Dark, Dark Wood Stories

This is the perfect time of the year to read and compare the different versions of the dark, dark wood story.  I begin with Christine Ross' "In a Dark, Dark Wood" (big book). 

The first reading is for enjoyment; there's quite a surprise at the end.  Then we read it through again, and on each page I ask the children to identify the important word.  ("And up that dark, dark path, there was a dark, dark house.")  I use highlighter tape to highlight that word in the big book.  Then, of course, we reread the entire book again.  It's just so much fun to read!  

Finally I pass out the little versions of the story for the students to read and illustrate (free download below, cut each page in half, assemble, staple together.)  After the children read each page, they need to highlight the important word on each page, as we did with the whole group.  The highlighted important word is what they will illustrate.  In their little books, the children decide what they want to be in the box at the end of the story.  It's always interesting to read their final pages!

As the children work on these books throughout the week, they will practice reading and rereading them.  My word wall words for the week come right from this book and so I know this activity gives them a lot of practice with those words.

On the second day we read "A Beasty Story" by Steven Kellogg and Bill Martin.  This version is a hoot!  After reading it through, we complete a large venn diagram to compare the story elements.


On the third day, we read "A Dark Dark Tale" by Ruth Brown.  At first, and throughout, this seems to be the scariest of the three books.  But, oh my, the ending is quite a surprise!  It's a must read.  A lively discussion always follows the reading of this book.  

Head over to Ginger Snaps' Halloween-spiration Linky Party for more Halloween week ideas.

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Favorite Read Alouds Linky Party

Courtney at Swimming Into Second is having a Favorite Read Alouds Linky Party.

I have to say, hands down, that my favorite read alouds are the Poppleton stories by Cynthia Rylant.  She has to be my all time favorite children's author.  She's written the Poppleton books, the Henry and Mudge books, the Mr. Putter and Tabby books, only to mention a few. 

The heartwarming Poppleton books touch on topics of friendship, loyalty and kindness, all with a touch of humor.  You just have to love Poppleton and his friends!

What's your favorite read aloud?  Head over to Swimming Into Second to see more.

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Thank You!

Christine at Hopping Into First Grade has passed the the Blog on Fire Award to me.  This is so exciting!  Thank you!  The world of blogging is a new place for me and I've been enjoying it tremendously.  Blogging has been a refreshing and enriching experience, and I'm amazed by all of the terrific teachers in the blogging world.

So with this award, I need to share seven things about myself, then pass the award along to other "hot" blogs.  Here goes!

I have four young adult kids in their 20's and that includes a new son-in-law.  I'm not crazy about cooking.  I love to knit, crochet and sew. I'm a Weight Watchers member.  I've had Scottish Terriers in my life for over 38 years.  I love astronomy, and my mom is a happy 85 years young.

I'm passing the Blog on Fire award to these fantastic blogs:

Check them out!   

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Roll em!

Here's a great solution to math games that require the use of dice.  When we started using the Everyday Math Program a few years ago, I loved the games with dice, but wanted to find an easy way to control the rolls.  Sometimes the dice would travel 10 feet or more when the games were going on!  

So I hunted around, and don't really remember where I found this idea (maybe somebody can let me know its origin) but it works very well and is so easy to make.  At Ruth's Reusable Resources, a local organization that recycles materials, equipment and supplies, I found a bunch of clam chowder lids.  

Our district has a membership to Ruth's, so the lids were free.  While there, I also picked up some felt.  I cut the felt into circles to fit inside of the lids, then glued the felt in.  Easy!

Now, the when the children roll the dice, it's inside of the lid.  The felt keeps the noise level down and slows the movement of the dice.  If the dice go out of the lid, the roll doesn't count.  Love it!  

If you're looking for more ideas and ways to use dice head over to Little Miss Kindergarten's Getting Dicey page.

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Grade Level Linky Party

Kim at The Teacher's Lane is having a Grade Level Linky Party.   Blogs there are organized by grade level, which makes it easy to browse around on blogs specific to your level.  And, my goodness, there are so many blogs to read!  Grab a cuppa and head on over!

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October Books

Mrs. Parker at Learning With Mrs. Parker has a linky party to share our favorite October books.  Love this idea!  Here are some of my favorites for this time of the year.

A big classroom hit is always A Beasty Story, which is Steven Kellogg's and Bill Martin, Jr.'s version of the dark, dark wood stories.  And Poppleton. . . well, he has to be the sweetest , kindest and coolest pig ever!  Love, love, love Cynthia Rylant and her characters!!

What are your October favorites?  Head over to Learning With Mrs. Parker to check out other recommendations!

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