Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Seuss story puppets.

When I pulled my Dr. Seuss bin down last week, I found these:
I don't even remember buying them!!!  It must've been last year when the Dr. Seuss stuff went on sale.  Cute, right?  But what was I thinking when I bought them?  Because I surely don't remember.  The stickers are broken up into 6 stories {The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs & Ham, One Fish Two Fish, Yertle the Turtle, Horton Hears a Who & The Sneetches} plus some additional ABC stickers.
There are plenty of each so the first plan is to make some puppets.  Perfect for retell!  I hot glued a popsicle stick to the back of each then covered the stick with some cute scrapbook paper to make it harder to pull off.
Voila!  You could also make them from flat stickers or graphics on card stock if you have those in your collection!  Or stick them down in a candy jar or box of tissue paper for a decoration!
Today's snack is for your picky eaters.  This spin on green eggs & ham comes from Mandee & Brandy.  If you have kids that freak out to try new foods, this version will put a smile on their faces!  {sugar up!!}

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Cat in the Hat.

The Cat in the Hat.  Classic Seuss.  I thought about skipping this one but found new favorites I want to try this year and figure I'd keep you in the loop with the goods.

One writing activity I like to do is have the kids answer the question at the end of the story.  "Well, what would you do if your mother asked you?"  Start with a house outline.  You can make it by using a long sheet of construction paper, folding in both sides to meet in the middle and then cutting whatever roofline you want on the top.
Glue the writing inside to display.  It's interesting to see how many of them would tell their mother the truth about the weird cat invasion and how many of them wouldn't.  The reasons they come up with for why the house is a mess are priceless.
{Forgive my make-shift example.  I had a picture uploaded of the real display and for the life of me, I have no idea where it went!!!}

These adorable puppets are from My Everything Else when she was featured on obSEUSSed.  She bought red party bags but we'll using the regular {free} brown ones from the art room, colored red.

This Pinterest link wasn't uploaded right so I don't know the original user, but how great are these thing students?!  Blue easter grass hair!!  :)

I also like the hair on these little guys.  Curl the paper around a pencil to make it roll up like that.  We'll definitely be making these.

For math, we play this counting game from Hubbard's Cupboard.  Each pair of students gets one game board.  Student A rolls the dice, gets 4 and colors 4 hats pink {she will be pink the entire game}.  Student B takes a turn, rolls 2 and colors 2 hats green {and will stay green}.  Continue until the board is full then count to see how many hats each person colored and who had the most.

You can also turn your students into The Cat himself!  Wear all black, add a striped hat, red bowtie and some {eyeliner} whiskers.  Now see what kind of mischief you can come up with!

I love these Cat in the Hat hats for snack!!  White chocolate dipped oreos and red chocolate dipped marshmallows!  Thanks Jill!

Monday, February 27, 2012

One Fish, Two Fish, Word Family fish.

There are so many pins and posts for Dr. Seuss that mine may just be white noise.  But nonetheless, if you're still looking for something else among the masses, I'm going to share some of what we're doing this week.  Today's activity...

{One fish, Two fish, Red fish, Blue fish}

A teammate of mine found a fish coloring page & made this cute word sorting game a few years ago.
My cute-OCD wasn't a fan of the rectangles.  I cut them out completely so they can jump into a fish bowl.  About half way through cutting all of them out, her way was looking much better!  But now that they're finished, they're super cute.
I also made a capital and lowercase letter sort using the same template.
Here's 2 {different sizes} sheets of fish you can make yourself. Print on white and color yourself or print on colored paper to make cards. Possibilities are endless for their use.
There's {of course} a recording sheet. You can have the fish jump in a rhyming fish bowl or just be laid out on a table in columns. Either way, you can put these in a literacy center and hold your students accountable for their learning!

And a super cute snack idea from Simple Girl at Home.  Swedish fish & jello!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Target dollar bin for organizing!

I got these super cute organizers in the Target Dollar Bin this week!  I had to get them because they go right along with my literacy groups.  I loooooove color coding!!  {I'll just slap a yellow star on the black ones and it'll be perfect.}
The question now is...what do I do with them?!  Yes, another purchase without reason.  But they are the right colors and will help me organize...something.  :)  The buckets can be used for literacy games or storage if nothing else.  And the expandable files...for what?!

Feel free to share your great ideas!!  :)
{hint, hint}

They also had these cute little bug masks for $1 each.  Creepy crawlers coming in the spring!
And loads of St. Patrick's Day goodies if you need some.  I already have a hat and some beads but thought these buttons were pretty cute.  6 for $1?  Um, ok!
They had Easter items too.  Head on over for some good, cheap buys.  Then come back and share what you've found!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

additional support for homework journals.

Instead of a long weekend for President's day we had 2 days of Common Core training.  {yippie.}  But we did get to work in our rooms and I took advantage of the afternoon to clean out and oRgaNize.  Which, for me, means actually filing the stacks of paper on top of my filing cabinets.

My neighbor has this awesome sentence book from Key Education.  I've used it in a literacy center for the past couple of years, keeping a copy of each in a file.
But...apparently I've kept multiple copies because my file was a mess.  I went through it and got rid of so many blank recording sheets {where the kids glue down the sentence & picture} that I was disgusted with myself.  I had to do something different.  Starting with not wasting copies on recording sheets anymore. {new idea on that coming your way when I get it together.} I kept one copy of each page of sentence puzzles but couldn't bring myself to get rid of those good reproducibles.  Then it hit me...double whammy...don't waste and provide additional support in writing!

Let me back up for a minute.  Every year after Christmas we switch from monthly homework calendars where students choose 20 activities to writing journals where they write at least 3 times per week.

I always teach how to use it in my guided reading groups before sending it home.  Important reason #1: so the kids know what to do.  Even more important reason #2: so parents can see what their child is capable of doing on their own.
{...because... writing}
{Responding to text writing}

I check the journals each Friday, make comments and corrections based on the individual child's ability & give suggestions on what parents should work on the next week.  The hardest ones to grade are my struggling students, who need the practice most...and usually turn in perfect sentences that they've copied from a parent.  :(

Ok.  Back to the surplus of copies!  I took all of those sheets and cut them apart then put puzzle pieces for multiple sentences in a baggie.  I typed up a list of the sentences that could be made from the puzzles to avoid confusion.
I also made a sample, took a picture and included it with the directions.  The students find the pieces of a puzzle, glue them down and sound out their own blanks.  Then use the model to copy the sentence on the lines, write one more sentence and illustrate.
Only 1 of the 5 students I provided with this additional support actually used it and turned it back in this week, but all you can do is give parents the tools...and bribe the kids with a prize for bringing back their work.

If nothing else, it's another tool to support sentence structure that I can add to the other tricks up my sleeve.  How do you help your struggling writers who are still working on sounding out and basic conventions?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

cupcake phonemes.

It's finally done!  Whether you're working on initial sounds, medial sounds, ending sounds or all of the above, this cupcake activity will have you covered.  There are 2 ways to play to accommodate various levels of learning {and my first and second grade readers.}  You can work this into a Valentine's day unit, read If you give a cat a cupcake, use it after a class unbirthday party or just...teach it!  :)

Option 1: easier

Option 2: harder

You can use this as an independent literacy center, small group activity or file folder game.  Recording sheets included for each level: 

You can get it at my TeachersPayTeachers store, but it is {free!}

The super graphics and font are from Lettering is most of my stuff.  Check them out and sign up for their newsletter.  Good prices and it's all super cute!

Friday, February 17, 2012

thwarted plans.

I've snuck into the office in the middle of packing {don't tell!!} to give you a quick update.  We've had a rough week with the death of my husband's grandfather and are now headed out of town for the funeral.  I have a SUPER fun {free} activity that I've been pouring into and planned to post this weekend when I finally got the chance to sit down.  Now...not so much.

