All Packed Up, Pirate Fun, and a Book Study

Hello Friends,

The last week of school is always crazy for me! My students are sooo ready for summer and I am, too, BUT I absolutely cannot stand chaos in my classroom, so I plan fun, but structured activities those last few days. This year we spent a few days in a pirate unit. I KNOW many teachers do pirates, so perhaps what I have to write and show is not new, but it is fun nonetheless, no matter how you do it!

I like to merge art and literacy in many of my units and Pirates is no exception! First we read "How I Became a Pirate" by Melinda Long (illustrated by David Shannon). We looked at the illustrations and discussed the funny ways that pirate live and talk. My kiddos followed step by step directions for creating a pirate. I received a negative comment on my Pirate unit a few weeks ago because I did not include patterns. I guess I am a bit different because I really do not like patterns. I usually give my students paper cut into the size that I want the creation to be. For example, on these pirate pictures, I wanted the pirates to be BIG so I cut 6" x 6" squares of skin colored paper. I told my students to draw a circle head that was as big as the square and most of them do a fantastic job creating the rest of the body to scale. I love the way they all look different and are not cookie cutter creations.

After they created their pirates, we discussed "pirate talk" especially the "ARRR" that pirates often use. I asked my kiddos to tell me some words that make the "ar" sound and we wrote them on the board. They then attached a word bubble with the word "Arrr" inside and glued it next to the head of their pirate. Then they wrote their ARR pirate words around their paper. Here are some examples of their work....

 We also started treasure maps, but did not get them finished..... boo hoo.......I like to use the maps for reinforcement of mapping skills. Because we did not finish the maps, I did not take pictures..... If you are interested in my pirate unit, click HERE.

Our students were excited to see one of the helicopters from our local trauma center land upon our ball field. What fun that was! The pictures that I took do not do justice to the excitement of seeing this wonderful vehicle land!

Finally, I finished packing up my classroom for the summer..... This is such a bittersweet activity. I am so excited to take a brain break, but also sad to see my classroom so colorless.... Here is my classroom in August....

Here is my classroom in June.... It is SO MUCH work to pack up a classroom; as those of you who are teachers know! The great thing, though, is that now I have 3 months to decide how to create another fun and educational environment for my new bunch of kiddos! :)

I am joining a book study this summer on the book "Talking, Drawing, Writing: Lessons For Our Youngest Writers" by Martha Horn. I have JUST started it and am already excited to read it! You can certainly tell it was written by teachers who know little ones! I will be doing a weekly post on the book throughout the summer. Join me! It is being hosted by Jennifer from Teaching With Grace.

Here is the schedule for chapters...

Chapter 1: Jennifer at Rowdy in First Grade
Chapter 2:
Chapter 3:
Chapter 4: Jessie at The Cornerstone Classroom
Chapter 5: Amanda at Mrs. Richardson's Class
Chapter 6: Nicole at Steele Teaching
Chapter 7: Mechele at Barrow's Hodge Podge
Chapter 8: Angela at The Daily Alphabet
Chapter 9: Cindy from Love Those Kinders
I am going to spend the next few days cleaning and organizing my house and working in my garden. My poor flowers are crying for me!

So.... until next time!

Blessings, Cindy

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