Friday, July 12, 2013

Rocket Reads & Writes!

Hey bloggers!

So on a recent trip to Barnes & Noble to make my back to school wish list, I came across a few books that I am really excited about! I decided to cross them off my list and buy them now. I'm loving the thought of using these for Reader's & Writer's Workshop!

The books are all by Tad Hills:
How adorable is Rocket?! I think the kids will just love him! :)
You can even get a Rocket classroom mascot {here}!
First is How Rocket Learned to Read. My kids come to me with varying levels of reading abilities...some are still working on their letter sounds and some are reading at 2nd or 3rd grade levels. Regardless, I always start the year with a review of reading strategies before beginning guided reading at their levels. This book will be great for that! In it, the little yellow bird teaches Rocket the "wondrous, mighty, gorgeous alphabet," the sounds for each letter, and how to put those sounds together to make words. The bird shows Rocket how to use all of the things around him to practice reading. This would easily lead into a "read the room" activity and a discussion about the classroom word wall. During writer's workshop, we teach the kids to "stretch" out their words, write the sounds that they hear, and write about what they know best (things around them). This book goes right along with that!
Next is Rocket Writes a Story. I start Writer's Workshop on day one & this book will be great for introducing the parts & expectations of writing time (as well as reviewing these things later in the year as needed). It starts out with Rocket wanting to learn new words. So he sets out and finds new words all around him (something we have the kids do already, use what they know!). Every time he found a new word, the little yellow bird would add it to his "word tree" (like our word wall). Then Rocket decided to use his word tree to write a story (we always encourage the kids to use the word wall when writing a story, hopefully this will help hit it home even more). However, Rocket gets stuck and can't think of anything to write about (ever heard that from a student before?! ha) so the little yellow bird helps him come up with ideas like things he likes to do, or things he has seen, etc. After he decides to write about an owl he has seen, the little yellow bird begins to ask him questions about the owl so that he can add more detail (one on one writing conference!). The book finishes with Rocket reading his story to the owl (partner share). Awesome!
And finally, Rocket's Might Words. There is no story in this one..just a fun way for kids to learn over 100 of Rocket's favorite words (that popped up in the previous 2 books) with labeled pictures. I think this will be a great resource book for kids to use when they are writing and want to use a word that they remember Rocket using!

I'm super excited about these books. They're obviously new to me.

Have you used them before??
I'd love to hear your feedback or how you have used them!


  1. Hi Cait,
    How Rocket Learned to Read is one of my favorite read aloud stories for my little 1st graders! I use it as a confidence builder to encourage all my students and help them realize that they will be successful! I did a post on this book with a freebie if you want to check it out!
    I still need to buy the other two by this author because you are so right, Rocket is just too cute!
    Learning to the Core

  2. I used Rocket Learns to Read last year with Puppy Palooza a unit by Swertzy from TPT. (Sorry I don't know how to do all the links) It helped me make a breakthrough with so many of my students. I had them foster little stuffed puppies from Oriental Trading and they read sight words together and much more. I was going to keep the puppies and use them again but my little darlings loved them so much I had to let them adopt them "forever"! Have fun with Rocket.

    1. Love this! I did something similar last year when the kids made little pom pom creatures around valentine's day...they LOVED reading to them. I'll have to look for some little dogs! Thanks :)

  3. I love using the Rocket books with my first graders! I ended up developing resources to go with both stories, and my students loved them. I also have made a word tree to use this year for math vocabulary words. Students just love the puppy theme!

    My units are here if you are interested in taking a peak:

    Have fun learning with Rocket this school year!


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