Thursday, March 31, 2011

Is there Air in there?

The next several posts are going to be catch ups from the last two weeks.  The last weeks before break seemed very hectic!  Today was supposed to be records day for me, but I ended up home with a sick kid.

We are finishing up the science unit "My Earth".  We talked about air and how we know that it is around us?  The kids gave lots of good examples such as seeing things blown by the wind, blowing up a balloon, etc...

We talked about how air takes up space and I demonstrated this concept by blowing up a plastic bag.

Next we did a little experiment to see which of several items had air inside.  Each table group was given a container of water and several items.  They were asked to submerge the items in water to see what happened.  Some items had bubbles coming out of them.  We talked about how that was air and that the air was being pushed out by the water and that made the bubbles.  This was another way to "see" air.
They of course, loved this!  Who doesn't like to splash around and do experiments with water.  We also discussed how they could do this in the bathtub at home.

Sorry, I didn't get a picture of the journal page, but they had to record one way they knew about air and how it was around them.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Big Yellow Bus

This week is a short week due to records day and the beginning of spring break!  I made a few literacy center activities to go with our Big Book for the next few weeks, "The Big Yellow Bus".

This is a cute story that is based on the "People On the Bus" song.  It is a pattern story and it is fun to act out with the kids after we have read through it a few times together.  This would be a great story to use at the beginning of the year for a school theme.

I made a beginning sounds activity based on the characters and elements in the story.  My parapro will use this in a small group with children who still need to work on this skill. Click on the picture below to download.

Next, I have a school themed rhyming activity.  Click on the picture below to download.

A phoneme segmentation activity based on characters and elements in the story. Click on the picture to download.

 A nonsense/real word sorting activity with a school bus theme.  Click on the picture to download.

A school bus themed sight word game using some of the characters from the story.  The first set of words are the kindergarten sight words according to out Harcourt Trophies reading series.  The second set will be used with my above level readers and come from words on the Dolch word lists not covered by our series.  The above level readers complained that the words were not hard enough on the last sight word game I made, so I used higher list words this time :) .  Click on the picture to download.

Last but not least, we are still working on short "e" word families so I made a word sort for the -ed and -et families. Click on the picture to download.

Hope someone finds something they can use!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

If You Find a Rock

As part of our earth science unit, we took a look at several kinds of rocks.  First we read this book:

This is a really sweet story, about making everyday rocks into special things..a wishing rock, a memory rock..etc..  After we read it, the kids always want to talk about special rocks they have or have had.

Next we looked at three different kinds of rocks: granite, limestone, and conglomerate.  We looked at them with magnifying glasses, felt them, and smelled them.

We then discussed the similarities and differences between the three different rocks.

We recorded our favorite rock in our journal.  I guess I did not get pictures of those, I will have to add them another time.  I also added some different types of rocks to the science table for the children to sort and look at.

I am down with strep this weekend.  It has been ripping through our school all year and it finally got me.  Went to the doctor and got an antibiotic yesterday, but I don't feel much better.  Hopefully by Monday I will be back on track.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Planting Seeds in Different Kinds of Earth Materials

We are continuing our unit in science called "My Earth".  So far we have talked about land and water and about different types of land.  Mrs. Griffey, our WMU student, presented a lesson on planing pumpkin seeds in different kinds of earth materials, soil, sand, and pebbles.

She started with a KWL chart and recorded what the students knew and wanted to know about planting seeds.

I was really impressed with the questions the students came up with as this is usually a really had thing for kindergartners to do.

Next, we introduced the activity and showed the students the different types of earth materials that they would be planting their pumpkin seeds in.  She had them make predictions about which type of earth material would grow the seeds faster.

Next, the students each got to plant a seed in each type of earth material.  We had soaked the seeds overnight, so hopefully they will grow faster.

Last, the students recorded in their science journals what the plantings looked like on the first day.  They will do a couple more recordings as the plants grow.

Hope we see some growth before Spring Break!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

More St. Patrick's Day Fun!

