Friday, February 5, 2016

Five for Friday February 5

I am linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for Five for Friday. Thank you for hosting, Kacey! 

Our school has had a Souper Bowl of Sharing week for a local food pantry.  The kids are doing a great job bringing in soup to share! This was only Wednesday- with 2 days left!

Our staff had a Souper Bowl lunch, too.  We all brought in different soups, breads, desserts- and basically just ate all day.  Yum.

In our class, we made Stone Soup, to keep with the "Souper Bowl" theme!

We read this book first:
Here's a video of the book.  It isn't that I think it's the best one out there, but it's the one I have, so that made it the best! :)


I also showed a different video to the children so we could compare and contrast the stories a bit. 

You could send home a letter to parents explaining that you're going to make stone soup, and have them send in a vegetable to cut up or a canned vegetable.  I decided to do this spur the moment, so I just got a few cans of vegetables to use.  I was smart and got the ones with the pop top, so I didn't have to use a can opener. Plus, I didn't want the kids cutting it was perfect.

After we read the story,  I told the kids we were making our own stone soup. One of my little sweeties said, "WAIT- for real? In real life? Today?"

We started with the stone...of course... which I explained was washed and washed, and then washed again.
 Next someone added corn.  Then peas. Then carrots.  Then some water.  That was it.  Super simple. We turned on the crockpot and hoped for the best.

While the kids were at specials, some magic may have  happened when I added some cans of vegetable soup to the mix.  Ta da!  I love magic at school.

We had so much fun with this! EVERYONE (except only one...) tried it and really, truly liked it.  It was so precious.

I thought this week I would share a few of my all time favorite Valentine activities in case you're looking for something easy and fun to do this coming week with your class.

This is an easy little activity- but not all that quick, because I really encourage the children to take their time and color neatly.  If the kids don't finish it when we start, they can finish it the next morning for morning work.  If you have bigger graph paper, they don't take so long to finish.  If you have smaller graph paper, you could be busy for a week! 

I had the kids fold the paper, then trace half a heart.  Then, cut - but not on the fold.   You could write the directions as a "How to" book for them:
First, fold the paper.  Next, trace the half heart . Put the straight line on the fold.  Then, cut out along the line you traced.  Keep your paper folded and don't cut on the fold.  Last, color in each square on the heart.
Free Printable Graph Paper has different size graph paper you can print if you don't have any! I like to use the bigger grid because sometimes the smaller squares are too overwhelming, and the kids scribble.
Speaking of "How to" books,  a fun way to introduce or reinforce writing these books is having the children write a How To Make a Heart book.

FIRST, we did our interactive writing lesson using our fabulous four words: First, Next, Then, and Last.  I use these words a lot during our How To study- lining up by tables, calling groups to the rug, any chance I get, so they are reinforced all the time.

NEXT, we demonstrated each step to make sure the directions worked, and that it was a good way to make a heart. 

THEN, I explained that we would each be making our own How To Make a Heart book so we could teach everyone in our family, and have tons and tons of paper hearts for all of February- because what could be better than that?!  I haven't had everyone write the same book before, but I knew all the kids loved making hearts, and I wanted us to go through the steps of the book together for their first book.  I really liked doing this.  

LAST, we wrote the books!  I had the kids make the books in ONE day during one Writer's Workshop lesson.  I think I would spread it out over two days next time (2 pages a day), but it actually worked fine.
(I scattered some extra practice hearts around that some of the kids used with their hearts on their book covers.)

One of the most fun parts of this book was that there were no illustrations to draw, because we used "3D illustrations" by using examples on each page showing the steps.  They LOVED this.  You just need to have lots of quarter pieces of paper cut ahead of time, because each child will need about five.  I gave them one at a time as we did each page, so they were all with me and not getting ahead.
Just remind the kids to draw the 2 on the fold.  I demonstrated how it doesn't work if you don't draw it on the fold- and you end up  only two heart halves.  It's also important that they draw the two in the right direction...  details, details, details...

During free choice I got out lots of red, pink, purple, and white paper, markers, and my fun scissors. I even heard those four magic "how to" words when someone was helping another friend make a heart. It's fun to hear them teaching each other.  It was How To in action!  Yes, there were scraps everywhere- but when you think of it, it was much easier to clean up than peanut butter and jelly or something else they could be learning "how to" make! Plus, they LOVE to be human vacuum cleaners during clean up time, so there's never a dull moment.

Have fun making hearts! You just can't be in a bad mood when you're making hearts.  It's sort of like how there's no angry way to say "bubbles."

My favorite Valentine book to share with my class is Somebody Loves Your, Mr. Hatch, by Eileen Spinelli.

