Saturday, February 25, 2017

Hats Off To Reading!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a Party City representative offering me 'Read Across America' themed items to use in my classroom if I was willing to share how I used them on my blog so that other teachers and parents could help join in the celebration! 
Party City wants teachers to celebrate the 113th birthday of America’s favorite author, Dr. Seuss and the “Hat’s Off to Reading” campaign

And just this week I found this waiting for me on my doorstep...

There is still time to grab some of these goodies from Party City to help you celebrate in your classroom!
Party City’s Party Kits are an easy and stress-free way for busy teachers and parents to put together a Dr. Seuss celebration!  From decorations and serveware featuring all your favorite characters, to costumes and accessories (including the iconic red and white hat)--Don’t just throw a party, Throw a Party City Dr. Seuss Party

I took some pictures of what I received and how I plan to use them so that you have time to do the same in your classrooms (or in your home) before Dr. Seuss' birthday on March 2nd!  After I use them with my class this week, I plan to add some more pictures to the post!
(***This post was updated on 3/5/17 to include pictures from this year's celebration!***)

To get started these are the things I received:
*Decorative Cut-Outs
*Pencils
*Stamps
*Loot Bags
*Notepads
*Paper Hats
*Socks
*Thing Patches
*Cat in the Hat headbands
*Thing 1/Thing 2 headbands
*Cups, plates, napkins

I have matched some of the items above to popular Dr Seuss books and also added in some additional activities I have done in the past for each book to give you tons of options!

****Cat in the Hat****
This is a 'staple' book when celebrating Dr. Seuss' birthday!

The paper hats are fun to just wear, but I also like to turn them into a 'learning tool' to display something we are working on!

Prior to receiving these hats, I have used a 'Cat in the Hat' template I have found online and/or drawn one myself (in my early teaching years) to do this same activity:
You can give students a word family (ex -at) and have them generate words or have them pick a picture card and then think of words that rhyme with that word.
Do be sure to alter your choices so that there are enough words that rhyme with it to fill the 5 spaces on the hat!
(You can download the egg picture card pictured above FREE later on in the post!)

Here is one we used last year from a hat I drew and copied onto cardstock:


Another fun thing to do for Cat in the Hat is a directed drawing:
You can find AWESOME and FREE directed drawing directions from First Grade Blue Skies for the Cat in the Hat HERE!

Look at how adorable our '2017' drawings came out:


Last year we did some Thing 1 and Thing 2 directed drawings:
I don't have awesome step by step directions for this one because I did it from a picture I had of a thing!  We used finger paint to fill in the red and blue, yet I saw a fun idea on Pinterest using a straw to blow the crazy hair onto the paper!

We also did some interactive writing about those crazy Things:

And it made a super cute bulletin board display:


We always seem to be in the middle of our 'how to' writing unit right around Dr. Seuss' birthday, so we talk about the steps on how to make this Cat in the Hat snack:

Here is what you need for them:

(You can read more about 'how to' ON THIS POST)
***I saw a healthier version on Pinterest using bananas & strawberries which might also work better for food allergies!***

For the life of me I cannot find the picture I took of our cute Cat in the Hat simple craft but will try to explain it:
*1 white paper plate
*1 hat template
*1 piece of red crepe paper
*red & black crayons
*white scraps of paper to make ears

Kids draw a cat face on the plate and color the outside edge ('bumpy part') black.  They color the hat the traditional way and glue it onto the cat's head (plate).  Add 2 ears and tie a piece of the crepe paper into a bow and glue it to the bottom of the plate.
It comes out SUPER cute!

****Green Eggs and Ham****
Every Dr. Seuss birthday has to have this book...and some green eggs!
For years I made eggs for my kids (add blue food coloring to the yellow eggs- it'll come out better than adding green!) but after a few years of egg allergies in my class I had to think outside the box!

So I started making these green 'eggs' from chocolate!
(I even pack some up for my boys lunches!)

Last year I made them on little pretzels:
(because I could only find 1 bag of white chocolate and didn't have enough for the big eggs!)

Our Cat in the Hat greets my kids with a platter of eggs in the morning:

We also play a green eggs/ham CVC game and spell some CVC words using green eggs throughout the week:
(You'll find this FREE later in the post!)

I also am planning on using some of these green eggs with the Party City goodies I received:

My kids LOVE writing in mini notepads when we do 'read the room' center, so I figured they will love using these Dr Seuss notepads and special pencils to practice sounding out and spelling CVC words: 

I am finding my students are having a hard time distinguishing between vowel sounds (especially e and i) so I plan on using the green eggs for some vowel sorts.  The Dr Seuss loot bags are perfect for holding the eggs!  I used post-its to label my bags (so that I could re-use them again for something else) and will lay out the eggs for them to sort.  I will also have them record the words on a printable.


We also use this 'green eggs and ham' CVC word/picture sort throughout the week:
(You'll be able to download this for FREE later on in the post!)


 ****Fox In Socks****
I will admit...I first picked out these Dr Seuss socks for the teachers on my K team to wear but when they arrived they said 'child size' and I didn't think they'd fit us!
BUT...I had a fox rhyming game I have used for years to practice rhyming that I knew would be even more fun with the addition of the socks!
 So the foxes get stuffed into the socks...students pull out a fox, ID the picture, draw it and then think of something that rhymes with it and draw a picture.  I am also going to encourage them to label their pictures.
(The recording sheet will be FREE later in the post.  The foxes can be found HERE.)


****Bartholomew and the Ooobleck****
This books is super long but the kids LOVE listening to it (especially if you change up your voice!).
We always end Dr Seuss week with some oobleck!
It's SUPER easy to make and it's A TON of fun!
I have tried the cornstarch method...NO..too messy...do this one!
The recipe and how to can be found ON THIS POST.

