Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Too Loud Lily

Too Loud Lily by Sofie Laguna is humorous.  Lily is a loud hippopotamus.   She's loud at home and school.  Even her friends get annoyed with her.  Miss Loopiola is a new teacher for music and drama.  She is the first person to encourage Lily to be loud.  She praised Lily for being loud.  She showed Lily the right time and place to be loud.  Her music class and school play were just right places for loudness.  As Lily is to go on stage for the big production she gets nervous and finds comfort from Miss Loopiola.  At the end of the play, when everyone was clapping for Lily she felt successful.  It helped us think about volume during our day and just right moments to be Too Loud Lily.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


You can't do anything with sidewalk chalk without reading and sharing Chalk by Bill Thomson!  I want to thank my friend Karen at Literate Lives for her post this summer.  This wordless picture book was another perfect first day read in kindergarten.  Students have to use picture clues to generate the story.  Students have to infer to create a story.  I was pleasantly surprised how well my brand new friends interacted with this story. 

Three children find a bag of chalk on a playground and begin drawing with it.  As they draw, what they are drawing comes to life.  Chalk drawn butterflies turn into monarch butterflies fluttering in the sky, on the next page.  The imagination and magic of this chalk was intriguing to my students.  When we were outside writing, a student began writing/drawing right away and when he got done I overheard this with a saddened sigh.  "This chalk is not magic, (heavy sigh)."  My own students tried so many things they saw in this book within their own sketching that day.  A great book to read for thinking, inspiration, and creativity.

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Piece of Chalk

I stumbled upon A Piece of Chalk by Jennifer A. Ericsson on a trip to the library before school and thought it made a great first day read aloud.  A little girl builds a piece of art on her driveway using a brand new set of chalk.  A realistic setting many kindergarten students can connect with.  Each two page spread adds another element to the big picture on the driveway.  The text always starts with this phrase, "I take a piece of chalk."  My favorite line on each page is the second which is naming the color chosen to work with.  The author doesn't state the color with your normal one word label.  She adds richness to each with description and an association;  "A brick red one."  As the little girl adds gray clouds, it starts to rain and her colors turn into puddles.  The students and I held writing workshop outside on our first day with our own brand new tubs of chalk.  We were inspired from this read aloud and began building a community and a memory of time together.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

the OK book

Where have I been?  I'm excited about so many things since the start of the school year and so many great new to me books I have been using I just didn't know where to begin until I used the OK book by Amy Krouse Rosenthal last week.  My reason for choosing this book for my kindergarten students is all on the first two pages of text.

"I like to try a lot of different things. 
I'm not great at all of them, but I enjoy them just the same."

I haven't been that great with blogging over the past three to four weeks, I miss it but know the start of a school year takes a lot of energy, spirit, and strength.  For me personally, more than other grades.  In kindergarten, I'm on an every other day schedule with two classes and two sets of parents.  So, technically we just finished our sixth day of school for each class.  It's a strange feeling, I feel like it's truly just six days of school but in reality I've been teaching 12 days.  In those 6 or 12 days we've done some great things and I hope to start sharing the titles I've been using to help your journey.

the OK book, is perfect for showing and discussing the differences between being great at something and being OK.  OK means we keep trying, we might need to keep learning, we keep practicing, and sometimes it goes well and sometimes it doesn't.  Some examples in the book are;  "I'm an OK marshmellow roaster, I'm an OK tightrope walker, and I'm an OK sledder."  When we finished our reading we began discussing things we are OK at and I loved how honest and sincere their response were.  We sketched our ideas with a sharpie and the illustrations are priceless.  The illustrations in the OK book are done by Tom Lichtenheld with simple black lines and smidge of color.  I love when students see things I don't.  So, when K shared the person is made out of the letters O and K, making the word OK I was thrilled and enlightened.  Thanks K!