Yesterday’s grand opening meant an air of excitement, brightly frosted cupcakes and lots of money spent on new books to add to my ever-growing collection. I mean, come on—is it possible to have too many books?
The inside of the shop is small, but nicely decorated and clear on who’s important here: the little readers who fill those tiny chairs and spend time finding a new favorite book! There is definitely a South City vibe, which is great. And the best part? I can walk there! (Although I guess that does cause some trouble in that it limits the size of my book haul to whatever I can carry! 😆 Oh well, I’ll figure it out. Maybe a wagon??)
Speaking of “book haul,” let me show you what we bought!
I found two new titles I am excited to share with my kiddos, and one that is an old favorite—but in paperback!
I hope to be able to visit this little gem of a store for years to come and that they get to grow and grow, putting books into the hands of Little Readers all over town! Visit them, will ya?!
I know, I know. That’s really a Virginia thing. But yet, I didn’t just take a vacay to Virginia. So San Fran it is. 🙂
If you’ve spent time around here–either as a long-time blog reader or a new reader who’s been getting their feet wet–you have hopefully noticed that I am a reader. Books are kind of a big deal around here: at home and in my classroom. And so, it seems, books are a big deal for me on vacation, too.
We went to lots of fun places on our tour of San Francisco. Some places I can tell you about by the name of the neighborhood, and some I can tell you by the name of the books stores I visited while I was there. 🙂
I think in the end we found three cute little independent book stores, and bought something at all of them! Cuz what’s a better souvenir than a book. Or ten? LOL
The first place we ran into was The Book Passage, in the Ferry Building on the Embarcadero. Besides being easy to get to, it had great views of the bay. We went here more than once, just because we could.
On one of our dinner adventures, Grant and I were walking around after our visit to Burma Superstar (YUM!) and came upon this little gem:
Besides being lovely and cute and small and independent, they also had a sale bin. :). Found many things I was excited for some good finds, but especially for the book about the Golden Gate Bridge I had seen in other stores at full price. Here it was over 50% off! WIN!!
The last one was so good we visited it twice: Browser Books.
On our first visit we ran into one of those “blind date with a book” sale boxes and bought almost the whole thing!
Do you have guesses for what those books might be? Are you dying right now? Should I show you what we ended up with? Oh, ok. :). Here’s what was inside of those packages. Be sure to leave me a comment to let me know if you guessed right. I actually did guess one of them correctly!
I think I mentioned that this was our first trip to this store? On the second trip I found two more great books (not on sale, but sooo great it didn’t matter) that I’m excited to incorporate into my classroom this year.
WHEW! What a great trip with such great little bookstore finds. What a special part of traveling–the bookstores come home in my heart and the books come home in my suitcase!
YAY!! It’s the beginning of February, which means that it is time for Global School Play Day and World Read Aloud Day! It’s not a celebration that I’m new to, but it is definitely never something I’ve celebrated in cyberspace. :). Because it’s still COVID times, our WRAD observation was planned to take place on a Friday, were we were online. We figured this was the best way to collaborate as a grade level, since at school we’re only allowed to be with our individual cohorts.
So we sat down as a team before the day, finding times for all of our 2nd grade teachers, plus Mrs. Scanlon–our fabulous reading teacher–and Dr. OH–our fabulous principal–to read to our kiddos. Like a normal virtual day, we also tried to make sure we added in movement breaks and times for kids to interact and talk to each other. Our plan looked like this:
As we went into the day, we were SO EXCITED to be able to get all of our second grade friends and all of our team in the same room (even if it was a ZOOM room!) so we could celebrate books together! We could hardly wait for the morning!
We began the day in our own Zoom Room, with Mrs. Nguyen and me and all of our Rm. 111 friends. We talked about our Zone colors and talked about our day, getting excited for what was to come. After our morning Meeting, we all went to Mrs. Stephens’ Zoom room since she was going to host the morning festivities.
Our first reader was Mrs. Scanlon, who shared one of her favorite books with us:
Somehow in all my years of both reading kids’ books and teaching kids to read, I’ve never read this book! It was so great and the kids loved it!
After this, we moved the whole group into breakout rooms to chat about the story. I was in a room with 3 super great girls who had lots to say! We even had time to start reading to each other! Such a fun time. 🙂
Next up–Dr. OH! This was our first opportunity to have our principal read to us this year, but it’s definitely not the first time we’ve had our fearless leader read to our grade level. Remember when Mrs. Sisul used to come read to us all the time??
Dr. OH shared a great story about a strong girl with us: I Will Be Fierce!
After a quick GoNoodle to give our bodies a minute to move, we got to hear a super funny story from my student teacher, Mrs. Nguyen. My class gets the chance to listen to her read all the time, so I was glad she got to share her stories with the whole grade level for this special day!!
She shared the story Potato Pants with us. 🙂
Mrs. Kier was up next, and she shared an oldie-but-goodie from Epic–The Bad Seed.
After that many super read alouds, we were ready to use our brains in another way. Mrs. Stephens shared a fun activity with us, that started in the main room and then we did in small group breakout rooms. We did a Spot the Difference game she had found on YouTube. There are two pictures and we had to –you guessed it!–find the differences between the two pictures. What fun! This activity was definitely a hit and one we’ll do again when we have a chance!
After a break for lunch and some rest or play time on their own, we came back together, this time in our Zoom room! It was my turn and then Mrs. Dale shared a story, too.
I had a big pile of things that I would have loved to share, but since I only had one, I picked a book that was from a beloved author (Peter H. Reynolds) and that connected with some of our themes in SEL lately.
After the story, kiddos took turns responding to the invitation to “say something. It was fun to hear all of the different things they thought of sharing with their friends!
Mrs. Dale found a great story on Epic, too, one that none of us had heard of before: Nico Draws a Feeling. After we finished the story, she invited kiddos to grab some crayons and a piece of paper and try out what Nico had done. The challenge was to draw the FEELINGS related to an event or episode, rather than the event itself. This was hard work! What a great opportunity, though, to express ourselves in a new and exciting way!
We ended our day with choice time, closing meeting in our homerooms and then our specials class. What an AMAZING day of books and fun and FRIENDS!! It was definitely different than any other World Read Aloud Day I’ve experienced, but isn’t that just how this school year is going?? It will be a memorable one for sure!!
How did you spend World Read Aloud Day 2021? Leave us a comment and tell us about it!
Oh my goodness, friends–how have I not written about this yet? (Wow, those words sound soooo familiar. Please don’t go back to last year’s blog to see if I wrote this very thing last year at this time….LOL). I know, it’s so silly since it’s SO EXCITING! Let me start with a picture, because it’s SO BEAUTIFUL! (Sorry, I overuse capitals when I’m excited. Exclamation points, too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. 🙂 )
Am I right? So bright and colorful, and represents SO MANY words, stories and ideas that our first grade friends have already heard. The other great thing about it? While it’s got SO MANY books already, look at how much wall is left! That means we have that much room to read that many more books together this year!
Ok, let me back up. I know that some of you are new to this blog, or new to this whole #classroombookaday thing, so let me explain…
Many years ago, the great Jillian Heise (@heisereads) started a super thing: read a picture book a day and tell someone about it. I am sure that there is a better, more thought out explanation to why she did it than that, but really in some ways it’s that easy. Be committed to reading to kids every day. Find good books. Talk about those books and share them with others. Amazing. She started a hash tag to share her ideas and it’s gone CRAZY places since then.
Fast forward to 2016 and enter me. 🙂 I joined the fun and began my own #classroombookaday journey, posting all of the books my class read on our door. We expanded the next year, and the next, and that brings us to where we are now–all of the first grade teachers in this together. 🙂 The display continues to grow and change, but the intent of the project remains the same: read good books to kids, talk about them and enjoy the reading experience!
This year’s display is a little extra special, though, as we are looping with this group. In past years we’ve had a goal of something over 500 (depending on the previous year’s final numbers!), and we will do so again. But this time, rather than taking down the display to start over–we’re going to keep going! I’m not exactly sure how we’ll do that (don’t worry fire Marshall, we’ll figure out a safe way to make it happen!), but how exciting to see it grow and grow and grow like never before!
I’m not entirely sure that this year’s first graders are entirely clear on what we’re doing here yet, but they are at least familiar with that big book wall in the hall, as they walked by it over and over again as kindergartners last year. Now it’s theirs, and we’ll watch it fill up together! I hope you’ll come along the journey with us this year (and next!). PLEASE suggest books to us that you think we might enjoy! WE LOVE BOOKS!! 🙂
On August 28, we celebrated a very important day at school–our 10th day of first grade together! It was a very special day because 10 is SUCH AN IMPORTANT number to first graders (and in general!). We learned a new math game that day called Tenzi, which we loved, and we also read a really great book–Ten Black Dots.
After we read it, we talked about how we might try this same thing with our own black dots. We brainstormed some ideas and then got to work. We followed these directions, and made sure we used our self-talk (keeping track on our fingers to help us remember) to help make sure we had done all the steps.
First we planned out what we would make, and glued down our dots. We added details with a pencil, per the directions. 🙂
Our paintings all spent some time drying in the hall–and even before they were done they looked really good!
Our last step was to trace our details and then add a sentence that said “Ten black dots make a…” But that’s for another blog post. Come back soon to check that one out (after I take the pictures, LOL!)
What would you make with 10 black dots? Leave us a comment to tell us your ideas! We’d love to hear from you!
Every morning when we start our day, we make a rectangle (because our carpet doesn’t really allow us to make a circle–LOL), and talk about how we’re feeling. We talk about the zone of regulation we’re in (usually we’re green and blue!), and often there is a question that we all answer. Very early on, I used a question I stole from my 7th grader (thanks, Riley!)–what is your favorite breakfast food?
Not surprisingly, many kiddos around the circle mentioned pancakes. And very specifically, Luke said chocolate chip pancakes. :). It seemed like for the next few days, everything we read and everywhere we looked, we were seeing references of pancakes. This includes our cafeteria, where the “B” choice every Wednesday is pancakes for lunch. :). So….we decided that it would only make sense to have our very own pancake party!
The date was set, and as we awaited the day, we found as many pancake-inspired books to read to get us ready (and make us hungry!!). Check out what we found!
Then, on Friday, we were ready for our special pancake breakfast together! :). And I’d say, it was even better than we’ve even hoped!
Luke, with his chocolate chip pancakes. Thanks for the idea, buddy! YUM!!
This made our third snack-related day already (we’ve been together for 22 days), and we’re already planning our next! There really is something to be said about how special it is to share a meal together (stay tuned to see what it will be!). I have heard from many first graders that this was our best day yet! :).
And then I’m in the right place at the right time and we win SHARK SWAG for our whole school!! The WHOLE SCHOOL!? Pretty cool, right? And because we’ve gotten book swag from Ame Dyckman before, I knew it was going to be great. 🙂
So after a few messages where we exchanged information and numbers and such we got a super box in the mail:
I ran right to Ms. Davis to start brainstorming how we’d get all this fabulous stuff into our Roadrunner’s hands, and to open that awesome box! We found 600 bookmarks and stickers and the nicest note from one of the nicest authors around. 🙂
We made a plan for something fun, and it included a shark costume, a principal and a read aloud.
In the meantime, my class got busy divvying up the bookmarks and stickers so they’d be ready for everyone on the special day. All the while I told my first grade friends about part of the plan, but that they had to cross their hearts to NOT TELL ANYONE about the secret book swag. I also kept the rest of the plan (the shark-principal-read aloud part) a secret and told them they’d find out later.
We had to reschedule once, but finally it worked out for today’s big event. We sent a generic “tune into Facebook Live at 2:45–it will be worth it!” email to the school and crossed our fingers. I corralled some of my 1st grade and kindy friends to be present for the actual read aloud and we were set. 🙂 ❤
But when we showed up for the actual read aloud, it was EVEN BETTER THAN I HAD EXPECTED! I mean I’ve heard our fabulous principal read before, and I know she’s got some mad skills, but this was above and beyond. I mean–the whole thing in a SHARK COSTUME! It was just too much. 🙂 .
Check out how AMAZING a time it was in our library today!
After we returned to our classroom, we did a few end-of-day things and then got busy delivering all those book goodies to our Robinson Roadrunner friends! They were so happy get our (ok, well Ame Dyckman’s) swag and we were SO EXCITED to share it!
