Saturday, March 30, 2019

Teaching About Changing Matter

Hey, y'all! I thought I had written this post months ago, but it seems like I hadn't. Which just goes to show you, no matter how meticulous you are, no matter how organized you think you are, mistakes happen. Everyone is human.

Anyway, we usually start off our matter unit discussing properties of matter and the different states of matter. Then, we go into how to change matter. My students love this unit and it is a best seller in my Teachers Pay Teachers store.

We start off Monday with a cooking lesson discussing the different states of matter and what happens to them when we add heat. (We usually make pancakes, but you could make something else or search a youtube video for the same demo.)

Tuesday through Thursday, students visit a series of stations learning all about how matter changes. They find out what happens when you add heat or cool it off and the difference between physical and chemical changes.

On Friday, the whole class does an experiment to discover what happens when different sates of matter are mixed together. The kids go nuts over this one!

You can find out more about this unit by visiting my TpT store here. Thanks for stopping by and stay tuned for more great resources coming soon. Have a wonderful week.

Stay sweet,

Saturday, March 23, 2019

Ten Best Books About Easter

Hey, y'all! Can you believe it's almost Easter?! As long as January and February seemed, it still feels like we were just on winter break. Anyway, it's time to dust off the Easter and spring time books. Here are a few of my favorites for this time of year:
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1. Pete the Cat Big Easter Adventure
Our favorite feline is at it again with his big Easter Adventure. Will Pete be able to help the Easter Bunny deliver all the eggs? Goodness yes! And your littles will love every minute of it.

2. Little Blue Truck's Springtime
This little celebration of spring is just right for pre-k and kindergarten students, and first graders will love reading it themselves. If you have any truck fans in your class, this book is an excellent addition to your collection.

3. There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick
Have I mentioned how much we love the Old Lady books? We have at least one copy of every one of these books and the Easter version is no different. If you're working on sequencing or rhyming, this book has you covered.

4. The Easter Egg
The classic Jan Brett book is beautifully illustrated and a great book to add to your classroom collection. Hoppi tries so hard to help Easter Rabbit but is easily discouraged. Will he get to help make the deliveries Easter morning? Read and find out.

5. Duck and Goose, Here Comes the Easter Bunny
Join Duck and Goose as they find the perfect hiding spot to find the Easter Bunny. This endearing book will have your students falling in love with Duck and Goose all over again.

6. Here Comes the Easter Cat
Cat is upset because the bunny is getting all the attention. If your students love the Elephant and Piggie books, they'll love reading this one, too.

7. The Story of the Easter Bunny
Are your students asking about where the Easter Bunny came from? Or "Is he real?!" I just love the "is it real?" questions! Well this little story tells how the legend of the Easter Bunny came to be.

8. The Biggest Easter Basket Ever
Clayton and Desmond want to win the town's Easter contest and find the biggest Easter basket ever. If you've read The Biggest Pumpkin Surprise Ever, The Biggest Snowman Ever, or The Biggest Valentine Ever, this is the sequel. I substitute the characters' names for my students names and call it "the magic book." They beg me to read it all season. :)

9. Here Come T.Rex Cottontail
Any dinosaur lovers in the house? This silly twist to the typical Easter book will have your little rolling with laughter. T.Rex tries to save Easter when the bunny gets sick. But things aren't as easy has they seem.

10. Junie B., First Grader: Dumb Bunny
Junie's first grade class is having an Easter celebration at Lucille's house and Junie B. gets to wear the bunny suit. Unfortunately, this party doesn't exactly go the way she planned.

I hope you found some new favorite titles to add to your collection. What other Easter books do you love to read to your class? Let me know in the comments. 

I hope you have a wonderful week and stay tuned for more resources and ideas coming soon. 

Stay sweet, 

Saturday, March 16, 2019

Go To Books to Teach Social Skills

Hey, y'all! Do you have some students in your classroom that need some help with some social skills? If you're like every other teacher in the world, your answer is likely yes. More and more students are coming to us needing support in this area, and read alouds are just the thing to help.

When you read a book aloud to your class, your students make connections with the characters. They begin to realize ways they've acted like the character and can see the consequences of the behavior much better than when the consequences happen to them. Because of that, I've built an extensive social skills library! Here's a few of my favorites:
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1. Clark the Shark
Clark has a hard time reading social cues, but his teacher and friends are a great help. Clark learns all about sharing and being a good friend. In fact, he has a whole series of books!

2. Decibella
Isabella is so loud that her friends call her Decibella. But with the help of a very caring teacher, she learns all about different voice levels and when it is just right to use each one. We read this one multiple times during the school year.

3. My Mouth is a Volcano
Luis has a blurting problem. Like the books above, he has supportive people in his life who help him gain strategies for holding onto his words and waiting until it's appropriate to share them. We read this one regularly for maintaining appropriate behavior.

4. Spaghetti on a Hotdog Bun
I love this book for a couple of different reasons. First, there's the whole "you're awesome the way you are" part. And second, there's the whole "stand up for yourself but be kind to others at the same time" part. It's a definite "be true to you" kind of book.

5. Lacy Walker Nonstop Talker
Lacy had to actually lose her voice before she learned how to listen. While we can't give our students that same experience, we can show them the value of slowing down and paying attention to others. It's a tough skill to learn when students are still in the egocentric time of their lives, but a very important skill to be exposed to. Eventually, they'll get it if we demonstrate it enough. (At least we hope so1)

6. Interrupting Chicken
When My Mouth is a Volcano and Lacy Walker don't work, Interrupting Chicken is my next choice. Papa gets annoyed when Chicken interrupts the story over and over, but it's told with humor and a kind heart. (Also check out the sequel: Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise.)

7. Personal Space Camp
Luis has a hard time staying out of other people's bubbles, but Principal Goodkid has just the trick. Luis learns all about keeping his body to himself. We even do some of the activities in class when that year's group really needs it.

8. Some Monsters are Different
By far, this is one of my favorites. Maybe because it's weird and I can relate. ;) But it goes along with Spaghetti on a Hotdog Bun. It's about accepting our differences and supporting people no matter what they like or don't like. It's written for young audiences, but my third graders loved it and listened intently. I think I will love this book forever. <3

9. Be Kind!
The title says it all. When my students start to forget that we're all in this together, we reread this book. They are such a sweet group this year, but sometimes we need this reminder.

10. 17 Things I'm Not Allowed to Do Anymore
We read this book at the beginning of the year when we're making rules and any time we need to revise or rules or be reminded of why we need them. There's always someone who likes to push the limits and this book is perfect for reiterating why rules are important.

11. We Don't Eat Our Classmates
Because sometimes we need a reminder of how to behave. It's similar to Clark the Shark but super hilarious.

12. Billy Bully
Do you have a challenging kiddo this year? Billy Bully learns that being mean to his friends means that he'll lose them. Slowly, he starts to get it and his friends come back to him. This one is just right for kindergarten (they are SHOCKED that he does these things to his friend!) as it goes over specific behaviors and it counts to and from 10.

13. What if Everybody Did That
We have a problem this year. We use the floor of our classroom as a trash can. This book seriously helps out. We have to read it every few weeks for maintenance because, apparently, this is also an issue at home, but it does open their eyes to how their actions affect others.

14. Do Unto Otters
The golden rule has been a lost art for awhile. Bring it back to life with this adorable book about treating others the way we want to be treated.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you found some new titles to add to your collection. Stay tuned for more resources coming soon and have a wonderful week.

Stay sweet,