Saturday, January 7, 2017

All About Penguins

January brings cold weather and time to learn about penguins, polar bears and other arctic animals.  as we return on Monday we will kick off the new year with learning about all about penguins.  Growing up, penguins were one of my favorite animals, I'm not sure why, but I have a small collection of penguin stuffed animals and figurines.
Penguin Books for kindergarten and first grade fiction and non-fiction close reads and mentor texts

We will be reading lots of books about penguins.  Some will be fiction and the rest nonfiction.  We will will then be comparing what we have learned about penguins from the non fiction books to the fiction books to see how the author has added to the characters abilities in the stories.  Here are a few of my favorites which can be purchased through my Amazon affiliate linkx.  The money I earn through my affiliate links I use to purchase items such as books, cardstock and lamination for my classroom.

We are delving into writing this month and my students are going to be writing what they know about penguins.  I'll start out with a big anchor chart. As we read books we will be adding what we learn about penguins to the chart.
All About Penguins Anchor Chart: FREE Download
I also like to show my students clips from informational videos I have found on YouTube.  
The Best Penguin Videos on YouTube for kindergarten, first and second grade students
All Things Animal TV Ed and Eppa 
This one is a favorite of mine.
Emperor Penguin Chicks

All about Penguins for Kids: Penguins of the World
Mr. Harry's I'm a Penguin

My kids love to get up and do the penguin song.  It is great for a quick movement activity and get th wiggles out.
Mr. Rogers has a great one,  Talk about a blast from the past. This one is actually on PBS

Now for a little Freebie for you Here is the chart we are using this week.

All About Penguins Anchor Chart: FREE Download
Well, I have only 1 day left before I return to work, so I am going to squeeze every bit of relaxation I possibly can out of it.  By that I mean Netflix, my heating blanket and the couch.  It is pouring rain here and we are expecting even more torrential rain that could possibly turn to flooding.

Wherever you are stay warm, stay dry and stay safe.

Monday, January 2, 2017

The Best of 2016

Happy New Year. I hope 2016 was a good year for you and that the new year is even better.  2016 was defiantly a year to remember; like any year it had it ups and downs.  I like to focus on the positives rather than the negatives.
That being said- here is a snapshot of Best of 2016

The French Lick Retreat
I flew across the country for a weekend to share a room with 3 strangers who are now my friends. We had so much fun with a crazy scavenger hunt and a wild 80's night.  I met up with old friends and made new friends too.  I can't wait to return this year.
Blogger Meet-up 2016 French Lick Retreat
Blogger Meet-up 2016 80's Night French Lick Retreat
Spent part of my Spring break with our good friends showing them some of our favorite vacation spots in central coast California while doing some wine tasting
Tooth and Nail Winery
Wine Tasting
Avilia Beach
Morro Bay
 In May, I received the 21st century teacher award from our Education Foundation.  Each year teachers are nominated by staff, community members or parents.  Definitely a highlight in my career.

Tiffani Mugurussa 21st Century Teacher Award
Tiffani Mugurussa 21st Century Teacher Award
Went to New York in June to work with Scholastic again.  I am one of 22 teacher bloggers who write for their Top Teaching section of thier website.
You can read my blog posts here
Tiffani Mugurussa Scholastic.
Clifford at Scholastic New York
After my work with Scholastic, I extended my stay in NYC and had my husband join me. We saw a Broadway musical and  did lots of touristy things.  Of course my trip would not be complete without a visit to the Teachers Pay Teachers offices.
Broadway Show TicketsTeachers Pay Teachers Visit

In August I received my 20 year pin from the school district,;Year my how time flies. 
Cotati-Rohnert Park 20 year pin
In August I was invited to be a GoNoodle Ambassador- I absolutely LOVE using GoNoodle in my classroom.
GoNoodle Ambassador
In December, we celebrated my grandmothers 100th birthday. She is an amazing woman; she still lives by herself, drives, bakes the best lemon merengue pie and will beat you at scrabble. 
Grandmas 100th birthday
All in all I would say that 2016 had some great memories.  If I choose to focus on the negative aspects, then I won't be able to remember all the wonderful opportunities I had or all the memories I was able to make with my friends and family.

This coming year  I will return to French Lick- I've already begun to make my plans.  
The year has just begun, the possibilities are endless.... 
I wish you a very Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Gingerbread Man-Run, Fun, Run

December is always a busy month in my room, I think I have enough gingerbread books to read one a day.  I like to read and compare several different versions of the stories.  Often my students begin to make the comparisons all on their own.
Gingerbread Man books, Activities and more: classroom idea to start your Gingerbread unit.

Here are just a few of the stories we will be reading.  You can purchase through Amazon.
This year I think the Ninja gingerbread man might be a class favorite- but that could be because I will be bringing in the cookies to go with it.

Links below contain affiliate links

So many Gingerbread books so little time.
So what else do we do besides read Gingerbread stories.
We build bridges for our Gingerbread man to cross.
Gingerbread Manbridge  STEM project for kindergaerten
I divide the students into groups of 3 and then provide them with a variety of building materials.  I get creative an use a lot of odds and ends that I have an abundance of in the classroom;  egg cartons, popsicle sticks, skewers, clothespins, pipe cleaners, and tape.   Their goal is to build a bridge over the container.  

Other festivities involve our Elf delivering a large baked Gingerbread Man cookie. I use a prepackaged cookie mix and then press it into this pan.  Easy-peasy...
Gingerbread Man Cookie Made with Wilton Cookie Pan
Of course He magically jumps off the pan while we are at recess and leaves a note behind.
We then chase him around the school finding more notes, that eventually lead us back to our classroom.  The notes can be found in this packet that comes with pre-designed notes and then blank ones that your can write yourself.
If you need more Gingerbread activities, here are some more from my TpT store that we will be doing this month as well.
Pocket chart and Emergent Reader
Math Centers
Literacy Centers
Well, time to get working on Saturday errands- enjoy the weekend
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