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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Fun with Fire Trucks in Ginny’s room!

October is Fire Safety Awareness Month. This is a perfect activity for learning the parts of the firetruck!

A few weeks ago when I was home my sweet daughter in law sent me a text asking what she needed to make the fire truck cookies from the Fire Fighters Unit. I was quick to send back, “Want me to come and do it with them?” Of course she said yes! So I went to the grocery store and got all the things we would need for the next day! That night, I made individual baggies for each child with the pieces they would need to make the fire truck. (Ginny teaches prek and we were all going to be doing this at the same time.)
So when I got there, I had all the pieces to make the fire truck brace map. Pieces for the map are (here).  I told her kiddos that I found these pieces laying on the floor in my living room and was wondering if they could help me figure out what it was suppose to be. After gluing the parts of the fire truck on the map, I showed them the labels. We talked about each part of the fire truck and what letter we thought it would start with. Then, we matched up the labels with the correct part.
Then, I read them a book about fire trucks. On each page the part of the fire truck was written in bold text. I talked to them about how the author had written the word really dark, bold, so that we would know that it was the most important word on the page. They helped me find the other bold words in the book.
Then we got busy making the fire trucks. We used popsicle sticks to spread the frosting and the kiddos put on each of the food items as we talked about what part of the fire truck it could be.
After eating the fire trucks, we got back together on the carpet and looked at our fire truck brace map again. I introduced the recording sheet (here) and demonstrated how they could draw the various parts of the fire truck. I told them that sometimes writers used letters to help the person reading their paper know more about what they were drawing. We talked about what letters we  could use and I demonstrated.
Then, it was their turn. I love how they all look different!Slide9
Thinking back to how children convey meaning…through illustrations….this was hanging on the wall in Ginny’s room. Do you see the “T” on the drawing? That is the bed. Below the T he drew the things that we under his bed and above the T he drew the things that we on his bed. . I just loved it!Slide5
While I was there, Ginny had some first grade visitors. They were learning about scarecrows and poetry and came to perform their poems for the pre k kids. What a great way to practice prosody! They were so flippin cute!
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Look What I Just Bought! Too many choices….


Love this pack from Kim! She is one of the most creative teachers I know!


This packet is going to be a life saver in December!Slide4

How smart is DeeDee? I love everything she makes!Slide5

What a great time of year to teach compassion?


Upper grade teacher have been asking me if anyone out there is making reader’s workshop units like mine! I think this might be just what you need! Fantastic job!


This is some of the items in my new Shapes Galore for the Common Core pack. This isn’t all of it!

So….let’s see what I can find tomorrow!

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Sunday, November 25, 2012

Cyber Monday…and Tuesday Sale at tpt

Did you stand in any lines this weekend? While I didn’t do the Thursday night shopping or get up before 7 on Friday, Megan and I did venture out on Friday to do a little shopping. Then, after a 13 hour car ride back to DC on Saturday, the last thing I want to do is to go and stand in any lines! So now I can do my “teacher” shopping right from the computer…and it will all be on sale! Everything in my store is 20% off, along with an extra 10% if you use the code cmt12. You can get to my store by clicking on the snowman above! Happy Shopping!
In case you want a heads up, here are the Christmas items that are currently in my store.
Two Packets for Santa…
a Christmas Tree Unit and a Rudolph Unit…
two game packs…
and a Gingerbread Man Reader’s Theater.
Now, if you want to get ready for when you come to school in January…Slide6
Start off with a Happy New Year Unit….
two winter units…
two winter game packs…
and two penguin game packs!
And if that isn’t enough, there are lots of other teachers having a sale, too! So happy shopping, right from your computer! It's going to be a busy week! Hope to see some of you in Ellicott City Chicago (Alsip) this week!
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Monday, November 19, 2012

Adding ing to words and onsets and finishing the lions project! (Plus a freebee!)

Kath was working on chunks so we decided to tackle adding ing to words and onsets. First we read the book “5 Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”. We thought of other things the Monkeys could do besides jumping. I made a list of the words on the smart board, stopping after each one so that they could do the movements.
Then, I got out Kath’s “king of ing” crown. This cute little item is from my friend, Julie at Katie and Company. There’s a great little song that we sing as they are wearing the crown. It is to the tune “The Farmer in the Dell”
I am the king of ing.
Just listen to me sing.
I find the words that end with ing
Like ring and swing and zing!
Here one of her cuties teaches us the signs for ring, swing and king with the help of his teacher.
Then I made these dice for onset and rime to make ing words. As we rolled the words, the kiddos wrote each word on a brown strip that we cut 6 x 1 1/2.Slide28
Then, we made the lions by rounding off the corners of squares and rectangles. Next, they rolled the ing word strips on their pencil and glued them around the head to make the mane. Finally they glued the tree map on the board. I tied a piece of rafia to the tail for the “tuff” of hair on the lions tail.

Now for the freebee:
dice for making ing words
So, what fun did I have in Kath's room.  In closing, I just love the things kids say....As I was working with Kath's kids, one of them looked up at me and said, "You talk like a cowboy!" So for all my southern friends, YeeHaw!
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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanksgiving Break is Just Around the Corner…Is it really almost December?

I don’t have to tell you how crazy this time of year can be! Both Megan and Ginny are ready for a break from their cute little munchkins and to enjoy a little family time during Thanksgiving. But then….it is only beginning. Nothing compares to the joy, stress, exhaustion, and fun that December brings. I will tell you, now that I am not in the classroom and don’t have any little children in my home—it doesn’t quite seem the same. So even though there is stress involved, would you really want it any other way?
Here are a few of the places I will be spending my time in December. So if you are in the area, come by and see me, share your holiday stories, and keep the magic alive.
I will also be in Chicago on December 5 and 8 to work with the preK teachers in Chicago Public Schools! I better put on my comfy shoes. See you in the airport!
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Friday, November 16, 2012

So many new blogs….

This week I was in Ohio for a few days with my DI for the Little Guy Seminar. This southern girl is about to freeze in these northern states! It was a rainy, cold day so I’m glad that I was inside! I just love this seminar—you can check out to see if it is coming to your area (here).  This  teacher/principal team (photo) was so funny! Karen (the teacher) was really working that principal to buy her some teacher goodies! Do you think she convinced her? She sure did! I also meet a sweet teacher, Ellen,  that is friends with my friend Michele from Fabulous in First! Did you follow that “friend chain”? Ellen went on and on about how great Michele is, and ya’ll she’s right! Her blog is so stinkin’ cute (and so is she by the way). Michele even inspired Ellen to start her own blog. Find her blog (here).

Now here’s somewhere else you need to check out. Remember me talking about going to Karen Stamp’s class back a few months ago? Well she is doing a humungous giveaway for reaching 300 followers on her blog! Did I spell that right? Is it really even a word? Be sure and enter to win by clicking on the picture above.

Next up….Back about 15 years ago, this super cute fun teacher started teaching at my school in Forsyth, GA! She was a bundle of energy and inspired me to be more creative. Okay….so there was one thing about her that drove me absolutely drove me crazy….She was a brand new teacher and was eager to make everything. So, each day she would come by and “borrow” something to take home and make that night. So where’s the problem you might ask? Is it that I didn’t want to share? No, definitely not, I love to share with other teachers! Guessed it yet? Yep, your right….hers always looked better than mine! So then I would want to redo mine too! All joking aside, she is probably one of the most creative people that I know. So who is this mystery teacher---Wendy Gilstrap. The first presentations I ever did, where with my partner in crime, Wendy! We presented together for a while and then were encouraged to split and go it alone. I am more than a few years older than Wendy. So at this time she was also starting her young family and decided to just stick to teaching. Her kids are growing and so is her creativity. She has started a new blog (here) and has a tpt store (here)! I promise you, you want to check it out!
So one last final shout out! You know how when you are teaching and you meet another teacher, you can tell right from the start if you are going to hit if off? Well it works the same when you are presenting. Several years ago (more than I can remember) I was presenting at a conference when I met Shari Sloane! (That’s Shari, Megan, and me at the National I Teach K Conference in Vegas!) Now I know that lots of you know her from her fabulous website (here). Well, guess what? She has finally started a tpt store (here)! I love her music and I have made a lot of little music books to go with her songs. My kids love her Vowel Bat Song. My husband made me these super cute capes and Shari gave me permission to make the music book (here).
So, as you can see…this blogging world and tpt is exploding! It is changing the way we teach. It encourages us to share and use the ideas of others in our classroom. It inspires us to try to create our own original ideas to share with others. In the end, it has made us all better teachers! It is a win-win situation!
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Thursday, November 15, 2012

All About Lions—Thinking About Non Fiction Text! and a Freebee!

Before I got there, Kath was teaching her kiddos about jungle animals. We decided to use Lions for our study on non fiction books. So, as the kiddos came in we had them think about the things they already knew about lions and enter that information in their journals.
That morning I collected a few non fiction books about animals. First, I had them turn and talk with their partner about everything they already know about lions. When I was sharing the books with Kath’s kids I wanted them to see how I didn’t have to read the whole book, just look for the parts I wanted to know about. So I modeled how I could look through the books and look for pictures of lions. Then, I would read the information about lions. After doing that for a few books, I told them that sometimes authors make a table of contents to help the reader find the information more quickly. So then I had a few books with table of contents and we found which pages were about Lions and just turned to that page! As we were reading the information, I taught them two things that good readers do while reading non fiction text—when we come to something that we already know from other readings, we can say “I know that!” or when we come to something that is new we can say, “I didn’t know that!”  I also showed them how they could say “Wow, that’s cool!” when they read something really neat. We practiced each part by having them turn to their partner and use one of the three sayings we had talked about. If you have my Powerful Partnerships Unit 2 Reader’s Workshop, in that unit we teach the kids how to share these items with a partner using post it notes. Find it here:
BTW, Michele and I are now working on our unit 6 for Reader’s Workshop and it is going to be one of my favorites—it is on Nonfiction Texts!Slide22
After reading all the information, we made a tree map together. I made it on the smart board (Reason 6…..) and the kiddos each had their own tree map to record our thoughts. I did make a large one on paper, too so that we could display it. While I liked making it on the smart board, I want to be able to have that finished product up for my kids to see. We then broke into small groups. One group made their own non fiction book about Lions. They selected one item under each of the tree map headings to record in their books.
So if you stuck with me through this long text, here is your reward…
Lion Tree Map Student Version
All About Lions Title Page
Lion Tree Map Teacher Version
In my next post I am going to show you how we displayed our lion tree maps on a super cute lion craftivity while learning about ___ing words!
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