MRR Product Feature: Ruby Lee & Me

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Here is a brand new novel study for grades 3-5 for Ruby Lee & Me by Shannon Hitchcock. It has everything you need to cover this book in your classroom–NO PREP REQUIRED!

Ruby Lee & Me is a sweet story about friendships, sibling love, prejudice, and race relations.  The story is set in North Carolina in 1969 and is loosely based on the author’s own experiences from her childhood.

In Ruby Lee & Me we meet Sarah, a twelve-year-old girl whose younger sister, Robin, is seriously injured after being hit by a car. Sarah is devastated. She can’t bring herself to tell her parents the awful truth that Robin’s accident was her fault.

Sarah’s best friend is Ruby Lee, a black girl whom she has known her whole life. Though the races are segregated in the sleepy North Carolina town, Sarah and Ruby Lee’s friendship is strong. They enjoy playing together and share each other’s secrets. The schools are being integrated and the girls are excited to be going to the same school in the fall. Not only are the students being integrated, but the teachers are being integrated too. Sarah’s class will have the school’s first black teacher. The town is abuzz with the news. Everything in Sarah’s world seems to be changing. One day Sarah calls Ruby Lee a horrible name (the N word, though it is not used in the book) and their friendship is shaken to its core.

The arrival of Mrs. Smyre, the new black teacher, helps Sarah try to make things right, knowing that her world has been forever changed.

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BOOK FACTS:

  • ages 8-12
  • Lexile score: 590
  • 224 pages

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This 100+ page book unit contains everything that you will need to cover Ruby Lee & Me in your classroom, including:

  • Student Worksheet Packet
  • “Mark My Words” Vocabulary Bookmarks
  •  Word/Definition Cards for Matching Game
  • Word Wall Cards
  • Character Study Graphic Organizer
  • Character Compare & Contrast Graphic Organizer
  • Story Map Graphic Organizer
  • Dice Game – students must answer content questions
  • 6 Section Quizzes
  • Vocabulary Quiz
  • Final Exam (asks students to summarize novel along with M/C questions)
  • Student Research Projects
  • Complete Answer Key
  • CCSS Checklist of Standards covered for Reading, Writing, and Language for grades 3-5
MRR Product Feature: Ruby Lee & Me

MRR Product Feature: Readers Theater Script: The Little Red Hen Learns About St. Patrick’s Day

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This product feature is an exciting one for My Reading Resources. It is the first that features our new and updated styling!

Do you use readers’ theaters in your classroom? They can be so much fun! They help to engage students in the reading and are great for practicing expressiveness, intonation, and inflection and for improving fluency.

The Little Red Hen Learns About St. Patrick’s Day features a new spin on the classic Little Red Hen story. Instead of trying to persuade her friends to help her make bread, the Little Red Hen learns about St. Patrick’s Day traditions from a new Irish friend.

This readers’ theater features:

  • 7 separate speaking parts
  • 6-8 minute reading time
  • Flesch-Kincaid level 2.8

This readers’ theater also includes pictures on page 2 can be cut apart. Students can color them and staple them to strips of construction paper to make character headbands to wear as they perform. They could also be taped to Popsicle sticks and held up for the audience to see instead of making headbands.

Have fun! Hope this brings “the luck o’ the Irish” to your classroom!

MRR Product Feature: Readers Theater Script: The Little Red Hen Learns About St. Patrick’s Day

In Honor of Black History Month

My Alma Mater Was Books

“My alma mater was books, a good library…. I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.”      ~ Malcolm X

Malcolm X was a controversial member of the civil rights movement, but these words of his can inspire us all.  Many notable people throughout our history were self-directed learners who gained knowledge through reading:  Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Franklin, and many others.  As a teacher, it was my desire to inspire a love of reading and a love of learning in my students… perhaps this poster can inspire some of your students!

Download my free poster here!

 

 

In Honor of Black History Month

Time to Regroup: Lessons Learned

My Reading Resources has been in business for five years now. But only recently has social media become a part of that business. Going in, I had a rough idea of what I wanted to do to supplement and promote what I was doing on Teachers Pay Teachers. After a few months, there have been a few lessons learned.

  1. Stores/Sellers have different audiences: My Reading Resources specializes in reading materials (book and story units, readers’ theaters, etc.). As such, my customers come to my store looking for specific materials, such as a book unit on a book that they have already planned to use in their classroom. They aren’t looking to find a store that they can make their one stop shop and come back to over and over again (though producing a product that teachers love will certainly help make subsequent sales easier). Most teachers that buy from My Reading Resources simply want to find a quality product that aligns with their specific lesson plans, buy it, and start teaching.
  2. These highly specific buyers are less likely to give feedback, rate products, or follow my store. This is something that I learned after looking at a list of sellers in my state.  Amazingly, I am the #8 best all-time seller in my state!  But, sadly, my “Votes” are quite low. The stores right above and below me have almost twice as many votes as mine. Theirs have roughly 1,100 votes, while my store has 638. What does that mean? I’m still trying to wrap my brain around all of this, but I think this is telling me that my buyers just aren’t taking the time to rate my products. I get it–we are all busy. And if my buyers are only occasional TpT shoppers, popping in a few times a year to find something for a specific new need, TpT’s incentives for rating products just aren’t significant enough for them to take the time to do it.
  3. My buyers don’t care about free products or giveaways. They just want to get what they came for and get back to teaching.
  4. My buyers DO care about relevant resources to the material they are looking for.  While there has basically been zero interest in my $50 TpT gift card giveaway, I’ve had quite a few buyers click on links to blog posts focusing on a particular material that I am selling.

