Friday, February 28, 2014

Rain, Rain...Go Away!

Yes, go away rain... and don't come back another day....

In case you haven't heard....Southern California is about to get walloped with rain. And yes, that's a bummer...although we are in a drought and this is probably necessary.

Want to know what isn't necessary? Calling this storm "Rain-a-geddon" and wait for it.....

"Downpourpocalypse"

Um, yes... that word was used on television. The Oscars are on Sunday... so people are worked up even more about this weather!

Given the snow and craziness that the east coast has been having I think we need to hush up about  our "soakzilla."

I am not making these up people!

None the less, I decided this was a good time to touch on the concept of rain in class. Because to back up a bit.... in January I was trying to teach about winter, snowmen, etc etc and it was about 80 degrees outside.

So today I read the book rain.... no riveting plot, but I do like this story.

I like it because the illustrations build upon each other so it works well for retelling. I ask my little ones to make their own version of the book {not with all the pages...oh my....that would be too much!} but they really have to think about the illustrations they use.


Also I forgot to mention.... this is great color word practice which I expect them to be able to both read and write at this point in the year....

The book actually starts with green grass, but since the kids don't do every page we vote {each small group decides for their table} whether to start with green grass or black road. And you can see that in all three illustrations there is a black road and rain.

Then we move on....
Here you can see the green grass, the black road and now a red car.

The idea is that each page has all the components of the previous one plus a new thing! This really makes them have to think!  And anytime I can sneak in sequencing practice I am happy!

And the pattern continues... and I like that the rain cloud is black now too!


The last page features it ALL!

Above I mentioned that the table of kids had to vote on which pages from the real deal version would feature in theirs.... I ask them to do this for the first two pages. On the last pages they can choose which items they want to have and then the books will vary.... maybe the brown fence or purple flowers, etc.

Most groups of little ones have 4 of the inside pages that read "Rain on the _________ __________" plus the "Rainbow" page at the back, however, some groups had either 5 or 3 pages.

If you would like to try this in your classroom then grab this FREEBIE:
Wait... want another freebie?

If you are looking for another rain activity just go to THIS POST and scroll down to the bottom for a cute rain themed craft idea {and the writing paper is provided as a freebie too!}

Meanwhile, I am off to brave this rain...and although I was slightly laughing at the names people created for this storm I am a bit nervous.....because at the end of the day I am a Californian and I just don't like rain either.... the only difference is that I just call it "rain."

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

TpT Three Million Members Sale!

It's time for a sale! Yep... I'm sure you have heard by now... but Teachers Pay Teachers is having a sale to celebrate having 3 million members! WOW! I am proud to be one of them.

My store is on sale Thursday and Friday for 20% off plus just endter TPT3 at check out for an additional 10% off!!

There are so many sellers having sales that this could be dangerous for me... always love getting new things to use in the classroom.... so I am linking up with Blog Hoppin' to kick this all off!

{darling image created by Rachel Lamb for Blog Hoppin'}
So what's on sale.....um... a lot... but I thought I would share two things from my store that I will be using in March....

1. St. Patrick's Day Leprechaun Mini Unit. In fact, we will be doing the directed draw leprechaun on Monday!


And maybe since I married an Irish guy I am overly obsessed with St. Patrick's Day.... but #2  is this fun poem "Five Little Leprechauns" that we will be reading and working with.


Here's a small sneak peak....
So hurry up and go get your shop on....... I am telling you TpT doesn't have sales often so don't waste this opportunity. And plus it's just fun!

So if you'll excuse me.... I am off to shop!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Brusha Brusha!!

Fun fact of the day...

I found out that eating pickles is bad for your teeth.

Who knew? I sure didn't.

I decided I should "brush up" on my tooth knowledge... to get ready for this week of teaching all about Keepin' Our Teeth Healthy.....and so I was browsing a list from Health.com of the best and worst foods for your teeth....sticky candy, hard candy... yep... not good, got it... no news there....

but then it busts out at #5 with pickles....

But don't fret, in moderation, they are okay it reads....

Anyway, that is a random tidbit and comic relief rolled into one.

This year my little ones and are making a GIANT toothbrush craft with a promise on it.

Our promise is to brush our teeth at least two times a day.  It also has a check off for the kids to document that they are brushing twice daily.
I am asking them to post these artwork masters in their bathrooms or by their bed as they keep track of cleaning their teeth.

I put this craft along with a graphic organizer about healthy teeth into one little craftivity pack on Teachers Pay Teachers.
Then in four weeks any or all of my friends who return this little ditty will get a trip to our surprise box in class to celebrate their documentation. Here is how it should look when I see it at the end of the month... or maybe a check mark or a sticker or whatever floats their boat....

If you are doing a little tooth action this week you may want to get your hands on the book I Know Why I Brush my Teeth By, Kate Rowan. It isn't a short one... this thing is an in depth extravaganza, but the kids are engaged and love learning new vocabulary such as molars and incisors! 

