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No Talking Contest {Boys vs. Girls}

Have you ever read the book No Talking by Andrew Clements?
It's a funny and relatable story about a group of 5th graders who go head-to-head in a battle to see who (girls or boys) can speak the fewest amount of words in two days. In the end, they learn about the importance of thinking before you speak. And doesn't every upper elementary class need to learn that lesson? ;)

You can find this book on amazon, at Barnes and Noble or other book stores, or at your local library. I am not affiliated with this author or book. I just enjoy the book and wanted to create a packet that teachers could easily use in their classroom.

I have always taught the novel Frindle to my 5th graders (you can read more about that here) and last year my kiddos loved the writing style so much I decided to build on their enthusiasm and read another Andrew Clements book. I chose No Talking and to say they loved it would be an understatement! They connected with the characters right away, thought the "no talking challenge" was genius, and learned some important lessons along the way. Sounds like a win-win-win to me!

Throughout the novel study we did a variety of activities to keep the students involved and engaged. As we read the students filled out chapter summary pages for every chapter:
(I've included answer keys for every chapter)
 and cause and effect graphic organizers (for every 5 chapters)
We also noted important character details for each of the main characters (Dave, Lynsey, and Mrs. Hiatt)
We kept track of all the characters (school stories always have a lot) on this graphic organizer:
To hold the students accountable for their reading, I also gave them little quizzes every few days (every 5 chapters) that tested their story recall and comprehension.
We discussed important vocabulary words as we read:
I've included 4 vocabulary word cards for every chapter (80 total) plus some blank cards for you to use if you'd like to include additional words to study.

After the story we completed some interactive notebook foldables in our reading notebook:
Some of my students' favorite things were the extension activities we did after we finished the novel:
Just like Dave, the students researched Mahatma Gandhi:
They worked in pairs to write a funny story, switching off every three words:
And, of course, they had their own No Talking content, boys vs. girls:

We also held debates where the students discussed important topics, 3-words-at-a-time:
And we had a whole class period where the students communicated only by passing notes, just like the students in Mr. Burton's class:

As you can see, we were really invested in the story by the time we finished our unit! The students loved our study and talked about the novel all year long (which is hilarious since it's about not talking!)

If you're looking for a novel study to do with your 5th graders, I highly recommend No Talking by Andrew Clements. And to simplify your lesson planning, you can download my print-and-go 130 page novel study - the perfect supplement to a study of the book, whether you're doing it as a whole-class, a small group (i.e. reading groups or literature circles), or as an individual project. Complete answer keys are included.

Here's a sampling of all that's included:

You can download the preview document for the complete Table of Contents and a list of the Common Core and ELAR TEKS (Texas) standards that are met in this packet.

Ready to simplify your lesson planning?

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If you use this resource in your classroom, I'd love to hear about it! E-mail me to be featured on my blog!

Adventures in Tot School: Hammering in Styrofoam

Hello friends!
Welcome to another exciting installment in our Tot School Adventures!
Adventures in Tot School #3:
Hammering in Styrofoam
Here's what you need:
*Styrofoam (I used the top of a styrofoam cooler)
*golf tees (I bought a big pack at Wal-Mart for $3.88
*toy hammer
*hard hat optional :)
My little munchkin channeled his inner Bob the Builder today and practiced hammering nails. 
First he pushed the "nails" (golf tees) into the styrofoam:
 Then he used his hammer to push them further into the styrofoam.
 He kept saying, "more! more!" and "hammered" off and on all morning. He was so proud of his building and can't wait to show Daddy when he comes home!

Today's activity was a big hit - when planning fun and engaging activities this one really hit the nail on the head. (sorry, couldn't resist!)

Stay tuned for more Tot School ideas!

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Check out our previous Tot School activities:

Introduce Your Selfie! A Get-to-Know-You Booklet for BTS

Take time the first day of school for your students to introduce themselves with this fun and engaging resource: >>Introduce Your Selfie!<< 
This print-and-go resource includes 8 selfie pages for the students to complete about themselves. 
The pages are easy for students to complete on their own – they need to answer the prompts and draw a picture (if applicable). 
When they are complete you can have your students present their booklets as a way to get to know their new classmates. You can even complete one about yourself! The completed booklets make an excellent bulletin board or hallway display.

The resource includes three different formats for you to choose from, depending on the grade level you're working with, and the amount of space you have to display this project. The options are small (4 per page), medium (2 per page), or large (1 per page)
The eight selfie pages include:
1. Introduce Your Selfie (cover page)
2. #My Family
3. #Favorites
4. #Goals
5. #When I Grow Up
6. #My Hobbies
7. #Ways I Can Be a Friend
8. #Something I Want My Teacher to Know About Me

Selfies are all the rage right now - your upper elementary students will love this activity. Plus it will provide you with something meaningful for the students to do while you're taking care of the general business of the first day(s) of school. Sounds like a win-win to me! :)

Visit my TPT store to purchase this print-and-go packet: Introduce Your Selfie
Simplify your lesson planning today - you'll thank yourself later! 

You can also pin this idea for later:

If you use this resource in your classroom, I'd LOVE to hear about it! Send me an e-mail at joyinthejourneyteaching@yahoo.com and I'll feature you on my blog.

Adventures in Tot School: Mess-Free Painting

Our Tot School adventures continued this week - My little Michelangelo wanted to paint! 

But painting + toddlers = big mess, right? 
Well, not necessarily! 
This week we honed our artistic skills with mess-free painting!

Adventures in Tot School #2:
Mess-Free Painting
Here's what you need:
*Construction paper (dark colors work best)
*sponge paint brush - you can get a big pack of these for only a few dollars at Michaels or Amazon (http://amzn.to/2txeivo)
*cup of water

Let your toddler dip their paint brush in the water and "paint" on the construction paper! The water will cause dark streaks to appear, as if putting colorful paint on the paper. And voila! Mess-free painting!
This happy boy painted for almost half an hour (which in toddler time is an eternity, am I right?)
Our second week of Tot School was a success! It was fun, engaging, and provided this brand new 2-year-old with some fun fine motor and painting practice, all with no mess!

Stay tuned for more of our Adventures in Tot School!

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Check out last week's Tot School activity: Fine Motor Skills with Foam Blocks
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