Dr. Seuss’s 109th birthday is tomorrow, March 2nd, so of course our Tree Frogs have been celebrating this week!

Theme Days

On Wednesday, our theme was Fox in Socks, so we all wore wacky socks to school. All the kids who came to the library were so excited to show me their colorful feet!

Yesterday, we celebrated The Cat in the Hat by wearing our favorite hats to school–baseball caps, berets, golf hats, cowboy hats, animal hats, and even some really kooky hats!

And today we wore our pajamas for the book I Am NOT Going to Get Up Today!

Guest Readers!

We also enjoyed visits from some very special guest readers organized by the GFWC Four Corners Woman’s Club. Just like last year, our visiting readers included several members of the club as well as some local celebrities.

This year’s most famous reader was Athens-Clarke County Sheriff Ira Edwards, Jr., who read to Mrs. Smith’s PreK class in the library.

PreK group hug!Thank you, Sheriff Edwards!
PreK group hug!
Thank you, Sheriff Edwards!

Besides sending us such wonderful visiting readers today, the club also donated a box of brand new Dr. Seuss books and a Cat in the Hat hat to our school!

Thanks so much to to the Four Corners Woman’s Club for supporting our Tree Frogs on Read Across America Day. 🙂

1st Grade – Thinking About Equality with The Sneetches

In 1st grade over the last few weeks, we have been focusing on themes of freedom and equality as we’ve learned about Harriet Tubman and Thomas Jefferson, two historical figures in the 1st grade social studies standards. (I’ll be sharing our first graders’ thoughts on freedom with you next week!)

To tie into this theme, our 1st grade read-aloud this week was The Sneetches and Other Stories:

image from http://www.indiebound.org

As my 1st graders entered the library, some students were Star-Belly Sneetches. They got the privilege of sitting on the rug, and they received little star stickers.

Those stars weren’t so big. They were really so small. You might think such a thing wouldn’t matter at all.

Some students didn’t get stickers when they came in. They were Plain-Belly Sneetches, and they sat behind the rug, away from the rest of the group.

As we read the story, the students who received star stickers got to act out playing games, roasting frankfurters and marshmallows, and bragging about their stars. The students who were Plain-Belly Sneetches acted out being cold, sad, and lonely as they watched the fun.

When Sylvester McMonkey McBean shows up in the story with his “peculiar machine,” the Plain-Belly Sneetches acted out going through the machine and getting their own star stickers to be like their Star-Belly classmates, and then we read the rest of the story to see what the Sneetches learned.

Not only was this activity a fun and engaging way for students to connect with the story’s theme, but of course it was also a great excuse to give the kids stickers. And I’m sure you know that 1st graders love stickers. 🙂

After discussing “The Sneetches” in some detail, we spent time enjoying the rest of the silly stories in the book, including one of my favorites, “Too Many Daves” (which I can relate to because my brother and my dad are both named Dave, too!).

Writing with And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street

In kindergarten this week, as well as in Mrs. Barrett’s 4th grade class, we read Dr. Seuss’s very first children’s book, And to Think That I Saw it on Mulberry Street:

image from http://www.indiebound.org

The kids were amazed when they learned that this book, published in 1937, is 76 years old!

After we read the first page of the book, we talked about what Marco’s dad meant when he said “Stop turning minnows into whales.” I had students put their fingers really close together to show me how tiny minnows are, and then they stretched their arms out w–i–d–e to show me how big a whale is. Then I explained that Marco was going to see something very small and ordinary on his way home from school, but as we read the story, we would watch it grow into something HUGE!

As we watched a simple horse and wagon gradually transform into a fantastic parade in Marco’s imagination, we showed his story growing by spreading our fingers and then our hands farther and farther apart!

After reading the story together, we used the Gone Google Story Builder as a publishing tool for our kindergarten classes to write their own stories called “And to Think That I Saw it on Chase Street!”

The kids loved watching the words they dictated show up on the screen as I was typing, and they had even more fun seeing the finished video with music at the end!

Click the links to view our kindergarten videos:

And in Mrs. Barrett’s 4th grade class, students wrote their own individual stories with the same title, and then they were invited to share their Google Docs with me if they wanted them published on the library blog. Here are two great stories by Katie Sue and Zy’Maria:

I may have some more 4th graders share their stories with me later, so stay tuned for updates!

Did you enjoy any fun activities for Dr. Seuss’s birthday this week? If so, leave a comment–I’d love to hear about your celebrations, too!