Friday, January 27, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday- Groundhog's Special Secret

What a crazy week this has been! We started out the week with the Chinese New Year! Then yesterday, we celebrated the 100th day of school. And I was sick. As. A. Dog!!!! Oh my goodness you guys, I had the most terrible sore throat on Wednesday night. I had a hunch I shouldn't go to school yesterday so I quick emailed my bestie at school with sub plans.

What would one do without a best friend at school, right?
Are ya with me???

Luckily, my usual suspect of a substitute was available and willing to tackle the 100th day of school with my little firstie buzzers. I had this cute shirt all planned out and then, bam! sore throat hit. Also luckily, I was able to get in to my doctor right away at 8:00am yesterday and she told me I had something bacterial going on. A something closely related to strep, so she put me on a kick bootie antibiotic and I'm feelin' like a champ today!!! Good thing, because I did a LOT of managing these 27 little ones today....

Well, let's get to the perfect picture book, shall we....???

Groundhog's Special Secret
Written by: Iris Hiskey Arno
Illustrated by: Renee Graef
Scholastic Incorporated, 2003, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 5 and up
Themes/Topics: Groundhog's Day, Seasons, being a good friend
Opening: "Lila twirled around and around in the candlelit den. On the wall, her shadow spun like a whirling top.
"Time for all groundhogs to be in bed!" Papa called.
"But I'm not tired!" Lila cried. "I can't possibly sleep all the way until spring!"
"Now, Lila," Mama said, "everyone else is in bed and Uncle Wilbur is about to head for his den."

Brief Synopsis: Lila doesn't want to go to sleep because she is not tired. Uncle Wilbur challenges her to be the first one awake, but when she does wake, Uncle Wilbur tells her to go back to sleep for a few minutes. But instead, Lila goes above ground!

Links to Resources: There are some WAY cute craftivities out in bloggy world right now having to do with Groundhog's Day! Check out this burrowing activity, craft and writing from Cara at The First Grade Parade. I love the Smartboard lesson to introduce it. I'm so doing this on Tuesday or Wednesday next week!
There's also these way cute activities from Mrs. Cupcake over at A Cupcake for the Teacher. I can't wait to share in the fun with my little buzzers next week, too! I know there are MANY more on TPT or TN so go check that out, too! Oh! And don't forget to show your kiddos LIVE footage of the groundhog actually seeing or not seeing his shadow next Thursday, too. They LOVE that!

Why I Like This Book: I love this book because it is a fun way to introduce Groundhog's Day to those little ones that HAVE NEVER heard of it, or so they say. :) It's a cute little tale that kids can relate to--the-not-wanting-to-go-to-bed-and-the-waking-up-early-with-excitement thing of course.

For more perfect picture books with resources, or join in the fun, please click here!

Have a GRRREAT weekend!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Honey Points and Some AWESOME Giveaways!

I have to start off by asking a question...

Do you use token economies in your classrooms? Pa-lease let me know...

I found this way cute idea and now I have NO idea where it came from. So again, if it's yours, please let me know so I can give credit where credit is due!

It's called "Honey Points". It goes along with the bee theme. Each kiddo has a cute little paper taped to their desk with a honey jar. Each time they are caught doing something great, they get a tally. At least, that's how I am playing it.

As a class, we came up with a GREAT list of rewards, such as:
*extra computer time
*get a special email to their parents telling them how great their kiddo is
*play a game with their favorite teacher

There are a TOOOOOON more.

So, I'm wondering how many "honey points" each thing should cost. I just started yesterday (Tuesday) and some kids have 3-4 points already. What do y'all think?

Any and all input is appreciated!


Also, I have to mention some AWESOME giveaways in the bloggy world:

Jennifer, at Herding Kats in Kindergarten, is having a 250 follower giveaway!

 Hadar, at Miss Kindergarten, is having a February Goodies Giveaway!

Robynn and SueBeth, at Busy Bees (love the name, by the way), are having a Valentine Giveaway!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Penguin Parade

Happy Monday!

Who else is excited that the Bachelor is on tonight? I honestly think that show is what gets me through the week nowadays. I have a love hate relationship with it, but I can't miss it!

I don't know about you, but my kiddos were loving learning today! Haha...this morning we started out with the Scholastic News about the Chinese New Year. That was fun. I love how they have a little video snipet to go along with each catalog.

Then, we read The Runaway Wok. I don't know if you are familiar with this book or not, but it's really cute. I got it from Scholastic, so I have the c.d. too. LOVE the c.d.'s. It's not that I don't love reading out loud, but every now and then, having the music just sets the mood. This book was AWESOME for teaching about another culture. The music in the background, the voices of the readers, and the illustrations were fab-u-lous.

Then, we completed a Venn Diagram about how the Chinese New Year compared to our New Year. Yes, it could have been WAAAAY fancier, but I whipped it out of nowhere so I had no plan to fancy. Sorry Nancy...

This afternoon, we switched gears and focused back on penguins. We had been talking about all the different species of penguins, 17 to be exact. I read this book and it's awesome:

Then,the kiddos choose partners this time and they actually did pretty well. A little noisy, but they got the job done and their penguins turned out great. They had to measure how many inches tall their penguins were in real life.

