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Saturday, February 23, 2019

My Favorite Wordless Books

I think wordless books can be a great unit to do with your kiddos. They can be used for lessons on making inferences and comprehension strategies. You can give each student a page and they can write the text for it or the students can create their own wordless books. There are just so many possibilities. Here are some of my favorites to use:



I just think this is a beautifully written story about being brave and facing your fears.



A little girl loses her adored stuffed animal and discovers a little fox now adores it. Magical illustrations in this one.


A classic. She works to get all the ingredients for her pancakes but her pets make a mess of them. What can she do? Mooch of the neighbors of course. :) 


A little girl works to be able to afford a bicycle at the store. Big idea is to work to reach your dreams and there is also a theme of kindness.


Kids find magic chalk on the playground-whatever they draw comes to life. But what happens when a boy draws a dinosaur!


A mysterious camera is found and the tale is told in photos.


A community comes together in friendship. I used this one the first week of school.




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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

If I Were a Wordless Book....

One of my passions in literature is wordless books! I love discovering new ones. I think they are great for making inferences and I consider them to be a genre of their own. I will post tomorrow a list of books that I like to use, but today I am sharing the writing we did today.

We used Multiple Perspectives from Kaplan's Depth and Complexity. I asked the students to consider what it would be like to be a wordless books. How would it feel? What would they wish for? What would they see? 

 















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Saturday, February 16, 2019

Conversation Heart Writing Prompts

One of my favorite writing activities to do is perfect when conversation hearts start to go on sale. :) I glue a heart to each paper before hand. Each student receives a word or phrase they have to use in their sentence. We are working on writing a complete sentence right now, so this is perfect to practice that objective. I liked not only seeing how creative some of the ideas were, but also how far they are coming along in sounding out their words!


Miss You: I told my Mom "miss you".


Cool:  Be cool! (usually I'd ask for more elaboration, but that works :).


Hug me: My Mom said "hug me".


Smile: My Mom made me smile (you see a trend?)


I hope: I hope my dog chases me.


Puppy love: I like puppies so it is puppy love.


LOL:  At a party the girl said LOL.


So nice: She was so nice to me.


Love: If I had a pet pig I would love it.


Love you: I told my mom "love you".


Awesome:  Game night is awesome.






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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Dedication

I was raised with a good work ethic. My father worked for a power company in Pennsylvania for 20 years before putting himself through night school for an MBA at Lehigh. I remember attending his graduation as a teen, Bill Cosby did the keynote (that was exciting back then). 

My mother worked as a secretary at a college admissions office. I worked there for her as a student worker throughout college and summers.  We were expected to work very hard. To give 6 tours a day with the same energy for the last that you had for the first. When I did data entry for them there were no breaks until you made your quotas.

So needless to say, I grew up as a bit of a workaholic. I typically work a 10 hour day. I do the regular work day and then am staying after school every day for my student book clubs. And I crazily agreed to even do Saturday tutorials (it boggles my mind how often the people who do a lot of extras are always still asked to do more extras instead of the people who don't-but that's a different post). 

Is it dedication or insanity? I'm not sure. :) 

I came across this video in my social media feed (sometimes I think the universe sends you hints):


I have always rolled my eyes at the articles about teacher self-care. I mean who has the money for massages or manicures? Who has time for bubble baths? But what I think she is talking about is really important. Not letting our work become who we are. We can be passionate and dedicated without making ourselves sick.

My mother passed away last week. She was a vibrant 68 years young. 




She was walking her dog and got hit by a car.  They Lifeflighted her to a trauma hospital but she did not survive her injuries. I share this because I regret not taking this week off. Not taking some time for myself. I have a very challenging class this year. When I'm out, the classroom always gets destroyed, materials go missing. What I realized this week is I am important, but in the scheme of things. I'm really not that important. Everyone is replaceable. The fact is life goes on and my students would have been fine without me. I actually have a horrible cold which I think was my body's way of trying to get me to take time for myself. I had Valentine's activities planned and an observation so I worked through-which is not healthy. I feel really guilty taking off especially if they can't find a sub and an aide has to take the class. But we are human.

I share this because we need to take the time to keep the light within us going. We need to take care of ourselves. Tomorrow is not promised-what will your legacy be? She worked really hard and loved her job. Or she lived life to the fullest.

I know a deep post today. :) But that is what has been on my mind.




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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Design a New Symbol for Valentine's Day

I try to have my students design, invent or create several times a week. This is something that can be frustrating for both the students and the teacher. :) When I present my ideas I always tell people that you have to keep trying to these activities with your kiddos throughout the year. They will not get it at first. Many students do not come to us in Kinder with a lot of experience using those creativity skills. For example, today we designed a new symbol for Valentine's Day. When I introduced it many of them set off to draw a heart. I had to explain, no, that symbol already exists-you are thinking of something new. Do not give up! They will get it.



red crayons



a picnic








speakers.





a broken heart



a family






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Friday, February 8, 2019

I Loathe You

I discovered this book on a browsing trip to the library.


I LOVE wordplay! Monsters say "I Loathe You" instead of "I Love You". I shared the story with my students and asked them to choose a creature and write about what that creature would say.

























I asked her what cats are famous for-she said yawning. :) 




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