Sunday, April 28, 2013

"Zoo"Pendous Unit/Week 2

I know that it has taken wwaaaaaaay longer than one week to post follow up to week one but it has been a busy place at BES kindergarten.  We took our field trip to the zoo to wrap up our learning and exploration about zoo/jungle animals.  Let me know if you have any questions...... and check back because our next BIG undertaking is Parent's Day.  

I actually got this idea off of the blog "Krazy For Kinder".  I thought they turned out tooooo cute!!

I mentioned in the first post that my goal was to provide the children with a different writing extension or anchor chart with each zoo animal.   We did a whole group writing extension using colored blanks after we read a non-fiction book about monkeys.  

This was one of those animals that I am just not sure who to give credit to.  I saw this posted on LOTS of pinterest sites and blogs.  I created the graphic organizer. 

 Awesome Alligators
If you want to get the attention of your little fellows in your classroom, just read a few books about alligators.  I found this on the Krazy For Kinder site as well.  The graphic oraganizer was created by my neighbor, first year teacher, Ms. Johnson.  

Left Facing Alligator

Wrapping it ALLLL UP
To end our zoo unit, we created a graphic organizer where the children could choose their favorite zoo animal and write three facts about it using a flow chart.  These turned out so well.  I was SO very proud of their writing.  It made my heart smile!! We made a class book out of these. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

"ZOO" pendous Unit/Week 1

OK.  We finally out smarted ourselves and each K teacher picked one zoo animal and we cut 106... yes.. 106 patterns.  But, the good thing was that we only had to cut one animal a piece.  It actually was nice not having to go home EVERY night and sit at the kitchen table with glass of sweet tea surrounded by construction paper, scissors, Ziploc bags, and patterns with a three year old that wants to help his mommy cut.  Scissor blisters are quite common around our hallway. What is so funny is we can walk into each others' classrooms and just give the "scissor look" and  our faces tell if we have been cutting or not.  Now  we just start laughing at each other with no words spoken.    Kind of our own special languageScissors.
So with all of that said, our goal was to create numerous animals with a different anchor chart/graphic organizer/ or fact chart with each one.  We actually created those ourselves.   The children have had SO much fun and so have the teachers.  Check it out and let me know what you think.

Whole Group Anchor Chart
This is what we used to get us started.  We brainstormed zoo animals after sorting through our basket of zoo books.

 After working and working, this picture WOULD NOT TURN!!  GGGRRRRR!! Each child created their own zoo animal web.  Each child wrote 4-5 animals that they would like to see at the zoo.  (We are taking a field trip at the end of the month)


I LOVE how you can post an example and you still get 18 different varieties of giraffes.  A few have misplaced necks.  I got a really good laugh out of a few... not in front of the children of course. (Ok, If I am being honest... maybe a few snickers in front of the children ) These were VERY easy to create.  Just a shoe pattern  for the face with a rectangle for the neck.  The mane was cut by the children using brown construction paper.  

 I always try to give credit where credit is due, but I am a little uncertain who to give credit to for this zebra.  It was posted all over blogs and pinterest.
 This zebra was my favorite.  Click on her and tell me that she does not look just like Princess Zebra waiting for her Prince to come along.  Batting her lovely eye lashes, with the flick of her little ears, zebra mane  blowing in the wind.  LOVE HER!!


This animal was my favorite because it was SO simple!!  Just a square and the children cut their own stripes, eyes, and nose.  I cut the tounge and ears.  

More pictures will be posted once week 2 is complete!!  

Monday, April 8, 2013

Caterpillars and Butterflies

I know that when we begin this unit the end of the school is in sight.  Certainly spring has sprung in my classroom.  Children are blooming and so are the azaleas which are absolutely beautiful in the south!!  

Butterflies and Sunshine
I have seen this created several different ways on various websites and blogs. These are examples of our life cycle of a caterpillar.  The top one is from my classroom and the bottom one is from my fellow K teacher, Mrs. Robinson.  We partnered the children and they created the life cycle and labeled all of the appropriate information. 

 Anchor chart on things that change as they grow. Sorry, I should have posted this at the top.  This is how we started the week, discussing things that change as they grow.   
I do realize that not every kindergarten teacher enjoys the essence of painting... whether that be hands, watercolors, sponge painting, or finger painting.  But OH HOW THEY LOVE TO PAINT!!!!!!!! I think if I did it on a more regular basis, my classroom would not break into mayhem every time we paint.  Now, with that said, we DID paint white pieces of paper with sponge brushes to create Eric Carle caterpillars. I thought they turned out SO good!!  But more than anything, I love their writing.  I color code the blanks for the writing extension so that children who have a hard time keeping up with LOTS of blanks on a page, can certainly find the purple blank and write the appropriate word.  

Butterfly Chrysalis

Finally, we sequenced the things that the caterpillar ate throughout the week. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Honeybees and Ladybugs

Cute Cartoon Bee  This week we are learning about insects.  On Monday, we brainstormed all of the bugs and insects we could think of.  Then, we focus on one insect per day.  We read a book about Honeybees and then made a whole group fact chart.  Next,  the children made their own bumblebee and we added a simple addition problem for our math practice.  The wings are made from wax paper. 

  We highlighted all of the vowels once the poster was completed. 

Next, came ladybugs.  I just do not like the "w" part of a KWL.  I find it hard for children to come up with things that they "W"ant to know, unless the subject really lends itself to good, thoughtful questions.  So... I did the K and the L portion of the traditional KWL GO map. 
Last, we created our own ladybugs and added spots and dots for doubles math fact practice. 

Ladybug on a Branch
 1. Ladybugs hibernate 2. Ladybugs lay eggs 3. They are different colors  4. Girls are bigger  5. Ladybugs have six legs 6. Boys and girls are called ladybugs 7. Ladybugs play dead