Sunday, August 24, 2014

Some Favorite Newer Books

Here are a few of "my" newer books that I love:

1. The End (Almost) by Jim Benton, is a hilarious book about a bear named donut that doesn't want the story to end.  My kiddos loved loved loved it.  We read the story over and over again with kids playing the two parts.  Great practice for reading with expression.  Such great voice in this book.
2. It's an Orange Aardvark by Michael Hall is a book of wonder and discovery.  It will keep the kids guessing and making predictions for what will come next.  This book is funny and full of suspense.
3. Mouse Was Mad by Linda Urban.  Great story about a mouse figuring out how to be mad.  It's all about self expression.
 4. I'm Not by Pam Smallcomb  is about what makes everyone special.  Love the pictures and the message.
5.  The Handiest Things in the World by Andrew Clements, is all about the how important our hands are.  This book is done in beautiful pictures.

Have a wonderful school year of sharing books with kids.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Building Fun

My kiddos last year were quite the builders.  They loved when I gave them different materials to create some kind of structure with.  Here are a few block examples they created in teams.  It was an excellent activity to get kids to work together at a task.  I always gave a time limit to keep the activity focused and fast.

During our field days in June, I was thinking about my kiddos when I came up the idea to use cardboard boxes in a Mine-craft activity.  I collected 80+ cardboard boxes of all sizes.  The boxes took over my classroom.  Unfortunately, it rained all morning long during our morning field day stations.  And by rain I mean poured buckets.  Both kids and boxes got soaked.  But everyone had loads of fun.

This was a hit on field days!  I had the kids building different structures in two different teams.

Kids love constructing and building of all kinds.  It reminds me of the engineering piece we are implementing into our Next Generation Standards.

School starts for me on Tuesday.  I'm almost ready.  When do you start?

Good Luck on a new school year.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Word Wall Freebie

Over the years I've had several different designs of word walls.  I hate how much space they take up on classroom walls.  My first wall I created using index cards and I did it all by hand.  Yuck! is all I can say about it.  I've bought other word walls and there seemed to be a million pieces.  For the last few years I didn't have any word wall except for a Words For Writing Chart.  At the end of the year I noticed a word wall in a second grade classroom at my school that hit me like a ton of bricks.  That's it!   That's what I need, a smaller word wall that kids can use to help with reading and writing.

It takes the space on a half a door.  I have a bathroom in my classroom and it is the perfect place for all to see and an easy space to attach words with just tape.  I am thrilled with how it looks.

I created it using tables.  I put all words in alphabetical order.  It was easy to attach to the door and I can always add more words if we need to.   Here's how it looks.

I printed the alphabet on bright pink for bright contrast.  It is just what I've been dreaming of for years.  You are welcome to try the Mini Word Wall out here.  

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Dollar Tree Finds and other Treasures

I love shopping!  My favorite shopping trips are the back to school adventures.  I've found a few treasures at the Dollar Tree.
Large glasses to practice "reading between the lines"
 Magnetic dry erase speech bubbles   These will be great paired with pictures of the kids doing fun things and writing captions to go with them.
 More vinyl speech bubbles to use on my classroom door.
I just love the things you can find at the Dollar Tree Store.
 During  trip to a Maine I found some treasures in toy and museum stores.
I am obsessed with dice and found this package of multi dice.  I love the  cool colors.
I bought 2 hand held Microscopes for kids to use in a science center or out on the playground.
 A tin whistle.  I guess I need a few lessons on how to play it.  It will become a way for me to help kids transition from one activity to another, like my chimes.
 A box of sharks for my science center. 
 A cute baby owl by Gund and squishy happy faced ball for morning meeting tossing games.
I can't wait to share these fun items with my new class.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Book Talk Today

Here is one of my favorite books Be Happy!  By Monica Sheehan.  It is so positive with a terrific message....."Have fun and be happy being you!"  It's an easy read with great pictures.  I love listening to kids reading this book.  They are always smiling.

I love this book!

Happy Reading!