This week was BUSY (aren’t they all?)

First, last weekend was a long weekend, so along with some of my boring weekend things, I got to sneak in some friend time. I saw my pals Rob and Mary, which made me so happy. I also got to go to Target with my folks AND I got a thai yoga massage – OMG, get one of those someday, please!

Tuesday was back to work, so here’s a run down on lessons and storytimes from this week.

On Tuesday, the whole day was dedicated to Jarrett J. Krosoczka. He is one of my favorite authors/illustrators (he came to DFES and was a GREAT author visit). His new picture book, Ollie, came out on Tuesday and to celebrate, he did a virtual storytime – ALL DAY. On the hour, every hour. What a fantastic idea! So, I was able to share his books and a little about him with all of my Tuesday classes. After he read the book, we were able to “chat” and ask him questions. LOVED it!

After Tuesday, it was time for regular lessons. In Kindergarten, we are starting to talk about bats and October stuff (pumpkins, spiders, etc.). They are learning about bats in their classroom (or will be soon) and so I decided to start an author study on Brian Lies. We are reading his books and visiting his website. I will also be reading a Non-Fiction book about bats. This week, I introduced the author and we watched a DVD of Bats at the Beach. This DVD includes a little segment of the author talking about his work. Before watching, I had them brainstorm what they already know about bats. After the entire lesson is over (I plan to wrap it up the week of Halloween), they will make book bats – on the book, they will write a fact they learned about bats. I’ve done the book bat activity with Kindergarten in the past and it is always a hit.

With 1st grade, the guidance counselor and I did a lesson together about cooperation (our LIFESKILL of the week). She talked about what cooperation is and I read Today I Will Fly! By Mo Willems (Piggie gets help from a bird to fly). After more discussion about cooperation, we led them in some partner yoga. It was fun!

2nd graders read Miss Brooks Loves Books (and I Don’t) to kick off the South Carolina Picture Book Award program. I read it to some classes with a quick overview of the program. Because I had a little more time with one class, they came up to my computer to record what THEIR favorite book is after I read it.

I went to Park North this week AND we had a Lion Cub Storytime! It was so nice to see my Park North friends and it was wonderful to see so many new little lions! I did the same thing for both groups:

*Read The Mystery Vine by Falwell

*5 Little Pumpkins fingerplay (I use a glove with velcro pumpkins)

*Pumpkin bowling (idea found at this blog on Pinterest!) – I used a mini-pumpkin and let them roll it towards a stack of toilet paper that looked like ghosts. There were no prizes or anything, but if you’d like to play with rules – here you go!

“Official rules” from http://pumpkinnook.com/hween/games.htm

Pumpkin Bowling:

Object of Game: Knock over the bowling pins. Make a strike or a spare.


  1. Select several small pumpkins about four to six inches in diameter. You need extras in case a few split or break.

  2. Place plastic (children’s set) of bowling pins several feet away on the lawn or floor of the room.

  3. A great alternative to bowling pins are plastic liter bottles. Let the kids decorate them with Halloween objects before the game.

Playing the Game:

  1. Measure off several feet.

  2. Give each child two tries to knock down the pins.

  3. A strike is worth two pieces of candy.

  4. A spare is worth one piece of candy.

*Told the cut and tell story of the little witch and the house. LOVE THIS and had forgotten about it – used to tell it to all my kids at DFES. Glad I found it again. The look of surprise on everyone’s face is great when you finish the story.

*They made a mask with a paper plate and a popsicle stick (EASY)!

*Snack was a little smores kit – little bag with pumpkin shaped marshmallow, fun size Hersey bar, and graham crackers.YUM!

Yoga on Friday was PIZZA themed!

*Read Pete’s a Pizza by Steig

*We pretended to be pizza dough and were “rolled out.” I had cut up pool noodles that they used to roll out their pizza dough with (they had a partner and they rolled the noodle up and down their partner’s back – like they were rolling out dough!)

*I showed them “pizza” poses that went along with a story I wrote about eating pizza. Everytime I said one of the pose words, they needed to get into the pose. The poses were: pizza (lay flat on your tummy), table, chair, broccoli (tree), meat (cow), dog, and cooling breath. My story was: I love pizza. My favorite kind has lots of BROCCOLI on it. My husband’s favorite has a lot of MEAT! When I sit in my CHAIR at the kitchen TABLE to eat PIZZA, my DOG goes crazy! I like for my PIZZA to be hot, so I have to use a COOLING BREATH to cool it down.

*Then, we played freeze dance yoga with the song E Eats Everything by TMBG

*After that, it was time to relax!

So, that was my week! Got some exciting news on Wednesday – I am the 2011 – 2012 NPES Teacher of the Year. That’s nice. I work with good people 🙂



About Valerie Byrd Fort

I live in South Carolina. I am passionate about libraries, books, and reading. I am also a mom. This is my blog about those things.
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