Sorry I have been so MIA lately. This last week was a whirlwind of busyness at school (yes, I am STILL teaching), training for my summer camp job, preparing for India, and hanging out with friends. It's all fun and good (mostly), but I'm having trouble figuring out what to prioritize. I just need school to be done for the year, so I can fully invest in preparing for India. Two days left... Well, two half days with students, full days for me, and then a morning meeting and classroom clean up on Wednesday. Can I do it? Yes I can!
Before I get on to joining some of the great linkys I've missed being a part of due to the chaos, I wanted to share how excited I am for India!
I found out a few weeks ago that I am on the storytelling team, which means that along with another girl named Becky (hehe), I am planning the Bible stories for the kids. We are writing the narration for stories for the gospel; Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and Jonah and the Whale. It's so fun to plan the simple props and everything. My love of theater is finally being fed!
Also, funds for the trip are due Wednesday and after a brief spell where I thought I wasn't going to make it, God has shown up again. Now, I am at $3404, only $250 away from the goal of $3650!
While I don't want to ask for money, if you are interested in reading more about my trip, and possibly contributing to the cause of serving orphans in India, I'd love for you to stop by and read this post or click here to donate now.
Now, on to a fun linky with Deanne from First Grade and Fabulous.
Like Deanne, and most teachers, I too go straight for the picture book section when I enter a bookstore. I can't get enough of cute, colorful, useful picture books! If I had unlimited money, I would definitely buy gazillions more picture books.
Although it's hard to think about going back to school next year while I am still in school right now, I am still happy to share some of my favorite books for the first week.
First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg is perfect for helping kids get more comfortable in their new classroom. It's good for them to acknowledge their nervous feelings and to recognize that others feel the same way. The twist at the end of this story helps them realize that their teacher feels the same way too.
I read David Goes to School right before introducing my classroom rules. The kids love this hysterical book because David's misbehavior is so outrageous, yet believable. After reading the book, I have the kids talk about the things David did wrong and what rules they think we should have as a class. I list them on chart paper. Then, I ask them to look at the rules and notice what they have in common. They soon realize, with some prompting, that most of them start with "No..." or "Don't..." I ask them how those words make them feel before guiding them to brainstorm more positively stated rules.
Chrysanthemumm is great for establishing the classroom as a "No Bully Zone." Before reading the book, I introduce the students to a little paper doll. I tell them that she represents Chrysanthemum and that they should pay attention to what happens to her throughout the story. As I read the story, I rip a little bit of the doll each time Chrysanthemum is made fun of and feels sad. Then, each time her parents or someone cheers her up, I tape over the tears. The kids are usually pretty confused at first, but gradually catch on. After reading, I guide the class to discuss how put downs make everyone feel and how even apologies don't heal the lasting marks. The doll is taped up, but it will never look the same. I post in the front of the room for the entire year, so that students will be reminded of the power of their words and that they should not be bullies.
To further reinforce the message of Chrysanthemum, I read Betty Lou Blue by Nancy Crocker. This is a cute story of a girl who is made fun of for having excessively big feet. Then, one day, her classmates are in trouble and she has to decide whether or not to help the people who made fun of her. She ends up making the right choice and using her huge feet to save the day. It's a great story to support the idea that each person is special and can contribute to the group.
Those are my favorites for the first week! What are yours?
I look forward to finding some new ideas when you link up.
Also, I hope to be less MIA once school is out. I can't wait to join more of the fun summer linkys!
Speaking of which, this week's upcoming Tricks of the Trade Topic is Centers Storage and Organization.
What do you do for math centers? Language Arts Centers? How do you organize and store materials? What are your favorite resources?
Get ready to link up Thursday!