Sunday, April 30, 2017

Emotions Bundle

I have been filing away ideas for this bundle for what feels like forever, and I have finally gotten all of the resources together to make it a real product!

I designed this product with my students in mind, but knowing that with extension activities and differentiation, this product could work for a very wide variety of classrooms and students.

Clip Cards
The clip cards are perfect for identifying emotion words and pictures! I created two sets so students don't start memorizing (ugh) and begin to really comprehend the words and the picture. This will help in writing reflections, journaling, etc. I also love that these can be used with dry erase markers, paper clips or clothespins! I do recommend laminating... if your students are anything like mine (mini-destructors). 

This game is such a class favorite. I love how the caller cards are JUST words, and students need to listen, comprehend, and actually attend to the card to find the picture that matches. My students can be SO impulsive, and activities that require them to slow down in order to even participate are so important in teaching them school skills! The bundle comes with 10 unique cards.
Displaying IMG_1127.JPG

I Have Who Has
My students need to play this game constantly... mainly because of how it helps their listening skills! Like Bingo, in order to participate, students must really listen and attend because they never know when it might be their turn. I also labeled cards as "beginning" and "end" cards - makes the game so much easier!

Write the Room
Great activity so kids can get up and move in a purposeful way. I like to do this activity in groups, I have half of the students working on computers while the remaining students complete Write the Room, then switch. It's also helpful for differentiation if you need to modify anything! Here's a peek at the recording sheet. I also made sure to add a "word bank" - I know the "I CAN'T SPELL THIS!" meltdown all too well. 

Write and Color
I love this activity to target specific emotions! I know with my students, every unpleasant emotion they experience manifests as anger. You left me out of a game? I scream at you. I don't know what page we're on? Tantrum. I am uninterested in learning about outer space? I flip my desk. Allowing students the experience of actually LEARNING about emotions and when you may experience them can eventually help with their ability to generalize this into everyday life! 

These worksheets are quick, simple, and most importantly LOW PREP! Holla!

Check out my Facebook Live going through all of the components of the bundle!

So... thoughts? How would you use this in your classroom? Go grab it here if you're interested!


Saturday, April 15, 2017

17 Teacher Approved Picture Books Featuring Characters of Color

I'm here to report that picture books featuring characters of color ARE out there, and I have 17 of them to share with you! I received these books in a Donors Choose grant last week, and they are already a hit with my kids. It is so critical to have a variety of books with characters that resemble the children in your classroom. All students need to have books with characters that share their skin color, dress, and language. The tricky part is that this avenue of kid lit is not as broad as we want it to be. 

Here is the list of the beautiful, diverse picture books I added to our library, with Amazon (affiliate) links if they look like items you want to add to your cart :)

1.) Whoever You Are by Mem Fox
Why I Love it: Mem Fox is a fabulous author in general, and I love her work. This is a very simple book that shares, in kid-language, that children from all over the world have so many similarities.

2.) Happy! By Pharrell Williams
Why I Love it: This is a board book, but the text is Pharrell's song "Happy" from Despicable Me. The photos are of real kids of different races, ages, and body shapes! I love the diversity of the book and of course, all my students can relate because they know and love this song.

3.) I'm New Here by Anne Sibley O'Brien
Why I Love it: The cover alone made me love this book - it's not often we see children's literature featuring a child with a hijab on the front. It's a beautiful and very honest story about children who are refugees and/or have immigrated to the United States and are learning the new culture and language. Certainly a great way to teach empathy and raise awareness.

4.) If I Ran for President by Catherine Stier
Why I Love it: A way to teach about the roles and responsibilities of presidency from a non-threatening perspective, as it can be for many of our students. I also love how empowering it is for students to see presidency in this way: they could be president one day, too!

5.) My Man Blue by Nikki Grimes
Why I Love it: This is a super unique perspective: a boy with an absent father is "befriended" by a neighbor. The book is written with a different poem on each page.

6.) Shades of Black: A Celebration of Our Children by Sandra L Pinkney
Why I Love it: I love how the pictures celebrate that each shade of "black" is beautiful. I also love how the book shares real photographs of children.

7.) black is brown is tan by Arnold Adoff
Why I Love it: I just love how it very sweetly depicts the normalcy and love in a mixed family - highlighting their differences but focusing more on the fact that no matter what those differences are, they are a family.

8.) Beautiful Blackbird by Ashley Bryan
Why I Love it: This book teaches the lesson of inner beauty through the eyes of birds, rather than people. Really beautiful illustrations!

9.) Do Like Kyla by Angela Johnson
Why I Love it: The cutest book about a little sister imitating her big sister. A great book to have out in winter.

10.) The Princess and the Pea by Rachel Isadora
Why I Love it: The classic tale with an African twist. Super relevant, and beautiful illustrations!

11.) Chocolate Me! by Taye Diggs
Why I Love it: A very honest story about a young black boy being teased for his skin color, facial features, and hair. He shares his experience and develops self-love.

12.) The Colors of Us by Karen Katz
Why I Love it: The main character is going to paint a picture of herself, and her mom takes her on a walk to show her that brown skin comes in many shades. It's a very simple story to bring awareness, plus highlight the connectedness we all share.

13.) Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka
Why I Love it: It shares friendship and brotherhood through very few words. The illustrations are perfect. Also, an awesome way to introduce punctuation!

14.) Same, Same but Different by Jenny Sue Kostecki-Shaw
Why I Love it: I love that one of the main characters is from India - a place I know my students know nothing about. The boys discover they have so many similarities in despite of their differences.

15.) Colour of Home by Mary Hoffman 
Why I Love it: I love this book for its realness. I do advise a pre-read on this one: it is pretty intense. The young refugee boy discloses through his art that his uncle was murdered during war, and shares his war experiences in some very real detail. A great book for classes studying the affects of war, child soldiers, the refugee crisis, Somalia, etc.

16.) My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits
Why I Love it: A sweet story about an immigrant family coming from Korea, and Yoon's struggle to like her name in English.

17.) Mixed Me! By Taye Diggs
Why I Love it: It's not common to find books about mixed kids, and I love how this one points out the characteristics of mixed children and shares why each one is unique and special. Very relevant for any classroom, and a very high-energy and positive book.

What are your favorite childrens books featuring kids of color? Let me know in the comments, I'm always looking to build my list!