Getting my Craft On and Mentor Text Monday!

In the summer time, I love Mondays!  I get a chance to link up with two awesome gals.  Tara over at Fourth Grade Frolics totally keeps me motivated to actually be crafty in the summer time, and Jen over at Teach Mentor Texts keeps me on track with all of my summer reading!  Gotta love these ladies.
Earlier this week I found these awesome bins at Hobby Lobby for like $1.00 each on clearance.  

I couldn't pass up a great deal like that, but they didn't match my black, red, and white theme.  So I had to improvise.  Thank you fellow Instagramers who helped me figure out how to add that awesome blue to my decor!
I brought home my book boxes to redecorate.  I bought these last year with some grant money that I had.  Unfortunately, they didn't offer the grant this year, so I had to upcycle and repurpose the ones I had that weren't destroyed.  Can I tell you how much I love duct tape now!  I chose solid red, or solid blue, and then the mustaches or cherry duct tape accent.  I had some left over so when it came down to the final boxes, they were basically a s'morgesboard of what I had left.

I added the converse tags on the front with velcro.  When I get my ELA list, I'll add the names of my smarties there.  We keep these on a bookshelf in my room and they hold our readers, writer's and wordwork notebooks, as well as our books for Read to Self in Daily 3.  I'm pretty happy with the way they turned out.

This week I also managed to squeeze in a picture book and a short novel for upper elementary.  I was planning on reading Gingersnap but I'm not quite finished yet, so that will have to wait for next week.!
The picture book was titled:  Heart of Fire: Susan B Anthony Votes for President by Ann Malaspina.
Here is the summary from Good Reads:
On November 5, 1872, Susan B. Anthony made history--and broke the law--when she voted in the US presidential election, a privilege that had been reserved for men. She was arrested, tried, and found guilty: "The greatest outrage History every witnessed," she wrote in her journal. It wasn't until 1920 that women were granted the right to vote, but the civil rights victory would not have been possible without Susan B. Anthony's leadership and passion to stand up for what was right.

I'm going to ask my school librarian to add this book to our library list.  It contains easy to read factual information about an important local historical figure, and it is a great book to show diary/timeline entry.

The second book I read was Word After Word After Word by Patricia MacLachlan.
Good Reads:
Every school day feels the same for fourth graders Lucy and Henry and Evie and Russell and May. Then Ms. Mirabel comes to their class—bringing magical words and a whole new way of seeing and understanding.

From beloved author Patricia MacLachlan comes an honest, inspiring story about what is real and what is unreal, and about the ways that writing can change our lives and connect us to our own stories—word after word after word.

This book was FABULOUS!  I loved how it told the story of writing.  I have to find a way to use this with my sixth graders even though the students in the book are fourth graders.
It reinforced for me the idea of using amazing stories as mentor texts  YAY!... I also loved how Ms. Mirabel is what I call a "pantser."  She doesn't make an outline for everything she is writing, and she talks to the students in the book about how this is ok.  I think sometimes we get caught up on making our kids use an outline to get started, and then they don't want to write the same way.  Very powerful book in my opinion.

Take some time this week to visit Tara and Jen and read what others have linked about being crafty in the classroom, and reading.  It is an amazing summer!


  1. I love your book boxes. Super crafty! I had not thought of duct tape for reinforcing my magazine files, but I am quite inspired by your idea. What are the Daily 3 that you do? It sounds like you must have updated The Daily 5 for middle school? I will have to look for Word After Word After Word.

  2. You convinced me... I just bought "Word after Word after Word" for my Kindle... and I had sworn I would NOT buy another Kindle book. LOL! This sounds perfect for a read aloud/read along for my sixth graders. Thanks for sharing!

  3. "Word after word after word" looks like a great book. Thanks for suggesting it. Putting it on our read later shelf :)

  4. I had a similar problem with my table caddies from last year. The colors do not match. I am going to try and spray paint them with Krylon Fusion. Apparently it is supposed to stick to plastic. We will see.

    Lessons With Coffee 

  5. I am always on the look out for great children's books. Thank you for sharing Word After Word After Word. I just added it to my list!

    Foreman Teaches

  6. Word after Word after Word looks great and I'd never heard of it! Thank you for sharing.

    Happy reading this week :)


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