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WW: National CUE Conference Palm Springs 2016

It's Wordless Wednesday!

Linking with Wordless WednesdayCreate with JoyWordless Wednesday with NC SueThe Talbert Zoo,  Crafty Spices, and my besties, Oh My Heartsie Girl!!

National CUE Conference Palm Springs 2016

Fun and learning in Palm Springs!



IMWAYR: My Favorite Spring Picture Books

Monday Linky from Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers and Kathryn from Book Date!

My Favorite Spring Picture Books

Miss Rumphius 

by Barbara Cooney

The art is beautiful and the story is even more so.  It's about Alice Rumphius who travelled the world.  She wanted to make to world more beautiful and did so by spreading lupine seeds.  What a beautiful way to make the world better!

When Spring Comes 

by Kevin Henkes

I love me some Kevin Henkes!  This is such a pretty picture book illustrated by his wife, Laura Dronzek.  It's about how the world changes from Winter to Spring.  Fantastic imagery.

The Tiny Seed

by Eric Carle

This is a classic for a reason.  Read about the life cycle of a flower.  If you buy the mini book, it even comes with a flower paper you can plant!

Flower Garden

by Eve Bunting

A child who lives in the city is excited to be planting a garden.  Realistic pictures and moving story.  Text is rhyming too!

I hope you enjoy my suggestions for great Spring reads!  


May Teacher Talk- Wacky days in May and activities to go with them!

May Teacher Talk

For me, May is crazy because we are testing!   Kids are so tired and it throws everything off.  Some of these tests take all day...literally.  So I like to have fun things planned.  There are a lot of wacky days in May.  Here are some of them and some activities you can do!  OK, some aren't wacky but they're still special days we should celebrate.

May, 2016 Daily Holidays, Special and Wacky Days:

1 Mother Goose Day
Hurrah for Mother Goose!  Find your favorite Mother Goose nursery rhyme and illustrate it!  Even better, use Google Drawing to create a unique piece incorporating the rhyme with original art or clip art.

2 Brothers and Sisters Day
How can you show your brothers and sisters you appreciate them?  Do something nice for them that does not require money.

4 Bird Day
Check out the National Geographic web site on birds and learn about an amazing bird you may have not known about before!

4 Star Wars Day
May the fourth be with you!  Dress up as your favorite character from the movies and books!

5 Cinco de Mayo
No!  This is not the day of independence for Mexico!!  This is to commemorate the day the Mexican troops defeated the French at the Battle of Puebla.  Viva Mexico!!  Make some salsa or guacamole in class!  Don't forget the chips.

6 National Nurses Day
Invite a nurse to come speak to your students.  What a great way to learn about their work!

8 Mother's Day second Sunday in May

Celebrate your mother!  If you'd like to see our paper art projects, check out our blog post!

10 Clean up Your Room Day
Ha, ha!  Help out your mother!  Clean your room without being told!

12 Limerick Day

There was an Old Man in a Boat
by Edward Lear

There was an Old Man in a boat,
Who said, 'I'm afloat, I'm afloat!'
When they said, 'No! you ain't!'
He was ready to faint,
That unhappy Old Man in a boat.

What's your favorite limerick?  Better yet, write your own!!

13 Leprechaun Day
It's leprechaun day!  Can you create a leprechaun trap?  How would you lure them in?  Maybe gold?  Use your imagination!!

15 National Chocolate Chip Day
Oh yum!  Sample three different types of chocolate chip cookies.  What's your favorite.  Chart the class preferences in a graph.

16 Wear Purple for Peace Day
Besides wearing purple, what else can you do to promote peace?  Maybe take cups and use them to write peace in your school fence.

21 Armed Forces Day - third Saturday of month
Write letters to our Servicemen and women thanking them for their service.

23 Lucky Penny Day
Writing prompt:

If you found a lucky penny, what would you wish for? What if wasn't lucky but magic?

26 Sally Ride Day
Sally Ride was an American Physicist and astronaut.  As a matter of fact, she was the first American Woman in space.  What else can you find out?

27 Sun Screen Day
So important to wear sunscreen!!  Bring your sunscreen, a towel and glasses. Slather it on and then head out to the grass to read a book!

30 Memorial Day last Monday of month.
Need an activity for Memorial Day? Use 
Google MyMaps. It's a way to create and share custom maps. In this case they will be using it to create a map about Memorial Day. They have three project choices: one about the Civil War, one about current celebrations and one about overseas deployments. After they choose one to focus on, they research! Then they create a Google MyMap. Students can do  the activity independently or collaboratively.

Hope you have a ton of ideas now!!  Put some fun into that testing month.  Kids are stressed enough!!

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Monday Linky from Teach Mentor Texts and Unleashing Readers and Kathryn from Book Date!


Jonathan Auxier, DJ McHale, Liesl Shurtliff, Raymond Arroyo and Cecil Castellucci

 I'm also really excited about Liesl Shurtliff's books. Her first book was Rump.  Later she wrote Jack and now Red
I will confess...I bought all three of her books at the LA Times Festival of Books!

I just finished reading Red, the newest book by Liesl Shurtliff. I love the way she intertwines all the classics: Little Red Riding Hood, Snow White, Goldilocks, Beauty and the Beast.  She takes these stories and weaves them together but she also changes them in a way you may not have expected.  For example, did you know, the Beast IS Beauty?  Shocker!

I love this quote:
     "Then how am I supposed to know who's good?" Goldie asked.  "How can I trust anyone?"
     How was I to answer such a question?  It's true, you can't tell just be looking at someone.  You can't always tell by talking to them.  And sometimes even the things they do don't speak to their character, because you don't know why they're doing them.
     "You can't really ever know," I said.  "I guess you have to take risks."
Red by Liesl Shurtfill p. 114-115 Knopf 2016

Good stuff, huh?  

Whenever I'm lucky enough to get a book signed by the author, I have them sign it to my class.  The kids get such a kick out of it!

It's a great adventure.  I can't wait to read it to my kids!  
They're begging me for it.

Paper art for Mother's Day

Paper art for Mother's Day!

What was your Mother's Day project?

In our class, we were using paper art as our inspiration.  I had the chance to meet Britni Brault at Disney California Adventure.  Check out her website...her work is amazing!!   I asked her for tips on creating something with my students and she suggested working from inspiration.

So I decided Mother's day would be a great inspiration.  The kids and I discussed their moms' favorite things.  Some kids said coffee, flowers, rings, even Winnie the Pooh!  The kids traced the image in small, medium and large sizes onto tag paper.  Then they chose three colors of construction paper and traced and cut them out.

 They used their cut outs to create art on the front of their cards.  Then they wrote a letter to their mother on the inside.

Beautiful work, right?
Happy Mother's Day to you too!!

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