Book of the Week GIVEAWAY: Move Over Rover by Karen Beaumont
Why we love this book:
First, Move Over Rover is a new and creative twist on the traditional tale of The Mitten. This time Rover is in the dog house as a fall storm blows into the neighborhood. Soon a cumulative story begins of many animals attempting to shelter from the rain in Rover’s doghouse. The witty vocabulary is extremely engaging and the children are always ready to chime in with, “Move Over Rover!” This book is the perfect read aloud as we begin to welcome in the new fall season.
Second, here at home we are doing a big theme study on animals and habitats around the world. Move Over Rover provided a great starting place for taking a look at our own neighborhood habitat.
4 Simple Steps for Incorporating Science into Journal Writing with Children
Investigation: What animal life do I see in my neighborhood habitat?
Step 1: Read Aloud Move Over Rover. Discuss the animals in Rover’s neighborhood habitat.
Step 2: Brainstorm animals we see in our neighborhood. I didn’t want MacGyver to get bogged down with his writing so during our brainstorming session, MacGyver focused his attention on brainstorming animals he sees in our habitat and I wrote down his ideas. Miss Enigma (age 3) also contributed to our conversation. When writing his journal entry he used the list of animals as a reference for spelling.
Step3: Draw our neighborhood habitat. All was going well as I stepped out of the room with MacGyver drawing lizards, snakes, bats, fireflies . . .
And No! We don’t have dinosaurs in our habitat. When I stepped back into the room MacGyver had drawn the lovely little cardinal and this dinosaur! I didn’t even get a chance to question him before he started explaining his reasoning, “You know, scientist think birds are related to dinosaurs. So I was thinking that since birds live in our habitat a small dinosaur could live in our habitat.” When he finished his explanation he had an innocent little smirk on his face which said to me, “I’m so sorry but I got lost in my own imagination! I know I didn’t follow directions. Please forgive me.” You can take the boy away from dinosaurs but you can’t take the love for dinosaurs out of the boy.
Step 4: Write about our neighborhood habitat. During our brainstorming session, MacGyver explained, “I think this was a forest before there was a neighborhood here. We have trees all around and we see animals that live in a forest.”
The End: The finished journal entry.
A Few Parting Tips and Follow-up Lessons
1. The Practice Page: This is something straight from my classroom. When you have 20+ students, it is hard to be everywhere, helping everyone, all of the time. So I did a little adaptation from my Reading Recovery training and invented the practice page. On the opposite side of their journal entry children can have-a-go at the tricky words. This side is also used for brainstorming. During my training as a Reading Recovery teacher, I learned many tips for sounding out words. We’ll revisit ideas for the practice page in the future.
This is a close-up view of MacGyver having-a-go at the tricky words. If you are new to our waddlee-ah-chaa blog, MacGyver is still blooming into his reading and writing.
2. Follow-up Spelling Lesson: I made 100% on just about every spelling test I ever took. However, I still cannot spell! I guess that is why I don’t believe in skill and drill work. However, I do believe in balance and learning traditional spelling. Hence, each week we do a couple quick lessons out of our Alphaphonics book. Additionally, several times a week I select high frequency type words for MacGyver to “take to fluency.” Since the words come directly from his own writing, MacGyver can see the importance of learning how to spell these words. Here is a sample of the words I chose form his entry “My Neighborhood Habitat.” At the bottom of his page, he also reviewed words from previous journal spelling lessons.
We’re GIVING away one copy of Move Over Rover by Karen Beaumont
To enter this contest, just answer the following question in the comments section of this post.
We love learning about our readers. What is your neighborhood habitat? The city, small town, farm, forest, desert . . . (Or just say “Hey.” We’re flexible around here.)
One entry per person, please.
No entries after 8:00 pm Central Time, Thursday, October 7, 2010
The winner must be a resident of The United States.
The winner will be selected at random and announced Friday, October 8, 2010. Check back it might be you!
FREE printable book: Tomorrow check-out our “out in the world” section, we’re heading to the pumpkin patch!