Sunday, November 23, 2014

Kicking off the Holiday Season.

caring santaWe just finished our Thanksgiving show which means it is time to gear up for the holidays. I just wanted to share something I saw on Facebook last week.

Caring Santa
Simon Malls will be teaming up with Autism Speaks to host Caring Santa.  Special Needs families can make reservations with Santa before the mall opens. This program provides a more subdued environment so that children may enjoy their visit with Santa without the added stress of a crowed mall or long lines.
Check out for times and locations.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

You Oughta Know November

Is it just me or is November a ridiculously busy month? The past two weeks I had Teachers Convention, Report Cards, Parent/Teacher Conferences and my 40 minute unannounced observation. If your November has been anything like mine you may be scrambling for extra time in your schedule. This month I am teaming up with some excellent teacher bloggers to share some classroom advice. To save you some time this November, I complied a list of great books to help celebrate Thanksgiving.

Many of you know that I am obsessed with scholastic. I take advantage of all their great deals and promotions to build my class library. These are some of my favorite Thanksgiving non-fiction books.

  • Sarah Morton's Day
  • Samuel Eaton's Day
  • Tapenum's Day
  • On the Mayflower
  • The Pilgrims' First Thanksgiving

Scholastic also has some really great resources on their website. You can even sign up to receive letters from the New World! Some things were a little too advanced for my Kinder's so I just paraphrased the information. They loved looking at the photos though. Check it out for yourself here.

You can't forget all of the great Thanksgiving read aloud stories. Last year my kids loved Turkey Trouble. They had so much fun creating disguises for their turkeys and then writing a turkey free menu for Thanksgiving.
  • The Littlest Pilgrim
  • Bear Says Thanks
  • T is for Turkey
  • Turkey Trouble
  • The Night Before Thanksgiving
  • Pete the Cat The First Thanksgiving
  • Happy Thanksgiving Biscuit
  • The Great Turkey Race
...and many many more!

I would love to hear about your Thanksgiving favorites. Don't forget to stop by these other fantastic teacher bloggers for more great suggestions.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Celebrating Halloween

Another successful Halloween completed. Getting through Halloween at school can be arduous. The students are so excited that it is difficult to get anything accomplished.  The day is too long to waste just playing games so this year I planned some excellent Halloween related activities that kept the kids engaged and learning.
Sequencing Fun! {Sequencing Activities for 4 Fall Read Alouds}We started out our morning ELA block focusing on the classic Kindergarten Halloween story, The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything.  I found this great packet on TPT.
 The packet includes anchor charts and sequencing activities. First we read the story and used the anchor chart cards to retell the story as we read. I then split the students into two teams. I had each team use real objects to retell the story. Everyone wanted to be the stinky shoe that went Clomp Clomp. The students then went back to their seats and completed the cut and retell worksheet for independent practice. We've been working on retelling guided reading so this fit perfectly.

Then I had the students complete this adorable craft that my coworker found on toddlerapproved. I copied the template on to colored construction paper and had the students cut and sequence the pictures to create the scarecrow. I was surprised at how well they were able to cut the hands. Many of the students actually tried to cut in between each finger!
When everyone was finished we watched this cute youtube video of the story that was turned into a song.  The students love getting up and dancing.
After lunch we invited the parents into to help us with our Pumpkin Investigation. We counted how many ridges were on our pumpkin, we measured the circumference of our pumpkin, we tested to see if it would sink or float. We cut open our pumpkin and counted the seeds by making piles of 10 and then the parents carved the pumpkins into silly faces.
 Before we knew it, it was time to get ready for the Halloween parade and end our day. How did you celebrate this year?