Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pajama Day

What better way to fight the "below zero blues" of January than with a pajama day! My students came in their P.J.s and slippers along with a favorite stuffed animal. I set up several tents throughout the classroom the night before for them to read in.

We made pancakes for our morning snack. Each student helped stir the batter while practicing their counting skills. Some counted by 2's, 5's, or 10's during their turn and others I gave a number and they had to count on (43, 44, 45...) Then they each had a chance to flip a pancake! There was a lot of laughter! We had several conjoined pancakes by the end of it. And many burnt-ish pancakes - my specialty! (They just needed a little extra syrup, that's all.) The leader of the day brought two kinds of syrups for us to try with our pancakes. Afterwards we graphed our favorite - this year it was an equal liking for maple and blueberry.

The other classrooms were jealous of the delicious smell coming from our room!

We read If You Give a Pig a Pancake by Laura Numeroff  and talked about its circular story pattern - circular just like a pancake. I had to laugh, beacause on one page I asked the class "Why do you think the pig wants her picture taken?" A student responded, "To put on Facebook!" Haha!

We also read The Napping House by Audrey and Don Wood while highlighting the growing pattern of the story. I took drawings of each character and taped them to wooden building blocks. We stacked the blocks as each character piled onto the next one in the story.

"What can you find that measures 3 pancakes?" was our math challenge of the day. I cut out 4inch pancakes for students to measure with. It was a great critical thinking exercise.

I am slowly introducing the concept of subtraction until we get to that unit. I want my class to be familiar with the vocabulary prior to jumping right in.  We read a version of There Were 10 in a Bed  and acted out the story with teddy grahams. Each time the little one said "Roll over!", we rolled one teddy graham off the bed and into our mouths. I would say the subtraction problem and then call up a student to write the difference on the whiteboard.

We wrote in our journals about our day by copying the sentence: "Today was pajama day." I encouraged them to write a second sentence of their own. At the beginning of the year I focus on phonemic writing/inventive spelling - stretching out the word and writing down the sounds they hear. Now, at this point in the year, I take it a step further and model "finger spacing" between words, starting with a capital letter, and ending with a punctuation mark.

I drew names to see which 3 students could put their nap mats in each of the 3 tents set up in the room.

Pajama day was a success! However, I did get a lot of grief for wearing pajamas from my colleagues,"In a rush this morning?" They also advised me not to run errands after school - unless I was shopping at Wal-mart. They were just jealous. :) Who doesn't love being comfy? I think I might plan a "sweatpants day" next month...

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