Friday, October 21, 2016

Five for Friday October 21

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

Here is one of my fall bulletin boards.  I always love the advice different things have to give!

I had the best day ever last week when I got to FaceTime with Emily Kate  Moon in my classroom, and she read her book, Joone.  Oh, I mean- it was all for the kids.  I think I may have said, "I'm friends with Emily Kate Moon, but I've never met her yet either!" too many times, because when I said it, one of my boys said, "Yeah, you told us that."   OK....  Anyway-  Here is my post all about our wonderful day!

AND if you'd like to make fabulous Dr. Chin turtle hats of your own,  click HERE for the pattern.  My wonderful art teacher made these with the kids and gave me his pattern to share.  He printed the hats on green paper, let the kids cut and decorate them, then stapled them into a hat.  They were perfect.

Here are two great directed drawing videos for drawing a turtle.  The kids LOVE these!

Don't forget to end your special Joone Day with ice cream sandwiches, because...  why not?!  

We had our October Random Act of Kindness Day on our calendar last week!

 I wrote about how I love to work kindness into our Calendar Time HERE.  It was a RAK for our playground aides. I love our playground aides, and so do the children.  They're great.  The children took them each an amaryllis bulb.  I LOVE growing these.  They grow SO fast and are absolutely gorgeous.  It's a perfect science activity for the classroom, too, because the children can measure almost daily and see growth!  The kids were so excited to give.  That was the best part.

Dr. Jean and I finished our Brain Cookies packet.  We put together over 90 favorite brain breaks for any time of the day.  We thought the name "Brain Cookies" would be fun because they are little treats to help get through the day- (and these are even healthy!)  We use these all the time in my class.
My kids love it because I store the cookies in cookie containers, and the leader gets to choose one that we do!

You can keep them on a ring or even in a cookie jar!  Just have fun!  That's what it's all about.

One of my favorite ways to get my kids writing is sticker writing.  I guess it's just different enough and fun enough to be a perfect combination.  We use Lucy Calkins for writing- which is fine- but gets to be a little too much too fast for my kids.  There are just too many parts for little five year old brains to remember to put together sometimes.  I find I don't really get much "writing" because they just plain need to learn HOW to write letters, and use those sounds to make words and get down what they want to say.  So some days we just need to back it up a little.  

I buy stickers at the Dollar Store, and cut each page in half.  Each student gets a half page of stickers and an 8 1/2X14  (Legal size) paper.  For some reason, this bigger paper is just exciting!
The children can put their stickers anywhere they want, and then draw more details for the stickers the background.  Then, they can labels and add speech bubbles if they want.  
I use this as an activity to teach early sentence writing.  I have each child write, "I  see  a  ..."  and they can finish it with whatever they see in their picture.  This is a great way to practice writing sight words.  You can use lots of different sentences with this writing:  I can see a...;  I like my...;  Can you see the?...;  Look at the...  My____ can _____....  anything you want!

 We work on neat printing, spaces, stretching out words and hearing sounds, and adding a period at the end of the sentence.  I was so proud of them- and I actually felt better about their writing after this.  Phew!  Some of those "books" for writer's workshop had me nervous...  Now I see hope.

I wrote a post about Sticker Writing that I did later in the year.  They love sticker writing anytime!

Finally- just to make you all feel better about yourselves... in case you had a long week.
I watched this Cooking Panda video to make sugar cookie ice cream cups.  SOOOO easy. Basically... Butter the backside of a cupcake sheet really well.  Cut sugar cookie dough.  Put on top of well-buttered circles. Bake. Slide off.  Enjoy.  

So here are mine. We had sugar cookie crumbs to put on our ice cream.  At least we had ice cream.  

Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Best Day Ever!

I know it's 74 days until Christmas, but today was like Christmas in October, with Joone, in my class!

We had the best visit from Emily Kate Moon via Facetime today!  We've looked forward to it for weeks now, ever since we planned this day. We brought the best of Florida right up to New York- and even Hurricane Matthew couldn't stop it!
Emily read Joone to us, and added some extras in along the way so we could learn even more about our favorite book.

My sweet friend Jen (our STEM teacher) and I are Emily's biggest fans. She was with me for this great moment.  If you haven't read Joone for some reason, you, too, will become her biggest fan. Here is some more about how I use the book before I share our visit!

As a teacher, you would think Emily Kate Moon wrote this just for us.  It's a perfect mentor text for adding details to illustrations and writing.  We talk about adding at least 5 details to our pictures.  We "decided" on this number because the kids are five, so that's just perfect.

Look how great this page of the book is to help reinforce 5 details!  As I read and the children heard a detail, they had to hold up one finger.  This page- with only this much text-  gave us five great details about Joone.  We shared the details after I read the page. When I showed the children the illustration, they could see so many more details from the wonderful drawing!

Joone is also a perfect mentor text for small moments and narrative writing.  It's hard to find good books to introduce this for writing.  This book is full of special, small moments, and it lets the children see that those special, small moments make wonderful stories to tell and write about in their books!

I made some writing prompts to use after you read Joone to your class.  If you would like a copy of them, just click on the picture!

Literally- it's just a perfect book.

But it's also a character education dream.  Joone is the coolest little girl.  She's the girl you want your girls in class to want to be-  clever, creative, caring, strong, adventurous, and fun.  And the best part is- we found out during our Facetime, that Joone is really based on Emily Kate Moon's life! (So actually SHE is the coolest girl ever, I guess!)

We talked about questions we'd like to ask Emily, and the children wondered if she had a pet turtle and liked ice cream sandwiches (like Joone does) when she was little.  Well, she told us that she did base details about Joone on her life. She did organize her grandpa's books in rainbow order.  And she really does love ice cream sandwiches!

That's another amazing thing I can go back to over and over during writing with the kids. "What did Emily Kate Moon write about?"  Details from HER life!

Here are some pictures from our day.

We did directed drawings of Joone, and decorated the room with them.

We all tried to dress in orange and purple (Joone's favorite colors), and we made turtle hats to wear, because Joone often has Dr. Chin, her pet turtle, on her head.

In the book,  Joone puts an ice cream sandwich in the mailbox for the mail lady... which is one of the favorite parts of the book for the kids.  They really "get" that and think it's such a funny idea.

My mother comes to help in my classroom during center time, and today she brought a bag she said she found in her mailbox.  Well, it was cold... and the children knew right away what it was!  Ice cream sandwiches from Joone! You should have heard the squeals.

Later in the day, during free choice time, I put out some directed drawing paper for the children to practice their own Dr. Chin drawings.

Two of my kids were looking back over the book during free choice, and I heard one say, "Where did Emily say she put that little frog in this picture?"  OK-  they are now on the first name basis with a famous author and illustrator.  They don't even know how cool they are.

We just can't wait for more books, Emily!  Thank you for making our entire school year so special with a memory we won't ever forget!

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