I'm back with another book to share for Mrs. Jump's Book Talk Tuesday. This week I wanted to share another great fall book and some fun activities to go with it.

If you read last week's post, then you'll recognize that this book is in the same Science Vocabulary Reader series from Scholastic as the Colorful Leaves book I shared.

Perfect Pumpkins by Jeff Bauer, is another awesome book in this series and is perfect for starting out your pumpkin unit.
 This book is filled with great images of real pumpkins.
As with all books in this series, it begins with a simple table of contents. Students will learn about pumpkins and their parts, how pumpkins grow, and pumpkin treats. 
 I really like the diagram of a pumpkin on this page, its a great visual of the inside of a pumpkin without having to slice one yourself.
Next, students learn about the life cycle of a pumpkin. I love the lopsided pumpkins on this page. :)
 My kiddos always get a kick out of this giant pumpkin!
This last section is great for starting a discussion about what pumpkin treats students have tried, and what they like to do with pumpkins in the fall.

to go along with the last part of the book, I usually bring pumpkin seeds in to try. I have students do a survey of their friends to find out if they like to eat pumpkin seeds.
We also do a taste test with apple and pumpkin pie.  Then students again survey their friends to find out which type they like best.

Both of these graphs are a part of my Survey and Graph pack that includes over 60 survey options to use throughout the year in your classroom.
I also use this pumpkin sort and graph activity in math centers.
This activity is part of my Sort and Graph Pack that includes over 30 sorting and graphing activities for use in whole group, small group or centers throughout the year.
Thanks so much for stopping by to check them out!
It's been a few weeks since I linked up with Mrs. Jump for Book Talk Tuesday, but this week I wanted to share a great fall book and some fun freebies to go with it.

Finding a good nonfiction book to use with kinders can be tough! I always look for books with real nonfiction features that I can use for teaching points.  I also try to find books that are short and simple enough for my students to understand without being overwhelmed by the amount of information. One of my favorite resources for finding these books is scholastic! They often have thematic packs of "Science Vocabulary Readers" that are perfect for primary classes.

Colorful Leaves By: Maria Fleming is one of the books in this awesome series and is a great addition to learning about leaves.
 The pictures in this book are beautiful!
 It begins with a table of contents, so I like to point out text features whenever I can! Students will learn about leaf shapes, what leaves do, and a leaf's life. We discuss how in nonfiction books you don't always have to read the entire book cover to cover.  The table of contents can help you find just the information you are looking for, a great researching skill!
 I really like that the leaf shape section shows that leaves aren't just on trees!
 The students can clearly learn a lot from just the photographs on this page. I have them draw different leaf shapes that they didn't know about before after viewing this page.
 This and other books in this series have new vocabulary in red with a definition on the page as well as in the glossary.
 The photo, captions,close up and drawing on this page are more great examples of helpful text features I point out to my students. We discuss how and what we learned from each of these features.

The glossary in the back is a great reference for the new vocabulary in this book.  The comprehension questions aren't great, but are good for basic recall.

I created some graphic organizers to use with this book that could be used with other leaf books as well.  you can grab them here free!

Learning letters is such a huge part of the beginning of the year for most kindergarteners, and let's be real sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming. For your students, 26 letters can seem daunting! And for you, gathering and organizing resources for all 26 letters can be a mess.  
I've been working on a fun new product to help minimize the amount of resources you will need to gather by including tons of different practice all in one book. 
So here it is, my first Interactive Emergent Reader and its FREE: 

First, there is a full color teacher version of the interactive reader.

