Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Christmas in July!

 At the moment, it's 86 degrees here in New Hampshire, and this frosty scene looks downright refreshing!  

I was reading a post by one of my favorite bloggers the other day, and she was making an adorable brown felt bendy Stick Man because Stick Man is one of her children's favorite books! I had to grab the template immediately, because I knew how much fun it would be to introduce a "real" Stick Man to the children next December.

Last year I "discovered" this book (always fun to find a book that is new to you) and I was so taken with it, I wrote a literature unit about it that is posted on my TPT store. In honor of Christmas in July, you may download it FREE from my store here.

Stick Man, by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler, has many misadventures as he tries to get back home to his Lady Love and his children in their home in a tree. It makes for a wonderful story map! He floats down a stream, gets used in a snowman, and is even a dog toy being thrown across the field! The magic happens on Christmas Eve. Stick Man is next in line to be tossed on the fire in the grate, when Santa Claus himself suddenly needs an assist. There. You will have to just go read it for yourself now. Your children will love it!

I am unable to directly link to the neat blog that features how to make your very own simple Stick Man! However, you can get to it by traveling back through her pin which is on my Pinterest page. Go to the board that says "My TPT Store". On the board you will find the adorable felt Stick Man from felt from the gingerbread-house.co.uk. It is worth the trip! https://www.pinterest.com/nancybpierce/ 

Stay cool! Go read something!


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Sally Goes to the Beach!

It's time to hit the beach! Well, maybe where you are, but in New Hampshire we are still waiting for it to stop raining!

This is a great story for you parents to read to your beachcomber children. More importantly, it is a wonderful example of point-of-view for all of you teachers who can't stop during the summer. You know what I am talking about. You work even during the summer, because you are crazy just love school so much!
This is a page from the book. Of course, to Sally, the island is shaped like a dog. What else would it look like?

Sally's suitcase contains 5 balls and a bone. All set. 

Sally only sees other Labradors as she travels in a car, aboard a ferry, and in a cab to get to her vacation destination. When she sniffs the ocean, she says, "The air smells great, just like cat food!" 

The woodcut prints are wonderful. Happy Labradors on vacation abound. This would also be a great book to use at the end of the year when you are reading beach themed stories.

Activities: Keep a diary as if you are Sally, and write about your trip.

Make a 5 senses chart and list all of Sally's activities under the correct one.

Make a list of Things Sally Learned!

Write an opinion piece. Would you like to be on this trip with Sally? Why or why not?

   Happy July!


Sunday, May 24, 2015

Vacation Plans Gone Bad

VACATION!!!!!!!!! at last!!!!!
But WAIT! 

Is it possible that a kid could be at a nifty hotel-with-a-pool and NOT like it?

Before school is out, read this one to your kiddos and see what they think of Bridget. I think they will LOVE her.
She is a lonely little girl who discovers five ridiculous sheep on an island behind the hotel, desperately in need of a rescue. 

The sheep love "lemon soda, cookies, and old Band-Aids."

Do a quickie graph: those who would like a vacation like Bridget's, and those who would not!

Then send them off to their writing spots to do a problem/solution worksheet that you can download FREE right here at my TPT store:


One foot after the other! It won't be long now!

See you next time!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cooperation Sunday

The school year is winding down.
It can be difficult to keep the excited students from forgetting their manners.

Their little excited brains are already out here:
Destination: Anywhere Else!

Rather than watch your whole year's worth of character training go out the window when you need it most, may I suggest Cooperation Sunday?

Cooperation Sunday in action on Monday!

All you need to do for Cooperation Sunday is add into your already crammed plans for the week a character building lesson . It will not take more than 20 minutes, the kids will get something to remind them of things they have already learned, and you get a shot at a better week! Who's in?

Today's Pick for Cooperation Sunday is:

I love this book!!! Many teachers use this book to teach character-building every week, beginning in September. It is worth the revisit, especially to review those all-important attitudes of optimistic/pessimistic, proud/modest, generous and compassionate. 

Get a sentence strip and write "We Are Smart Cookies!" on  it, and have each student select one of the 22 traits to write on their cookie before they decorate it and you hang it up. You can refer to it on an as-needed basis (probably hourly at this time of the year).

Don't forget, these are some rigorous vocabulary words! Yeah!

 Go here for the free cookie template if you don't feel like making your own:  http://www.greatestcoloringbook.com/coloring-page/chocolate-chip-cookie

Have a sweet week! Our school year ends on June 18th, so there's still plenty of learning left!

See you next time!


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Secret Agent Man Love

I have always secretly wanted to be a spy.

You can imagine my thrill at discovering this new (to me!) Splat the Cat book, actually published in 2012.

This ADORABLE book has everything a first grade mystery reader craves.

 ONE, a crime! Missing duck decoys that are returned minus their 

TWO, a criminal, identified by Splat as "Mr. Nobody". WHO IS HE?

THREE, a brave and cunning cat who dares to transform himself into Secret Agent 003 1/2.....Splat himself!

FOUR, a trusty sidekick, Seymour the mouse, AKA code name "S".

FIVE, a spy kit and a secret plan to trap youknowwho! 

Your readers will find this a real page-turner as they try to discover the identity of Mr. Nobody. 

If they are anything like me, they will eventually graduate to Agatha Christie novels! Everyone loves a mystery!

The end papers of the book include a "Duck Code" which will be great fun for your students to use to create their own secret messages. This illustration is one I found at this link http://storytelling2.canalblog.com/archives/2014/01/15/29624084.html

Also, there is a free Secret Agent Activity Booklet available herehttp://assetlibrary.supadu.com/images/ckfinder/687/images/Splat-the-Cat/PDF/AgentSplat_EventBooklet_4.pdf

It's so important to set the mood with the right music! Watch this cute little video and see the ideas come tumbling out of your students for any and all writing topics related to secret agents!https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDz-DunWU6Y

Wouldn't it be great to have a Secret Password of the Day? Before the kiddos run out to lunch, recess, or out to the bus at the end of the day, they have to know the Secret Password! Identify this word at your Morning Meeting...hopefully it is posted on your interactive vocabulary wall. This is a great way to keep your children listening too!  

I'm creating a list of favorite mystery books by grade level...please send me yours! 

Till next time,

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

It's Chocolate Chicken Time!

As anyone who loves Max and Ruby knows, Easter is one of the best holidays of all to get silly with our favorite bunny siblings.
If you haven't met them yet, you and your children are in for a treat!

Over the years, my first graders have loved watching Ruby try to find more colored eggs than Max. She succeeds because Max is, well, Max. He wastes his hunting time looking in silly places, like squirting all of the toothpaste out of the tube to see if any Easter eggs are hiding in there. 

Some of them get a little nervous when it becomes clear that Max isn't going to get any eggs. Maybe they gave had to compete with older brothers and sisters before and "get it" that Max may just lose out for real. (Which we all know is just, totally, not fair!)

However, Max decides to help himself to the prize chocolate chicken and hide. All is not lost for Ruby, however. Good old Max decides to show himself (chocolate face and all) before all of the chocolate is gone.

As I note the date of publication of this post, I realize that all of the chocolate chickens at your house are probably long gone! Here at the Pierce house, we are in the boxing and packing mode as we prepare to move to the town next to ours (Laconia, NH). Easter just kind of slid by as there are no longer Easter egg hunts and the like for us...thank goodness there will always be Max and Ruby!

Here's hoping your holiday and the arrival of Spring (and maybe the ear of a chocolate bunny or two) put a blissful smile upon your face!

Till next time!    Nancy