Key West, Florida to live with relatives she’s never met. Florida’s like nothing Turtle’s ever seen before though. It’s hot and strange, full of ragtag boy cousins, family secrets, scams, and even buried pirate treasure! Before she knows what’s happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of the shell she’s spent her life building, and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Filled with adventure, humor, and heart, Turtle in Paradise is an instant classic both boys and girls with love.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany Turtle in Paradise 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.

Turtle is a relatable and funny protagonist that students will enjoy. Her journey of being disillusioned with being different from other kids and finding “her people” leads the reader through the adventures that 1930’s Key West had to offer. The scenery and adventures paint a picture of fun and paradise even as Turtle works through personal struggles that don’t feel so great. This journey is one that many kids can relate to or gain empathy from and apply to their own relationships.



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.

A Tale of Friendship and Loyalty: The Cricket in Times Square

A Tale of Friendship and Loyalty: The Cricket in Times Square

George Selden’s, The Cricket in Times Square, is about a cricket who goes from being mistakingly lost to mistakingly famous with the help of his supporting friends. It is a great book to use in your classroom or homeschool for a whole class novel study, small book groups, or individual book studies.

The Cricket in Times Square was first published in 1960 and contains the beautiful illustrations of Garth Williams who is famous for his illustrative works for author E.B. White, including Charlotte’s Web. The Cricket in Times Square won the Newbery Honor in 1961.

From the Book Jacket:

Tucker is a streetwise city mouse. He thought he’d seen it all. But he’s never met a cricket before, which really isn’t surprising, because, along with his friend Harry Cat, Tucker lives in the very heart of New York City―the Times Square subway station. Chester Cricket never intended to leave his Connecticut meadow. He’d be there still if he hadn’t followed the entrancing aroma of liverwurst right into someone’s picnic basket. Now, like any tourist in the city, he wants to look around. And he could not have found two better guides―and friends―than Tucker and Harry. The trio has many adventures―from taking in the sights and sounds of Broadway to escaping a smoky fire.

Chester makes a third friend, too. It is a boy, Mario, who rescues Chester from a dusty corner of the subway station and brings him to live in the safety of his parents’ newsstand. He hopes at first to keep Chester as a pet, but Mario soon understands that the cricket is more than that. Because Chester has a hidden talent and no one―not even Chester himself―realizes that the little country cricket may just be able to teach even the toughest New Yorkers a thing or two.

I offer a complete novel study to accompany The Cricket in Times Square 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.

The story of the friendship and loyalty of a cat, a mouse, and a cricket will captivate your young readers. Excerpts from The Cricket in Times Square are often found in Basal readers. Please treat your students to the adventures of the full book instead of just a snippet. Let them be immersed in the beauty of the full tale of friendship and loyalty that is found in The Cricket in Times Square.



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.

Using Google Classroom to Survive E-Learning Days

Using Google Classroom to Survive E-Learning Days

Having your students there in front of you is obviously the ideal way to monitor their understanding of a topic, to see the need for differentiating the instruction, etc. There are days, however, where this just might not be possible. With more and more students having access to laptops and other devices the “free” snow-days of the past are being turned into E-Learning days more frequently in order to avoid adding days to the end of the school year.

man clearing snow with a snowblower in a blizzard

Natural disasters are causing schools to close for short periods of time, for example, here in Nebraska many schools had to deal with flooding issues last spring and again in the fall which got a bit chaotic with school closings. Sometimes, it’s just the individual student missing out due to a short illness, to a student with an extended illness that prevents them from being in the classroom for a long period of time.

Another example is, homeschoolers might be using e-learning in their co-op groups/classes. There are many different reasons that we might not be able to be in front of our students in a literal way, but thanks to technology we can be in front of them in a virtual way during times of need.

As a curriculum writer, I try and incorporate as many choices and options as possible in my products. I know when I was teaching so many different things would come up and a simple textbook is just not designed to handle the changes and issues that come at you every day. My philosophy holds that ideally, a student will have that book in hand and be using as many of their senses to fully move that information from learning to knowledge. All of my products have the hands-on component that is printable and tangible that the student and teacher can work with together.

I also am a practical person and know that this ideal is not always possible so I have also added to almost all of my products a Google Drive format so the teacher has options. The Google Drive format covers all the same areas but can be done in a paperless environment using Google Drive (Slides and Forms).

The majority of my printable & Google format products are a mix of novel studies, social studies, and financial literacy materials. I also have a few ELA and Math centers that are interactive for Google Drive in addition to printable. In every download, you will find the full printable content as well as a page like this that contains links to add the Google format files to your Google Drive along with directions on how to do it.

Once you click that link your file will now appear in your Google Drive account. It is named “Copy of File Name”. You can easily change that to whatever you want it to be simply by clicking into the name box. From there you can assign the files to your students using Google Classroom.

How to use Novel Studies in an E-Learning Format?

For novel studies, your students will still need a copy of the novel to accompany the printable or Google Drive format of the novel study. With that copy, they can move through the novel study answering the comprehension questions, vocabulary activities, and extended writing activities all in the Google Slides, just as they can with the printable version. The teacher can monitor their progress in Google Classroom and I would suggest check-ins with small groups of students using platforms such as Google Talk (also known as Google Hangouts or Google Chat) or Zoom, to touch base with your students with a discussion of what they’ve read to make sure they are understanding the content and help them dig deeper in their understanding of the novel. This would be the same thing you would do with class discussions in the classroom, just using technology to cover the distance between you.

All of my novel studies contain assessments that can be completed in Google Forms. All of the multiple-choice comprehension and vocabulary assessments are self-grading which saves you a ton of time! The writing assessments can’t be in a self-grading format since they are not multiple choice in nature, but there are generally only one to two questions per assessment and can be turned in via Google Classroom for you to read and grade.

How to use Social Studies and Financial Literacy Activities in an E-Learning Format?

My social studies and financial literacy formats are very similar to the novel studies in Google format, however, there is no book or textbook needed to complete them. I include Webquest links for learning content and include slideshow presentations in all of my social studies materials to help the student gain the knowledge to complete the activities.

Again, Google Slides is used for the slideshows and for the completion of activities. Google Forms is incorporated in some of the financial literacy activities in the Escape Room activities to explore the content in addition to the Google Slides.

How to use ELA and Math Centers in an E-Learning Format?

All of the interactive ELA and Math Centers are completed in Google Slides. Students will manipulate the components to practice the skills. This can be monitored by the teacher in Google Classroom.

What can I do if my student doesn’t have access to equipment or the internet?

Most of us take for granted that we have access to computers/laptops and internet access at home. We know that there are some students where it is simply not accessible to them. In public schools, we have the obligation to provide equity for our students. If your school doesn’t have 1:1 capability or you have a student who does not have access at home again, all of my materials are also provided in a printable format within the same product download. All these activities are the same, just on paper instead of the computer. You can send these packets home with your students. To touch base you could try phone calls with those students or maybe something like Facetime or Skype if they have access to that via a parent cell phone. Again, the same content, just a different format.

Technology has given us so many options on how to work with our students. I am not an advocate for screentime for all learning as I feel very strongly that using all of our senses through reading, writing, manipulating, and discussing is the optimal way to learn, but there are times when this is not possible and I hope that my materials can help provide you with different options to utilize at various times when e-learning is called for.


Take a look at these free samples available in my store that contain both a printable and Google Drive™ format to help you get a feel for how it all works.

Sample from my Wonder Novel Study
Oregon Trail Sample Social Studies Activity
Text to English Grammar Activity Sample

You can find some tips in this post, Tips for Using Google Drive in Your Classroom, about how to more easily customize Google Drive products to better fit your individual needs.