Saturday, September 24, 2016

An Unusual Twist on the First Day of School

I’m always searching for the perfect first day of school book and this year I found it!

School’s First Day of School by Adam Rex has an unusual twist on the first day because it’s a story told from the perspective of the school. 

School was just built, named, and is excited to have someone (the janitor) to keep him all shiny and clean, but then the students start to arrive.  The students begin to use all of School's things and some even say they hate school which hurts School’s feelings.  As the story continues, you find out how School has many of the same feelings as students do on the first day- being scared, being embarrassed, nervousness, and sadness. 

It’s a fabulous book that the kids loved!  It’s newly released, but you can grab it at Barnes and Noble or Amazon.  You will love School’s First Day of School.  Check it out as it will soon be a first day of school favorite of yours as well. 

We created our own schools and made a text-to-self connection to the book.  Here’s how they came out.  If you’d like to create this with your class, you can download the paper here!  

The kids folded over a large sheet of red construction paper, traced the template of a school (I used a file folder), designed their own school with scraps of colored paper, and glued their work inside.

Grab your paper below!

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Celebrate International Dot Day and Make Your Own Mark on the World!

Did you know that September 15th- ish is International Dot Day?  It’s a day to celebrate creativity, imagination, and working together.  It’s based on the book, The Dot, by Peter Reynold’s which is about a little girl Vashti who doubts her own ability in art and is uninspired.  The teacher encourages and believes in the student even though the student doubts their own ability. The teacher encourages Vashti to just make a mark and sign it and so the story begins about a little girl who becomes inspired, more confident in herself, and helps others find their own creativity.

Feel free to share how you celebrate Dot Day!

Here's a fun song/video for you to watch with your kids:

Check out this fabulous song here. 

Watch the author create a dot here and use it as a kick off to have children create their own dots.

Visit Peter Reynold's Website here and check out some books, doodles, and digital drawings.

You can also sign up at the Dot Club for some great ideas.

Here's some dots that my kids created.

Meanwhile, here are some creative dot day ideas I found... 

Click here for original source

Check out Cassie Stephens's blog for beautiful dot day ideas and some fashion tips =)

Start with a paper plate and see what happens...

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Fabulous Pinterest Pics for September!

I’m joining up with Marissa from the Inspired Owl's Corner, Lisa from PAWSitively Teaching, and  Ashley from Just Reed! for the Pinterest Pick 3 Linky.  Come join the fun in finding some wonderful ideas to help us through September. 

The first is a favorite of mine.  I love these coloring books by Krista Wallden.  She’s created others and they are just as awesome. What makes them even better is that they are all free!  With the crazy weather being too hot, too cold, or just rainy, these are great for indoor recess or for free time. My kids always ask when the next month’s sheets will be out.

 Here are some of her coloring sheets from February:

#2 has two parts- organization in the classroom and something to help you keep all the class files organized.  I've always struggle with keeping stuff organized on Google Docs, so when I discovered this post about color coding and numbering your folders,it was a game changer!  Since I'm such a visual person, everything is easier to find and it's very simple!  

I love this next pin because for just a brief moment, on the first day of school- everything is pristine!  The crayons have perfect tips, the pencils are all the same size with no chew marks, and all seems right in the world and then the little ones enter.  So, I love any trick that could help keep me organized all through the year.

The third pin is another favorite- the What If Anchor chart.  We’ve all had the kid... What if my crayon breaks? What if I’m thirsty? What if I finish early?  I love the approach to these burning questions that kids have so that they don’t interrupt important instructional time and are able to learn to problem solve on their own.

If this was the top 4 Pinterest picks, I'd have to add this lovely poster to hang in your classroom.  There are 2 choices to choose from.  I love how it sets such a positive atmosphere to the class.