FARM Round Up

Somehow, for some reason, some things just get old after teaching them a few times! If I ever get to feeling this way I usually will try to perk it up a bit with a new resource or a new approach! At any rate, when I do it always seems to come out on the great end for kids anyway since they love the activities and it makes it a deeper learning experience for them!

There are SO many great classroom titles to  use when teaching about Farm... and by the way, honestly teaching the farm theme never gets old for me! I love it. Maybe it's my farm girl roots, or my love for Fixer Upper or anything chippy, cute or born on a farm!  It lends itself to so many fun classroom activities and centers!
I love getting out the farm animals and putting  them in the block center, and seeing all of the creative ways the littles build their pens, etc. Creating a sensory lab or station with corn, beans, some little farm animals and craft sticks makes for some wonderful imaginative play!

I always try to use natural ways to get kids talking and "putting miles on their tongues" as we learn about a new topic. I use this little reader during the entire unit as something to do when finished, as
a small group activity or a time filler to take out and read together when we have a minute or two to fill! They love being able to read it, and I love giving them lots of opportunities to practice reading behaviors and oral language! At the end of the unit they LOVE taking their books home to read to their families! It's so fun to ask them the next day what mom and dad thought of their reading... sweetest smiles! So proud! 

Another fun activity for a farm unit is Write the Room! There are sooo many amazing reasons to write the room! Do you do it in your classroom?
Write the Room is one of my go to centers for each theme! I love how they get so good at it and when the theme changes they go to town on the new cards! I also love how they use the words in their everyday writing! They remember where in the room the cards are and love recalling them to use!
It's so quick and easy to print the cards, cut and place them around the room. All you need is clip boards, pencils and copies of the response pages!

If you've used  any of my close reading resources you  might like this fun 
learning a little more in depth about the farm animals. The facts they pick up and
are able to write and report about are pretty impressive. The passages, as with all
of my other close reading resources, are original and especially written for little learners.
They are packed with vocabulary and literacy skills that build thinkers!

Check back often, I have more farm activities in the works and can't wait to share them with you soon!


If You Give A Pig A Pancake

BIG FAN of Laura Numeroff & Felicia Bond! I mean really big! I LOVE their books so much! SO much that I decided we need more of them in our lives!! Designing and creating companion activities to go with books is how I got my start and what I most love to do!

Making the book go further, extending it and squeezing out every possible opportunity of learning and fun in the classroom is my goal! I LOVE that when you do book extensions the books become part of your classroom in a way that just reading them can't. I LOVE that the books become like old friends... our experiences with them beg to be remembered later on... "Remember when we..."

Integrating so many parts of our day using the activities in different contexts and content areas just makes for a much more rich and engaging experience! I have LOVED working on this resource!
I love taking a book that I've had for a long, long time, and breathing new life into interacting with it!

If you have this book and you are looking for a companion, I bet you and your kids will LOVE it too!

Teachers Pay Teachers links to resources:

If You Give A Pig A Pancake Story Companion

Amazon Affiliate for the book:
(Click on photo for link)


3 Reasons to Write the Room

Why Write the Room??

It might just seem like a fun and easy way to insert your theme into centers, but it is SO much more!
Underneath those cute cards taped up around the room, and that clipboard in tow are the makings of
a powerful punch of academics and fine motor skills wrapped up into one neat little package!
Here's why:

1. Writing/Reading

For obvious reasons...

Writing: practicing writing letters and words in orders that don't happen in everyday class work
(cvc etc.) name writing, numbers etc.

Reading: Looking around the room for the cards, then visually discriminating the letters they see
is more challenging for a little learner than you might think! Imagine yourself doing the same thing,
looking around the room for a card so that you can write the word, only your characters are in 
Chinese (Mandarin).... would you have to look hard? Would you have to study the characters to 
see how to make them? I would presume it's much like that for many of our littles! 

2. Oral Language

Not an obvious one, but important nonetheless. As they are walking around working to find cards
and then set to work writing... they are talking! Magical academic language at it's best! I LOVE to sneak up behind and eavesdrop a bit on the conversations! So good! Asking questions, taking turns
speaking and listening. Ya, I like it.

3. Fine motor skills/dexterity/hand and wrist strength

Whoa!! The power of what happens during Write the Room in the area of motor skills is mind-blowing! Think of all they are doing by holding a clipboard at a slant and holding a pencil to
write at a slant....

hand and wrist strength
strong control of finger muscles (fine motor)

Play has changed a LOT in the last few years. Kids are tableting more and writing less, dexterity has
suffered! They need LOTS of opportunities to practice fine motor skills in productive ways that
can provide academic perks as well! 

I have always loved providing write the room opportunities and I include write the room in nearly all of my resources, even my close reading resources have write the room included for each passage! I have had lots of requests to make more stand alone write the rooms, so I've been adding a few here and there! If you've never tried it with your class, I hope you will! Let me know how it goes!

If you need help getting started, here are some simple resources to get you going!
Click on the pictures for the links!