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Sunday, December 30, 2012

Hat Day Riddles

It's about time, teachers, for some Hat Day riddles.

No, the riddles are not about why the chicken crossed the road.  Rather, these riddles are about literary characters, historic figures, or occupations associated with hats.  Try these out:

          He may never grow up, but my, oh my,
          This boy in green can certainly fly!
          Who is he?

          His hat is striped in white and red.
          He put a pink stain on mother’s bed.
          Who is he?

          He  often wore a stovepipe hat.
          Do you know a president like that? 
          Who is he?

Were you able to solve them?  My students love the challenge!  I write 1 or 2 riddles on the board each morning of Hat Week.  As soon as my students arrive, they begin copying the couplets for handwriting practice.  While completing this anchor activity, they can ponder who is described in the riddle.  

At our morning meeting, volunteers read the riddles before we share the answers.  This affords me the opportunity to assess my students' ability to read fluently, with expression, and with regard for punctuation.  Mini-lessons on these topics are easy to slip in daily, giving valuable reinforcement for these critical reading skills.

Hat riddles are fun and motivating.  They can provide valuable information about your students' problem solving abilities.  Moreover, they provide the students with ample opportunities for making connections: text-to-world, text-to-text, and/or text-to-self.

These riddles are part of my thematic unit, Hats!  Hats!  Hooray for Hats!  There are 29 riddles in all.  If you have some gifted/talented students, challenge them to write more couplet riddles to share with the class.  Doing so causes them to employ higher order thinking skills.  I am always amazed at the riddles my kiddos compose.

The ELA components of this thematic unit include vocabulary work, comprehension, poetry, alphabetical order, writing center ideas, and a 14 page booklet for students to make about Hat Idioms. You can download the Hat Idioms Book for FREE on TpT or TN.  Following is a preview of the Hat Idioms Book:

Hold onto your hats!  

Next time, I'll share some math activities from Hats! Hats! Hooray for Hats!

The answers to the riddles above are:
Peter Pan
The Cat in the Hat
Abraham Lincoln

Friday, December 28, 2012

Hat Day -- Jan. 15

It's about time, teachers, for . . .

National Hat Day, while not officially a national holiday (that requires an act of Congress), is a day dedicated to hat lovers everywhere.  On this special day, hats come out of the mothballs to make a statement about the wearer.  What could be better for a little winter fun and learning?!?

In my classroom, we dedicate an entire week to hats, culminated by wearing hats on the last day.  Since Jan. 15 is National Hat Day, I like to make that the day when my students can wear a hat of their choice to school.  While there is a school rule that hats cannot be worn inside, my principal gladly suspends that rule for the day for my class.  I love to watch my kiddos walk down the hall, beaming under their headgear as students from other classes stare with obvious envy.

There are scores of children's books on the subject.  I like to read 1 or 2 aloud each day. Here are some of my favorites:

  • The 500 Hats of Bartholomew Cubbins by Dr. Seuss
  • Abe Lincoln's Hat by Martha Brenner
  • Aunt Flossie's Hats (and Crab Cakes Later) by Elizabeth Fitzgerald Howard
  • Aunt Lucy Went to Buy a Hat by Alice Low
  • Away Went the Farmer’s Hat by Jane Belk Moncure
  • Benny’s Hat by Dirk Walbrecker
  • Caps for Sale by Esphyr Slobodkina
  • The Cat in the Hat by Dr. Seuss
  • The Cat in the Hat Comes Back by Dr. Seuss
  • Do You Have a Hat? By Eileen Spinelli
  • Don't Touch My Hat by James Rumford
  • Hat by Paul Hoppe
  • A Hat for Ivan by Max Lucado
  • A Hat for Minerva Louise by Janet Morgan Stoeke
  • Hats! by Kevin Luthardt
  • Hats, Hats, Hats (Around the World Series) by Ann Morris
  • The Hat by Jan Brett
  • The Hat That Wore Clara B. by Melanie Turner-Denstaedt
  • I Want My Hat Back by Jon Klassen
  • Jennie’s Hat by Ezra Jack Keats
  • Little Red Cowboy Hat by Susan Lowell
  • Madeline and the Bad Hat by Ludwig Bemelmans
  • The Magic Baseball Cap by David A. Ham
  • The Magic Hat by Mem Fox
  • Magritte's Marvelous Hat by D.B. Johnson
  • Milo's Hat Trick by Jon Agee
  • Old Hat New Hat by Stan Berenstain and Jan Berenstain
  • Pinkalicious and the Pink Hat Parade by Victoria Kann
  • The Scarecrow's Hat by Ken Brown
  • That 17th Hat by Trevor Eissler
  • A Three Hat Day by Laura Geringer 
  • Tornado Slim and the Magic Cowboy Hat by Bryan Langdo
  • Who Took the Farmer's Hat? by Joan L. Nodset
  • Whose Hat Is This? A Look at Hats Workers Wear by Sharon Katz Cooper

