I've been on a kick with PreK lessons lately...just experimenting with different lesson ideas and exploring different book options. As you all know, my collection is very old and I'm working hard to bring in new books. I had the idea of doing a lesson with PreK involving the making of a pizza after seeing this image on Pinterest from the www.shesaved.com website.
I thought it might be fun to read a story about making a pizza and then see if the kiddos could re-tell the steps. I searched my library high and low for the right book and just couldn't find anything exciting. Then, I remembered that when one of my son's was little, he loved Curious George books. There was a Curious George book about making and delivering a pizza....sure enough, it was in my library. Now, if I had other (more modern) books available, I certainly would try to use one. This particular book is a little dated. For example, the characters use a land line phone mounted on the wall, there is a jukebox in the restaurant, and it could be argued that there are some stereotypical characters, as well. But, it was what I had, this was PreK, and I felt like I could make it work.
The kids loved this book and the topic! I did a little introduction to ask students what they knew about pizza. They came up with some great responses! They knew it had to be cooked, it had cheese, it was a circle, that you can eat it, and that it could be cut! I did the read aloud and really emphasized the cooking of the pizza section. After that, we reviewed the steps for making the pizza that Tony the Baker had followed. I had these steps written on a dry erase board at the carpet area, but this was only for my benefit....
Finally, students moved to tables where they were given supplies to make their own pizzas. We reviewed the steps one at a time. They received:
*a paper plate
*an oval (but swiggly) red shape
*a cup with yellow squares and rectangles
*a brown or tan crayon
*a glue stick
As we reviewed each step, they completed their own project. We drew a big circle on our plate and colored it in with crayon for the dough. We then glued our red sauce on the plate in the center of the dough, being careful not to "spill" our sauce on the plate or the table. We added cheese....as much or as little as we liked. I normally try to take pictures of these activities in process, but this one took me and the two PreK teachers all of the energy and attention we could muster, so no photos...sorry.
I had a few early finishers so I took this project one step further. I had an empty library shelf nearby and told the kiddos this was my pretend oven. I put my imaginary oven mitts on for safety and then put my pizza in the oven for just a few minutes to cook it. I carefully pulled it out and it was ready to deliver. They went NUTS over this!!! Suddenly they all wanted to cook their own pizzas!!!!
At the close of the lesson, I had the boys and girls stand and carry their pizzas to deliver. I told them that their teacher would show them where to deliver them (basically, they were lining up to leave and returning to their classrooms where they would put the pizzas away to be delivered home). It worked GREAT!
There is so much potential with a lesson like this for the future. I would love to really work on more "how-to" and "step-by-step" type lessons with this age group. The pizza theme was a hit and I'd love to make a fake pizza oven from cardboard and maybe even have chef hats or oven mits to really get the theme going. Aprons might be fun! Lots of potential!
Now, I've got to get on the hunt for some updated literature. Not that Curious George is bad, but a more modern book selection would make my librarian heart happy.
This is the fourth post in a series on library lessons for October 2017. Read the previous post HERE.
It's hard to believe we've already arrived at the middle of the month! This post will be somewhat abbreviated, as this week included two days out of school for our district's fall break. Without Monday and Tuesday classes, I didn't see any Kindergarten, 1st, or 2nd graders and I also missed two of my 3rd grade groups. Then, we had Georgia Power presentations (energy conservation) on Thursday morning in the library, so I didn't get to host my regular 4th grade lessons this week either! So, what to do with a "messed-up" week? READ, of course!
In keeping with the monster theme, the 3rd grade classes that I did see this week listened to Bone Soup by Cambria Evans. The main character is not really a monster, but a skeleton. However, there is a monster in the story so I felt like it was a good fit. The book is such a treat! Ms. Evans was inspired by the soup her mother made for her each Halloween season. She took this inspiration to write a new version of the stone soup story and it was a big hit with the kids! The story also features fabulous vocabulary, so it tied right in to the previous lessons I've done with 3rd graders on adjectives. They really did love this story and reacted with lots of "ooo...gross!" and "yucky" commentary as I read aloud. After the read aloud, we did book check-out and silent sustained reading...the kids and the teachers really enjoyed this. Sometimes I forget how much everyone just wants some quiet time to enjoy their books.
The only other group I was able to see this week were my sweet PreK students. They come on Fridays for a short story time, so the crazy schedule didn't interfere with their regular library time. I read aloud Monsters Love Colors by Mike Austin and we had fun naming all of the colors in the story. I also found a plush red crayon doll while cleaning out a back storage space and thought it was the perfect compliment to the lesson. We asked "RED" to join us for the story and we waited patiently to get to the page in the story that features the red crayon. I forgot to take a picture of the crayon I have, but it is very similar to the one pictured below.
This book was fun and I will certainly use it again. I also introduced the concept of an illustrator and used the "scribble" pictures in the book to talk a little about book care....."we don't scribble in our library books with crayons do we?" and "the illustrator is the person who chooses what to draw in the book" and so forth.
