Monday, October 28, 2013

Who Stole Our Candy Corn?!

Thanks to Babbling Abby, we had a Candy Corn Bandit steal our jar of candy corn today! The jar was sitting on our blue round table when we left for lunch, and when we returned from recess, it was GONE!  The bandit had taken it and left a note and a clue in its place.  Can you believe that?!

We were quite upset and shocked that someone had taken our candy.  Before going on our search, we made some predictions as to WHO we thought stole the candy and WHERE it was hidden.  Once our predictions were stated, we tiptoed down the hall toward our first destination.  You see, our first clue said to look in the place where we eat a meal.  Once we found our second clue under a cafeteria table, we were off again!  The bandit's clues led us to the gym, playground, library, and then back to our classroom, where we found the last clue and our jar of candy corn (thank goodness!).

Racing from the playground to the library!

Tiptoeing from the library back to our classroom...


The lils were really into the whole adventure.  They were curious as to WHO took their candy and were intent on finding it. I want to extend a BIG thanks to Babbling Abby for providing this awesome activity

We enjoyed our candy corn at the end of the day and still have more left!  I'm sure we will continue to enjoy it until the BIG DAY on Thursday.  Oh, the excitement is building, for sure!  Don't worry, there will be a post recapping all of the spooktacular Halloween activities! ;)

Samantha :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Quick Literacy and Math Link

Hello my poor, little, neglected blog.... :/  I wish there was more time in a day; that would solve so many of my time constraint problems.  Anywho, before it turned into a month since my last post, I wanted to pass along another idea from Mrs. Cara Carroll... :)  found HERE

So, borrowing her idea of our story characters writing math problem letters to the lils, the first letter I Curious George wrote to the class was a HUGE hit!  First of all, they were so incredibly excited to get mail, and I mean, who doesn't get excited about actual paper mail?!  I ALWAYS get super excited to get fun mail, like a card or invite.  It's the little things.  Okay, tangent, back to the main idea here.  So, I typed up a letter (using CCFonts!) from Curious George that included a problem for the students to solve.  Then, they had to write back to Curious George with their answer.  For the first two letters, I wrote what they told me to model letter writing.  For future letters, I will turn over the letter writing to the lils, now that they have an idea of how to do it.  I did not write a letter last week, and they were so disappointed about not getting mail!  Aww!  I will have to make sure to do it this week.  Thank you Mrs. Carroll for such a great idea that combines literacy and math in such a fun, engaging way!  You can really cover any skill!

I forgot to take pictures of the Curious George letter, so this is from Lucia, a character from another story in our Journeys curriculum.  You can even see that during our Writer's Workshop, some students wrote their own letters back to Lucia!  How cute!  Some asked if she could come to their homes to play! :)

Sorry I've been MIB (missing in blogging) lately.  Hopefully, I can get it together soon and blog more often.  I really do miss sharing AND reading other blogs (My blogger is at over 100 blog posts waiting for me to read! ahhhh! I'm missing out on so much!).  Okay, way past my bedtime.  Good night and until next time!

Samantha :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Think Before You Speak

So you know that saying, "Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"???  It's false.  I mean, yes, words will not actually break your bones, but they DO hurt.  When I found this little think before you speak activity on Cara Carroll's blog HERE (at the bottom of her post), I was thrilled.  Sometimes kids know exactly what they are saying, but sometimes they do not realize the hurtfulness of their words.  This touching lesson really makes the lils think about their words.
I began by telling them the sticks and stones saying.  Some had heard of it, but most had not.  I explained what it meant, and we discussed how mean words can hurt our feelings.  They all said they have experienced hurtful words... :/  Then, I explained that we were going to read the story Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and gave a short summary, describing how the other characters are going to make fun of Chrysanthemum's name.  Earlier, I had cut out a BIG heart from red bulletin board paper.  I told the lils that we were going to crinkle and crumple up the heart each time someone in the story made fun of Chrysanthemum.  As I read, we passed the heart around and crumpled it up for each hurtful word.  They were amazed at how wrinkled it was becoming!  Then, at the end of the story, the characters start to say kind things about her name.  We tried our best to smooth out the wrinkles but to no avail.  One lil was actually pretty upset that he was unable to straighten out the wrinkles... aww!!  We discussed that even though the other students started being nice to Chrysanthemum, her heart was still wrinkled from their unkind words.  To end the activity, we wrote our names on band aids (pen worked best on the fabric band aids) to try to help heal Chrysanthemum's heart AND as a little pledge to think before we speak.

This was such a beautiful lesson.  My lils really took it to heart, pun intended.  ;)   As they were patching up the heart with their band aids, I heard them say, "Let's help her!" and "Let's make her feel better!"  So sweet!   I will hang to heart in the room as our visual reminder to think before we speak.

Oh ps, the Writer's Workshop presentation went SO well!! I talked a mile a minute, but I just had so much to share!  I love spreading the word about all of the blogs that I follow and all of the ideas on pinterest.  Hopefully, the grad students will follow my advice and get into teacher blog reading.  It seriously changed my life.  And I shamelessly plugged my lil blog (ahh blush!) haha, so if you are one of those grad students, HELLO and welcome to my lil world!  :)

Samantha :)