Themes - input??

Amber is having a linky!

What worked!

Well....A LOT worked!!! I was able to FINALLY figure out how I wanted to do center, both Reading and Math, in my room - it took a lot of trial and error, but I figured it out.

AND I was able to get back into my creative mojo - thanks, in part, to y'all!!

Speaking of centers....

I have to tell you.

I'm sick...

No, not physically sick.

But sick, as in, I can't make my mind turn off. ahhh!!!

Planning for next year already.

I'm doing a pirate theme -  (or should I do a beach theme!?! You KNOW how much I love the beach and those colors - but my kids don't really relate to the beach AND I already have a lot of things that are black/white/red.....what do you think?!?! Help me!!!)

Anyway, assuming I'm doing pirate theme - I've made some desk pockets for my behavior cards and some name tags and center labels to go with them...


I have lots of different versions of the desk pockets and name tags..

And I'm getting ready my pirate A.R. pack...
like the bookmarks and logs and such...

NOW....I'm seriously debating the beach theme - I'm having a HORRIBLE time deciding....
and if I do, then that means I have to redo my stuff - including my A.R. pack, which is fine. I don't mind doing that - but I just can't make up my mind!!!

What else worked??

Theme teaching!!!


I fell in love with teaching ALL OVER AGAIN!!!

But that also leads me to my what didn't work.....

trying to cram all the theme teaching into ONE week!!

I just CAN NOT do that with 2nd graders - my 3rd graders?? sure...but I have learned that I need 2 weeks for my littles..


That's where you come in!!

What are your favorite themes to teach???

So far, I have:
(side note: I DO follow the standards, pacing guides, and skills in the reading and math series - I make a scope and sequence and make my themes match the skills I should be teaching. Same with Science and Social Studies - I usually tie those in AS the themes throughout the year.)

(kids come back the 8th)
beach (the first 3 days - TOTALLY doing Corinne's Surfer craft!!)
Back to school theme 
Goldilocks (she helps me teach just right books!)

Author for the month - Kevin Henkes
Cynthia Rylant (Henry and Mudge)

Charlotte's Web and Farm Theme
Apples (Johnny Appleseed)
and possibly football
Pirates (National Talk like a pirate day)
Constitution week

Authors for the month - Doreen Cronin (goes with farm)
Marc Brown (Arthur)



Authors for the month: Mercy Meyer
Robert Munsch



Author for the month:
Tomi dePaola 
Franklin (book series)

Somewhere in there is the 50th day too...


Gingerbread Man
Christmas around the World


New Years
Chinese New Year

Author for the month: Jan Brett


Vday (although, I'd really like to just skip this one- ha!)
President's Day

Author Study: Laura Numeroff


Dr. Seuss
Basketball (march madness)
St. Patty's day


Earth Day
3 Billy Goats


3 Little Pigs
Cinderella unit
Mother's Day
Beach theme (it's a circle! start and end with the beach - ha!)

And those aren't all my themes I want to do -
I want to do:
super hero
teddy bear
Jack and the Beanstalk (I can fit that in with plants)

and that's only what I can think of right now!

but again, I have one theme per week, and that is NOT going to work....

Ok - so do you have any favorites for those months????

Or, better yet - what are your favorite themes to teach??



Storie said...

Wow - that is A LOT of different themes. Since you start so early in August, you might consider touching upon the summer olympics. Other authors we sometimes study are Leo Lionni, Cynthia Rylant, Patricia Polacco, and Robert Munsch.
Stories by Storie

Barbara said...

Cute new book by Flashlight Press coming out this fall called Victricia Malicia if you go with the Pirate theme!!

Check it out here:

I LOVE teaching respect and I LOVE teaching friendship, but then again, I'm the counselor and not a classroom teacher . . . I'm impressed that you're already planning!!

I also like the farm unit, probably because I grew up on one. My favorite thing was when city kids would come to our farm for a field trip and then write those funny letters about what they'd seen and learned. Thanks for the memory!

The Corner On Character

Kristin said...

So much fun!!!
Your pirate theme is SO SO SO cute! I love it.
I wish I could do all those themes. My themes consist of Houghton Mifflin and enVision Math. Cry for me, please.
A Teeny Tiny Teacher

Amber @ Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher said...

Thanks for linking up girl!

I love all of your themes! So jealous. That was my favorite thing about teaching Kindergarten (well student teaching).

