Team Building Time at the OK Corral

We’re three days into the new school year at the OK Corral.  We’re taking just-out-of-kindergarten-ers and turning them into lean, mean, running-with-the-big-dogs first graders.  The first week or so of any school year is spent teaching procedures and rules, outlining expectations, and creating a cohesive family for the next 180 days.  We’ve read many of the usual first-day-of-school read alouds like First Day Jitters, The Kissing Hand, and one of my personal favorites, It’s Time for School, Stinkyface.

wpid-20150819_094646.jpgToday, we read another great book, The Crayon Box That Talked.  In the story, a little girl overhears a box of crayons arguing about how they don’t like one another.  She buys the box, takes it home, and shows the crayons how they work together to create a beautiful picture.  Not unlike a rag tag bunch of former kindergartners, coming together to form a terrific first grade class.

After reading the story, we worked on creating our own crayon dudes with which to decorate the OK Corral.  Check it out.

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Great News For The OK Corral

Happy New Year to one and all!  We begin 2015 with great news for the OK Corral.  Early in the fall, when Enthusiastic Intern began taking on more of the teaching load, giving me a little thumb-twiddling time, I decided to be constructive so I created a project on Donors Choose.

Donors Choose is a wonderful organization that matches up teachers in need with generous people who would like to give to a worthwhile cause.  A teacher creates an account and then writes a proposal for a project to be funded.  Donors Choose partners with various online retailers and the teacher selects items for the project.  Once it’s approved by the powers that be, the project is displayed for the charitably-minded to peruse and to choose, hopefully, to give a donation to the cause.  There is even an option for donors to give on a regular basis and specify the types of projects they’re interested in funding.

While EI spun her magic, I created a project that would replenish our sadly dilapidated classroom library.  Let me me frank: first graders are hard on books.  And the more they love certain books, the more destroyed those books become.  I have refilled my Junie B. Jones basket several times and I think we currently have part of one book left.

Like a kid in a candy store, I scanned the virtual aisles of Amazon, a Donors Choose partner, in search of the best deals in quality children’s literature.  I ended up with a shopping cart of about $400 worth of books.  In short order my project was approved.  Now, I just needed to sit back and wait.  And, of course, post the project on Facebook and try to shame my friends into donating.

wpid-20150101_121700.jpgI received news yesterday that my project was fully funded.  I have a total of four donors, including my girl Miz O’Postrophe, to whom I am most sincerely grateful.  The next step is that the books will be sent to us in the very near future.  I will need to send home releases for parents to sign because part of the ‘Thank You Package’ I’m required to complete involves photos of the actual students using the actual fruits of the project.

Obviously, we’re still on our winter break until next week.  I can’t wait to tell the kids the good news.

Just as my project was funded, my folks donated $50.  Since we were fully funded, that money has been placed on account for our next project, but it has to be used by July 2.  So another item on my To Do list will be to come up with another project.  Good thing I have a new Intern starting next week.  Tee hee!

The Winds of Literacy

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Occasionally in our staff mailroom, someone sets up a display of books and other items for order from the Books Are Fun company. To be honest, I never really pay attention to them because, let’s face it, I have no money to spend. This morning, however, as I breezed through on my way to my classroom, I was thunderstruck by this cheeky little book. Farts: A Spotter’s Guide. It appears to have a little gadget to go with it, too. I believe I’ll pass. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to spot a…well, you know.