Tuesday, January 31, 2012

the heart project fundraiser kickoff

I am so excited to be a part of the heart project, a collaborative project to raise money for the American Heart Association. There are more than 70 bloggers who have teamed up to provide a beautiful ebook of heart projects in order to raise money for the AHA.  The group is headed up by Jamie at Hands On: As We Grow.
The book includes 100 + ideas for kids. The projects are divided into four sections cook, create, play, and display. There are  photographs with links to the project instructions for each project! My contribution was the "I Love You More" Heart which was based on the book, "I Love You More". (Stick around to the end of the post, and I'll tell you how to win that book too!!)
The book is loaded with other heart themed activities. Here's a sample:

You can get a copy of the book by donating $5 to the American Heart Association. Our goal is to raise $1,000 for the AHA by Valentine's Day. The book is only available for download through donation for the month of February! Get it before it's gone!
Add to Cart

There is also a printed version available for $20 plus shipping ($5 of each purchase of the printed soft cover book will go to the AHA)
US $20.00

We really want to make this project a success so we've teamed up with some companies to sponsor the project. 
craftprojectideas.com showing the love

For every book sold, Craftprojectideas.com is donating $1! That means in addition to your $5 donation by purchasing the The Heart Book, Craftprojectideas.com will donate another $1 on your behalf (up to $500!)

We are also partnered with Melissa and Doug and Fudoo Boards. They are offering great prize packs which will be auctioned off. Check out the links to the auctions on ebay.

Fundraiser Auctions:
♥  All proceeds of each auction will go to the AHA  

Melissa & Doug -  4 Trunki with Teddy Bear Auctions!

  1. Trunki with Teddy Bear, ends Feb 10
  2. Trunki with Teddy Bear, ends Feb 10
  3. Trunki with Teddy Bear, ends Feb 10
  4. Trunki with Teddy Bear, ends Feb 10

Fudoo Boards - 3 Fudoo Board Kits for Auction!
  1. Fudoo Board Kit, ends Feb 10
  2. Fudoo Board Kit, ends Feb 10
  3. Fudoo Board Kit, ends Feb 10
    And of course, we have to thank all of YOU, who read our blogs and support this cause! To thank you for your participation, many of the bloggers who contributed to the project are offering giveaways from now until Valentine's Day.
    Guess who has the first giveaway??? Me. me. me!!! I'm posting it EARLY tomorrow (Wednesday) morning and it will run until Valentine's Day.

    Melissa & Doug, Fudoo Boards, and Craftprojectideas.com will also be offering giveaways. 
    Be sure to check back each day to enter that day's giveaways! 

    Contributing bloggers

    hands on : as we grow
    A Little Learning for Two Among Many Blessings
    Angelique Felix
    At Home with Ali Broken Treasures
    Busy at Home
    Busy Kids Happy Mom Carrie Saindon's Photo Journey
    Child Central Station
    Classified: Mom Classroom Magic
    Creative with Kids
    Creativity My Passion Critters and Crayons
    De Tout et de Rien
    Dilly-Dali Art Dinosaurs & Octopuses
    Excited 2 Learn
    Hand Over the Cookies Handprint & Footprint Art
    Happy Hooligans
    Heart Journey Imagination Soup
    Jamie's Jumble
    Kitchen Counter Chronicles Kreative Resources
    Let Kids Create
    Little Illuminationss Living Montessori Now
    Loudness of the Lambs
    Love and Lollipops  Mama, hocemo nesto da pravimo
    Mama Pea Pod
    Mama Smiles  MemeTales
    Messy Kids
    Mindful Meanderings  Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas
    Mommy Labs
    Mommy Perks  Mum Paints Lives
    Mummy Mummy Mum
    My Creative Family  NurtureStore
    One Artsy Mama
    Peace Love & Rainbows  Play Dr Mom
    Putti Prapancha
    Rainbows within Reach  Reading Confetti
    Ready. Set. Read!
    Red Ted Art  Sense of Wonder
    Share & Remember
    Stacy Molter  Sun Hats & Wellie Boots
    Teach Preschool
    The Artful Child  The Chocolate Muffin Tree
    The Craft Barn
    The Educators' Spin on It  The Golden Gleam
    The Imagination Tree
    The Iowa Farmer's Wife  The Joy of My Life
    The Kids Fun Review
    The Outlaw Mom Blog  The Preschool Toolbox
    The Seeds Network
    Toddler Approved

    Don't forget to enter my giveaway!

