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Peep Peep! Sharin' a Little Sunshine #1

When I heard the theme of our first Hello Sunshine linky was going to be Spring is in the Air, I immediately started to think of all those adorable babies being born this time of year.  Baby lambs, baby bunnies, baby... chicks!

Few things get our little learners more excited than the anticipation of hatching chicks.  I'll never forget when my son John was in kindergarten, he had the most amazing teacher.  She guided her sweeties through all sorts of integrated learning adventures with that magical incubator full of eggs serving as the thematic focus.  Of course she had them writing up a storm, and my boy wrote the most darling journal entry declaring his true heart's desire -- that his mom would let him take one of the little fluff-balls home.   (If you ever meet my son, please don't ask him what my answer was - I think that will always be a sensitive topic!)

I've collected several hatching-chick related ideas and resources to share with you today.  (These are also on our Spring Pinterest board; I've included a link at the end of this post.)


First the Egg by Laura Vaccaro Seeger (Caldecott Honor Book, Theodor Seuss Geisel Honor Book, and New York Times Book Review Best Illustrated Book of 2007)

With its gorgeously textured illustrations, novel die-cut interactives, and deceptively simple text, this concept book is a fun read-aloud to use as a springboard for classroom discussions and writing activities.  Two natural topics to explore further with students are:
a) Word Pair Relationships - The author pairs words and uses a "First... Then" format.  How does she decide on words to pair together?  What are some other words that we can put together in this format?
b) Cycles - The author starts with "First the EGG," and by the end of the story comes back full circle to "Then the EGG."  How does she do that in a way that makes sense?  Can we show the cycle on a graphic organizer?  Can we make up our own story with a similar structure?

Hatch! by Roxie Munroe

This nonfiction book introduces an amazing variety of eggs and the birds that hatch out of them.  Despite the huge amount of textual information that it shares, its consistent format sets a comfortably paced rhythm throughout.  For each bird, the first page shows accurate renderings of the eggs with the query, "Can you guess whose eggs these are?"  The second page (facing the first) provides additional clues in the form of informational text.  Turn the page for a two-page spread that reveals the bird's identity and provides a bunch more information.  The very last page of the book provides a helpful vocabulary list.  

Chickens Aren't the Only Ones by Ruth Heller

Oh I just love Ruth Heller's books!  It seems like any time I want to teach just about anything, she has written and illustrated a wonderful book for that very topic or concept.  Part of her World of Nature series, this treasure trove explores the vast diversity of egg-laying creatures.  This book was also featured on Reading Rainbow, and you can find the video on YouTube:  Reading Rainbow: Chickens Aren't the Only Ones.

Activities and Ideas:

I thought the Hatching Chick Craft was so cute!  Students create the little chickie peeking out of its egg; these sweet projects make a darling class display!  The Chicken Life Cycle would make a very special keepsake, with the handprint for the mature chicken.  And how stinkin' adorable are the Egg Carton Chicks?!?


The pin address that I included on today's graphic leads to a short (4:30) video of a baby chick hatching from its egg.  (The chick hatches out at 2:50 on the video.)

Do you have some sunshiny springtime ideas you'd like to share too?  We'd love to have you link up with us!  You'll find a blank template like the one I've used to organize my resources in this post, as well as this cute little button to announce your participation.

Thank you so much for visiting today - I hope you've found some ideas that you can use!

And for even more ideas, click over to our "Hello Sunshine Spring is in the Air!" Pinterest board:


Hello Sunshine!

Welcome to a very special blog hop!  This week we are celebrating the launch of Hello Sunshine, a collaborative blog uniting the efforts, ideas, and experiences of 12 creative Arizona educators who are passionate about our common mission:  to share a little sunshine with other teachers!
I can't even begin to tell you how excited I am about participating with these amazingly dedicated educators!  Each one of them is a teacher whose blogs and TpT stores I've followed and admired for ages.  And now to be joining up with them?  Well, I can't even!
You probably arrived here from the very sweet and talented Cassandra's gorgeously inspiring blog, Mrs. 3rd Grade.  Maybe you bounced over here by happy accident, or perhaps you've lost your way along the blog hop; if so, here is where you can go for all the blogs in order:  Hello Sunshine.

Here are the details regarding our Hello Sunshine blog hop:

When: The blog hop started today,  April 10 at 5:30 AM, Arizona Time.  However, you have until April 17, 2015, 5:00 pm Arizona Time, to leave comments on all the blogs and enter the Rafflecopter on the main Hello Sunshine blog to be eligible for the grand prize.

Why: To celebrate the launch of our brand new Hello Sunshine blog and also have the chance to win a $100 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers (and lots more prizes)!

Prizes: The prize on Hello Sunshine is a $100 gift card to Teachers Pay Teachers to one lucky person who comments on all of the 12 Hello Sunshine Teachers' blogs and follows Hello Sunshine's blog, Facebook, and Instagram.   To add even more glitz and glamor to the celebration - each of our individual bloggers is featuring giveaways of additional products and gift cards on her individual blog.  So. Much. Fun!

To enter my blog giveaway for a chance to win $10 to use in my TpT store, and another $10 gift card to Amazon, please enter here:

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thank you so much for hopping by!   Next stop is the always uplifting, positive, and amazingly creative Jennifer at The Blessed Teacher.
And don't forget to head over to Hello Sunshine for a chance to win the $100 TpT gift card!  Good luck, and Happy Hopping!

April's Pick 3 - Focus on Earth Day

It's the third of the month, so that means it's time for Pick 3, which just happens to be one of my very favorite linky parties!
Hosted by Marissa at Inspired Owl's Corner and Lisa at PAWSitively Teaching, this fun link-up provides an opportunity for educators to share three Pinterest finds that they can use in their classrooms that month.  This month I focused on Earth Day to help me choose from all the awesome Pinterest goodies out there!  Clicking on each of the images will take you directly to the original pin.

 First on my list is this AH.DOR.A.BLE craft - I mean, really, could this little Earth be any cuter?

Next is a wonderfully rich STEAM project that could be adapted for children of any grade level.  I can already think up a zillion possibilities for this tunnel book:

My third and final pin today is this round-up of technology resources for Earth Day.  I just love it when I find a cool idea on Pinterest that takes me to a blog that I already follow!  These wonderful ideas come from Stephanie Van Horn at 3rd Grade Thoughts:

I hope you found a little something here that you'll be able to use for Earth Day, or really for any time that you are teaching about taking care of our planet.

Please feel free to link up with us and share YOUR favorite Pinterest finds!  You will find the link-up and all of the cute linky party graphics at Marissa's and Lisa's blogs (by clicking on their blogs' names above).