Monday, August 12, 2013

Spiders, Flies, and Bears Oh My! IMWAYR August 12, 2013

It's Monday! What are you Reading? is a meme began by Sheila at Book Journeys as a way to share what you read and/or reviewed the previous week and what is in store for the upcoming week. It's also a great chance to see what others are reading. I first learned about it at Teach Mentor Texts. 

The School bell is about to ring. Just a couple of more weeks to tweak lesson plans and prepare for the approaching horde.

What did I read this week?
My focus this week was on reading science topic books and deciding on meaningful activities to go with them. These are great read alouds for Kinder-2nd and can be paired with dozens of great learning activities.

New succulents just added my library's Green Thumbs Science Center.
In the white pots are colored succulents.  behind them are cactus fingers. Kids are allowed to break off sections and take home to transplant. I have even had moms come in requesting these amazing little thorn-less cacti. I am training a few to make a crown shape. 
Great link: NASA's Climate Kids

Learning about Libraries
Here are two good choices for introducing libraries to children. Lola at the Library is a good pick for preschoolers explaining what happens in a library. Tomas and the Library Lady is a classic for older students. It is a particularly useful book for English language learners. My copy is in a bi-lingual format.

I love Bear lessons. They tie in so easily with many lesson objectives and there are hundreds of bear books available. Some of my favorites are the Bear books of Karma Wilson. Here is a blog post on The Beauty of Bears.

Paired Shares:  Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson and Germs by Ross Collins

When my students walk through the library doors I shake each student's hand. They begin to giggle when they realize I have given them glitter germs! I overreact with a lot of coughing and sneezing until I get everyone settled in on the story-time carpet and launch into a lesson on How to Wash Your Hands. This includes students singing the Happy Birthday song or the ABC song which allows me enough time to properly model washing my hands. Each student is then given a baby wipe to wipe their hands free of glitter.

Bear Feels Sick Glitter Germs teaching activity

Bear Lesson Resources: 

Bear in a cave Coloring Page from

Pictures of bacteria (yuckie)

 Bear Activities from Karma Wilson website

Bear Finger-play (author unknown)

Here Is a Cave
Here is a cave.
(Bend fingers on one hand.)
Inside is a bear.
(Put thumb inside fingers.)
Now he comes out
To get some fresh air.
(Pop out thumb.)
He stays out all summer
In sunshine and heat.
He hunts in the forest
For berries to eat.
(Move thumb in a circle.)
When snow starts to fall,
He hurries inside
His warm little cave
And there he will hide.
(Put thumb inside fingers.)
Snow covers the cave
Like a fluffy white rug.
Inside the bear sleeps
All cozy and snug.
(Place one hand over the other.)

I can "bearly"wait to use these wonderful books this year. 

Now, I would love to know what you are reading and using in your classrooms and libraries.


  1. LOVE this post, Julee! You always have such creative ideas for displaying books in your library. I adore the glitter hand lesson--genius. My library will now have some extra sparkle this fall. :-) And anything called "cactus fingers" has to be a hit.

    I recently mentioned Tomas and the Library Lady here: part of a post on books with undocumented immigrants. To add to the library theme, I love using Dotti Enderle's The Library Gingerbread Man. I stick laminated gingerbread men in the sections of the library that are mentioned in the book. After reading the story straight through, I have kids see if they can find the gingerbread man in the different sections and bring a book back to the group from that Dewey section.

    Thanks again for sharing!


    1. Thanks Natalie, I opened a tab so I can read your blog post. Also, I will now pirate, I mean borrow, your stick gingerbread man idea. I love librarians, the most generous people in the world, we are all so happy to give all our resources away to each other. I think my Kindergarten teacher will like this idea too. She uses the Gingerbread-man Loose in the School.

  2. Hi there Julee, beary nice poem indeed. Haha.
    Nice to see all these diaries of bugs - a different twist indeed to nonfiction reading.
    I am familiar with Tomas and the Library lady as we had a 'library' theme several months back - very nice picture book! :)
    Thanks for sharing all these.

    1. Thanks Myra. I would like to hear more about your library theme. Do your students have any activities to go with them?

  3. Great post Julee! I especially like the "germy" display. I love how you share a book AND and idea to go with it!

    1. Thanks Gigi, when I see or read a book my mind always goes to "hmm, now what can I use with this?" I appreciate the comment and the visit to Book Egg.

  4. I love the glitter germs idea! Very clever. :)

    Diary of a Worm and Diary of a Spider are such great books. I haven't read Diary of a Fly yet though. I need to get on that.

    1. Thanks Beth. I am having fun getting re-acquainted with the books on my library shelves. Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Great titles! I love your ideas as well. I need to remember to read Bear Feels Sick when our first wave of sniffles comes through. Have you seen the new early reader titles that go with Doreen Cronin's Diary books? (At least I think there's more than one. There might only be one.) I haven't read them yet, but I want to check them out.

    1. Yes, from the "I Can Read" series Diary of a Worm-Teacher's Pet. Looks cute. Here is a link:

  6. Great post! I love using glitter as substitute for germs. They are both impossible to get rid of! The Diary of a ___ books are wonderful. Thanks.

    1. Yes, almost impossible to get out but the kids love having a little bit that still sticks to their fingers. I usually stay away from glitter as much as possible. I don't want to make the cleaning staff angry with a glitter induced vacuum repair.

  7. SO many fun ideas here! I love the idea of letting students bring home part of the plant to grow their own plants. I really love Tomas and the Library Lady and had forgotten about that one. Thanks for sharing. Have a great reading week!

    1. Andrea, I left a question on your blog about Babysitter's Club GN books. If you see this again, please send me a tweet answer @JuleeMurphy

  8. I love your plants! I will have to think about starting something like that.

    1. My newest succulents are amazing. I love the color. My favorites are the ones you can break off a piece and easily transplant. It gives one such confidence as a gardener.

  9. I love your connections to the lessons! What fun! I'll have to try some of these ideas in my library!

    1. I would love to hear about your library. One of my favorite things is getting librarians together to chat about books, displays, and creative lessons. Stay in touch.

    2. Estrellita, I tried to find your blog but it was from 2009. I loved completing the 23 Things Project. I learned so much. Boy that was a long time ago. Ok, if you see this message, then update your blog and let me know your Twitter handle.


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