Zoey and Sassafras Book Review and Printables

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{disclaimer ~ we were sent these books to review and affiliate links are used in this post}

Oh my word. I can’t say enough about Zoey and Sassafras!. When my blog friend Asia asked if I would like to review her new chapter book series, I took a look, saw a dragon and a cat and said YES! I figured with two of my daughter’s VERY favorites on the cover, it was likely she would enjoy them. Plus she LOVES to read. The photo above shows moments after she opened the package that Asia sent us with the first book, her smile says it all.

She sat down to read it after we came inside from playing that day and she finished it all at once!

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I just happened to be sitting near her as I noticed her on the last page so I started filming so I could get her live and authentic reaction. I’ll let the video speak for itself.

A post shared by Carisa (@1plus1plus1) on

 

 

About the Series…

Zoey is a smart and sweet little girl with an adorable pet cat, Sassafras. Science, adventure and fantasy are woven together in the delightful tales. The books are funny, educational, and just simply enjoyable. I HIGHLY recommend them!

There are 3 books in the series {we are really hoping Asia will write more}, and they all feature larger font size, and black and white illustrations on many pages. The books are written at a 2nd grade independent reading level, but would make a great read aloud for a younger child. Honestly the stories are so well written that older kids will enjoy them too. The recommended age is 4-10, my daughter is almost 8 and these are perfect!

 

The Printables…

She also loves to color and asked me if I had any Zoey and Sassafras coloring pages! Thankfully we were given permission from the fabulous illustrator, Marion Lindsay, to use her images to create some printables! I first put together some simple coloring pages for her, which she also used as tracing sheets. She loves to practice her drawing skills.

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She is in 2nd grade, and I wanted to create a couple of activities to work on some skills also. First, I made a sheet for her to draw and write about her own magical animal. She loved this and I just love her creativity. After this she asked me if she could use one of her small notebooks to be her magical animal book. She has since written about several made-up magical animals all on her own!

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I also created a printable activity to work on some grammar skills. We came up with verbs and adjectives to describe Zoey and Sassafras!

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The words she chose to describe Zoey give a good picture into the type of main character this little girl is ~ creative, smart, and helpful. All traits I love to see in my own kids! Zoey likes to ~ investigate, explore, and play!

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She is BEGGING Asia to write more books, but she said she will reread these for now, she loves them so much!

 

You can download the free Zoey and Sassafras coloring pages and printables here!

Zoey and Sassafras Coloring Pages and Printables

 

Grab the books here on Amazon!



Beginning Sound Mazes ~ A, B, C FREE!

Beginning Sound Mazes Printables

We have a fun new set of printables for you that I have been working on for years! Yes, years! Well, it didn’t take me that long to create them, but the idea came to me years ago, I started them and never finished until now! These all new Beginning Sound Mazes are a new way to have fun with beginning sounds! Perfect for many Kindergartners, 1st graders and even some preschoolers.

So, how do you use them?

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Beginning Sound Mazes (1 of 1)

 

The control charts should only be needed if the child needs assistance. They are also a great tool on their own without the mazes!

Beginning Sound Mazes (3 of 5)

There are many different ways to have fun with these mazes. Your child can simply use a pencil, crayons or markers to mark each dot. Or try one of these creative ideas: Dot Paint, dot stickers, finger paint, KwikStix, Dry Erase Activity Center, or magnets with a cookie sheet!

Beginning Sound Mazes Creative Ideas

See some of our favorite tools from Amazon below {jump to blog if reading in email}

Download A, B and C for free here!

Want to buy the entire set?

You can buy it here in our Teacher’s Notebook Shop!

Beginning Sound Mazes

 

Looking for more fun with the alphabet?

ABC Dot Fun   ABC Find it

ABC Wall Posters   Clothespin Clip ABCs

Color By Number ABCs   Dot Fun Letter Mazes A-Z Free FB

Just Color ABCs   Letter Mazes

Tot Time Notebook ABCs   Q Tip Alphabet Painting



2nd Grade Reading ~ A Fun Year for Us!

2nd Grade Homeschool Reading Plan



We are doing a few fun things for my daughter’s 2nd grade reading curriculum this year. She reads well above her grade level so a formal curriculum was not needed for her. But, I did want some sort of a direction, so I outlined a few things we would be intentional with to continue to develop her reading skills. She LOVES to read, which is such a joy. Anything to do with reading, even her comprehension workbook, brings her joy.

Before I get into this glorious post all about how my daughter loves to read, chooses to read, reads above grade level and is a total joy with anything reading… let me assure you, my boys were NOT like this. She is one of those kids who just naturally loves books. Sure, I exposed her to loads of great things as a baby and young child, but overall I think it is just who she is. I exposed my boys too, and although they now like to read, they are nothing like her! And yes, I am super grateful to have my last child be such a natural reader, it is fun to spend time with a child who simply loves books. I am thankful for her love of books and that we can enjoy this together!

