Friday, October 28, 2016

Spooky Stories, Costumes and Swaps...

In The Library:

In the library this week we read stories by Jack-o-lantern. I love to share Clifford's Halloween by Norman Bridwell Humbug Witch by Lorna Balian and of course The Halloweiner by Dav Pilkey, with my Kinders. The students loved them.  First graders got to Enjoy Boo! by Robert Munsch, which worked along with an author study of Robert Munsch we recently completed.  We also got to enjoy my most favorite book this time of year, The Perfect Pumpkin Pie by Denys Cazet. I had a few friends jump when we read this latest title. So much fun!

We also shared about what we might dress up like during Halloween. Here at Kennedy we don't dress up at school. In lieu of costumes we have a pajama day. I myself probably won't dress up unless I go out with my grandkids but I think I am going to stay home with my dogs, Hermione and Zoey and hand out candy treats.

I am preparing a voting lesson for my students to have fun with next week. We will all vote at Kennedy. Not for the Presidential nominee's we are all familiar with but for two other candidates...

After we have the opportunity to read Doreen Cronin's Duck For President.
We will tally each class and graph the entire school with our votes. Should be lots of fun.

This week has been a busy and fun week with the anticipation of Halloween looming.

Love My Kiddo's:

My first grade friends in Mrs. Berns class were so sweet. They earned a popcorn and movie party for their amazing behavior and they invited share it with them. I was so excited. Then they went above and beyond to Thank me. I am so lucky to have such amazing friends.

 Beautiful Fall:

 Here in central Kansas we are enjoying some amazing weather. I was able to go out to the park and finish up my book and this was my beautiful view.
 Blessings come in many forms...

This photo is still my most favorite! I love the stem on this pumpkin it is the best! 

 I am anxious for November to arrive, to see family for the Thanksgiving holiday and to celebrate my grand daughter, Brielle's 1st birthday. I'm very excited! We have a lot going on at home and at school so tune in to see all the happenings in the coming weeks.

My Swaps: 


This swap is an annual swap from Chaotic Goddess Swaps. I recieved a swap from my friend, Judy over at The Knotty Needle Blog she sent me the most wonderful package and card thanks so much! Here is a picture to see what she sent.

 I have several more swaps up and coming I will keep you posted on them.

I'm reading with an online book group The Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. I am also reading The One That Got Away by Leigh Himes and I am just about finished. I can't wait to get started on Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris I just received a surprise book in the mail from St. Martin Press. I can't wait to delve into this amazing thriller. All of these books are so completely and vastly different One is futuristic and another is chic-lit and one is a mystery/thriller. It's fun to delve into a variety of genres. Have fun and enjoy.

Share with me what you are reading and what books are on your "to be read list".

Happy Reading
Have a safe, fun Halloween, and let's welcome November.
Tula Shamhart

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Falling Into A Good Book

In The Library

Fall Books & How I Use Them

Happy fall!  Football games, changing leaves, pumpkin everything, and the crispness in the air fall makes me happy.  We created a fall bucket list and shared some of the things we most look forward to, in the fall. This is always a highlight for me. 
We also shared the life cycle of the pumpkin last week. I love sharing the video and the book Pumpkin Circle by George Levenson it starts October and our fall season. As we approach our trip to the pumpkin patch, reinforcing our understanding of fiction and non-ficition, our "How To Carve A Pumpkin" writing, along with our anchor chart pumpkins inside and outside, using adjectives.

I also, love getting out books about the season with my students. I want to foster a love of reading with them. How reading is more than just words on a page. It offers a different approach to the goals we are working on; vocabulary, figurative language, sequencing, etc. For some of our young students here at Kennedy this helps them build on their developing vocabulary and their ability to communicate more effectively.
Here are 2 wonderful stories for the changing season that I like using in my Library.

LeafMan by Lois Ehlert
This is a very short, beautifully illustrated picture book. It captures the vivid changing colors of the leaves of fall. Great opportunities for fall craft extensions here.
 One of my students brought this leaf man in after we shared the story.

Sequencing: Discuss the order of leaf man’s travels. East-West-South-North. Name what he saw heading east (chickens, marsh, ducks, geese, fields). Then what he saw heading west (orchards, prairie meadows, cows) and so on.

Vocabulary: pile, plans, marsh, drifting, orchards, prairie, meadows, gliding, flock, lonesome, rustle.
Writing: Use the prompt, “If I were a leaf man, I would go” (have them include what they would see and feel along the way).
Compare and contrast: The different types of leaves by shape, size, color etc. Have the students bring in 2 or 3 different leaves from home and discuss the differences and similarities.

Fletcher and the Falling Leaves by Julia Rawlinson 
Gorgeous watercolor illustrations capture you in this sweet story. When I read this treasure, children are mesmerized and almost melt listening to the words. This story about a sweet little fox is one of my favorites to use during the fall season.

Social/Emotional: Opportunities to discuss feelings. On the first page the word “worried” is used. When do people feel worried? Illness, bad weather, etc. Fletcher is trying to care for the tree- a great opportunity for teaching empathy (discuss his body language- how his head hangs down and how they can read body language with friends). Encourage your students or child to talk about who they take care of and how (a pet, friend who is sad). Friendship Fletcher says he will stay with the tree holding on to the last leaf left (what does someone do to show friendship to others).
Adjectives: Wow, this book is filled with vivid descriptions. “crinkly whisper,” “dusty gold,” “swirling leaves,” “pale stars,” I could go on and on. Write down some fall nouns and have your students think of vivid adjectives to modify them ( _____ pumpkins, _____ trees, _____ weather). Thinking of alternative color words is relevant in the fall. Find some leaves and challenge them to describe with more meaningful color words: yellow (golden), red (scarlet), brown (chocolate).
Vocabulary words: bounded, crinkly, dull, rough, ruffled, flutter, rustle, swoop, pale, glimmer. I always work on synonyms and antonyms to develop vocabulary deeper.
Figurative language:  personification is on nearly every page- “I think my tree is sick.” “The little leaf shook itself free” “The wind and the squirrel are stealing our leaves.” “The branches nodded.” “The leaves shivered and shook

I hope you can incorporate some of these ideas as you read books about fall!

Me and my family

My family went to the pumpkin patch with our grand kids and  had a wonderful time. I love watching the grands experience something for the first time and or share these moments with them. Here are a few pics...

What I'm reading

The weather here in Kansas has been simply amazing and I love being able to read on my porch or patio. My latest, most current book I'm reading is Winter Storms by Elin Hilderbrand. It is the third installment to the Winter Street  series and it has to be said that I love it! If you are looking for a warm, cozy page turner this fall/ winter season this series will not disappoint.

I'm also listening to the audio book of The One Who Got Away by Leigh Himes
 I had to pick this chic lit audio book up, I read the blurb below and knew I had to try out this new author's work.
Book Blurb:
 In this debut novel, a freak accident allows a wife and mother to explore the alluring alternative of the Road Not Taken.

Abbey Lahey is a married, harried working mother of two, struggling to make ends meet in a blue-collar suburb of Philadelphia. When a freak tumble down a Nordstrom escalator lands her in an alternate reality, Abbey finds herself happily married to the one who got away--a dashing Philly blueblood she met briefly years earlier--and living a Cinderella life of privilege and luxury.

It's everything Abbey ever dreamed of. Or is it? At first dazzled by the clothes, the penthouse, the nannies, and the glittering social functions, Abbey begins noticing troubling flaws in her new fourteen-carat life...and wonders what happened to the people she left behind. Torn between two vastly different realities, Abbey takes increasingly dramatic steps to reclaim herself--whoever that may be.

Happy Fall and Happy Reading!

Mrs. Shamhart