Cam Jansen {Chapter Book Series}

One of my favorite things about teaching second grade is introducing students to chapter books.  It's amazing how empowered those little readers become when they feel like you've handed them a key to a whole new world!  I have so many favorite chapter book series, but today I'm here to focus on super-sleuth, Cam Jansen.

One of my favorite resources for Cam Jansen can be used with any of the books in the series (even the Young Cam Jansen books).  You can spice up your reading group with these response booklets:

The camera response booklet will be a hit with your students!  You can print the templates onto different colored paper to allow the students to design the camera their way.  There are also two options for the title: Cam's Snapshots or My Snapshots.  This fun craft also serves an educational purpose - you can fill your camera booklet with a variety of reading response activities to meet the needs of your students.

There are two options for the pages you can include in the camera craft.  One set of pages is already formatted with specific responses: characters, setting, problem/solution, case notes, favorite part, and a book review.

The second set of pages are more open-ended.  These pages have full writing lines, half picture/half writing lines, or a full picture page to choose from.  You can pick and choose how to use them as you read.  I use these pages for vocabulary work, main idea, visualizing, summaries, and more!

If you don't have time for crafts, you can print out the pages for these Cam Jansen flip books.  You can either use the paper cutter to trim the pages or have your students cut them apart.  Once they are cut you just need to stack & staple and you're ready to go!

Once assembled, the students can complete the work and color the pictures as they read.   

You can find all of these goodies in Cam's Snapshots:

If you're looking for something a bit more directed to monitor comprehension, I've started a collection of book companions for the series:

Each book companion contains comprehension questions for each chapter, vocabulary, a book quiz, and other reading response sheets.  These book companions work well for guided reading groups, book clubs, partner work, and more!  You can check out all of my Cam Jansen resources here.

I've also started a growing bundle of book packs.  Right now, I have 14 book packs completed and will be adding more in time.  The bundle will increase in price as more book packs are added.  By purchasing now, you lock in a lower price and receive all future Cam Jansen packs at no additional charge!  You can find the bundle here.

If your students can't get enough of the Cam Jansen series, you should also check out these two resources:

Here you can find information about the books, learn about the author, David Adler, take some memory quizzes, and more!

This resource is created by Teacher Vision.  It's a 24-page PDF filled with resources for studying the mystery genre, suggestions for discussions while reading Cam Jansen books, and some fun activities, too!

Happy Reading!

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Winter Arts & Crafts for Kids

Little hands have been busy in our house again!

Every month my daughter and browse my Pinterest boards for some arts and crafts projects.  Not only does she get to experiment with new supplies, but it's a great way to spend some one-on-one time with her while her brother naps.  Here are the projects she picked this month.  Keep reading to see what she created!

Stained Glass Mitten
Materials: paper, scissors, wax paper, glue & water mixture, paintbrush, mitten pattern

Her mitten HAD to be pink.  We didn't have any pink tissue paper left in the house, but we happened to go to a birthday party for one of her friends.  There was a ton of pink tissue paper and the mom was kind enough to let us take two sheets which was more than enough to complete the project.

We made a glue and water mixture and brushed the pieces onto wax paper.  We held the mitten template over the pink to make sure we had a large enough area covered.  After it dried, we glued the mitten template to the top and back of the wax paper.

This idea came from Kinder-Craze.

Name Snowman
Materials: paper, markers, scissors, glue

This was one of the fastest and easiest to create.  I drew 6 circles and my daughter cut them out.  She wrote one letter of her name on the circles and glued them together to make a chain.  I drew two rectangles for the hat and she cut those out and glued them together to make the hat.  Finally she drew the face on her snowman.

This project was inspired by Fun-a-Day.

Pattern Snowflake
Materials: paper, scissors, glue

Little Miss wanted her snowflake to be bright and colorful, so she chose pink and yellow papers.  I pre-cut strips of pink and yellow paper.  Then I held them in place and she cut the strips to make the squares and triangles.  She laid out the pattern she wanted on one section of the snowflake.  Once she was happy with that, I drew little dots on it to help guide her glue drops and spacing.  Then she went to work gluing and laying her pattern on the snowflake.

Her snowflake was inspired by this photo over at The First Grade Parade.

Handprint Snowman
Materials: paper, scissors, white paint, sharpies

This was probably my favorite, but it could be because I'm a sucker for handprint crafts!  We did a white handprint on blue paper.  Once it dried, I cut out around the handprint and did a stitched border.  Then I handed the marker over to my daughter and she traced the outlines of the snowmen.  Then it was time to decorate their bodies and give them personalities.

I found this idea on Pinterest.  The link leads to this blog that is written in French (I think).  I took the inspiration from the photos and went from there!

Snowman Drawing
Materials: paper, pencil, markers or crayons

My daughter loves directed drawings as much as I do.  She feels like an artist!  She was very particular about her color choices and insisted on a pattern for the eyes that was black & gold.  She also said she did not want a blue sky since it was snowing and snow is white.  Go figure!

The photo inspiration came from Doodle Bugs Teaching.  However, we ended up using the directions from First Grade Blue Skies.

For the first time since we started doing this each month, she decided she didn't actually want to do three of the projects. All well!  I hope you'll give one of these projects a try with your own children or students.

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February Currently

Welcome to February, folks!
Did you remember to change your calendar this morning?  

Since February is a short month, I'll keep this month's currently short & sweet!

These days our little world revolves around building a new house and keeping up with the little ones.  I dream of lazy days (ha!) and fresh air because we are in the cold & rainy season which limits our outdoor time.  My kids thrive on days when we get to play outside so they can run, jump, and squeal with delight (even if it means we deal with runny noses for days after).  

I've taken on some big projects for February which include changing my product covers to squares and planning my daughter's 5th birthday party.  Let's just hope I keep my sanity through both!

What are you up to this month?  Head over to Farley's blog to check out her new look and see what everyone else is up to!
Oh Boy It's Farley

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