WELCOME! Sit, read, relax, laugh, share stories and teaching ideas. Grades K-2

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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Amazing Adjectives - Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie!

Adjectives make sentences pop!
Without adjectives writing would be so blah-blah!

So how do we get kids excited about adjectives?
Read a good picture book to your class.
Then read that same book again and leave out the adjectives.

Kids quickly see how dull and boring the story becomes and how adjectives bring the story to life. Adjectives are part of mental images that make text come alive and add meaning and clarity to what is being communicated.

Below is my adjective anchor chart. I reduced it to a printable size. You can print it out and enlarge it. Then use it with whole class instruction. Also, you can print it out and use it at centers.
For example, to describe a person, place, animal, or thing at a center, use pictures, actual objects, listening center books, or describe each other in the classroom, including the teacher.
Please click on the picture to link to teachers pay teachers where you can download a FREE copy from Picture Book Reviews With Writing Connections.

The sample above is from the book, Don't Be Silly, Mrs. Millie! We brainstormed adjectives that described Mrs. Millie while we were reading the book and after we read the book.

It is a funny book about a hilarious teacher who teases her students. She tells them to hang up their goats (coats), don't step in a poodle (puddle), don't cut in lion (line), come sit on the bug (rug), and so many more silly things. Her students have fun correcting her mistakes and saying what she really means.

This book is also great for reinforcing rhyming. You can make a list of the silly word sentences that rhyme with the real word sentences. The book is available on amazon. Please click on the picture to read more.

Being silly is so much fun!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Add Music to Your Classroom

Hard to believe... but lots of teachers have already gone back to their classroom and started a new school year. Best wishes to them as they take on the rigor of the common core standards.  Best wishes to every teacher as he/she returns to make a difference in the life of a child.

Teaching is a profession of creativity, unlimited impact, dedication, and, of course, diligence. And let's not forget to add fun! Sometimes I wonder where the fun went.

Begin adding fun to your classroom by inserting music sometime during the school day. Singing songs and moving to music is a great way to teach the rhythm of language, vocabulary, grammatical structures, lessons, transitions from one activity to another, and a wonderful opportunity for bonding experiences.

Here is a song that I really think is a great way to start the new year. It's a song about friendship. The song is called, Make New Friends But Keep the Old, by The Learning Station.
Please click on the picture to hear and see it on You Tube.

You can also hear the song on their website and purchase or download it if you like it. Please click below.

I think music is so important that my son and I recorded 2 CDs that get kids up on their feet dancing, singing, moving, and learning. These CDs are called Rock Out With Spelling, Sight Words. These songs are an active way for students to learn and practice reading, writing, and spelling in a meaningful way. They are available as downloads or CDs. Please click below if you would like to have a look. Thank you.
Rock Out!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Guess the Main Idea

So...... I'm traveling through cyber space and came across this wonderful idea from the blog Joyful Learning.  What a great name for a blog!

I really enjoyed reading her post called, Writing Workshop Main Idea. It's a fabulous way to introduce the topic of main idea, both in reading and writing.

In the picture below, the students put pictures connected to the main idea, recess, in the left circle and pictures not connected to the main idea in the circle on the right. (Please click on the picture to visit her website and read the details.)

In the picture below she had her students guess the main idea. She picked topics she knew her students were familiar with.

She has samples of student work on her post. Please visit her blog and enjoy reading her post.
Thank you Melissa at Joyful Learning for sharing a fabulous idea!

Have a super great day!

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen

"Use your listening ears."
"Put on your listening ears."
How many times have you said that to the students in your classroom. (Too many times or not enough!)

Howard B. Wigglebottom Learns to Listen by Howard Binkow and Susan Cornelison to the rescue!
This is a wonderful book.
Howard (a rabbit) gets into a lot of trouble for not listening. He feels sad and does not like being alone and in trouble. He makes up his mind to be a good listener and starts making good choices. His life improves and he earns a big yellow star. Hooray for Howard!

The last few pages of the book include tips on how to be a better listener and listening book discussion questions.
(The book is available at a fabulous 60% discount price at wedolisten.org/shop/) Please click on the picture to link.

This is the first book in the award winning series. There are free songs and other free resources that support the book and other books on the website: We Do Listen Foundation at wedolisten.org.
Please click on the picture below to visit their website.

At the end of the story there is summary of the lesson learned, How to be a better listener.

FREE Extending the Reading Experience

I thought it might be fun to add a text to self connection activity.  So I drew a large version of Howard on 4 sheets of paper; ears, head, body and star.  These can be colored, cut out, glued together, and hung up in your classroom.

On Howard's star there is a writing response prompt for the students. They can summarize and personalize what they have learned by responding to the prompt that reads: This is how I can be a better listener.
There are two face pages. One page has a face that is drawn and on the other page the students can draw their own Howard face. Please click on the samples below to get your free copies.

Take Care,

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wemberly Worried

I am trying to catch up on all my blog reading.  It has been fun and interesting reading all the wonderful school ideas out there in cyber space.

Here is a cute and clever back to school idea posted on the blog, Mrs. T's First Grade Class. The post is based on the book Wemberly Worried by Kevin Henkes. The book is available on amazon.com. Please click on the picture below to see a copy of the book.

Wemberly worries about everything, even the silliest of things. Her family tells her she worries too much. 

But the thing that worries her the most is her first day of school. Then she meets a fellow worrywart and realizes that school is too much fun to waste time worrying!

Mrs. T's First Grade Class followed up the reading of the book with a cute art project, text to self connection, and paper bag puppet.  Please click on any picture below to visit Mrs. T's blog and read how she used the ideas in her classroom.

Thank you so much Mrs. T for sharing your fantastic ideas!