Sunday, March 6, 2011

Dr. Seuss - Read Across America

We had so much fun this past week celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday!  I like to celebrate with a week of theme days.  This year, though, I felt more rushed than usual.  Maybe it was because of report cards coming up, with only 2 hours to work on them.  Or maybe because I had my formal observation this week.  Or maybe because our school year ends later this year, so this came earlier than usual.  Maybe all three!    Here is the little we did manage to do for Seuss:

Monday-  Mix-it Up Monday!  Students wore silly socks to school!  We read Fox in Socks.

Tuesday-  Top-Hat Tuesday!  Students wore hats until morning recess.  We wrote about our hats in our planners, describing them.  (Those who didn't have a hat, described a hat they would like to have.)  We read The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins.  In the afternoon, each of us made a Cat in the Hat Top Hat out of construction paper.  Here is a picture of each of my sons wearing one (with me):

Wednesday-  Wacky Wednesday.  Students wore clothes backward, and we did our entire day backward!  That's right - we started with dismissal routines, and ended with morning message!  It was so much fun!

Thursday-  "Who Day"  Students came with "Who" hair!  I wish I could post pictures of them, because it was adorable!  Many Cindy-Lou Whos, and the boys had faux-hawks.  Very cute.  We read Horton Hears a Who, did a phonemic awareness activity based on it, and we were GOING to do a very fun writing project, but no time! (We had to get in one last math assessment.) I will have to share that next year!

Friday-  Green Read Day.  Students wore green and we watched "Green Eggs and Ham" the movie.  My plan had been to cook green eggs and ham, but this year I just didn't get the volunteers. :-(   We did a little Dr. Seuss birthday party at the end of the day, and had a read-in for the rest of the day.  We did a "Read and Lick" (students read while licking a lollipop), "Read and lie" (students could lie down and read - normally we have to sit up in our room),  and "Buddy Reading".  Fun, fun!

Classroom Pics

Yay!  Report cards are done.... finally!  I wanted to celebrate, but then realized there was no time to rest.  I still have to write lesson plans for this week and go back home (er...back to SCHOOL) and get everything prepped.  Yuck!  I love the planning phase of teaching - not so much the prep.  Anyway, since I've been spending SO much time there lately, I thought I would share some pictures of my second home.
These are from earlier this month.  I should have taken new ones after cleaning in my room for 10 hours last weekend.  But, you get the general idea.

 This is my new "Quality Work" board in my writing center.  I wanted another place to put student work.  I took those penguins down on Friday, and now it is empty.  I am thinking of putting up some colored papers with stars or something of the like, so I can just put up work that really shines.  I did that in kindergarten, and I would put a sentence strip next to the work saying something like "Look how I used my periods!"  or "I can write a sentence!"  Hmm... must get started on that today.

 Morning message. I got the general idea of this from my mentor teacher during student teaching - Kimberlee Grant.   One student reads this, then we pass around our stuffed animal and each student answers the question on the bottom in sentence form.  (It definitely takes teaching to teach them how to do this properly.)  Then, in my class we search our message for phonograms we know, and I circle them.  Then students write their response to the question on the bottom in their day planners.  I come around and each student reads back their writing to me, finds one thing they could have done better, fixes it, and I stamp the planner.  LONG process first thing in the morning, but I think it is worth it!

 This is my easel.  It has our job chart on it for our "Candy Kisses" math unit.  I had a "mystery bag" of candy kisses on day one for students to figure out what was in the bag, and then we put them in a jar.  One of the best math activities ever!  We touched on SO many things, and their counting really got better!  (Above the chart, you can see my words of the week on magnets)

 Our calendar area during February.
 Whole carpet/meeting area.
 My CAFE board, which I love, love, love! (and so do the kids)

 The West wall... computer center.
 Word Work area  (a bit messy, because students' table baskets have to be placed over there at night for the custodian.)  My son's backpack is in the doorway.  He's in first grade, too!

 North Wall... the whiteboard, math center, and some teaching materials.  You can also see my messy teacher corner.  I don't do a desk.  I put my kidney table in the corner instead, but sometimes I cover it with all of my stuff as I'm finding things for my volunteers to do.

 You can kind of see the cubby area, and my magnetic attendance/lunch count on the side of the file cabinet.
 Half of our class library.  Someone left a whisper phone on the floor.

 Our word wall with removable words.  The kids LOVE this, and so do I!  They can rip off a word and take it to their seat to use during writing.  Next to the word wall is our listening center.  (Again, table baskets stored there overnight!)

My students have to write a book report for each book read, or they can give an oral report to the class, or re-read it to a volunteer.  This is for a "Reading Challenge" I have them working on.  They have grown so much through this project!

Hope this gave you some good ideas!  If you do use something of mine, please let me know!  I'd love to hear how you changed it/tweaked it!  Or... even if it just worked well for you as is!