Thank you, so much, Ame Dyckman, for writing amazing books that we love to read and thank you, Mrs. Sisul, for being such an amazing ambassador for reading and books and fun in our school!! WE ARE SO LUCKY!!
This week we got to 367! February is a weird month–feels like almost every week we’ve had something extra or surprising with our schedule, and this week as no different–we had a surprise ice day on Thursday. But then Friday was a 1/2 day, which includes school-wide programming, so it means less reading time for us in Rm. 111. Anyhow, we did get 7 new titles on our wall, and enjoyed everyone of them!
Here’s our wall currently:
This week we added these new books!
We have happened in to a Dan Santat study, as he has written and illustrated SO MANY amazing books–most of which become our new favorites! This week were two I had never even seen before! Sylvester and the Magic Pebble is an oldie that I had never read, and Stand Tall, Molly Lou Melon was a not-so-oldie that I’ve read lots and lots of times and never gets old! Cows Can Moo! Can You? came as a recommendation from a first grade friend, which always makes for a good read aloud. Be Kind is a goodie that you can read over and over and over (and connects to our recent Kindness Week activities as well as the Kindness Quilt our school school is working on), and Little Dragon and the New Baby is a sweet story and loads of first graders can make connections with the way Little Dragon didn’t want to have a baby to share his things with–at first. 🙂
Another great week of read alouds in first grade! Can’t wait to see what this upcoming week brings!
Hi and welcome back to the blog! I’m so glad you keep coming back to check up on what’s going on–because we’re excited to share it with you!
The wall display is up to 360 and looks so amazing!
Every day that goes by brings more and more interested onlookers to our display! I think they might be wondering how long will we fill up the wall! Or maybe where will it go when that happens. We do have some ideas for where it will go (spoiler–look up!).
This week we added these new titles to the wall:
You’ll see some of our sweet stories from Kindness Week last week, and also a Mo Willems favorite we hadn’t read yet. My favorites were the two that included diverse characters–Big Hair, Don’t Care and Whoosh! And the best part, those two were probably the kiddos’ favorites, too!
I remember when we were reading Going Placesand Beckett found some pretty amazing math in a picture that was in the book. We tweeted to Peter H. Reynolds to ask him if he knew about it, and/or if he did it on purpose.
In Going Places, Beckett told us how many kits were on each pg, how many were missing, how many there were altogether, how many there would be if those last 2 were there! @peterhreynolds–he wants to know if you did that on purpose! Did you know there was math in your book? pic.twitter.com/TZ1VGecqKS
We were tickled when he replied–because when authors talk to you it’s a BIG DEAL!!
Well, we were reading another book the other day–Twenty Yawns by Jane Smiley and Lauren Castillo–and something similar happened.
As we finished the book (which is a super sweet story about a girl who is trying to go to sleep and not surprisingly does lots of yawning), I asked why the author would have named the book Twenty Yawns. I thought someone would say “because there are 20 yawns in the story,” but surprisingly that was not what they suggested. Somehow we got into a little tat about how there were 21 yawns in the book. What?? I’m still not entirely sure if the friends who were so convinced about the 21 yawns were for real, or if they wanted to cause a ruckus, but regardless, Ali saved the day by saying we should count them and figure it out.
So…we went back through the story and paid attention to how many yawns were on each page, creating an equation that looked like this:
Next we talked about the different ways kiddos could PROVE that there were or were not 21 (or 20!) yawns in the book. Our list looked like this:
It was actually really lucky, too, how the problem worked out because we have been working on combinations of 10 and I was hoping that kiddos would find the 10s in there first, and then quickly come to the answer of 20. Not all did, which is fine–we’ll keep working–but many did. 🙂 .
Check out some of our thinking (which we are still working on, by the way!).
I LOVE it when we can take a story and turn it into a math problem! What an authentic context and motivating activity. 🙂 . And while anytime we stretch our math brains it’s a good thing, I especially love it when the numbers in the book match the numbers we’re working on. Way to go, Smiley and Castillo! Did you do that on purpose for us? 🙂
What books have you read that have math in them? Tell us about it so we can try it, too! 🙂