So that's a wrap on a 3-day week of quick lessons. I'll be back next week to finish out the series with our 4th week of activities. It is sure to be a busy week and we will be gearing up to announce our winners for the Eye Candy Contest (eyeballs in a jar) for the month! Our school also hosts a Monster Mash dance for the students next week, so that will be the perfect ending to this month of monster-themed fun.
This is the third post in a series on library lessons for October 2017. You can read the previous post HERE.
This week was such fun as we continued our monster-themed lessons for the month! The week started out with another fun read-aloud with Kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade students. Claire Freedman's Monsters Love Underpants had kids in stitches and they had fun spying their favorite undies throughout the book.
With kindergarten students, I highlighted the letter M. I was fortunate enough to have a teacher give me a tip last week that the students had just learned the letter. How perfect is that?! I made a little foam monster letter by cutting out the letter and attaching googly eyes and a silly mouth. (I regret I didn't take a photo, but I'll fix that when I'm back at school and will post in the comments so that you can see it.) We talked about the letter M, looked for it in the story, and then I gave students an "Mm is for Monster" creative commons coloring sheet that I downloaded HERE. The students had fun and it reinforced what they are learning in the classroom.
I did the same book with 1st and 2nd graders, but we weren't able to do an activity. Book check-out with these students takes 15 minutes of our 30 minute library time, so I often feel at a loss of what to do with these students. After a read-aloud, we don't have time for much else. I hope this can change in the future, but for now we just focus on a read-aloud and book circulation. I'm open for suggestions!
Third graders got a real treat this week, as we continued to build on the I Need My Monster lesson from last week. I reviewed our discussion about our "perfect monster" from our writing activity from last week and then I told them that they now would be making their monsters. They were super stoked! I have to admit that this fun idea came from a blog post from Sandy Liptak. She used a different book (which I have just recently purchased and plan to use in the future), but the basic idea of lesson came from her blog post. She has fabulous ideas on her blog, so be sure to check them all out!
I made a little assembly line with signs telling students how many of each item they were allowed to take, similar to Sandy's lesson. We used a hole punch to create holes for attaching pipe cleaners which students used for arms, legs, tails, or antennae. Once the students had created their monster bodies, they came to my special station for the eyes. I didn't want glue in the library carpet, so I assisted with the glue application. It worked great.
After the students completed the monsters, I had them gather at the carpet area for a group photo. We took a few with their smiling faces for the yearbook and then a few with their monsters covering their faces for social media and website use. They loved posing with their creatures! It was so much fun and the perfect activity for 3rd graders.
4th graders also did the monster writing activity last week, so this week they made their monsters come to life, but not using the assembly line as the 3rd graders did. I had 4th graders review how to use the basics of Buncee (they haven't used all of the features the way the 5th graders have). The 4th grade students then began creating their "perfect monsters" using Buncee. They came up with some really great ideas and we will continue this project next week. I hope to share some of the final projects with you in the next post.
That brings me to the 5th graders who continued researching their monsters and creating a presentation on their research using Buncee. I was happy to see that they are still really enjoying the project. They are pretty close to being done, so I imagine that next week we will finish up and then I have some fun plans for student sharing.
So, that's a wrap! We are about half way through our October lessons and with a four-day weekend for our fall break, I'm looking forward to a little R-n-R and time to prep for our next batch of lessons!
I absolutely love Peter H. Reynolds and all of his beautiful books! I have waited for more than three years to do a Dot Day lesson with students, so I just knew that this year was my year! It was going to be perfect. I ordered vinyl signs to mark the occasion, I made sure to have the books on hand, and I had a Pinterest board full of ideas and activities. I also had ordered my subscription to Buncee and planned to have older students create their marks digitally.
Enter the book fair. When I accepted my job here, the book fair was already on the books. I originally thought "no biggie." I'll do the book fair as planned (September 11-15) and celebrate Dot Day the following week with all of my classes.
Easier said than done. If you read my last blog post about my first fair experience, you know just how wiped out I was before my fair really even got off the ground. After the disappointing start of my fair during Hurricane Irma, I suffered even more from shear and utter exhaustion as I tried to sell, sell, sell in just two and a half days! I frantically finished around noon last Friday and then proceeded to work at boxing and packing every thing that didn't sell. And I'm still not done packing it up. As a matter of fact, I have plans to get up early on Monday and get to school by 6:30 or so, just so I can move things out of the way (somehow?! not sure how?!) so that my regular classes can get in the door safely at 8:15.
So, here I sit on a Sunday afternoon. Trying to get excited about my Dot Day plans. But...I just can't seem to pull it together. I've listened to Emily Arrow's song a dozen times today and thought about just reading the book and doing the song, but somehow my heart is just not in it. I just want something easier. I'm so tired that I'm not ready to dive into creative discussions and mindset just yet. Is that awful?
I've made my decision. I will not be making my mark with Dot Day activities this year. Sometimes you just have to erase an idea or save it for later. I'm choosing to read aloud The Book with No Pictures and focus on book circulation tomorrow. After all, they haven't seen the library books for almost two weeks now, so the kids will probably be focused on picking new library books anyway. And I'll get the week to regroup and just enjoy the kiddos. A little laughter from this wonderfully silly B.J. Novak book isn't such a short cut on creativity anyway, right?
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