Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Author Showcase: Anna Dewdney

I am currently in a Children's Literature class which I am taking towards my Masters! One of the assignments was to showcase an author. Needless to say, I decided to do a showcase on one of my son's favorite authors and illustrators at the moment Anna Dewdney. You can purchase this whole package in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

Anna Dewdney is such a wonderful, humble and active woman and mother. In everything she does she relays the importance of being a mother. Even in her books, you can see how important she feels the role of a mother is (Llama Llama Misses Mama) (Llama Llama Mad at Mama) (Llama Llama Home with Mama) I think that's why I can relate to her so much! She says, "The most important thing you must know about me, really, is that I am a mother."

The idea for this project was to create an interactive showcase, that will allow the students to not only read about the author, but interact with the author. Kinesthetic learners are going to LOVE this type of display, as well as visual learners. It's very hands-on and visually pleasing.

I'll break down the tri-fold for you. The top are red & white banners I purchased from Target. Pop-out letters were layered on top to create the banner with the name of the author.

Below, I used red and white striped scrapbook paper to layer behind my text frames. There are two small pockets I created for students to interact with. The first pocket is Rhyming Words from Anna Dewdney's Llama Llama Series. Students can each grab a word, and then try to find their rhyming pairs. Or if an individual student is finished early, they can grab all the words and try to match each word with their pair. There are a lot of possibilities with this.

The second pocket is a Vocabulary Pocket. This pockets contains a list of some of the more unique and difficult words in Anna Dewdney's texts. For these words, students can grab one or two words a day, and implement them into the student's daily word work. What does the word mean? Draw a picture of the word. Use it in a sentence. There are lots of great ways to implement this.

Because Anna Dewdney's text are geared more towards lower level elementary, instead of Vocabulary words you could also make a pocket for high-frequency words in her text! There are so many great things you could do.

The rest of the tri-fold is filled with lots of information including 'Who is Anna?' 'About Anna' 'Currently' 'Anna's Writing Process' 'Inspiration' 'Bibliography.' There is LOTS of information included. There are also a couple more interactive elements like you can see in the bottom of the picture below, where students can open flaps and discover more photos and information.

Lastly, one of my favorite parts about the Interactive Anna Dewdney is the 'Write Like Anna' step-by-step series I created. Students will each be given a small booklet, which is pocketed as an example inside one of the interactive flaps in the tri-fold. The booklet I printed on 4x6 index cards to post inside the tri-fold, but you can easily print it on regular 8.5x11 paper for students to write. It has a step-by-step example of how Anna's writing process occurs.

Anna Dewndey begins all her writing by an emotion / feeling. Therefore I have students select a feeling / emotion to begin writing about. Second she typically uses her well-known Llama character, but she does have other books that include a dog, pangolin and bunny. Therefore, Anna uses animal characters. So I have students select an animal main character. Then they go even further and break the story down by story elements, the setting, the characters, the problem, the solution. It's a great way to celebrate Anna Dewdney and incorporate writing!

The MAJOR thing I'm excited about the writing center including is the story elements and story sequencing. They will be asked to create a setting, character, problem and solution. They will also be prompted to follow the sequencing words, first, next, last, finally etc. There are some great writing practices in this piece!

 This whole package is added to my TPT store. What does it include? Not only will you receive step-by-step instructions on how to create pockets, dimensions of products and tips and suggestions but you will also receive:
  • Who is Anna Dewdney Cut Out
  • About Anna Dewndey Cut Out
  • Currently Cut Out
  • Inspiration Cut Out
  • Writing Process Cut Out
  • Bibliography Cut Out
  • Anna Dewdney Vocabulary Slips
  • Anna Dewdney Rhyming Slips
  • Write Like Anna Step-By-Step Series
  • Response Worksheet to Anna Dewdney's Books
  • Llama Llama Graphic Cut Outs
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do :) It will definitely help my students celebrate such a wonderful author, illustrator and mother.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Digital Clipart Giveaway!

Hello my friends! I am excited to announce that I will be doing a Digital Clipart GIVEAWAY as a launch to my new and improved Teachers Pay Teachers store. I have been working on creating Clipart in my free time down time, or what little I have! I really enjoy doing it, it's like I'm back in 9th grade creating, drawing and doodling again.

Enough with the babbling, now I will tell you WHAT you will win, and HOW you can win it!

What do you win?

 First you will win my very 1st pack of Tiny Peeps Digital Clipart pictured below. This pack has 7 unique people, with the black and white outlines included.

Next you will win my Rock & Rolling Digital Clipart Pack. This pack is SURE to rock out whatever unit you create, or coordinate with brightly colored classroom themes. This pack has (6) Unique Colored Rocker People, (6) Rocker People Black & White Outlines, (6) Brightly Colored Guitars, (6) Guitar Black & White Outlines, (4) Colored Music Notes, (1) Music Note Black & White Outline, (4) Brightly Colored Stars, and (1) Star Black & White Outline.

