Last Friday, we celebrated Johnny Appleseed Day. This is one of my favorite holidays, so I wanted to plan a lot of fun things for this day. It was jam packed with apple tasting, book making, and a special snack with some of the parents. The kids had a great time! During the weekend, I moved the apple trees that were in my classroom out into the hall and hung some of our Johnny Appleseed book pages on them. On the door, I put some of the pictures that we took on Johnny Appleseed Day. The kids have loved looking at the pictures. :)
For my September author study, I picked Mo Willems. I have never done an author study that my kids have enjoyed as much as this one. They have loved all Mo Willems' books so much that I have decided to extend the author study into October. There are so many neat ideas and activities to go along with his books. If you go to his website http://www.pigeonpresents.com/ and click on the grown ups link, you can download the teacher's guide and event kits for some of his stories. They are full of ideas to use in the classroom. My kids love reading about the pigeon! Here is one of the boards that I used to display their letters to the bus driver from Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus.
Here are some of their letters. I asked them to tell if they would or wouldn't let the pigeon drive the bus and then they had to give a reason why they decided that. It worked out really well since our comprehension skill in reading this week was cause and effect!
Next week we will be talking about zookeepers in reading. For all you Reading Street teachers out there, our weekly story is A Fox and a Kit. To me, this story can be a bit bland, so to spice it up a little I created some zoo friends. My plans also include having the kids make their own zoo animals. The story talks about a mother fox and her baby, so I was thinking about incorporating baby animals into the art project. I was also so inspired by First Grader at Last blogger Sarah Cooley and her adorable poster of 'Pete the Paleontologist'. I created 'Zack the Zookeeper'. The animals are just clip art that I printed from the Internet. I will take them off Zack once the kids have made their zoo animals. I just put them on to give the kids some ideas of the types of animals they would find in a zoo and to give them an idea of what the animals looked like.
At the end of last year after I found out that I was going to be teaching first grade again, I decided I wanted to paint my classroom. All the rooms are painted a drabby gray, but you can choose to paint it if you want. After pouring over paint samples, researching hundreds of pictures of classrooms, and digitally painting the classroom online, I decided on the color yellow. Nothing too bright, just a pretty yellow. I should have thought about picking a light color like that.... A few of the other teachers in my building decided to paint too and they only needed 2 gallons. My mom and I went to the store and purchased 2 gallons, thinking that was more than enough. We were wrong. After 3 more trips to the store and 5 gallons of paint (about a gallon of it on me...I'm a messy, messy painter!), it was finished. It turned out pretty, I think; but if I had it to do over, I would have chosen a different color. It was way too hard to match up bulletin board paper and borders. It was definitely a challenge!
Oh, how I love classroom magazines like these...there's just one problem: I don't have a great plan for incorporating them in my classroom. There is SO MUCH great info packed into these magazines that my kids love, yet I find myself sticking them up on a bookshelf. At the end of last year, I purchased 10 copies of Scholastic News and a few days ago, I got the first issue. I'm really excited about them, but have no idea where they can fit into my lesson plans. Should I put them at a center? Have them for free reading? Any ideas???