 

The basics…

  • She reads chapter books on her own.
  • I read chapter books aloud to her.
  • We have picture book reading time together, she and I both read aloud.
  • She has a reading comprehension workbook.
  • We go to the library together at least every 2 weeks.
  • She reads a LOT in her free time, by choice.

One portion of her reading plan is independent chapter book reading!  She mostly does this at night before bed. She reads a variety of books, and is keeping a record of all of the chapter books she reads this year. I started a post on my School Tools blog here to share the books she completes, the most recent 4 will be at the top of the post.

I am typing up her reading record to keep with her school records this year, you can see it here! Want a blank reading record like hers?  There’s one in this 5th grade book list post!

L's 2nd Grade Book Record

 

Below is a photo I took a couple of weeks ago of the books she has read so far this year. The stack is much taller now!

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This is her shelf above her bed, you can see her 2 current nightly reads laying in front. I read the Little House book aloud at night and she reads the other one independently.

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{disclaimer ~ affiliate links used}

Reading aloud to her is another aspect of her reading plan. I read aloud from Little House most nights, and we are also reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle during the school day.  Sometimes she chooses for me to read picture books aloud and that’s fine.

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She also reads aloud to me!  I let her choose one book each school day and we snuggle up on my bed together.  She reads with such amazing fluency and animation, I rarely have to guide her at all. Her favorites to read aloud right now are the Pigeon books by Mo Willems, she is hilarious!

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Picture books are still a huge part of our reading plan! She goes to the library with me about twice a month and we stay as long as we can! We always bring home a huge stack, I try to remember to share her favorites on Instagram with the hashtag #ladybugslibraryfavs.

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One of her favorite free-time activities is to grab a stack of books and snuggle on my bed and read, sometimes for hours.

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Another portion of her reading plan is a simple comprehension workbook. She flies through this, but I like giving her some experience with test-taking skills. She does not complain about this at all since she loves any kind of reading.

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Stay tuned for our wrap-up post coming soon, sharing all about her first month of 2nd grade! I have posts for my boys {5th and 9th} coming soon too!

See our Book Lists Pinterest board here!



5th Grade Reading List

5th Grade Reading List

I spent the most time creating a book list for my 5th grader, since he is my slightly reluctant reader. I read tons of books this summer to carefully choose books I thought he would enjoy. After deciding on many book choices for him, I created a page with each cover so he can browse and choose his next book easily.

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The books on the top row are his required reads and ones we are reading together and going in depth with {comprehension questions, vocabulary, etc.}. Those are the same books I used with Pac when he used Calvert in 5th grade.

The rest of the books are books he can choose from. He may or may not get to all of them and that’s fine. Some are actually books that were on his 4th grade list that he didn’t get to last year. I have read most of these books or took my recommendations from trusted sources, but be sure to look into the books yourself {some have intense subject matter}, all kids are different!

Below you can see Amazon links to all of the books on this list {click over to the blog if you are reading in email}.

 

I am writing more detailed reviews for some of the books he is reading. So far this year {he began a few weeks ago} he has completed…

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I have a few downloads you are welcome to use if you’d like. First, here is a copy of the book choice page featuring the books I chose for him. If you want to create your own visual list, it is easy!  Just grab the book cover images online somewhere {I used Amazon} and then copy them into a document and resize how you want!  I use PowerPoint to create my documents, I like their positioning tools the best.

5th Grade Book List

 

Next, here is a blank reading record like his. I just have him write the title, author and rate the book 1-10 based on his opinion.

Reading Record

 

Here’s another reading log we used when he was younger.  It is very similar to the one we are using now.

Free Printable Reading Log

See our Book Lists Pinterest board here!



Library Love ~ Our Reading Corner, Recent Favorite Books, and why we are finally in LOVE!

Library Book Reading Corner and Favorite Library Books for 1st Graders

Ladies and gentlemen, I am thrilled to announce we are finally in LOVE with the library and have been successfully in love for about a year now.  It took me many years to actually fall in love. I actually avoided the library for years out of my fear of library fines. I think this was due to a few factors;

1 – having young kids who struggled with following “library book” rules,

2 – not really enjoying our neighborhood library where we used to live,

3 – not having a routine in place to keep up with checked out books.

Thankfully all of those issues are now solved and my little bookworm is very happy about that. I regret not getting my act together sooner with this for her, but am pleased that we finally have this routine in our life.

This little area in our homeschool room has solved number 3 for me.  It is a library book only area.  No other books are allowed to mix in and the library books are not allowed to leave this area with out permission.  At age 6, she is old enough to understand this and does really well.  We haven’t had 1 fee since we moved here!

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We get the boys books too, but she is my library partner and loves to go with me.  We have a routine and I know now that I need to allow plenty of time for her to sit and read many of the books she has chosen.

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I have been taking photos of our very favorites before we return them and sharing on Instagram, we even have a hashtag to help you see them all at once #ladybugslibraryfavs. 

Here are some of our “favorites” photos. We have a huge home library so I can’t justify buying more at this point, but I know many of you are still building your home library! So, if you want to see them on Amazon, click the photo to see those specific books!

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1st Grade Library Book Favorites