Sunday, January 29, 2017

My Favorite Valentine's Day Book

Have you read this lovely book by Eileen Spinelli and Paul Yalowitz?  What a gem!

Image result for somebody loves you mr hatch

Honestly, it's one of my favorite all-time books.  The words and illustrations are so intertwined and seamless.  It's a wonderful book to show just how a small, kind, gesture, can really impact a person's life.

Mr. Hatch is shown as an ordinary man going about his lonely, mundane life.  Very little interaction and devoid of happiness.  But once he receives a box of chocolates in the mail from a Secret Admirer, his life suddenly has meaning.  SOMEONE thought of HIM?  He now has an extra pep in his step and all the neighbors notice.  Sadly, his happiness is short lived.  I don't want to give the rest away... find out for yourself!  You won't regret it but you will most likely shed a tear! Or two.  Or buckets full.

You can watch it here if you can't get the book.

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch Video 11.5 Minutes

Honestly, the book generates thought-provoking discussions and that's all you need.  But if you're wanting a tiny bit more, you could check out this product that supports it.  But to be honest, the BEST way to support this book?  Share it with your class and then reread it again and again!  :)

And for those of you who like my Pick-A-Prompts, I just finished February!
Only March needed to complete the Bundle!  Whew!

Pick-a-Prompt (February Writing Prompts)
Kids highlight or cross out the prompt they would like to complete.

Happy Reading!  

Monday, January 16, 2017

MLK Day Poem

It boggles my mind that there are some school districts around the country in full session today.  My husband's school is one of them. 

To me, it is disrespectful.  The administration has said in the past that is allows them to honor MLK today.  
Hmmm...not buying it.  

Some of my colleagues honored him on Friday and some, like me, have several special activities planned for the upcoming week.  

I feel that now, more than ever, we need to reflect on Martin's message of inclusion and celebrate him and his message.

What's your opinion?  

If you're looking for a packet to use with your students, you may want to check this out:

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Pick-A-Prompt Fun!

We use Lucy Calkins in our school and I love it!  

But in between Small Moments, How-To, All About, etc., I love to give these Pick-A-Prompts to my kids. The kids clearly love having the power of selecting the one that appeals most to them. 

I usually find their answers so insightful. I snapped pics of the latest ones in the order that the kids finished and the first three kids each picked different ones.  (Second one was two-sided.)


I've never NOT had each prompt picked in a writing session.  That always surprises me!  And I'm often surprised at some of the responses I read.  I never knew student 3 loved basketball!  And not just playing the sport but following her favorite team, too!  :)  

I use them for Do-Nows, Free Choice (I can even put same ones out because kids still have two unused options to pick from) and slip them in Fast Finishers folders.  They've really come in handy during writing workshop too.  I have a rule that during writing, we write.  That's it.  Finished a story? Write a new one!  But I've realized that sometimes kids want to continue writing but starting another How-To or All About with ten minutes left of the period may not be ideal or overwhelming.  So, these fit the bill!

You can easily make these yourself by writing in three topics on the top of a page.  But if you don't have the time to make them, check out my January pack  in my store.  Topic Headers: Popcorn Day, A Snowy Day, A New Year, Rubber Ducky Day, Story Starters, Peace & Love, What If and Would You Rather?

Pick-a-Prompt (January Writing Prompts)

Looking for paper to go along with your All About and How To Units?  Maybe these will help.  Available as a bundle and individually.  I love having these to use!  Makes the unit easier for me...and the kids! 

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

A Great STEM Freebie I Found on TpT

STEM to STEAM Trio has this Freebie up in their store:

STEAM Challenge: Creating the Longest Chain

Honestly, my class LOVED it!  Kudos to STEM to STEAM Trio (who I don't know!) for designing such a great product that is SIMPLE and offers so many learning opportunities!  My kids (Firsties!) worked so well together and I documented the groups if you want to check out my Twitter posts to see them in action. I thought it would be fun to give the parents an insight to their child's group dynamics/thinking.  (NOTE: the link to Twitter is the first post...I had 14 posts/pictures...)

Here are the end tallies of the length of our links:

I'm off to check out some of their other products! Have a good night and...