    Monday, January 30, 2012

    100th Day of School Activities

    Jakes 100th day of school, lester laminack, math stories, early math, early childhood math, 100th day of school, 100th day of school activities, 100th day of school ideas, ready set read

    Jake's 100th Day of School Lester Laminack is one of my favorite 100th day of school books! Jake's class is celebrating the 100th day of school. Everyone in the class is bringing a collection of 100 favorite things. Jake creates a book of 100 memories. On the 100th day, Jake forgets his book. His sensitive principal, Mrs. Wadsworth, helps Jake to solve the problem by donating 100 of her books. The day goes on with fun activities, snacks, and even a superific surprise visitor! In the end, Jake uses his problem solving skills to find a great use of his book of 100 memories that he left at home.

    100th day of school ideas, 100th day of school activities, 100th day of school, math stories, early childhood math, ready set read

    In the story, Jake's class creates a 100th day snack by combining 4 sets of 25 items. We created this 100 snack in the same manner. We made a trail mix snack of 25 marshmallows, 25 cheerios, 25 chocolate chips, and 25 Teddy Grahams. I created a free printable for our recipe!

    You could modify this to meet the math skill you are covering. For instance, if you want to focus on counting by 10s, you could show 10 sets of 10 items.

    Do you have any favorite 100th day of school books?

    This post is part of my mathematically speaking Mondays series. Reading recipes is a great way to integrate math and literacy! Check out Snowman Name Graph which is another fun way to integrate math and literacy.
    early math, early childhood math, images, math stories, math lessons

    Tuesday, January 24, 2012

    Bear Country on Twitter: Connecting with authors via social media

    Last week I participated in a PBS twitter party about the PBS Stem Challenge. It was a great learning experience for me. There were amazing conversations about games and kids and education. About halfway through, I noticed someone tweeting as @theberenstains. At first, I thought it was just a fan of the Berenstain bears, but then I noticed someone commented about the weather in bear country.
    Well, it turns out... it was THE  Berenstains . Not only is my 3 year old a new fan of the bears, I am a long time fan of the  Berenstain  bears as well. So I quickly tweeted...

    And I got a response.

    So I followed. And they thanked me for following. Cool.
    I love twitter! I love that I don't have to find the right bookstore on the right day to connect with a favorite author. I love that in the midst of a twitter party, I can engage with someone I respect.
    I think authors who are connecting via social media are providing a great outlet for young readers. Think about how often your students or children fall in love with a series of books. If the reader has an opportunity to engage the author on social media, they may stay a fan for a long, long time!
    There is another PBS twitter party tonight! No promises that The Berenstains will appear, but you never know who you may meet. You can RSVP here or scan the QR code with your smart phone to rsvp! (I probably won't be attending this one because I am enrolling my kiddo in preK tonight! But I may try to catch the after party at weteach!)

    In the style of twitter, today I'm sharing my favorite Berenstain bears books reviews in 140 characters or less.

    The bears enjoy the traditional camp activities of canoeing, hiking, and crafts. They even survive the overnight campout! #campmemories

    Brother checks out a scary mystery from the library causing Sister to be a scaredy bear at bedtime. #iamascaredybear!

    Brother and Sister get caught up in comparing what they have to others. A scary thunderstorm reminds them to count their blessings. #guilty

    The bears have forgotten their manners. Mama has a plan but the hardest one to change is papa. Probably shouldn't insert comment about hubbie.

    Have you used social media to connect with a favorite author? Have you used it in your classrooms? I'd love to hear your experiences.

