Sunday, February 26, 2012

Lorax Freebie!!

 Head over to IHop for Lorax bookmarks!

On Friday our Literacy Facilitator mentioned that in honor of Seuss week, IHop is giving away bookmarks to children.  She said she went in and they gave her a handful for free!  So I stopped by there today and was amazed at how giving they were!  I have not counted, but I am guessing they gave me about 300 booksmarks for FREE!!

They are Lorax bookmarks in honor of the new movie coming out this Friday. The top of the Truffula Trees are orange papers that contain tree seeds that can be planted.  How excited will the kids be to get these?!?!

To make things even better, they gave me coloring pages AND the cardboard box is FILLED with crayons.  They are the cheap waxy kind, but hey they were free!

Stop over and ask if they are willing to give some away.  It never hurts to ask!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Kids Say the Darndest things! 

Jeannie over at Kindergarten Lifestyle is having a fun linky party about the funny things kids say.  I love how honest and open kids are.  They rarely hesitate to speak what is on their minds, which adults tend to do.  This can be good or bad, but  mostly it brings laughter to the classroom.
 One of the teachers on my grade level has taught for 48 years!  Can you believe that?  She always talks about how she writes down the crazy things they say and how she would love to write a book.  I wish that I had written down all of the things I have heard in my few years of teaching.  One great one happened this year.  We were finishing lunch in the cafeteria and we were cleaning up.  My student came rushing up to me, excited and smiling and said "Miss King, Miss King, There is another teacher who looks just like you!"  He moves around our table and points out this other teacher.  He then says, "well...except she is a lot skinnier than you!"  I couldn't help but laugh and say "Yes, she is a lot skinnier!"  I continued laughing the whole way back to the room! 

Another great one happened as we prepared for the 100th day of school.  One of my students told the AIG (gifted) teacher that we were going to be dressing up for the 100th day.  The AIG teacher was excited and couldn't wait to see the students all dressed up.  The student then said, "Don't worry you don't have to dress up, because you already look like you are 100!" 

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Behavior Management Seuss Style!

I know I just wrote about Dr. Seuss activities, but it dawned on me today that we use Dr. Seuss and his rhymes every single day in my room!  Dr. Seuss is probably not who you think of when you think of behavior management, but this something that has worked for me for about four or five years now!  It especially works at the beginning of the year as we are learning how to line up and stand in line properly. 
                                                          You have Brains in your Head,
                                       You have Feet in your Shoes,
                                        You can Steer Yourself,
                                        Any Direction you Choose!

Hanging above my door is this poster that I purchased from one of the teacher stores.  At the beginning of the year, each time we line up, we say this poem, until it becomes natural that everyone is in line correctly.  It really works and the kids love it.  As you notice there are "footprints" all around the poster.  Instead of using a class marble jar or some other form of class reward system, my class earns "feet"!  Everytime they are caught doing a great job as a class or if they get a compliment from a teacher or staff member, we put up "feet"!  Just this past Friday, the students were able to dress as their favorite fairy tale characters or super heros as one of their rewards for filling up our poster. 

Most of all it reminds the students in a fun way that everything we do each day is a choice!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Dr. Seuss Linky Party

        Mrs. Bainbridge over at Mrs. Bainbridge's Class is having a Dr. Seuss Linky Party!  Click on her picture above to go to her site and see who else has joined up! 
        We will be celebrating the Dr. Seuss week in a couple of weeks and I thought I would share some of the things that I like to do that week.  I know so many people do similar activities like making Cat in the Hat snacks, hats, crafts, etc.  Here are a few things that we do at school that I thought might be a little different:
  • Students can bring in their own books and read them when they finish activities. 
  • Our grade level ( All 8 of the first grade teachers) rotate our students.  Each teacher reads a different Dr. Seuss book and the students complete an activity.  We do 30 minute rotations.  Some examples have been Horton Hears a Who (Students write about what they would tell a Who), Green Eggs and Ham (We listen to the story, eat green eggs and ham, and collect data on whether we liked it or not.), Fox in Socks (They listen to the story and work with rhyming words.), etc. 

I have done the Green Eggs and Ham rotation the past few years and I LOVE this activity!  The kids are either totally grossed out or think I am crazy....because "AHH Miss is just food coloring", in the words of fabulous first graders!  Of course I try to convince them otherwise!

  • Another activity that I love to do with my students is having a READ-A-THON.  In 5th grade my teacher held read-a-thons each quarter.  We brought sleeping bags or blankets and spread out across the room.  I LOVED these days.  We would read and journal all day long.  All day is a bit much for first graders, but generally they can last an hour or two (depending on the group that year).    For the READ-A-THON, students bring in sleeping bags, pillows, and most importantly their favorite Dr. Seuss books.  The students have a recording sheet and their goal is to read and record at least 10 different Dr. Seuss books either independently or with a friend.  The kids love this activity.  How often do we get to lounge around and just read for pure enjoyment? This is fantastic!
  • Last year it just happened that Dr. Seuss day landed on our pajama day too!  The kids earned a reward and this was the perfect day to wear pajamas!
    Click HERE to get your READ-A-THON recording sheet!  The students record the title of the book and if they read the book to themself, to a friend, or to a stuffed animal.  I have close to 10 Dr. Seuss stuffed animals.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

       Valentine's Day is here and I have to say that it has gotten squished between all of the crazy things that we teach about/celebrate in February, such as Groundhog's Day, 100th day, our Frog and Toad Unit in Scott Foresman, and this year we are currently doing a Fairy Tale unit to go along with our Field trip to the children's theatre.
Ahhh!  So, Valentine's Day has been down sized tremendously this year! I did, however, want to share a few things that we have been doing in our classroom. 

First and foremost, I had to borrow this activity from The Inspired Apple.  When I saw this, I knew I would have just as much fun as my kiddos and that their parents would love getting these on Valentine's Day! 
Click HERE to go to The Inspired Apple's blog and find out all about this fun little activity!

 I know there are all kinds of cute bags and boxes out there for collecting Valentine's Day cards.  I wanted to share something that I started doing in my student teaching 8 years ago and that I am still using now.  We make mail trucks and the students decorate them with hearts.  These turn out really cute, but the trick is to have the students glue the sides together and then go around and staple the sides as well.  This helps keep the items from breaking the trucks. 

The students wrote on hearts about what it means to be a good friend!
  Happy Valentine's Day!  Have fun with your kiddos!
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