Monday, October 31, 2011

Veterans Day

Here's a peek at my plans for Veterans Day. Hope you find something you can use in your classroom.

 First off, I always use the Zerox site "Let's Say Thanks" to send postcards to the military service people.



Then I read the story The Wall by Eve Bunting which is also a Reading Rainbow video.


This song is a wonderful resource too!


We also read and illustrate this poem:


I also have a Veterans Day Pack if you are interested.





To wrap up our learning my school holds a special Veterans Day assembly where we invite military friends and family to be honored through songs sung by our student chorus.  A high school honor guard also is part of the program. My class will also be writing veterans special letters of thanks.

What are your plans for Veterans Day? Link up {HERE} and share.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Trick or Treat Mats

After reading this I hope you never look at a doormat the same way!  Can you believe that thanks to Dollar Tree I've made learning game doormats! They are portable, sturdy, don't need laminating or cutting and BEST of all are cute. All I did was write various language or math concepts on each candy corn with a sharpie. Take a peek of a few I've made. I also have sets for antonyms, synonyms, compound words, place value,  and rounding. Grab a few mats and make some yourself!




I've made recording sheets to go with each mat  and posted a couple for you.
Click pictures to download



Give me a Halloween holler if you like this idea please.

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Treat of a Letter

The chaos of Halloween excitement is done and a 3 day weekend awaits! My day was filled with a kinder scarecrow parade, candy graph math, Halloween Howl joke lesson, spooky stories and music, and a smattering of seasonal games: Pumpkin Tic Tac Toe, Bump games, Pumpkin Seed multiplication, Trick or Treat mats and more. I even threw in letter writing at a stamp a card center and was "Bewitched" with happiness to get this letter which made the craziness of the day worth it.

Front cover


I love the oh so cute quote:
"I think my sister is going to be jealous unless she did something fun too!"
Precious!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spooktacular Games


These games are spooktacular fun.

First off, it's Spooky Spin a la Twister style.
I got this game at Target a few years ago.


Next, it's Pumpkins on a Fence Toss


Then, I took an old favorite: Toss Across and added leaves and pumpkins for a beanbag toss.
Get 3 in a row!



Let's end with some pumpkin bowling.


Friday, October 21, 2011

Step Up to Writing

I regularly use the Step Up to Writing program in my class.




I've made up paragraph planning sheets on various topics.

Here's the one for "A New School Year" you see above.
Click the picture to download



Sunday, October 16, 2011

A Blue Chimp called Dodger



One of my all time favorite read alouds is Dodger and Me.  I LOVE it and the students beg for me to read it! The blue chimp, Dodger, is a character with such irresistible charm.  The book has a baseball theme which boys love, as well as girls. It's a grand slam read across the board. Dodger becomes an imaginary friend to the main character Willie Ryan.  The flap excerpt reads:

What would you do if your best friend was:
     1. Imaginary?
     2. An oversize blue chimp in surfer shorts? (Potentially embarrassing, but hey, no one else can see him . . . right?)
     3. Proposing a plan to help you improve your life?
     4. Did we say imaginary?
     5. Driving you crazy?!?!
Now you have an idea of what Willie Ryan’s life is like when he meets Dodger. It’s the beginning of a lot of trouble—and a friendship you’ll never forget!

I found a chapter by chapter response packet online for it too.  What are your favorite read alouds?


Friday, October 14, 2011

Fossil Fun

 In science my class is learning about living things
I awed my class with real fossil observations from my dad's collection.        Thanks dad!
They loved seeing real trilobites after reading about them in our text.




The evening following our lesson I whipped up a batch of Coffee Ground fossil dough.
After realizing one batch wasn't enough I found myself brewing another pot of coffee to get more grounds and 2 hours later had my fossil dough prepped.  I drank a couple of cups of the coffee I brewed along the way, so as to not waste.



Then I cut out enough circles for my students to make fossil imprints with a small fish.


The imprint process
 Tip alert: Spray the imprinting object with nonstick cooking spray
(I learned this the hard way after tearing up several imprints while trying to lift them off)


The finished fossil after drying


Grab the directions to have fossil fun in your class!


Thanks for taking another "Peek Into my Planbook"

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Pick of the Patch Bucket Fillers


Calling all Bucket Fillers. Add a little fall spirit to your bucket filling notes with my "Pick of the Patch" notes. I find when I switch my notes up it keeps the bucket filling interest going and going.
Be sure to check back & follow me, because I'll post more themed bucket filler notes for other holidays.



Also, the "Pick of the Patch" winner for my compound word book giveaway is Ginger Snaps.
I'll email you so you can give me your mailing address.





Saturday, October 8, 2011

Halloween Howls


Ha Ha...It's time for some Halloween Howls!
It never fails that every year, my students think our Halloween Howl Joke Book is the greatest      TREAT ever! I assign each student an appropriate kid joke to practice presenting to the class.
 I've included links to sites where I pick and choose the jokes I like best for my class.
Each joke is then written on the page below and illustrated.
If your class is like mine, this book will be hard to keep on the shelf because someone will always be reading it!

Click {HERE} to get your own copy of this file.

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Thursday, October 6, 2011

Traditions and Letters of Thanks


My class loved reading Patricia Polacco's The Keeping Quilt the past two weeks. It's such a special story about the importance of family and traditions. Students completed their own family tradition quilt square too and were proud to share a piece of their heritage.


After reading The Keeping Quilt, I read aloud some of her other books: Babushka's Doll, Some BirthdayChicken Sunday, Thunder Cake and the most touching of the bunch, The Junkyard Wonders                      

To show our appreciation for her talent as a wonderfully inspiring author students wrote thank you letters to Patricia Polacco today.  



My class was "Over the Top" excited when we received a letter in return from Patricia Polacco.
There's no better way to bring letter writing to life than this!


Thanks for taking a "Peek in my Planbook".

Monday, October 3, 2011

If I Were a Leaf



Fall is here!  I love doing fall leaf art with the accompanied poem,        
                                        "If I Were a Leaf"                                                    

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Click to download poem
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Happy Fall Y'all

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Compound Word Fun

On Friday, I did my all time favorite compound word lesson.  I began by reading a "Build-A-Word" board book with slider windows that my 3rd graders were "Ooing and awing" over. They didn't care that it was a simple and easy "baby" book. The author is Nora Gaydos.


Then I brought out the challenge book by Rick Walton called Once There Was a Bullfrog.
It's an adorable story about a frog that's lost his hop and tries to find it. As the story is told picture clues help students try to form a new compound word.


I wrapped up my lesson by having students illustrate a retelling of the story I typed up.
Here's a sample:


You can win a copy of the book too.
To enter the giveway you can:

1. Become a new follower or already follow my blog and leave a comment.
2.  Blog about my giveway (Leave 3 comments for doing so and provide a link)
3. A winner will be selected on Saturday, October 8th. Winner needs be 18 years old and live in the U.S 
Upon announcement, the winner will need to provide a U.S. mailing address within 48 hours so the book may be sent on its way!  Good luck.




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