Kindergarten- This week I shared two series that are always a hit with kindergarten- Froggy and Franklin! First, I shared Franklin’s Christmas Gift, by Paulette Bourgeois. This is a great story that really emphasizes the giving and not the receiving! Next was Froggy’s First Christmas, by Jonathon London, where we had a chance to talk about hibernation and predict what kinds of animals in the story would be hibernating. The students and I both have a lot of fun reading Froggy, because of the sound effects! After these two, it was time to get books out!
Extra Kindergarten- I read two more Christmas stories to end the week- one with a well known series character (Llama Llama) and the other with just a well know character (Santa!). The first story, Llama Llama, Holiday Drama, by Anna Dewdney, was one all five year olds can relate to- the WAITING for Christmas to come!! They could really connect with Llama’s frustration! The second story was Jon Agee’s Little Santa. Who has not wondered what Santa was like as a child, and how did we meet the flying reindeer and the elves? Then, time to get books!
First Grade- I read the classic by David McPhail, Santa’s Book of Names. I just love the way this story speaks to first graders, and their developing ability to read. And I love that it still leaves so much mystery in the way Santa makes it around the world in one night! After our story, we played a tic-tac-toe game, where teams could make their mark on the board only after determining if a book title was fiction or non-fiction.
Second Grade- One class heard the Jan Brett classic The Three Snow Bears and completed a Venn diagram on this story and Goldilocks. The other classes heard the Fright Before Christmas, by James Howe. After this book, we played a Holiday Jeopardy game that was all about the songs, literature, and culture of the season.
Third Grade- I read Christmas Trolls, a less well-known, but still great, book by Jan Brett. Students always enjoy Brett’s way of adding to the story in the side panels, and got excited to see Hedgie helping out! We then played Holiday Jeopardy, about the literature, songs and culture of the season.
Extra Third Grade- First I read The Fright Before Christmas, by James Howe, and then students decorated and colored a Christmas tree with their favorite non-fiction subject (such as dogs). They had to be sure to put the Dewey Decimal number for that subject on the tree stand!
Fourth Grade- For my two classes that have already started their research projects, I showed them how to cite the databases and books they have been using, and they continued to take notes and complete their citation pages. The other class heard Gift of the Magi, by O. Henry and illustrated by Carol Heyer. We then continued our work on summarizing Christmas paragraphs.
Extra Fourth Grade- I was at a meeting, so my sub read Henry and the Cannons, by Don Brown, to this class (they are heavily into the American Revolution in class). It is a true story about New York and the American Revolution- again a perfect fit for fourth grade curriculum! Students then had time to work on the research.
Fifth and Sixth Grade- I started the class off by asking them to guess how many grains of rice I had in my baggie. I assured them they would all want to change their answer later (though I did have two students who were right on!). After guessing, I read them One Grain Of Rice, by Demi. Then, after they changed their guesses, I told them there were about 1000. I went on to explain that I like to read this book at this time of year, because the main character gives back to her community. I then told them about freerice.com, where by answering questions correctly, they can give back to their community, in the way of donated rice, through the World Food Programme. Students accessed the site and everyone contributed!
Extra Fifth and Sixth Grade- We performed a reader’s theater of The Grinch, and then I allowed students about ten minutes of free app time on the iPads. My Christmas gift to two great classes!