Friday, January 30, 2015

Five For Friday- Ten on the Sled, Tea, and Sunshine

I'm joining Doodle Bugs Teaching's Five For Friday linky party again this week!   
We have been working on measurement.  We did some work with longer/shorter, and did some non-standard measurement as well.  We measured our friends with shoes, and that was a big hit.  After measuring, the students wrote in their journals and drew about it.  They had the option to use a cloze sentence:  I am _____ shoes tall.  I also encouraged them to write about a friend and compare: I am 7 shoes tall.  Carly is 6 shoes tall.  I am taller than Carly. 

I also have a fun Arctic and Antarctic animals measuring center that is a lot of fun! 
Our special book of the week (for interactive read-alouds) was Ten on the Sled.  This is a fun book with arctic animals like caribou, hare, seal, etc.  There are ten animals on the sled and the sled keeps going faster and faster as one animal falls off at a time.  The animals fall off alliteration-style: the hare hops out, the moose muddles out, the walrus whirls out, etc.  

There were ten on the sled, and the caribou said, "Slip over! Slide over!"

So they all slid over, and Seal spilled out.

One of the activities we did was to each choose our own animal and make an alliteration action sentence.  We had some great ones, like "The dolphin dances," "The T-Rex tickles," "The lion loves." 

We also acted out the Ten on the Sled sequence.  The kiddos thought this was wonderful.  I set up 10 chairs in a row to be the sled, with an extra chair set up backward to make the front of the toboggan. 

Then we put cards with the name of each animal onto each chair in the proper order. (To make it easier for your students to say their part, write the action word on the back.  For example, on the pack of the moose card, as you can see in this picture, write the word "muddled.") 

Next, 10 students got to go onto a chair and act out that animal's part.  It was a blast.  We did it again the next day with more students participating.  
We also talked about about the meaning of "the land of midnight sun."  I love having an ipad with Apple TV and a projector.  When things like this come up I can just quickly do an image google search and show the class images of the real world that pertain to the topic.  We looked at some beautiful images of the Arctic midnight sun and had some good discussion around that.  
I have been loving using the projectable books from A-Z  I can search for a spelling pattern or vowel or theme and find books to project for whole class reading.  I like to do one per week for a spelling rule and we do a lot of talking about it through our reading.  I also use beanie baby reading strategies, and we practice those as a whole group with the A-Z readers as well.  It also works great for sight words.  You can choose the word that you are working on and do a search to see if that word comes up in any titles, or you can just hunt around further.
My dear husband brought me flowers this week.  I will post a picture later!  We have also been drinking a lot of tea lately and I need some recommendations.  What are your favorite tea flavors?  We do have a David's Tea in town, so I might have to go and do some taste-testing :)
We are having amazing weather this week.  I live on the west coast, and so I feel bad for the east-coasters who are buried in snow.  :(  I love spring, and we're having a little taste of it right now.  It's still a bit chilly right now because it's the morning, but yesterday it was up to 12 degrees Celsius/54 degrees Fahrenheit with blue skies!  
In this pictures that I just snapped with my phone, you can see the tiny silhouette of a flying trumpeter swan.  We have a lot of them that congregate in the farmers' fields around here!
Enjoy your weekend, with whatever you are up to!  I plan to have a date with my hubby while the kiddos are with cousins, do a bit of housework (laundry NEVER ends!) and relax as much as possible. :)

Sight Word Packet Giveaway and Review

I have some students who are working on Sight Words with me quite a bit these days.  We needed something different to spice up our practice, and I found something that we are LOVING.

As part of Jungle Learner's Stop, Swap & Roll event, I am fortunate to be reviewing this wonderful sight word pack by Nicki Thigpen over at Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten!

