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Classical Conversations Cycle One Usborne Book List

African Patterns to Color
The Maya
Mexican Patterns to Color
Native American Patterns to Color
See Inside Exploration & Discovery
Who Were the First Native Americans?

10 Days to Multiplication Mastery
99 Math Puzzles
100 Logic Puzzles
First Illustrated Math Dictionary
Illustrated Dictionary of Math
Illustrated Elementary Math Dictionary
Learning Wrap-Ups Multiplication
Lift-The-Flap Measuring Things
Lift-The-Flap Sizes & Measuring
Lift-The-Flap Times Tables
Math Puzzle Pads
Measuring Things Activity Book
This is NOT a Math Book
This is NOT Another Math Book
Times Tables Activity Book
Times Tables Practice Pad

100 Things to Know About Science
365 Science Activities
First Encyclopedia of Science
Illustrated Dictionary of Science
Illustrated Elementary Dictionary of Science
Lift-The-Flap Questions & Answers About Science
Science Activities Volume 1
Science Activities Volume 2
Science Activities Volume 3
Scientist Academy
The Story of Science
Usborne Science Encyclopedia
Usborne Children's Encyclopedia

1,000 Things In Nature
1001 Animals to Spot
Above & Below
Animal Detective Activity Book
Animal Sticker Book
Animal Trivia Questions
Color & Pop Up Animals
Bear Grylls Extreme Planet
Big Book of Big Animals
Big Book of Big Sea Creatures
Dangerous Animals Activity Book
Deadly Animals
First Sticker Book Nature
Illustrated Dictionary of Biology
In the Jungle Coloring Book
Lift-The-Flap Questions & Answers About Nature
Look Inside the Jungle
My First Reference Book About Nature
My Very First Animals Book
Mysteries and Marvels of Nature
Night Animals
Outdoor Book
Poisonous Animals
Polar Worlds Acitivity Book
Rain Forest Masks
Rainforests to Color
Reptiles & Amphibians Coloring Book
Secrets of Animal Camouflage (Shine-A-Light)
Secrets of the Apple Tree (Shine-A-Light)
Secrets of the Rain Forest (Shine-A-Light)
Secrets of the Seashore (Shine-A-Light)
The Great Animal Search
The Great Wildlife Search
The River
Undersea Life to Color
Usborne World of Animals
Vet Academy
What's Above?
What's Below?
Wild Survival Activity Book
1001 Bugs to Spot
Bees & Wasps
 Big Book of Big Bugs
Butterflies & Bugs
Butterflies Coloring Books
Caterpillars & Butterflies
First Sticker Book: Bugs
Pocket Book: Insects
Young Beginners Bugs
Baby Animals
Dangerous Animals
Farm Animals
Horses & Ponies
Night Animals
Pocket Book: Birds
Pocket Book: Mammals
Pocket Book: Ocean Animals
Pocket Book: Predators
Pocket Book: Reptiles
Tadpoles & Frogs
Woodland Creatures

 Eggs and Chicks
Baby Animals

100 Things to Know About Food
Book of Growing Food
Gardening for Beginners
How Flowers Grow
My Very First Question & Answer Lift-The-Flap: How Do Flowers Grow?
It All Starts With A Seed: How Food Grows
 My First Book About How Things Grow
 My First Reference Book About Food
My First Reference Book About How Things Grow
Science With Plants
Secrets of the Vegetable Garden (Shine-A-Light)
See Inside Where Food Comes From
The Wild Garden
My Very First Question & Answer Lift-The-Flap: Why Do We Need Bees?
Wildflowers to Color
Wipe-Clean Garden Activities

Bear Grylls Extreme Planet
Lift-The-Flap Questions & Answers About Our World
Look Inside Our World
My First Reference Book About Our World
My Very First Our World Book
Pocket Book: Natural Wonders
Scientist Academy
Secrets of Our Earth (Shine-A-Light)
Usborne Science Encyclopedia

First Encyclopedia of Seas & Oceans
Planet Earth
Look Inside Our World
Under the Sea
Usborne Geography Encyclopedia
Usborne Spotters Guide: Rocks & Minerals

Around the World Mazes
Atlas & Jigsaw Puzzle
Bear Grylls Survival Camp
Big Picture Atlas
Children's Picture Atlas
Flags of the World to Color
Flags Sticker Book
Here & There
Lift-The-Flap Picture Atlas
Look Inside Our World
Map Mazes
Planet Earth
Sticker Picture Atlas of the World
Survival Skills Handbook (Maps & Navigation)
Usborne Geography Encyclopedia

Big Picture Thesaurus
First Illustrated Grammar & Punctuation
First Illustrated Thesaurus
First Thousand Words in Latin
Grammar & Punctuation
Illustrated Grammar & Punctuation
Not-Your-Everyday Illustrated Thesaurus
Tell Me A Story
Wipe-Clean Starting Grammar & Punctuation

