Saturday, January 12, 2013

Magical Swap Number 2 for Mr. Giso's Room to Read


For the second time, I have been fortunate enough to take part in the Magical Swap created by Mrs. Stanford author of her blog, "Mrs. Stanford's Class."  For this swap, my partner was Danielle, the author of the blog "Crayonbox Learning."  Among the many items offered at her TpT store, I chose the item entitled United States Activity Pack which you can download by clicking here.  It was hard to pick from her many tempting products, but I went ahead with this one.  I'm glad I did!  Here's what the title page of this almost two hundred page resource (in color and black and white) looks like.

Choosing this item was an easy decision, as I need to teach many of its components in my History and Social Studies unit on American Symbols.  I went right to work printing and cutting as you can see here.  I love this Fiskars paper cutter, by the way.

Three of my favorite parts of this item are the original nonfiction, informational texts entitled "American Symbols," "The American Flag" and "Happy Birthday America!"  All three of these books that I printed out, trimmed and stapled on the left side are perfect reads for my first graders.  They contain accurate information written in an appropriate text level--so hard to find out there.  Check out these terrific books all assembled.  I'm having the parents help me assemble these.

One of the things I do as part of my Calendar Time is to create a 100 Day Puzzle.  When complete, it creates the United States of America.  As we put on a puzzle piece each day, we go over the state and capital if there happens to be one on the puzzle piece.  My students really enjoy trying to memorize the states and capitals.  Some even take it upon themselves to study them at home.  This item includes a set of state cards with their capitals--perfect for my kids to check out. 

Also included in this item is an ABC order sorting activity.  This is a skill I just taught right after our winter break, so this item will come in handy.  I used a set of alphabet mini-posters included in the item as category headers.  I plan to, in a center, have my students place all 50 states in alphabet order using the alphabet cards.  They will really love this.  I started to do this myself.  I was off to a good start.  No states that start with the letter "B?"

In addition, this item comes with a bonus set of printable to make a Patriotic Bulletin Board , a flag puzzle, as well as a set of cards to utilize in a United States Card Game, also a lot of fun and perfect for my students to play during indoor recess in these snowy months.

It was a pleasure taking part in this swap for the second time and exchanging resources with Danielle from Crayonbox Learning!  You can stop by her blog and learn many neat tips on creating bulletin boards, scrapbookinng for teachers and tips for "thinking outside of the box."  Bring your snow shoes because her blog appears to be going through a blizzard.  BRRRR!  Danielle also has an etsy shop where you can purchase many of her products and literacy bags already assembled for the teacher on-the-go!  Stop on over by clicking here.

I'm always pleased to meet a fellow blogger and share ideas.  To celebrate, I am hold a 20% off sale throughout my TpT store all week long!  Be sure to stop on by by clicking here.

Also, check out all the other swappers by clicking here.


  1. Hi Rich! Thank you so much for taking part in the Blog Product Swap! I enjoyed looking through your Blog! I'm sending you a goodie for you and your students! Have a great day!

  2. Hi Mr. Giso,

    I have a suggestion for the letter "B" and you can let me know what you think OK? Since there are so many states with the letter "M" why not use "B" for "Boston" the capital of our home state Massachusetts? Maybe, there are other letters for which there is no state and then a state capital can be substituted?

    1. Fantastic suggestion. I think my first graders would love a state capital sort as an extension of this project. Thanks for taking the time to comment.


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