Picture Book Pick of the Week - Harry the Dirty Dog

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I chose a book about cats for my last 
Picture Book Pick of the Week.

My dog was feeling slighted by this choice, so this week I decided to feature a cute book about his kind --
in particular, a book about a dog that likes to get dirty.  

A dog quite like my pet, Sammy.  
He especially loves to roll in anything stinky!  Sigh.   

The title of todays' book choice is 
Harry the Dirty Dog by Gene Zion.

I'm linking this post to Deanna Jump's
Let's Talk Books linky party.  
You may want to pop by there for more book ideas later! 

But on to the story!
Now Harry was a dog that didn't like to have baths.
So much so, that on bath day he'd hide his scrub brush by burying it in the yard!

One day he decided to leave his home to go have an adventure.
He went to all kinds of places.
And he got dirtier.. 

and dirtier...
...until he was no longer a white dog with black spots.
  Now he was a black dog with white spots!
Harry began to miss his family, but when he returned home, he was so dirty that no one knew who he was!
In a panic, Harry tried all kinds of tricks to get his family to recognize him.  
But nothing worked!

So Harry came up with a plan.
He dug up his scrub brush and ran upstairs with it.

The children saw that the "stray dog" wanted a bath.
So they obliged.  And guess what happened?
When Harry got out of the bath, his family recognized him!
Now Harry was happy to be all clean!

But he still hid his scrub brush under his pillow!
I read Harry the Dirty Dog when we were doing a pet unit (and of course showed the children a picture of my dirty dog at the same time!)

This book could also be great combined with a little lesson on hand washing and germs, a unit on health, or just for no reason at all! 
 Books about pets are always fun to read!

Since we're on the topic of dogs, I couldn't resist sharing the poster below ( originally posted by Q107 Toronto).  

I definitely see myself in this progression!

Does this sound familiar to anyone? :)

Ever Lost the Attention of Your Class?

No matter what age of student you teach, there will be times when the attention of your class goes sideways.   

In my preschool class, all of a sudden, everyone might start talking at once excited to share a story about their weekend.

Or maybe one student will copy the sound of a sneeze in a book I'm reading and then all of their compadres will follow suit.  

Or maybe it's time to go outside, but no one wants to sit quietly to wait for his turn to line up.  

Yep. It's all part of teaching.  And some years, with some classes, there's more issues than with others!

One strategy we use to regain quiet in the midst of circle time is to sing...

"It's my turn to talk and it's your turn to listen."


"Put your finger on your lips on your lips.  Shh.   Shh."

Another surprisingly effective strategy in our classroom is to simply say loudly,
 "Oh dear!  Oh dear!"
For some reason that usually grabs the students attention pretty quickly!

I saw more ideas for grabbing attention in 
a FREE printout provided by 
the Clever Classroom below.

But before you check it out, I'd love to have you post a comment for how you grab attention in your classroom.  
The more options we teachers have the better!   

After, click {here} or on the image below if you'd like to access your free copy of  Class Attention Grabbers on TPT.
It includes some great ideas!

Mr. Pusskins - Picture Book Pick of the Week + Freebie

Do you love cats?

I know I do.  
Even though they tend to be moody and grouchy and very much "in charge" of the household. 

Or maybe that's just my cat?
Well, I do know of another fictional cat that's just like mine--   And he is featured in this week's 
 Picture Book Pick of the Week.

This week's choice is
  Mr. Pusskins by Sam Lloyd.
This book is funny and sweet with a pace just perfect for the Preschool and Kindergarten crowd.

In the story, Mr. Pusskins is treated like a little king by his owner Emily, but Mr. Pusskins appreciates nothing.
(Just get a load of his expression below!)

  Mr. Pusskins wants something better for himself and he thinks he can find it out in the big, wide world. 

He runs away to a life in the streets and finds a raucous gang of alley cats to "hang" with.
They have lots of fun.  For a while.  

Then Mr. Pusskins realizes that the alley cats
 aren't really his friends.  

They aren't kind and sweet like Emily.
  And Mr. Pusskins starts to feel cold and alone.
Mr. Pusskins misses his old life.  And Emily. 
So he finds a way to contact her.
The two get reunited!
The story ends with Mr. Pusskins having a major attitude improvement!
He appreciates his fine home and loving owner, and  
he becomes a happy and sweet cat.
At least most of the time.
I love the funny images in this book 
(especially those of Mr. Pusskins' grouchy face!)
 and I like the book's underlying message of learning to appreciate what you have.

It was a hit with my group and I can confidently recommend it for yours!

If you'd like to combine this book with a writing activity or a unit you may be doing on Pets, you may want to download this FREE worksheet.

Just click {here} to pick up your copy!
If you know someone else who might like this post, please pass it on to a friend!

I'm linking this book to Deanna Jump's 
Let's Talk About Books Series
Join up for more ideas!

Playin' Outdoors - Backyard or Playground Game Idea

When the weather's nice and you have kids to keep busy, the best place to send them is

The outdoor game I'd like to share today is called 
Target Ball!

All you need is:
  • fence or wall
  • sidewalk chalk
  • bucket with water
  • balls (tennis balls work great)
  • hula hoop (or other marker for where to stand)
Draw your target on the fence and indicate the points earned for hitting each circle.
We kept to small numbers to make adding the points easy.

Players stand in the hoop and throw wet balls at the target.

If you like, you can have the kids (or you) record the points for each throw.

