April Showers Bring...Reading Hours! Book Project for ANY Book

Living in Seattle, I am no stranger to rain.
But it's okay - we're used to it. 
We've learned to look at the bright side:



Because rain is a "fact of life" around here, I like to incorporate rain-themed activities into my lesson planning each spring. As I was writing my April lesson plans, I finished my April Fool's Day plans (which you can read about here) and I started thinking about the phrase "April showers bring May flowers" - and that's when I decided to put a little spin on the common adage:
April Showers Bring May Flowers Reading Hours!

We all know the adage "April Showers Brings May Flowers" - well this is a fun twist on the expression that can be used to motivate students to read and deepen their comprehension and re-telling skills.  "April Showers Bring...Reading Hours" is a fun and engaging resource that includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a project that can be used with ANY BOOK! (picture book or chapter book). Created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey

"April Showers Bring...Reading Hours" is an engaging resource that includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a project that can be used with ANY BOOK! (picture book or chapter book) and is the perfect thing to motivate students to read and deepen their comprehension and re-telling skills.

First of all, your students need to pick a book.
Here are some of my favorite spring-related picture books:
And here are some chapter books I've read recently that would be great for the middle grades:

Then, once they've read the book, they fill out the raindrop report booklet.
The project asks your students to create a raindrop booklet that assesses their reading comprehension and understanding of basic story elements. The pages include:
1. Cover
2. Setting
3. Main Characters
4. Retelling: Beginning
5. Retelling: Middle
6. Retelling: End
7. My Favorite Part
8. Problem/Solution
9. Theme
10. Something New I Learned
11. My Rating of the Book (1-5 stars) and Why

And to make your life easier, the packet also includes a rubric for the teacher to use when grading the project.

Note: There are two versions of the raindrop booklet included– half-size and full-page.



This would make an excellent bulletin board display! Each year I would display the booklets in the hallway and then, once taken down, I would put them in a special bin in our classroom library - 
it was a wonderful way for the students to get book recommendations from their classmates. 


Visit my TPT store to purchase this print-and-go packet: April Showers Bring Reading Hours Book Project

Or you can pin this idea for later:
We all know the adage "April Showers Brings May Flowers" - well this is a fun twist on the expression that can be used to motivate students to read and deepen their comprehension and re-telling skills.  "April Showers Bring...Reading Hours" is a fun and engaging resource that includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a project that can be used with ANY BOOK! (picture book or chapter book). Created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey

Happy April! :)

Testing Miss Malarky - Take the Stress out of the Standardized Test


This print-and-go resource supplements your reading of the book Testing Miss Malarky, a humorous and ironic story about standardized testing. A must-read in every classroom! Resource created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey
The Standardized Test can be an anxiety-filled time for many students - and their teachers! Testing Miss Malarky by Judy Finchler is a humorous story about a school preparing for THE TEST! The ironic plot will have your students chuckling - and it will open up the floor for a discussion about how to prepare for the test without being overwhelmed.
Here's the synopsis: Teachers, students, and even parents are preparing for THE TEST-The Instructional Performance Through Understanding (IPTU) test-and the school is in an uproar. Even though the grown-ups tell the children not to worry, they're acting kind of strange. The gym teacher is teaching stress-reducing yoga instead of sports in gym class. Parents are giving pop quizzes on bedtime stories at night. The cafeteria is serving "brain food" for lunch. The kids are beginning to think that maybe the test is more important than they're being led to believe. Kids and adults alike will laugh aloud as Finchler and O'Malley poke fun at the commotion surrounding standardized testing, a staple of every school's year.

You can buy Testing Miss Malarky on Amazon - it's even Prime eligible! {Hello free 2-day shipping!} or check it out from your local library.

If you don't have the book, you can show your kids this video from YouTube of a teacher reading the story:

Then, as a follow-up to reading the book, I have created a 25-page print-and-go resource that will assess your students' comprehension, challenge them, and open up the floor for a discussion about how to prepare for the test without being overwhelmed.
This print-and-go resource supplements your reading of the book Testing Miss Malarky, a humorous and ironic story about standardized testing. A must-read in every classroom! Resource created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey
This packet is chocked-full of fun and engaging activities - graphic organizers, vocabulary, cause an effect, journal entries, and much more! 

