Friday, November 22, 2013

don't let the turkey drive the bus!

Don't even pretend you've never heard of this book.

Mo Willems' Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus is, quite possibly, my first graders' favorite book.  They adore it.  It's a perfect book for practicing identifying telling, asking and excited sentences and practicing reading those different types of sentences with expression while we study transportation for the month of November.  I think I've heard my first graders and myself read this story almost 100 times this year.  We LOVE this book.

My favorite activity to do with the class, relating this book with the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, is writing a class book titled Don't Let the Turkey Drive the Bus!  We start by making a list of reasons why the pigeon isn't supposed to drive the bus--reasons my kiddos gave went from "He's too small because he is a bird!" to "He might crash the bus."  Then, we talk about the turkey.  "His feathers won't fit in the driver's seat." "He's trying to get away from Thanksgiving!" "We want to eat him!"  LOVE IT.

We then talk about how the pigeon tries to persuade the reader to let him drive the bus, and how the turkey might try.  After reviewing the punctuation for different types of sentences, I give each student a writing paper with two speech bubbles on it.  They write a rough draft of what the turkey says, we conference, they write a final copy on the other bubble.  Cut, glue and draw their own turkeys...  we have a fantastic class book!

We display them in our classroom before I bind them up--but we will read the bound book next week to the parents at our Thanksgiving Feast.

I put together the speech bubble print out with some other speech bubble writing papers in my TPT shop--check them out!

Friday, November 1, 2013

it's november! {five for friday}

Linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday.  Are you ready?

[1] Being sick is AWFUL.  I went to my college apartment-mate's wedding with a fever on Saturday, and while it was wonderful to share the day with her and her new husband and we had a ton of fun...  it was the WORST DECISION EVER.  We were down for the count on Sunday...  and Monday...  and Tuesday...  and I still do not feel like myself.  I spent about four hours between Sunday night and Tuesday morning writing sub plans--worst thing ever when you're sick.  I have such a hard time giving up my teaching time, though...  What do you do when you're sick?  Emergency plans or do you micromanage like I do with four page detailed plans for the day?

But look how great they look!

[2] My school doesn't "officially" celebrate Halloween--but ALL of the primary grades get around that fact pretty well.  Kindergarten has a Letter People Party, second grade dresses up as birds for the end of their bird unit and third grade presents their explorer reports in full explorer costume.  My first graders end our mammal unit with a bang by dressing up as their favorite mammal.  After reading two Magic School Bus chapter books, I dressed up as Ms. Frizzle--all ready to go on a batty field trip.

[3] There was too much rain last night, and we didn't get any Trick-or-Treaters.  We have too much candy left for me to eat, and the puppies didn't get to show off their costumes.  They'll just have to wear them to my cousin's birthday party tomorrow.

[4] I've been a big fan of Krista Wallden's Creative Clips for quite awhile, but she had a fantastic sale going on over Halloween that I took major advantage of.  I like to think I'm really on the ball and got myself a very nice selection of Thanksgiving and Christmas clip art.  If you don't know her stuff already, GO CHECK IT OUT RIGHT NOW.

[5] Every time I go to Starbucks, I get one of three beverages: Peppermint Mocha Frappucino, Iced Peppermint Mocha or a Peppermint Mocha.  Year round.  October, July, April, it doesn't matter.  Today, I stopped for a nice, hot one because I was feeling lousy--only to find out that a.) it was the first day for holiday red cups and b.) the first day for the "winter holiday" beverages.  I felt like a goober rushing to Starbucks for the first of these delicious treats.  I just wanted to scream at all the people looking at me like a nutcase that I get this every time I'm here.  Forget pumpkin spice lattes.  I want that peppermint mocha!