Apr 13, 2014

Books, Books, and more Books! :)

Spring Break has been wonderful!  You have to know that I have been on break, or there is no way I would have found time to blog.  Haha!  Sorry about that...I am trying to get back into the swing of things and have finally completed a full year of building and integrating my own ELA/Social Studies program AND... just might see to it that I have some blogging time on my hands again! YAY!  Today I'm linking up with Mrs. Laffin's Laughings to share "A Peek at my Week!"

This past week I spent a lot of time organizing a year's worth of curriculum and decided to share one of my favorite resources from the year!  KIDCAPS! Having time to reflect on what I've been teaching, I realized just how much I have used and loved these books all year long.  This week, I will begin reviewing all 8 of my previous units to gear up for our final unit, The ABCs of American History from 1865-Present Day.

The unit we are wrapping up is a narrative unit.  When teaching literary standards, I love short stories because you get the big picture, from start to finish in one sitting.   It allows you to cover multiple standards quickly.  Since testing is coming up, multiple standards quickly is a big goal for me...isn't it always?

This particular series of informational texts starts with a NARRATIVE INTRODUCTION that grabs students from the word go!  Each book is then packed with informational text that explains some not-so-kid- friendly topics, in kid-friendly ways.  For example, this series addresses each war in American History from the Civil War to our current situation in Afghanistan.   Kid friendly materials on Afghanistan is not something that is easy to come by and because this series uses both narrative and informational text structures to teach about historical topics, these books are a WIN-WIN no matter what ELA standards you are teaching!

Because I plan to review literary standards and social studies topics together this week, (that's just what I do) some kid-friendly narrative nonfiction short stories are just what I need!

I typically retype and credit the KidCaps narrative so that I can highlight some key terms, figurative language, plot points, etc. and then print on card stock with a few pics, to file away in my unit binders for next year. Here's a little taste of one of the narratives I'll be using this week.  By the time I finish this story, I am certain my students will never forget what happened in Normandy, France!

adapted from: America in World War II-KidCaps
So, you see why I've been a bit MIA in blog world this year!  I have been researching, organizing, typing, reading, and planning like a crazy lady!  I have had a blast and have learned so much about American History as well as the ELA Common Core State standards that I don't regret a moment of the work, but I sure have missed my blogging buddies!

Thanks for taking a moment to let me share "A Peek at my Week!"  I hope you can find some KidCaps to assist you as you integrate your content area topics into your ELA classrooms!

Hop over and take a PEEK at the weekly plans of a few teacher friends over at Mrs. Laffin's Laughings! Maybe you'll find something else you can incorporate into your week!  


  1. You HAVE put in a lot of extra work this year, but it is paying off! You kids are learning so much!
    Fun in Room 4B

  2. Glad to see you return!! :) I'll be sharing my week later this evening too! :)

  3. This is great! Love the history tie-ins!
    :) Erin

  4. I'm so glad you are back, Brandee!! We've missed you! I love how you incorporate content area texts into ELA! It really reinforces the relationship with reading.

    Have a great week & hope to see you again soon--
    Mrs. Laffin's Laughings

  5. Glad you returned!! So did I ..it has been a crazy year! Love you idea of Social Studies and ELA combo!

    Style Closet to Classroom

  6. Welcome back! I've missed your posts. Love the idea. I may need it with changes coming next year.


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