March 25, 2017

The Jelly Donut Difference

Hey y'all!  I'm so excited to share with you today a great book that promotes an important message of kindness, which we as educators know is essential in today's classroom.

The Jelly Donut Difference, by Maria Dismondy, is a precious book about a set of siblings who often have a difficult time getting along.  Imagine that?!  But an encounter with a lonely neighbor helps these 2 see what a difference they can make by working together.  Through their acts of kindness, the siblings learn just how thankful they for each other.  Not to mention, they got to learn about a new sweet treat called paczki and how it is made!

Maria Dismody's books are always filled with such wonderful lessons that any child can learn from.  I absolutely love sharing them with my kiddos.  They are kid centered and the messages are powerful.  As a teacher, I love how Maria included discussion suggestions for before, during, and after readings in this book.  At the end of the book, Maria includes tips for families on how they can share kindness together.  It's exactly what our world needs right now!  It's definitely a must read for everyone! 

You can find The Jelly Donut Difference  by clicking here.  While you are there, please check out Maria's other books!

I was so fortunate to be able to receive this book to review.  I wanted to pay it forward by sharing with you a mini book companion that I made to go along with it.

This mini book companion contains anchor chart pieces, writing activities, a graphing activity, and a reproducible for creating a fun headband for students to wear.  I also included a suggestion page with suggestions on  how to use the activities in this set.

You can find this mini book companion in my store by clicking here

How can you share kindness today?  Our role as educators is changing.  It's so important to plant those seeds so that we can help teach our students learn just how important it is be kind.  Teaching  about character is not optional, it is essential!

February 22, 2017

Sneaky Spinach

I love children's literature! Jan Brett, Mo Willems, Laura Numeroff, ....... I could go on and on. One of my favorite things about teaching period is being able to share a book with my kiddos. I can't pile them up in my lap, but the carpet right at my feet is the next best thing! I absolutely love being able to dive into a book and bring my class with me. All my teacher friends out there....don't you agree?! So when I got the chance to review a new book, this teacher jumped at it!

Sneaky Spinach  is a precious book about a little boy who loves junk food.  Hmmm, I think I know a few others like him!  Nick is convinced that fruits and vegetables aren't for him. He is even more convinced that spinach isn't his thing.  But the spinach leaves disagree!  So they get together to ponder a plan to convince Nick that they aren't as bad as he thinks they are.  So the next morning, when Nick and his mom are making his morning smoothie, 3 spinach leaves dive into the blender with all of the other ingredients.  That day Nick was full of energy.  Amazing!  Each day after that, more and more spinach leaves "sneak" into the blender.  And with each day, Nick feels stronger and healthier.  By the end of week, Nick catches the "sneaky spinach" because he is feeling more smarter and stronger than he ever has.  He has a fabulous conversation with the spinach leaves and Nick realizes that his super powers have been a result of them.  Needless to say, Nick vows to continue to add spinach to his smoothies every morning.

(picture from Nékter Juice Bar)

Ya'll, this makes my momma heart happy.  But as a teacher, it really makes me happy to think that I could use Nick as a great example for trying something new like spinach.  I mean, what kiddo doesn't want to have super powers like him?!  At the end of the book, the author has even included a recipe for a Berry Banana Boost smoothie and 5 tips for making a great smoothie.  How fun would it be to whip some of these up for your students to try?! 

Sneaky Spinach is written by Alexis Schulze and it just so happens to be her very first children's book!  How cool is that?!  Alexis is also the co-founder and chief visionary officer of Nékter Juice Bar.  As a way to extend Nékter’s mission to help transform lives by offering a gateway to wellness, Alexis wrote Sneaky Spinach to encourage children and their families to live more healthier.

If you would like like to purchase this book, please visit Nékter Juice Bar's site.  While you are there, you can check out the site and learn about how a portion of the proceeds from the sales of this book  will benefit children throughout our country.  While you are there, you can also download a coloring book and readers guide.