I started my mini Gingerbread unit this morning with a reading of The Gingerbread Boy by Paul Galdone and a Roll and Graph Activity compliments of www.teachingheart.net (slightly modified for a larger group). The children were so excited and engaged that they wanted to keep going. My centers were stocked with gingerbread activities to stimulate their little minds, however rehearsal for the (dreaded) Christmas Showcase sent us past the centers and onto the stage.
While we were walking by, the children noticed the laminated Gingerbread Boy characters that I attached to a cookie sheet via magnet dots (an old teaching trick that I just discovered) and got super excited. They went on and on about the story and who was going to the story center first and I was ELATED!!!! The teacher in my head was doing the wop and saying "I rock, I rock!!" Not only did I finally find something to do with those magnet dots, I sparked interest in the story, the children were eager to do retellings...I had to tap my pocket to make sure I had enough post-its for afternoon center time.
After practice (which went surprisingly well, by the way), lunch, outdoors and nap time, it was finally time for centers. Everyone was on their best behavior, hoping to be called first so that they could have first center choice. The first center picked-the story center.
By now, the teacher in my head was doing the running man with a side kick (yeah, I'm that old). I was so excited to see the action in the story center, I could barely make it through the rest of center assignments. I watched in awe as the two children at the story center arranged the pieces onto the cookie sheet and with each holding an end, carried it over to the kitchen area and put it into the oven.
They weren't excited about the characters at all, they were excited about the cookie sheet.
The dancing teacher in my head came back to earth. I have SO much to learn.
A feast of roasted fox, gingerbread old man, old woman, boy and threshers, bar-b-cue cow with a side of cantaloupe and a red, yellow and green apple pie for dessert lifted my spirits up again.
Maybe tomorrow I will challenge them to bake the characters in the order they appear in the story.
A great idea, but I'm not going to start dancing yet.
Okay, maybe just a little two step.