And this song Brusha Brusha is clearly for pre-school friends, but my kinders LOVE it! And no, it isn't the song in Grease!

And you know.... I have had great luck with getting local dentist offices to donate free toothbrushes... just ask!

I gotta run... I am off to brusha brusha myself!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Five For Friday Time!

This was the longest 4 day week ever. Longest!!!! But I am happy to be linking up with Doodlebugs Teaching because that means it is FRIDAY!!

The short weeks can trick you sometimes. And to prove it .... I am exhausted. I told 3 people this week that I am going "Whale Tasting" tomorrow....

Um? What?

Don't worry... I'm not....

So Number 1 for this week....   I am really going "whale watching" tomorrow... but I think that secretly I wish we were perhaps going "wine tasting" and again... I am exhausted...to be honest, it's been funny to see the people's faces when I make this mistake....but three times? What is wrong with me?

And for the record... I am not a big fan of whale watching... but my hubby loves it. LOVES it! So we seem to go more often than necessary... but apparently there a lot of gray whales out and about right now.


2. This week I had the privilege of watching another teacher teach.

Even after 15 years of doing this gig I know there is always more to learn... and seldom get the chance. You can go to workshops, stalk blogs, obsess over Pinterest for a few hours..BUT watching another professional in action beats all of that.

So why am sharing this... because I am suggesting that YOU try it! We can learn so much from each other and to be honest, that is what I love about this blogging community... but try it in your school {or district community} even if you can just pop in to another classroom for 15 minutes.... there is always something you can learn.

One little tip I got today... out of a million... was at the end of her Morning Message she writes

"I am ready to teach today! Are you ready to learn?" And after she read it, all of her kinders said, "We are ready to learn!" I LOVED it! LOVED it!


3. I created a little poem this week called, "Five Little Leprechauns" as I still am in shock that March is only a week away! This poem is about five leprechauns in search of gold.... I know, novel plot, right?

It is a little rhyming goodie... with a color full size book and then a smaller version for the little ones to have their own. I like it for retelling, rhyming words and all those foundation skills... you can check it out {HERE}


4. Also while we are talking about that...you can actually get a little leprechaun ordinal number FREEBIE which is part of the Five Little Leprechauns... but it is FREE to all Facebook fans... and there are actually a ton of free things you can snag on Facebook this weekend.... check this out:

So if you hop over to my Crayons and Whimsy Facebook page you can then be led on to so many more goodies!

5. And last up... my friend Molly at Lucky to be in First is hosting a little bloggy birthday celebration and people you will be happy to know there are a lot of prizes...


And that my friends is the end of my Five for Friday!! 
Enjoy your weekend!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Let's Draw President Lincoln and an Abe Mini Unit

Today I am off work in honor of Abraham Lincoln's birthday... so in theory this post should have gone out to you a lot sooner.

Oops! That didn't happen.

I have two Lincoln related items to share with you today... one freebie and one new product.

Let's start with the freebie. One of my favorite things to do is this directed draw lesson of Abraham Lincoln.

Warning... if you do this with your class Abraham Lincoln will be in every drawing they do for a while...

It is likely you will have Abe hanging out with leprechauns in their journal writing next month....
I 'm serious. They are so dang proud of themselves that they just keep drawing him.


Can you handle these? I do this whole group...and for me that is 29... so chances are that number is lower for you... so give it a try.

I draw my Lincoln on the SmartBoard... which doesn't lend itself to making this look too good... but who am I kidding... it wouldn't be much better if it were on paper. Their versions would be superior to mine no matter what.

Get your own step by step directions HERE! Then just cut some white paper to 5x17, fold it in half ahead of time and you are set! You can see below how they begin drawing him with the paper folded:
I have the kids draw him with black crayon.

Need more Abe related fun in your room?

I have a fun little Abraham Lincoln Mini Unit on Teachers pay Teachers.

{preview pictures updated January 2015 to include a few new items!}

Do you see that fun pretzel log cabin in the bottom corner? It's one of my favorites!

And just because I love them.... please look at two more... I promise, 29 are not being shown to you!


Happy Monday!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Subtraction Towers

Just a quick post today so I can share a little freebie.....
I'm always looking for fun new ways to practice any skill....especially tricky ones like subtraction.

Today we started to play a simple game called Subtraction Towers.

It's easy because all you need are unifix cubes.... which I bet you already have.

The kids create a tower.... break it in half...or actually not necessarily "in half"... they break it wherever... and see what is left....

and ta da!

You have have a subtraction equation!

They just love this.... you know,  getting to break stuff can be fun!
Click  HERE to download your copy of Subtraction Towers for FREE!

Today we played this in a directed way and we all built the same towers to start.....

Later in the week I will either let them choose the starting number or I may say, "Today every tower you make will start at seven" or whatever number.

In the freebie you will see that you can run off just one side.... or both sides to keep the action going for a little longer.

I just wanted to share it since it has been such a hit in class.... and really helping us "get" subtraction.