Friday, December 12, 2014

✯Books Boys Love✯

Normally boys gravitate to non-fiction books about snakes, bats, sports, volcanos,etc. It was easy to supply them with those. Finding great fiction that they'd love was harder. After years of teaching, I gathered this list of fiction books the boys in my kindergarten and 1st grade classes loved. 

*For a list of books dads love to read aloud go here.
*For my entire list of fiction books organized by theme go here.

The David books by David Shannon, No David, David Gets in Trouble, etc.

Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion and Margaret Bloy Graham
Hello, Robots by Bob Staake
Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman
Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss
I Stink by Kate McMullan and Jim McMullan
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak         
                                  ✯Wild Things Comprehension Page
Arthur's Pet Business by Marc Brown (a series)
Me and My Cat by Satoshi Kitamura

      *Anything by Dav Pilkey was always a hit
Kat Kong by Dav Pilkey
Dogzilla by Dav Pilkey
Dog Breath by Dav Pilkey
The Adventures of Super Diaper Baby by Dav Pilkey (a series)
Captain Underpants (books 1-5) by Dav Pilkey (a series)

Scaredy Squirrel by Melanie Watt (a series)

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney (A bit hard for K and 1st, but any book boys love, carry around, and obsess over--I'm going to let them have) (a series)

Hi! Fly Guy by Tedd Arnold (a series)
Shark vs. Train by Chris Barton
The Amazing Spider-Man (Little Golden Book) by Frank Berrios
Spider-Man versus the Green Goblin (I Can Read Book 2) by Susan Hill
Walter the Farting Dog by William Kotzwinkle (a series)
Sloppy Joe by Dave Keane and Denise Brunkus
Morris the Mankiest Monster by Giles Andrae and Sarah McIntyre
This Monster Needs a Haircut by Bethany Barton

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Throw a Polar Express Party for Toddlers

We love this classic Christmas story. The book is beautiful, the movie enchanting. Little bitty ones may not get the message or have the patience to sit through the entire book or movie, but it's still a fun theme for all ages. 

We threw this party together in just a couple hours for a few toddlers and their parents. It was super easy and lots of fun. 

Two big tips when planning a party for toddlers: Be flexible and keep it simple. The kids ranged in age from 16 months to 4 years old. If they didn't like the cocoa, or didn't want to watch the movie, or didn't want to make the craft that was ok. We had toys and books out for them to play with and explore. And we had plenty to eat and drink for the adults.

Polar Express Party Ingredients:
  • The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg (book or movie)
  • Pajamas
  • Cocoa
  • Bells 
  • Christmas treats
  • Toys
  • A simple Christmas craft

Christmas treats: Moose Munch and cookies (Nutter Butters and Milanos) dipped in chocolate with red and green sprinkles. Plus, each child got a bell to take home, just like the boy in the story.

If you do chocolate covered treats do toddlers have lots of wet wipes on hand! 

The Cocoa Bar: whipped cream, peanut butter chips, Butterfingers, crushed candy canes, coconut, crushed toffee and of course hot cocoa. 

For the youngest ones we let the cocoa cool down and added more milk. You could also do warmed up chocolate milk. We used unbreakable Christmas cups with straws for them as well. 

Our Simple Craft: Trees cut out of fun foam and stickers. We also had glitter glue for the older kids and parents to add sparkle. 

What a fun night! The kids played a lot and watched only bits and pieces of the movie, but they'll have plenty of opportunity to watch the movie and read the book with deeper understanding in the years to come. The Christmas trees came out super cute and will be fun reminders of these precious years. Only the oldest child liked the cocoa, but the littlest ones couldn't care less about that. 

Printable Postive Thinking Posters

Teaching Positive Thinking (and Reading)

Positive Posters Print all 13 posters here.

I made these posters to teach positive thinking and stop all the whining and complaining. Reading the posters, talking about what they meant and practicing the ideals behind them helped the attitude of the entire class. I loved hearing them say these encouraging words to each other and to themselves when they were struggling.

AND it had an added bonus: After a couple of days, the kids were reading the posters!

I would hang one poster up for an entire week. We read it together on Monday and talked about what it meant. Then we'd go over it every time we sat down for a story, or class meeting. By the end of the week many of the kids could read it on their own. When I got through all 13 posters I started over again. By the end of the year most of kids could read all the posters and their attitudes improved tremendously.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Work Order Signs

Visuals to help children know how to complete their work. Especially helpful for those little ones that always want to cut first!

Use these signs to let the kids know what order their assignments should be done in.
Cut them apart, laminate and post whichever ones you need when you need them.

Print all SIX Order Signs here.