This is pack includes 50 sight words and the practice pages include a fun variety of ways to practice the sight word.  I like that the pages are set up in the same way so that once students have been taught how to complete them, they can be independent.  
 The pages are perfect for using during word work time, independent work time, or literacy centers-however you run your literacy program.  I like using them at the end of some of my guided reading groups.  I can have students working on a particular word that they need practice on, or a word that pertains to a spelling pattern we are practicing, such as the ending of "y" to say the long "e" sound, etc.  Additionally, I put out the word lists for the students to use at various word work centers where they are building (with milk lids, for example).  The students can choose one of the word that they build from the list and complete that page.  It's good to remember that all students do not need to complete the same words, and that all students do not need to complete ALL pages.  Choice is fun, and differentiation just makes sense!
Bottle cap words is a fun station.  All it takes is a collection of milk jug lids (put out a note to parents to save up their lids and see how quickly you can get a set!  I like to have 2 of each letter.)
 You can also use these sheets at virtually any other word-building station like beads, stamping, playdough words, etc.  For stamping, simply have them stamp on the back as a reward for completing the front!
Another nice thing about these pages is that students can use a variety of writing instruments.  I have my students use crayons for coloring in the bubble letters, highlighters for finding the words and pencil for the rest.  
A great way to incorporate sight word learning into your day is by using Reading A-Z's projectable books.  I like to find a book for some of the sight words that my kiddos are struggling with and practicing it whole-class.  You can do this before or after using the sheets.  
Be sure to check out Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten blog for more great products. Also, you can enter to win your own copy of this sight word pack by participating in the Rafflecopter below!

If you would like to win a copy of this sight word find and practice pack, enter the rafflecopter below!  Good luck :)

Be sure to click on over to Mrs. Thigpen's blog to enter to win a copy of my Alphabet bundle!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Penguin Art

We had a great time making these adorable penguin pictures this week. I found the idea on pinterest, but there wasn't a tutorial, so I thought I would give it a try and put my own spin on the project.   It takes quite a number of steps to make these, but they aren't difficult.  We managed to do them in one day.  We did the painting part in the morning as a center, and did the rest in the hour after lunch time.

Please excuse the photography in this post.  These were taken with my phone with no natural light!

Step 1: Assemble your materials.  You will need:
-background paper 8.5 by 11 or so (I used white card stock)
-white paper for bellies (half of a 8.5 paper for each person)
-black paper for bodies and wings
-strip of orange paper for beak and feet
-black sharpie (one that won't run if it gets wet)
-at least three shades of blue/purple paint
-glue stick
-snowflake punches (optional)

Step 2: Draw gentle curved lines for a nearby hill and a faraway hill.  Your paper will then be divided into three sections.  One of the sections will be sky and two will be hills.  If your students need to, they can first draw with pencil and go over it with marker.  My first graders just went straight to the sharpie.  

Step 2: Paint each section a different shade of a cool color like blue or purple.  Encourage students to use a swirly brush motion for the sky section to add interest. Allow to dry.

Step 3: Using black construction paper, make the shapes for one large penguin and one small penguin.  We did them in elongated semi-circle shapes.  Semi-ovals?  :)  If you fold your 9 by 12 construction paper as I did below, you can get 2 large penguins and 4 small penguins out of one sheet.  If you need to save time, you can pre-cut the black penguin shapes for your students, or you can just give them the rectangles and instruct them to make their shapes as big as possible to fit their rectangle.  

Step 4: Cut the black penguin body shapes, and create wing shapes out of the leftover black paper.  
If you are pre-cutting the body shapes for your students, they won't have leftover paper to work with, so they will need a black rectangle to create their wing shapes.  

Step 5: Choose if you like the look of a crayon belly or a paper belly.  I prefer the paper.  Have the students create the shape by placing their black body over the white paper and tracing.  Then they just need to draw a smaller semi-circle shape inside and cut it out. 


Step 6: Glue the wings and belly pieces.


Step 7: Create beaks and feet out of orange paper, and draw eyes with the black sharpie. 

Step 8: Glue the penguins on, ensuring that the smaller penguin is behind, on the far away hill.  I told my students a little penguin story to talk about linear perspective to make sure they understood that we were trying to show that items of the same size appear to be different sizes when one is far away and one is close.  

If you have a snowflake punch, punch 6-8 snowflakes and then glue them all around.  It looks nice if at least one snowflake overlaps a penguin, but I didn't require it.  I try to not to be overly restrictive with things like this, since it's my students' art after all!  

Here are some lovely student samples: 

And here are some of them up on the bulletin board:

Have fun!  Let me know if you try this out and how it goes!

If you are studying penguins or other polar animals right now, but you know you will be doing more animal research with your students this year, try snapping up my Animal Research note-taking forms and report pages.  You can use them for any animal and get your students used to the format.  

Click on the picture to check it out.