Saturday, March 22, 2014

St. Patrick's Day Book Reports and Spring Read-In!

St. Patrick's Day is quite possibly my favorite holiday to celebrate with the students!! The magic and trickery of the leprechaun, the history of Ireland, and all of the GREEEN! In the past I've made a special green pancake breakfast for my kids, given kids black plastic pots filled with Lucky Charms (from the leprechaun, of course!), and given gold foil chocolate coins. We are no longer allowed to have food in classrooms so I've gotten more creative....

Each year I now stamp green footprints on each student's desk with a baby foot stamper and green, washable ink. I sprinkle mini rainbow, gold coin, and leprechaun hat erasers around their desks with gold glitter as well. They love it!

During the month of March, each of my firsties complete one book report each week working toward a goal of 4 reports. At the end of the month, we have a special "First Grade Read In" to celebrate their hard work! Students wear jammies, slippers, and robes to school. They bring blankets and stuffed animals. We spend the entire morning reading all of our favorite books. Our principal comes to each classroom to read a story as well! I took this idea from Pinterest and re-imagined it for my own classroom:

In order to track their book report progress, each student has a black pot with a handprint rainbow. For each book report they return, they receive a "gold coin" for their pot. (Really it's just a yellow garage sale dot, but holy moly do they love it!) We hang the handprint pots in the hallway to brighten up the space and remind ourselves that despite this horrific winter, SPRING IS ON THE WAY!

This year, my teaching partner Amy and I both have student teachers. So, as the fabulous student teachers were teaching in the morning, Amy and I were able to paint the hands of all 180-some first graders for this project. (Yes, there are 7 first grade classrooms in my school!) Amy is a genius, so we started by pouring paint into ketchup bottles for easy storage and transportation of the paint. Check out the photos below for what we did!   

{HINT}: if you're going to do this, start with the yellow painted finger first to avoid color mixing!
Voila! A new tradition is born! Now, what will we do next year without student teachers?!? Eek!

Talk soon,

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