2019 - Queen of the First Grade Jungle

Back to School with Frank

For years Amy and I have had requests to bring our Rooted in Reading units to upper grades. We thought Being Frank was the PERFECT book to try it out! 


If you haven't read Being Frank, you must find it! It is so unbelievably clever and hilarious. My favorite kinds of books are ones that have some hidden humor that allow adults to have a little chuckle too! 

Frank is SUCh a memorable character that he naturally lends himself to working on Character Traits. 


What Amy and I have done is allow you several different baby steps for learning how to analyze characters. We use this AMAZING short film (5 mins) Soar to help us out. 

Next up, we look at things that Frank does, says, and and thinks to help us learn more about him. 

And lastly we ask the kids to flip what they have learned and apply it to themselves.  They come up with a name for themselves- just like you see with the characters in Being Frank. 

I adore using picture books as mentor texts for big kids and I think that you will too if you try it out with Being Frank. You can find Amy and I's unit in her TPT store. 



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#KKingRecommended July Post


{This post contains Amazon Affiliate Links}

Since I know some of you aren't on instagram I thought it would be best to start gathering up the book I recommend every couple of weeks. Soooooo here we go:

1. The King of Kindergarten
As your loved ones and precious students head back to classrooms this year, The King of Kindergarten is a perfect back to school book.   
Every one of our students deserves to see themselves in the pages of the books we read to our students. I love that the main character of this book is a a black boy. 

2. Words to Love By
Words have power. This book is an amazing way for children to see that good or bad, words have impact. 


The Wonky Donkey is a silly and hilarious way for kids to work on rhyming skills! I know my second graders would have been in stitches over the Honky Tonky Wonky Donkey. 



This book is a Writers Workshop MUST. It is the perfect book to help motivate students who think they don't have a story to tell. 



Ohhhhh Kwame Alexander, this book is SO perfect. It explains exactly who I feel about reading and I can't wait to read it to a group of wide-eyed children. 



Fireflies is another must for your Writers Workshop block. It a nostalgic take on summer time that adults will love. Students will see a perfect model of how to SHOW excitement and not just say it. 



Another one to get your students laughing their heads off? Yep, Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas is that book! 



I love, love, love this book. I think it's a fantastic example of a fiction story with facts infused in an interesting way.  I think students will love Misunderstood Shark! 



We LOVE a Jory John book in this house. Seriously, we may own them all.  That's What Dinosaurs Do talks about being tempted and having to work through those temptations. And Pete Oswald's illustrations are amazing as usual! 


Oh I just LOVE Dandy!  This book perfectly showcases the lengths a dad will go to for his little girl. It is hilarious and engaging as well! I can't wait to find just the perfect moment to use this one with students. 
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The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!

When Brooke and I saw it, we KNEW the latest Mo Willems' book was going to be a must for your first week of school. 

We tried to think of all the things that you would like on those first few weeks from a book. Through these fun and easy puzzles, your students will have a chance to connect.  The pigeon's anxiety serves as a perfect springboard for connecting to all kinds of emotions on the first day!

These simple but engaging STEM options will have your students giggling and creating from Day 1 in your classroom.

Brooke thinks of everything you need to make these challenges happen.

She even introduces simple machines to them through QR codes. Science the first week of school? Check! 
This amazing book allows you to jump right in to discussing author choices, text to self connections, and vocabulary.

If you snag it today (7/13 or 7/14) you can get it at 20% off. I can't wait to hear what you think! 
{The Pigeon HAS to Go to School!} Storybook STEM
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The WHY Behind Rooted in Reading

When Amy and I began creating our 2nd Grade Rooted in Reading curriculum we were solving a problem for both of our classrooms. We had both been using picture books to teach comprehension, vocabulary, and grammar, but we did not have a go-to resource. We had activities and lessons that we were creating year after year, but we wanted something that would bring consistency to our reading block.
That’s when we got together and decided we wanted to take what we were doing each and every day in our own classrooms and create something for the entire year, something that other teachers could benefit from as well. In the fall of 2015, we chose 4 picture books and began developing a curriculum that our 2nd grade students fell IN LOVE with. It TRANSFORMED our ELA block. It helped us fall in love with teaching again. It helped our students fall in love with reading in a way we had never seen before.
Over the next few years we began creating curriculum for 1st and 3rd grade classrooms. It has been a true blessing to see so many teachers use our curriculum over the years. It touches our hearts to see every picture, read every review, and hear how Rooted in Reading has impacted so many classrooms.
We know how beneficial it can be to use picture books in the classroom, but we know that some teachers need to provide evidence to their administrators. Well, now we have you covered! We have put together a document with information, testimonials, and more! You can click HERE to check that out.
We hope that this document is just what you need to help bring Rooted in Reading to your classroom. If you want to see the specific books we chose for each of our units you can find them all listed on Amy's Amazon storefront HERE.
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First Grade Rooted in Reading March


