Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Clever School Teacher Giveaway

I am excited to share a new site created by Deedee Wills and her hubby with you. The site is called The Clever School Teacher and it is designed to help you find the perfect book for teaching reading strategies, writing traits, and grade level content. The site is perfect for you no matter what your needs are - whether you need all of the book help you can get or if you have a vast knowledge of picture books but need some suggestions for how to connect them to teaching reading strategies, writing traits, and author's craft.

I have spent some time exploring the site and purchasing books!! Yah!! I can't wait until they get here. Through my playing around on the site I found tons of new book titles I can't wait to read and use!! The site offers a great selection of popular titles, nonfiction, multicultural texts, and unknown titles. The category listings and the search option make books easy to find. The book sets are my favorite!! I am very excited about the purpose behind this site!! Reading books is so important for growing readers!!

Deedee has graciously offered to giveaway a $25 gift certificate to one of my lucky followers. Entering is simple.... go to The Clever School Teacher, spend some time exploring the site, and leave a comment below sharing something you really liked about the site, how you could use the site in your classroom, or telling about a feature you checked out. Don't forget to leave your email address with your comment. The giveaway ends Monday June 4th, 2012 at midnight.

Monday, May 28, 2012

End of the Year Fun...

Here are my favorite end of the year activities from TPT...

From Peace, Love, and Kindergarten

From Miss Kindergarten Love - My Summer Bucket List

School is Cool (this is a free download from Miss Kindergarten Love)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A House for Hermit Crab

My friend was inspired by Donna Glynn's A House for Hermit Crab unit, so she put together "A House for Hermit Crab" Day with filled with sequencing activities, an ocean snack, and writing.

They started by reading the book A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle. Then they retold the story using the pictures and words from Donna's unit. This picture shows them making a f low map. Donna's unit also contains pieces for making headbands to act the story out.

After reading the story and sequencing it with a flow map, the kids rotated through different learning stations. 

Station 1 - observing shells 

Station 2 - make your favorite character hat
students drew their favorite character
then they wrote a sentence to tell why that character was their favorite

Station  3 - sequencing the story

Station 4 - making sand cups

Station 6 - using the five finger writing planner 
(from Joyful Learning in KC)

On the following day, students used their five finger planners to write a story about "Hermit Crab" Day. Here are a few sample pages. 

Here are a few more fun Hermit Crab inspired projects I found....

From Lesson Plan Source...

And... my favorite crab hat!! If you love fun hats for special days at school and you ever make it to San Antonio, there is a great novelty shop directly across the street from the Alamo. It has tons of FUN hats in it!! I have made quite a collection from over the years. 

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas releases September 25th!!! Need I say more!! I am still having TONS of FUN with Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons, but I already CAN'T wait for the new book!!

I just made these cute Pete the Cats with a kindergarten class. This Pete is drying and waiting for his whiskers :) This activity came from Rhonda Baldacchino. We used real buttons just for fun! We read all three Pete the Cat books, grooved to all three songs, and graphed which book was our favorite. 

Brand New Mrs. Wishy-Washy Titles and a Giveaway!!

Who doesn't LOVE Mrs. Wishy-Washy?? Joy Cowley, best know for the Mrs. Wishy-Washy books has just released 45 new titles. There are 5 new Mrs. Wishy-Washy books (YAH!!) as well as many others which revisit some of her classic characters in all new adventures.

I recently had the opportunity to review several of the new books. As always, your students will adore Mrs. Wishy-Washy's adventures with her animals! They will also find the other stories and characters funny and easy to relate to. All of the books have colorful pictures which offer strong visual support for the reader. One feature I especially liked in all three books was the before reading, during reading, after reading, and text features chart displayed on the inside back cover. Joy Cowley's books have always been some of my favorite for shared and guided reading. Learn more about the other books in the series and a fun set of Mrs. Wishy-Washy finger puppets here.

If you love Mrs. Wishy-Washy and Joy Cowley, go here to enter to win her new Orange set collection. Leave a comment below if you enter because I would love to hear from you. The giveaway ends at midnight on June 25th. Good luck to all of you and happy reading!! 

Become a fan of Mrs. Wishy-Washy on Facebook here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean

Today I visited Tanglewood Elementary in Fort Worth for Artapalooza. I spent some time in Mrs. Balderston's room watching the kindergartners make these fun squids. I loved them so much, I had to share.

They started with an online video on squids and read the book I'm The Biggest Thing in the Ocean by Kevin Sherry.
Then the students made their own squids. They drew them with a pencil and then traced over their pencil lines with a black Sharpie marker. They made eyes on white paper, cut them out, and glued them onto their squid. 

When they finished their drawings, they read I'm the Best Artist in the Ocean. 

Since they are all the "best artists" at Tanglewood, they got sticky-back black mustaches to wear. Mrs. Balderston then took a class picture of all of them in their mustaches. It was super cute!! 

Take a look at these other fun squids I found.

From Deep Space Sparkle...

From Me and My Gang...

From Dali's Moustache...

And.... another FUN read-aloud by Kevin Sherry...