Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Summer Is Here!

     Summer has arrived!  It's hard to believe, but I was so ready for it at the end of the school year.  I finished packing the classroom on Friday.  Things have been so busy lately that I haven't written anything.  I'll update what's happened most recently.

     Author Study

  We had been reading lots of Tomie dePaola books lately.  The kids weren't familiar with his books.  His books are some of my favorites.  I just love teaching about Tomie and his books.  About 13 years ago, I took a class on our State Inservice Day taught by a local teacher about Tomie's books.  She had met him and had permission to write materials about his books.  I received materials such as posters, a video, and even a rubber stamp of Strega Nona.  Since then I just love to teach about him.  We spent a couple weeks reading and learning about his personal narrative stories.  We read Tom, The Art Lesson, and The Baby Sister.  While I was teaching about Tomie and his books, I actually found a blogger who had just written a unit on Tomie's books and put it on TpT.  I was in the midst of writing one.  I bought her unit, but may still write and finish my own.  Her name is Linda Kamp and her blog is called Around the Kampfire.  You should check out her blog and store on TpT.

Here's a chart I used from her unit about Author's Point of View.  We did this chart while reading the book The Art Lesson.  Tomie's books are wonderful for teaching about point of view.

We spent another two weeks on Tomie dePaola's fiction books.  We specifically read and learned from his Strega Nona books.  I read Strega Nona, Strega Nona:  Her Story, and Strega Nona Takes a Vacation.  I made a chart by drawing Strega Nona.  The kids gave adjectives to describe her.  (They were so impressed with my drawing telling me that I'm an artist!  I am not very good at drawing.  I have a video where Tomie gives directions on how to draw her.  About 3 years ago I watched the video over and over and drew out steps on how to draw her.  I'm even impressed with myself since I usually can't draw very well!)  I usually end the unit by teaching the students how to draw Strega Nona and then having them write a little bit about the Strega Nona books or character.

We watched two videos.  The first was Tomie speaking to a group of children and their parents.  He read two books on the video to the students:  Tom and Strega Nona.  This is the one where he teaches the children how to draw Strega Nona and a lamb.  The second video was Tomie giving a tour of his home and art and writing studio.  He gives some very good lessons for the students.  This author study was a fun way to end our reading lessons for the year.  If we had more time, I would have taught much more. 

Penguin  Reports

     We were busy finishing up our penguin reports.  Due to time and that the students are only in first grade, I put the students in groups of four.  Each group wrote about one type of penguin.  Each student wrote only about one topic such as Body, Food and Eating, Babies and Young, and Interesting Information.  It took a long time to write because I wanted them to use all of the steps in the Writing Process.  I met with all of the students to edit their writing with them before they published.  At another time, I'll show pictures of the forms we used in the research and the students' writing.

Thoughts About Summer

     Since it was Father's Day only on my second day of vacation, I went to visit my dad on Sunday and stayed until today.  I'm actually needing to load my car and leave soon.

Here is a family picture from when I was only 2-1/2 with Dad.
Later one more brother was added to the family.

         What are my summer plans?  First, I want to relax and get rid of the stress in my life.  It's been a difficult year and I just need to enjoy a stress-free life.  I want to read some books:  some books about teaching and some books that are just fun.  I plan on spending time with family and friends.  I like to make crafts but I don't find much time during the school year.  I do like to rubber stamp and make cards.  I hope to find time to do that some.  Maybe a little vacation -- definitely to the Oregon coast and possibly somewhere else.  No plans yet, though.

        I've thought of dabbing into selling on TpT.  I do like all of the things I see there and would like to see if my creations are things that others would like.  I think summer would be a time I could find time to work on things.  I also want to explore more in the blogging world.  I've had this little blog and only have 26 followers.  I know I don't have exciting things on here.  There is still so much I don't know how to do.  I hope I can do some research as I read other blogs to learn more about how to post things that would interest others, participate in a link (something I don't have the slightest idea how to do), or offer freebies (I did two last summer, but I don't remember how to do it).  Somehow I'll figure things out.

        Enjoy the rest of your day and I'll be back soon!


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