Showing posts with label fairytales. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fairytales. Show all posts
Today was the day!!! The Fairytale Ball day finally arrived!  The kids were soooooo excited and so was I.  We had a fantastic day...but man, it took a lot of work getting it ready....

Early last week, we made formal invitations for our parents, inviting them to our ball.  The kids colored the scroll paper to look like an old scroll, then crinkled it up to make it look old, and rolled it up and tied it with some yarn!

I know it seems crazy, but they were so proud of those silly scroll invitations.  We even practiced giving mom and dad their best, "Hear Ye! Hear Ye!" when they presented the invitation to them!

As I blogged about last week, we also prepared the kids with formal manners lessons and waltzing lessons!  With our school population being so high poverty and ESL, it is so important to us to expose our kids to some of the "finer" traditions that they may not otherwise get to experience.  The whole process is truly a "Once in a lifetime" experience for most of them!

This week we researched our class' continent--Europe.  Each of our seven first grade classes chose a continent to study and present at our Fairytale Ball.  Our class chose Europe!  We read even more books about Europe.  {Throughout the Cinderella Unit, we read a book on a different continent each week and did some research.  This week we researched even more!}

Because of what seems like a gazillion meetings at the end of last week and this week, I only had one day to make our map of Europe and practice presentations with my kids.  Last year we took about 2-3 days to do this project: 1 day to discuss what should be made and have the kids watch me model how to make a picture for our pictorial continent map and letting the kids make their pictures with partners; 1 day to write sentences with partners about what we would say about each picture; and 1 day to focus on our presentation skills.

So...Phew! Doing it all in one day was like running around like a chicken with my head cut off...seriously!  But we less than 2 and a half hours we did everything.
****DISCLAIMER: It is absolutely not the best quality of work, but how could I have expected it to be with so little time to model and practice??  Despite it's imperfections, and teeny tiny pictures, the kids were SUPER proud of it and thought it was "awesome!" ...And it is 100% kid made.  And that's the most important thing to me.  All I did was outline the continent.

The sweet castle and crown for the queen of England!

For the trains you travel on in Europe...

Gingerbread, cars, cows with humongo utters {ha!}, and the Eiffel tower off to the Southwest of this picture... the end, I truly love all of the imperfections!  All of our Fairytale Ball plans, the formal invitation templates, more pictures and materials are included in my full Cinderella Unit.

Wednesday after school, our team {and some amazing teacher kids} set up for our ball!  Luckily, I grabbed a few pictures then because I didn't have any chance Thursday morning to take pictures!

Our adorable castle entrance that covers our cafeteria doorway!

One of my teammate's precious girls wanted to make a sign for the entrance to our ball. Pre-shus!
My lil' man got dragged into helping decorate and I snapped a quick pic...that castle door is just the right size for him, don't ya think??
 Last year, our sweet colleague made the castle entrance prop, and this year, she added a rock wall for our stage.  Our goal is to add one new prop each year!  I love the rock wall on the stage!

This is our red carpet entrance for the lords and ladies to walk through!
We have had great luck with table decorations each year!  Last year, our PTA had left over flower arrangements from teacher appreciation week.  This year, we had a wedding shower the day before and stole their table decorations...fresh hydrangeas! So pretty!!

Thursday was the DAY!  We started by parading down our main hallway for our entire school.  The kids walked with escorts and curtsied and bowed on the way down.  Our principal played some trumpet fanfare music through our intercom to make it so special!  Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of the parade from this year because we didn't have a photographer this year. {Last year, my father-in-law took pics, but this year he couldn't come.  We were able to do our own pictures, but just not of the parade!}  But here are some of last year's pics....

...absolutely LOVE this sweet picture!

Once we all entered the ballroom {err...cafeteria}, each class presented on their continent.  Obviously, I couldn't take a pic of my class, so...sorry Miss and your class made the blog!
 Then, the kids used their formal manners to eat their meal.  Each class was responsible for providing one food or drink item from each continent...{in case you're wondering...we used ice for Antarctica!} The loved eating the meal and were SO well behaved!  I think we should dress up in our fancy clothes more often!! *wink*

Then, it was time to practice our waltzing skills...

And oh how I love this sweet ladies!  My team is truly amazing and they are the reason our ball turned out to be such a HUGE success this year!

Throughout our Cinderella unit these past 7 weeks, I have hummed this song over and over...

A dream is a wish your heart makes
When you're fast asleep
In dreams you lose your heartaches
Whatever you wish for, you keep
Have faith in your dreams and someday
Your rainbow will come smiling through
No matter how your heart is grieving
If you keep on believing
the dream that you wish will come true

What powerful, powerful lyrics woven into a simple kids' movie....Today as we were cleaning up the "mess" left after the ball, I was thinking of just how many of our first graders had dreams that came true today.

For some of them, prom will be the closest thing to another "formal" event that they will ever go to. {And let's face it, prom isn't winning any awards anytime soon for its classiness...}

For some of these sweet babies, this may have been the only day they will feel like a carefree prince or princess.

