A place to share thoughts, ideas, gadgets, and giggles from my classroom. 💜

How I Use Rooted in Reading Units in my Classroom with How to Catch Santa

Have you heard about {Amy Lemons'} and {Katie King's} {Rooted in Reading} packs!? They are AMAZING!!
Our school has the Journeys Reading Series, which is fine but the activities in the Rooted in Reading packs are just more engaging! Amy and Katie provide so many activities for grammar, vocabulary, comprehension, and writing. There are many options for each story so you can pick and choose what will work for you and your class! I don't feel so bogged down with all the worksheets and just junk that we have to do for Journeys. 

This week we read {How to Catch Santa}. I had never read this book before, but it is a great read aloud for kids and perfect for this season! 
Each vocabulary word has a page for you to dig deeper into the word. I tried to work my dog Willy into each of my sentences and illustrations and the kids just loved it! Coming up with antonyms for some of the words was difficult... thank God for Google! 
We trimmed around the edges and glued them into our notebooks. I think next time, I would like to make a vocabulary book! There is a challenging vocabulary quiz that will help you assess too. 
This story had a sequence that went along with it. We worked on those transition words and I just loved how we practiced with random things then did the actual graded writing part(or the part I was grading anyways!) The random activities were making s'mores and making a PBJ. 
Students had to cut and glue the pictures in the right order. Then they had to use the transition words to write about what happened. They did SUCH a great job knowing when to use the words since they had a visual of what they were doing. My whole writing block wasn't full of groans or whines. It was just fun and made us hungry! After some practice, we started to get down to business.
Making a plan on how students would catch Santa was so much fun! They had some wild ideas. Santa just happened to actually be visiting our preschool that day. One of the teachers came in to tell the kids who was in the building...They FREAKED out! OMG MY PLAN IS OUT!! There was lots of rushing around to finish and put away plans. It was hilarious! 
Comprehension/Guided Reading:
Not only did we learn how to catch Santa, (BTW there is a comprehension quiz included too!) we also compared Christmas to Hanukkah! Katie and Amy put together an amazing informational text about both holidays. 
The kids loved learning about Hanukkah traditions. In our small town, there is not much diversity. It was nice to step outside of small town Indiana and show the students how others celebrate. 
Rooted in Reading comes with several interactive notebook activities. I have to confess, I rolled my eyes when I first saw this because I have NEVER been able to figure out how to incorporate these into my lessons...with Journeys anyway. They fit in so perfectly, we weren't rushed, they didn't even take long when we were rushing, and the kiddos loved doing them! 
We made connections between our own traditions at home and Hanukkah traditions. I really enjoy the weeks we skip a basil reading story and do a Rooted in Reading pack. If you are on the edge about spending the money, just DO IT! It is so worth it, for you and the kids. 
Not enough books:
Yeah, okay, I understand you can't afford to get a book for each student. I bought a teacher copy and used it on the projector. Cassondra typed up the words from the story so students could echo read the story and read at home. We didn't buddy read this story because it really isn't fun to read without the pictures. This story has amazing illustrations. Whether you decide to purchase the unit or not, you should FOR SURE purchase the book! Your students will LOVE it!!
Both gals blog about using Rooted in Reading in their own classrooms too, make sure to check out their posts(by clicking their names at the top of this post) and Amy's {FAQ about Rooted in Reading}!


  1. I just LOVE the Rooted in Reading packs too!! My kiddos are learning so much and actually ask what our next book will be :-) I love to see that they are so excited about a book!!

  2. Yes!!! That's the best part! The kids love doing them!!

  3. Nice post for giving me ideas! I am wondering how do you differentiate reading and writing, or is there a component to this?


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