Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Help Henry Fundraiser

30 Teachers have joined together and donated well over $100 worth of teaching products for this fundraiser!  You can have all of these for your $20  $10 donation to Help Henry! Your donation will go to help Henry’s family pay for the numerous plasma transfusions and medical attention required to help little Henry get well.

This bundle is A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.!  You really do need to grab it while it's half price.  

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Happy Spring - Happy Earth Day!

It's finally spring, although yesterday we had some snow here and today it is only in the mid 40's!  Yikes!  Well, regardless of our weather we are excited about this year's upcoming Earth Day holiday!

There are so many fun things that you can do to celebrate earth day!  This year we began by spending time learning all about taking care of earth!  Some years we actually go and visit the local recycling center but this year with all our snow days, it did not work out for use to go but if you have one near your school you should consider going there as a field trip.  It’s pretty cheap (just the cost of buses) and the kids LOVE it!!

After we read some wonderful mentor texts like The Great Kapok Tree, and Just a Dream, we read a wonderful non-fiction texts called Heroes of the Environment: True Stories of People Who Are Helping to Protect Our Planet by Harriet Rohmer.

Then kids were ready to write an opinion piece about why we should take care of earth!  I love reading their opinions after all our research!  

They did a great job!  If you are interested in doing this project, check out my earth opinion/informational writing unit in my TPT store.  It has a graphic organizer, final draft, craft and a few fun earth day word work activities.

I also loved having my kiddos write an earth day poem!  Check out this fun freebie by Lisa Lilienthal

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

The Great Kapok Tree Freebie

The Great Kapok Tree by Lynn Cherry is such a great book, and we had a blast reading it!  I love the way the story draws the reader into the rainforest and makes us think about the environment from the animal’s perspective! 

After we read the book, we talked about the rainforest and learned a bit about each animal in the story us the non-fiction book Rainforest Animals by Maria Lopes.  

To get ready for our 2nd lesson, I showed them this youtube of The Great Kapok Tree which is read by                         Mrs. Thomas.  I love finding little youtube gems like this and allowing my students to experience the story in another way.  After we had read it a 2nd time, I gave pairs of students a part of the story (from my TPT sequencing FREEBIE) and we formed a big circle on the carpet and retold the story.  It took us a few times to get all the animals in the correct order but the kids loved it and they did such a great job acting out their parts! 

To wrap up our lessons we created our own kapok trees! To create the trees, students traced their forearm and hand onto brown construction paper and then created leaves in whatever shapes they wanted.  

I put the youtube video on again and they were amazingly quiet as they created their trees and listened to the book being read; in fact I think we listened to it a few times while they were creating!  Once their trees were completed they cut up the events from the story and put them back together to retell the story.

Feel free to hop over to my TPT store and grab your own Great Kapok Tree sequencing freebie!!

As always, thanks for stopping by!  Please leave a comment and let me know some of the fun ways you have used this story in your classroom!!