For some of my firsties, "no matter how {their} heart is grieving" with the things they deal with on a daily basis, their dreams came true today.  I love that I have a job where I can create memories and grant wishes for children...

And I pray they continue to have faith in their dreams and someday see their rainbow!

This week has been about celebrations and preparing for upcoming celebrations!  After all, the END is in sight, ladies and gents!!  Let's hear some reasons to **celebrate** PLUS a freebie!!


Tuesday marked our 10 day countdown.  For a few years now, we have been sending the school year off with a <<BANG>> and doing a balloon popping countdown.

We filled each balloon with a fun surprise for the kids.  The last 10 days of school, I do not do my typical behavior chart stickers and treasure box prizes.  We do more immediate rewards {can I get an Amen???} to help with all of the end-of-year crazies.  Each day is a new celebration and the kids get SOOOOO super excited to find out who will get to POP the balloon!
 ....and POP!

Here are the 10 surprises we put inside the balloons.  Click to download the FREEBIE!!
The kids have literally shrilled and screamed over this  And I'm not gonna lie, while they are still ooooooober crazy, their behavior has been surprisingly good during our countdown.  They do NOT want to miss out on our fun!


Have a friend or colleague retiring this year? This retirement printable is a hot item in my store at the end of the year!  These look great framed and displayed at a retirement celebration!


Last week we wrapped up our Cinderella Unit {insert sad face here} and started preparing for our Cinderella Fairytale Ball which is next week {insert happy face here!}  Last year was our first year to do this and it is...




I'm sure you are thinking that the boys are not into it at all, and there have been a few {okay, a LOT of} "eewwwws" and gross faces, but they are just smiling the whole time and have had a blast!  And last year, ALL of my kids---even the boys talked about the Ball for the rest of the year!

To prepare for our Fairytale Ball Celebration, we have been talking about our formal etiquette and manners for eating and for greeting each other {bows and curtsies}.

We also brought in private dance instructors to teach our kids the waltz!

Goodness, we have so many first graders {175} that it's hard to fit them all in one picture!!  The dance instructors did a fantastic job separating the boys and girls and teaching them each their steps.

Then, they practiced dancing with a partner to the fancy music.  I was too busy playing the "boy" dancer for a sweet girl to get any pictures of their partner dancing.  But I'm sure I'll have PLENTY of pictures next Thursday, when we have our actual Fairytale Ball.

We will spend the next few days in our rooms practicing our skills so that our dancing will be perfect by Thursday {read about the Ball here}!


Our week ended today with an absolutely flawless celebration of a special birthday.  Mr. Walter Turnbow, the sweet man our school is named after, turned 90 today!   His family planned a special day full of surprise celebrations for him and his first celebration was at our school.  It was one of the sweetest things I've been a part of in a long, long, LONG time.  I was fortunate to get to see more of it because I had a meeting at school today and was not in my classroom.  So, I got attend all of the celebrations, not just part of it.

Mr. Turnbow pulled up to our school in a "Party Bus" with his wife and family.  Our school honor choir was on the porch along with our administrators and district administration guests.  I was so lucky to get to be on the porch with them and see Mr. Turnbow's face up close!

When he got out of the bus, we greeted him and sang, "Happy Birthday," and then released 90 purple and green {our school colors} balloons.  The rest of our kids lined the parking lot and cheered and sang for him as he drove up to our school.  All 860 of our Turnbow kiddos.  It. Was. Beautiful.

After that, the kids went inside and the family and special guests went to the library for a reception.  {I got to sneak in there and watch since I was out of the classroom today!}  Our choir sang two songs, one of which our AMAZING choir director wrote especially for Mr. Turnbow.

We were all in tears.  Including me.  And I'm not a crier--at all!  Then, Mr. Turnbow received one gift from each grade level.  Two kids from each grade presented the gift to him.  More Tears.  Omigoodness it was the sweetest thing!  Kindergarten gave him a notebook full of notes from their sweet babies.  In first grade, we painted a tree on canvas and the kids made leaves with their thumbprints. Here it is before the final touches were made!

Second grade made a handprint quilt.  Third Grade gave a photograph of kids spelling out TURNBOW.  Fourth grade gave Mr. Turnbow a frame telling him how old he was in years, months, days, hours, minutes and seconds {ha!}.  Fifth grade gave him a photograph of their kids forming the number 90 and individually wrapped candies created in 1924 (Bit-O-Honey and Dum-Dums} for each of the guests.
**Mr. Turnbow's birthday pictures are courtesy of Springdale Schools.**

Watching all of the gift giving reminded me so much of being in the room with my sweet Grandpa Murry.  Mr. Turnbow's sweet, soft, and loving spirit captured everything I remember about Grandpa.  {Oh, how I miss that dear man!}

With the end in sight, this week was full of celebrations...from little to big.  And they were each so special and memorable in their own way.  We have a lot of reasons to celebrate: the end of a unit, the end the year, and growing older.  I hope I live a life that deserves the kind of 90th year celebration we had for sweet Mr. Turnbow today!

