Saturday, March 12, 2016

What do you have planed for St. Patrick's Day?

One of the most exciting things to do on St. Patrick's Day for first graders is to have a leprechaun visit  the classroom.  It seems that some leprechauns wreak havoc on the classroom, while others leave a few scattered gold-covered, chocolate coins.  I prefer the latter because I really don't want to clean up the room any more than I already do.

To add to our independent reading this month, I made QR Codes for March read alouds for several books about St. Patrick's Day.

At our school we have B.Y.O.D. (Bring Your Own Device) day every Wednesday, and sometimes on Fridays as well.  We are fortunate to have a few iPads in our classroom as well.  I rotate the classroom iPads and students who don't have one, know they will get a turn next time.  All you need is a QR Code scanner which can be downloaded for free from the app store.

I like these QR codes because they do not show advertisements to my students at the beginning of the read alouds.  My students like them because they have the image of the book on them, and they can easily know which book they are choosing,  not to mention the wonderful stories themselves.

Easter comes in March this year, so I added Easter books in this March set of QR Codes.  I've included several of my favorite books.  Here is a list of the books included.

  • St. Patrick’s Day
  • The Night Before St. Patrick’s Day
  • The History of St. Patrick’s Day
  • That’s What Leprechauns Do
  • Jack and the Leprechaun
  • Jamie O’Rourke and the Big Potato
  • The Luckiest St. Patrick’s Day Ever
  • There Was and Old Lady Who Swallowed a Clover
  • The Leprechaun’s Gold
  • Fin M’Coul, The Giant of Knockmany Hill
  • The Easter Egg
  • Pete the Cat Big Easter Adventure
  • The Night Before Easter
  • The Tale of Peter Rabbit
  • Marley and the Great Easter Egg Hunt
  • The Easter Bunny’s Assistant
  • Bunny Cakes
  • Happy Easter, Curious George
  • Happy Easter, Little Critter
  • Happy Easter, Mouse!
  • The Runaway Bunny

There are times I want my students to respond to a book they've read independently.  Here is a FREE copy of one of the response sheets I use in my classroom.  You can cut it in half and have students paste the sheet into their regular Reader's Notebook.  Another ides is to make a Response Journal and put in several blank copies of this page or others like it.  Then have your students fill out one response per day, or as you desire.

I hope you and your students enjoy St. Patty's Day this March 17th!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Dr. Seuss Week

Well, today was Read Across America Day, the day to celebrate the birthday of that illustrator and author, Theodore Seuss Geisel, better known as Dr Seuss.

  • On Monday, students brought their favorite Dr. Seuss book  to read during reading.  
  • Tuesday was crazy sock day and we read Fox in Socks.  
  • Of course today was Wacky Wednesday and all the children dressed in their wackiest of outfits.  
  • Tomorrow, Thursday students are to wear green for the Grinch, or their favorite Dr. Seuss shirt.  
  • On Friday, we're all wearing hats and reading The Cat in the Hat.  

I used these along with our iPads and a tub of about 10 classroom Dr. Seuss books to rotate around the students during independent reading time all week.  The kids have had a blast!

This morning our principal dressed up as the Cat in the Hat and two of her sidekicks helped out as Thing 1 and Thing 2.  Here are a few pictures as they entertained the whole first grade.


In math, we have been working so hard to learn all the combinations of numbers one to ten, so I came up with this activity to give them a bit of fun as they practiced.  I called it the Name and Number Cat Hat.  I decided to do this during math rotations so I could work with just four or five in a small group.

I wrote each student's name on a white strip that served as the rim or base of the hat.  I gave them a large sheet of black construction paper and a stack of red and white 2 in. x 6 in.  rectangles.  I took a bag of snap cubes and instructed the children to count the letters in their name, and then pull out that same number of snap cubes from a bag I showed them.

To make the number combinations, we started with all of their cubes on one side of the black paper and none on the other.  Then they recorded a number sentence on a red rectangle to begin, like 0 + 6 = 6.  Next, the students moved only one block to the other side of the paper, picked up a white rectangle and recorded that number sentence, like 1 + 5 = 6.  This continued until all the cubes were on the other side of the paper and all the number combinations were recorded.

It was a great day!

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