So…what next? Time to regroup. Though it is hard to truly learn from your buyers when you can’t actually interact with them (which was the goal of the Year of Giveaways–to build a following on Facebook so that I could learn more about what my buyers wanted), you can learn some by studying their habits. Based on the habits of my buyers, this is the new list of goals for this year:

  1. Improve my products.  I want to wow my buyers with their purchases.  I want to make materials that engage students and get them excited about reading. I want to make teachers feel as though they have purchased something that they will go back to year after year. I want to make materials that stand out among the rest in order to encourage buyers to leave feedback or to remember My Reading Resources they next time they are shopping for materials.  To do this I am going to:
    • Put more of a focus on styling my materials. It’s time to dress up my materials with a more polished and professional look.
    • Add pages that clearly define CCSS tie-ins.  Looking at other sellers, it seems that this is a really important item for buyers.
    • Make edits and improvements to my existing materials to ensure that they are the best they can be.
  2. Write more blog posts for each of the items in my store.  If teachers are clicking on these links to my blog, then I need to do more of them and I need to make sure they are top-notch. Not only will these posts promote the book and my products, but I will also seek to include other free resources to complement their lessons (videos, basic lesson plans, activities, etc.)
  3. Cancel the Year of Giveaways.  There simply wasn’t any interest to speak of (there has been 1 entry for January). I will honor the giveaway for January and award the prize, but there is simply no point in continuing. It’s just not what my buyers want.

So, after this post, it may be a little quiet around here for awhile.  Rest assured, though, My Reading Resources will be hard at work behind the scenes.  After the framework for the product improvements is in place, the blog posts will start up again, this time focusing on the books used in conjunction with my products.

 

Time to Regroup: Lessons Learned

Happy New Year!

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Image courtesy of Tanya3597 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

 

Welcome to 2016! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season and made some special memories with those you love.  I hope you had at least a few moments to kick back, relax, and enjoy a little bit of magic this holiday season.

Winter break is coming to an end, but My Reading Resources has some great news that is sure to cheer you up! This year My Reading Resources is giving back.  This year is going to be a Year of Giveaways!!! There will be a new giveaway each month in 2016.  There will also be discounts, special offers, and mini-prizes given throughout the year.

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To kick off the Year of Giveaways, My Reading Resources is giving away something that every teacher can use–a $50 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card!

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED.

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All you have to do is visit my Facebook page.  Like the January Year of Giveaways post AND leave a comment letting me know what grade(s) you are teaching, and, if applicable, what subject(s) you teach. Be sure and Like my page so you don’t miss out on special deals, discounts, and, of course, more prizes! If you’re not on Facebook, but still want to enter, simply like and comment on this blog post.

The contest runs from 12:00a.m. CST on January 1, 2016 until 11:59p.m. CST on January 31, 2016. A winner will be randomly chosen from all forms of entry and will be announced on my Facebook page within 48 hours. The winner will win one Teachers Pay Teachers gift card with a prize value of $50.  See here for a complete listing of the official rules.

THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW ENDED.

Happy New Year!

MRR Product Feature: Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World

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Today I’m featuring one of my most popular products, my nonfiction book unit for Jennifer Armstrong’s Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World. The book is perfect for a January book study; it’s set in the coldest, harshest environment on earth–Antarctica.

Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World tells the incredible true story of Ernest Shackleton and his team of 27 intrepid scientists and sailors as they sailed from England with the intention of being the first to cross the frozen continent of Antarctica on foot. As you might suspect from the title, though, all does not go according to plan.  Their ship, Endurance, gets stuck in the icy waters before Shackleton and his team can make it to land.

What happens Shackleton and his crew after the shipwreck? I’m not going to spoil the story for you by giving you a timeline of the unbelievable events that transpired, but I will say that (as you might have guessed) there are survivors that lived to tell the tale of this amazing adventure.

Jennifer Armstrong did an excellent job with this book.  The tale is based off of the journals of the crew members and the text is peppered with quotes from Shackleton and his crew. A photographer was among Shackleton’s crew, and his black and white photos help bring the harshness and desperation of the story to life. Shipwreck was the recipient of the following awards:

  • ALA Best Books for Young Adults–WINNER 2000
  • ALA Notable Children’s Book–WINNER 1999
  • NCTE Orbis Pictus Award for Outstanding Nonfiction for Children–WINNER 1999
  • Illinois Rebecca Caudill Young Readers Award–NOMINEE 2002

 

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BOOK FACTS:

  • ages 8-14
  • Lexile score: 1090
  • 144 pages

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My accompanying book unit has everything that you need for an in-depth study of the book. The 157 page unit includes:

  •   a 60+ page student packet with questions for each chapter to answer and discuss
  •   anticipation guide
  •  vocabulary bookmark while reading
  •   animal sort graphic organizer: sort mammals & birds
  •   crossword puzzles to reinforce vocabulary
  •   vocabulary matching quiz
  •   whole-book final quiz
  •   explore text structure activity
  •   explore theme activity
  •   pictures of the crew for interactive bulletin board, instructions included
  •   graphic organizer of words to describe ice
  •   link to current events: 33 miners were trapped underground in Chile in 2010. Have students read about their situation and compare it to Shackleton’s. A movie about the miners came out in 2015. Watch it and compare!
  •   team-building activity— Students must  accomplish by communicating nonverbally
  •   survival activity – student must do some critical thinking to choose things to take with them or to discard that will help them survive
  •  sextant activity – students can make a sextant and,  as homework, find the North Star and figure out their latitude
  •   list of websites to extend learning, including videos on YouTube of the PBS’s show about Shackleton
  •   suggested fictional short story with similar situation/theme for students to read/compare text features, theme development, etc.
  •  Teacher answer keys included!

This is such a wonderful heroic winter tale–you and your students sure to love it!

MRR Product Feature: Shipwreck at the Bottom of the World