Tuesday, February 11, 2014

It's Almost Valentine's Day, So It's Time for Some Love-ly Reading!

Anyone else feel the pressure of February?

Abe, George, The Groundhog, the 100th day of school, Black History Month, Chinese New Year, Dental Health... It's a crazy month jam-packed full of stuff to study, think about, write about... and this year, just go ahead and pile The Olympics on top of all that! Egad!

Over the years, I've been forced to come to terms with the fact that there isn't enough time EVER. I tell my students on a semi-regular basis that they should ask their parents if they can stay until 5:00, but that little idea hasn't really taken off. The children are willing, oh yes they are! ...it's just their parents. (Roll eyes. Ha ha!)

So squeezing it all in is an issue. There are so many great books, resources, projects, activities, things to learn... how can a teacher possibly choose?! I find that many books/activities/projects quickly fall into the "must do!" or "nope, not worth the time" categories. The "maybes" are a little harder. Sometimes it depends on how many different ways the materials can be used, and how many different concepts can be taught.

I try to get double or triple or quadruple duty from anything I do. Making Valentine cards becomes a letter-writing lesson, complete with all the parts of a letter. Making a decorative paper chain becomes a brainstorming session and a list of sports in the Winter Olympic Games. Art lessons include symmetry or measurement or counting or a connection to literature.

And reading... well, reading just goes with everything, doesn't it?! This week, we're reading My Valentine Story.

My Valentine Story1

Students will use their highlighters to mark word wall words in their books. We'll put the animal names and gifts in ABC order. Students will list the pairs of rhyming words. And since we don't do much coloring ever, my students are always thrilled when they get a few peaceful minutes to fancy-up the illustrations. And the icing on the cake?! It's festive! Perfect for Valentine's Day this Friday. My students will each get a copy of the book, and our literacy time will include the activities I mentioned!

Click on the picture to get a copy for your students!

I've got to go work on my Valentine cards so I will be ready to pass them out on Friday. Actually, they're not cards... more on that later!

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