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Make Your Own Zundel Doll

Hi!  I am Em from Curious Firsties and I am so excited to be here today.  This upcoming school year will be my 11th year teaching! Currently, I am a Title I reading and math teacher for first grade students. But I have a preschool and Kindergartener at home.  So my brain is bouncing around, always looking for great primary material!

I wanted to share one of my favorite books with you today...actually two books!  Both books are based on an old Yiddish folk song.

Joseph Had a Little Overcoat by Simms Taback and Bit By Bit by Steve Sanfield are similar books about a man that has a favorite overcoat.  But as time passes, the fabric gets worn out and the main character must create something new with the fabric.  By the end of the story, there is nothing left of the fabric but the story to tell.

As I think about this story, there is so much that can be done with it at any of the primary ages!  It just depends on the direction that you take it in.  When I was working with preschool age children, I decided to read this story.  I created the main character from Bit by Bit, Zundel.

(Now he was one of my first sewing jobs.  Sorry about that!)  To make Zundel, I just used felt, stuffing, and yarn for his hair.  But really, you could make him 2-dimensional on a felt board or even on just a big piece of paper.

Then I cut out all the articles of clothing that were represented in the book.

I used black felt and colored puffy paint to make each of these garments. I wanted them to stick to Zundel, so I put Velcro on the back.  But, again, you could make these pieces out of black construction paper.

Then it was time for the students to act out the book with Zundel and the articles of clothing.  This allowed them to visually see what was occurring in the book and how the fabric became smaller and smaller as it worn.

For Kindergarten and 1st grade students, this story is great for sequencing.  They may still enjoy the Zundel doll and clothing; however, even sequencing pictures of the clothing is a great way to help them retell the story.  I wonder if your students may even have some personal connections to this happening to their clothes.  I know my two girls wear out their clothing with no problem at all!

Both of these stories can lead to some other great conversations.  The main characters in both stories are tailors.  Students can discuss what this means and what types of products or services they provide.  We did discuss this in my first grade classroom.  Then I asked the students to create a vest using construction and scrapbook paper.  We were studying combinations of nine at the time; therefore, we tied that learning in too

The possibilities for these two books are not all listed here.  I did not even touch on the fact that the stories are based on an old song!!  But this is a start!  I love both stories and each author/illustrator provides so much detail in the pictures and words.  It just makes you fall in the love with the story.

I hope your children enjoy these stories (and Zundel) as much as I do.

FREE Play Dough Trees for Counting 1-10 Spanish

Wow! The play dough tree mats that I made for counting from 1-10 a couple weeks ago have become so popular! I hope that you all are enjoying using them!

Sunday, I received an e-mail from one of you requesting the play dough mats in Spanish.

I confess, Spanish is not my strong suit. (Something to do with every time I try to speak Spanish, Georgian comes out instead...) But I can count in Spanish!

So I put together these play dough mats for counting from 1 to 10 in Spanish just for you!

These are very fitting for today, since I'm on my way to Spain!! Be sure to follow along on Instagram as I share pictures from our week!
I hope that you will find them helpful!

You can download your free copy of the Play Dough Tree Mats in Spanish here.

If you would prefer, you can find the Play Dough Trees for counting to 10 in English here.

And be sure to check out all the other awesome play dough sets that I have!

FREE Adding to 10 Apple Tree

Here's a confession. I really tried not to make another apple themed resource. But I just couldn't! I just have so many ideas! Definitely not enough time in the day to create them all, but I'm sure trying! Luckily, my daughter has gotten a love of apples from me, so she doesn't mind at all.

Her pigtail braids and Daddy's hat fit right in with the whole apple orchard theme today!

a great addition to your apple unit
According to Jaida, this was kindergarten work. Which is true for her since we use Math-U-See for our math program. They cover adding to 10 in kindergarten pretty thoroughly. In 1st grade they move to memorization and then subtraction. I really love their mastery approach and it's been working well for us going on 7 years now. (Actually, Emma's going to get to Pre-Algebra around Christmas as a '6th grader', so it's working really well.)

Today was just the first of many times that we will be using this activity this fall. As an overview, I gave her access to all the addition problems up to 10. Just to get back into the groove of understanding what addition is.

As we progress through memorization though, I will limit her to the specific addition facts that we are working on that week and then on Friday, she can practice with all the ones she's already mastered.

Our usual plan for Math-U-See is to watch the video on Monday and complete 2 of the accompanying pages. (Or do some hands-on activities in place of this one.), 2 more on Tuesday and Wednesday. Then on Thursday, they do the 'test'. And Friday is a review/free-for-all day.

Anyway, this is not a pitch for Math-U-See (I'm not being paid or asked for a review at all). This is just me sharing my love for our math curricula. I'm kind of a math geek, so...

math really can be fun

She loved picking the apples off the apple trees and putting them in the basket. Her perfectionist tendencies showed through quite well as she insisted on lining the apples up perfectly straight.

She also asked me if she could put them back on the tree 'right' as opposed to the slightly sloppy way I had prepared them for her. She was a little more than disturbed that they were all crooked.

I promise, I have no idea where she gets these tendencies from..... okay, so maybe I do have an idea. (Just don't fold my bathroom towels wrong and everything will be okay...hehehe!)

I made a recording sheet to write down the problems, to help commit them to memory. You can slide it into a page protector and use it multiple times if you want. My page protectors have all been packed and I have no idea where they are. (See I'm not a complete perfectionist!)

She did get a bit frustrated because she couldn't remember which direction the flag goes on the number 1. She absolutely cannot write the number 1 without a flag.

Frustrated with number formation

But once she got past that she was good as gold!

apple tree adding to 10

I think it would be great to add velcro dots to the back of the problems, apples and baskets to attach them to the tree page and the big basket. This would add an extra sensory element with the little bit of pressure needed for pushing and pulling the velcro. (Again, mine are lost in the packing abyss.)

Another idea would be to use pom poms instead of the small apples on the trees. That would add in different textures (Especially if you get the glitter pom poms!) and a different form of fine motor skill practice.

For those of you who can't print in color I have included a black & white version of everything in the pack. Just print the pages that you want.

apple tree in black & white

You can download your free copy of the Adding to 10 Apple Trees here:

apple tree adding

And don't miss out on all the other fun apple activities we've been obsessed with for the last few weeks.