Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Gingerbread Giveaway!

Hello bloggy friends! 

Sorry I have abandoned you.  I have been sick for ten, yes you read that right, TEN days with strep throat now!  I have been to the doctor (or clinic) four times and the lastest is that I have to ENT on Thursday.  The doctor thinks I could have a ucler in my throat from all of this!  I can not eat, drink or swallow.  I would SO much rather be at work!!!! This is all kinds of miserable. 

Ok, enough of my sob story.... I promised you a giveaway and I am here to deliver (even if it is a little late). 
It looks like gingerbread is going to be very popular this year.  There are TONS and TONS of adorable products you can purchase on TPT and I am looking forward to some fun gingerbread learning in our classroom.  So, I am offering a Gingerbread Prize Pack.  It will include..... what else... BOOKS!  If you win you will receive:
The Gingerbread Kid Goes to School (All Aboard Reading)
The Gingerbread GirlThe Gingerbread Pirates
These three fun gingerbread books, a stuffed gingerbread man, an adorable gingerbread apron, some gingerbread stickers for your class and who knows what other gingerbread goodies may show up (especially if I get to feeling better!).  All you have to do is leave a comment and become a follower.... That's it!  It will run through midnight this Friday, Dec 2nd.  That way I can get the package out in time for you to enjoy.  I'd say your odds of winning are pretty good! 

Oh!  If you would like to share on your blog, feel free!  :)

**pics from Amazon**

Keep Reading,

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving

Well, hello there!  Did you think I had disappeared?  Sorry about that.  We took a little trip out of town and then I got
s-i-c-k....SICK!  Like, I didn't get out of bed for two days and have just turned the t.v. and computer on today.  Looks like I may need to have my tonsils removed this summer.....at my age!  YUCK!  Not exactly what I had planned for my break, but at least I didn't have to use any sick days. 

Just popping in for a quick book and a little announcement tonight.  Our book is 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving by Dav Pilkey and it is a great one! 

The other books I posted have some historical significance, but this one is just a great read and is FUN!  It is about a class going on a field trip to the farm.  They figure out what is going to happen to "Farmer Mack Nugget's" turkeys and hatch a plan to save them.  Of course, it is patterned after 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and that makes it flow really well and just plain fun to read.  If you do not have this book it would be a super one to add to your collection.  

I also have a few fun links for you, here is the story being read aloud on YouTube.  This is the history of the book from Dav Pilkey's website.  It contains this interesting fact...
     'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving has become
     one of the most popular Thanksgiving books of all
     time. But believe it or not, this book was rejected
     23 times by 23 different publishers. Dav was so          
discouraged by all the rejections, he almost quit
     writing children's books altogether. Finally, Orchard
     Books accepted the book, though they didn't expect
     it to sell many copies. As it turned out, the book
that nobody wanted to publish ended up surprising
     everyone. 'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving
has become the third largest selling picturebook in
     Orchard Books' history.

Here are some lessons plans I found on the web (for next year of course).

Now for the big announcement......drum roll please..... MY  FIRST  GIVEAWAY  IS  COMING!!! Check back this weekend for the details.  It's going to be cool and I'm very excited.  

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and know that I am very thankful for each of you who come and read my ramblings.  :) 

Keep Reading,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Been shopping....

Yesterday afternoon I had to pop into Target to grab a couple of things.  Guess what I saw? The cutest shirts!  Check these out.... 

There was a complete display in the baby/ toddler section.  Now, I usually am not crazy about character clothes, but I really like these.  I know it's because they are characters from great books. I love, love, love the Cat in the Hat and the Olivia shirt. If you look closely you can see the sleeves on Olivia are white with pink poker dots (that what my little one calls them).  I think at least one of them may find their way to my house.  :) 

The books were included in the display.  Wouldn't a book and a shirt make a great gift?  I'm thinking Christmas and/or birthday's.  If you have a little one to buy for soon head on over to Target and check them out.  

One more day and Hello Thanksgiving Break!  So excited!!!!  

Keep reading,

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

T is for Turkey

Can you believe Thanksgiving is next week?  This month is flying!  I have some Thanksgiving trivia for ya..... Did you know Elvis came over on the Mayflower?  Yep, that's what one of our kinders (not in my class) told the teacher.  I thought it was important for you to know such info.  File it away for later use.  :)

I haven't had anything like that in my classroom, but I did have a sweet little girl tell me she was absent because she had garlic fever.  I hope I don't catch it.  Can anyone tell me if it is contagious?  I need any and all information you may have on garlic fever!

Seriously, we are knee deep in learning about Thanksgiving in our class.  I was surprised that none, as in NOT A SINGLE ONE, of my students could tell me anything about Pilgrims or Indians/ Native Americans.  Like not even those words associated with the holiday.  I have never had that happen.  They always know a little bit.   Well, luckily I just happen to have a few books on the subject!

Tonight I want to share a couple of ABC books with you.  I have never had a class that didn't love ABC books.  They can be about anything, it doesn't matter to them.  