1000 Doodles
A Year in My Life
Awesome Doodle Pad
Big Doodling Book
Big Drawing Book
Book of Drawing, Doodling, & Coloring
Book of Drawing, Doodling, & Coloring: Blue
Book of Drawing, Doodling, & Coloring: Red
Delightful Doodle Pad
Drawing Animals
Drawing Cartoons
Drawing Faces
How to Draw Fairies & Mermaids
I Can Draw Animals
I Can Draw People
 Make Your Own Comics
My Beautiful Room
My First Big Book of Doodling, Drawing, and Coloring
Step-By-Step Drawing Book
Step-By-Step Drawing Animals 
Step-By-Step Drawing People
Wipe-Clean First Drawing
Write & Draw Your Own Comics
 Recorder for Beginners
Art Activity Book
Art Treasury
Book of Famous Artists
Book of Famous Paintings
Children's Book of Art 
Complete Book of Art Ideas
Lift-The-Flap Art
Lift-The-Flap Questions & Answers About Art
Famous Artists Sticker Book
Famous Paintings Cards


My Favorite Planet: Informational Text Charting & Craft

We're about 7 months into our space unit (ok, exaggeration -- but it's been slow going) and so as summer craziness gives us a reprieve, we're working extra hard to make time for some fun learning activities!

Today, while the cousins were over, we broke out our Big Book of Stars and Planets with the goal of learning a few fun facts and determining what we each liked about the planets! We started out by creating an awesome chart for recording our informational text.

We used this cool page of the book to guide us on how big to draw our planets, and then found pictures to inspire the color choices. The kids identified planets in the book and colored them accordingly.

Once we were done, I read a blurb about each planet and had the kids listen carefully for new information. They knew when it would be their turn to share so they could listen extra carefully. Usborne Books & More is known for designing non-fiction texts with the information broken down into bite-sized chunks. That design worked out perfectly for this activity! Their little brains would not be able to comprehend more information at once. Instead, I was able to read these 1-2 sentence paragraphs, and then they were able to tell me a fact they learned about the planet! We recorded the facts on our super-cool planet chart. Then, once all of the planets had their moment in the spotlight, I re-read the list of fun facts we'd found. Each child knew they were listening for the facts they found most interesting so that they could identify their personal favorite planet!

Once we made our choices, it was time for some messy fun! I found this shaving cream idea over at Crafty Morning and adapted it to fit our needs! The kids used the book and our chart to determine which colors of paint they would need for their planet, then mixed it into some shaving cream, and dipped card stock circles they'd cut out. They thought this was incredibly cool, and I totally agree.

While the planets were drying, they labeled their pages with the planet name & then dictated sentences to me about why they chose that planet as their favorite. We used chalk makers to write on black construction paper, which was also a BIG hit with these craft junkies.

This whole project took an hour and a half, kept their attention impressively well, and gave us practice in so many great areas! Simple science lesson for the win!

I love sharing our projects and lessons over in my Facebook Group! Make sure you hop in to follow the fun!

Springtime Sports for Active Kids...and MATH!

No more boring worksheets of the past. Find out how to spice things up with hands-on multisensory math games and activities for active learning!

Ah, spring! Here in New Jersey, the winter frost is finally gone and little signs of spring are popping up all around us. And I couldn’t be happier! Let me introduce myself though. I’m Christy from Exceptional Thinkers and today, I’m thrilled to be a guest blogger for Chuck and Buck! I’m a regular contributor to a collaborative blog called Conversations From the Classroom and you can find my posts there on the 22nd of every month.

But can we get back to spring for a minute? Wouldn’t it be great to take your students outside and just let them play now that it’s finally nice out? Yes? I agree! We’re so in synch, you and I. Today, we are going to think of some ways to get the kids outside and moving, while learning and working towards academic goals.

You’re thinking, this is crazy. How are my students going to develop math skills while running around outside? But I promise, it’s possible, and potentially more effective than some boring old worksheets. Kids are more motivated to learn when it’s fun! Research shows that motivation leads to increased effort and persistence with better performance (Paris & Turner, 1994; Rueda & Moll, 1994). And what’s more fun than putting the textbooks aside and playing?

Okay, so it’s fun to get them moving, but how do we teach them while they’re playing? Good question. We aren’t just bringing them outside for the sake of playing and burning off that pent up energy. We want to harness that energy in a way that can be both productive and educational. But how? Well, instead of a worksheet with 20 math problems, why not play a game that requires students to practice those same math skills 20 times? Due to increased interest and motivation, students may even complete a game faster than a worksheet, potentially practicing the skill more than they would have on paper.
No more boring worksheets of the past. Find out how to spice things up with hands-on multisensory math games and activities for active learning!

You can use games and sports to teach math skills, as brain breaks, review games, and more. They can be a refreshing break from textbooks! Many children learn better when they use more than just their eyes and ears during math lessons. Hands- on activities encourage students to become more involved with the material and allow them to experience it first-hand. Research shows that children with special needs benefit greatly from multi-sensory activities in the classroom. 

Most of us already use manipulatives in our math lessons. But have you incorporated sports or games that get students out of their seats and moving? You can take almost any game or sport and incorporate a math skill into it. In volleyball, have the students skip count by fives each time the ball goes over the net. For Tag, players can call out multiples of 6 each time someone is tagged, up to, say, 72, and then switch to multiples of 7, and so on. For more ideas, take a look at my Active Math Sports and Games resource. Whatever it is, keep students practicing your targeted math skill while moving.

Whole body learning is:

1) Motivating for students who are uninterested in traditional classroom lessons.

2) Beneficial to kinesthetic learners.

3) Allows students to experience material or skill first-hand.
No more boring worksheets of the past. Find out how to spice things up with hands-on multisensory math games and activities for active learning!

As a special education teacher, I have experience with students with sensory issues, behavior problems, and trouble sitting still. I’ve found that instead of forcing them to fight the urge to move, it is better to just get them up and direct that energy in a fun, positive, and educational path! They just want to go, so I let them go. But we don’t just run around without purpose. They practice skill sets, problem solve, and develop social skills, all while I assess their progress. This doesn’t necessarily always need to take place sitting at a desk.

My Active Math Sports and Games Resource was created to keep active kids moving while still working toward their academic goals. I've used these games in my classroom for years and it is my pleasure to now share them with you. (Side note: I'll likely add more games to this resource, so if you like it, be sure to grab it up now before I add to it and increase the price. If you buy now, you'll get the lower price, plus you'll get any of my additions and updates for FREE). Sounds good, but not sure if you want to take the plunge? No problem. Try out my FREEBIE Shuffleboard Addition Game and see if you like it! If you love the idea of using sports and games in your math class, but don't have the time to plan them out and create the materials, these are the resources for you. Busy teachers unite!

My Active Math resource targets early elementary math skills such as adding, subtracting, using place value, estimating, and measuring. It features 6 games at the moment (but likely to increase with time), including Steal the Flag, Subtraction Bowling, Making Tracks, Shuffleboard Addition, STEM Tower Challenge, and Pitch Your Estimate. Some of these games are available individually in my store while others are unique to this resource.

I hope I’ve inspired you to consider incorporating more whole- body learning activities in your own classroom. If this is an approach you’ve already been using, I’d love to hear about your techniques and activities in the comments below!

It’s been a pleasure posting here with Chuck and Buck. I hope to connect with you soon! If you’re not already following Exceptional Thinkers on Pinterest, make sure to click HERE to do so. You can also find me on Facebook right HERE. And of course, if you’re interested in new products, updates, and freebies, follow me on Teachers Pay Teachers.

Keep teaching. Keep learning.

~Christy D. from Exceptional Thinkers


Our Perfect Preschool Intro to the Butterfly Life Cycle!

This morning, Beckett learned the simple version of the Butterfly Life Cycle! I was so impressed with how easy and engaging the activity was, I had to share. I started by just going LIVE in my [not so] super secret Usborne literacy group, but we all know those aren't pinnable. So if you're looking for a simple, yet effective process to introduce your preschool through elementary aged kiddo to butterfly life cycles, you've come to the right place!

Step 1: Choose a book you love. I chose Usborne's Butterflies & Caterpillars. In the spirit of full disclosure, I'm an Usborne rep, addict, and hoarder. I love this series of beginner books because they have a great combo of photography, realistic illustrations, and cartoon-like characters. The text is super simple, yet full of great facts and vocabulary. PERFECTION.

Step 2: Pre-read your book. Because our book is aimed for 5+, it would be a lot of information for Beckett (3) to sit down and take in in one sitting. So instead I pre-read the book, and noted the pages that pertained to the life-cycle. [This is one of those ultra secret teacher strategies we use in school]. The book prepared me with sincerely interesting facts, phrased in a way that my little man could understand!

Step 3: Introduce your Flash Cards. So the AMAZING Karen, over at Little Smarticle Particles volunteered to be a guest blogger here just a few weeks ago! She loaded us with some fabulous ideas for teaching life cycles to littles, AND left a super awesome FREEBIE too! You can grab these beautiful flashcards, along with some other helpful tips, right here! Once you've got your cards, talk about them briefly with the kiddos and lay them out on the table.

