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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Plants! (& freebies!)

We are in the middle of our plant unit, and we are loving every minute of it!  We began with an "Is it alive?" lesson.  We sort picture cards in various ways (size, shape, color, etc.) before sorting by whether each thing is living or non-living.  Usually I sort this way and have students determine my rule, but a little smartie this year suggested the sorting rule independently!  We worked together on the computer/projector to make a Living and Non-Living t-chart:
The kids were totally thrilled that I actually typed "underwear" and found a clip-art picture for it.  I just love Kinder kids.

Each student then created a 2-part foldable in which they listed and drew living and non-living things.  These were glued into their science journals.

Our Language Arts curriculum includes the big book, Seed Secrets, by Tom Leonard.  I love this book because it shows the many different ways that seeds can travel and eventually be planted.

Before reading, we listed our schema on this chart (which we adjusted and added to throughout the unit).

We later reviewed what we learned in a morning Chit Chat.

We observed and sorted real plants that the students brought from home.  We focused on finding ways they were all the same - even though some looked very different!

The students labeled the parts of a plant and glued the sheet into their science journals.  Grab this printable for free right here.

The greatest fun was our hands-on dissection of lima bean seeds!  We started by observing uncooked lima beans and making observations.  We also made predictions about what could possibly be inside!  The students drew their predictions on this free recording page.  I then gave each SuperKids a pre-soaked bean, and they went to town dissecting away!  The students drew the insides on the page and we glued them into our science journals.
We all identified 3 main parts of our dissected lima bean seeds.  After discussing what we thought each part might do, I named the 3 parts and confirmed their ideas.  We labeled the parts on an AIMS activity page and of course, glued them into our science journals.  :)

To continue with our hands-on learning, we "planted" lima bean seeds in baggies and taped them to our back door...
...As well as grass seeds in cups (with faces drawn on them of course).

We will be observing and recording in observation logs as our plants change and grow.  I'll be back in a few days with the rest of our learnings and doings about plants!

HAPPY SPRING!  (It's in the 80s here now, so I feel like summer is officially on it's way!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I'm Invited to a Party!

I adore Mo Willems, and this book might just be my all-time favorite of his collection.  (Maybe it's my inner party girl!?  I just can't resist screaming "PARTY! PARTY! PARTY!" at the top of my lungs as I read it aloud to my SuperKids.)
If you haven't read this book to your own students, please check-it-out and do so immediately!

But anyway, on to the real party... a Linky Party!  Let's all link up so we can access everyone's fabulous blogs all in one place.
Click on the image or right here to head on over to Kindergarten Lifestyle and join the party!  
Margaritas on me! ;)

Hope you had a wonderful Wednesday.  
I'll be back soon with some fun things my kiddos are learning about plants!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Leprechaun Antics and St. Patrick's Day Fun

I am now officially on Spring Break (can I get a HALLELUJAH up in here!??), but I wanted to share some pictures from our fabulous St. Patrick's Day celebration this past Friday.  I had all of the kiddos wear green to school and we made Leprechaun Detective hats in the morning to wear all day.  After a week of playing tricks on us (our calendar turned upside down, green unifix cubes scattered around the room, shamrock confetti littering our tables), we were determined to catch that naughty lil' leprechaun!!  If you are in school this week, I hope you have fun celebrating with your SuperKids.

We started the day with our normal Morning Meeting routine and Writer's Workshop.  Then the theme-work began... we started with the Leprechaun, Leprechaun, What Do You See? mini-books.
The kids highlighted all of the sight words in the book, colored the pictures, and practiced reading to me and one another.

I then gave each kiddo a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal, and they went to town graphing and munching away!  I have them place the actual marshmallows on the graph first, and then pick them off one-by-one as they color in each square.
The students then use their data to answer some questions and compare the results on this page:
Some of my students were able to complete it independently, while I helped the others.  The graph and math page are available here!

When we returned from library, we discovered a ransacked room, green footprints everywhere, and a shamrock on my rocking chair with a rhyming clue!  We chased the leprechaun all around our school, finding his clues along the way, and when we returned to the classroom, there was a green pot filled with gold coin chocolates, St. Patrick's Day buttons, and green Bobcat Bucks (our school incentive tickets) waiting for us all!

After lunch, we decorated cookies.
I poured the kids some Sprite, turned around and then back again, and the leprechaun had turned it all green!  That leprechaun is so darn fast and sneaky.  ;)  The kids were SHOCKED!
I hope that crazy leprechaun plays some fun tricks on your students this week!  Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

St. Patrick's Day Emergent Reader

Even though we read Brown Bear, Brown Bear at the very beginning of the year, my students love re-reading it all year long.  Another favorite way to enjoy this story is with emergent readers written in the same pattern.  I created a St. Patrick's Day mini-book Leprechaun, Leprechaun, What Do You See? to use as station work this week!

The book is available here in my TPT store.  It also comes with a black-and-white version.
The graphics are courtesy of the fabulous KPM Doodles.

And don't forget to snag my St. Patrick's Day freebie here!  Hope you're having a great weekend!  =)

Friday, March 2, 2012

Seuss-O-Rama Success!

I have to say that today may have been my all-time favorite single day of teaching Kindergarten.  My kids and I had an absolute blast dressing-up and working on all of our Seusstastical activities.  ;)  They did such an incredible job on all of their work, and all of the learning was FUN!  Here are some pics of how my Seuss-O-Rama plans turned out.
I also got a lot of "I do tricks" and "I keep secrets from my mom."  ;)

I gave the students a whole smorgasbord of words to use for the Thing 1 and Thing 2 sentences, so they all turned out differently.

Our sugary sweet green eggs and ham!

Cut-up feather boas for truffala trees!

Favorite Book Graph

Comparing and contrasting our results!

 Hope you had a wonderful Read Across America day, too!  TGIF!!!