Monday, February 28, 2011

Our America

Thanks to Deanna Jump and her Our America unit that you may purchase here, my class is having a great time learning about our country as well as some famous Americans!

Of course, we started with Abraham Lincoln and George Washington in honor of President's Day-especially since we were in school that day!  The children were able to choose which President's hat they would like to make and had to write two facts about that president on their hat.  We did this first thing in the morning when they walked in-hit 'em while they're fresh!

Abraham Lincoln Was Our 16th President

George Washington Was Our 1st President

I took their photo to include on their If I Were President... scrapbook page.

They each wrote about what they would do if they were president one day!

I love that they will automatically go to the Word Wall or their Word Rings to spell their sight words!

We also make a Famous Americans book throughout the year.  This page about Abraham Lincoln will go into their books.  We have already made our Johnny Appleseed and Martin Luther King Jr. pages and will add George Washington, Theodor Geisel, Eric Carle and some famous Alabamians-George Washington Carver and Helen Keller.  These page are incorporated into our units throughout the year.  I would like to complete a Famous American study every month, ideally-maybe next year!
We used Deanna Jump's directed drawings to make portraits of Abraham Lincoln and George Washington.  I love the TLC art we usually use to make these pages but Deanna's version was so much simpler, faster and used less paper!

Here is our American Symbol tree map.  We have almost completed our study of the American Flag and what EXACTLY the pledge means to us.  We will learn about the American Bald Eagle next and chart facts about each symbol.

Here is a literacy game that Deanna included in her America unit that helps children to identify ending sounds. 

This is the scrapbook page from last year for If I Were President...
it was one of my favorites!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Snowflake Experiment Part Two and Teaching Time!

We completed our Snowflake Experiment and now it is
time to see if our hypotheses were correct! 
Put on your lab coats!
They did soak up the water/Borax solution. 

They did bend/change shape.  Some bent when the snowflakes stuck together as the water cooled and the solution hardened.

They did harden and turn crunchy!
(Aren't these faces precious?!)

They did develop dots (the Borax crystallized).

They did not change colors, however.
Five out of our six hypotheses were correct!

Now it is time to complete our Lab Reports!

We answered the questions as a class and they illustrated their snowflakes.  They were so excited to take their own snowflake home that afternoon!

I LOVE science experiments and the level of interest and excitement it sparks in every one of the kids!!  This is the fun stuff!

Mrs. Fowler used this clock to introduce time when her class read Bunny Day.
Love it!!

She also used Judy clocks with the sequencing cards from Bunny Day.

Math Centers-two groups worked at tables with a practice page and some
Valentine games while I worked with one group.

Those are math puzzles on their table that I got from
the Dollar Spot at Target.

I am working with a small group to teach time telling using foam clocks from the Dollar Spot at Target (bought a few years ago). 
We are practicing learning how to use the the hour hand and the minute hand to tell time on the hour.

These are laminated books on time telling and money that I also found at the Target Dollar Spot last week!  We used them to practice writing in the hour and minute hands to match the time listed.  Loved it!

She got it!

We completed this page together at my group to make
sure they were all getting it!

I will post more photos of our February Math Games and Activities.  I am pretty happy with the way they turned out and the kids are working well with them.  Yay!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Snowflake Day!

I know there must be an awful lot of us who are desperately working to incorporate our own units/activities into our curriculum and still meet all of our standards and expectations with our mandatory reading programs.  I actually enjoy the Scott Foresman series our state adopted but find it odd to have a seed unit in the middle of winter and an Antarctic story just when spring is about to burst!  Oh, well, we dance the dance, don't we?  That being said, after completing all that was required with our program last week and having spent two days Dibeling I was ready for Friday which I decided would be Snowflake Day!

First, we read The Little Snowflake.  We talked about some snowflake facts and looked at photos of actual snowflakes.
We then learned how good scientists solve a problem using the Scientific Method.  These pages are available through Deanna Jump's  website for free.  If you haven't checked out her website and her Teachers Pay Teachers account, you are missing out on a goldmine!  I just bought her America unit and am so excited to get it going next week!  Check her out at .

We started by asking ourselves the question, "What will happen to our snowflakes after we soak them in hot water and borax?  Will they change?  How will they change?  What will they look like?"

Next, we came up with our own hypotheses.  It was very interesting to see what the children thought would happen.

We set everything up in our Science Corner.  I used an electric skillet with the lid on to boil the water.

I bought a package of 24 dowels from Hobby Lobby (these were left over from our Christmas wreath banner parent gift).  They were juuuuuust long enough to reach each side of the tub! 

After the water boiled, I added the water and the Borax to the tub and stirred well.

I called one table at a time to hang their snowflakes on a dowel for me to place in the tub.

A few fell in, that's OK.  We'll see how they turn out!
Then we completed our Snowflake Experiment page.  It was interesting to see how they illustrated their hypothesis.

On Monday, we will complete our Lab Report after we have observed what happened to our snowflakes over the weekend.  This will all go into a Science Lab Book that will go home at the end of the year.

Next, we made our own snowflakes just like Suzan at Krazy for Kindergarten does with her class.  I loved this activity!   

Then they had to illustrate the snowflake that they made in their math journal and write a sentence about it. She wrote,  "I made a snowflake."

The kids were able to cut their own snowflake and decorate it with sequins and foam snowflakes.

I am concentrating...

When they came to my table, we wrote snowflake facts we had learned.  Some students need help sounding out the words and shaping their sentence.  But for the most part, I let them sound out their own sentences to see if they are hearing beginning, middle and ending sounds. All of our sight words that we have learned so far are on their Sight Word rings and our Word Wall for them to use. They are also able to check around the room for number, vocabulary and science words we have listed.

She wrote, " All snowflakes have six points.  They are all different."
This is the last page to go into our Winter Book. 
Good work, people!