Thursday, February 9, 2012

Valentine's Cards

Valentine's Day is just around the corner. My kids are excited and so am I. I have lots of fun learning activities planned! Today we did our first activity - writing letters to our parents. My kids needed some practice writing friendly letters so I thought they could write to their parents. First we made a chart reviewing the parts of a letter and some ideas and sentence starters for our letters.
Then we wrote our rough draft letters on notebook paper. I conferenced with individual students as we worked. The plan is tomorrow to copy their letters onto this pretty paper I made very quickly using graphics From the Pond (love them!). You can grab a copy of my letter paper here!
This afternoon, I started to work one on one with my bus kids to make their cards. I used the heart hands idea from this pin. Tomorrow I will finish with the rest of the class. Then they will write different ways/languages to say I love you in black pen around the outside of the heart. The letter to their parents will then be glued to the inside of the card. And Voila, a heartfelt Valentine's card.

I think the cards are turning out very cute so far! And the things they say in their letters, sooooo sweet and funny! Here are some samplings:

"I love it when you buy me things."

"I know it's rough being a parent."

"I love how you take care of me."

"Thank you for feeding me."

"Roses are red, Violets are Blue, I know you love me and I love you too."

Love them!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Punxsutawney Phil

Happy Groundhog Day! I love any excuse to spice up our classroom life so we did a few things today to celebrate Groundhog Day!

First, we made a quick non-fancy prediction graph telling whether we thought Punxsutawney Phil would see his shadow or not. Then, we watched a video on United Streaming (Holiday Facts & Fun) about Groundhog Day. It was great because it really went into the history of the holiday along with showing the town of Punxsutawney and how they make such a big deal of it. And how cool is it that Punxsy Phil lives in the local library? Who wouldn't want to check out a few books and then say hello to a groundhog?!!

Next we watched a short clip of Punxsutawney Phil coming out earlier in the morning. The kids got all excited right before they opened his little door, so cute. He saw his shadow! Most of my kids predicted he would. However, since we really haven't even had barely any winter weather here in NC this year, I'm not really thinking we'll actually have 6 more weeks of winter.
For writing I used one of Ashleigh's February Creative Writing Prompts. They had to write about what would happen if the Groundhog refused to come out. I had them sketch a picture to prewrite and then get to writing. They turned out so cute! Here are some excerpts (very little editing was done":

"It was a cold winter morning. It was time for Punxsy Phil to come out. He came out and said not today boys. They said what do you mean. I mean I'm tired of always having to see if it's early spring or not. Now excuse me I'm going back to my home. Wait what are you going to in there. Play video games! PLAYING VIDEO GAMES IS MY LIFE NOW. I'm going to play it all day and night. There's nothing you can do about it!"

"It was time for Punxy Phil to come out on Febrary 2. Punxsutawney Phil was so mad his face was so red he even said I WANT TO RETIRE FOREVER!."

"It was a cold winter morning. It was time for Punxsutawney Phil to come out. But he did not want to come out. It was 2:00 am! Why should he? Who cares about just a shadow? Boring!"

"When Punxsy's owner picked him up he said put me down now so he did. I need to get to my daughters birthday she is turning five. I did not know you could talk (said the owner). All groundhogs can talk. So all this time you could talk...this is amazing! are you getting all this Benny? What? You guys video tape me when I wake up? That's just so weird why would would you video a groundhog? And also I have......STAGE FRIGHT. Get me away from those cameras!!"

Oh and in another story (too long to type) Phil didn't want to come out because that morning he watched the news and saw that the world was being attacked by clones and there were ships crashing into meteors. Can we say welovestarwars?

We also did the measuring your shadow 3 times during the day activity. I found it here on TPT. The kids like this a lot and it was good measurement practice!

Next up in the holiday rotation...Valentine's Day! I'm getting excited!