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Text to Self Connections

January 25, 2011 7 Comments

Text to Self Connections

January 25, 2011 7 Comments
My students are working on a huge immigration project this year–they are writing stories about their journey to America. Because of this, we have a number of books featuring their native countries. We’ve been reading them together to help prepare the students to write their own stories.

I discovered an added bonus to this project last week…

It was the perfect opportunity to teach text to self connections! The stories lend themselves naturally to anecdotes about the students’ countries, so I knew this was a great way to teach this type of connection. I decided to make these stories part of our Reader’s Workshop for the next couple of weeks.

One of the first books we read was Silent Music, by James Rumford. I have several Iraqi students, as well as a number of other students who speak Arabic. They loved seeing their native language woven throughout the story! Images of soccer and school made them chatter away, telling each other about their experiences. They joyfully translated for the rest of us throughout the reading…it was one of those wonderful moments you cherish as a teacher. 🙂

Even my students who are from different countries were reminded of their past, through this book. The stories and connections were flowing quickly…memories of friends, past-times, school, family now living far away…

We usually write our responses to text in our Reader’s Response Journals. This time, however, I did ask the students to write and decorate their responses to display in the hallway.

We are going to continue working on text to self connections using these books. Next story: I See the Sun in Nepal–I can’t wait!

Do you have any favorite books to teach text to self connections?


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  • Kinderpond January 25, 2011 at 2:30 am

    No, but I have a friend from Nepal! 🙂

  • Erin January 25, 2011 at 2:42 am

    I've used The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant. Most can relate to family members coming to visit them or going to visit family members.

  • Mrs. Saoud January 25, 2011 at 2:44 am

    Mine are Alexander the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day; Lily's Purple Plastic Purse; Wilford Gordon McDonald Partridge…Three Classic Stories by Three Fabulous Authors..!

  • ~A January 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm

    I absolutely love when kids who are often left out because they're "different" have the opportunity to teach the rest of the class! I had a similar example- my young friend Yusuf, who is an ELL and has lots of difficulties reading- helped immensely during a reading activity by correctly pronouncing character names and telling us what new vocabulary meant. The other kids gained so much respect for his background, and I think it really helped improve his feelings towards school!

  • Emily January 26, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Awesome idea….love the student work!
    I really like to use Wemberly Worried and Sheila Rae the Brave (love Kevin Henkes)! I use these in K/1 and have the students respond about a time when they were worried and how they are brave.

    p.s. Thanks for following me! 🙂

  • James Rumford January 26, 2011 at 3:33 pm

    Aloha, Thank you for sharing my book with your class. It is always so wonderful for an author to know that his or her book has had the intended effect. Aloha, James Rumford

  • Ladybug Teacher January 27, 2011 at 1:14 am

    Wow! Thank you so much for the comment Mr. Rumford! Your book is extremely meaningful to my students. They have been rereading it all week. It has been wonderful to have such a moving and rich story to share and discuss in class. Thank you again!!

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    About Me

    Welcome to Ladybug's Teacher Files! I started this blog in 2010 as a way to share resources and collaborate with teachers. I hope you will find something that can be of help in your classroom! -Kristen


    • Anyone else using iReady this year?
I’m looking to add a little more accountability/motivation for my students, so this week we are going to start tracking our usage. My fourth graders will store their sheets in their binders so their data is kept private, then I’ll send it home in our weekly folders so parents can see progress as well.
What do you do for iReady accountability? I would love to hear more ideas!
Please click the link in my profile if you’d like a copy of this sheet for your class (
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    • This closet!!! It has NEVER been organized in all my years in this classroom!
Honestly, I would pile things in there and slam the door fast, in hopes the pile wouldn’t collapse 😂
So I FINALLY got some shelving and sorted everything into bins...and I am in heaven.
Now if only all bins were the same color blue...
#imjoking #actuallyimnot #typeateacher #kindoforganized #kindofnot #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456
    • Need a last-minute valentines gift for your class?
Or is it just me who is frantically doing this now? 😂
These are some editable coupons I shared years ago on my blog that are perfect for those no-cost presents. I’ve been saving our scholastic points, so everyone is getting a coupon to choose a book for our classroom library tomorrow. 📖❤️
Please click the link in my profile if you would like a copy! I hope some of you can use them!! (
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    • Binders, folders, or notebooks?
Over the years I’ve become a binders kind of girl...I tried to go with notebooks again this fall and it wasn’t the same. There’s just something about having everything all in one place.
So in January, I switched back to binders and I’m so glad I did. I use prenumbered tabs which saves A TON of time in setting them up (see the last pic). I try to number the handouts in the bottom corner to match the tab number it belongs in (when I remember to 😉) but really it’s a great exercise in following directions as papers are handed out if I don’t remember to number them.
My fourth graders LOVE their students from last year mention them when they come back to visit (it was actually thanks to them I got binders again, since they enjoyed them so much). Next fall, it’ll be binders from the start for us!
Do you like binders, folders, or notebooks? Or a combination?
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    • I received a few questions on how to get the day count on @planbookcom, so I wanted to share it here (it’s super quick!).
If you go into the Display settings, you will find a drop down menu under “Date Styling”.
Click the check box next to “show school day counter” and you should be all set!
I have a couple of blog posts about planbook and I’m working in some updated ones to share soon...anything in particular you’d like to see more about?
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    • Did you know you can add little check boxes to Google Sheets? ✅
I’m REALLY trying to get more ahead in my lesson planning so I can have my weekends free...and this little check box tool is helping with just that!
I set up a Sheets doc with each subject area I need to plan for. In the second column, I added the check boxes (you can find them under Insert).
It’s a really nice feature for those little checklists you want to reuse each week! Now back to lesson planning 😬
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