Saturday, December 28, 2013

New Year, New Me!

When our students return after winter break, I am always hopeful they will be well-rested and ready to learn. To launch a positive start to the New Year, we will be reflecting on 2013 and making goals for 2014.  We’ll use this sheet (in black and white or color).

I’ll give some helpful examples and ask students to share their ideas with the class. I plan to fill one out myself!

Happy New Year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

What do You Wear When Your Limbs are Bare?

As the last leaves fall off the trees my students and I can’t help but feel sorry for the poor, bare trees. So we decided to give them fun, colorful things to wear on their branches. I downloaded a clipart tree pattern and copied it on brown construction paper. The cutting was a little tricky for my first graders so I asked a parent volunteer to help out. The rest was done with scrap paper and imagination. Click here to grab this sign.

Snowy Goods and Services

I love how Caralyn Buehner’s snowmen books encourage kids to use their imaginations. When I came across her newest book, Snowmen at Work, I thought it could make a great bulletin board. After reading, we discussed the different jobs the snowmen had in the book and whether they were providing goods or services. Then I asked them to brainstorm other careers snowmen might enjoy. They were coming up with things like pop stars, basketball players, racecar drivers and wrestlers. Finally, I gave each student a template and a letter to take home explaining the project to their families. Students brought back their snow people dressed for a variety of jobs and I gave them all one of these cards to fill in the information about their creations.

I used a bulletin board with black paper and some snow-covered hills to show off these polar producers. I added work zone border and some icy gusts of wind (thank you, glitter glue) to complete the display.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Can’t Miss January Books

As you are pulling out your books for January, consider adding these to your list. Some are sweet, others are educational and several are laugh-out-loud funny. Plus we’ve included some ideas for reading follow-up. Let us know if you have some good January books we should be sharing with our classes!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

All the Stockings are Hung with Who, What and Where!

We have been working on story elements and wanted to show what we know in a hallway display. (You could also make this a bulletin board activity.) After reading Fletcher and the Snowflake Christmas, each student completed a stocking, copied on cardstock for sturdiness. I glued thumbtacks to one side of clothespins and inexpensive ornaments to the other side and attached everything to a colorful border.  I also added a sign. If you have the time, you could make a paper chimney/hearth to create a cozy holiday spectacle.