Then, label it so all could see. Each group also had to illustrate their penguin exactly how it is in real life. They learned so much and were all engaged, even though the noise level was through. the. roof.

The penguins look great parading through the hallway!

And to top of the day with a little dose of quiet, we played Heads Up, 7 Up for the first time and it was a smashing success!

I hope your day was as eventful and fun as mine! I'm off to a district-wide 1st grade meeting...should prove to be TONS of fun! :)


Friday, January 20, 2012

Perfect Picture Book Friday- Deep Snow

I cannot believe I have been missing out on this linky party! Where have I been?? Oh well, I'm excited to start in this Friday book talk!
Not the best picture...sorry I couldn't find a better one!

Deep Snow
Written By: Robert Munsch
Illustrated By: Michael Martchenko
Scholastic Inc., 2006, Fiction
Suitable For: ages 5 and up
Themes: Snow, Winter, Seasonal Actvities

"Way out in the middle of nowhere, Ali suddenly yelled, "STOP!"
"What's the matter?" said her father.
"I want to jump in the snow," said Ali.
"No," said her sister Kate, "that is deep, deep, deeeeeeeep snow!"
"I still want to jump in it," said Ali.
"This is not a good idea," said Kate."

Brief Synopsis: I hate to give it away so if you don't want the surprise ruined, read on.
They have to get something out of the snow. I hope I haven't said too much.

Links to Resources: I haven't found any if you find some, post a comment below and I'll get them added!

Why I Like This Book: Because it's by Robert Munsch, duh! :)
I love the voice in his books. He adds humor in his books which kids "get" and understand. I love using Robert Munsch books to teach how to use voice in kids' writing! I loved using this book today after the 6 inches of snow we received early this morning.....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

White Penguins!

Happy Thursday! One more day folks and we have the weekend to relax again. The kids will be CRAZY again tomorrow I presume, but we are expected to get 4-6 inches of snow in my region of South Dakota. I know some of you are itching for snow, but I could live without it! Hopefully though, it will help me con Mr. Hubster to go snowmobiling out in the beautiful Black Hills!

We are learning about penguins right now and I know many of you are also! As I was browsing through the news articles online the other I saw this headline:

"Rare White Penguin Spotted in Antarctica"

I couldn't believe my eyes! I was super duper excited! So, if you click HERE you can be rerouted to the article. My kids loved it!

Isn't it a cutie?

Then, I got to thinking...I wonder if there are any videos of this darling. I went to YouTube and found it! Enjoy!


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Crazy! and some AWESOME giveaways!

So, today my kids were crazy. They have been inside for recess the past two days and it looks as though they will be inside tomorrow too. SAVE me. Even the usually best kids were out of self-control today. I can always think, it's been worse. Somehow, it's been worse. Kids that throw chairs = worse. Kids that throw two year old tantrums = worse.

Enough venting, on to the fun news!

Kindergarten is a Hoot is throwing a 200 follower giveaway! $20 Target giftcard folks. That's right. You'll have to fight me for it. Okay, well, the random generator will have the final say so there will be no harm done to anyone.

Kindergarten Is a Hoot

Also, Teaching First is having a way cool giveaway. She has teamed up with four other amazing bloggers to give away 9, yes NiNe, fun wintery packets.

Teaching First

I hope your kiddos have been fabulous for you!! Tomorrow is a new day! For now, the Diet Dr. Pepper and a good run will help me relax later tonight. :)


P.S. Thank you Rebecca at Teaching First for helping me figure out the blog button situation. Hopefully I remember that the next time! :)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Winter and a Math Game

I guess it is finally going to act like winter in South Dakota. We have been so blessed (my OLW) with favorable weather the last few months and then today it hit like a ton of bricks. And the kids knew it because I was crrrr-anky today! But I had good intentions with my crabbiness. I needed a reminder that it takes 20 minutes to put on snowpants. And then another 20 minutes to put boots on. And then...well, you get the picture and yes, I MAY be exaggerating. This is the view outside my classroom window.

And although you may not think it LOOKS that bad, it is. It's freezing. It's icy. In fact, we did not have recess outside this afternoon because they playground is one big hunk of ice. My kiddos were "stuck", as I call it, inside for recess. They were overjoyed. I don't know what it is with them and inside recess. You could not PULL me back inside when I was their age. So were playing board games during recess. Have you seen these?

They are these great travel games from Target. I'm sure there are other stores that have them. I just happened to find them at Target. They are GREAT and my kiddos love them. I could use more. We have Hang Man and Tic-Tac-Toe.

Amongst the snow excitement (and clearly, not by me), we played this fun math game using Base 10 Blocks. It's called Race to Flat. Clever, huh? I'm sure y'all have heard of it and I'm behind the times, but I'm okay with that. You use:

The kids partner up and take turns rolling the dice. A feat in itself. When it's their turn, they roll the dice, and place that many ones on the hundreds flat. Then, they continue taking turns. When they get a number with a ten in it, they replace their ones with a ten. The first person to fill their hundreds flat with ten sticks is the winner. Fun! I hope those of you that haven't played it, try it out and enjoy it!

Hope you all are staying's not the most pleasant weather in South Dakota right now! And to think my teaching best friend and I walked to the gas station for pizza yesterday. That won't happen again for awhile. SAD!!