The children always love this story, and really seem to understand it. You can just see the empathy in the kids' faces as you read it.
If you aren't familiar with the story, here is a really quick synopsis.
Mr. Hatch had no friends.  He was sad and stuck to his lonely routine every day.

One day, the postman delivered a box to Mr. Hatch, with a note that read, "Somebody loves you. "
This note and gift changed his whole outlook on life. He was happy, started talking to and helping people, and making friends.

The postman returned and sadly explained that he had delivered the gift to the wrong address.

Mr. Hatch again felt that nobody loved him, and he was all alone.  (This is where my class said, "It's a CIRCLE story!"  But I told them that it wasn't over yet! ) 

The neighborhood people had come to love Mr. Hatch because they finally got to know him.  They missed the happy, friendly Mr. Hatch who they had come to know.  They thought of all the kind things Mr. Hatch had done for them, and decided to do something to let Mr. Hatch know that he really was loved.
That weekend when Mr.  Hatch went out to sweep his porch as he usually did, he was greeted with the happiest surprise he had ever seen- and he knew that he truly was loved. 

The illustrations and expressions are so much fun to look at.  The coloring  is great, too, because we noticed how the pages where Mr. Hatch is sad are dark and not colorful, but when he is feeling better and more hopeful, the pages have more bright color.

We had a wonderful sharing time about what small things we could do for people to let them know that we appreciate them.  We talked about how sometimes people who seem sad may be feeling like they have no friends, and may just not know how to let us see the happy person they can be.

I had the children share what they think love is.  Then, I told the children that I have a favorite book that taught me some important things about what love is. I had copied off and read some parts of 1 Corinthians 13 about love. We talked about what it means to be patient and kind. We learned what the words envy and boast mean, and how that isn't a loving way to act.  We talked about how love is thinking about other people, not getting mad easily, and forgiving others when they make mistakes.
I posted about a fun activity to make for moms and dads here. I call them Love Gloves.  The children stuff the glove, and you hot glue it to say, "I love you," by gluing down the third and fourth fingers. You can attach a little heart message from the child, too. 

I think I might make these as Mother's Day gifts this year, but now is the time to get the gloves at the Dollar Store- or on sale for the end of the season.  (Because it's not going to happen in May for Mother's Day!)

We love marble painting.  We make spider webs in fall,  flowers and butterflies in spring, and these hearts for Valentine's Day.  It's easy, fun, and so pretty!

We sprinkled on a little glitter after the painting- because glitter makes everything just that much better.  You can also add some extract to the paint (like mint) just for fun- to make scented paint.  

I had the children write a note on the inside of the card to tell mom and dad, or whomever it was for, why they love them, and to thank them for something.  The cards turned out so sweet.
OK- Here is Bonus #6...

This time of year I love having the children read and write the room in their Love Glasses.  I love having the sight words up and around the room in different ways, because the kids accidentally read them all the time and don't even know it.  I hear things like, "Oh, I feel so sorry for 'am' all by itself over here!"  I love that.  I purposely put words in sad situations so the kids feel sorry for them and discuss them... Personification at it's best.  Whatever it takes!

We are going to write the room next week, but in case you wanted to do it, I wanted to share these pictures from last year!
(This picture was a favorite.  What you don't see with the white fur boots is the white fur Hello Kitty vest that matches it...  I wait for the outfit of the day with that one every day!)

I got the magic glasses and magic Valentine pencils  at the Dollar Tree.  You can click on the picture below if you would like a copy of the recording sheet I made. 

Have a wonderful weekend.  Thank you for stopping by!


  1. I am just starting the how-to writing and will do your heart activity for sure! Thank you! And I can't wait to wear my glasses every day next week! Love the write the room activity too!

  2. I wish I was in your class!!!!! Drawing a 2 to make a heart?!?! That is GENIUS! I'm so teaching my kids on Monday!! Those love glasses are adorable and the love glove is precious! <3 Happy Weekend Carolyn!!

  3. Oh, Carolyn, it's hard to pick your best idea on here! I love knowing about the graph paper site. I love the how-to anchor chart and book. And the lonely sight words around the room is brilliant. I'm home sick today, so having the time to read in a leisurely way is a little special perk for me... and omgosh, I posted, too. I admire your diligence as a blogger because it is often more than I can do. So glad you posted! See you next time. Kathleen

  4. oh my goodness!!!!!!!!!!!! My kids are always yelling out "Circle Story" too funny!! Love those glasses!!!

  5. Oh wow - that is a LOT of soup! What a wonderful idea though! Love the crock pot idea too! You have had a super crazy busy week - wow!! Have a great weekend :)

    Teaching Autism


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