Wednesday, December 22, 2010

In the Home Office: Teaching Time in the Library

I'm lying low today as I am recuperating from a terrible cold.  It is amazing what an entire day of sleep plus several episodes of The Office can do for the body and soul.  After this post I will be busy Lysoling the entire house.  I don't think Lysol is meant for human surfaces, but I really am tempted...
a time-telling read-aloud recommended by Pat @plynnsal

Grade One is perpetually learning about telling time to the hour, so I created a sheet for 1st graders to fill out when they are finished checking out their books.  Because the sheet included an image from Scholastic (a hand-less clock) I am not posting it here, but here's my suggestion:

:: Open a Word document

:: Insert clipart of a handless clock (mine had googly eyes)

:: Under the clock type "I checked out my book at ____________ : ____________ a.m. / p.m.

:: Have sheets and a pencil available at the checkout desk.  Students can refer to the clock in the library to draw the big and little hands.  Then they can write the hour and minutes and circle a.m. or p.m.

You can front load this activity by going over what time Library time starts and ends  and whether they come in the a.m. or the p.m.

You could do a cute display with their completed clocks that says, "It's Always Time to Check Out a Book"!

I'll be trying this activity in January - I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

In the Home Office: A Thesaurus-related STEAL

I have 3.5 days left 'til Winter Break, but who's counting?

During these days, I like to have lessons that are still "edumacated", but are simple to set up (or to take down when pre-empted by a holiday concert or a delayed school opening) and FUN!

With our abbreviated schedule, I plan to conduct a thesaurus lesson-lite.  I have provided the .word document for you to STEAL (although the Frosty lyrics, of course, are properly attributed).

Give each student pages 3 and 4 of the handout only.  After they fill in the blanks with the required synonyms, they then receive the text of Frosty the Snowman.  They then match the synonym with the corresponding number on the song sheet.  I am sure that you will have at least three students who will volunteer to sing their Mad-Lib'd version.

Or perhaps you can go caroling during indoor recess.

Have fun!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

In the Home Office: In the planner this week

This "room" is a bit of a misnomer, since my office is not technically at home - but we all know that teachers spend a good deal of their time "off" prepping and preparing (and following up) from their own living rooms.

Tuesday's "In the Home Office" posts will outline the lesson plans for the upcoming week and will include any reproducibles that I have created.  Certainly not all of my lesson plan ideas are unique (stolen) and I cannot guarantee that all of them will go off without a hitch, but my lesson plans are your lesson plans (steal); repurpose as you see fit.  Lord knows I've benefited from the work of others - so in return...take my lesson plans, please.

::  Preschool - I coordinate my lessons with our art teacher who sees them later the same day.  The art teacher is having them create a simple ornament, so I felt a simple reading of If You Take a Mouse to the Movies, emphasizing the tree decorating passages, would fit the bill.

:: First Grade (Stolen) - First grade is working on recognizing the differences between continents, countries and states.  We will be viewing Laurie Keller's Scrambled States of America via Weston Woods and then participating in a Smartboard exercise that prompts them to recall details from the story.  As a side note, Laurie Keller visited my elementary school last year and the kids are still demanding her books daily! Highly recommended, that Laurie Keller!

::  Multiage (1/2 Combined) (Steal) - I will be sharing The Twelve Days of Christmas in Virginia illustrated by that marvelous illustrator, Henry Cole.  The books is a bit lengthy so I will hit on the parts that specifically relate to Virginia history.  The author, Sue Corbett, reveals on her website that there is a cardinal in every picture.

:: Second Grade - This is a total "stolen" from a new librarian in the county who tried it with her second graders first.  Due to the fact that my school does not own a copy of Oweny, the Mail Pouch Pooch, I will be reading the book during the second week of the lesson (I heart ILL), right before our second graders go on their field trip to the United States Postal Museum.  This week, we will instead be watching a brief video on Owney and creating our own "tags".  Thank you, Julie, for creating this wonderful lesson!

:: Third Grade (Steal) - Before we go on break for the winter holidays, I will be reading The Lady in the Box by Ann McGovern to my third graders.  A perfect book that shows children that they can be the change they want to see in the world (thank you, Gandhi).

::  Fourth Grade - We continue on with our thesaurus review.  Some classes will be creating new lyrics to Frosty the Snowman, while others will be just getting used to the layout and format of the thesaurus.  I begin our thesaurus unit with a reading of Thesaurus Rex.

::  Fifth Grade -  We will continue our Magical Reference Materials Tour as we head into Winter Break.  No doubt we will explore dictionaries using one of these fabulous dictionary games.

:: My students with autism:  I see my friends in this class for 15 minutes twice a week.  So far it seems they love math and/or creating while I am reading a book.  This week I will read Maurice Sendak's Chicken Soup with Rice.  As I am reading the book, they will glue down pre-cut slips of paper, each with a month of the year as I read the related passage.

I hope you found something worth stealing.  What's going on in your home office this week?

Monday, December 13, 2010

In the Screening Room: Rapunzel

I took my Romeo and Juliet to see Tangled and I must say it was delightful.

When I returned to my elementary school library, I browsed my own Rapunzel collection, but it wasn't until I swung by my public library (busman's holiday) that I found this TOTALLY delightful version by the sister/brother duo Lynn Roberts and David Roberts:

The illustrations are totally fabulous and both adults and children will be loathe to turn the page before they've studied each detail.  ABBA and John Travolta in a Rapunzel re-make?  What's not to like?

Sunday, December 12, 2010

In the Dining Room: Sunday Book Brunch

Sundays are a time for reading in my house:  the New York Times, New York Magazine, a few Virginia Readers' Choice selections, and perhaps an US Weekly to keep up with royals.

Here are a few online treats, update throughout the day, to go with your Sunday brunch.

:: Grace Lin is offering paper dolls to go with her new Ling & Ting books, which, by the way made the New York Times Best 2010 Notable Books for Children.  I have yet to get my hot little hands on them, but they are winging their way to my library as we speak.  I'll just have to arm-wrestle my students for them.

:: Cheerios cereal is at it again with their Spoonful of Stories program.  We picked up our copy of All the World, a Caldecott honor book, in our most recent box.  I had no idea that the Spoonful of Stories program was so elaborate; they even sponsor a new authors contest!  Visit the website for book trailers and more!

:: If you have not caught on to Etsy, now is the time.  I'm loving this print.

In the Library: What We're Reading

Before leaving my library yesterday, I grabbed a couple of titles that I thought my children Romeo (1st grade) and Juliet (Kindergarten) might like to listen to as we sat around the fire this chilly weekend. While neither of them are new, they appealed to us precisely because we've enjoyed other books in each series.

Angelina's Christmas
by Katharine Holabird; illustrated by Helen Craig
Although the ending of this Angelina tale seemed a bit abrupt, the detailed pictures and warm storyline make this book a great seasonal read. There's just something about the Angelina series that requires the use of a British accent while you're reading aloud.

This year we re-discovered a classic series:  Nate the Great.  Appealing to younger children as it fits the bill as a "chapter book", Nate the Greats are short enough to read in one sitting.  Nate the Great and the Crunchy Christmas, by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat and Craig Sharmat; illustrated by Marc Simont, features the usual cast of characters including a brief appearance by Romeo and Juliet's favorite, Little Hex.

What are you reading this December?  Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins Olive the Other Reindeer?
Imagination Designs