Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Loving Lois Ehlert and On to the Ocean

Whew!  We've been busy!  Sorry that I've taken so long to update the blog.  I have lots of things to share.

Loving Lois Ehlert
Lois Ehlert was the final author we studied in our author unit.  Her books are known for their bright colors and interesting collage materials.  As a young child, she loved art and collage.  As an adult, she worked as an illustrator.  Just like Eric Carle, her first book illustration was for Bill Martin Jr.  She created the alphabet that dances its way through Chicka Chicka Boom Boom.  Ms. Ehlert went on to both author and illustrate her own books.  

Here is Ryan's version of Ms. Ehlert's Planting A Rainbow.  We created a colorful rainbow collage and labeled it in English and Spanish.

Feathers For Lunch encouraged us to go outside with our resident ornithologist, Ms. Kari to watch birds. Then, students created a bird for our classroom tree.

Wing Haven
 is a beautiful garden and bird sanctuary located near downtown Charlotte.   Lois Ehlert counts nature as her primary inspiration.  It is certainly easy to imagine Ms. Ehlert finding inspiration in this amazing environment.  Here are a few photos from the day.  It would be a great place for a family visit.  

On to the Ocean!
Studying Lois Ehlert provided the perfect transition on to our Ocean unit.  We used our newly discovered collage techniques while visiting the High School art room.  Students worked in groups along with Ms. Thrasher’s class to create ocean animals to decorate our play.  
Walking to the HS
Sea Star Collage

Getting to work in the Art Room

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Making Memories with Mem

Mem Fox was the star of the class this week.  She was born Merrion Frances Partridge but is known as "Mem."  She was born in Australia and moved to Africa at the tender age of 6 months.  As a young adult she moved to England to go to acting school where she met her husband.  At that time Mem Partridge became Mem Fox.  The Fox family moved to Australia where they currently live.  Mem became interested in children's literature when her daughter was a baby.  She tried her hand at writing.  Her book was rejected 9 times over 5 years but went on to become the best-selling children's book in Australia.  Talk about perseverance! Mem is passionate about helping children become fall in love with books.  She works tirelessly to educate parents in early literacy.  There are lots of great resources on her website.  

Here are some you may want to explore:

In the book Whoever You Are, Mem celebrates how much we are alike on the inside even though our lives on the outside may be very different.  In class, we created a class book illustrating some of the many things that are the same.  Here is Jack's:

We learned a little about Mem's birthplace and current home, Australia.  That book of hers that was rejected over and over was titled Hush the Invisible Mouse.  She later renamed it Possum Magic and it was the inspiration for our study of Australia.  We looked at Australia on the globe, decorated a map of the country, and colored the flag.  Of course, we had to try some Australian food.  We tasted vegemite on some water crackers.  It is an acquired taste.  I think it’s yummy but most of the kids weren’t huge fans.  Here is Leah tasting this snack from down under.

Hattie and the Fox was the perfect book to brush up on our acting skills.  We enjoyed reading the book, acting it out, singing it, and creating a pull-through to practice retelling it.  Here is a photo of some of our barnyard friends.  Look for a video of the performance soon.

Upcoming Events:
   April 14-Field Trip-walk to CSD High School (Chaperones needed)
   April 15-Half Day, Spring Break Begins
   April 16-26-Spring Break
   April 28-Field Trip to Wing Haven
   May 5-Half Day-Conferences
   May 6-Half Day-Conferences
   May 13-Half Day
   May 23-Ocean Play (Time TBD)
If you are able to help chaperone any of the upcoming field trips, please send me an email mjmayo@bellsouth.net

Class Needs:
  • Paper towel and toilet paper rolls.
  • Scraps of wallpaper, scrapbooking paper, fabric, ribbon or any craft supply that can be glued to paper (for our field trip to the HS Art Room)

Weekly Readers
A special thanks to our “Weekly Readers.”  What a treat to listen to Whoever You Are in Spanish and English by class moms, Sra. Karla and Ms. Kim!  Thanks also to Caleb’s mom, Ms. Lisa for introducing us to The Goblin and the Empty Chair. Click here to join them-

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Continuing with Carle

This week we continued our exploration of Eric Carle's work.  

The first book Mr. Carle authored as well as illustrated was 1, 2, 3, to the Zoo.  This is a fun counting book in which each train car has one more animal than the one before it.  After reading this book, we decided to create our own train complete with collaged zoo animals.  Here it is making its journey down the hallway to our classroom.

In the book Walter the Baker, Walter is tasked to create a piece of bread that the sun can shine through three times.  He accidentally invents the pretzel.  In class, we made pretzel dough and then shaped it into letter pretzels.  Doesn't it look like fun?

Of course, no study of Eric Carle would be complete without reading The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  Thanks to Sra. Karla (Paulina's mom) we read it in both English and Spanish.  Students worked with a partner to create a page in our class big book version of this famous story.  We are anticipating the arrival of caterpillars we will watch develop into butterflies.  So, we spent some time studying the life cycle of the butterfly.  We can hardly wait!

