First of all, THIS was the view off our deck on Tuesday morning. Boo. When did this happen?! I am not ready! I am also not ready for it being dark before five.
I taught the children what a cornucopia was this week. I decided to have them try to hear the sounds in the food they saw inside the cornucopia. I loved hearing all of the words being s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d out! They really tried hard, and I think they are doing well for this time of year.
Just so you don't think they're all ready to skip a grade... yes- he used some '8's' in 'banana.'
Tomorrow's words are ...
They'll love them.
A while ago, I was asking for ideas for 'small moment' stories to use for my Narrative Writing Unit. Kathy Griffin told me about the book Every Friday, by Dan Yaccarino- and I love it.
The author's story about why he wrote the book may be my favorite part because it is truly a real life small moment:
I guess the Friday breakfasts came about because like most dads, I sometimes didn't feel like I saw my son enough. Some weeks, our Friday breakfasts were the only time he and I had to talk or just share some time together.
I look back on when we started what became our little tradition. He was in preschool and had to start sharing his mom and dad with a new little sister. I wanted him to have some time when he didn't have to put up with a crying baby who yanked his ears, which he patiently tolerated. He and I soon looked forward to Fridays and the diner's owner, Nick, as well as a variety of regulars, warmly greeting us. To their continued astonishment, he consumed an entire adult-size order of pancakes and a side of bacon, of which I was very proud. I have fond memories of us watching people trudging through the snow and rain as he and I were cozily nestled in a booth, a little oasis from the outside world. As much as we loved Nick’s Diner, I think we both preferred the small journey we took each week to get there. It may have been a mere four blocks, but it was full of adventure: greeting familiar faces, window shopping and monitoring the progress of a building on the corner going up story by story.
My other favorite new book is Ralph Tells a Story. It is PERFECT for writer's workshop. Maybe everyone already knows about it, but if you don't, it is a winner! The kids loved it. They completely related to the story, and the illustrations are adorable- with lots of speech bubbles and lots of fun. Hey, it mentions "underwear" twice, so... it doesn't get much better when you are five.
Nothing ever happens to Ralph. So every day when it’s time to write stories, Ralph thinks really hard. He stares at his paper. He stares at the ceiling. But he has no stories! With the help of his classmates, Ralph realizes that a great story can be about something very little . . . and that maybe he really does have some stories to tell. Debut author/illustrator Abby Hanlon’s endearing text and charming watercolor and colored pencil illustrations prove that writing can be fun! This story works nicely with Lucy Calkins’ Writer’s Workshop model of teaching.
Look at some of the illustrations:
(I love this teacher! :)
I also found some other good books that I liked about treasures. What a Treasure by Jane Hillenbrand and Treasures of the Heart by Alice Ann Miller are very sweet books, about 'treasure' being what is most important to you. I thought this tied in really well with choosing writing topics, because even though something may seem like a small thing, if it is important to the writer, it makes a good story. So- because Amazon
totally has my number knew I was a total sucker for children's books was concerned that I got all the books I needed, they thought that I may ALSO LIKE The Treasure by Uri Shulevitz. I didn't want to hurt Amazon's feelings, so that is on its way. It looks really sweet, too. They are good, those Amazon people.
We kept practicing our Thanksgiving Story this week to go with our bracelet. We are making our bracelets next week, and I really want the children to know the story well.
As we move each bead, we tell part of the story.
The Pilgrims left England because they wanted freedom to worship God as they wanted. (1st green)
They left England on a ship called the Mayflower. ( white bead)
It was a very long trip across the ocean. (I say a word for each of the 3 blue beads: very. long. trip.)
Finally, they saw land! (green bead) (The kids love to say "LAND HO!")
They landed at Plymouth Rock. ( gray bead)
When they landed it was Winter. (I say a word for each of the 3 white beads: very. long. Winter.)
Finally Spring came! (light green bead)
They met Squanto, a Native American who helped them learn to hunt and plant. (Light brown bead)
To thank the Native Americans, the Pilgrims had a feast for everyone including:
cranberries (red bead), corn (yellow bead), turkey (brown bead), and pumpkin pie (orange bead).
We read lots of books and watched some videos. The books I am proud to say I used are:
The other resources I used were great, too- not as "scholarly", but the kids really learned the story and loved them. I'm proud that they learned from them- how's that?
If you would like a copy of the paper I send home with their bracelets, just click on the picture.
It's ok that one boy still says the Pilgrims came over on the Cauliflower, right? He'll get it... The bead is even white, which adds to the confusion. Oh gee.