This resource is student-tested and teacher-approved! Here's what teachers are saying:

Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store to purchase this packet and make your lesson planning a breeze! ---> https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Testing-Miss-Malarky-Book-Activities-1201053 


Our Fairy Tale Nursery




Exciting news: Two weeks ago we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family! World, please welcome our sweet Felicity:

She is quickly proving to be the world's easiest, sweetest baby - and we are so in love! Big Brother is adjusting well - although he's proving to be an over-achiever and seems to be hitting the lovely "terrible twos" a few months early ;)

I wanted to pop in quickly and share some photos of Felicity's nursery - we chose a once-upon-a-time/fairy tale theme!

Most of the decor was either crafted by me (and my handy-dandy Cricut!) or pieced together from several treasure-hunting trips to different stores. If you have a specific question about where I found something, please let me know :)

  

 


Ta-da! While Felicity doesn't exactly appreciate all of my hard work and effort, it was so much fun decorating her fairy tale land - and it brings a smile to my face every time I walk in. It definitely makes the 2am wake-up calls *slightly* more pleasant :)

FREE Ideas for Celebrating OPPOSITE DAY {January 25}

Good-bye teachers!
Sad similar night no one!

While that may read like a bunch of gibberish - it isn't! I'm practicing for National Opposite Day! :)
You see, that's how I greet my kiddos every year on Opposite Day - which happens every year on January 25th. 

So what I'm really saying to them is:
Hello students!
Happy Opposite Day everyone!

Get it? :)

As a 5th grade teacher, one of my goals was to engage my students to such a degree that they wanted to come to school each day. One way of maximizing student engagement without compromising learning time was creating packets that capitalized on their interests and let them have FUN while developing and practicing important skills.

Here is one of those packets:
January 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the Journey
National Opposite Day (yes, it is a real thing) is coming up! This year it's Wednesday, January 25th. Carve out some extra time to have {structured} fun with your students. It will be a day they won't soon forget! 

This *FREE* packet includes a poster to hang on your door as well as some ideas for celebrating Opposite Day in the classroom/home.
January 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the Journey
January 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the Journey


It also includes 5 activity pages that will stretch their imaginations while reviewing important skills.

1."My Opposite Age" asks students to imagine that the numbers in their age have been switched!  They must write a journal entry about what their life is now like – and include a picture!. (For example if they are 06 years old, they pretend that they’re 60! If they’re 12 years old, they pretend they’re now 21.) Note: If they’re 11 years old, they can choose to be 1 or 110 :)
January 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the Journey
2. "Antonyms are Amazing" gives students practical experience with opposites - antonyms!
January 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the JourneyJanuary 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the Journey
3. "An Opposite Adventure" tells a strange story - the students must read it and switch out the underlined words for their opposites - and re-write the story so it makes sense.
January 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the JourneyJanuary 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the Journey
 4. "A Day of Opposites" is a creative writing prompt that asks students to write about a day they have in which EVERYTHING is OPPOSITE
January 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the Journey
And finally, 5. "Opposite Learning" gives kiddos some practice with basic skills - but with an OPPOSITE twist :)
January 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the Journey
This was good practice, even for my 5th graders - they were a little rusty on their alphabet and basic math facts. It's good to brush up every now and again :)

You can download this packet for FREE here:
January 25th is National Opposite Day! Engage your elementary students with these FREE fun-filled learning activities to celebrate this silly holiday! Blog post and resource created by Jessica Lawler at Joy in the Journey
If you download this packet and use it in your classroom, please come back and leave feedback! It helps me to hone my craft and provides helpful information to other shoppers :)

Looking for other activities to use in the classroom in the coming weeks? Check out these student-tested and teacher-approved products to simplify your lesson planning!

Sad similar night no one! :)