Thursday, February 19, 2015

Five for Friday- Canada, Signs of Spring, and Sticker Stories

It's Friday!!!!!

I am please to be linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five For Friday linky!  Here are five things I've been up to lately!
  This week we did one of my favorite writing activities: Sticker Stories!  It's so easy, and the kids just LOVE it.  Just put out stickers and have your students basically use them as story starters. 
Months ago I came across these fabulous photographic "pet" stickers and I knew immediately that I would use them for sticker stories.  I demonstrated to the students to put the picture on their cover page (they were using quarter page folded booklets). I showed them how to add details to the cover by adding the setting.  Then they wrote about the animal.  Because there were additional pages to the book, they needed to draw their animal on the inside pages.   
The students loved naming their pets and writing about what their pets needed and what they liked to do.  Some students wrote 2 or 3 of these books in a single sitting because they were so invested in the idea and so excited about the process!  
We have been talking about things that living things need and also about some characteristics of living things.  Because it can be hard to set aside dedicated science time, I tend to incorporate it into my morning message/morning meeting.  This is my smart board file for discussing some of the characteristics.  It was fairly simple to set up: I just typed out some suggested "think points" for thought and discusssion, and then linked some videos and diagrams to the shown images.  The students LOVE how this livens up the morning message.  The first day when we were discussing that "living things reproduce" I linked to a video of baby seashorses emerging from the father seahorse's pouch.  They were fascinated.  Branching off in this way is such a fun way to incorporate little tidbits that these kids just soak up.
 We have begun our mini-unit on Canadian symbols.  I love teaching this unit.   I read the students some cute books about Canada and we talk about the symbols on our coins and the flag, etc.  The kids usually get a kick out of my stories about being SO OLD that I was alive before Canada had one dollar and two dollar coins.  

This book (Why I Love Canada) is a sweet book with kids' words about why they love Canada.  
 This other one (Oh, Canada) goes through the provinces and territories and shows the province's flag, provincial tree, provincial flower, and provincial bird.  It also shows a famous landmark or pastime from each province.  Because I've been to most of the provinces across the country, it's fun to see many landmarks that I've been privileged to visit!
One of the highlights of the unit is the little "All About Canada" booklet that we read and color.  If you would like to see my Canadian Symbols unit, you can find it here. 
I have some early readers who are benefitting from our little finger-flashlights these days.  How fun are these???  I picked them up from the dollar store.

A few weeks ago I decided that I needed to re-vamp my eating.  I have been LOVING using the My Fitness Pal app.  It really feels like a game to me to stay within my alloted calorie amount and it's so interesting to learn about the nutrition values in my food choices.   I'm feeling so good!  

For Valentine's Day last Saturday we didn't do anything fancy, but I did enjoy these roses!  There is one rose for each member of my family.  I made the kids their supper all in heart-shapes which was pretty cute, but they dug into their food so quickly that I didn't get a good picture. 
Spring has sprung here on the west coast.  My snowdrop flowers are in full bloom!  
I went on a photo walk with my little guy.  He brought along a toy camera and I brought along my "big" camera.  We had a blast finding small and big, ordinary and extraordinary things to photograph!

Here he is photographing the tall trees against the blue sky. 
 My little explorer. 
We found a few horseshoe prints by a nearby farm. 
 Sunset at the farm. 

I hope you have a lovely relaxing weekend doing whatever refreshes you!  I plan to spend some time with some friends at breakfast on Saturday morning, family time with the kids and my hubby the rest of the day, and go on a fun outing to the city on Sunday!


  1. I love your blog! I remember doing sticker stories when I was a kid! Love your photos as well!
    On the Go Teacher Mama

  2. I think sticker stories would be very welcome with my group over this long winter - thanks for the great idea! We use the finger lights, too ♥ . Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos! Jen

  3. Oooh - I had totally forgotten about sticker stories. I did that last year with my kiddos, and they loved it! I will have to try it again this year. It really gets their creative juices flowing!!