Thursday, March 1, 2018

7 Spring Read Alouds

Hiya! Today I'm sharing my favorite read alouds for Spring.  These are 7 of my favorite books to read aloud in Spring (generally March, April and May). There are so many good Spring books but these are my top 7 in no particular order.
 (this post includes Amazon affiliate links, which means I get a tiny amount if you click on one of the books and choose to buy it.) Just click on the picture of any book to add it to your Amazon cart.

1. How I became a Pirate - you may be thinking how is this a Spring read aloud? Well I use this book when I introduce R Controlled Vowels which is usually the first week of March. This signals the start of Spring for me. After this it's shamrocks, eggs, bunnies, flowers bees and bugs so I do a room transformation with AR or what we call the Pirate vowel! This is a great kick off to Spring and reengages the students in learning after the cold drab winter.
2. Jamie O'Rourke and the Big Potato - this is one of my favorite books to read in March. Yes it has leprechauns and wishes but it can also lead to a really good discussion on Ireland and the Irish.  We focus on the fact that Jamie O'Rourke is clever not lazy! Make sure you get the full version and not the board book! If you are interested I have a Reader Response Unit that goes with this book in My TPT Store. Click the cover image to grab it!

3. Tops and Bottoms - this is the most adorable book.  Great science plant tie ins!!! 
4. Chickens Aren't the Only Ones - I love this book! This book is excellent to tie in science with your ELA. Students are amazed at everything that comes from eggs.
5. Rechenka's Eggs - Oh Patricia Polacco how I love your work. Seriously she might be my favorite mid to upper children's literature author! And if you know me and know how much I love Children's literature it's very hard for me to pick a favorite! Rechenka's Eggs is a beautiful spring read aloud with wonderful illustrations and art connections.
6. Someday a Tree - Eve Bunting is another amazing author! This story is my favorite Earth Day read aloud that you might not have heard about. An excellent story about the damage that can be caused by someone's carelessness but a story of hope as well. Excellent discussion and environmental connections with this book.
7. Miss Rumphius - This award winning book is beautiful (all the purple! ;) my favorite color!) and a heartwarming story as well! Great for spring!

I hope you found a book or two to add to your Spring read aloud list. Are there books I missed? What is your must read for Spring? Leave me a comment and let know.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Teach like F*R*I*E*N*D*S

Hiya! Anyone who knows me or has been following any of my social media for any amount of time knows that I absolutely love the show FRIENDS. It is my all time favorite and I don't think anything will ever replace it. I can carry on a lengthy conversation using only FRIENDS quotes, if you can do the same I already like you.  I have seen shirts and such that say "live like FRIENDS" and I thought what about Teach Like Friends? So this is what I have come up with.

Plan Like Monica - Monica is a planner. She plans for every possible outcome. She has different sorts of plans. We too as teachers should have long range plans. Monthly plans and weekly plans. Do we need to be as detailed as Monica? Maybe your first couple of years until you figure it out or on sub plans. Do we need to be as rigid as Monica? Definitely not. One of the qualities that makes a good teacher is flexibility. Being able to deal with the daily changes in schedules and lessons that are bound to happen. Nothing scheduled? You're still not safe. Johnny will throw up all over the carpet during your mini lesson, or you will introduce pronoun antecedents only to find your students don't remember what pronouns are, and you've got to be able to roll with it.
Image result for monica planning phoebe's wedding
Greet like Joey - Quite possibly the most iconic line of the show is Joey's greeting. One of the most incredible changes in my classroom came when I started greeting my students every morning. I also tell them good bye at the end of the day. I get a chance to connect with each one if only those two times. I can gauge students who have had a rough morning and head it off. I can tell those who are feeling defeated after a rough day and give them hope that tomorrow is a new day.


Have fun like Phoebe - Phoebe has had a tougher life than most but she still finds the happiness in every day. She's real and kooky and sincere. That is what we should be as teachers. She sings silly songs, makes up words and gets flustered.  She's always thinking of others and helping those less fortunate but honest sometimes brutally so.

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Dress like Rachel - Ok so I say this mostly because who doesn't want Rachel's wardrobe, but she always dresses to impress. Even when she was just a waitress she looked good doing it. There's something to be said to faking it till you make it and Rachel knew that. She also knew things don't always work out the way you thought they would, but looking good makes it easier to deal with.

