Friday, January 18, 2013


I feel it is important to give our class purpose for reading and infuse it with fun. Poetry and music is perfect for this.  I like to find poems that are set to simple songs they already know.  It makes the reading simple for the strugglers and tends to level the playing field.  The class knows who the readers are...

Here is a great poem that can be sung to the melody of "Grey Squirrel." My class has gone crazy for this song/poem and they sing it all (ALL) the time!  I heard them singing it today as they were signin in!  (Actually I love that.)  

I introduce the poem one day and then sing it for the class.  We follow along and read the words.  It is fun to identify the sight words they already know.  At the end of the week, we illustrate it and add it to our poetry journals.

Snowflakes, Snowflakes
Snowflakes, snowflakes, falling on the ground.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, falling on the ground.
I am bundled to my chin.
See my footprints where I've been.
Snowflakes, snowflakes, falling on the ground.

Click here for a free document.

I print this on a paper as close to the bottom of the page as possible.

We draw a picture above the poem that connects to the text.  It was amazing how little they understood what it meant to be bundled to their chins.  A few days later, a boys wore a scarf and asked me to help him wrap it around his neck.  When we were done, he proudly announced to his friends,  "Look, I am bundled to my chin!"  They all loved it.

A great book to illustrate the footprints is "Snow Lion."

Monday, January 7, 2013

Label show and tell

We were all very happy to be back to school today.  I love watching the boys enter the classroom.  Their smiles and enthusiams are palpable.

There are lots of new things that start the year.  One of them includes having the students label their show and tell items.  This year my class loves giving clues, almost in riddle format.  Each student will present 3 clues, and then field 3 guesses.  Much like baseball, 3 strikes and we are out.  They get very excited when the item is guessed before striking out!

Today one of the items was presented with "only letter clues."  Love that!

1.  It starts with the sound of the letter "c."
2.  It comes from something that starts with the letter "s."
3.  It ends with the letter "L."

All show and tell items are put on a special shelf.  There we can admire, but not touch without permission, all day.  Now all items will have a label.  Here are the other items from today.

One was the money received from the tooth fairy and the other was a photo from a very cool trip dog sledding experienced over the winter break!
These labels will add something really fun to "writing the room."
Try it!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Snowman Last Names

Well we are back to school on Monday.  It has been a wonderfully relaxing break.

That said, I have had fun creating centers.  All of it is snowman themed. Still working on how to put them all here for you to download...  So I am starting small.

I always start the "new" year with a focus on last names.  All papers will now be required to have both first and last names.  I wish I remember where I saw it, but I saw snowmen with the last names all lined up nicely from most to last.  

Here is what the document looks like.  I plan to have the class cut out the circles.  They will need one "ball" for each letter of their last name.  Next they will be linked and hung in the classroom.  Click here  to download the document.

Sorry, that is not a great picture.  I used my phone.  Can you see that one that looks like perfect rectangle?  I was surprised too!  Each student received a strip of paper to glue the "snowballs" onto.  It seems that he does not like anything hanging over the sides.  He glued the edges of the head first and came to show me.  Then he proceeded to do the same with the rest of the snowman.  This really tickled me.  We all know no two snowmen are alike...

Happy New Year!