This year I remembered to take a video of the 'ooohs' as it turns into oobleck! Turn up the volume and enjoy:
   
After this I pour off the excess water and then rip pieces off for each of them to play with!

Here are some pictures of us enjoying our oobleck this year:

Here are a few other things that can be done during Dr Seuss week to go with a variety of his books:

FIND THE CAT!
We do a lot of pocketchart 'find the hiding___' activities with each theme/season, so I knew we needed a Dr Seuss one!
For this one I used the Dr Seuss cut-outs and some Post-It removable tape to write CVC words (you could use sight words, spelling words, letters, numbers, vocabulary words, etc!)

I cut the cat out of one of the cut-outs...
These cut-outs will be in our pocketchart.
The kids hide their eyes and one person hides the cat behind another cut-out.
The kids ask 'Is the cat hiding behind __(insert CVC words)__?' and the person who hid the cat checks under that word.
If the cat is there, the person who guessed correctly gets to now be the hider.
If it isn't, children continue to be chosen to guess until the cat is found.

I got 2 sets from Party City so I was thinking of also doing a matching activity with them and/or using them as math manipulatives for addition/subtraction!

Speaking of addition/subtraction....
We'll be using these Dr Seuss Stampers!
 They are SELF-INKING so no need for stamp pads!
You can call off a number sentence for them to solve and/or have them use dice to roll, record and show!  All of them ink in 'blue' but there are a few different pictures to choose from!

Here is how we'll use it for subtraction practice:

We used them for subtraction practice on Dr. Seuss' birthday this year as our 'math lesson' for the day:
As a reward at the end of math, each child who used the stamps the right way (aka didn't ink up and down their hands and fingertips!) got to put 1 stamp on their hand!

And as I was writing this post I thought about how 'making 10' is coming up, so it would be fun to use the stampers to show different ways to make 10!
 (in both composing and decomposing ways!)

We'll also be reading books from this rhyming readers pack throughout the week

In case you were keeping track of what was in my picture and what I have shared...
The 'Thing' patches are for the 9 teachers on my kindergarten team (it was perfect- the pack had Thing 1 to Thing 9 in it!)
We all purchased red t-shirts from Michaels to iron them on.  Some of us will wear the Cat in the Hat headbands and some of us the Thing 1/Thing 2 headbands.  

Here is how ADORABLE my kindergarten team looked in our shirts and headbands:
The patches were easy to use...they ironed right on!

At the end of the day we will be gathering all of our classes for a Dr Seuss read-aloud in the gym.
Each child will receive one of the paper hats to wear and will go home with a pencil!
I even have a Cat in the Hat costume I found at a yard sale years ago just in case  our principal wants to join in on the fun!

Here are some pictures of our reading celebration at the end of the day:
All 115+ kids sat in a HUGE circle in the gym.  One of the teachers read The Cat in the Hat while the rest of us sat inside the circle holding copies of the book so that each child could see the pictures.
A few pages in our PE teacher came strolling in...as The Cat in the Hat!
He acted out parts of the story as added entertainment!
We even found some 'THING' 'patches' online and had each kid wear one all day!

The kids enjoyed it SO MUCH we are planning our next grade-level reading celebration for Friday April 21st- National Kindergarten Day!  Stay tuned for the fun we have planned for that day!

We'll be using the plates, napkins and cups to enjoy our green eggs and cat in the hat treats!
I can't wait to share pictures of our fun day and all the fun things we'll be doing!

Here are our treats on the special plates!
Each child got a 'green egg' (chocolate), Lorax cookie, Cat in the Hat fruit kabob and Red Fish, Blue Fish crackers!  We also enjoyed THING JUICE! 

The Cat in the Hat approved of our treats!

What is THING JUICE?
Simply blue Hawaiian Punch with a special label!
Then there is a squirt of whipped cream on top and some red & blue sprinkles!

As exciting as the snacks were, when they opened the napkins they discovered ALL the characters we had read about all week!

And my boys lucked out too because they had this fun Dr Seuss inspired breakfast and lunch too:
(Sometimes it's REALLY great to be the kid of a teacher mom!)

At the end of the day each of my kiddos took home a goodie bag filled with a pencil, notepad, stamp and special cut-out thanks to Party City:

Some other fun things we did included:
Dr Seuss video thanks to Scholastic Let's Find Out

Dr Seuss video thanks to Brain Pop Jr.!

And although the door on this year's celebration is now closed, 
you can still get ready for next year's celebration...

Since I feel SUPER honored to have been gifted all these WONDERFUL things from Party City, I think it is only fair I 'pay it forward' and gift my readers with some things they can use during 'Read Across America' week, so click HERE:

To find all the recording sheets shown in this post, as well as the green eggs and ham center pieces!

It was a SUPER FUN celebration from beginning to end!
and a day I know my kindergarteners are sure to never forget!

**********
Some of the other bloggers that received materials from Party City are sharing what they are doing to!
Be sure to check back to find links to their posts:

Stories & Songs In Second:

Easy Teaching Tools:



Hope you have a super fun week!
Until next post,

9 comments:

  1. Thanks for all the great ideas and the freebie

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Jennifer for the great ideas and the freebies. Can't wait to use them with my kiddos.

    ReplyDelete
  3. This post was terrific, Jennifer! What a great treat to get those items from Party City! I went there on Valentine's Day (after school) and thought I had hit the jackpot, because they still had a huge stock of Dr. Seuss Fun!! Your ideas have really helped me and now I'm going to go back to my plans and tweak them a little. Thanks SO much for creating the freebie for us!! I'm going to use it for sure!! Enjoy your week!! Linda Groce (Linda's Learning Loot)

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