Want more butterflies?  Get an up close view of butterflies by visiting the Charlotte Nature Museum.  They have a butterfly pavilion where butterflies flit all around-one might even land on your nose!  It's lots of fun!  www.charlottenaturemuseum.com

Upcoming Events:
   April 4-Spring Pictures
   April 5-Field trip-walk to DUMC (the more the merrier!)
   April 6-Summit Place visit (chaperone needed)
   April 14-Field Trip-walk to CSD High School (Chaperones needed)
   April 15-Half Day, Spring Break Begins
   April 16-26-Spring Break
   April 28-Field Trip to Wing Haven
   May 5-Half Day-Conferences
   May 6-Half Day-Conferences
   May 13-Half Day
   May 23-Ocean Play (Time TBD)
If you are able to help chaperone any of the upcoming field trips, please send me an email mjmayo@bellsouth.net

Class Needs:
  • Paper towel and toilet paper rolls.
  • Scraps of wallpaper, scrapbooking paper, fabric, ribbon or any craft supply that can be glued to paper (for our field trip to the HS Art Room)
  • Ketchup

Thanks to our "Weekly Readers," Mr. Bob and Ms. Jess.  There are still many opportunities for you to visit and read.  This week we began our study of Mem Fox.  You are welcome to bring your own book or read one from our class library.  Send an email here if you would like to join this elite group!  I would love to read!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Creating with Carle

This week we were introduced to author and illustrator, Eric Carle. Mr. Carle makes his own paper for his illustrations. So our week began with an early Monday morning covered in paint!

We used this one of a kind paper to make another class big book. CSD, CSD, What Do You See? was, of course, inspired by Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? This is the first book Eric Carle illustrated although his friend, Bill Martin was the author. Illustrating this book led him down the path to being the author and illustrator that we love today! Here is Ashley's page illustrating "Ms. Joy in her office looking at me."

Students tried their hand at drawing stars after reading Draw Me a Star. We used painted foil to collage these a la Eric Carle. Here is Gavin's star.

The students noticed that Eric Carle must love nature. Many of his books have things in nature as their main characters. The Tiny Seed inspired us to go outside and plant some seeds of our own. Little Cloud inspired us to make some clouds of our own out of shaving creme.

Of course, St. Patrick's Day was this week. The leprechauns indeed visited our room. Some of the students left traps hoping to catch one or two. Instead of a Leprechaun, our traps contained a note from the leprechauns which led us on a treasure hunt around the classroom. Our hunt concluded with the discovery of a music box filled with good luck coins. It was great fun and quite exciting. We enjoyed reading some Seasonal Tomie DePaola books filled with leprechauns, fairies, and giants. Then, students created their own imaginary creature imagining what it might look like, where it might live, and what it might eat. Here are Michaela's fairy and Johnny's standing guard around our treasure and note.

Carle Crazy? Here are some links you may want to visit:
Home to all things Carle http://www.eric-carle.com/
The blog of the man himself!http://ericcarleblog.blogspot.com/
Video of Eric Carle reading on Mister Roger's Neighborhood http://pbskids.org/rogers/video_readingTogether.html
Eric Carle books and stuffed animals at Kohl's! http://www.kohlscorporation.com/communityrelations/Community02.htm

Thanks to our readers for the week!


We have lots of volunteer opportunities on the horizon. 

Thursday, March 24, 1:00-parent volunteer (Kari's daughter's play)
Friday, March 25, 12:45-additional park volunteer (Ms. Mayo has a workshop)
Thursday, March 31, 12:00-Chaperones needed for field trip to park and HS art room
Tuesday, April 5, time TBD-Chaperones needed for field trip to DUMC
Wednesday, April 6, 10:30-Chaperone needed for field trip to Summit Place
Thursday, April 28, 10:30-Chaperone needed for field trip to WIng Haven and Freedom Park

If you are able to help with any of these opportunities, please email mjmayo@bellsouth.net

Thursday, March 10, 2011

A Season of Seuss

We had another exciting week exploring the works of Dr. Seuss.  We were inspired to create our own versions of some of Dr. Seuss' works.  Here is Maggie's "Love Foot" from our classroom version of "The Foot Book."

After reading the book, "If I Ran the Zoo,"  students imagined some fantastic creatures they would like to see in the zoo.  Here is a picture of Cooper's "4-Headed Zoople."

In our final center, we read the book "Horton Hears a Who."  Then, we borrowed some microscopes from the Middle School.  We used them to get a close up look at the amazing world that exists in a drop of pond water.

On Friday we celebrated our study of Dr. Seuss with a Fabulous Friday breakfast of Green Eggs and Ham.  Photos to follow later.

Want more Seuss? Check this out!

Next week we begin learning about the amazing Eric Carle.  We would love to have more guest readers to share Mr. Carle's books with the class.

Click here to send me an email if you would like to visit our class.

A special thanks to this week's readers, Ms. Jill, Ms. Kimberly, Mr. Max, and Mr. Wes

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Welcome to our new classroom blog.  Check back here often to learn about our classroom adventures.