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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Discovery Bottles! & a freebie

I had the amazing opportunity to work with 2 other fantastic Kindergarten teachers over the summer to re-write my district's Science, Social Studies, and Health curriculum.  We were updating lessons to include newer technology, writing new ones to include more rigorous state standards, and were always looking for ways to make the learning hands-on and FUN!  One of my colleagues suggested the best things EVER to use in lessons about making observations and asking questions: DISCOVERY BOTTLES!
 They are filled with all kinds of goodies, and the kids went absolutely crazy over them.
We used the discovery bottles in several lessons teaching the concept of making observations and asking questions.
My SuperKids used their "science eyes" to make observations of the bottles and their contents.  While looking at the bottles, the students used the sentence stem: "I observe ____________."
After making observations and recording them, we learned that scientists must ask questions to continue learning.  We played a game called Observation or Question!  The students picked a bottle, drew a card with either an eye or a question mark, and then either made an observation ("I observe _____") or asked a question ("I wonder _______").

My little scientists did a fantastic job recording their observations and drawing realistic pictures!






CLICK HERE to download the recording sheet for free for 1 week only at my TPT Store!  (After a week, it will be available for $1.) Be sure to leave me some comment lovin' if you download.  :)
If you want to make your own discovery bottles, here are the ingredients we used:
  • #1: Light Karo syrup and various objects (little toys, plastic letters, paper clips...)
  • #2: Water, glitter, and blue food coloring
  • #3: Water, red food coloring, vegetable oil
  • #4: Water and various items that either sink or float
  • #5: Water, laundry detergent, glitter
  • #6: Rice and various objects
  • #7: Shampoo and ocean animal beads
  • #8: Soil and water
Make sure to hot-glue the lids so they can't be opened!  ;)   I hope your kiddos enjoy making observations and asking questions!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Fall Counting Book in Brown Bear Style


If making little readers in the style of Brown Bear, Brown Bear for every theme and season is wrong, then I don't want to be right. My kids absolutely love this book and I love that they can read so many other stories if I write them using the same pattern. My Little Bunny and Leprechaun versions were class favorites last year.
 
Since fall is here, that means red and orange leaves, pumpkins, scarecrows, and TESTING.  Besides the usual beginning of year reading assessments, we also use a multiple choice computer-administrated test for both reading and math for all students.  It is pretty time-consuming, especially in October, when some students still struggle with using a computer mouse, adjusting the volume on the headphones, and are just quite perplexed by a multiple choice test.  It is necessary for us to give the non-testing students each day something to work on that will keep them happily busy and quiet.  ;)
Each page contains a blank for a number to be written.
 You can write the numbers for the students to differentiate and personalize each child's book, or let the students fill-in the numbers before drawing a matching illustration.  The clip-art helps the students read the text.
 The book also contains a black-and-white version.
 
CLICK HERE to purchase the book on my TPT site for just one buck!  OR if you're into *free,* (I sure am) be one of the first five followers to comment and I'll email it over to ya!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Snack

I don't know about you, but I am LOVING Week 3 with my Kinder cuties!  We are really in the groove, and the students are well on their ways to being independent learners!  They have mastered the procedures for Writer's Workshop, are raising their hands to share, know our Whole Brain Teaching chants, can work at literacy stations, and are independently moving about our math rotations.  Can I get a HALLELUJAH!?  We also know the difference between a snack and a lunch and the meaning of the phrase "empty your bladder."  ;)  I'm so proud of my SuperKids!

During Week 2, we read the famous big book Chicka Chicka, Boom Boom.  I shared my love for the fabulous song version of it here in this past post.

 After reading the book all week, we had our first "Cooking Lesson" by creating this delicious snack!
I free-handed the paper with a Sharpie and the kids colored the leaves and coconuts before we "cooked."  The trunk is a graham cracker covered with Sunbutter (a delish p.b. alternative) and a sprinkling of AlphaBits cereal.

 Being a teacher who always wants my students to know (and be able to verbalize) what they are learning, I always stop and ask them throughout the day.  "What are you learning right now?"  They always answer my question during our weekly cooking activities (we "cook" every Friday) with: We're learning how to cook!
Well yes, my sweet bears, but the real learning target when we "cook," is to listen and follow multi-step directions!  Oh, and to have fun, too.  ;)