Sunday, February 26, 2023

Themes To Teach In March

Lucky for you! I found a bunch of fun things for you and your class to do this month.

From lions and lambs to Women’s History, March is jam-packed with special occasions for learning.


                 Image by Hansuan Fairegas from Pixabay


There are links to free or economical resources in this list.

Dr. Seuss Author Study

Rainbows

Windy Weather

Pandas

Earth and the Environment

Johnny Appleseed

Butterflies

Spring

Lions & Lambs

Women’s History

St. Patrick’s Day


There are more dates to entertain your kiddos:


                 Image by Musaed subaie from Pixabay


March 1- World Compliment Day

March 3- If Pets Had Thumbs Day

March 6- Dentist’s Day

National Oreo Cookie Day

March 8- International Women’s Day

March 9- Barbie Day

Popcorn Lover’s Day

March 11- Johnny Appleseed Day

March 12- Plant a Flower Day

March 14- National Pi Day

Learn About Butterflies Day


                       Image by orythys from Pixabay


March 16- Giant Panda Bear Day

March 17- St. Patrick’s Day

March 19- Let’s Laugh Day

March 20- Earth Day

1st Day of Spring

March 21- World Poetry Day

March 23- National Puppy Day

March 31- National Crayon Day


                         Image by Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay


I choose dates that I think will make students happy in the classroom. Please visit holidayinsights.com for a comprehensive list.

I hope this helps you with your lesson planning!


Sunday, February 19, 2023

When Love Flows: The Beauty of Encouraging Others Book Review



Author: Sonia Amin

Illustrator: Arlenis Chirinos

Publisher: Sanasamal Press

Released: October 30, 2022

Format: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle

ISBN: 978-1735299686

Reviewer: Ellwyn Autumn

Rating: 4 Lemon Drops

A story overflowing with love and gratitude!




Review:

Book Summary:

Nora loves her family, her teacher, and her neighbor. So much affection is welling up inside her.

She yearns to express these feelings in words, but every time she tries to write them, her words get stuck. The precise words to show her gratitude and empathy won’t come to her. 

After a brief struggle, Nora shows emotion through sincere actions and straightforward words.

Love is patient, love is kind, love doesn’t need complicated language to be impactful.

Opinion:

You know the maxim, “Love makes the world go round.”

Amin created a character who encapsulates the joyous and unconditional love children have for the world.

Nora possesses many qualities parents and teachers strive to instill in children. She’s caring, loving, sympathetic, empathetic and a great role model.

Things I liked about the book:

The use of onomatopoeia. When Nora’s words trickled to a stop they’d, “Drip, drip, drop!” A wonderful attention grabber for a child!

It was also nice to see a character overcome a common dilemma we’ve all faced in our lives, staring at a blank piece of paper after struggling to find the right words to communicate our feelings.

At times, they wrote words like water droplets or in unconventional lines or spirals. What a fun way to read!

There's even a brownie recipe at the end to share with friends and family.

Chirinos’ illustrations are bright and colorful with a splash of lighthearted fun. They complement the story perfectly.

I give it 4 Lemon Drops!



Classroom Connection:

Age Range: The author’s target audience is ages 4-11. 

Targeted Vocabulary: burble, compassion, encourage, erupt, gaze, geyser, gush, muddled, ripple, trickle

The author has a glossary of these words at the end of the book.

As an early childhood teacher, I am always searching for books to supplement my social/emotional lessons.

When Love Flows is a great resource when discussing frustration tolerance, appropriate behavior, and kindness. 

This book could also preface a letter writing activity. Students can write encouraging notes to classmates or family members.

Building on Nora's struggle to find the right words, encourage children to make a list of positive phrases or kind words to use in their writing.

I would definitely add this to my classroom library.

Resources:

https://www.pinterest.com/ellwynautumn/socialemotional-strategies/

About The Author:



Sonia Amin is a wife, mother, and pharmacist who loves encouraging others with her words, hugs, and prayers.