So, apparently a leprechaun broke into our classroom last night!  He left a big mess with lots of sparkling green glitter....

and little green footprints everywhere....

at first the kids were sure it was Mr. Toney (our school custodian), but then decided that his feet were not that small :)

The leprechaun left us a box of Lucky Charms....

which we used to do some graphing...

The graph is from Teaching Heart.

We also made another graph.."Do You Believe in Leprechauns?"  Answer choices were, yes, no, and maybe.

This idea cam from the AIMS math and science units.

For literacy, our questions of the day was, "What Do You Know about Leprechauns?

We read the book, "Clever Tom and the Leprechaun".  I like this story because it portrays leprechauns as smart and tricky, but not mean.  Luckily, this year no one brought up any of those nasty leprechaun horror movies!

My parapro did the color a rhyme sheet that I posted in a previous entry.

My rotation was a making words activity.  The students made all the words they could from the word, "LEPRECHAUN".  I got this awesome activity from Jen Bates at Finally in First.

We had a blast and I hope you enjoyed looking at some of our activities.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Literacy Centers

A funny to start off with:  Today one of the little girls asked me why I did not have my glasses on in my school ID photo.  I said, "Well, I guess its because I am a little vain."  She said, "Oh, you're a little vain, I'm a little Irish".  Lol, they are too funny sometimes!

Here are some of the St. Patrick's Day literacy center activities that we have been doing or will be doing in the next week or so.  Many of these, I do not know who created them.  Most of them are off the Making Learning Fun Yahoo Groups.  If they are your creations, please let me know and I will give you credit. Sorry about the glare.  I need to learn how to take pictures without the glare.

For some reason, I have many rhyming activities.

This is a cute pot of gold/shamrock rhyming matching from the Making Learning Fun Yahoo group.

Another cute rhyming activity from the Making Learning Fun Group.

Here is a color and rhyme activity that I adapted from an erase a rhyme activity that I had in my files.  Click on the picture below to download.

A word family sort I am pretty sure came from the Making Learning Fun Yahoo group.

A couple of matching sight word activities from

This one is a file folder game.

 A couple of CVC word activities shared on the Making Learning Fun Yahoo group....

Last, for technology, we had the Find a Four Leaf Clover Game on

I can't wait for tomorrow for more St. Patrick's Day fun!!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Mr. Backward

I am ramping up our exposure to poetry as will be starting to write our own poems next marking period.  This is one of the kid's favorites.  As a literacy center, they find sight words and focus letters that they know and illustrate the poem.  I don't decorate the sheet as I want them to use their own ideas for illustrating.  Here is a copy of the poem for those that are interested.

Mr. Backwards

 Here is an example of one of the students work.  They love to use the highlighters!

Hope everyone is having a happy Tuesday!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

My Earth

I am exhausted today!  We had way too much fun in class today and got so much done.  Better drink some coffee before I go teach at the university tonight.  We started a new science unit called "My Earth".  This is a really fun earth science unit which covers earth materials, different kinds land, and rocks.  We will also do some planting in this unit which is a lot of fun.

During our first lesson, we look at a globe and identify land and water on the globe.  We talk about whether there is more land or water on the Earth.  Then we do a workbook page about what we found.

For our second lesson, we explore different kinds of earth materials. 

We explored sand, soil, rocks, and water.  We looked at them with a magnifying glass, touched them, and smelled them. Then we constructed a chart about what we found.

Last we used our tray of Earth materials to record our findings in our science journals.

Next up, planting seeds in different kinds of earth materials!  Have a great weekend!


Monday, March 7, 2011

Very Hungry Caterpillar

Our awesome WMU student, Mrs. Griffey, presented her first lesson today.  It was a read aloud/think aloud on The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle.  She did a great job and the students were very excited by the lesson.

She started out in a whole group by having the students review the days of the week and put them in order.  She made really nice felt backed materials for her presentation.

Next, she read the story...

Then she had the students retell the story using the felt pieces that she brought...

Next we broke into our literacy center rotations.  In her small group, she did a story response activity where the students had to draw what they would eat each day of the week.

Great job Mrs. Griffey!