 This book is perfect for use with the whole class or a small group. All of the cut out pieces can easily be attached with Velcro so that you and the students can interact with the pieces. After using it to demonstrate, it can easily be used in a literacy center as well.
 Students practice word recognition when they match the words with the pictures on the Read It! page.
 Next,  there is a handwriting practice page for practicing the focus letter.
The Write It! page provides practice with writing the words in the book.It is also a great way to practice many letters at the same time.
 Students can hunt for the focus letter on the Find It! page.
This page may be my favorite! My students always love a chance to sing and dance.  (Or maybe they just enjoy cracking up at my lack of awesome dance moves...) I created QR codes for our favorite letter A practice videos as well as a few alphabet songs.  You can scan these and practice as a class, easy peasy! No more searching and setting up playlists to get to the right video. 
 The student version is in the exact same format.  I have included both a color and black and white version so you can choose what to print for your class.
 I always have students create a reading treasure box at the beginning of the year, so when they take these books home they have one place to keep them. One little shoebox of books is way less crazy than 26+ books floating around the house.  Hopefully, then they won't get crumpled and thrown away by OCD moms like me:)
 Students cut and glue the pieces into their book and can practice concepts of print by pointing and reading the words.
   Then they complete each practice page independently.
 It's super easy to spice things up by using crayons, markers, colored pencils, fun pens, etc.
 The Find It! page can also be done with highlighters, dabbers, crayons, markers, etc.
  The student version  includes the 3 letter A songs which are awesome for at home practice! Kids will love sharing these songs with their family and are a fun and easy way to practice at home.

I hope you love these books as much as I do!

Interactive Emergent Reader: All About A

Check out all of the readers bundled here:

I'm linking up with Mrs. McClain to share ideas that teachers "oughta know" about.  This month I'm sharing some iPad apps that are just awesome for the primary classroom.  
These apps are more about content creation than focused skill practice.  I do use both in my classroom and have lists upon lists of great skill practice apps. I definitely think the great benefits of technology in the classroom however is content creation.  So here are my favorites and some ideas for using them in your classroom!

What is it?
Basically it is a recordable interactive whiteboard that you can use to record your voice and writing/drawing to produce sharable video lessons. The lessons can be replayed by students, teachers, parents, etc.

How can I use it with primary students?
You can create lessons for your students about specific concepts. They can play these lessons at their own pace, as homework in a flipped classroom or they can view them while you are working with other students.
Here is an example of a comparing numbers lesson:
You can also have students use the app to create lessons. Students can create videos to teach their classmates about a topic, share what they have learned, and it can even be used as an assessment tool.
Here is an example of a student's teaching video about counting to 100 by 10s:
I love that this student made groups of real objects, photographed them, created the content on the page and then recorded her video and highlighted each group while counting. So much learning going on here!

I also used educreations daily with my class to record their math journals. I gave them the prompt and they could solve and record on the app. It was awesome for me to have a record of all their math journals for the year along with their thinking.

What is it?
An amazing storytelling app that guides students through the process of creating and telling their stories.

How can I use it with primary students?
Students can create their own stories or retell stories using this app. 
Then students are guided through a story arc to create each part of their story from setting and characters to adding animation, music, and dialogue.  
Here is an example that a student made called "How the Tiger Got Its Stripes"
The value in this app is definitely in the planning and creating a story.  I love that this app uses the vocabulary for the parts of a story and has many option for adding settings, characters, music, etc.

What is it?
A quick and easy way to turn videos and photos into presentations that can be shared.
How can I use it with primary students?
Students can create presentations for any content or project you are working on.  It can be used for a simple math lesson in which students find examples of arrays in the classroom/school, photograph them, and describe them to show their understanding.  The app can also be used to record video segments for presenting a longer term research project.  It is SO simple to use! First you select the videos/photos you want to use from your camera roll on your device.

Then you record your voice.
Finally you can select music.
Teachers could also use this app in a similar manner to Educreations to create content for students to watch and learn from.  Maybe you aren't able to take a field trip to an aquarium as a class.  As a teacher you can go, record videos, narrate the information that you would like students to learn. And BAM, it's like a create your own virtual field trip.  So fun and easy! Let's say you are teaching about patterns. You could also use photos or videos of this, or any other, math concept in the real world to bring relevance to a topic. Won't your principal be so impressed when he/she sees that little beauty of a lesson!

Of course with little ones introduce these apps s-l-o-w-l-y and show them different features and possibilities bit by bit as well. If you don't take your time, you will likely be pulling your hair out thinking that your students aren't capable of creating amazing things without constant guidance. I have learned that patience is definitely key when it comes to technology (and most things in the primary classroom!) but you will be amazed at the things your students can do if you take the time to learn and use these great apps with your class! I'd also love to hear about some of the amazing ideas you have for using these apps for creating content as a teacher.

For more great tips check out the links to these fantastic teachers' blogs:

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