Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The Mitten

We are in the thick of The Mitten. I would absolutely love to have the Big Book copy of this story, but it is so hard to find. There is so much to look at on each page. Luckily I have about 15 regular copies of this book, so once we are finished the read aloud, I use it to show how to do a Retell for Read to Self. Comes in very handy for that, and of course, I don't miss a chance to throw in finding that special bubble space.
We ended up exploring the characters and then wrote about our favourite one. You can click on the writing page below to get a copy.

And just in case you don't know, Jan Brett's website has so many awesome activities to go along with The Mitten and all her other stories as well. I printed off the character cards from the story. Here's just a few to show you how cute they are. My kids LOVE them! We voted for our favourite character and the Fox won. 

You can also get great stuff like this on her website, just click here.

Where I live, we definitely need our mittens this week. It is sooooo cold. Stay warm wherever you are.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Paintbrush Punctuation

I am very fortunate to work beside an awesome teacher. Not only is she one of the sweetest people on the planet, she is amazing at what she does with her kids. Plus - added bonus, she just gets me and not everyone does - Ha! So, I told her about this book. Love.
And she gave it her own spin, with a great idea, some yellow construction paper, a paintbrush and a steady hand. After reading the story, she had her kids each write sentences using the exclamation mark, question mark and period. They did a super job and it turned out great - check the pics!

Really easy to do if you want to try it and a fun way to practise punctuation. Click on the book above for a closer look.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Finding that Sacred Bubble Space and a Snowy Day Re-Tell

If you're a Daily 5 fan and it's something you do with your kids, I just wanted to share what I've noticed. Not all kids come to us as readers or even "lookers" of books. You can always spot those kids who thoroughly enjoy a good book, they've got a little sparkle in them. And so, Read to Self is never an issue for them, they just do it well.  Then, there are those kids who just can't seem to get into it, for whatever reason and they spend most of their Reading time rearranging the books in their Daily 5 folder, staring out the window or attempting to suck another innocent reader into their vortex.  As teachers, we do what we can, we model it, start off in small spurts of reading time, increase it gradually and still we haven't reeled them all in. I've been trying to solve this problem for years, I'm sure it will always be a work in progress for me. So, I've started off the New Year trying to help those reluctant readers find their bubble space and learn to love being in that space cause once you're in that space, it is truly sacred. Not sure how it's going to work out, but I am hopeful. Here's what I've done as a visual.

Just click on either pic to download it from google docs. I laminated these back to back and hung them in my room, so they twirl around and are always visible.

Onto a snowy topic. we read this book this week, it is one of my all time faves, such a sweet, simple story and beautiful flow.
It is perfect for doing a beginning, middle and end activity because it's not too short, not too long and I told my kids to choose one thing that the character Peter did while he was playing in the snow and that would count as their description of the middle of the story. We had so much fun re-telling this story.

For a copy of The Snowy Day re-tell, click HERE.

Stay warm in this wintry weather.