The first book I picked up at Plymouth.  One year, a long time ago before I was married with kids, a friend and I decided to go to Plymouth for Thanksgiving.  Best Thanksgiving Book- ABC Adventure is a basic overview of Thanksgiving.  Basic is the key word here.  It is pretty simple and the pictures are pretty stereotypical, but I always enjoy reading it as an introduction.  It was especially good this year since there really wasn't any background knowledge.  Here's a peek inside:

Sorry about the glare.  I'll have to work on my camera skills.  Hopefully you get the idea, though. 

Next up is T is for Turkey- A True Thanksgiving Story

This is a great book!  Again, it is an ABC book, but this one tells a little more of the real story.  It is a class play where kids are telling the story.  Each letter is written in rhyme, so it's also really fun to read. 

Check out the cute pictures....
"A is for the American Story
Our school play will tell.
Some myths we'll set straight,
Other facts you know well."

The cute girl is introducing the play.  I LOVE that it sets some things straight.  It really has good information that seems to be historically accurate (although I am no expert!). 
It addresses Massasoit, the Wampanoag tribe, Squanto, Pilgrims clothing and Sarah Hale.  It also has factual information inside the back cover (including pronunciations, which I had to use). To me, this book is perfect for just about anything having to do with Thanksgiving and is a great introduction for a lesson.  

Does anyone have either of these books? 
Anyone been to Plymouth on Thanksgiving?  

Keep Reading,

Monday, November 14, 2011

Catching up and some randomness

This past week has been busy, busy, busy!  We have four people in our little family and three of them (all but me) have had a birthday in the past five days. So, we celebrate "birthday week", and since I must be a special kind of crazy we had two birthday parties yesterday!  One in the morning and one in the afternoon.  More to come on that soon.  One party was based on a great children's book.  :)

I am linking up to this party for cancer awareness over at Cooperative Learning 365.  My mom has cancer.  She is in the middle of chemo right now.  It stinks (and that is the biggest understatement ever).  It seems like cancer touches everyone somehow and I am all about awareness!!! 

I found some really great posts about Veteran's Day.  I know it is past now, but they may give you some ideas for later.  Marvelous Multiagers! has a great post that focuses on women pilots.  She has a couple of books listed that I must check out.  They sound great! The next post has a Veteran's Day freebie!  I know we all love a good freebie.  :)  Sandra's Savvy Teaching Tips has a mini unit that is full of great stuff.  I especially love the poem.  It will definitely go in the file for next year.  Hop on over and take a look.  Be sure to leave them a little love. 
The Parable Series: The Pumpkin Patch Parable

One more thing.... and this is reaching way back.  I had one Halloween book that I wanted to post about but I never got to it.  I at least want to mention it and I may re-visit it next year.  The Pumpkin Patch Parable by Liz Curtis Higgs is a great Christian alternative to the traditional Halloween book.  I have had it for a looooong time and it's one of my favorites.  We used it in Children's Church this year.  When I saw that Jena over at 1st Grade with Miss Snowden had a printable that goes perfectly with this book, I knew I wanted to share it.  She actually has two printables.  The first is a "Pumpkin Prayer" would be great for church, Christian school or homeschooling.  The other is perfect for public school and is a "Pumpkin Pledge" that focuses on building character. Sorry it's so late, but maybe you can file it away for next year.   

Now that I've caught up on my backlog, let's talk Thanksgiving.  I can't believe it's right around the corner!   Time just seems to fly this time of the year. Leave me a comment and let me know your favorite Thanksgiving book.  I don't have much time, but I do want to touch on a few and there are so many to choose from.   :)

Keep reading,

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

America's White Table

Tonight I have another book that would be a great read for Veteran's Day.  In the past I have read a few pages out of a little non-fiction Veteran's Day holiday book, and that was about it as far as literature went.  However, when I started really looking for books this year I found a few that sounded really good.  The first was Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot, which I've already shared and one called America's White Table.  I read the summary on Amazon and decided to check into it.  I ordered it from my local library and when I picked it up the first thing I noticed was that both books are by the same author, Margot Theis Raven.  I had no idea!  Now I am really intrigued..... I need to know more about her.  I think she just may be my favorite historical fiction author.  I'll see if I can share more about her soon.  :) 

Now, on to the book.....
Here is "an outstanding work that presents a fairly 'heavy' topic so that youngsters can understand it...." this is a portion of a comment by Paul Galanti, a Vietnam POW, on the book jacket and I thought it was a great description.  Now I'll tell you a little more about it in my own (less eloquent) words.  Remember I teach kindergarten and try to keep it simple.  :) 

This book is about the "white table" tradition.  Now, I am an all American gal and I had no idea what this tradition is all about.  Am I the only one? Did all of you know about it?  Did I fall asleep in history that day?  I learned from this book that it started after the Vietnam War to honor the POWs and MIAs.  I love that there are books like this to remind us of traditions and to tell the stories that we may not have heard. 