    Here's where I am sharing:

    Book Talk Tuesday

    Shibley Smiles

    Sunday, January 22, 2012

    Heart Craft: I Love you More

    I Love You More by Laura Duksta is a New York Times Bestseller. It's a heartwarming story of a mother and son.  This flip side book can be read from front to back or back to front as it shares back and forth the love a mother has for her son and the love the son has for his mother. As the mom and son are out on a walk, they begin a conversation about love. The mother professes, "I love you higher than the highest bird ever flew." The son sings out, "I love you freer than the freest kite ever flown."
    I love how the characters are portrayed. The boy compares love to caterpillars, frogs, and bubbles. The mom compares love to flowers and winding paths. This is not just a "children's book". It is a book that parent and child must share together.
    i love you more, photo, i love you more craft, book activity, ready set read

    After reading this book, we made a special craft to answer the question the boy asks in the book, "Mommy, just how much do you love me?"
    If you are a parent, you know that the love you feel for your child will not fit inside your heart. We made an expanding heart to hold all of the love. We added the phrase, "I love you more". When the heart is opened, the child can be reminded of how love grows.
    I created this printable to make the craft.
    i love you more, I love you more craft, free PDF, early literacy, reading, ready set read

    Simply cut out the two hearts.
    Glue the strips that say, "I love you more." back to back. Make sure that you will be able to read them from left to right, depending on the direction they are taped to a heart.
    how to make an i love you more craft, i love you more, book activities, early literacy, reading, ready set read

    Fold the strips like accordians.
    Tape or glue to a heart cut out.
    I created this heart craft as part of a heart project fundraiser. I am currently working on a project, created by Jamie at Hands on as We Grow, who is pulling together a “Heart Project eBook”. This collaborative project, involving more than 50 bloggers, will be a fundraiser with all proceeds going to the American Heart Association.  The Heart Project eBook will be available by making a $5 donation. There will be awesome giveaways, including a giveaway here at Ready. Set. Read! (Check back on Februrary 1st for the giveaway!)

    For complete details on this event, visit Hands on as We Grow. More information to follow! Bloggers are still invited to join the project. The deadline for submission is January 25th!

    If you enjoy this printable, please come check out my teachers pay teachers store!

    Saturday, January 21, 2012

    Book Review: Princess Stories: Real Bible Stories of God's Princesses

    I don't get many chances to do pink, princess, or pretty around this house of all boys. I also have, at the moment, a handful of nephews! Fortunately, my sister is in the process of adoption and this time... It's A Girl!! Because I want to be the best Aunt ever, I have to start checking out the girlie girl stuff. The book, Princess Stories: Real Bible Stories of God's Princesses, caught my eye.

    This book, full of stories of women of the Bible, encourages girls to see themselves as princesses. After all, if God is the King of Kings and if God is your father, then you can be a princess. The book examines the character of the "princesses" of the Bible. It tells who was the bravest, the most faithful or the kindest. Each story begins with a scripture reference. A short poem following the "mirror, mirror on the wall..." theme introduces each princess. The stories are told in the first person. They are in today's language and well written. At the end of each study, there is a Bible verse. Each story is followed up with a page of questions. There are comprehension questions about the stories as well as life application questions.
    The book is pretty, girlie, and colorful. The women of the Bible are pictured in clothing of the time period. After each story, there is also a little girl dressed as a princess. These princesses span all races and nationalities. The last princess in the book is "you". This last "story" sends a positive message to girls about a God who loves them. The last verse is Psalm 139.17, "How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!" The last page of discussion questions asks, "have you asked Jesus into your heart so you can be a real princess?" This book would be great for a little girl who is beginning to think about what she personally believes and where her relationship with God stands.
    I really enjoyed this book. I think it would be an engaging way to connect to a girl who loves princesses. I love the message to girls that their value and purpose is found in Christ.
    There was one small thing about the book that bothered me. All of the princesses are HOT! I mean, skinny, gorgeous skin, flowing locks. In all fairness, they look like Disney princesses. The illustrator is probably trying to keep the book relevant. But, I think it would be nice to have a few princesses that don't look perfect on the outside but have rockin' character on the inside!
    This is a great choice for a girl who wants to be a princess with strong character. By the way, even my boys have fought over this book. It's very colorful. They can't resist!!
    Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review of the book.

    Friday, January 20, 2012

    Chinese New Year: Dragon Poem and Puppet

    Celebrating Chinese New Year is a great way to introduce your child to a variety of cultures. This year, we are celebrating with a poem, a puppet, and some tasty Chinese food!
    This week we read the poem, "Dragon, Dragon".( I used this poem when I was teaching. I tried to google it but it is everywhere online. I can't find the original author. If you are the author, let me know. I'll credit you.)

