Thursday, July 30, 2015

Caterina and the Lemonade Stand

Looking for something to do with your kids this summer? Why not make a lemonade stand? We have the perfect book to introduce the idea: Caterina and the Lemonade Stand, by Erin Eitter Kono.
Take a break from the heat and check out this book from your local library or even buy your own copy. You’ll love it.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Invisible Dog: The Easiest Classroom Pet

I have had fish, hermit crabs and a turtle. Many other teachers have gerbils, mice, snakes, hamsters etc… I have found real creatures can be REAL maintenance. And what do you do with them over the long breaks? How about the unexpected snowstorms? Not to mention, schools are revisiting health and safety policies that won’t allow certain animals in schools anymore.

So one year I got an invisible dog and allowed the kids to name him. He had a visible bed, toys, food and water dishes. He was well behaved and never had accidents. My first graders adored him. They took him to recess and even on errands to the office. I put books about dogs (both fiction and nonfiction) by his bed, in case students wanted to brush up on their canine knowledge or read him. 
You could also let your students take the dog home over the weekend with a dog journal. Each family could experience the joy and ease of having an imaginary pet.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Mystery Book

Looking for a way to spice up your read aloud routine? Try this!
Wrap a book cover or folder around a book you think your students have never seen. After telling them the title, ask students to guess what the book will be about. Make a list of their ideas. Next, read the book without showing the pictures. When finished, ask students to draw a scene or character from the book. Obviously, they will be drawing what they think the scene or character looks like. Share their creations and then unveil the cover. Reread the book, this time showing the pictures. Your students will be entertained and amused by their own creations and the contrast to the actual pictures. Tweet or Instagram the alternate illustrations to the author and illustrator of the books you use throughout the year.

Monday, July 13, 2015


Tired of students losing their pencils? This is a surefire way to change that.
Gather wooden clothespins and medium sized pompom balls. On each clothespin, glue three pompom balls in a line to resemble a caterpillar. You can use multiple colors or matching colors. Glue wiggly eyes on the pompom closest to the end that opens up (opposite the end where you squeeze). After the caterpillar dries, show students how to clamp their pencil in the clothespin. When they aren’t using their pencils, the “Pencilpillars” will stay on their desktops and watch over their pencils so they won’t get lost. I like to start the first day of school with these fluffy fun surprises.