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Laugh like Chandler - Chandler couldn't go a day without joking about something. In our line of work it's important to not take things too seriously.  We work with kids it's hard, it's messy and we don't get paid enough to do it. If we start getting too wrapped up in all the negative it will begin to affect us personally and professionally. We've got to be able to laugh at ourselves and our profession on occasion even if it is to keep from crying!

Image result for chandler joke meme

Care like Ross - lastly and perhaps most importantly care about your students. Care about them deeply and continuously. They are children, they are the future of our society. Care about the teaching profession, never stop looking for ways to improve your practice the way Ross never stops looking for love.
Image result for ross friends meme love

What do you think? Should we teach like FRIENDS? Do you agree with what I came up with? What would you add?

Saturday, August 19, 2017

7 Back to School Read Alouds

Hiya! Today I'm sharing my favorite read alouds for Back to School.  These are 7 of my favorite books to read aloud the first few days of school. There are so many good back to school books but these are my top 7 in no particular order. (this post includes Amazon affiliate links, which means I get a tiny amount if you click on one of the books and choose to buy it.) Just click on the picture of any book to add it to your Amazon cart.
1. Pete the Cat - Rocking in my school shoes. What could be more fun than the cool cat, Pete showing you around the school?
2.  How I Spent my Summer Vacation by Mark Teague - a fun take on the traditional How I spent my summer - sure to lead fun writing assignments.
3. Lily's Purple Plastic Purse - show your students why not to bring toys to school in this fun book by Kevin Henkes.
4.Chrysanthemum - another from Kevin Henkes to teach your students about kindness and compassion as well as a great starting point for talking about names and letters.
5. The Kissing Hand - It wouldn't be a back to school book list without the Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn from handprint activities to cookies there are all kinds of activities for this back to school favorite.
6. First Day Jitters - this surprising tale will delight all ages of students.  This book is great to introduce a discussion about how students feel about their first day of school.
7. Giraffes Can't Dance - Teach your students the power of YET with this fun animal story about a giraffe that wants to dance and finally gets some help from a friend in this rhyming story!
I hope you found a book or two to add your back to school ready aloud list.  Leave me a comment what your  favorite back to school read a loud is!

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Monday Made It 6/12 STEAM, Handwriting and Snow Dough

I am so super excited that Monday Made It with 4th Grade Frolics is back for the summer! It always motivates me so much to get things done for my classroom and I love sharing them with my blog readers!

I have my last week of summer school this week and next week is the last week of my first masters class! Whew it's been a crazy, busy summer so far but I have managed to get a few things done so far.

I am super excited to be moving to FIRST grade next year!!!! However that means I have a LOT to do to prepare for those little darlings!

First up Snow Dough another teacher at summer school made this and my own children begged to make it at home. It is super easy and so fun!
It's just 3 cups of baking soda to 1/2- 3/4 (depending on the consistency you want) of conditioner. I got both of those at the Dollar tree so only $2! 

Then of course my daughter wanted to add glitter which is totally optional but definitely fun! You just mix it all together and PLAY. 

It's about the consistency of moon dough and I made my kids play with it outside cause it's a bit messy! But it smells amazing. I like the conditioner I chose because it gave it a bit of a blue tint. How fun would this be to make in the classroom and send a bit home with each student?

Up next is another super cheap inexpensive activity that is great for STEAM! Our summer school this year was STEAM focused district wide.  I had incoming first graders so I had lots of activities for them to build and create.  This was one of them that I will also use next year! I bought rainbow craft sticks and velcro dots at Dollar Tree.

Then I cut the velcro dots in half  and put them on the ends of the craft sticks. Easy peasy!   

My summer school students had a blast playing with them.  We first use them to create 2-D shapes but then they got some free exploration time as well! 

Finally I have actually managed to do some creating of activities for my classroom next year are also available on TPT. I knew I would need handwriting review at the beginning of the year so I created a capital and lowercase scoot handwriting review to put in a station after all the letters have been reviewed in whole group.


Just click on any of the pictures above to grab them from my store!  I hope you've had fun checking out my Monday Made It's and be sure to head over to 4th Grade Frolics to check out the rest of them.  Have a good summer, see ya next week!