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Back from Spring Break!

Yesterday was our first day back from spring break. The students were quiet as they walked into the classroom and continued to be quiet as the day progressed. They seemed to be tired after a week of going to bed late and waking up late. I was tired! I had to force myself to get out of bed.

During spring break, I had the opportunity to visit the Scholastic headquarters in New IMG_1114[1] York City. The Scholastic building is located in SoHo near some of the best shopping in New York City. Amelia, one of Scholastic hard workers and a good friend of mine, gave me a tour around the building. Something I did not know is that the Scholastic building includes a store that sells books and educational games. The store even allows children to celebrate their birthday there.

IMG_1115[1] After surviving the freezing weather, it was well worth the hike to Scholastic. I have visited New York City several times and I was able to explore a new part of the city. I even got to shop for books!

You are Cordially Invited to the Wedding of Q & U

This week we prepared for the wedding of the letters Q and U to make the "qu" sound. IMG_1048 Many arrangements were made. The vowels were invited and presents for the bride and groom were made. Girls wore veils and carried flowers and the boys wore top hats. The bridal party marched down the aisle to Cannon in D as the shushers held Quiet signs. The flower girl threw the paper letters and our principal conducted the ceremony.

IMG_1063We started having this ceremony last year to help remind our students that Q always needs U during spelling. The week leading IMG_1035 up to the ceremony, we did activities and read books that helped the students understand the concept. One of the activities is a word blend sorting. I made index   cards that have words begin with "qu", "th", "sh", and "ch" blends. I have the students sort the words and then type the words onto an alphasmart.

After the ceremony, we opened the gifts that the students made for Q and U. The students brought in quarters, Quaker oats, Q-tips, a quarterback, quills, a quilt, and a crown fit for a queen. The students had a blast during the ceremony. They enjoyed sharing their gifts with the class and they will always remember the wedding of Q and U!

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

"The more that you read, The more things that you know. The more that you learn, The more places you'll go." Dr Seuss - Oh, The Places You'll Go!

In honor of Dr. Seuss birthday, I read as many of his books throughout the entire week.DSC03180 The students love hearing the stories and enjoy reading along with me. I think it is important to read as much as I can with my class. Reading is truly a meaningful learning experience that opens many doors for the reader.

One of my students brought in the Dr. Seuss book "There's a Wocket in My Pocket". This book is filled with tongue twisters and there is a warning in the beginning of the book that states that this book is dangerous. The class thought it was hilarious to hear me reading the book that they actually started counting each mistake I made. I'm proud to say I only made nine mistakes.

We also made green eggs and ham with another kindergarten class. As Mrs. Miller made the green eggs and ham, I read the book. I tried to have each student try a small amount but I did have some students refuse to touch it. I love asking the students if they think they might like it before hand. I get so many wrinkle noses and scrunched up faces but after they try it I have many begging for seconds.

I always take time to share facts and pictures of Dr. Seuss because I have many students who do not realize he was a real person. The students find it fascinating to hear how he came up with his stories and that he illustrated his books. I always have fun during the week of Dr. Seuss's birthday.

Library Time

My class is fascinated with the library. For me, to see my students become captivated with the library makes me excited. When I was growing up, I saw the library as a place filled with many possibilities. I loved that I could bring a book home and it was mine for two weeks. I remember checking out the same book over and over again. 

My class visits the library once a week. Each time our librarian, Mrs. Allen, introduces them to a new author or genre of books and my students sit there memorized. After Mrs. Allen does her lessons my students are allowed to check out a book. Oh the decisions we have to make! I watch my students walk around browsing through the books that are laid out for them. Our library volunteers lay out books ahead of time on tables to make the browsing a little more easier, but sometimes that not good enough. I always hear someone go up to Mrs. Allen and ask her to find a book on pirates or dolphins. She always stops what she is doing and helps my students find the perfect book.

After our visit, the students bring their books back to our classroom. They leave the books in their chair packs and whenever they have a free moment, they are allowed to take it out to read. Many times I have the students ask me to read their book to the class because they thought it was "So good!" On Fridays when our 3rd grade reading buddies visit, my students listen to them read their library books.

In the beginning of our school year, we also had the librarian from the public library visit us. She read stories and did a puppet show for the students. She also gave each student an application for a library card to bring home for their parents. I had many students bring back the application and receive their first library card. I'm so glad that my students enjoy the library as much as I did. They always return back to from the library, eager to get started on their new book. 

Reading Buddies

Every Friday morning, my class becomes impatient waiting for the arrival of their third grade reading buddies. Once the third graders arrive, my kindergarteners and their buddies find a quiet spot in the classroom. The third graders read a book from their classroom and my kindergarteners listen intently. After the first book is read, my students have their buddies read their library books.

I have always enjoyed having the reading buddies visit. The third graders have a chance to practice reading and my class has a chance to hear a new story. After each story is read, I have my students, with the help of their buddies, illustrate their favorite part in the story.

I provide each student a reader's notebook. The notebook has a place for the title, illustration, and sentences. It also has a voting option that allows the student to circle one smile if they thought the book was ok, two smiles if they liked it, and three smiles if they thought the book was excellent.

I have had many parents tell me how much their child loves when the reading buddies come. My students are always on the lookout for them when we walk to different places in the school. When we do see our buddies, our straight, quiet line quickly becomes filled with waving and greetings to our buddies

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Early Childhood Teacher are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.