Spring may be my favorite time of the year, especially here in North Carolina. The cherry blossom trees are blooming everywhere, the birdies are singing, and there are tons of fun themes for teaching for the months of March and April. Today I wanted to briefly share some of my favorite books and tasks for spring.
So far this month, we have been LOVING to read the Poppleton series in the mornings to get us set for the day. Poppleton is a silly pig that lives in a small house in a small town. He has lots of sweet friends and the stories are JUST short and silly enough that they keep my little darlings’ attention during a read aloud for our morning meeting. I love that each book comes with 3 short stories, and most of the stories follow an easy sequence so my students can recall information from the stories fairly easily. The best part, the books are crazy cheap (like 3 bucks a book).
We also have a designated time for story time, even though I have K-3, my third graders still love this time in the classroom. During this time, we read the books included in my story time packs, and then we pick them apart using our story map, sequencing pictures, and interactive comprehension questions. Typically, we spend 2-3 days with a book so my students can recap the information in the story map using pictures and answer the comprehension questions independently.
Below are the titles we will be reading for the rest of the month once we return from Spring Break.
If you have been following my blog for a while, then you know I love to use a ton of different items for our independent work areas for students. In the past, I've taught in classrooms in which a lot of my students were still working on basic skills such as color matching, sorting, counting, etc. When a student mastered a skill, I would immediately add tasks that focused on that skill into their independent work systems so they could retain the newly mastered skills. Below you can see some of my favorite tasks from the past few years. I frequent dollar tree, walmart, target, rite aid/walgreens, and dollar general (especially after the holidays for the clearance) to get supplies for work tasks.
Clothespin tasks are another huge hit in our classroom. I love the skills they cover and I also love the fine motor practice students get while working. In my clothespin pack for spring, I cover a variety of basic skills for reading and math, from basic picture matching to counting to abc's to CVC words. A little bit of everything since we tend to have such a range in our classrooms.
One thing I love to use in my math and reading groups are file folders, flip book tasks, and counting books. A lot of students lack the motivation to complete their work. Besides earn charts (I am working on a post about these), I like to use a variety of colorful, themed activities to teach skills versus worksheets. I mean, I do love a good interactive cut and paste worksheet too, don't get me wrong, and my students complete these at other stations that are led by a teacher assistant or independently. But, I feel like while I have one on one time with a student, I need to be fun and the tasks needs to be engaging and somewhat appealing to do.
For art activities, my easy art packs are my go-to tasks for working on direction following, among lots of other skills! Plus, they make great writing activities and hallway displays.
What are your favorite spring themes?