She is passionate about helping others live healthy lives and believes being healthy is not just about physical well-being.

Her debut book, Bax and His Bubbles, offers a method using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to help kids foster healthy thinking habits, while her newest book, When Love Flows, helps children understand the power of an encouraging word.

Benefits of Author Visits Episode 4

 





Episode-4-School Visits: Explore user-friendly resources that assist busy educators and librarians in planning and funding an author visit. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Themes To Teach In February

                          Image courtesy of canva.com


Every teacher knows February is a busy month. I teach Pre-K Head Start and my checkpoints are due on the 8th. Shortly after that, parent conferences will occur.

Let’s make time to share the love (and chocolate) with our co-workers and students this month!


          Image courtesy of Terri Cnudde from Pixabay



Here’s a list of possible themes for February and links to free or inexpensive resources.

Ezra Jack Keates Author Study

Black History Month

Groundhog’s Day

Valentine’s Day

Friendship

Polar Bears

Birds (It’s National Bird Feeding Month in the United States.)

Hippos

Whales

Fairy Tales


                                Image courtesy of OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay


A few other entertaining dates your kiddos might enjoy:

February 1- World Hijab Day

                   National Freedom Day

                   World Read Aloud Day

 

February 2- Groundhog Day


February 3- Bubblegum Day

                  National Wear Red Day


February 4- Ice-cream for Breakfast Day

February 6- International Frozen Yogurt Day

February 7- Harry Potter Book Night

                  Send a Card to a Friend Day



                     Image courtesy of GraphicMama-Team from Pixabay



February 8- National Kite Flying Day

February 9- National Pizza Day

                                National Stop Bullying Day

February 10- National Umbrella Day



                                    Photo by karelinlestrange from Pixabay

February 11- International Day of Women and Girls in Science

                    National Make A Friend Day

February 12- Autism Sunday

                    Lincoln’s Birthday

                    Superbowl Sunday

February 14- Frederick Douglas Day

       Valentine’s Day

       International Book Giving Day

       Library Lovers Day

       Read To Your Child Day



                                                    Image courtesy of Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


February 15- National Hippo Day

                    Susan B. Anthony Day

February 17- National Random Acts of Kindness Day

February 18- Thumb Appreciation Day

                    World Whale Day



                                        Photo by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

February 20- National Muffin Day

                    President’s Day

                    National Muffin Day

                    Love Your Pet Day

February 21- Mardi Gras

                    National Pancake Day

                    National Sticky Bun Day

February 22- National Wildlife Day

                    Washington’s Birthday

                    World Thinking Day



                 Image courtesy of WikimediaImages from Pixabay

February 23- Pinocchio Day

                    Tootsie Roll Day

                    Play Tennis Day

February 24- International Stand Up To A Bully Day

                    National Dance Day

February 25- International Tongue Twister Day

                    Quiet Day

                    Rubber Duckie Day


                             Image by Sabine Kroschel from Pixabay

February 26- Tell A Fairy Tale Day

February 27- International Polar Bear Day

                    National Strawberry Day

                    Pok√©mon Day

February 28- National Science Day

                                   National Tooth Fairy Day



                    Image courtesy of Michaela from Pixabay

I choose dates that I think will enhance the enjoyment of students in the classroom.

For a more comprehensive list, please visit parade.com.

I hope this helps with your lesson planning!

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday, January 14, 2023

My Sister Wants an Elephant Book Review




Author: Lynne Podrat

Illustrator: Sarah Gledhill

Publisher: Atmosphere Press

Released: December 1, 2022

Format: Kindle, Paperback

ISBN: 978-1639887316

Reviewer: Ellwyn Autumn

Rating:  3 1/2 Lemon Drops

A story for animal lovers!





Review:

Book Summary:

Randy wants a llama for the rest of his life, his baby sister wants an elephant for her birthday, and Mom always wanted a Siberian tiger.

Will this animal loving family give up on their dream, or will Mom’s compromise satisfy everyone?

Opinion:

To fulfill a child's unpractical wish, parents must be creative. Like Randy and Jerica, children ask for a lot of things when they are young. My youngest wanted a baby dinosaur years ago.

The introduction of the story grabs the attention of the reader. The ending is sweet and acquaints children with IFAW (International Fund for Animal Welfare) and group adoption of animals through the zoo. A young person will benefit from the range of word usage.

I liked the siblings scheming to get Mom to allow an elephant and llama to join the family. The dedication of the mother to her children and animals is admirable.

That being said, the story needs an additional edit. There were some inconsistencies. They don’t detract from the story, but they caught my attention. The grammatical errors are simple to fix and would add to the integrity of the finished product.

Gledhill's illustrations complement the story nicely. The giraffe kissing the mom is my favorite.

I give it 3 ½ Lemon Drops!



Classroom Connection: 

Age Range: Pre-K to 3rd Grade

Targeted Vocabulary: unaffected, adopted, gigantic, especially, practicing, panic, obsession, imagination, compromise, acquainted, surprise, IFAW, enclosure, impressed

Resources:

About The Author:





Lynne Podrat graduated from the Pennsylvania State University and then spent fifteen years in the Fashion Industry as an Assistant Buyer and Department Manager with Bloomingdales Department Store before returning to school to receive her educational degrees from Arcadia University and Gynedd Mercy.

She taught English, literature, composition, and history in elementary and secondary schools in the Philadelphia, Pennsylvania School District.

She has been a writer and a poet her entire life, but only recently decided to share her talents with the world.

 Lynne now lives with her husband in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, spending winters dragon boating and summers hiking the Rockies in Vail, Colorado, where her heart sings.

About the illustrator:





Sarah Gledhill lives in Lancashire, United Kingdom.

Sarah and ‘The Pen’ had fantastic fun collaborating with Lynne Podrat and her book filled with delightful animals and children.

After decades spent bouncing around the hot African veld in a Landi, sharing life and adventures with four sons and a wonderful variety of animals, Sarah is now happily rediscovering the cherished, fragile worlds of the hedgerows, woodlands, waterways and dry-stone walls of the UK.

 

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Themes To Teach In January

 

                                               Image by OpenClipart-Vectors from Pixabay


The holiday rush has ended. It is time to get back to the classroom.

I must admit, I’m a bit sluggish in January. That's why I like teaching themes that are fun and engaging.

I am able to make learning more enjoyable for my kiddos if I am interested in the topic.



                                                  Image by Jozef Mikulcik from Pixabay


Here are links to free or inexpensive resources for this month.

The History of New Year’s

New Year’s In The Classroom

The Season of Winter

Hibernation

Snowmen, Snowflakes, Snow

Arctic Animals

Penguins

Jan Brett Author Study

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 18, 2023)

Chinese New Year (January 22, 2023)



                                                                       Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay


But wait! There are more entertaining dates your class might enjoy.

January 13- Make Your Dreams Come True Day/National Rubber Duckie Day

January 16- Appreciate a Dragon Day

January 18- Winnie the Pooh Day

January 24- Compliment Day

January 29- National Puzzle Day

January 30- Draw a Dinosaur Day

January 31- Backward Day

Happy Teaching!

Get Back On Track After Winter Break

https://pixabay.com/photos/school-learning-graphic-design-2761394/
                                                               Image by Oberholster Venita from Pixabay


There’s no magic trick to getting your class back on course after winter break, but there are a few steps you can take to ease the changeover.

A smooth transition depends on your mindset. Rules and routines won't fall into place at once if you teach little ones.

Everyone will have a few limit testers and criers when their class returns. We must be proactive, consistent, and compassionate with ourselves and our kiddos.


                                                             Image by Prawny from Pixabay

Here are four steps to help you keep the procedures and the fun going.

1. Set your intentions for the day with a simple guided meditation. I feel calmer and more focused when I do this consistently.

