Books & Ideas for Theme + FREEBIES!

Hi everyone!!! Can you believe the school year is coming to a close?!? 22 days left for me, not that I'm excited or anything!! :) How many days do you all have left?? Well, as we all know, the end of the year is exciting, but it is also sooooooo busy! We're all trying to get everything in before we let our lovelies go home for the summer! It can be a little overwhelming, but it always works out in the end!

So on to THEME! :) ***Make sure to read through the end for some FREEBIES!!!***

Theme is such a hard concept for little ones to pick up on; however, I always have a few very insightful kids that just get it. Do you have those students too? I just want to hug them when they get it after the others are staring at you with blank looks on their faces!! hah

Well, we visited theme already, and we are now returning to it. I use my Reading Skills Poster for Theme every time we come to it, and it's always posted up in the room.
***My Best Seller Reading Skills Posters will be on SALE through Wednesday!!!***

I love using picture books to teach reading skills, but I started with a Pixar Short Film called Hawaiian Vacation with the Toy Story characters.
You can find the video for FREE on by clicking the picture below!!
We talk about how the characters acted when they found out Ken and Barbie missed their Hawaiian Vacation and decided to help Barbie make it a vacation right there! We try to put ourselves into the story to see what we may learn for our own lives. This video is awesome for friendship!

Check out You Tube for more of these Pixar Videos to use with theme and other skills in your classroom!!!


Once we watched the video, we used my Theme Pyramid to write down our information to help us identify the theme. I have 4 different versions to give me some flexibility on what all of the plot I want them to focus on! (BME, SWBST, 1-5, Problem/Solution)

Hope you like them!!! :)
My goal for this is that they see the plot has the most information. Then comes the main idea which gives you the gist of the whole plot. This finally leads to understanding the theme which relates to THEM! We really focus on how everything that builds up to the theme is the proof as to how we determined the theme. 

One other idea I was given by a coworker which I'm sooooo excited to use is all about "looking through the window!" Take a piece of construction paper, and use an x-acto knife to cut shudder like pieces that can open. Using the construction paper shudders and trim, have the kids write down the information from the plot, main idea, etc. they learned from the story. Then have them stick their heads in the window to find the theme! :) I know it sounds silly, but the kids LOVE putting themselves INTO the story! This makes something so abstract a little more touchable! 

Picture Books for Theme

On to the picture books!!! I may have a problem with buying kids books! Last year, I went on a THEME shopping spree to try to find books that would help them! Here are just a few of them! 

There you have it!! :)

What types of activities and books do you use when you teach theme?? Make sure to also leave your grade level, too! :) 

Wordless Wednesday: Inspirations!!

Hi everyone!!! I'm so excited to join the oh so talented and sweet Miss DeCarbo from Sugar and Spice for her Wordless Wednesday Linky Party!!!

Here is my question for you!! :) 

How has a teacher (can also be a friend :) inspired you??
Comment below and then head back over to Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice to link up too!!! :)


Blogger Meet-up Blog Hop with a Giveaway!!!

Hey everyone!! I'm sad to say these are my last couple days of spring break :(, BUT I have had 2 great weeks off and now just have to push through 38 days!! hah No one is counting, right?? :)
Well, the first thing I did to kick off my fabulous break was meet-up with some absolutely AMAZING, DEDICATED, AND FUN people I know!!! 
That's right!! I got to reunite with some teachers that I've already become friends with along with making awesome news friendships!! It's a feeling you rarely feel when you are completely surrounded by people JUST LIKE YOU!! It's an incredible high! You feel like anything is possible! We all met at the beautiful French Lick Resort in French Lick, IN. I was determined to be my GPS estimated time of arrival (of course driving the speed limit) which I did! I made it in 2 hours from the south side of Indy! 
Look at this beauty in the foyer of the hotel! Gorgeous!

Teacher Tool Swap!!!

One of the things I was so excited about was our Teacher Tool Swap!! What teacher doesn't like getting school supplies?!? I love the school supply sections in any store! :) So we all brought a teacher tool(s) that we love to use and wrapped it up. Then we stood in a circle and played the Right, Left game with a story! If you have never used a Right, Left story with your students, please do! You'll realize how few of them have their right and left down! hah It's so fun! Every time you heard those words, you moved the gift that direction. When the story was over, whatever bag you had in your hand, you kept! 

I brought none other than the Staples Easy Button!!!
One of my friends and coworkers uses this, and I had to have it! I have the kids push it when they were able to answer something, or I'll do it when I notice the kids getting something! So fun! 

I received what all teachers love...COLORED PENS!!!!! I absolutely LOVE writing utensils!! Take a look at these Paper Mate beauties!!! I had to test them out right away at the table when I opened them!! hah Click on the picture to go to their awesome website!

I also received DOVE CARAMEL MILK CHOCOLATE!!!!! Once again, what teacher doesn't LOVE chocolate especially with caramel!! Yummm!

What I gained!! 

1. New Friends!!!
 My AWESOME roommates!!! Danielle from Kindergarten Glitters (your next stop) and Dana from Common to the Core!! 
 The AMAZING, funny, and kind Greg from Kindergarten Smorgasboard
Visiting with some new and old friends!! (From left to right) Amy from Math, Science, Social Studies...Oh my!, Krea from Learning in Progress, Annie from Twenty-Something Teacher Tales, Brenda from Primary Inspired, Jenny from Luckeyfrog's Lilypad, Cierra from Adventures of Room 129, Heather from Teaching Through Turbulence, and then there's me! :)

2. New Ideas!!!
I learned so many new ideas that we were all writing things down throughout!!! I want to get Boogie Boards, more Scentos, make blogging a routine, use Blog Touch to do blog posts on my devices, and stay in touch with these wonderful people!!

3. Collaborate More!!!
One of the biggest things I realized was that we get so much better by collaborating with others!! So I really want to do more meet-ups (of course :), but I also want to collaborate more with blogging!

Giveaway Prize I Received!!!

Can I say that I hit the jackpot???? Look at all of these awesome, colorful, and useful classroom decor and materials from Creative Teaching Press!! I can't wait to create my new bulletin board with my hexagon border and cut-outs!! I also LOVE the Pennant Number Line and Library Pockets!! I'm going to be using a new system for take home books so the library pockets are perfect!!! Who can have too many stickers?? The apple stickers are so cute with different patterns and sayings! I'll even have my door ready with the Welcome Apple set! Creative Teaching Press has truly impressed me!!! Click here to go their website!!! It's definitely worth it!

Now YOUR turn to WIN!!! GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

You can win ALL of this and MORE!!! All you have to do is hop ALL the way through our blog hop to find the Rafflecopter to enter the MASSIVE GIVEAWAY!!! You don't want to miss out on all of these AWESOME prizes!!!

Continue Hopping!!

Thank you so much for stopping by and taking a look into our Indiana Blogger Meet-Up!!! Your next stop is with Danielle from Kindergarten Glitters!!! She was one of my fantastic roommates at the meet-up!!! Click on her blog button to continue on the hop and the path to the MASSIVE GIVEAWAY!! :)