I swear the months are flying by....and I can't keep up!  Let's slow down for a second and just appreciate these beautiful books! You can find them through my affiliate links below:


The following are the four nonfiction readers included for the month. One to pair with each book! I love the topics for each one and found myself learning A LOT! 

I haven't blogged a ton about the first grade units so I wanted to make sure you saw a good bit of what is in each one. 

For the Magical Sea Creatures nonfiction reader, I chose to focus on the habitat AND habits of each animal.  I think with more understanding of what lives below sea level, comes more compassion and effort to protect our beautiful oceans. 


For each week, you will receive two to three digital anchor charts and relatively quick comprehension activities to allow your students to demonstrate their understanding of the whole group lesson. 

After The Fall offers a wonderful opportunity to review nursery rhymes that your students may or may not be familiar with. 

Have you ever read The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig? What a FANTASTIC book! I find myself giggling several times when I am reading it because I find the author so clever. 

And because it is SO hard to show you everything but I don't want to miss anything, here are some more images.  You may click on any of the pictures to see the unit in Amy's store! 





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Operation GET ORGANIZED Post #1

It's been a minute sine I have shared about anything non-school related, but I figured since a large majority of the country has caught the Marie Kondo bug that this might be of interest!  Last Sunday I caught the organizing itch hard! I didn't even get out of my pajamas. I just spent the whole day tossing and bossing people around :) dreamy, right??

I started with the laundry room, where we have our "pantry".  You would not believe the dates on some of the stuff I threw out! I love having baskets to group like items. It seems to keep us a lot more organized! I was trying to link some similar ones from Amazon, but they are all too expensive...just go to Walmart! 


 I know I am a weirdo but I actually enjoy laundry...which is a good thing since 5 people equals TONS of laundry. 

After the laundry room, I moved on to the kitchen.  We just loved to our home a year ago and luckily purged a lot then so I was able to go through all the cabinets and fridge pretty easily. Y'all it feels SO good to know exactly where everything is and have a clear mind with less stuff!


The main reason that wanted to share these pictures is because I actually have found a few great organizational "things" to help keep everything in its place. 

First up are these drawer organizers. I found them on Amazon and I actually ordered a few more, because they are saving my LIFE.  The main reason I like them so much is that you can customize them for 


All of Mr. Husband's things are organized and not rolling around in my drawers anymore! 


Next up was my vehicle.  I spend a good 3 hours a day minimum in my car.  Between getting Smith to therapies and all of the kids activities... I live in my car.  It was making my crazy the amount of disorganization I was dealing with daily! 

First thing I realized was that I needed the whole family's help. So I have stressed to my kids that if they bring it to the car, they need to take it from the car! 

I also needed to reign in Smith's toys.  I took a bunch out of the car for good and then started using a basic shower caddy for the rest.  Plus I keep a few books handy because we are definitely a family of readers!



Plus I found this lap desk for Smith to play with his dinos and sharks on! He loves it and so does Momma because it keeps the mess contained and him entertained for hours! 


I also got this organizer for my trunk.  It is a dream! I keep my yoga mat and other things that we need for activities. It has all kinds of pockets on the kids for wipes, sunscreen, bug spray, and water bottles. Seriously, such a good purchase! 


And the last place I have tackled so far is Emmie's closet.  I have finally come to term with the fact that she is too old for me to pick out her clothes for her (10 in March) so I asked her to go through and let me know the things that she wouldn't wear anymore.  Such a beautiful pile of clothe! Luckily we have lots of little friends to pass them down too! 


Even though I am not picking out her clothes anymore, I was able to pass down a habit to her.  On Sundays Emmie picks out her clothes for the whole week and puts them in this organizer. We have done this since she was four years old and it is such a life saver for us! 


Here's a picture of the finished product of Emmie's closet! 



 And just so you KNOW I don't have all my stuff together.... here is my next project to tackle! Book hoarders unit! 

If you are interested in seeing more organizational posts or home in general, make sure to leave my a comment. I would love to hear any tips you have! 
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