Saturday, September 24, 2011

Thunder Cake!

The second graders have been reading personal narratives written by Patricia Polacco. This week our focus was on discussing fears we have and how we overcome our fears or are in the process of overcoming things we are afraid of. Patricia was extremely afraid of thunderstorms and her grandmother distracted her by gathering ingredients for making "thunder cake." Between reading about thunder cake and my daughter telling me she was going to thaw her wedding cake from last year, I decided to make Patricia Polacco's, Thunder Cake. Delicious! Below is the recipe from Patricia Polacco's official website:

Thunder Cake!

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.

Cream together one at a time:
1 cup shortening
1 3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 eggs, separated
( blend yolks in. Beat whites until they are stiff, then fold in.)

1 cup cold water
1/3 cup pureed tomatoes

Sift together:
2 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup dry cocoa
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

Mix dry mixture into creamy mixture. Bake in two greased and floured 8
1/2 inch pans at 350 degrees for
35 to 40 minutes. Frost with chocolate butter frosting. Top with


Happy First Anniversary to my daughter and her husband

Heather and Andrew at Carolina Inn, Chapel Hill, NC with UNC mascot, Rameses. September 25, 2010

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Rotation Week "6"

Yes! We have just completed another rotation of classes! What a great past six days. Let me share with you what the students have completed.

Kindergarteners enjoyed two of Eric Carle's read alouds titled, The Very Clumsy Click Beetle and

The Very Lonely Firefly. I began storytime with the lights off and I taught them a "scary" fingerplay called Creep Them. We left the lights off as I explained to them about fireflies are not actually flies, but soft bellied beetles. We shared stories about going out at dusk at the beginning of summer and catching fireflies. Scientists still don't know what causes their "cold organ" to glow. We learned this from the author's note at the beginning of the book as well as using a non fiction text to look at photographs of real lightning bugs. We truly enjoyed the story and at the end the fireflies' bellies lit up! This was why I wanted to keep the lights off so the students could see them very clearly. We continued to read The very clumsy click beetle, saw photographs of a real click beetle and followed up with a game of sorting fiction books and nonfiction books.

First graders enjoyed another dragon story about a little girl who finds an egg which hatches into a (you guessed it), dragon! The title of the book is Raising Dragons. Afterwards we divided up into two groups and played a game called Fact or Fiction. I tried desperately to try to trick the students into believing dragons were real, but they were too smart for me.

Second graders viewed a DVD titled Rechenka's Eggs, by Patricia Polacco. What a beautiful heartwarming story. After the story, Patricia Polacco demonstrated how to make pysanky eggs while talking about her grandmother who taught her years ago how to make these Ukrainian decorated eggs.

Third grade students discussed fix up strategies while reading. In other words, what do you do when you come to a word you don't know? They certainly have some ideas to help them now. To practice these strategies I read a book by Jon Scieszka titled, Baloney (Henry P.) Many of the words are foreign, however by using picture support, context clues, activating prior knowledge, listening to me read ahead as well as listening to the sounds within the words or words within words, they were able to decode fairly easily.

Fourth graders completed the condensed version of Danny the Champion of the World. We are now prepared to go to the computers this coming week to learn more about Roald Dahl's childhood, school years and life as a very famous author.

Fifth graders enjoyed another selection from Guys Write for Guys Read. I read Andy Griffiths' (Not the Andy on TV Land with Barney and Opey)selection titled, My Dad is better than your Dad! We continued to work on our Interactive PowerPoint Slides about Lewis and Clark, finding locations of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Pacific Ocean, North Carolina, drawing the Mississippi River on the slide (talk about fine motor skills), Pennsylvania, Missouri, and the city of St. Louis. The reason we are filling in with these points of interest is they directly correlate with the Lewis and Clark expedition.