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Nonfiction additions for April!

When Amy and I decided to add nonfiction readers to all of our Rooted in Reading units, I didn't realize what a staple they would become for your classrooms!

I recently purchased a binding machine off of Amazon to put together all my readers in a way that they would last and I LOVE it.  I wanted to share with y'all!

Below is an affiliate link to the one I purchased.  Now I have had ones through school before that were just okay, but this one is SO easy that even I can figure it out! Ha! This is not normally my strong suit. 

I was able to do all four books for April's Rooted in Reading unit in about twenty minutes including printing, hole punching, putting the coils in, and adding the covers.

We are so impressed to learn the different ways that you all use these books in your classroom.  Here are some pictures from instagram:

Using readers during small groups in page protectors and highlighting main idea and supporting details. BRILLIANT!

These students are completing research and group work to demonstrate learning about presidents!  Every nonfiction reader also comes with a quick follow-up activity so that if you need evidence of understanding, you will get it!

One of our most popular weeks of all of Rooted in Reading is SHARK WEEK!  These students are creating posters by cutting apart the black and white version of the readers and making posters! 

These students created powerpoint presentations using the President's Day readers1

And last but not least....these second graders cut apart their Brown Bear readers to dig into captions and other elements of nonfiction readers. 

So just to recap...if you have never used a Rooted in Reading unit, each week we focus on one super high quality picture book, but we also provide tons of additional resources for your week. So if you were to buy the April units you would get four nonfiction readers to add to your library!

Here is a peek into more of the unit:

Each unit also comes with anchor chart pieces, grammar, vocab, and art work! Seriously- I don't think you could squeeze in one more thing if you tried!  Amy and I love hearing your success stories so please let us know if you love Rooted in Reading as much as we do!

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Challenging Kids of ALL Ages

You heard me.  The "product" I love that challenges my two year old and my ten year old. AT.THE.SAME.TIME.

I am a huge proponent of play based learning. I also have a almost three year old boy with speech goals.  There could not be a better way for me to work with him on these goals.  I don't do very well with toys all over the place- it actually makes my eyes cross.  I love that STEM bins allows him to play to his heart's content WITH some structure.  Let me give you a little peek....

We lost our playroom when we moved to our new house so I am working on a play closet.  It is a very long closet under the stairs.  I am pretty obsessed with these shelving units from IKEA...they are perfect for everything!!!

Smith loves to look at the cover of the boxes and decide what tools he wants to work with.

 And those dino jammies make my heart swoon!!!

My favorite part of STEM bins?  These cards!  They are perfect for Smith.  He doesn't have to read anything to understand that he has a task.  There are also cards that challenge Nash and Emmie as well, I just forgot to get a picture! Drats!

I can't say enough about the wonderful talking Smith was doing while he was building and engineering!

After the big kids came home from school and I was working on dinner, all three kids grabbed a different STEM bin and set of cards to work on.  
 Nash even asked me if I could suggest STEM Bins to his teacher :)

 Another part of STEM bins that I love so much is the collaboration aspect.  When kids have a mutual purpose, their discussions typically shift in the direction toward more productivity. 

Last but not least reason that I love STEM bins for at home is the focus on fine motor.  Nash has always struggled a little with his grip, handwriting, tying, etc.  This is a perfect way for him to work on these skills in a play based way!

Overall we are INCREDIBLY happy with STEM Bins and know they will grow with our family. What you didn't see in my post was the box that came with every last thing I could ever need for STEM Bins, even down to the velcro circles and small binder rings for the cards. Brooke also included a blackline booklet so that you can copy and use the accompanying printables over and over again!

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