The story is a mom telling her girls about the reason they are setting a little white table.  Her Uncle John is coming over for dinner on Veteran's Day and she learns that he was a POW in Vietnam.  Mom explains throughout the book what the white tablecloth, lemon slice, salt, black napkin, white candle, empty glass, red rose and empty chair mean.  Katie's heart swells with pride for her uncle.  She and her sisters decide to make a gift to put on the table to honor veteran's but she can't decide what to make.  As the book concludes she finally figures it out what she will make.  I think you will really like her gift.  

I love the illustrations and they make the story come alive.  There is a mixture of present day and images from Vietnam with the lyrics of "My County, 'Tis of Thee" sprinkled on the pages.  Mike Benny is the illustrator, and this is his first children's book.  He did a great job and I hope to see more from him. 

After reading this book, I feel like I learned a lot (again) and my heart is full of pride for all of our soldiers and the sacrifices they make or are willing to make.  I want to grab my little housekeeping table in my class and set it up.  I think this would be a concrete way for children to begin to grasp Veteran's Day  and the visual reminder would be fantastic set up in the class for a few days.  I bet it is something they would remember and talk about for a long time!

Keep reading, 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mercedes and the Chocolate Pilot

Have you read this book?  It is a great book!  A couple of years ago I was fortunate to be chosen to take part in a Teaching American History grant.  It was wonderful in so many ways, but one of the things I loved was that they emphasized using good literature to teach history.  Several books were shared throughout the grant and this is one of them.  I flipped through the book and thought it would be one I might like to read, but then we moved on to something else..... you know how it goes. 

So, now Veteran's Day is right around the corner and I'm looking for some good children's lit.  I remembered this book and checked it out.  I love it for so many reasons..... first, the illustrations are beautiful.  I'll just let the pictures speak for themselves!

This is the inside cover of the book.  The subtitle is "A True Story of the Berlin Airlift and The Candy That Dropped From The Sky". How cute is this drawing of candy dropping?

Here are a couple of pages from the book.

Next, it is historical fiction based on a actual events.  I really didn't know anything about the Berlin Airlift. There is a page that explains it in a way that is easy to understand. I love learning about something or someone through children's lit.  It makes me want to dig in and learn more.... you know maybe even read something written for adults! :)  Gail Halverson is the pilot who came to be known as "the chocolate pilot". Also, there is a great epilogue that tells a little more of the story.   As far as I could tell Halverson is still alive. This book really gives the reader a lot of information, even if you don't read it all to your class or child. 

Gail Halverson as a young pilot.

Lastly,  this story is about war, more specifically the aftermath of war, but it is also about hope and it is child centered.  I really think school aged children (and adults!) could identify with this book.  I plan to read it to my kindergarten class. I may even end it with a chocolate treat.  It will be a little long for them, so I will break it up into segments, but I think they will enjoy it. It will be part of my Veteran's Day study, but I know our 5th graders do something about WWII and maybe even the Berlin Airlift.  I could see this being a great resource for them. 

I hope I've made you want to know the whole story.  See if your library has it, and enjoy the story.  It is by Margot Theis Raven and illustrated by Gijsbert van Frankenhuyzen.  Also, take a minute or two to thank a Veteran you know for their service!

Keep reading,

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Pumpkins on Parade

Last weekend I took Thing 1 and Thing 2 to a wonderful evening at our local library.  There were storytellers sharing stories that were a little spooky but not too scary, crafts, snacks and treat bags.  We had a great time!  My favorite part was the "Pumpkins on Parade".  In the foyer, there were all of these cool pumpkins decorated as characters from children's books..... and you know how much I love children's lit!   The characters were fantastic, but I was super impressed by the creativity. I wonder what I would do if I had the chance? 

Thank you library for a really fun (not to mention free) evening.  The kids were so cute in their costumes, the stories were spooky, the crafts were fun and we had a teriffic time! 

I took plenty of pictures of the pumpkins so I could share them with everyone.  Get ready for plenty of pictures.  :)

First up is the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland
This one is so fun....I love the colors! 

Next is Elephant from I Broke My Trunk.  We love Elephant and Piggie at our house!  Sorry, I couldn't get a great picture. 

 Hank, the Cowboy Dog.....I don't know him very well yet.  I'll have to learn more about him.

 Can you guess this one?  The paint is peeling a little bit, but she is still super cute.  It's Olivia!  There was also a little girl dressed up as the cutest little Olivia!

 It's Pigeon.... He has several books and is one funny bird! Did you know Mo Willems has a new book out?  It's Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed..... doesn't the title just make you smile?  It's in Scholastic this month.  I can't wait to read it!

Here's a scene from Tom Sawyer.....

and my favorite caterpillar.  Of course, it is The Very Hungry Caterpillar. I love this guy!  Isn't he adorable?

Here's an adorable penguin from Mr. Popper's Penguins. 

The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz. There was a speech bubble attached that said "I'll get you, my pretty, and your little pumpkin, too." 

and finally, The Ghost-Eye Tree.  Doesn't this one look spooky?  It was just like the book cover!

So, which one is your favorite?  Which book or character would you pick if you were decorating the pumpkin?   Does your local library do anything really neat like this? 
Do share....    :) 

   Keep reading,