Saturday, April 2, 2016

Five for Friday

I'm linking up with Doodle Bug's Five for Friday.
Thank you Kacey for hosting!

I'm trying to get a little ahead of those fun end of the year projects.
I swear it arrives so quickly and I hate last minute, seat of the pants efforts!
 Thank you cards for my parent helpers and volunteers.
These are from last year.

Mother's Day hands have to be made next week.
I need to get the clay, flowers and paper bags.

Mother's Day!
Here are some flowers bright and bold
Held by the hand you love to hold.
Someday the flowers will disappear
But this little hand will always be near.
Love this! Find the tutorial here
Learn how to make these great Botanical Tea purses with a great tutorial from Kristin Wilson using brown paper lunch bags! Isn't this clever? #graphic45 #tutorials

We'll take the pictures for our graduation invitations and keepsakes.
This idea came from Little Warriors, a kindergarten blog. She wrote a wonderful post about how she made hers.

Little Warriors: Kindergarten Favorites Pictures-A Wonderful Keepsake!!

We'll begin our student authored books.
Basically, this is a student authored and illustrated book that we make multiple copies of and have an Author's Book Signing Night. A better description of how I'd try to do this is below, but its a little wordy.
You all know how to write books with your little ones.
Sadly, I have no pictures!

 I'm not sure I'm going to do this huge project but I'll explain it anyway.
I think the kids and parents would love it but it's a lot of work. I have had the kids publish books in the past and made a few copies to take home to give to friends, but I think the Author Signing Night would be so much fun.

  If I would just ask parents to help this would be so much easier!! In fact, you'll notice that pretty much everywhere the word I is used, a parent could be inserted.
A hundred years ago, when I first started teaching 2nd and 3rd graders, we worked all year on publishing books. I even made the fabric covered jackets and sewed bindings. Oh my!
Here's a simplified version...

There needs to be LOTS of discussion about authors, illustrators, purpose, concepts of print and books. We all do this now with common core, so that shouldn't be a problem. If you have been lucky enough to use Deedee Wills and Deanna Jump's Guided Reading and Writing Through the Year, all the discussions I'm about to mention will already have been covered and this will move very quickly!

Writing Books
At the beginning of the year, or in this case, the beginning of April, we look carefully at books and some interesting parts that children may not notice or think about: 
book jackets, the "All About the Author" and dedication. We begin reading about the authors and their dedications every time we read a book, which in kindergarten should be EVERY day.  After plenty of examples, we begin the process of writing our own book.

All About the Author 
Before we even write the books, we make an "All About the Author" page for each child. I take a picture of the child looking very scholarly, usually typing at the computer, 
with a pair of glasses sitting low on their nose. The best ones are with their little face turned toward the camera, looking downward, over the glasses. 
Sort like I'm interrupting their work.
They always turn out so cute!!
Next, I interview each child about how old they are, hobbies, family and anything else they may think is important. I type this up, include the picture at the top and make several copies to keep on file for future stories. These will be placed on the inside cover of their books.

Usually, I have them write the story first and then have them think about a special someone who might enjoy that particular book. The dedication will go before the title page, typed in a fancy font.

Writing and illustrating
Now comes the story writing, which I won't explain because you all know how to do this! The advantage to doing this all year is that you have many stories to choose from to publish. We pick our favorite story to make even better and begin editing. Editing is a whole huge lesson in itself and takes some time. All the hard work they have already done is their rough draft and it can be hard to explain that this is not the finished product. You can teach them how to edit with a peer, the teacher (through conferencing) or with a big buddy. 
We do all three.

Once the editing is done, it's time to type up each story with a picture space above. Again, lots of discussion goes on about making the pictures match the message of that particular page. We begin to notice the pictures in every book we read. The kids usually enjoy  illustrating their own books and do a great job if they've been taught about adding details.
It's best to use darker hues of colored pencils to illustrate because they copy better. Once the illustrations are done, we make the cover.

The cover needs to catch the reader's eye so we take our time to really make it special. They have been shown many book covers and have noticed that the title is often written with a bolder print and color than the author and illustrator's name. First, it is done in pencil and, once "proofed", done in colored pencil. The illustrator draws the most important picture from a page inside their book for the cover.
I always add this little poem (don't know where I got it years and years ago) on the corner of their book:

Clean hands,
Gentle touch,
Surely a book deserves as much!

Reader's Comment Page
 Just as the title suggests, it's a place at the back of the book for family and friends to write comments about the story. This is easily their favorite page and is only put in the original copy that the child will keep.
Whew! Tired yet?

Lastly, you make copies of their books! I think 6 copies of each book would work. I haven't done this in many years and I've got to figure out the cheapest way. Obviously, they'll be printed in black and white.
And finally,

Book Signing Night
I have no idea who came up with this event, but I love it!!!
I think this would be a really fun way to end the year. 
Have the kids dress like a scholarly author, maybe in a vest. I would include a pair of those silly glasses that they wore for their "All About the Author"picture. The authors sit behind a desk with  copies of their books, just like a real book signing. The parents arrive with a roll of quarters to purchase the books and walk randomly around the room (with soft classical music playing in the background), speaking with  each author about their story. This continues until every book has been purchased. The author signs the book on the inside cover page. I think a picture with each author would be fun too!
End the evening with an ice cream social!!!

I like to go on lots of long walks.
In spring, I love the volunteer plants that sprout up in the most amazing places. 
Last week, the sunflower was trying so hard to be upright. 

Bloom where you're planted!
Happy weekend!
It's probably time to go looking for dandelion puffs for our graduation jars (use salt shakers so they get air)...
maybe still a little early!


  1. Love the idea of a book signing night! So cute!

  2. Hi there,
    I am looking for your poem using your kids names. Can you help