Next you will receive one of my favorite so far, the "Out of this World" Digital Clipart pack. This pack includes lots of fun things! It includes (6) Brightly Colored Aliens, (2) Black and White Outline Aliens, (4) Astronauts, (2) Black and White Outline Astronauts, (7) Alien Costume People, (2) Black and White Outline Alien Costume People, (4) Brightly Colored Planets, (1) Black and White Planet Outline, (4) Brightly Colored Spaceship, (1) Black and White Outline Spaceship, and (8) Matching 12x12 Digital Paper. This one is fun to spice up a Unit Plan, its colors are bold & vibrant and unique.

Lastly you will get one SURPRISE pack that will launch upon the winner announcement! The surprise pack is full of over 30 unique digital clipart images, matching backgrounds and frames!

Okay, how do you enter? 

 There are 3 different chances to enter! You can enter all 3 times (for a better chance to win) or you can enter just once. Only one winner will be drawn from all the entries.

#1 - Subscribe to my Blog: On the right hand side of the blog, there is a small box where you write in your e-mail and subscribe to the blog. (Also, comment your e-mail below in this post so I have a way to contact you individually).

#2 - Instagram: Search for my name on Instagram @thespanglishsenorita, follow me and leave a comment with your e-mail so I have a way to contact you.

#3 - Share: Share this giveaway via Instagram / Blog for the last entry. Just make sure you link my Instagram name @thespanglishsenorita and link your blog posts to my site as well!

Lastly if you are interested in keeping up to date with my future digital clipart postings make sure you head on over to my TPT and click follow!

The winner will be announced Friday July 18th at 9:00 p.m. Best of luck to all of you! I can't wait to share my work with the lucky winner.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Fictional Friday Recommendations #1

It's the FIRST week of my Literature Corner, and I can't wait to present to you my Top 7 Fiction Shares for the week! 


The Day the Crayons Quit written by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers published June 27th 2013.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Theme: Colors, Fairness
Age: 3 - 7
Quote: “I’m tired of being called ‘light brown’ or ‘dark tan’ because I am neither.” - Beige Crayon
Awards: #1 New York Times Bestseller
Languages: English
Review: This book is brilliantly written by author Drew Daywalt and contains equally brilliant illustrations by Oliver Jeffers. The book is the story about a boy named Duncan who receives a letter from his fellow crayons who decide to go on a coloring strike until he hears their rather humorous concerns. If you ask me, this is one to keep and share for years to come!

The Pigeon Needs a Bath written by Mo Willems and illustrated by Mo Willems published April 1st, 2014.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Theme: Overcoming Fears, Hygiene
Age: 3 - 5
Quote: “Take a bath, dude!" - Fly
Language: English

Review: Pigeon may have a little fear of taking a bath... so he's been avoiding it needless to say. He's confronted by the audience, and several buzzing flies who tell him about his stinky situation. Pigeon debates with himself for a while before he discovers that well, bath time is fun enough to hang around for 10 hours! This book seriously captured my son's attention between the modern day lingo, and the beautifully captured illustrations.

Oso Quiere Contar Una Historia written by Philip C. Stead and illustrated by Erin E. Stead published May 30th, 2014.
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Theme: Animals, Friendship
Age: 2 - 5
Quote: “... cuando sus amigos estaban atentos... Oso no pudo recordar la historia."
Languages: Spanish, English

Review: The story about a sweet bear who wants to tell a story before hibernation for the winter. Instead he helps his friends prepare for the Winter, and waits to tell his story until after he awakes... only problem is, it's a long winter. You'll have to check this book out to see what happens when he awakens. The illustrations of this text are simple, sweet and stunning. You can use this book to teach about animals, hibernation, and friendship to your little ones!

Santiago El Soñador - Entre Las Estrellas written by Ricky Martin and illustrated by Patricia Castelao published November 12th, 2013 (Spanish Version)
Rating: 4 / 5 Stars
Theme: Dreams, Careers
Age: 5 - 9
Quote: "Que a veces, cuando tratas de alcanzar la luna, puede que acabes entre las estrellas." - Ricky Martin
Languages: Spanish, English
Review: Santiago has a dream of becoming a Star Performer on stage, but when it it his turn to audition he gets a little stage fright. After failing to get the lead role, Santiago receives a little encouragement and decides he is going to do what it has to take to achieve his dreams. I won't ruin the ending for you, but this book has a great lesson that all children should understand. The images are stunning and truly bring to live the dreams of Santiago.

Que Duermas Bien, Pequeño Tren written by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld and published June 30th 2014 (Spanish Version)
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Theme: Imagination, Animals
Age: 4 - 8
Quote: "En la plataforma viajan seguros, grandes animales de tiempos oscuros."
Awards: #1 New York Times Bestseller
Languages: Spanish, English
Review: Wow! The illustrations in this book are captivating. This darling book is about a steam train that pulls up to the station and one by one the train cars are filled with wonderful creatures completing silly activities that rhyme. Typically the Spanish versions of English texts are not translated so well but this one, is very well done! The ending captures your heart, and could definitely lead your classrooms in their wild imaginations.

Otis written by Loren Long and illustrated by Loren Long and published September 12th, 2013 (Spanish Edition)
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Theme: Friendship
Age: 4 - 5 Years
Quote: “Nadie necesitaba ver una bonita cinta azul para saber que esta era una ternera especial, que Otis era un tractor especial y que los dos eran amigos especiales."
Awards: #1 New York Times Bestseller
Languages: Spanish, English
Review: What a sweet story. Otis the hard-working tractor develops a friendship with a baby calf by calming him with his humming sound at night. The friendship is broken apart when the farmer replaces Otis with a brand new tractor, and Otis is tossed out behind the barn. His poor little tractor heart becomes broken as he is no longer needed until one day, his long-last pal is in need of help. Quite an adorable story that truly can teach students about the value of friendship! Long does a wonderful job using a monochromatic color scheme to focus attention on what's truly important. Although I do have to note, I believe the Spanish version is a bit more advanced to read than the English version.

Wonder written by R.J. Palacio published July 13th, 2012.
Rating: 5 / 5 Stars
Theme: Bullying, Empathy, Compassion, Acceptance
Age: 8 - 12
Quote: "I think there should be a rule that everyone in the world should get a standing ovation at least once in their lives." - R.J. Palacio
Awards: #1 New York Times Bestseller, Winner of the 2013 E. B. White Read-Aloud Award for Middle Reader, Texas Bluebonnet Award Master List
Languages: English
Review: August Pullman was born with a facial deformity that has prevented him from attending a mainstream school, until the 5th grade when he and his family decide for him to attend Beecher Prep. The audience is taken along his journey of simply wanting to be treated as an ordinary kid, and experiences the struggle of being accepted. Palacio brilliantly switches characters in the books to successfully demonstrate the perspectives, and portray the different outlooks of each character toward August. I could not put this book down! Totally recommend it to teachers of young readers.

There you have it folks! That's my first #FictionalFriday Recommendations. I just started reading The One & Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate so I'm excited to share with you my review on that next Friday! Enjoy :)

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Literature Reviews for Teachers

I'm SO EXCITED to share with you something I've been eager to put into place for a while now, but as most of you TEACHERS will understand... having the TIME to do so is a whole 'notha story! Haha. Now that it's Summer I feel I have the time to get this under my wings & really get it started.

Recently, I enrolled in a couple Children's Literature classes at my graduating University to receive my Elementary Certification in addition to my Secondary Certification. My professor stood in front of us, and told us we had to read 32 books in 6 weeks. I looked at her like, "WOMAN, you crazy!" Shortly after I got over the idea of reading a crazy amount of books I thought I didn't have time for, I went shopping... (bad idea). I purchased several award-winning Young Reader books, as well as Picture Books to read with my son. Guess what happened? I couldn't put them down. I finished 300 page books in one day. My son and I started reading 2 - 3 books a day! I found myself truly unraveling my LOVE for reading again! 

Now, I have always read books to my son at night, but I don't feel that my personal reading practices were modeling a love for reading for my son to follow. My Children's Literature class has definitely changed that. In that past month alone, I have read more books than the past several years combined.

That being said, I decided I wanted to implement my Children's Literature and Young Reader adoration into my blog to help other teachers truly fall in love with reading again. All it takes is a little time, a REALLY GREAT book and you will be hooked and so will your little ones. I know the minute I started showing a fascination towards reading again, my 5 year-old son who I believed was so active he could barely sit still and read a book, suddenly became passionate about reading with me!

My goal with this section of my blog is two things: each week I will have a theme or category of books I will be reading. For example, Non-Fiction, Poetry etc. I will rate the books, provide a short summary, and discuss potential ideas for using these texts in the classroom. Because I am of course a language teacher, I will be providing texts in both Spanish & English for my followers to take a look at!

After taking this class there is one things I realized... reading is truly a gift. A gift that if done right, can open your students' wonder and fascination of the world around them. It is a way to time travel, a way to teach, a way to imagine, and a way to explore. How can you expect your children to be doing these things, if you yourself (as a teacher) are not doing them? Just a little thought to ponder :)

I can't wait to share this with you, and I hope you all enjoy it.