Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It's been a while....

Haven't hardly blogged at all the past few weeks.  Busy with school, conferences, mentoring a cohort, my own two kids and sewing.  But I'm back and have pumpkins on the brain, but who doesn't? We just started a writing project about summarizing the lifecycle of the pumpkin and going through the Writing Process for the first time.  We've read a few nonfiction pumpkin books to fill our brains with facts but I felt like whipping up a partner poem to use during my Daily 5 groups.
So here it is and it's FREE!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Too Many Pumpkins

I LOVE pumpkins!  
I guess I should say I love to EAT pumpkins!
If you can make it with pumpkin, I'll eat it.  My favorite is probably chocolate chip pumpkin pancakes!  There's a character in one of my favorite pumpkin books who hates pumpkins.  I hadn't yet read it to my class last week and decided it was time.
Later, during writing time, my students wrote a literature response about their favorite part of the story.  
We had such a good time with the story that I whipped up a Readers' Theater script to go with it! It's a trio play, so I'm going to use it in my small guided reading groups next week.

 It's FREE, so I'm linking up with 

I hope you like this story (and play) as much as I do!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Leaf Man

I love fall!  
The smell in the air, the change in temperature and the beautiful leaves.  Lois Ehlert also loves leaves and she collects them.  She has written a beautiful book, illustrated with her collected leaves.
We loved the book so much that my students wanted to make their own leaf artwork, like Lois Ehlert.  One of my goals this year is to do more art in the classroom and this project was great!

If the leaves are still on the trees where you are, get out there and collect some and try this fun project!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

An elf sat in a tree, painting leaves to throw at me...

I'm known for having the neatest, tidiest classroom at my school and I hardly ever do art projects in my classroom.  I shudder at the thought of paint in my room and break out in hives if there are scraps of paper on the floor.  But I'm trying to change my ways because I've come to realize that art IN the classroom is valuable and important and because I see lots of cute projects on Pinterest :-)

The project my students worked on this week was a mixed-media tree with an accompanying poem.  
I luckily had a parent volunteer who cut out and glued together the brown and white backgrounds for all of my students.  On Tuesday, during my reading groups, students did part 1: Make your tree by cutting or ripping paper and gluing your poem onto the front (and highlighting the rhyming words).
On Wednesday they first cut out and colored their little elf and then used wine works to paint/stamp their leaves on.  The final step was putting their little elf in their tree.
The prep and clean-up were minimal and very easy, perfect for me!
Now I'll hang them up in the hall and impress my colleagues.

Here's the poem:

A little elf sat in a tree,
Painting leaves to throw at me.
Leaves of yellow and leaves of red,
Came tumbling down upon my head.

I found it on this GREAT website for kid poetry:  www.canteach.ca/elementary/songspoems.html

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Guest Blogger

I'm so excited and honored to get the chance to be a guest blogger on the 1st of every month this school year for Charity Preston over at the Organized Classroom blog!

My job is to share great teaching ideas that I use in my own 1st grade classroom.

It's October 1st and I'm sharing an idea for eliminating hand raising when students have questions or need help (during writing time, for example).  All you need are plastic cups.  Check out my post by clicking below

To download the labels, click below

When printing, use the Avery 5163 label setting (4" x 2").