Friday, May 1, 2015

Ocean Week: Part Two

This week we got to preview Deanna Jump's new Ocean Animals unit... It! Was! Perfect!
 Here is my techie tidbit.  I use doceri to link my iPad to my computer.  My Promethean Board is a bust.  After only a about a year of solid interactive awesomeness, my pens started to fail.  The fix?  Open and close the program, jiggle wires, reboot system... with 5-6 year old children waiting... um... NIGHTMARE!  No Thank you!  So for a time, my Promethean Board was just a BIG BEAUTIFUL screen with speakers.
I sincerely love it.  I can get out from behind my computer and interact with students while still controlling my computer screen.  We all know sitting at your computer = behavior rodeo at this time of year.  I can also use the "record" button to make a video!

NOTE:  My district purchased doceri for each teacher to use.  This is not an official review or sponsored request... I just like it!  I think it is pretty inexpensive to purchase (like $30).
When I want interactivity,  I can select the pens, highlighter... lots of goodies!
 My class was glued to the screen.
 We checked our comprehension by answering some true and false questions also from her Ocean Animals unit.  Then we turned the false statements into true ones.
Using the True/False paper as a support, we started writing!

 Add a craft for extra engagement! 
Oh dear... something went terribly wrong here, but we fixed it!

 We repeated the same process with whales.   I had to get a quick picture of this one.  
 Oh my!  It makes me smile!  THAT FACE! 
 A little more informational writing.

This week we are also reading Hello Ocean in our Guiding Readers unit. Each day we reread the book and added words to our vocabulary chart.  They LOVED this!  But one question remained...What did the author mean by "the five of me?"  I let the question hang there... and hang there.   Partners got knee-to-knee to discuss and speculate.

Meanwhile, we added to our response booklet.

 As the week concluded, we still had that one question left, what did the author mean?  My students would come up to at recess and wonder,  What was she talking about?  What did she mean?  After our chart was complete and after hearing a bazillion theories, it was becoming clear to me that they might need a little more help, so I gave them a little nudge.

We learned a LOT about figurative language this week, but I have to remember we are still in the literal (and wonderful) world that is kindergarten!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Ocean Week: Part One

This might be my favorite theme to teach all YEAR!  I can't get enough!  Perhaps it is because I lived the majority of my life in San Diego or I first considered a career as a marine biologist or maybe because ocean week is a signal that the end of the year is right around the corner.  Regardless,  I seriously love talking about the ocean and the creatures that live in it.

We started the week off with our new poem.  I can't. stop. signing. it. and neither can my students.
You can find the poem HERE.

Click on the photo to find the source.

I switched up a BUNCH of stations yesterday and today!
To find the source of the station, just click on the picture.

My class never grow tired of this game... like EVER!  
Click on the photo to find the source.
 And a little subtraction with coloring is always a hit.  
Click on the photo to find the source.
 Counting on from a given number!
Click on the photo to find the source.
 Comparing numerals and objects.
Click on the photo to find the source.
 Composing and Decomposing 10!
Click on the photo to find the source.
 Counting items, writing numerals to match, and writing the number words.  
Click on the photo to find the source.
Click on the photo to find the source.
 And data collection and graphing!  
Click on the photo to find the source.
I was asked if we give spelling tests... no, we don't.  However, I do expect my students to spell our word wall words correctly and this activity is fun way to practice it.
Partner A reads the word to Partner B.
Partner B writes the word as best they can.  Then they check to see if they were right and write the word an additional time.  Then they get to roll and move their piece.  They love this activity... shhhh... don't tell them they are learning at the same time!
Click on the photo to find the source.
Click on the photo to find the source.
Click on the photo to find the source.

Since we have practiced it already, I am moving this into our dessert tubs.  Since I don't want a paper product, I just slid the response page into a dry erase sleeve.  I put all of the pieces that were needed in the Crystal Light container (game cards, dry erase makers, game pieces, die).
Click on the photo to find the source.
 Here is a close up of the bugs version.  This grasshopper makes me laugh!
Click on the photo to find the source.
 Here it is in the dessert tub.  You can read more about dessert tubs HERE.
Click on the photo to find the source.
 I have also been asked about handwriting.  These are the activities that really help me reinforce handwriting.  Students are not composing (like in writer's workshop) so asking them to focus on letter formation during this activity feels appropriate.  As you can see, this writing sample is not perfect.  HOWEVER... when I compare it to earlier samples, you've come a long way baby!  
 His path of motion is spot-on AND I love his whale!
Small nudges... small nudges make a HUGE difference over time.
Click on the photo to find the source.
  I have been asking my students to "tell more" in their writing.  Before students  can write more, they need to me able to tell more... so we practiced telling (not writing) more today with this awesome shared text.  This is a simple informational text about whales.  Each page has a different type of whale on it with 2 sentences (incidentally these two sentences take up 2 lines of text... stay with me).  

After we read the entire book, we looked for punctuation.  I could have asked,  "How many sentences are on this page?" and I would have gotten a group answer of 2.  But does that mean they know there are two sentences? Instead I asked,  "How do you know how many sentences are on this page?"  This requires understanding and an ability to articulate their thinking.   Asking the right questions will help identify and clarify misconceptions.  I have seen 2nd graders, when reminded to add punctuation, add a period to the end of each LINE of text vs the end of the sentence.

  We then read the text again and this time I asked, "What else could you say about an orca?"  and "What else could you say about a narwhal."   We had an amazing conversation.
Click on the picture to find this source.
Click on the picture to find this source.
I will be back tomorrow with a little tech tidbit (I know... from me?) and more on our ocean week!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Peek at my Week-Oceans

I love teaching about oceans and ocean animals!  The students love it and it is a little tap on the shoulder to remind me that the end is near... bittersweet for certain!

This looks like a fun and fast little craft we could do!
Source: Toddler Approved
 AND these look great (except I am 99% sure mine would look like a train wreck)
Source:  Family Go

We have finished our May Guiding Readers and we will be diving (see what I did there) into this book.  We will be exploring the way the author used her 5 senses in writing.  We also completed our Kindergarten Curriculum Map FREE download.  We are working on the First Grade version right now.

I have also undated this unit that I created a few years ago.  You can get the updates for FREE by going to "My Purchases."  I will add it to the Bundle tomorrow.  If you have not gotten it yet, it is discounted until tomorrow evening.

Kali and I also finished this unit this week!  It will remain discounted until tomorrow night.

Here are a few other ocean related resources that I can recently updated!

Have a great week!

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