The Friendly Teacher is celebrating her blog launch with a giveaway! 
A few of her bloggy friends have donated some amazing products! Click on the images below to head over to her blog and enter! This giveaway ends Thursday, so be sure to enter soon!

Good luck and have an amazing week! :)
Hello and welcome to our Growing Readers and Writers with Mentor Texts Link Up and Giveaway! We are excited you are here, and hope you enjoy our spring book suggestions, lesson ideas, and freebies! We've definitely got you covered for spring! 
Be sure to visit the other bloggers participating in this link up. You will see everyone's blog located at the bottom of this post. There are K-2 and 3-6 resources. Be sure to save each blogger's secret word to enter our giveaway! 
I choose All the Places to Love by Patricia MacLachlan as my mentor text. It is a beautiful story about a boy who lives with his parents and grandparents in the country. It opens with his birth, then continues to poetically detail the special places around his home that he and each member of his family love most, ending with the birth of his baby sister. 
I first read it to my class about 12 years ago. I had just returned to the classroom after taking a year off following the birth of my second child. I hadn't previewed the book before reading it to my students, only heard it was amazing from our school librarian. The words were so beautifully written and poetic. I was missing my girls so much, that by the time I was finished reading the story, I was a sobbing mess! 
When I read it to my class every year, they are moved. Boys and girls will murmur "Awww... that's so sweet!" aloud at the particularly moving moments in the story. I tell them that's precisely why I love this book! There are actually many reasons, but the one I want them to ensure they leave with is understanding the power of words. Even in a short picture book, words can move us. I also tell them to borrow what they learn from this mentor text and practice using powerful, descriptive language in their own writing. 
Before reading All the Places to Love aloud to my students, I pass out a few sticky notes to them. I ask the students to write anything that appeals to them or anything they notice about the story on their sticky notes. They can write memorable language, a connection they have, or anything else relating to the story. When I'm finished reading, I ask each of them to bring up their sticky notes and post them around the poster I have ready for them. We discuss what they wrote on their notes, and I point out the sensory language, similes, metaphors, personification, compound words, and vocabulary as we are discussing their findings. (There are so many teachable moments with this mentor text!) I let the students' observations drive our discussion. 
Next, I have the students take out their Writing Notebooks. As a class, we brainstorm and discuss some of their favorite places. Then I ask students to make a list of the places they love. They always want to begin writing details about their favorite places, but I tell them this is just a list to get ideas to write about. After about ten minutes, I ask them to circle the one that is their favorite. Sometimes it's difficult for students to narrow it down to just one place, but I tell them they can write about their other favorite places another time.  
After students have narrowed down their list to one favorite place, I give them the a Describing My Favorite Place organizer. We review the author's use of sensory details, and I encourage students to write down all of the sensory details they can think of that relate to their favorite places. When they are finished with that, I give them a second organizer to document memories of their favorite place. These two organizers help get them ready to write the rough drafts of their descriptive pieces.  

As an extension, students write a descriptive piece about their favorite place using their graphic organizers to refer to as they write. We go through all of the steps of the writing process, and students complete their final drafts on the writing papers I include in the freebie file. 
You can click on the picture below to grab your freebie! I hope you find this story as wonderful as I have over the years!
This freebie file is part of a larger file that includes spring themed reading and writing graphic organizers that can be used with any picture book and a bonus unit for All the Places to Love with additional activities. You can click on the images below to see this file. 
Pin for Later
Click on the image below to download and keep track of each blogger's mystery word. My mystery word is meadow. Thank you so much for stopping by, and good luck! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I wanted to share a St. Paddy's freebie that I made last year, but recently updated. But first, I have a story to share.  
I'm on Spring Break this week, and I spent the beginning of the week searching for Wilton's Color Mist in gold. It was sold out at every Joann's and Michaels I went to, and I couldn't find it anywhere online! I really wanted to make some of the gold Oreo's for my kiddos for St. Paddy's Day that I saw floating around on Pinterest. (Our class Leprechaun always leaves something!) I finally scored three cans that were hidden in a box on the top shelf at Joann's! 
I was ecstatic and rushed home to make a few prototypes! I sprayed the edible gold spray onto the first cookie, and I was shocked at the smell from the spray! It smelled like actual paint! I tasted a small piece, and it was bitter and burned my mouth!  Even if this stuff is edible, I can't give it to my students knowing what it tastes like! (Who knows what's actually in it!) I took the unopened cans back to Joann's and resorted to Plan B. (We are used to that as teachers, right?)
So here below is my Plan B. Instead of our Leprechaun leaving us golden cookies, we will get a bowl Skittles, Rolos, and pencils. We are going to "Leprechaun" our classroom neighbors with the extra candy in the bowl. Click on the picture below if you would like to "Leprechaun" your class or school! Included are directions and printables in color and blackline. 
How do you celebrate St. Paddy's Day in your classroom? We will check our Leprechaun traps and see if we caught any of those sneaky guys. And they always leave tiny green footprints around the classroom. And what about these adorable Leprechaun hats? We have to play a few of these St. Paddy's Minute to Win It games for sure! They loved the Valentine's games we played. My friend Lisa from PAWSitively Teaching has more great ideas for St. Paddy's Day here! We also have some great St. Paddy's and Spring ideas in our Pick 3 Linky here
I especially love sharing special days with the kids and helping to create the magic! These are the days they will remember and carry with them!

Welcome to the March edition of Pick 3! There have been so many great ideas shared in the previous Pick 3 linkys, and I know March will not disappoint! This is such a busy month with so many holidays and activities to celebrate! Leap Day, Read Across America, St. Patrick's Day, and Easter all in one month! We hope you find some new ideas and inspiration to get you through this crazy month! Here are my three favorites for March:
Click on the Photo Above to See the Original Pin
I have a fun St. Paddy's Day planned for the kiddos- full of Leprechaun traps, St. Paddy's ELA Centers, and Lucky Charms Math. The kids would be so excited to get these Lucky Charms Magic Much packs left on their desks from the Leprechaun! Bakerella created these, and she has some pretty amazing treat ideas on her blog! Be sure to check her out if you haven't already- she was the first person I ever saw make a cake pop!  
Click on the Photo Above to See the Original Pin
I'm still amazed by this one! You can leave little Leprechaun footprints in your classroom with a little paint or a stamp pad and your fist! Last year the kids were amazed by the little green footprints left all over the classroom. I was amazed to see how easy it was to create tiny footprints! I had been searching for a tiny foot stamp, and this was so easy (and fun) to do.
Click on the Photo Above to See the Original Pin
We are beginning our plant unit in April, so these would be perfect (and hilarious!) to grow grass hair for each kiddo. How cute would these be growing in the window?

Be sure to check out and follow my Pinterest board! And don't forget to click on the other amazing bloggers who have joined us this month!
Visit Marissa's profile on Pinterest.
Come Pin with Us! 
This linky is hosted on the third of each month. We would love for you to join us! 
1.  Save the Pick 3 images to your desktop.
2.  Create a blog post using these images to share you 3    
     Pinterest Picks for the month.
3.  Share a link to your full Pinterest page if you would like.
4.  Link up by clicking the "add your link" button below.
5.  Be sure to check out the other Pinterest finds that have 
     been shared and leave a comments on the ones you love!

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