Saturday, July 21, 2012

Love a Good Deal!!!

My husband and daughter headed off this morning to see "The Dark Knight Rises." So, I wanted to do something special for my son who in my opinion is too young to watch Dark Knight. He requested we head to the mall. Any trip to the mall is not complete without a stop at Barnes & Noble, so of course, that's where we ended up. While he headed into the children's section, I perused the 75% off display... just in case. And I was not disappointed! Look at these cool books I found ranging from $2-$4! How could I pass up these gems?

Immediately my teacher brain started thinking of how I could use them in a classroom. I can see them used as a springboard for a whole class writing warm-up, in a writing center, or as a creative outlet for early finishers. I'm sure there are so many more ways they can be used.

The one on top is called Yamodo Monsters and Aliens. It is a spiral-bound book with perforated pages. It comes with a pen. On each page is a nonsense word that sounds like it could have something to do with a monster or an alien. Also on each page is a squiggle and a sentence to complete. For example, the first page says "romatoid" and has a squiggle of two rectangle. The object is to decide what the word means and to turn the squiggle into a picture of the meaning. Then write out the definition.

The large blue book is called Squiggle Monsters. Open this one up and it has three spinners — one for a squiggle that you draw and two for monster characteristics such as "big bug eyes," "hairy toes," and "2 tongues." There is a small dry erase board in the center with six markers hidden underneath and a dry-erase fact sheet on the right. You spin the spinners, incorporating your three things into a monster, and then complete the fact sheet about it.

The smaller Squiggle Mix Up book is very similar to Squiggle Monsters, except the squiggle is drawn for you, and the drawing happens using paper and pencil. You spin the top spinners that each list different kinds of animals. Then you morph the two animals into one using the squiggle already provided.

With all of these, I think the next step in a classroom would be to write a story about your new creation, tell about its adventures, and describe its challenges. My son is currently working on his third monster in a group of monsters destined to become friends and have many adventures. My son has never been excited about writing, and he is busily telling me about all the things these monster friends will accomplish. What a wonderful outlet for creativity in thinking, drawing, and writing, while at the same time practicing some writing skills. How often do students really get to explore their imaginations anymore?

If your Barnes & Noble does not have these books and you are looking for them, here is an Amazon link. And I discovered, there are also several other versions of each available.

What a fun time filler for subs too. I think at least one of these will be coming with me everyday I sub.

1 comment:

  1. I, too, was at B&N last night and picked these up! I LOVE using Yamodo in the classroom as a quick sponge activity or as a break from traditional morning work. The Squiggle Monster is what caught my eye last night, but I ended up putting it back in the clearance bin. Thanks for the idea to put it in my writing center to prompt ideas...gotta get back to the store to see if it's still available!


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