Step 4: "Read" your book together. While our book is too high to just read straight through, it provides GREAT opportunities for conversation by providing such dynamic photos and illustrations. Beckett and I went though our book together, reading only a couple of the sentences, but using the illustrations to talk about each step of the cycle. This is also where I add a LOT of "oohs" and "aaahs" and "isn't that neat?" and "what do you think happens next?" He ATE. IT. UP.

Step 5: Assemble your cards in their cycle AS YOU READ. After each page, we looked for the life cycle card that represented our page and assembled it into the circle cycle diagram! And voila!

In addition to learning about life cycles, this activity is great because the simple steps of talking about the text, then finding a card to represent it, engages your child and allows them the opportunity to show comprehension. Try to let them use the cards to re-tell the cycle. This is a great skill to practice!

By the end of the morning, Beckett was assembling the cards on his own & talking to himself about the cycle. I can't get over how much he adores this sort of thing!

What do you think? Can you totally see your littles getting into the Butterfly Life Cycle? Let me know how it goes! We're sharing this and other fabulous ideas over in our [not so] super secret literacy group. We'd love to hear from you! Join our BOOK conversation here!

Don't forget to pin it!


What Makes It Rain Experiment!

Imagine the most darling three year old Beckett voice, in the most perfect staccato, asking: "Mom? Why. is. it. waaayyniin??"


How can you pass up answering THAT sweet question in the most thorough, engaging manner you can possibly dream up?! I couldn't. So we threw our Garden Week activities to the wind and dove into our Usborne What Makes It Rain? book. We examined just the first page of the book, which has fun questions about rain (whereas the other pages are on the sun, snow, etc) and we talked about how the clouds get heavy with water until they juuuust caaan't hold it anymooore! AAAHH! And it faaallss!! Hehe. Can you just imagine the fun?

I've seen this activity floating around the Insta-sphere for a while now and I just couldn't wait to have our turn to do it. We didn't even bother to look up instructions because it seemed pretty self explanatory. ;)

First, we gathered our materials and lined our table with wax paper. I wanted easy clean up but didn't want to clutter our pretty white space with a bright table cloth because I thought it might take away from our experiment. Because we only had gel food coloring, we used a small jar to mix it with water and shake shake shake! Of course, this was super fun for Ms. Chuck.

We took a minute to talk about clouds and where we find them. Then we talked again about how water fills them and guessed what would happen next! Notice in the photo that our shaving cream is SUPER FLUFFY. We actually ended up dumping that first jar and going for round two. Keep in mind that good stuff GROWS!

Beckett had so much fun squeezing rain drops into our cloud, I can totally see us doing this activity every rainy day for a long time! As a bonus, it served as a great fine motor skill. ;) I've seen this done with eye droppers but since we didn't have one of those on hand, medicine syringe it was!

What do you think? Can you totally see your littles going gaga over this activity? Let me know how it goes! We're sharing this and other fab ideas over in our [not so] super secret literacy group. We'd love to hear from you! Join our BOOK conversation here!

Don't forget to pin it!


Egg Carton Flower Garland

So this year I started creating shelf-scapes, as I like to call them. I change out the theme, books, and decor of my book shelf about once a month. This month, however, we doubled up and did Easter for the first half of the month and switched to GARDENS for the second!

So I've just recently discovered Cara Raising Kinley. If you haven't found her on IG yet, do yourself a favor and follow her over here. She's chock full of beautiful ideas, including this brilliant concept for flower garland! You can find Cara's full tutorial right here, which we followed with a few minor adjustments to fit our style.

Let me warn you. I had high hopes for this project but my almost 2 and 3.5 year old did not make it very far into this project. Painting all of the edges of these intricate cartons take some serious commitment to the cause. So unless you're in this for your own enjoyment, I suggest doing this with kiddos with longer attention spans.

Cara cut her cartons first, but I thought it would be easier for little hands to paint the cartons whole. We also chose acrylics over watercolor because it's our paint of choice! [The kids also paint naked in this house, because acrylics are NOT WASHABLE, so be warned]. Paint the outside, let dry, then paint the inside!

Once those were completely dry, we showed Beckett how to punch holes into the cartons. While he wasn't super interested in the painting part of the day, he took this job VERY SERIOUSLY. Hint: put a cutting board under your cartons!

Finally, I cut apart the cartons, sliced triangles in the sides that needed them, and popped them onto this cool string of green lights I had from our March shelf-scape! I did two flowers on lights and then skipped a bulb to stretch out my flowers and because I thought it looked better. Then I just plugged those bad boys in and VOILA! Prettiest flower garland I've ever made! ;)

What do you think? Do you think you'll try your own flower garland? What will you use it for? We're just starting off GARDEN WEEK over in our [not so] super secret literacy group. We'd love to hear from you! Join our BOOK conversation here!

Don't forget to pin it!