Search This Blog

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

It's Time to Say Goodbye

As a new school year dawns, young children, parents, and teachers are faced with a dilemma: saying goodbye.  Every parent has encountered the tears and heart-wrenching pleas.  Every teacher of young children has ached for the children and parents.  (Separation anxiety works both ways; parents cry, too.)  And, as a teacher with many years of experience in early childhood education, I would like to offer a suggestion for easing this transition...

...establish a transition tradition.

Young children thrive on routine.  They find comfort in being able to predict the events of the day.  They find reassurance in repetitive, positive procedures.  Thus, teachers can help ease these transitions by encouraging parents and children to establish a parting protocol. One transition tool is teaching children and care-givers to give a quick, fun, light-hearted good-bye.

Most people are familiar with these:

In my quest to establish a forest friends classroom, I challenged myself to create such sayings using forest animals.  Here's a sampling:

At our parent information meeting before school starts, I plan to have this set of posters displayed near the door.  Drawing the parents' attention to them, I will encourage them, along with their children, to select a pair of favorite phrases for their farewells. In my experience, the tearful transitions will quickly give way to smiling sendoffs.

Forest Friends' Farewells are currently on sale on TPT. This product includes 15 colorful posters. They are part of my Forest Friends collection.

You may be interested in my Forest Friends Classroom Theme board on Pinterest.  It is growing daily with ideas for decor, crafts, centers, and more.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Read All About It

Ever since my trip to Ikea, I've been obsessed with turning my classroom into a forest filled with animal friends.  Recently, I decided to cull my classroom library for Forest Friends books. Here are some great titles that I recommend:
Picture books
  • Annie and the Wild Animals by Jan Brett
  • The Bear Books series by Karma Wilson (8 books) 
  • Owl Babies by Martin Waddell
  • Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert
  • The Mitten by Jan Brett
  • Night Tree by Eve Bunting (Christmas theme) 
  • A Frog in the Bog by Karma Wilson
  • Moose Tracks! by Karma Wilson
  • Where's My Teddy? by Jez Alborough
  • All The Baby Animals In The Woods by Emily Thomson
  • In the Forest (Look Once, Look Again) by David M. Schwartz
  • Looking Closely through the Forest by Frank Serafini
  • Deep in the Forest by Brinton Turkle
  • Don't Wake Up the Bear! by Marjorie Dennis Murray
  • How Do You Sleep? by Louise Bonnett-Rampersaud
  • A Picture Book of Forest Animals by Joanne Gise
  • The Busy Tree by Jennifer Ward
  • Who's in the Forest? by Phyllis Gershator
  • Over in the Forest: Come and Take a Peek by Marianne Berkes
  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
  • What Forest Knows by George Ella Lyon
  • The Big Storm: A Very Soggy Counting Book by Nancy Tafuri
  • Little Owl's Night by Divya Srinivasan
  • Nature Trails: In the Woods (Maurice Pledger Nature Trails) by Maurice Pledger
  • In the Forest: A Nature Trail Book (Maurice Pledger Nature Trails) by Maurice Pledge 
  • Hiding in the Woods: A Nature Trail Book (Maurice Pledger Nature Trails)by Maurice Pledger 
  • The Legend of the Beaver's Tail by Stephanie Shaw

Chapter books 

  • The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint
  • Tales from Dimwood Forest by Avi (series) 
  • American Woodland Tales by Jean Craighead George (series) 
  • A Cabin By The Lake by Debi S. Nelson
  • Woodland Village Stories (Animal Mischief) (Volume 2) by Peter Blight 
  • A Badger's Tale by Mike Tibbetts

I'd love to add to my Forest Friends library. What books do you recommend?

Check out these Forest Friends products:


Monday, July 6, 2015

An IKEA Idea

Recently I took a trip to IKEA. That's kind of a big deal for me because I have to drive nearly 3 hours to reach one. So I try to make my infrequent trips really count. This trip gave me an unexpected idea; an IKEA IDEA, as it were.

While perusing the merchandise, I happened upon this adorable wrapping paper and gift bag.  

You know what they say, "You can take the teacher out of the classroom, but you can't take the classroom out of the teacher." So, of course, I started thinking about how I could use them in my classroom. Then the idea was born: a forest friends theme. My bulletin boards could use an update with the paper used as covers. I was getting tired of chevrons and polka dots, anyway.  I haven't quite decided how I'll employ the gift bags, but I'm confident I'll figure something out.

Since that IKEA trip, I've been creating lots of things for my forest friends classroom.  LOTS of things.

The first order of business was a welcome banner (& more).

I'm so excited about this theme, that I've started a Pinterest board just for collecting ideas.  I hope you will visit it.  

You may also like:

Friday, July 3, 2015

4th of July FREEBIE!

with a patriotic freebie or 2!

Use these 30 Inspiring Classroom Quotations from Dr. Seuss to promote meta-cognition AND decorate your classroom. Simply displaying the quotes for your students, may inspire them, encourage them, increase their motivation, improve their vocabulary, and reinforce good character traits and citizenship. Promote a group discussion and you will find your class involved in intriguing conversations. Best yet, it's FREE!!!!

You may also like Patriotic Scrattle.  This fun center is great for word work and computation.  It is differentiated so that you can use it for simple arithmetic, as well as complex equations.  Thus, it is appropriate for all elementary classrooms.  And it, too, is FREE!!!!

Have a happy and safe 4th of July!

You may also like: