Storybook Stem Novels and a FREEBIE

So I really hope you follow me on instagram... because posting a picture is just so much easier than blogging :)

But hey! Did you look around at my new blog design from Megan?!  I love, love, love it! Eventhough my resources are intended for many other grade levels now, I just can't let go of my original blog name with "first grade" in it. It's been with me for about 6 1/2 years soooo it has stuck!

If you are someone who frequents my Facebook or Instagram, then you know that Brooke from Teach Outside the Box have been SO busy the last three weeks or so.  We had lots of interest from readers in expanding our Storybook Stem units to include older learners, specifically 3rd to 5th grade. So Brooke and I looked and gobs of chapter books for a wide range of ability levels. After doing so, we came up with this list of books!


Seriously have you ever seen such a pretty stack of chapter books in your life?!  Imagine all the life lessons contained!  We have now completed Charlotte's Web, Wonder, and Out of My Mind

Each unit contains three STEM challenges and all printable materials needed to dive in deep with your students. Brooke has done such a fantastic job of providing you with vocabulary, planning guides, and much more. 


She has also included Maker Mat options and research opportunities.  We have included a lot of digital options in these units as we know many of our older students have access to technology to demonstrate learning. 
In terms of literacy instruction each unit comes with a color (for digital use) and a bw version chapter guide for comprehension checks.  These questions can also be used to guide class discussions. 

Anchor charts, literacy printables, and writing opportunities are also included!




These novel units have given me the perfect excuse to stick my nose in a book and not emerge for several hours.  I also love being part of a project that combines science and math with  phenomenal literature.  Let Brooke and I know what y'all think! 

I have created a quick freebie to go along with Out of My Mind that you can snag right here! 




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Interactive Notebook Freebie

Hey hey there! I know that many of you are enjoying long and lazy summer days. I also know that many of you are still trucking away in your classrooms and my thoughts are with you! I wanted to give you some extra insight into Rooted in Reading and especially give you an idea of how I set up my interactive notebooks with my students.

If you have NO idea what I am talking about when I say "Rooted in Reading" read THIS POST here to see all about the 2nd grade version.  You can also look at the Bundle or the August unit by itself.  Amy did an amazing job on the previews so we hope that answers a lot of your questions!



If this is your first time using interactive notebooks, having them organized from the beginning can help you avoid a lot of headaches down the line.  Most 8 and 9 yr olds need the extra help with organization (goodness my 34 yr old husband needs a lot of help with organization), and I think these notebooks will be a great way to scaffold this skill!

Step 1: Clearly mark the covers of your notebooks.  We always had several notebooks for different subjects so this helped lessen confusions.  I have included a color and black and white cover that you can print on bright paper if you would like!


Step 2:  Print out tab dividers on Astrobright paper AND laminate.  I promise the laminating step is key to having these bad boys last!



Step 3:  After cutting dividers out use clear packing tape to put your dividers into your notebooks. The order I chose was Anchor Charts, Comprehension Activities, Vocabulary Words, Daily Deep Dive, and Grammar. Before doing this you will want to think about how long you want to use the notebooks.  I personally liked a notebook per semester so I would put enough pages between each divider to get me through the semester!  I also suggest lining up the tabs so only the bold words stick out the side- cover up the cursive word with the clear tape.  If you are using a standard size composition notebook AND all five tabs, you will also need to overlap them a little!



Step 4:  Glue in the book list to the inside of the notebook on the first page.  Either one or two copies depending on how many books you plan on covering using this book.  I LOVE this addition because I think students will love looking back over the list of books that they have so lovingly studied this year.  I also think the genre column is a key component for test-taking skills!


You can find all the materials I used in a freebie found in my store Here!  If you have other great ideas for setting up notebooks, we would love to hear them!  If you are on instagram use our hashtag "RootedinReading3rd" and Amy and I will definitely check you out!

Phew now that we have those kids all set up, we can talk about YOU- the teacher!  My personal favorite way to store my units is in binders.  I spent a couple hours one morning and printed all four weeks of August out.  I went a head and laminated my anchor charts and prepped the nonfiction mini-readers so the students can see an example.  Don't they look pretty?!?!


We even have binder spines for each books so you can feel extra organized!


You can find everything you need for organizing your teacher binders in the freebie below from Amy! 


Other Blog posts you may want to check out to learn more about Rooted in Reading:




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