    Dragon, Dragon (Tune: Twinkle, twinkle)
    Dragon, dragon dance around.
    Dragon, dragon touch the ground.
    Dragon dragon shake your head.
    Dragon, dragon point to red.
    Dragon, dragon stomp your feet.
    Dragon, dragon run down the street.
    Chinese New Year, Chinese New Year for Kids, Chinese New Year activities for kids, ready set read, image

    We tried out these great shared reading strategies that I had pinned to pinterest. These are similar to what I used for shared reading when I was teaching. I really like Kindergarten Works organization, though.

    After we had studied the poem, we made these dragon puppets to act out the poem. This is my example puppet from when I was teaching.
    Chinese New Year activities for kids, Chinese New Year, Chinese New Year for Kids, ready set read, Chinese New Year Crafts, image

    This image originally came from the Kansas City, KS public library but I can't find the link anymore. Here's what the original looked like if you need a dragon picture to copy!

    We are having Chinese food on Chinese New Year. My boys love americanized Chinese food. Logan loves noodles. Tyson loves rice!
    He's a pro at noodle slurping

    Do you celebrate the lunar new year? How do you integrate a variety of cultures into your learning?

    Monday, January 16, 2012

    World Read Aloud Day is March 7, 2012

    There are 793 million people who are illiterate  As someone who has been given the gift of literacy, this concerns me.

    Today we honor a man who fought against social injustices. We honor a man who saw the opportunity to fight for equality and fought with bravery. It is in his honor, that I ask you to think about what you can do to end illiteracy.

    Imagine a world where everyone can read. Imagine that you had an opportunity to do something to help reach the goal of global literacy. On March 7, 2012, Litworld , a global literacy organization based in New York City, will be celebrating World Read Aloud Day. The purpose of the day is to celebrate the right to read and write. World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words, especially those words that are shared from one person to another, and creates a community of readers advocating for every child’s right to a safe education and access to books and technology. By raising our voices together on this day we show the world’s children that we support their future: that they have the right to read, to write, and to share their words to change the world.
    To learn more about LitWorld and to register to participate in World Read Aloud Day, please visit: http://litworld.org/wrad
    If you are local to the St. Louis, MO area, you can show your support for World Read Aloud day by attending an event that I am planning at The Teacher's Lounge Bookstore (4121 Elm Park Dr, St. Louis 63128). Come for a free story time and activity. They'll be holding a special story time from10:30 to 11:00 am on Wednesday, March 7th. Be included in the march on illiteracy!
    I am working as a volunteer with LitWorld as a local WRADvocate (World Read Aloud Day Advocate). I will have more details coming soon on how you can participate in the local St. Louis event.

    Sunday, January 15, 2012

    Book Review: Fairly Fairy Tales

    What if the three little pigs had not been limited to straw, sticks and bricks? What if the porkers had access to solar panels?
    What if the story of Little Red Riding Hood hadn't been limited to a red hood, a wolf, or a grandma? What if a common household item was added to the story? What if it was... shampoo?! Just think, Grandma could be running a beauty salon instead of spending her days holed up in the belly of a wolf. Can't imagine that?

    In Fairly Fairy Tales, author Esme Raji Codell dreams up new versions of fairy tales and illustrator Elisa Chavvari delights the reader with two page spreads of these imaginations! The book is actually a conversation betweeen a boy and his mother while reading bedtime stories. The text is sparse, "Kiss? Yes. Water? Yes. Bedtime? Noooo." This pattern is repeated for each fairy tale as several elements are suggested and one is ruled out with a hearty, "NOOOO!"
    I think this book is a perfect pair to my fairy tale prop baskets.Begin by sharing great fairy tales with your child and having her retell them using a prop basket.
    Once she is comfortable with  stretch his thinking by adding an item that doesn't belong.

    A great motivator to getting your child interested in Fairy Tales is letting your child see the tale on the big screen. Beauty and the Beast 3D opened in theaters this weekend! It's one of my favorite fairy tales and I've been pumped about it's release all week. Here are a few of my other fairy tale posts:

    Free Beauty and the Beast Printable Coloring Sheets
    Writing Prompts for Fairy Tales
    Fairy Tale Book Reviews

    Here's Where I am linking up: