Friday, September 27, 2013

It's Okay to be Different

Before I even start this post, I need to say, "Thank You," to Sarah, from A Sunny Day in First Grade.  Sarah created this incredible pack to accompany the book Elmer.  
I am very grateful to work at a school that is bursting at the seems with diversity.  We have over 30 languages spoken at our elementary school alone!  This year, I wanted to be purposeful with my teaching on embracing difference, and this unit was the perfect follow up to our lessons from Chrysanthemum (check out my previous post).  
During the week, we read Elmer, by David McKee and completed our first story elements.  It was a learning curve for my new group, but they persevered and completed the task.  We also complete a tree map about Elmer.  My kiddos are getting really good at their tree maps!

We learned how to order words, colors in particular, and read crayons. 

We even retold Chrysanthemum and read The Hueys in the New Sweater, by Oliver Jeffers.  Both of these books allowed for a deeper discussion on the greatness of being different.

As a wrap up, we completed our first writing prompt.  Yikes!  Check out the range of writing within my classroom.

I learned a ton about my kiddos from this.  I can't wait to start Writers' Workshop! 

How do you teach about diversity?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

The Day the Crayons Quit

Last week, I read The Day the Crayons Quit to my kiddos and boy, oh, boy did they love it.  It was the perfect follow up to our Elmer study, and who doesn't love a book that Oliver Jeffers worked on?!

I wanted to do something fun to tie everything together and found Cara Carroll's Color Pals to be the perfect activity.

My kiddos had an absolute blast choosing their crayon color, creating the accordion arms and legs, and assembling them!

Can you find the "short, stubby" crayon (like Blue Crayon, from The Day the Crayons Quit)?
If you haven't check this book out, do so!  You won't be sorry!

Monday, September 23, 2013

In need of a healthy balance

Booo to germs!  My kiddos have been picking their noses and sneezing up a storm, and now I have caught a bug.  When this happens, I turn to every natural trick in the book.  These are my two musts when I start to feel crumby...

Cold Care Juice:  I love my juicer!  This recipe creates a glass of spicy cold care perfection.

Super Echinacea:  I don't know what it is with this stuff, but it speeds up recovery from a cold wonderfully fast!  

What do you do to stay healthy when germs are in full force around you?

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My August SLANT box

The SLANT Box Exchange

I know it's September, but my August SLANT box arrived.  Christina, from Blended Bliss, sent me this fabulous package!

This is the perfect addition to my guided reading basket!

Thank you, Christina!
A HUGE thank you to Jameson, for setting up such an amazing exchange, I am bummed that I didn't get to link up.  I can't wait to sign up for October's SLANT box.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Recipe And A Read Aloud

The Recipe:
I finally tried out a recipe that I pinned, way too long ago.  During my Sunday grocery outing, I picked up the 2 ingredients and threw them in my KitchenAid as soon as I got home.  What is easier than a two ingredient recipe?!

For all of you pumpkin fans, these are FABULOUS!  I highly recommend them for a grab and go breakfast.

The Read Aloud:
We spent last week talking colors with Elmer, so I knew The Days the Crayons Quit would be perfect add on to our learning.  Plus, it is illustrated by Oliver Jeffers, and he is just amazing!

My kiddos ate up the book and have asked me to reread it multiple times.  One of my buggers even said, "I'm coloring with pink because it doesn't get used enough."
Have any of you read this book to your kiddos?

I am thinking about making this post theme a weekly idea?  What do you think?  Would you participate in a linky?

Monday, September 16, 2013

A New Center and DIY

Yesterday, was definitely a Sunday Funday!  My sister and I hung out, as part of our normal routine, and worked on projects for my classroom.  My sister and I started this Sunday tradition about 2 1/2 years ago when she was helping me plan my wedding.  We have kept the tradition alive and spend the end of each week relaxing (or trying to), crafting, and cooking.  This week's craft was play dough and knitting.
I have been wanting to implement a play dough center into my classroom since last year.  Therefore, when I stumbled upon this pin I knew I needed to try it out.

Beer in hand, we gathered supplies and whipped up three batches.  

I am still amazed with how easy it was to make.  I definitely plan on making seasonal and smelly blends of the dough, as well.
You might be wondering how I am going to be using all this play dough; Mrs. Vanmeter's Play Dough mats are the answer.  I am beyond excited to introduce these this week.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram for pictures of the mats and play dough in use this week.

I don't know about where you are, but the weather is finally cooling off here.  I have busted out my scarves and sweaters in anticipation for their use.  Check out my sister's ETSY store for her gorgeous creations (link in the picture).

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Featured as a Budding Blogger!

In the midst of all the Back-to-School craziness, I am excited to be featured on Amanda's blog, Teaching Maddeness.  If you are not already following her posts, do so!  Amanda has wonderful ideas and freebies.  Click the image below to check out the feature.

Happy Weekend!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five For Friday

I am loving being back in the classroom.  My new group of firsties are a total joy, and we are working hard!  I am linking up with DoodleBugs, for today's Five For Friday.

1. Pumpkin!!!!  I love this time of year!  
Need I say more?!?!

2. I finally got a lamintator and I love it!  
The laminator at school has been broken off and on for awhile, so I knew it was time!

3. Frixion pens and highlighters!

My sister got me the amazing Frixion markers while she was in Japan; best sister, right?!  I recently found the highlighters and pens and feel like I have a complete set up now.  Pilot is a genius with their erasable tools!

4. Grey nailpolish!  I don't know what it is, but I am in love with these colors right now.

5. Matt Glover- Writing Genius!
I can't get enough of these two books, by Matt Glover.  I am beginning my Writers' Workshop launch and cannot wait to implement some of his teaching.  

Happy Friday!