Sunday, March 5, 2017

Dr. Seuss Spirit Week

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March is coming up fast and this past week our school did a school wide spirit days in honor of Dr.Seuss. This amazing author will always be one of my favorites and regardless of age of the students in my class, I will continue to read to them these classic books because they have such meaning ingrained in them that they speak to all generations.

My first classroom was Dr.Seuss themed and I just loved being able to pull in his books to teach lessons. As I moved grades and was placed in 5th my classroom theme changed from Dr. Seuss to Hockey (another love of mine). Yet, I still tie Dr.Seuss into my school year. I love using Sneetches to discuss the Civil Rights Movement or Lorax to discuss environmentalism. Of course, there is not a year that goes by with out me reading my favorite, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, while the students discuss plot and figurative language. Dr.Seuss will forever be a favorite so I had to make his birthday a big deal. March 2nd is Dr Seuss's birthday which has become a school holiday in its own right called Read Across Amercia Day. Schools celebrate in their own ways and make plenty of time to read on this day in honor of a man who did so much for children's literature.

In the past two years I have celebrated this week with my 5th grade class tying skills or lessons to different Dr. Seuss books. I will always remember the joy of my first year when my students brought pillows and read in the dark with flashlights for "All the Places You Will Glow" Day. My 5th graders were beyond excited to do it and it was refreshing to see them just enjoy a good book. This year I have had a chance to help with House Council (our schools version of Student Council). We created a school wide spirit week to promote school spirit and a love for reading!



Like I said before I love tying lessons and making it relevant for 5th graders:

Monday- Fox and Socks Fluency Read Off: Students practiced then competed to read a passage from Fox in Socks. This works of fluency, friendly competition, and a reminder of growth mindset that we have bee discussing this year.

Tuesday- One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish: Students practiced math skills by "catching" fish from around the room. I have cast out paper fish with different math problems on them, one per fish. Students worked in pairs to answer the math problem on the back of the fish and check with me to see if they got it correct. If they were incorrect they would have to try again, but if they got it correct they got to cast it back out and catch another one. I stole this amazing idea from a fellow teacher in the building who used it to practice for the quarterly assessments.
I have also done the activity where the students have a packet of problems and have to "catch" a fish that only has a number on it, and based on the number they answer that problem in their packet. Either way it is fun for students to enjoy a good math fishing derby!

Wednesday- Sneetches Debate: Students listened to the story The Sneetches and discuss how it relates to the Civil Rights Movement. This story has such strong ties to bullying and segregation that no matter the age I think it can be discussed and related to.
If there is time next year I would like the students to debate to who is more at fault for the segregation the Sneetches or Mr. McBean (the machine owner who can change the stars).

Thursday- Cat in the Hat Day: Students had a set time to read in the classroom and curl up with a good book. I had the students bring in pillows or a stuffed animal. I even took out my flashlights and had the students read in the dark. I wanted to make it a fun, comfy reading day to celebrate Dr. Seuss and his love for reading.

Students Read Around the Room 


Friday- Oh the Places You Will Go: As a class we will discussed SMART Goals and how to think about future. I want students to think about how much work and perseverance comes with going for your dreams. We will practice soft skills like handshake, conversations, and active listening. With any luck, next year I might be able to have a volunteer or two come in and talk about goals while also allowing the students to converse with them in small groups to practice their conversation skills.

Overall, I was really excited to celebrate this week with my students and enjoy the amazing spirit days that go with it! How do you use Dr. Seuss in your classroom? Let me know in the comments below or  tweet me @teacher_power

Hope to hear from you soon!

We Had a Blast on Cat in the Hat Day!

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