We found that most of our throws were landing in the 
two pointer circle! 
Older kids might like to switch off until each player has taken 10 turns.  
Then they can add up the points they recorded to see who won the round. 

We played our first round by seeing who could hit the
 5 pointer target first.
If you'd like to see other ideas for summer outdoor games, link up with
No Time for Flashcard's post {here}! 

Fall Clip Art Set and Freebie

What?  Fall Clip Art in June, you say?

Yep!  It may be summer, but as we know, teachers 'round the world are still spending time preparing for next year. 

As for me, I just finished creating a
Fall Clip Art Set
for my Chirp Graphics shop!

It was fun to work with oranges and reds for a change!
You can almost feel the heat coming off of the page!  

This set of Fall clip art includes 30 images in total.
Lots of choice for your worksheets or other projects!  

There are 8 unique, resizable images that come in colour, blackline, and black and white.  

The images include:
  • acorn
  • basket
  • crow
  • maple leaf (digitally painted for a unique look in 5 different colours) 
  • leaf (red, orange, yellow)
  • fall tree
  • rake
  • scarecrow
If you'd like a FREE sample
 from this set, check out the digitally "hand painted" leaf below! 
I'm happy to share this freebie with you {here}!

The price for the set is usually $4.50, but I will be offering it for 20% OFF
Tuesday, July 1st!
You can grab it in my Chirp Graphics shop {here}! 

If you know anyone else who would be interested in this post, I'd love for you to share it by clicking one of the social media tabs below.  Sharing is good! :)

P.S. - I almost forgot to announce the winner of my Rafflecopter giveaway.  
Congratulations to Deana L.!!! 
She has been randomly selected by Rafflecopter to win my 58 page,
 Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses Unit!  
Thank you to all who entered to win! 

Caps for Sale - Great Picture Book with Activity Ideas

It's Tuesday and time again for my
 Picture Book Pick of the Week!
(Plus a collection of activity ideas to accompany the story!)

As I've said before, finding books that your class will love can be a challenge.  

Especially if you are picking books for younger students. 
I know my preschoolers sometimes usually have a very limited attention span so I have to choose wisely!

Today's tried and true pick is the classic tale,
 Caps for Sale, by Esphyr Slobodkina.

I love this book because the length is perfect for Preschool and Kindergarten and it's SUPER fun to read.

The story opens by introducing us to a cap peddler who has the unusual practice of selling his wares 
from a display on his head.  
Each day he puts on his checkered cap, then he adds his grey caps, then his brown caps, etc....

 As he walks, he sings, 
"Caps for Sale! Caps for sale!  Fifty cents a cap!"

On this particular day no one is interested in buying his caps so he decides to take a nap in the country.
When he wakes up, he realizes that all of his caps are GONE!

He discovers that a tree full of monkey has taken them.
  And they don't want to give them back!
 After a few tantrums and lots of pleading... 
...the peddler gets back his wares.
The peddler places all the caps back on his head and returns to town singing,
"Caps for sale.  Caps for sale.  Fifty cents a cap."

Caps for Sale is a simple, fun story and part of my no-fail book collection.  

I bought the book and CD combo so that I could sing snippets of the songs as I read the story AND when I perform the story as a puppet show.    

A fun way to follow up the story would be to:
  • celebrate HAT DAY at school
  • set up a HAT SHOP in your dramatic play center
  • make crazy HATS for ART
  • provide PUPPETS and props so that your class can re-enact the story
  • have students practice walking and BALANCING CAPS on their head
  • encourage children to SORT HATS by pattern or colour
  • use the story as a springboard for a MATH activity

Scholastic has provided a free printable to go with this book.
Just click to download

Also, today is the last day to enter my Rafflecopter for a FREE 
Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses Unit!
See the unit and click to enter HERE!

I have linked this post up with Deanna's,
 Let's Talk About Books Linky.

Why not pop over to see which books others recommend!

Five for Friday - Preschool Graduation

This was the last week of school before summer.
And it was a busy one! 

 I'm linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching to share five happenings from my week!

We wrapped up the year with our three year olds by celebrating with a "glow in the dark" bowling party!

With the help of the gutter covers, our little guys actually made some really good throws! 

There may have been one or two lofted balls added into the mix, but no one seemed to mind!

Our 4 year old students each made a "mini me" in cap and gown to decorate our walls for graduation.  

I think the little "graduate" below may be wearing his cap upside down...
But no matter!  
We love it when each little character is unique - just like our students!
To see more of our preschool graduation decorations, click {here}.

After hanging all of our decorations on Thursday, the big day arrived and our 4 year olds had their graduation ceremony!  
I think I was more nervous than they were.... 
Why?  Who's to say?  But everything went smoothly!

Here is the song we played while the children did their procession down the aisle.

I don't know why this song moves me so much, but it does!
(Note:  If you are having trouble seeing this link, you may need to view it directly from my blog.)

At the party, Miss Danica and I were very spoiled with gifts from our preschool parents. 
We were so lucky to have such a helpful and supportive parent community this year.  

We will miss them right along with missing their kids!
I celebrated the end of the year once I got home by having a nice, big...
with my favourite napping partner!

Although I'll still be working at other things this summer, my schedule will be a little more flexible than when school is in session.  

I'm so looking forward to having the time to catch up on my sleep!

Ah, summer!

To check out others' Five for Friday posts, connect to the linky party 
on Doodle Bugs Teaching {here}!

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