Hats provide a perfect platform for a thematic unit.  Over the next several days, I will post ideas for using a hat theme in your classroom.  These ideas are found in my product, Hats!  Hats!  Hooray for Hats!  

It is available on TpT and TN.

You may also be interested in:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Winter Poem Freebie

It’s snow time in the Midwest!  

To celebrate, here’s a free poem and possibilities for using it in the classroom.

It’s snow secret that I love poetry.  Hopefully, you will have a ball with this snow poem.

If you like this poem and its possibilities, you may wish to check out my product, Poetry Possibilities for Winter.

It is available on both TpT and TN.

If you like this poem and its possibilities, you may also like these products:

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

New Year’s Poem Freebie

It’s about time, teachers, ... for the New Year.  And we all know that the New Year brings resolutions. If you are not already using poetry regularly in your classroom, I hope you will resolve to do so in 2013.  If you are using poetry, resolve to create anthologies for your students.  Already making anthologies?  Great! 

Just for the New Year, I have a humorous poem to which every teacher and most students can relate. 

To help you start off the New Year right, I have created some possibilities for using this poem in your classroom. 

If you decide to have your students write list poems, you may wish to display this poster. It is especially helpful in a writing center.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            

I wish you all the best in the New Year!

This poem and its possibilities are from my product, Poetry Possibilities for Winter.  The list poem poster is from Pick a Pack of Poetry Posters.

Both are available on TpT and TN.  If you like these products, you may also be interested in these:

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Kwanzaa Poem Freebie

It's nearly time for Kwanzaa (12/26/12 - 1/1/13).  So I thought I would share a Kwanzaa poem and some activities to do with the poem.

These documents are available on Google Docs.  You can also get them in my product, Poetry Possibilties - December.

This product is available on both TpT and TN.


You may also like:

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Green Tree, Green Tree, What Do You See?

It's about time, teachers, for an emergent reader just for the holidays. 

Green Tree, Green Tree, What Do You See? is my take-off of Bill Martin, Jr.'s classic, Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?   The text mimics the patterns and rhythms in Mr. Martin's book.  

The black line pictures not only support the text, but are inviting to color.   Ask your students to color the pictures noting the color words in bold print on each  previous page. 

This Christmas book emphasizes the following high frequency words: what, do, you, see, I, a, looking, at, good, boys, and, girls, for, & me. While the text is highly predictable, there are enough exceptions to require your students to truly attend to the text.  The lilt of the story encourages fluent reading.  Repeated use of question marks and periods provide ample practice for “reading the punctuation.”

The pages are formatted for double sided printing.  By printing them in the order given, you will be able to fold and staple the book together with the pages in the correct order.  Please note that page 4/5 should be printed on both sides of the same paper.  

You can get your copy of this 9 page reader for just 99¢ at either TpT or TN.

Until next time...

If you like this reader, you may like these emergent readers, too: