Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween From the Rider Family!!

Hope you all have a fun, safe Halloween... 
with plenty of tricks and treats!
 Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Head over to JibJab to make your own! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cooking in Kindergarten: Monster Mash

Cooking with Kindergarteners- always a huge hit!

Today we made Monster Mash.

I really wish I had brought in my flip camera today to record Mrs. Raymore as she read the recipe to each group.
I am positive that Food Network would have called her up to offer her a special Halloween cooking show for kids. 
She is the best! 

Here's the printable recipe:

monster mash -

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Funny Pumpkins

My kindergarten friends ABSOLUTELY LOVED making these and I can't help but smile each time I walk past this bulletin board.

Kindergarten Friends- can you find your funny pumpkin?

I found this idea on Pinterest- but no credit was given just that the source was

 We just painted the entire surface of a piece of easel paper orange. The next day we cut out pumpkin shapes, then added eyes, a mouth, and teeth with construction paper. 

Such a simple, fun idea... 
I can't wait to make them with my own children tonight! 

Thanks to everyone who has voted for my blog to receive the Top Ten Teacher Blog award through Circle of Moms.
You can vote daily through November 8th!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Please vote!!


Literacy and Laughter has been nominated for a
 Top 25 Teacher Mom Blog Award! 

I absolutely love being a mom, teacher, and blogger- so an award that recognizes all three is outstanding!

Please consider taking a moment and voting for my blog. 
You can vote one time each day (and vote for multiple blogs each time you visit).

click here to vote


Tuesday, October 25, 2011


THANK YOU to everyone who entered and/or blogged about my giveaway.
I really loved reading all of your posts and comments!

Maybe I shouldn't have asked for your favorite font ideas though...
 I am SERIOUSLY out of control over at Lettering Delights! 

Time for the winner....

Jess- please email with your mailing address along with how you would like the book to be personalized.

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Have you entered my giveaway yet??


The winner will receive a personalized, autographed copy of Square Cat... and a $15.00 gift certificate to Lettering Delights. 

As April from Chalk Talk said in her post about the giveaway, 
"What teacher doesn't LOVE books and fun fonts?" 

CLICK HERE to check out all of the details and to enter.
Deadline is TONIGHT- Sunday, October 23rd @ 11:00 p.m.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Field Trip to the Police and Fire Station

Here are some shots from our field trip to the
 Police and Fire Station:

Posing with Officer Miller

Checking out the jail cell

Firefighter Mark teaching us about Fire Safety

The children LOVED their fire hats!

Thank you to all of the parents & grandparents who were able to join us on our trip! We all had fun and learned a great deal from our community helpers.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Mentor Texts for Writer's Workshop

Funky First Grade Fun is hosting a Mentor Text Link Up!

I am very passionate about Writer's Workshop and finding the perfect mentor texts to share with my Growing Writers. It is so exciting when my kindergarten friends reference mentor texts and discuss the choices that authors and illustrators have made.

It is way too difficult to choose a favorite, but 
I have it down to 10 that I am loving right now.

For speech bubbles and movement:

For drawing faces & showing a character's emotions:
My students love this book and reference it often! 
Check out our faces after reading it: All About Faces

for filling up the white space:

for number list books:

for alphabet list books (and details):

for special memories:

(also great for teaching about using descriptions to give the reader a clear picture of events/things)

for non-fiction:
(love Gail's use of text features)

and finally...

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this book

check out what we did with this AWESOME mentor text:
This Plus That Kindergarten Style

Here are some other Writer's Workshop ideas that I am loving on Pinterest:

I can't wait to see all of the mentor texts that you use!

Link up here:

Monday, October 17, 2011

Paint and Collage Monsters

Check out these creative little monsters:
Click to play this Smilebox slideshow
Create your own slideshow - Powered by Smilebox
Another slideshow by Smilebox

Students used two spoonfuls of different colored paint, folded their paper and squished the paint around, and then added collage materials for fun details.
So simple and we loved the way they turned out!

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Autographed Book & Lettering Delights Giveaway!!!

I was absolutely delighted when Elizabeth Schoonmaker, author of the book Square Cat, emailed me a couple of weeks ago to let me know she loved my blog.

Say what?!?

I hope that you have had the privilege of reading Square Cat. It is an adorable story about Eula and the difficulties she faces as a square cat - living in a world with friends who are all round. 

A sweet book about friendship and self-acceptance!

Elizabeth has graciously offered to give away an autographed copy of her book through my blog. She said that she will personalize it (to you, your class, for a child's birthday- whatever you choose!)

Check out what other people are saying about Square Cat here:

The winner will also receive a $15 gift certificate to Lettering Delights!!!

I just joined and am L-O-V-I-N-G all of the fonts and graphics. 

There are 3 ways to enter this giveaway:

1. Follow my blog and leave a comment saying you have done so. (If you are already a follower just leave a comment letting me know!)

2. Blog about my giveaway and leave me a comment with a link to the post. 

3. Leave a comment about your favorite Lettering Delight font.  

*All entries must be received by
 Sunday, October 23rd 11:00 p.m. 

Winner will be selected through a random drawing and will be announced on
 Monday, October 24th!

Good Luck!!!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Cooking in Kindergarten: Monster Toast

My kindergarten friends always look forward to cooking on Thursdays.

This week we made

Here is a copy of the recipe to print. 

Monster Toast -
*from Baking Buddies
(Yikes! Not sure why the preview on docstoc always looks bad... but prints great!) 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Scientists at Work

My kindergarten friends and I have been learning about 
Science and Scientists. 

Here are some of the great books we've read:


We also LOVED viewing and discussing this awesome 

We made this What is Science? anchor chart:

Thanks to Kreative in Kinder for the inspiration!

The children also drew different types of scientists in their Science Notebooks:

We discussed the different types of tools that scientists use and had the opportunity to use a microscope!

Here are some other fun Science activities I have pinned:

We have a great group of scientists this year and I can't wait to continue exploring and discovering with them!