So here's a sneak peak:
And come back next week to see the rest!  :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Horton teaches Character Ed.

My kids have been obsessed with Dr. Seuss books {hee hee...Obseussed!} and I'm not even sure how it started.  But our library wagon has been chock full of 'em for the last month or so.  Bring on Fox in Socks, sir, I've read it eight jillion times, sir, and now I'm a pro of the rhyme, sir!

{I seriously can't wait for Dr. Seuss day.  These kids are going to lose their minds when they find out!!}

We had a little preview today when I had a lightbulb moment while reading Horton Hears a Who.  I have a student who hasn't wanted to participate this week no matter how many reward or motivator tricks I pull out of my sleeve.  So as I was reading today about Jo-Jo the shirker who finally saved the day with his Yopp! hit me.  CO-OP-ER-ATION.  If little Jo-Jo hadn't gotten it together to finally speak up and make some noise, he would've let down his whole community while they {in your darkest, most terrifying voice} boiled in Beezle-Nut oil!
Luckily my students went to music immediately after finishing this story so I had a quick minute to whip this together and have it ready by the time they got back.  We made I guided them to connections between the Whos' cooperation and how we have to cooperate in class to get things done then I pulled out this little diddy and we put it on paper.
Not only that, but then I had the brilliant idea to hang them on their cubbies so they'd have the cooperation reminder each morning as soon as they came in to start the day!  Sometimes I even amaze myself.  ;)
The Jo-Jo image came from Coloring Pages ABC.  A little warm-up for March 2nd!  Who-dee-who!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

{nationwide} valentine exchange.

Have you seen Scholastic's valentine exchange idea?!
Basically, your kids make a valentine that list their 3 favorite books and you send them to scholastic.  Your valentines go to a class somewhere else in the country and within 4 weeks you get valentines back from kids just like your students!

Love it.  But I in the world are my kinders supposed to get 3 book titles - plus decorations - on a small little heart?!  Hence, I came up with these options.  They are simple so please put them on some construction paper then sticker and glitter away!!!

6 small designs
 or 3 large designs

Feel free to use yourself and share with other pre-K, kindergarten and 1st grade teachers who are also participating.  How great would it be for our students to connect with valentines from co-blog-buddy classrooms?!  If you use these printables or receive them in your classroom, let me know!  I'll be really curious to see how far they travel!  :)

If you're not involved with Scholastic yet, you can use them for a "We love Reading" bulletin board or new Valentine's day writing activity!

For more rules and specifics go to Scholastic.  The contest is open through February 21st.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

{matching} setting & characters.

The last couple of weeks in writing we began writing real actual books {read: the same paper we always use but full size and folded in half.}  We started by retelling Amazing Grace, which went with our literacy unit "Stick to It."  Then, after reading A small brown dog with a wet pink nose {such a cute book!} they wrote about having an imaginary friend.
We used this organizer to plan the beginning, middle and end of the story then transferred the idea to a real book.  {click the example for a copy.}
Granted, some of the plots were not all that developed {you'll see!} but at least they all had 3 parts.  Here's one of my favorites:
 "Imaginary Cat Illustrated by Jada"
 Once upon a time a time a little {boy} wanted a cat but her mom said no.  He pretended he had a cat.
 They went in the shower because the little {boy said} look at my cat.  He loves the cat in the shower.
 We got our clothes on us because we helped each other go outside to play.
This week we moved to discussing setting and characters and how they have to match up.  I introduced it using this outline from Lanternfish that we completed together in class.  We named the setting and listed characters that would belong in each.
Then I printed these setting cards from SparkleBox.  Each kid chose a setting card, planned the characters and wrote their own creative story to match them up!
Help yourself to those free resources and see what your kids come up with!

P.S. A few more pictures and ideas were added to my 100th day post.  Fully updated!  :)
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