The first week of this school year is in the books, and I think we finished it with a bang!
Between all of the constant practice of routines and procedures that we do during the first week, I always try and squeeze in as many fun reading activities that I can. I take a poll on the first day of my students who love reading, kind of like it, and don't like it at all. I tell them it is my personal goal and mission this year to help every one of them find their "forever" book and their passion for reading. I set out to do this right away!
This year, we are taking the lead of the wonderful Teaching with a Touch of Twang (Sabra is amazing!) and taking the #ClassBookaDayChallenge! We will read 1 book for ENJOYMENT every.single.day. My students are overwhelmingly excited about this challenge (I will share in a separate blog post all of the fun Sabra and I are having with this amazing challenge!)
For now, I want to share about our Friday book: Saturdays and Teacakes by Lester Laminack.
If you don't have this book, you NEED it.
^This version is hardcover and includes the CD of Mr. Laminack himself reading the book, which we always love to listen to!^
Throughout the week we do activities from Ideas by Jivey's Mentor Text and Better Than Basal Units on this book.
On Friday, we get ready to dive into messy learning and take the book even further.
We listen to the CD of Mr. Laminack reading the story (my students love his accent!)
While listening, my students work on the setting graphic organizer (we discuss clues as we listen to the book.)
Then, while I am setting up the ingredients and passing out supplies, my students complete the theme activity together with their team.
And then the real messy fun beings!
On the Smartboard we write out the supplies and ingredients we need to make the Teacakes. I let my students completely lead this, because by now they should know all of the ingredients. I fill in the numbers for flour, sugar, and vanilla since those are not specified in the book.
My students sit in 4 teams of 6-8 each students in my classroom. Each team gets to mix up a batch of Teacakes, and then I divide up the dough and give each student a ball to roll out and cut into Teacakes.
Just like other hands-on activities I do, I always set up all of the ingredients at my small group table. Each team elects a "captain" at the beginning of the activity. ONLY this student is allowed to approach the table to retrieve ingredients. Then, they take turns passing the bowl around the team so each person gets a chance to add an ingredient and/or mix the bowl.
When they feel like their dough is ready, they ask me to check it. I do the Mammaw "pinch and taste" and give them their approval! :) (Or I help fix it if needed!)
Then I give each student at the team a sprinkle of flour on their desk, a ball of dough from their bowl, and a small rolling pin to use (play dough rolling pins work amazing!)
*I didn't get pictures of these steps because by this point I have flour and dough up to my elbows and am running around having fun helping!*
Here's a pretty sheet of Teacakes all ready to bake!
Two of my boys who were VERY excited to take it down to the cafeteria (note the INSANELY messy desks behind them.. yes my whole classroom was a huge cloud of flour and I love it!)
Luckily, the wonderful cafeteria ladies are more than willing to help and have the ovens ready and bake the Teacakes for us. (Always make friends with the cafeteria ladies and custodians… especially if you do as much crazy/messy learning as I do!)
While our Teacakes bake, we clean, clean clean!! We use spatulas to scrape the extra dough into the trashcan, and then Clorox wipes to scrub down the desks. My students do a great job of cleaning up because they know their Teacakes are coming.
Once they are done and ready to eat, my students work on their first "How-To" writing of the school year---> Teacake recipe cards! They are SO excited to work on these because they can't wait to make them again at home. PLUS, they're enjoying a yummy Teacake or two while they work. :)
I do collect these recipe cards for a quick writing grade, but I always give them back by the end of the day so they can take the card home and try it over the weekend! (It's Saturday morning and I've already gotten 5 emails from my kiddos saying they made Teacakes today!)
I highly recommend this book and these activities that go with it. You can pick up the graphic organizers I talked about above and the recipe card as a FREEBIE in my store as a back to school gift for you! Click here to download. :)