What We're Reading Wednesday-Polar Animals

We’re in the middle of all things Polar right now, and I love it! Polar Animals is one of my most loved units! The kiddos love it, too! Here are some of our favorite reads!

This book is the most fun! It opens from the bottom and shows Arctic life on the top page and Antarctic life on the bottom page. The photographs are stunning! Great book for Compare/Contrast!
 My very favorite book about the poles!

And, of course, you can’t do penguins without Tacky! We do love some Tacky the Penguin! The whole series is adorable!

Another precious fiction series is this fractured fairy tales set by Janet Perlman! Love, Love, Love these penguins!! 

Jeff Bauer has an awesome Science Vocabulary series. Here’s a sample of his Polar Animal series. Love the fast facts in these books!

Are you familiar with Rigby PM’s nonfiction animal series? There are 6 books in each series. LOVE them! We used the nocturnal animals set in October and the caribou book from the Polar animal series in December.
I realize this is NOT a Polar animal, but this pic was much clearer.

The PM series begins with Pets at guided reading levels H and I and run through levels N and O. The Polar Animal books are the most difficult set, but my independent readers will eat them up!

We also love this easy to read series from Melvin and Gilda Berger.
Other book my kiddos and I love!

 Hope you found something you like! 

My Favorite Gift for Parents

Hi, everyone!

At some point in the year, most of us help our kiddos make gifts for their parents. I wanted to share with you my favorite parent gift. I truly LOVE this art project! Parents do, too! 

What you need:

1) One frame per child (I buy the wooden ones without glass for $1 at Michaels)

2) One paintbrush per child

3) Mod Podge

4) Paint cups, etc to hold Mod Podge

5) Tissue Paper squares
6) Letters for each child's name

7) One photograph of each child (I use black and white)

I apologize for the darkness. Iphone pic...

Here's what you do:
1) Students attach tissue paper squares to their frames with paint brushes and Mod Podge. It's very important to put enough glue on the frame (a good base coat).

2) Once all the tissue paper is on, students should put another layer of Mod Podge on top of the tissue paper. If this step is skipped, the tissue paper will come off the frame. 

3) Let the frames dry.

4) When the frames are completely dry, students glue the letters of their names to the frames, just as they did the tissue paper.

Look at my sweet pumpkins! Beautiful! 

       UPDATE: Previously, I used letters cut from magazines. Last year, I began using alphabet clip art and LOVE the way it looks!

I allow my kiddos to be as creative as they like. Some make patterns or use monochromatic colors (different shades of the same color). Last year one boy made a camouflage frame. So cute!

One word about photos: I take close-up shots of each child and print in black and white. I like the contrast of color and b/w. 

We do this each year for Christmas, but it would be perfect for Valentine's Day, Easter, or Mother's/Father's Day.

If you decide to make these, I'd love to see your pics!

I promise...You'll love it! Have a wonderful week!

The Magical Product Swap-Winter Style!

Tonight, I am participating in The Magical Product Swap, generously coordinated by Jessica at Mrs. Stanford's Class! If you are unfamiliar with the swap, let me share.
The Product Swap is when teachers/bloggers SWAP products, review them, then let blogland know all about them!

For this swap, I was lucky enough to be paired with one of my favorite bloggers,
Deb Thomas, from Fabulously First! Deb was one of the first bloggers I met when I began blogging last year. Deb is highly respected in blogland. I'm honored to use her product with my kiddos this week!

 Check out Deb's blog here!
Speaking of this week, My little loves and I have a big day planned this Friday. We will celebrate Dr. Martin Luther Kings' birthday AND the 100th Day of school.
Friday afternoon may be the day I need a manicure or a massage, or some Calgon!
Do they still make Calgon??? I'm at least going to need a big ole Sonic Coke!!!

                                                                                                                                                            Back on track...Deb has a wonderful product out right now to help us celebrate Dr. King's birthday. Let me tell you a little bit about what you will find in this Common Core based pack. 
Click the cover to take you to her mini-unit!

First of all, Deb gives you a list of children's literature to use during the mini-unit.
FYI: If you have not read Martin's Big Words by Doreen Rappaport, you are missing out. Really good book!! Perfect for this mini-unit!

Click the book cover to see for yourself!

Deb wrote a booklet about Dr. King's life, and each student gets to make his/her own booklet. In the booklet, Deb uses words and phrases that first graders "get." Totally appropriate for young children!
Here's the cover. Love that mustache!

Another activity included in this pack is a beautiful Peace Dove craftivity created with the students' handprints. Deb includes quotes from Dr. King to display with the completed craft. Adorable!

Deb includes a graphic organizer complete with fact cards and writing paper for the students to do some informational writing. She also includes a second word art craftivity (which I also love) called "Holding Hands in Unity." Take a look. 
How great would that look hanging above the students' writing??

My favorite activity from the mini-unit is the class book.
Look at how cute these pages are! AND, they come in black line, too!

Deb's mini-unit will truly make planning for the big day a breeze.Go check out her pack and her blog!! Check back next weekend when I post classroom pics from Deb's unit
Happy, Happy Weekend, Friends!!