Monday, February 28, 2011

Cat in the Hat

The students were SO EXCITED to kick off our Dr. Seuss unit today.
Over the next two weeks we have many fun Seuss activities planned including rhyming, cooking, adding, painting, sculpting, wearing our pajamas, reading many great books, and much more!

Today we focused on Cat in the Hat.

The children arrived wearing their fun hats.

They loved Dr. Seuss' classic: The Cat in the Hat....

and drawing these beautiful portraits:

Kindergarten Friends,

Check out these FUN Cat in the Hat GAMES:


Mrs. Rider


The children really enjoyed learning more about Washington, Lincoln, and Obama this week. We also learned about the White House.

They have become true experts on the Presidents.
Parents: Please ask your child to share some facts with you!

Here are a few of the projects we worked on this week:

The children loved checking out log cabins using Google Images:

We also made a delicious snack. Click below to check out the recipe.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Breaking FISH NEWS!!!

I was absolutely delighted to find tiny baby guppy fish (called fry) swimming around our classroom aquarium. I knew that my growing scientists would be just as delighted and couldn't wait to see their reactions.

I covered the tank before the children arrived... and during our morning meeting I informed the children that something had happened inside the tank. As scientists I asked them to figure out what had happened.

First, they made predictions:

-the snails crawled out
- the fish died
- we had a new creature in the tank
-the light broke
-the fish had babies
- the plants were moved by the snails and fish

Then, in secret small groups, we made observations:

After everyone had a chance to make the discovery that there were several new baby guppy fish in the tank we had a discussion about how this happened, what we needed to do to help these fish survive and grow, etc.

Then one of the students said, "We HAVE to put these in our Science Notebooks!" Hooray!!

The students drew what they had observed... and then wrote about it.

Later in the afternoon several students discovered that there were not just 3 like we had originally thought... they are 7! We have decided that we need to update that number our science notebooks tomorrow and add the correct term for our baby guppies: fry.

The children and I are so excited about the living science exhibit in our classroom. It provided an awesome, authentic learning opportunity!

Kindergarten Friends,
Can you spot one of our new fish in this picture?
Thank you for working so hard in Science.
You are amazing Scientists who inspire me often!
Mrs. Rider

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award


A few of my fellow bloggers have given me a special shout out:

The Stylish Blogger Award


Mrs. Langston from Langston's Learners

She is an amazing 1st grade teacher with so many great ideas. If you haven't checked out her blog yet, do it now!! My son Scott was lucky enough to be in her class in 1st grade. So thankful!

Catherine Wood from Mrs. Wood's Kindergarten Class has a ton of great ideas for Kindergarten.

Finally, my friend and team member, Stacy from Off to Kindergarten. She loves teaching, has great ideas, and just happens to be sporting the cutest baby bump right now.

Here are the rules for receiving this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award.

2. Share 7 things about yourself.

3. Award 5 recently discovered great bloggers.

4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award.

Seven Things about Me

1. I am a mom to two amazing kids! Scott and Madilynn add so much love and laughter to my life!

2. I L-O-V-E teaching All Day Kindergarten. I have an amazing team, teach in a wonderful community, and love my 5 and 6 year old friends tremendously.

3. I am slightly obsessed with Children's Literature. My library card ALWAYS holds 150 check-outs and my Amazon cart gets filled with new books weekly. : )

4. I love games! Catch Phrase, Cranium, Taboo, Euchre, you name it!

5. I love cooking... and trying new recipes.

6. I am terrified of flying.

7. I am itching to start working on another degree. It's a lot of work with teaching and having young children, but I absolutely love learning more about my craft.

There are so many fabulous bloggers out there. Here are five GREAT blogs:

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!

Gus made this for me.... using 30 lego pieces!


Dear Kindergarten Friends and Parents,
Thank you very much for making my 30th Birthday so special!
I am so glad that I get to spend time with each of you- laughing, reading, learning, writing, painting, counting, and so much more!
I LOVED all of your surprises! They made me smile! : )
Mrs. Rider

My kindergarten class surprised me on my birthday. Each student brought in "30" special items as gifts.
Some of the gifts included:

30 pencils
30 stickers
30 tootsie rolls
30 hershey kisses
30 buttons
30 piece lego heart
30 pieces of gum
30 googly eyes
30 M&Ms
30 tootise pops
30 pieces of chocolate
30 words to describe me and our time at kindergarten
a beautiful picture book with 30 pages

Check out some of their sweet gifts:

They also made me a HUGE banner and each child made me a birthday card. I was absolutely overwhelmed by their thoughtfulness.

Thank you!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We have a winner!!!

Thank you to everyone who entered my first giveaway.

Congrats to Dana Baker from:

She is the WINNER of the 2011 Caldecott Winner: A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Congratulations Dana!

Friday, February 11, 2011

LAST CHANCE to Enter!! Amos McGee Book Giveaway


*originally posted 2/3/2011
*last chance to enter TODAY 2/11/2011 @ 9:00 p.m. PST
*PLEASE MAKE SURE you leave a comment for EACH way you have entered (followed the blog, named a children's book you love, etc.)

WIN the 2011 Caldecott Winner!!!! Book Giveaway!

The children in my class make me smile.... often. This year my students have been particularly interested in pointing out books that have been awarded Caldecott Medals. It is one of the first things they notice when I share a new book with them. Several students have drawn these medals on the covers of books they've written in Writer's Workshop. This makes me smile!!

There have been many times that we have read an outstanding book (that has NOT won a Caldecott) and the children say, "Now THIS BOOK really deserves a Caldecott.Why in the world didn't this awesome book win?". Again, I'm smiling!!

It's so exciting to hear 5 and 6 year old children talking about books with such insight, interest, and excitement.

When this year's Caldecott winner was announced I couldn't wait to buy the book and share it with my students.

The 2011 Caldecott Winner is......

A Sick Day for Amos McGee

Amos McGee works at the zoo. He always makes time for his animals friends, until one day he wakes up with "the sniffles and the sneezes and the chills"....
This is such a sweet book about friendship. My class really loved it!

The book was written by Phillip Stead, and illustrated by his wife, Erin Stead. The students were surprised to hear that this was the first published book that Erin has illustrated.

Here's what my students had to say about it:

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I am giving away a copy of this awesome book.


1. Become a follower of this blog: Literacy and Laughter
* If you are already a follower, just leave a comment saying so for your entry.

2. "Like" the blog's Facebook Page: Literacy and Laughter on Facebook

3. Blog or Facebook about this post and send me the link

4. Leave a comment about your FAVORITE children's book - Caldecott winner or not : )

*** Please leave a comment for EACH of the ways you've entered. ****

Entries must be received by: Friday, February 11th @ 9:00 p.m. PST.

I will be randomly choosing a winner on Saturday, February 12th.

Good Luck!!!