Loving Literacy Blog Hop

Welcome to...
Welcome to the Loving Literacy blog hop!  This is my first time joining up with this amazing group of reading specialists, coaches, and teacher bloggers.  I am so excited because there are lots of literacy themed materials coming your way (and mine)!  They all go with my favorite thing of all...children's books!  Each blogger is giving away a product to use with one of their favorite books.  In addition, we are all going to share our stories about how we became passionate about literacy.  I hope you enjoy the hop and all the materials you pick up along the way.
I was the child who LOVED to read.  I devoured the Babysitter's Club books so fast that my mother would be mad at me because I wanted another one just one day later.  (No one needs to read that second chapter introducing all the club members for the millionth time anyway, right?)  I swear I read the name Claudia wrong in my mind for like a year and felt stupid when I realized what it was...
Remember the super specials?  I'm pretty sure somewhere along the way I learned to just skim to get the story and skipped all the parts that were of no interest to me.  I'm still like that today...I can't read books that don't keep me turning the pages!

Anyway, I was one of those kids who always wanted to be a teacher.  I forced my sister (who hated to school) to play school...but she never wanted to do any work.  I majored in elementary education and minored in science (yes, science!).  I had intentions of teaching 3rd or 4th grade.  Somehow, I got a job at an inner city school teaching first grade.  It was then that I realized I had NOT A CLUE how to teach kids to read.  I feel so bad for my first classes...hopefully they turned out alright!  

We all like being good at what we do, so I had to figure out how to teach kids to read.  Over the next few years, I worked with a lot of great teachers and role models.  I also received a lot of professional development that was eye opening to me.  After about five years, I finally felt like I knew what I was doing and I loved it!  I loved taking those first graders from not even knowing the alphabet to reading books.  I loved seeing growth in guided reading levels and all that.  It was a challenge to me that I accepted head on.  I actually miss it teaching second grade now.  Not that I don't have similar challenges, but I really like starting with kids when they are really young, before they have time to ever fall behind.

Around that time, I also started working on my master's degree in literacy with aspirations to become a reading specialist or literacy coach.  We've since relocated, but I finally finished my degree this past winter and hope to make those dreams come true soon.
One of my favorite read alouds this time of year is The Valentine Bears by Eve Bunting.  (Side note - I also LOVE A Turkey for Thanksgiving by the same author!)  It's an old fashioned looking story with just red, gray, and white for colors.  But the kids don't mind and it is so adorable.  Mrs. Bear sets her alarm to wake up early from hibernating so that she can surprise Mr. Bear for Valentine's Day (you know, because normally they sleep through it).  But Mr. Bear has his own surprise as well.  It's really cute.  
The product I am giving away contains several activities appropriate for grades  one through three.   The book has lots of great vocabulary words, so there is a synonyms and antonyms sort.  There are also some comprehension activities, such as comparing and contrasting characters, sequencing events, and making inferences.  Finally, there is holiday themed paper included for writing a poem (like in the story) or for kids to write about their own Valentine's Day surprise.  This product was available for free on my blog until 10 PM EST 2/2/2014 only.  It is now a paid product in my store.

Would you like to win your own copy of The Valentine Bears?  Enter the Rafflecopter below to win.  I promise to get the book to the winner before Valentine's Day thanks to Amazon Prime!
Thanks for stopping by!  If you are new to my blog, please consider clicking below and following me on Bloglovin'.
Click the button below to visit Deniece from This Little Piggy Reads.  She's got something on fractured fairy tales for you!
Below you will find links to all the participating bloggers.  Have fun!

52 comments

  1. Thanks for the freebie! The blog hop is a perfect activity for this cold and snowy day.
    Mrs. Brown Loves Bookworms

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  2. I really appreciate your story...I also was one of those teachers who was thrown into first grade, inner city, & BILINGUAL...wow...what an intro to the profession...anyhow I quickly realized that college didn't really prepare me for how to teach reading and writing...ughh I hope they had teachers that picked up after me! anyhow, thanks for sharing such a sweet unit with an author I adore!

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  3. Thank you for the freebie! I loved the Babysitters Club books as well! I made weekly trips to the library to stock up!

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  4. Enjoyed reading about Babysitters Club! Ahh the memories. I owned ALL those books. My first name is Kristy and it is the ONLY place that I ever found my name in literature, spelled the same way!! Thanks for the trip down memory lane!!

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  5. I enjoyed reading the Little House books and I believe they were called Trixie Beldon.. they were a mystery series :-) thanks for the chance at winning this book!!
    Karen
    tommysmom0206@yahoo.com

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  6. Thanks for your freebie! I loved Nancy Drew mysteries, The Boxcar Children, and The Bobbsey Twins books...I always had my nose in a book!
    debrammcdaniel@gmail.com

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  8. I loved to read the Historical Diaries.
    carmen.r.scalise@gmail.com

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  9. I don't remember being into series as a kid. My favorite book that hooked me was The Secret Garden. (before that Dr. Seuss books) I love Bunting...can't believe I don't have this one. (hope to soon) She is a great author for teaching inference.

