Friday, April 1, 2016

Five for Friday April 1

I'm linking up with Kacey from Doodlebugs Teaching for her Five for Friday.  Thank you for hosting, Kacey! It was our week back from Spring Break, so we reviewed a lot to try to remember all that we knew before we left!

As the kids were getting ready for writing on Tuesday, I went to get a book by the window, and saw this...  and I GASPED.   So, when everyone was back in their seats, I told them they needed to meet me back in housekeeping. (I think they thought they didn't clean something up, and they were a little nervous...)  They came back, saw this- and they ALL GASPED.  I wish I had a video.
This bloomed exactly 7 weeks after we planted it, just to give you a time frame.
Our First Morning Glory of 2016!

I call this bulletin board my "Countdown to Joone!"  I absolutely LOVE Joone- the book, the character (everything about her personality), and the wonderful author.  I just cannot wait for Emily Kate Moon to write more books. I'm first in line.  I wrote about how I use Joone in my class HERE. It is a perfect mentor text for so many ELA skills- and character education, too.  Can you tell I might love this book with all my heart?  We're also very excited for the month of June- so I combined the two things I love into this bulletin board.  

At the end of the year, as my sweet class is getting ready to think ahead to first grade, I like to plant sunflower seeds with them.  We talk about the fact that when their flower is grown and blooming, they will be ready for first grade and a brand new year of school.

This is a cute story we read to go along with our planting. 

I wrote this poem to go along with their plantings.  Feel free to use it if you'd like to!

I could read and reread this book. It's beautifully written and so sweet.  Every time I read it, I find another little gem and detail in the book.  It takes you to such a wonderful, peaceful place. 

Sunflower House is another sweet book that gives children other fun ideas for planting at their own house!

My class is just LOVING Kristin's  (A Teeny Tiny Teacher) plays. We can't get enough!

Reader's Theater {Spring Bundle}

LOVING them.  Between my scoop chairs and those plays, that's pretty much all I need for the day.
The kids will find a quiet spot, take the set of plays, and read them together like pros.  It's great for fluency practice, too, because when you are an actor in a PLAY- you want to sound like you have some personality and expression! (or your partner will call you out on it... )

We needed a break from "formal" writing time.  I put out lined paper, plain paper, different prepared blank books, envelopes, small papers, glue, staples, markers, colored pencils, pencils, colored pens, crayons, and clip boards.  The kids could go anywhere they wanted and write about anything they wanted. ANYTHING at all.  Before I let them go-  we brainstormed some story ideas- superheroes, princesses, a mystery of the missing dirt bike, Cat and Dog (like Piggie and Elephant), something true that really happened, All About Me, an animal book, a story about your crazy pet, your day at school, the messy lunch... 

We also talked about how a book opens when we write (Some of my kids like to start on the last page and go backward.), writing neatly so others can read it when we share, keeping one idea for our story (not starting with Piggie and Elephant then switching over to Spiderman in the middle), FUN writing with BIG letters or really small letters, speech bubbles...

It was so quiet. Everyone had their own spots. Everyone was writing.  Some kids wrote a LOT and had a real idea.

I think the favorites were the envelopes the  kids could put into their books like The Jolly Postman. 
That book gave the kids lots of ideas. I wrote a post about the book HERE.

Everyone was fabulous!  It was very eye opening when I really gave no guidance except for our introduction on the rug.  Five of the kids thanked me for letting them write whatever they wanted.  (Which we do a lot- but for some reason today was just so much better.) 

Others, loved the stapler.  Just keeping it real.  He really loved that stapler.

Finally, I have to share this "sign" that is one of the happiest signs of Spring I've seen.  Two years ago yesterday, my sweet friend, who also teaches across the hall from me, lost her fianc√© in a tragic accident.  I feel so blessed that we have such a strong support of friends here in our hallway (and together outside of school!).  Well, now we even have some support outside the window.  Just a couple weeks ago, a bird house was set up right outside her window.  (My friend does NOT like birds, by the way- usually.) However, since the beginning of this week, two bluebirds have been at the birdhouse each day.  They sit right outside of her window and look in or sit on top  of the bird house.  Bluebirds are not common here- and are a thrill to see.  

I told her they were bluebirds of happiness sent right for her, and she loved it. She hadn't heard of that, so I tried to find a picture to show her that they really are called "bluebirds of happiness."As I was looking, I found this first (by Presley Love) on a page that came up:

The timing could not have been better. 

Thank you for stopping by!  Have a wonderful weekend!


  1. Oh, Carolyn, I know just what you mean about taking a little break from a "real" writing unit. We wrapped up our How-tos with a deliberate gap so we'd have time just to do that! And I loved your Blue Bird of Happiness info! I LOVE bluebirds-really any birds- and we never see them. A few years ago we had a little goldfinch that adopted us. He lived right on the window sill for most of the day. We named him George... though he didn't have a yellow hat, only a yellow body... I'm sure you see the connection :) Those things cannot be planned or duplicated and are SO special! Have a marvelous day and weekend. See you next time. Kathleen

  2. Hi! We use those plays, too! My students love them :) Enjoy your weekend! Jen

  3. My first graders are obsessed with Kristin's Reader's Theaters too! They are reading them constantly and are always begging me to perform them!

  4. I love seeing kindergartners encouraged to LOVE writing! It's such an important foundation for later many times students see writing as a chore.


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