Monday, August 18, 2014

Books that teach good behavior

Everyone knows that in the first few weeks of school, kids are testing their boundaries.
As teachers, it's important to help them see the good choices they can make to help themselves and their friends have the best day possible! 
A few days this week, we read a story about good citizenship, brainstormed a list of things we learned in the book and made an accompanying project to hang up as a constant reminder of how we should act.

Book 1: No, David! and David Goes to School
Students looked at all the things David got in trouble for and why they were poor choices. They made their own David with one of our school rules (i.e., "No Running," "No biting," etc.)

Book 2: How Full is Your Bucket? For Kids
If you haven't read this story yet, PLEASE DO! If you're familiar with the popular Love Languages books, you'll realize that this is teaching the same basic premise to children.  Instead of a love tank, we all have invisible buckets above our heads.  We can be "bucket fillers," helping friends and saying kind words to help fill their buckets, or "bucket dippers," being rude and taking things that aren't ours to dip out of someone's bucket.  Students made their own buckets with what they felt was the most important way to fill another person's bucket. Ask your child how their bucket is today... and ways you can help fill it!
P.S. This is an entire series of books, if you're interested in reading more of them to your child or using the same guidelines at home!

"Give Gifts" (we said this should be homemade, like a picture!)

"Stick up for our friends"

"Say nice things"

Book 3: Hands are Not For Hitting
After watching some children shove in line and seeing the ultimate school no-no (making pretend weapons with hands!), I felt it was important to review what hands are and are not for.  This book goes over good uses for our hands instead of bad ones.  Each student traced and cut out his/her own hand, then wrote a good use for hands before decorating.

Hands are for... "washing, hi-fives, hugging, braiding..."

In reading workshop, we've moved into partner work with some echo reading and book discussions. This week we'll transition into half independent, half partner time and introduce the reading response journals. 

In writing workshop, we discussed and made anchor charts to help us remember: how writers look when they're working, what steps writers take to get an idea on paper, and what we can write about (people we love, places we've been, feelings we've had or things we've done).  We also practiced more independence by introducing the alphabet charts and learning where and how to get our own writing materials.  This week we'll focus on the use of our writing folders.

We also learned how to do a basic sort this week - we did it whole group on the SMARTboard, then cut and glued it into our sorting journals. Even though this was a concept sort, students learned right from the beginning how important it is to compare each picture to the headers! Everyone did a wonderful job!

Math focused on number writing (which we may have to revisit again in a few weeks) and manipulative exploration. When we got to 10 on Friday, we read Ten Black Dots by Donald Crews and created our own pictures using up to 10 black dots. This week we'll discuss ways to count with one-to-one correspondence.

"Soldiers going into battle"


"Fire Truck"

And to share an exciting bit of personal news, as I am wont to do... David and I adopted this cute little guy this weekend! He isn't officially ours until next Saturday since we did the "foster to adopt" program through Georgia Canine Rescue. We've renamed him Zulu and decided he's pretty much the best dog ever. Now I have a wonderful story for my demo piece (the writing I do to show students how to write). ;)

YAYAYAYAYAYYYYY We finally have a puppy!
(Yes, I know we just got married and to say finally implies we've both wanted one for a long time. I've wanted one since moving out of my parents' house, over four years ago.)

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