Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Book Talk Tuesday with a Challenge!!

Hey there, so very sorry I'm so late tonight!!  I had some training on the new-to-me Kindergarten Readiness Assessment that we're giving to our kiddos this year, then time just seemed to slip right away from me!!  I've gotta start getting back into 'school mode'...week after next and I'm back to work!!  

Tonight I'd like to link up with Deanna from Mrs. Jump's Class for her Book Talk Tuesday linky party.  If you haven't heard of this AWESOME linky, it is a chance for teachers to get together once a week and share a favorite book.  The book can be of any genre or topic, and freebies are sometimes but not always offered.  However, there are always some GREAT ideas of how to use the book in the classroom, so you should really check out who else linked up!!

I'm going to share two books tonight, and here's my reasons why.  The books came together as a pack, since they fit very well together.  Also, each book is relatively short.  However, don't let the length of these little gems fool you!!  There are TONS of places to stop and have discussions, and these books are very easy to build lessons around.  
These two books came together as a pack from Scholastic and they are from National Geographic Little Kids: Look and Learn.  I LOVE when Nat Geo does kids books, because they always use the brightest, most vibrant photographs.  Not only does each snapshot provide amazing discussion opportunities, but many of them show creatures or places that may be totally unfamiliar to your littles.  My amazing principal makes sure that each kindergarten classroom receives a classroom edition to the National Geographic Young Explorer.  That means every month each student in my room gets an edition of the amazing magazine that we use to follow along as the website READS THE TEXT TO US!!  But that's a post for another day!!

These books are great to use during a math whole group lesson -OR- to have available for students to Read About Math during Guided Math rotations.  The first book we'll look at is 'Shapes!' I could only find them on Amazon as a board book...and a bit pricey one, too.  Over $6.  I also found the board books at for a bit over $4.
Take a look at the cover.  Before you even open the book, there is a great photograph for discussion.  OOHH, before I forget, there are quite a few photographs here that would be GREAT as a writing prompt/topic choice for Work on Writing.  Ask students what they see on the cover, and what they think that shape creation is.  Most of my kinders think it is a playground.  Imagine their surprise when I tell them it's actually building blocks!!  We often have to pause here so I can address the many 'Nuh-uh'-sounds coming from my kinders.  You could challenge students to illustrate a picture like this cover, or share this with your school's Art teacher and see if she could work a lesson like this into her time spent with your kiddos.  

The pages of the book give various photographs of different real-world objects that match the common 2D shapes.  I make sure to point out to my kinders the text features on this page: bold print, all caps, and labels.  Oh, and is it bad that the part of my brain that is still in fourth grade saw that waffle and immediately began thinking of how to use that to teach area?  :)

After each shape page, there is a spread that features a photograph that contains the focus shape.  These pages that appear after the Squares has readers searching the huts for any squares.  This is a great counting opportunity where you can model one-to-one correspondence, or have a student come up and model it for you.  I LOVE that these pages have a little trivia fact.  Am I the only one who finds myself throwing out random bits of trivia during the day?  Whenever we're discussing a topic, I usually hear myself saying "And did you know..."  My kinders are always properly impressed that I know so many things!!  ;-)

While this isn't a shape that we need to assess, there is nothing wrong with teaching them what it is.  Most of them will already know this shape, thanks to Dora (and others).  I like this page because it shows how very different the star shape can be, and I also like this page because it has a picture of star fruit.  Another great discussion opportunity.  

The pages that follow the Stars page show starfish, and I always bring up our field trip to the aquarium when we get to this page.  I also ask them if they have any math observations or questions about this page.  I encourage them to state their observations: there are two blue shells and one orange shell and that's three shells!  

I always stop on this page and say I just LOVE rectangles.  I ask them if they can figure out why..spoiler alert, it's 'cause of the chocolate bar!!

These are the last photograph pages in the book.  There is a list of shapes as well as a plate full of shape cookies.  Not all of the shapes listed on the left page are in this book, however.  This book focuses on the shapes of square, circle, star, triangle, and rectangle.  Also, every district has different requirements of which shapes are taught.  For instance, we don't teach them 'diamond' in our district.  Instead, we teach them 'rhombus'.  Side note, on the cookie plate page, that yellow cookie next to the pink heart looks like more of a kite to me, yes?

You know what they shout out as soon as they see the cover of this book, right??  Still, it's a great time to talk about patterns!!

This book shows different real-world photographs that contain patterns, as well as pages to extend a given pattern.  I like this page because I ask them how they think polka dots are different than spots.

Here I let them come up to the book and point out the different patterns that they find.

I ask them what other animals they can think of that have stripes as patterns, or if they can think of anything else that might have a striped pattern.

Isn't this a gem of a photograph to have a great discussion with your littles??

This is a great page to talk about the different types of patterns as well as the ways we label patterns.  In my class we talk about 'letter names', 'color names', 'number names', or 'word names'.  Side note, I tell my littles that there is a mistake on these pages and if they can find it they get a special treat!!  Can you find the mistake??  First person to comment with the correct answer can choose any $5 or less product from my store!!  :-)

The last few pages of the book have different patterns that the students can practice extending.  They are labeled from Easy to Hardest.

Aren't these little gems great discussion pieces??  Plus there are plenty of cross-curricular lessons and activities that could be planned around these books!!

Don't forget to go back to the linky party and read all about the other books!!


  1. I love the shape book. Did you purchase them from Scholastic or Nat. Geographic? Thanks for sharing!

    Ms. King's Kinders

    1. Aren't these books just great!! The two books sold as a pack through a Scholastic book club sale flyer last year, so that's where I got mine. I looked for them online and couldn't find them in any other form but board books. Hope that helps you!! :-)

  2. Looks like I will be adding these to my collection of math literature! Thanks for sharing

    The Math Maniac

    1. They are great, aren't they?? I LOVE the photographs!! :-) Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving a comment!!