The latest news, this month’s free book and poem, and other helpful resources from JillE Literacy.
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JillE Literacy

November 2022

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Trivia Tidbits

November 13 is World Kindness Day, a multi-national celebration created to inspire individuals and connect nations to create a kinder world. 

Did you know…

  • Kindness makes people happier — When we show kindness, dopamine is released in the brain. Some call it the “helper’s high.”

  • Kindness makes people healthier — Kindness releases nitric oxide in the body, which expands blood vessels, reduces blood pressure, and protects the heart. It also produces endorphins, the brain’s natural painkiller.

  • Kindness is contagious — Studies show that acts of kindness create a ripple effect that extend through three degrees of separation—our friends’ friends’ friends. As a result, a single act of kindness can affect up to 125 people!

  • Kindness is teachable — Like weight training, people can build up their compassion ‘muscle’ through social-emotional learning and practice.


Book Bag

Authentic social-emotional learning with an emphasis on empathy and kindness is part of every fiction title in JillE Literacy — and this month’s book is no exception.

Fish Head Soup  is a large-format Shared Book from the Grade 2 Whole-Class Resources kit.

In this humorous story, Mrs. Spatt goes to great lengths to save her friend Spider from the flies that swarm to her steaming pot of fish head soup. Experiencing characters’ emotions and motivations in the context of a story provides safe and meaningful opportunities for children to make connections to their own lives and to build their kindness ‘muscle.’

This delightful rhyming text allows all students to join in a collaborative reading experience and experience reading with fluency and confidence. This unique approach engages even the most reluctant readers in lively, fast-paced lessons that allow the rhythm of language and the power of words to be caught, not taught.

Unlike most other big books, the Shared Books in JillE Literacy were written specifically for reading together with the whole class. By combining rhythmical, rhyming text with rigorous, focused discussions, these unique texts build the reservoir of words, language, and skills that are essential for reading and writing success.

A five-day lesson plan and teaching panels built into every book help teachers guide each daily lesson and take advantage of every opportunity to support comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, phonemic awareness, phonics skills, and social-emotional learning.

The Shared Books build a bridge to independent reading by helping students practice and apply a wide range of reading skills in the context of engaging, authentic texts. They also build a bridge to independent writing with follow-up writing activities in every book that help students write for a variety of purposes and audiences.

Visit the Book of the Month page during November and December to access this free e-book and develop literacy and kindness together with JillE Literacy!

Poetry Power

This month’s free poem, Popcorn in the Pot, is a fantastic way to get the wiggles out as temperatures drop and holiday excitement soars. 

Invite students to jiggle and pop along with the poem as you use the built-in five-day lesson plan to focus on a different teaching opportunity each day, including comprehension, vocabulary, fluency, phonics and phonemic awareness, and creative response.

Why popcorn in November? A common myth claims that the Wampanoag People taught the Pilgrims how to make popcorn at the first Thanksgiving feast. While they certainly ate corn, the type they grew was colorful flint corn, which was not suitable for popping. In fact, the first time popcorn was even mentioned in connection with Thanksgiving was more than 250 years later!

However… popcorn does have a rich history among the Indigenous Peoples of North and South America, where corn has been popped for food and decoration for thousands of years. It’s likely that European settlers first learned of popcorn from the Iroquois People of the Great Lakes region, who used hot sand to pop their popcorn. It became a popular snack worldwide after the debut of the first hot-oil popcorn machine at the Chicago World’s Fair in 1893.

Check out the Poem of the Month page to access the poem, five-day lesson plan, and printable student version throughout November and December.

New & Noteworthy

JillE Literacy was honored to participate in an educational roundtable in Los Angeles, California, hosted by New Zealand Consul-General, Ambassador Jeremy Clarke-Watson, and moderated by the relentless, award-winning, Kiwi-born leader, educator, author, and international speaker, Hamish Brewer.

During the discussion, researchers, educators, and administrators exchanged ideas about post-Covid challenges, successes, and solutions within education systems in the United States and New Zealand, forming relationships that will enrich both countries.

Each roundtable guest also received a grade-level kit of JillE Literacy to take back to their schools or to donate to an elementary school of their choice. In addition, Jill Eggleton herself will provide virtual teacher professional development to support these schools in providing structured and systematic instruction in the skills children need to grow as readers and writers.

Thank you to Ambassador Clarke-Watson, New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, our Houghton Mifflin Harcourt partners, and to all of the roundtable participants from Southern California and beyond!

Gratis Gifts

Check out our Samples and Downloads page for these free resources and more!

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