Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All Aboard the Hibernation Station

To finish up our unit on Winter/Seasons, I am having my substitute complete the following activity after reading Hibernation Station by Michelle Meadows. If you don't own this book, you need it! I adore the vibrant illustrations and the fun of going on a little rhyming adventure with a bunch of animals who are about to hibernate. I also love that there are so many animals in the book that are getting ready for winter and the author adds an author's note to the end of the book to explain hibernation and 'true and light' hibernators.

My students will be creating a mini-book of animals that hibernate. I like for them to have little books that are meaningful to them that they can grab from their book boxes and re-read to themselves. To add a little extra literacy element to our book, I left off the beginning sounds of each animal name so the kids could write them in.  I still have several kids that struggle with beginning sounds, so this is just a reinforcement.

Click here or on the arrow in the right corner below to view and download this file.

Monday, January 17, 2011

When it snows...

As part of our Winter/Seasons unit, I had the kids do a writing project with the prompt 'When it snows, I like to...'. We did this as a follow-up activity after reading the story The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats. 

I gave the kids the choice to cut out the box or let me if they were uncomfortable with it. About 3/4 of the class cut it out themselves and the rest had me do it. It just takes a second. I showed them how to fold the paper in half (without creasing) and cut inside the black line. Inside the box, the kids drew a picture to illustrate what they had written.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Winter/Snow Books for Sale

Spending the last three days at home for our snow days has given me the opportunity to weed out some of my books and resources.

I have a lot of books for sale. I have checked each of them and they have no markings on the pages that I can see. They are all good to excellent condition. I have labeled or written my name on the front inside cover of each book.

The books will be shipped Media Mail. At this time, I will only be able to ship to addresses in the United States.

Set 1: 14 Winter/Snow books
(Click picture to enlarge)

$20 + $5 shipping = $25


Titles include:
  1. Amy Loves the Snow
  2. Clifford: Winter Ice is
  3. A Snowy  Surprise
  4. Mrs. Toggle’s Zipper
  5. Little Snowflake’s Big Adventure
  6. Flip and Flop
  7. Tacky and the Emperor
  8. Snowie Rolie
  9. Polar Animals (Unfold and Learn)
  10. All You Need for a Snowman
  11. Welcome to the Ice House
  12. Little Polar Bear, Take Me Home!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Look what I just got for free!

I don't know about you, but I love getting things free, especially teacher resources and Christmas gifts for others. One of my favorite ways to earn gift cards is by using SwagBucks. Today, I received the resource book Sounds Like Fun: Phonemic Awareness for free through Amazon gift cards I had received through SwagBucks. I generally save the gift cards for Christmas presents, but I splurged this time on something for me. :)

If you've never heard of SwagBucks, let me give you a little idea of how easy it is to use. It is completely free and you are under no obligation once you sign up. It is completely legitimate. I have been participating for nearly a year and a half and have earned over $115 in Amazon gift cards and $5 in PayPal cash just by making SwagBucks my homepage, installing their toolbar for searches and referring friends to sign-up. It's that simple. Clearly, it doesn't make me rich, but if I'm getting free money to do something I'm already doing then I'm totally in!

There are many ways to earn SwagBucks. You can participate by searching the web, watching videos, shopping, completing surveys, referring friends, redeeming coupons, answering daily polls, etc. You can do as little or as much as you want.

If you are interested, here are a few steps to get you started.
  1. Sign up
  2. Then, install the SwagBucks toolbar. (This is optional, but helps me tremendously and I highly recommend it.)
  3. Start searching! You don't always get SwagBucks every time you search, but keep searching. I even search for things I already have bookmarked, like email, Facebook, Google Reader, etc. 
  4. Once you have earned enough SwagBucks you can redeem them for prizes or gift cards. I choose gift cards because it's the most economical for my wants/needs, but you have lots of options. 
This is just a basic idea of how to get started. You can check out the FAQ on the SwagBucks web site if you have any questions. 

If you are interested in signing up, I have included my referral link below and would love for you to sign up if you'd like. However, if you would rather go directly to the SwagBucks site, I certainly understand. Either way, you should definitely try it out.


Bear Snores On

I like to read the story Bear Snores On by Karma Wilson and Jane Chapman before creating the following paper plate bear craft and teaching the poem Big Old Bear.

Here are a few more activities that go along with the story Bear Snores On.

Coloring Sheet - http://clubs-kids.scholastic.co.uk/clubs_assets/50588
Hibernation SmartBoard Resources - http://www.theteachersguide.com/hibernation.htm

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snowman Glyph

Tomorrow is a snow day, so I thought I'd be somewhat productive tonight. :) Tomorrow it's sleeping in, playing outside and hot chocolate for us! I hope to be able to brave the snow and wind. We have two new sleds this year that we can't wait to try out!

I made this snowman glyph to go along with our winter unit. I like glyph projects for working on listening skills and following directions. Plus, the kids really enjoy them! I hope you like it, too.

Winter Ideas - Part 1

For the next two weeks, my students will be learning about winter and hibernation during Theme time. Here are a few new ideas that I liked. I don't have time to use all of them, but I'll pick and choose what fits our theme, objectives, abilities and time frame.

I will incorporate the Snowman ABC's during our daily calendar time.
"Snowman ABC's"
Build a snowman just for me.
Please don't let him melt away.
Is he melting? NO! NO! NO!
Down he melts away from me.
I'll build him again you see.
~ Author Unknown

Here are some printables that I use to make a snowman scene after reading practically any snowman story. We talk about cause and effect. 

We made coffee filter and paper plate snowflakes before attempting the bodies, so this isn't the first time they have had to fold and cut a snowflake. I will add some of their pictures when they finish tomorrow. My example doesn't show it, but we also add snow to the bottom. I have used glue, cotton, fiber fill, paint, etc.

I'm going to try out the puffy snow recipe with my kids. I believe it is equal parts shaving cream and glue. 
Great sites for Winter theme inspiration:

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas Silhouette Gifts

I have to admit, I'm in denial that I have to go back to school tomorrow. I have truly enjoyed Christmas break with my family. However, I know that I will be going back refreshed and ready for the second half of the year. It helps that I really enjoy my class this year, too.

Now that Christmas is over, I wanted to share a few pictures of what I made for the students to give to their parents as a Christmas gift this year. I take a picture of each child sitting sideways, lay the photo on top of a piece of black construction paper and carefully cut out each image. Then, I attach the silhouette to a paper doily. Each child decorates an envelope or folder as the gift wrap for the present. I sent them home right before break.