Monday, October 31, 2016

Trick or Treat! with K

Happy Halloween! This week, I read two books about dressing up to kindergarten - Hoot Owl, Master of Disguise by Sean Taylor (illustrated by Jean Jullien) and Monster Needs a Costume by Paul Czajak (illustrated by Wendy Grieb).

While they watched the epic Super Simple Songs Halloween playlist, the students drew their own costumes they'll be trick-or-treating in:

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pedro! Pedro! Pedro!

We read the RICBA nominee Growing Up Pedro by Matt Tavares this week to coincide with the World Series. One illustration shows him taped to a pole by his teammates. The kids asked if it really happened. Here's the tape to prove it.

Most kids enjoyed the story; here are some reasons they gave:

  • It was a story about like to never give up.
  • I liked it because I love sports.
  • It was funny when they tied him to the pole.
  • He worked hard to accomplish his goals.
  • It was a very sweet story.
  • My favorite team is the Red Sox.
  • I liked when they taped him to a pole.
  • It was exciting and action-packed.
  • I liked learning about his baseball career.
  • It talked about my culture.
  • Kid-friendly nonfiction that is full of facts.
  • It shows that anyone can grow up to be anything.
  • Pedro is awesome (I have a poster of him in my room).
  • I like that they loved baseball so much.
  • It is about a kid who will never give up.
  • It was interesting to learn about his life.

The book ended with the 1999 American League championships, but Pedro's playing career continued for 10 more years. He was still on the Red Sox when they finally reversed the curse in 2004 and won their first World Series in 86 years. He then played for the New York Mets and the Philadelphia Phillies before retiring in 2009.

Pedro was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year, and the Red Sox retired his number.

Friday, October 28, 2016

Kindergarten Creepy Carrots

Halloween is on its way, so I read two "spooky" books to kindergarten - The Dark by Lemony Snicket (illustrated by Jon Klassen) and Creepy Carrots by Aaron Reynolds (illustrated by Peter Brown).

After watching the Silly Symphony skeleton dance, the students drew their own creepy carrots:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Trombone Shorty - RICBA Readaloud

We're gearing up for Election Day in a couple of weeks, but did you know that students get the chance to vote in February? The Rhode Island Children’s Book Award (RICBA) goes to the book selected by students in grades 3-6 as their favorite from a list of 20 nominees.

Students who read 3 or more nominated books may vote in February. They will receive extra credit for each RICBA ratings sheet they submit (either in person or online); it asks them to record what the book was about and how they felt about it. To give everyone a head start, I'll be reading two nominees to each class. 

I started with Trombone Shorty, written by Troy Andrews and illustrated by Bryan Collier. Here's the book trailer:

Most kids enjoyed the story; here are some reasons they gave:

  • He was determined. He didn't give up.
  • It makes you just want to dance.
  • He stood out and didn't hide back his talent.
  • I liked it because it was an autobiography. I liked the illustrations too.
  • He was so good at the trombone, and he was so small.
  • He likes music and so do I.
  • I thought it was interesting how he found the trombone and got to play with [Bo Diddley's] band.
  • It shows that if you are short, you can still do anything you want to.

During checkout, I played part of a video from Trombone Shorty's web site. One student said, "Now he's Trombone Biggie!" Below the video embed, you'll see a photo of some VERY enthusiastic 5th graders air-banding along with the show.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Don't Let the Pigeon ... K Lesson 1

In case you haven't been introduced to the Pigeon yet, he is the star of a series of books by Mo Willems; the first one is Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! We read that and Don't Let the Pigeon Stay Up Late! in K, and I am happy to report that MOST students resisted his arguments (a few were willing to be bought off by his promise of five bucks).

Then the kids came up with their own rules for the Pigeon ... I especially like that one student (see last photo) doesn't want him to knock over the bookshelves. Which is an excellent segue into our next lesson, when the kids will teach the Pigeon book care rules as a prelude to their first checkout.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Three of These Things with Grade 1 - Part 2

A big part of information literacy is being able to recognize patterns and to categorize facts, sources, etc. We're starting to work on these skills in first grade. 

See Part 1.

Our next lesson in the unit is one of my favorites; it involves the original Three of These Things from Sesame Street. Original as in from the 1970s. I showed several sample videos to the kids, and they raised their hands as soon as they figured out what didn't belong. Here's one of them:

Then it was the students' turn to pretend they were segment producers and come up with their own "Three of These Things" example. Can you tell what doesn't belong? (NOTE: Mrs. Russell's class was especially tricky with their drawings.)