My themes usually consist of social studies and science themes, which I love, but still. Maybe I should move to a lower grade. Wait, so not cut out for that! haha!

Adventures of a Third Grade Teacher

Ms. Chrissy B said...

I do have a classroom theme (obviously) and that's bees, but I don't do themes except for thematic content, like using earth science or life science to tie all the content areas together. I love your authors of the month! That sounds like so much fun :)

Hello Mrs Sykes said...

I'm hoping to incorporate more thematic teaching next year - I'm loving the list you've got so far! Do you plan your read-alouds, too?
Hello Mrs Sykes

Suzy Q said...

I am tired just reading your list. I would probably pass out planning/executing it all. More power to you!

Like Kristin, my 'themes' are whatever our textbook series have on tap that day. For real.

No yearly theme for me, either. (No one else does, though, so not like I am the only slacker in the building!)

Jessica Ann Stanford said...

I loooooooooooooove teaching themes and I can't wait to expand to more themes next year! I want to do a theme a week and create a unit for each. Crazy goal I know but I think I can do it!

Jessica Stanford
Mrs. Stanford's Class Blog is Having a Giveaway!
My TpT Store

Lisa R. said...

You have a lot of great themes you teach! I love your pirate theme. That is what I use for my classroom. My favorite is when I teach Jan Brett in January. The Hat & The Mitten are awesome books to do book studies at that time of the year.:)
Learning Is Something to Treasure

Elizabeth said...

Girl, stick with the pirate's so cute :)

Look at you already planning out your themes. Your list looks pretty great.

Fun in Room 4B

Traci Clausen said...

Jen, I could NOT, could NOT teach without themes. However, I do respect that I MUST stick to the standards and if I veer to far out, I won't cover everything. So, my themes each month are based on whatever science and social studies standards we are working on each month. Every theme is around 4 weeks. This way science and social studies are built into EVERYTHING we do. It's all cross-curricular. I have a year planner that details every week.. including theme, content pacing, etc. Whenever there is a little extra time, I squeeze in the extras.

Swersty said...

I love the pirate theme. Do you know the book "Edward and the Pirates" by David McPhail? It's one of my favorites!

Swersty’s Swap Shop

Unknown said...

Holy SMOKES!!!! I can't believe you have the whole year planned out!!! I love it but I've never taught in themes and I don't even know how to organize it and put it together. I'd love to try it out next year though and would love your help!!! I like the Pirate theme but Beach is so much MORE you :)

Jen R said...

OOOh - Barbara and Swertsy - those are GREAT books, I'm gonna have to get :)
And Traci - yeah...I didn't go into detail on this post, but I do line up the skills I teach with my standards, pacing guides, and what skills are taught in the reading series each week...I just don't use the text books :)
Amber - I use science and social studies to help with my themes too! :)
Jen- YES! I do try to plan out my read alouds...I try to make them match my theme while introducing them to a new author so maybe they'll want to read more of his/her books!

Oh - and I did forget that I do Jan Brett in January and Robert munsch in the beginning of the year somewhere :) And Patricia Polacco is one of my faves! And so is Cynthia Rylant... Oh geez - WHERE am I going to put all these?? lol

I'll have to do another post about this :)

Eileen Griffin said...

Wow!!! I am so happy to know I am not the only one out there planning for next year in the same way! I have to go month by month and get my themes all set. Your list looks a lot like mine. I say go with a pirate theme that ties in a study of the ocean/beach study. This way you can throw in a little space with the moon and ocean tides. I teach 3 blocks away from the beach and I love tying all of it in. Besides, the kids love walking down to the sand and playing(no water for us though) . I can't wait to see wait else you come up with.

kaylee said...

The Pirate theme sounds like a lot of fun. If you do the beach theme, you could still incorporate the pirates.

Have you seen the book, Meanwhile... by Jules Feiffer? It is really good for teaching cliffhangers and suspense in writing, but also has a few pirate moments.

Keep us posted on what theme you do choose. I am VERY interested in knowing how you do all of the author studies each month.

Basket of Books

Laura said...

This post makes me smile! Love planning the year! SO many choices available for themes! The good thing is, if you miss one, you can just do it the next year! Love that about teaching! Love Pirates, by the way, and they were always on the beach!

Peace, Love, and First Grade

Kelley Cirrito said...

This look great Jen!! I am completely changing all my reading themes next year. It is going to take me most of the summer but I am excited!

Back to Top