Friday, January 10, 2014

Mitten Mania!

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BRRR!  It's been so cold all over the country this week that I bet even in the south kids are wearing winter clothing they've never seen before!  This week in my speech room, we've been doing activities related to MITTENS!  Here's the run-down:

The Mitten:
In many of my groups, we read "The Mitten" by Jan Brett. Who doesn't love this book?!? Believe it or not, I drew the animals from the story when I was in college (in the mid to late 90's) and they are STILL hanging in there!  This still shocks me because I didn't even think of laminating them at the time!  

Here's a closer look:

We worked on sequencing the order in which the animals went into the mitten and I found this printable emergent reader take-home book from Jamie Mayas on Teacher's Pay Teachers. What a great way for my preschoolers to practice the vocabulary from the book!

Noisy Story:
In some other groups, we read the Noisy Story "The Mitten." (Click HERE to see more information on the Noisy Stories program).  This story is about a lost mitten.  I begin the story by wearing one mitten and telling the kids that I'm going to tell them a story about something you can wear in the winter.  Believe it or not, they don't ALL clue in that the story will be about a mitten! Once they do figure it out, I tell them that there is a BIG problem in the story (mind you, I'm still wearing ONE mitten).  Eventually someone infers that there is a missing or lost mitten in the story...

At the end, the mitten is found on a snowman! My preschoolers love when I pull out my snowman (above) with the mitten stuck to his belly.  (Sometimes they make me feel like a magician!)  The younger kids worked on same/different using real mittens (see photo below) as well.

PS, If you want a similar type story for older kids, check out "The Missing Mitten Mystery" by Steven Kellogg.

EET: Mitten style!

I have rounded up a ton of mittens over the years.  I usually pick them up at the end of the winter in a clearance bin. We focused on the "eye" bead of the EET strand and described what the mittens look like.

I don't know if I mentioned this before or not, but I'm doing my Student Learning Goal for my Educator Evaluation on the EET.  Based on my mid-year data, my kids are just NOT getting the eye bead!  Here's an example of a very typical response from my kiddos during mid-year data collection:
Me:  What's this?
Student: A carrot.
Me:  Right! {shows green bead}Green-group. What group does a carrot belong in?
Student: Food group.
Me: Nice! {shows blue bead}Blue-do. What do you do with a carrot?
Student: You eat it!
Me:  You're doing great! {shows eye bead} Eye ball!  What does a carrot look like?
Student:  It looks like a carrot!
Me: {face-palm!}
We spent about 2 weeks on describing appearance, but I guess we need some more time with that!  So, we grabbed the EET strand and worked on describing the appearance of the mittens.  If you don't have a ton of mittens like I do, you can always make them out of paper.  

I used a pattern similar to the one below and printed them on letter size scrapbook paper, then cut them out.

Want a copy of the mitten patterns? Click HERE.

And there you have my week of Mitten Mania!  What are your favorite Mitten activities?


  1. Carrie, it's so funny...I am TOTALLY planning a blog post for next week about my plans for The Mitten, and you beat me to it! I'm using the Noisy Story book too, which I was planning to feature. I can tell that we often have similar ideas and styles!

  2. I love your idea of using the EET for your student learning objective. The SLOs are brand new to our district this year and we received no training on this, so I'm struggling a bit with it. Any chance you would be willing to share your SLO, or address it in a future post? Did you need to use tiers to measure your outcomes, or did you focus on one grade level? Any advice would be much appreciated!!

  3. Hi Carrie! I love all of your ideas! Have you tried telling your students that when they are saying what something "looks like" they can talk about the color, shape and size? That's what I tell my students and it seems to work with most of them. They still need some prompting but they are getting there... =)

    1. Hi Paula! Thanks for the suggestions. I actually have taught them that the eye bead means they should think about color, shape, and size. There's even a boardmaker picture next to the poster of the eye bead in my office! I didn't give them cues during a recent session when I was collecting data to monitor progress. With the cues, they are able to give me color, shape, and size. Without a verbal cue, they'd just repeat the name of the object.


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