Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And the crowd goes Wiiiiiild!

First off, this particular post is dedicated to the fabulous Mrs. Baxter, who sent me a bursting envelope full of non-fiction brochures, maps, and goodies from a trip she took to Germany.

As part of my new found obsession with non-fiction resources due to Tony Stead- I had sent out messages to some facebook friends that I had noticed did a bit of traveling, and asked them if they wouldn't mind sending me a few tidbits here or there.  I've gotten a great response, and wished I had an iPhone at the time I put those finds in the classroom to show the excitement- but this shipment coincided with the new phone.  If you didn't think a kid would get excited over a menu written in German- you have nooooo idea.

I laid out the different brochures and what not one piece at a time in front of the kids when we gathered on the carpet today for Reader's Workshop.  They were dying to touch them, when I put out the movie schedule two kids tried to lay a finger on the edges to call dibs.  We had to go over the rules for treating reading materials with care just to make sure they weren't torn to shreds.

It was a fantastic fifteen minutes, I have to tell you.  They can't wait for me to finish labeling them to put into the library permanently. I am so appreciative of my friends that have already sent materials, and those that say they plan to.  And so are the kids.  It's been a great experience to see how excited they get over the materials and the conversations they start having because of them.  Today there was an excellent moment where they began being critical of an art brochure- the paintings were not to their liking, and I simply said- "Now let's be open-minded, these paintings are worth millions of dollars."  This blew their minds- and a common topic of conversation for the rest of the day was "If you had a million dollars, would you buy THAT?"   It was very difficult not to snort out loud.  But their conversations easily evolved into what they WOULD buy if they had that much money.  And now, THAT was interesting. Here are my kiddos enjoying the non-fiction feast:

I love how close they sat together to share the materials.  Everytime they found a map they'd call out "Map! There's a map in this one!" and then a huddle would form.

They also followed me all over the room showing me whatever they found.  And then there was Maggie- she looooooved the subway system map.  She traced every line color and went over the stops.

These kids are looking diligently for the location of the museum that had the "ugly art".  And then these two girls sang the continent song every time they looked at a map.  So yeah, I should definitely follow up and go back over the difference between continents and countries- but STILL.  They remembered the song from back in OCTOBER.  Score!

And as a final note- found a great blog via Pinterest today,   and I think you should definitely head over and look into the give-away they are having for an Easi-Speak USB recorder from Learning resources.  Don't know what that is?  Well, it's AWESOME, and you can look at it here:

And no, I have not been paid to endorse the ad, but by blogging about it I do get an extra chance to win one!  But besides that- it's really a great blog, and also what looks to be a great classroom resource.


  1. Well hello you! Thanks so much for stopping by my blog and for the shout out. Welcome to will LOVE it!!!!!

    Crisscross Applesauce in First Grade

    1. Ok, so I just figured out that I'm supposed to hit reply instead of just leave a comment beneath. Blerg. I'll get it eventually.

  2. Thanks! So far I'm enjoying myself quite a lot. Definitely keeping me creative at work.

  3. Your blog post is so cute! I had NO idea the kids would get so excited about maps, especially the subway system. :) Between the stuff in German and the beer hall menus, I wasn't sure how much you could use. I'm so glad they liked it! Thank you for sharing the kids and the pics. Your kids are adorable. I know I wouldn't pay $1M for some of that art. lol

    1. Again, thank you so much! I guess I love maps myself, and always make a big deal out of them in class anyway. I have discovered that as a general rule of thumb, any children's book that has a map in it is always a winner. But, yeah, the subway one was a hit. She also liked the bike trails brochure, because of the unusual bikes on the back. There was one where you could have someone ride along behind you and not have to pedal, and she said that was what her Dad needed to get for her so she wouldn't be tired. ;)