Monday, October 29, 2012

We Give Books: FREE online books for kids

This is an awesome website that lets you read hundreds of kids books for FREE!

I love websites that are free and easy to join. The books are are sorted alphabetically, by age (0 to10), popularity, author, and genre. And because one of the founders is Penguin books, many childhood favorites are available, including Ladybug Girl, Skippyjon Jones and Madeline.

The sie is super easy to use. They have both fiction and non fiction. It's also a great way for teachers to preview books they may want to use before buying. They also have an Educator Resources section with extension activities, reading guides and more.

The books are not read out loud, but when you put it in Full Screen mode it's a great way to share a book with your little one, show on a smart board for your whole class, or for reading alone on an iPad.

We Give Books was started by Penguin Group and Pearson Foundation as a way to get books to kids who don't have them. They partner with a variety of organizations that get books to kids all over the United States and around the world. They also give you the opportunity to help.

Full Screen Mode

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Find-A-Book Website:

Check out This website is a great resources for finding books. They're sorted by grade level, genre and award winners. What I like is that they suggest books based on your favorites. It also gives you approximate reading levels for each book.

You can also rent books Netflix style. The pricing isn't bad--especially if your local library is far, or doesn't have a great selection. They keep 2 shipments in rotation at all times, so you don't have to return all your books to receive new ones.

Books range from beginning readers to Young Adult.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fairy Tales

Introduction to Fairy Tales Lesson Includes vocabulary, characteristics and information about authors.

Fairy Tale Writing:
I've done two versions of using Fairy Tale words (vocabulary) for writing activities.

Version 1: These words are cut apart and placed in a brown paper bag. I gave each child their own bag, but it can be done whole group as well. The kids pulled a word out of the bag and wrote a sentence with that word. In math, the words were used to write story problems. Later, they used the words to help them spell while writing their own Fairy Tale or a version of one of their favorites. The words can also be used as a matching game with various Fairy Tale books.

Version 2: This is the same list, shrunk down to half a page. The kids were given lists like this with Halloween words, Thanksgiving words, Family words, Winter words, etc. Each list was glued on the back pages of their writing journal. That way they were easy to find. The words prevented them from asking me a million times how to spell something. It increased their reading and decoding skills by forcing them to find the word on their own, and it gave them confidence when they recognized words in the various Fairy Tales--which can often be difficult for little ones to read.

Fairy Tale Comparisons:
Comparing Fairy Tales using both different versions of the same tale, or similar stories, such as Sleeping Beauty, Snorking Beauty and Sleepless Beauty, is a great way for children to understand elements of fiction and practice critical thinking skills.

More Fairy Tale Printables

Additional Resources:

A Note about Fairy Tales and Walt Disney:
Walt Disney loved Fairy Tales. That's why he chose the story of Snow White for his first full-length animated film. For many kids his movies are their only exposure to Fairy Tales. Like other storytellers, he told his own versions and added his own elements. Exposing kids to other versions of the stories, both through books and movies broadens their intellectual scope.