Sunday, November 17, 2013

Julia Cook Blog Hop and a FREEBIE

What's my blog topic today?  JULIA COOK books!  She has to be one of my favorite authors.  I thought I owned everyone of her books, but it looks like there are a couple more that I need to buy.  Why do I like her books?  They are REAL!  They are RELEVANT! They help me TEACH social skills to my students.  These social skills are crucial to classroom management, which also impacts academic learning.

I am joining up with Laura Candler at Corkboard Connections for a blog hop about Julia's wonderful books.  So which book did I choose? Personal Space Camp!  How many of you have students or your own children who need to learn about staying in their space? ME!!! Actually, most children do at one time or another.

Julia takes this learning opportunity to introduce us to Louis, a space expert.  He loves learning about space.  The only problem is that he has a hard time recognizing personal boundaries and staying in his own space.  However, his school has a solution for situations just like this:  SPACE CAMP!  And Louis is so excited that he is going to space camp after his teacher refers him to it.

Julia takes us through Louis' journey to "Space Camp" teaching valuable lessons that all children need. The book is humorous and thought provoking, giving specific visuals to help educators teach this valuable social skill.

So how do I use Personal Space Camp in the classroom?  We brainstorm a list of what we think the book might be about basing this on the cover illustrations and title.  I read the book all the way through the first time.  But it doesn't stop there.  I take each lesson that Louis learns at Space Camp and do a different mini-lesson each day with my class just like Louis does.  Personal Space Camp sets the stage for these mini-lessons.  Brilliant!  We build an anchor chart to help us become more aware of what our personal space "looks like," "sounds like," and "feels like."

We model personal space at:

Group Time
Learning Centers
Literacy Centers
Math Centers
Writer's Workshop
Walking in a LINE (YES!)
Going down the slide at recess (a MUST)

I've always taught my students about the space bubble that is around them. This book helps support that topic of a "space bubble."  I wrote two songs to reinforce this concept for young students.  You can grab this FREEBIE HERE.  This one is to the tune, "POP Goes the Weasel."

This adorable clipart is by Krista Wallden at Creative Clips.
The cute fonts are by Kimberly Geswein from KG Fonts.
Julia Cook is a former school counselor.  She's walked the walk right there with us.  I guess that's why her books resonate so well with me.  When I open one of her books, it's like having an extra school counselor on site, ready to help me tackle the social challenges of teaching.  

Continue on over to the blog hop at Corkboard Connections to learn more about the other books by Julia Cook.  My students have always loved them.  I am sure yours will too.

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