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  10. I liked Nancy Drew.
    susanlulu@yahoo.com

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  11. I loved the Boxcar Children!
    rockingitin3rd@gmail.com

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  12. I like to read The Weird School series by Dan Gutman

    johnscerbo@bellsouth.net

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  13. I loved the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boy Mystery Series.

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  14. I must have read at least 50 Babysitter's Club books, and I also skipped those 2nd chapters! This book looks lovely. I'm always surprised by the way kids respond to books that have this 'old-fashioned' look. The first time I read Frog and Toad to inner city first graders I thought they would immediately disengage because of the look, but it was the exact opposite.

    Deb
    Not very fancy

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  15. The Ramona series by far! I also admit when I got around 5th grade I started in on the Sweet Valley High books and tore through those!
    Bex

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  16. Baby Sitter's Club was also my favorite series along with Sweet Valley High! I still have all of the books!!!
    Julie
    DDgirl4ever@yahoo.com

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  17. I loved Little House on the Prairie!

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  18. OH MY GOSH. I absolutely LOVED The Baby Sitter's Club when I was younger!! I actually just pulled out one of these books the other day and my kiddos were going NUTS for them. Reminded me of when I was little :)

    Sara
    Miss V's Busy Bees
    ventrellasara@gmail.com

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  19. As a child I wasn't really into reading, but I think I liked the Babysitter's Club books. I atleast had a lot of them :)

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  20. I LOVED The Babysitter's Club, Sweet Valley High and Sleepover Friends books.
    Sara
    Polka Dot Kinders

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  21. Loved mysteries. Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys.

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  22. I loved, loved, loved reading Little House on the Prairie!!!

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  23. I've never read this book! I can't wait to look into it! As a kid I loved the Bernstein Bears books and The Baby Sitter's Club Little Sister books! :)

    Katie
    smileykate52@hotmail.com

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  24. I have always and still do love a good mystery so my first favorite series were the Nancy Drew series.

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  25. I love these activities! Thank you so much for sharing this with everyone.

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    1. Oops I forgot...my favorite series to read when I was younger was Cam Jansen! Loved loved loved all the mystery! I also wanted to have photographic memory like Cam.

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  26. Thanks for the freebie! This blog hop is a welcome treat in this cold dreary Illinois winter! I wasn't much of a reader as a child. Then I took a children's lit class is college and was hooked for life!

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  27. Thank you for all that you do! I had so many favorite series as a child. One of my most favorites' was the Mandie book series but I also loved Ramona, Boxcar children, and Nancy Drew.

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  28. Thanks for the freebie and chance to win! I loved the R.L Stine Fear Street series. I loved horror books and movies, and still do!

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  29. When I was a little girl, I loved the "Mr. Mugs" books. There was just something so appealing about that shaggy dog =). A few years later, I discovered "Nancy Drew" and "Sweet Valley High." I just couldn't get enough of either series!!! I loved SWH so much, that when "Sweet Valley Confidential: 10 Years Later" was released in 2011, I ate it up in one day <3.

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  30. I read any series I could get my hands on and included the Bobsey Twins, Nancy Drew, Anne of Green Gables etc...

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  31. What a great freebie! When I was in 1st-3rd grades, I loved the Babysitter's Club books, too! I especially loved the Babysitter's Little Sister series. I think I used to ask for a new one once a week, haha! As I got older, though, I got hooked on Harry Potter...still am!

    Sarah Beth
    Miss White's Classroom

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  32. I had two favorite series as a kid...Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown. Loved a good mystery! Thanks for such great sites and resources! :)

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  33. I really enjoyed your post. I was an avid reader too! Couldn't wait to get all my seatwork done so I could read a good book and they almost always centered around horses. I was the kid who was always in trouble for reading! I love seeing kids like that nowdays!
    Sebrina Burke
    Burke's Special Kids

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  34. I LOVED reading R.L. Stine books!!!

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  36. I think I liked all the books that Beverly Clearly wrote. I don't know that I was into a particular series. Thank you for sharing :)

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  37. I loved an old series called The Bobsey Twins

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  38. Little House on the Prarie & I still watch the series on the Hallmark Channel...i recall my parents installinga sconce type of lamp so that I could continue reading at night

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  39. I loved Goosebumps, Baby Sitters Club, and The Boxcar Children. I have all of my copies as a kid in the library in my classroom this year. I love seeing my kiddos read the same books I did when I was their age!

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  40. I love Eve Bunting books. Her one about the Vietnam Veterans Memorial gets me every time I read it!

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  41. Favorite series - hmmm....I read all the time. I liked Little Women and Little Men, alot!

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