Thursday, January 8, 2015

Skiing Penguins and Snowmen

Years and years ago we made skiing penguins in my kindergarten class, and it was so fun. It took me a while to figure out how we did it, and I've got the directions here.

These are great for teaching winter themes: snow, winter animals, even the concepts of up and down.

My little guy was entranced by the skiers and played with them for hours, both on and off the slopes.

poster board
markers or crayons
pipe cleaners
hole punch
roll of white paper
popsicle sticks: two for each character you make

1. Draw simple penguins and snowmen on poster board. The penguin is just an oval. I drew and colored these, but when he's older my son will enjoy making his own.

2. Cut them out.
3. Punch two holes in the bottom, at least half an inch from the edge.
4. Cut two pieces of pipe cleaner, 3 to 4 inches long.
5. Put each piece of pipe cleaner through the holes, wrapping one end around the other. Leave room to bend one end forward for the "feet".

6. Tape the "feet" to two popsicle sticks, or "skis".

7. Using the roll of paper, tape one end to the edge of a table or shelf, something sturdy that the kids can reach.
8. Tape the bottom of the paper down too.

9. Put your skiers on the top and you're ready for fun!

My little guy loved the skiers. He played with them off and on the slopes all day. At first I was worried I'd made the slope too wide...

…but he solved the problem himself by climbing up onto his little table.

First he pushed them hard and fast, but by letting him play on his own, he figured they skied better when he pushed them slowly.

Friday, January 2, 2015

Books to Help Kids Read with Fluency

Can I Play Too? by Mo Willems
I Broke My Trunk! by Mo Willems
I'm Bored by Debbie Ridpath Ohi
The Monster at the End of this Book by Jon Stone
Should I Share My Ice Cream? by Mo Willems
There is A Bird On Your Head by Mo Willems
We Are In A Book! by Mo Willems
Yes We Can! By Sam McBratney and Charles Fuge 
Elephant and Piggie Books 
are easy to read and great
for increasing expression.

Books About Friendship, Diversity and Acceptance

(Also see Learning Differences and Making New Friends in the big List of Books by Theme)
Angel Child, Dragon Child by Michele Maria Surat (getting along/diversity)
Bear Feels Sick by Karma Wilson
The Crayon Box That Talked by Shane Derolf and Michael Letzig (diversity)
Don’t Laugh at Me by Steve Seskin, Allan Shamblin and Glin Dibley (teasing/tolerance)
Enemy Pie by Derek Munson (getting along)
Hooray for Wodney Wat by Helen Lester (speech, being different)
Leonardo, The Terrible Monster by Mo Willems (hurting feelings/being friends)
Let's Be Enemies by Janice May Udry
Lost and Found by Oliver Jeffers (loneliness)
The Monster Who Lost His Mean by Tiffany Strelitz Haber
My Name is Yoon by Helen Recorvits (diversity)
The Name Jar by Yangsook Choi (diversity)
Odd Velvet by Mary Whitcomb (accepting differences)
The Old Woman Who Named Things by Cynthia Rylant
Owen and Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship by P. Kahumbu
Pig in a Wig by Alan McDonald (being kind to those who are different)
Pigs Make Me Sneeze by Mo Willems
Priscilla and the Pink Planet by Nathanial Hobbie (diversity)
The Rag Coat by Lauren A. Mills (poverty, teasing, forgiveness)
Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfizer 
A Rainbow of Friends by P.K. Hallinan
The Recess Queen by Alexis O'Neill (getting along)
Red and Yellow's Noisy Night by Josh Selig (conflict resolution between friends)
Ruby the Copycat by Margaret Rathman
The Sandwich Swap by Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan Al Abdullah (diversity)
The Shortest Kid in the World by Corinne Demas Bliss (being different)
The Skin You Live In by Michael Tyler and David Lee Csicsko
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell (being teased)
The Thing About Georgie by Lisa Graff (dwarfism)
Unlovable by Dan Yaccarino                            
                              ✯Unlovable Comprehension Page
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox

Books about Perseverance

The Dot by Peter Reynolds
Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus
The Little Engine That Could by Watty Piper
The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires 
Never Give Up! A Children's Picture Book by Adriana Cerrotti
Princesses Are Not Quitters! by Kate Lum
Try It and Stick With It by Cheri J. Meiners
Winners Never Quit! by Mia Hamm
You Can Do It! by Tony Dungy (religious themes)

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Books About Being True to Yourself

Being True to Yourself/Be an Individual
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
David’s Drawings by Cathryn Falwell
Do Princesses Wear Hiking Boots? by Carmela LaVigna Coyle
Dumpy La Rue by Elizabeth Winthrop    
                         ✯Dumpy La Rue Comprehension Page
Elmer by David McKee                                     
                         ✯Elmer Activity: Design Your Own Elephant and Write
Ladybug Girl by Jacky Davis
Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Krau
Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by Monica Brown and Sara Palacios
Matthew ABC by Peter Catalanotto
Odd Velvet by Mary E. Whitcomb
Oliver Button is a Sissy by Tomie dePaola
Olivia by Ian Falconer
Purplicious by Elizabeth Kann and Victoria Kann
The Shortest Kid in the World by Corinne Demas Bliss (being different)
Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun: Having the Courage to Be Who You Are by Maria Dismondy and Kimberly Shaw-Peterson
Sometimes I Like to Curl Up In A Ball by Vicki Churchill and Charles Fuge
Stand Tall Molly Lou Melon by Patty Lovell
Stephanie’s Ponytail by Robert Munsch
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox