Sunday, June 30, 2013

Back to School Mentor Text

I can't believe that today is the last day of June! I am thinking that summer needs to slow down, anyone else with me?

I'm excited to link up with Collaboration Cuties to share a mentor text with you. Since summer isn't slowing down, this weeks topic is back to school books. One book that I use during the first week of school is The Hundred Penny Box. 

 The Hundred Penny Box

This book is about a boy named Michael and his Great-great-Aunt Dew. She has a 100 Penny Box that she loves. Each penny represents a year of her life, and there is a story for each year. The book talks about their relationship and the memories Aunt Dew still has at 100 years old.

I like to use this at the start of the year because it is a quick read-only 80ish pages and it is written on a third grade reading level. This means that most students are able to read it at the start of the year without too much help. I normally spread the story out over several days. I read some to them, I ask for volunteers to read aloud (it lets me see who my confident readers are early in the year,) I also have the students read with a partner so that I can walk about and listen to their fluency.

I also have the students create a penny book. Each student brings in a penny for every year of their life. The students brainstorm with their parents something that they have done each year of their life. (I ask them to do this in my welcome to fourth grade letter that goes home a few weeks before school starts.)The students and I work together to create a few sentences based on the information they brought in to school. It allows me to see where my students are as writers and spellers. The students create a picture book of their life in a little over a week. We push to have it ready for Back to School Night. The parents love having something that their child has already made, and I love being able to preassess the students in a nonthreatening way so early in the year.

What are your Back to School books and projects? I'd love to hear what you use!

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  1. Great idea for Back to School Night:). I have a jar of pennies, so I can even provide them. Love it!

  2. Sounds like a lovely book, and you've created a wonderful lesson to connect to it!
    Creating a Thoughtful Classroom

  3. I love the idea for their penny books!! I am so stealing it! :)
    ideas by jivey
    Follow me on Facebook!

  4. ONe of the cutest ideas I've ever neat! Love that it brings the home-school connection!!!
    Tamra and Sarah
    First Grade Buddies

  5. What a great idea! We have copies of that book in our Multiple Copy library, but I had only skimmed the book. I'll have to take a look and see if it would work for sixth graders, because I'd love to try your idea. What a great way to get to know your kids!

  6. I'm ashamed to say I have this book in my classroom and have never read it! Thanks Bethany for giving me a reason to! I love the penny book idea! So jealous you get to send home a letter a few weeks before school!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  7. What a great lesson. :) I'm pinning. Thanks for sharing.
    Creating Lifelong Learners

  8. I do have this book in my classroom library, but only remember reading it once to my class. I am going to dust it off and use it this year. I love the idea of having your students make a penny book and giving it to their parents at back to school night. I will be using this next year! Thank you!

    Foreman Teaches

  9. Such a neat idea! I've never heard of this book, but I'm going to need to find a copy now!
    Polka Dot Lesson Plans

  10. What a cool project. Sounds like something families will want as a keepsake from their child's fourth grade year.
    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a great evening.

    School Is a Happy Place

  11. I have never heard of this book! I love the way that you use the book at the beginning of the year and tie it into you back to school night! What a great idea! Love it!

    Thanks for linking up!
    Collaboration Cuties

  12. I adore this book--and I thank you for sharing how you use it with your kids!

    Have a great week--
    Sarah @ Hoots N Hollers

  13. Love this book but never thought of using it at the start of the year. Thanks for sharing your cool ideas!
    Beach Sand and Lesson Plans

  14. I love this idea!!!!!! Thanks for sharing!