2. Make sure everything is ready for your lessons. Some teachers had their lessons written before Winter Break. For those who did it, I salute you! I prepared mine while I was off.

3. Review classroom procedures and expectations in the morning.

4. The holidays are over, but not all the jolly is gone. A classroom snowman will be introduced to my students.

Like Elf on the Shelf, the snowman will arrive with an introductory letter. Each week in January, he’ll bring us a fun wintry activity to do.


                                                                                Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay


Week 1- Classroom New Year’s Party Box

We’re going to do a Noontime New Year’s Countdown, so January coloring pages, party hats, noisemakers, and a writing prompt for a New Year’s Resolution will be included in our box.



                                                                                  


Week 2- The Snowy Day Box

The Mailbox Magazine has a cute activity that my kids enjoy. Children recreate the front cover of The Snowy Day after reading it.

This box will hold The Snowy Day, Peter cutouts, rectangles in different sizes to be used as the buildings in the background, white, blue, and purple paint, white glitter, and large paper to paint on.




                                                                                                           


Week 3- The Mitten Box

This is a popular activity that goes with The Mitten. The children will retell the story after a read aloud of the book. There’s an adorable poem inspired by the book on firstgradewow.blogspot.com. There are free character masks available for the book on Jan Brett’s website.

This box will have The Mitten, a white sheet to use as the mitten (drape it like a tent between two chairs and the children sit inside), The Mitten Poem, and the character masks.





Week 4- Snow Box

You can’t have a snowman mascot and not bring a little snow into the classroom. After reading Snow by Marion Dane Bauer, we will make our own snow.

This box will include Snow and a recipe to make our own snow. You can also purchase classroom snow here.

I hope these suggestions help you and your kiddos transition back to a new term at school.

Friday, December 23, 2022

10 Free & Easy Winter Break Ideas

                                                              Image by Petra from Pixabay 


Winter Break is here!

Oh, the merry making! Oh, the joyous jollies!

Many families expect Old St. Nick’s yearlong visit. Some people can't wait to light a candle on the Menorah. The hubbub will be unforgettable.



                                                        Image by Tumisu from Pixabay

When the holiday hype dies down, what happens? If you don't celebrate Christmas or Hanukkah, what do you do? Are you ready to have fun with your children?


                                                          Image by Alexandra Koch from Pixabay
                                         

My class has 10 days off for Winter Break, so I have planned a list of ten easy ideas for you to do with your kids.





1. Shaving Cream Writing- cover a flat surface with shaving cream and let your children draw shapes, write their names, or just squeeze it through their fingers. Popsicle sticks will let them pretend to shave.

2. Ice cube painting- this involves pouring water into an ice cube tray, adding a few drops of food coloring, and freezing it. Paint the ice on white paper when it's ready.


                                           Image by Couleur from Pixabay

3. Play Snowball Fight! A free math game available on Teachers Pay Teachers. (The game involves dice. No dice? Substitute with playing cards. The kids can pick a card from the pile. If you don’t have playing cards, make number cards on index cards or strips of paper.)

4. You can explore the wonderful resources at your local library.



5. Make a fort with blankets in your living room.

6. You can ice-skate at home by putting paper plates under your feet. Don’t forget the music!



                                                   Image by Alexa from Pixabay


7. Santa brought toys, so turn the boxes they arrived in into puzzles. (You can also use old cereal boxes.)

8. Create invisible ink with lemon juice



                                              Image by NoName 13 from Pixabay


9. You can make your own memory game or play board games.

10. Boredom Buster Box- fill an old box with slips of paper labeled with things for your kiddos to do: 10 Jumping Jacks, 5 push-ups, walk like a crab or a duck, take a nap, look for shapes in the clouds, do a yoga pose, write a poem, draw a silly picture. The possibilities are boundless!


HAPPY WINTER BREAK!


                                       Image by Jill Wellington from Pixabay