We're continuing our Cinderella Around the World Unit, learning about cultures around the world through different versions of the Cinderella story!  Each week we've focused on a new continent as we've read their Cinderella stories and learned about the culture and fact about that continent.

This map is posted in our room and we have been referring to it throughout the unit. As we read each version of Cinderella, we add the book cover to our map to show the setting of each story.  This is a great reference tool for the kids throughout the unit.

This week, we focused on Africa.  Our message time this week was about Africa.  During our message times, I write a paragraph and students help read and predict what I will write.  We reread the whole paragraph after I write each sentence.  Then, the kids get their own copy of the message to put in their poetry/shared reading binders.  {There is an informative message on each continent in my Cinderella Unit Packet.}  Since the messages are only 5-7 sentences, it gave just enough information to get the kids interested in Africa and asking questions!  So, Monday, after our message time, I gave each student a sticky note and they wrote an "I wonder" question about Africa.  Then, they posted their questions on our wonder wall in our room.

The goal is to get kids asking good questions, and then be motivated to listen for and answer their questions.  Once we find the answer to their question, they write the answer on their sticky {or sometimes I write it if we answer their question as a class} and we move their sticky off of their wonder wall "bubble" to the Key Questions board as an answered question.  Honestly, I haven't been as good at setting aside time to allow kids to write down their questions as I have been in the past.  But they were just so interested in the continents the past two weeks that I just had to make time to do it this week! And they loved it...I need to be better and making the time for this during EACH unit!  After all, good inquirers, make good learners!!

Later, we read books about Africa and charted our learning on our anchor chart.

The versions of Cinderella we read this week were Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters

and The Egyptian Cinderella.

We pretty much followed the same pattern as last week with these books and then voted on our favorite African version of Cinderella.  This is the third year I've taught this unit, but this was the first year that Mufaro's didn't when the popularity contest! Clearly, each class of firsties has a mind of its own!

Next week, we are moving on to North America and cowboyin' Cinderella up a bit!  
Once upon a time, there was a class of first graders starting a Cinderella unit. The girls squealed in excitement! But, alas! The boys ewwwwwed in disgust...

Such was the start of my week!  Luckily, since this is my third year to teach this Common Core unit, I knew the boys would be hooked soon...and they were by the end of the first day!

I bought these continent posters on Amazon. A little cutting, labeling on the back and laminating and they were ready to hang above our group tables as the new "names" for our groups! I love having new group signs each unit {and the kids always oooooohh and ahhhhh over them!} They also help give a creative spot for all those anchor charts!
The first week of this unit, we learned about Europe and the "traditional" {to us, anyways!} versions of Cinderella.  We read Perrault's version first.
Since this version is pretty long and full of "old english" terms like haughty, nobility, bore, and ragged, we used this book to build our vocabulary!  We charted all !!23!! of our *sparkle* words and discussed their meaning.  My firsties loved trying to listen for and guess the sparkle words on each page!  This is also a great chart because some of these words are used in several of the Cinderella versions!

We also read James Marshall's Cinderella.  This is a funnier/lighthearted "traditional" version....this one gets the boys interested initially.  It's their first favorite {of many favorites to come!}  

The purpose for reading this book {other than to discuss European cultures and compare/contrast it to the other version from this week} was to listen for the elements of fairytales in this book.  First, we charted the elements of fairytales.  A teammate of mine told me about this great YouTube video.  It's a lady talking through the elements of a fairytale and was much more interesting than me spewing them out to the kids!

Then, we discussed each of the elements from this story and decided whether or not Cinderella is a fairytale.  We also wrote about each of the elements together on our graphic organizer.  Click the picture below for the {{{FREEBIE}}} of this one.  The Cinderella Unit in my TPT store includes this organizer as well as color versions to use on your Smart or Promethean Board.

In phonics, we worked on the ow (as in gown) and ou (as in cloud) sounds.  

Since there are so many *royal* words with ow, we charted -own words on our "crown" word family chart.  

Next week, when I have a sub, they will build-write-draw __own words independently. 

{{As an adorably cute side note, is there any little boy that looks cuter in a paper crown, than this one??}}
from last July, after Prince George was born!

After learning about Europe and all of its historical landmarks and awesome castles, we created a composite shape from 2 dimensional shapes....

...or in real people terms, we built our own dream castles out of pattern blocks during math yesterday! The kids had a blast dreaming up some precious castles and they turned out perfect...bat castles and all!

Follow me on Blog Lovin' or Facebook.  You're not gonna want to miss the rest of this fairytale unit

After we finish reading all of our silly, exotic and crazy versions of Cinderella and after we finish all of our fun-filled fairytale projects, we will definitely be sending these first graders off to summer with their happily ever after! 
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