Sunday, April 14, 2013

If you want them to learn, you have to bait the hook! (with a FREEBIE!!)

I {big puffy heart} Spring!  Not only does it mean ice, snow and cold are gone, but I get to teach some of my all time favorite units--weather, insects, frogs and for the last two weeks-plants, seeds and worms!  We have had so much fun learning about the needs of a seed, parts and functions of a plant and worms. 

Our week starts with a poem:
Then we started learning about the parts and functions of a plant using the one thing I saved from my college days:
The students made their own version:

They turn out so adorable!!
We also wrote about growing our own garden:
We also sequenced this life cycle of a plant using my Plant Life Cycle pack.  Click here to see it for yourself!

The next week we learned about a plant's helper, the wiggly worm!  Here's a few highlights!
Gummy Worm addition and subtraction game:
Apples and Worms ending sound review:
And my NUMBER ONE!!, absolute favorite activity all year....a "wormology" lesson!
Recording our findings:
And the release!
Click here for my wormology sheet!
Up next...insects!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Art Feeds

Art Feeds is a non-profit group that comes to our school once a week for 30 minutes.  It was created after the May 22, 2011 tornado as a form of therapy through creative expression.  Our kids L-O-V-E it!  Today, my kiddos were learning about how record album covers gave you an idea about the music within.  (Hmmm...possible Writer's Workshop mini-lesson....)

They listened to the Beach Boys' "California Girls" and talked about how they thought it should have waves and people in bathing suits on the cover.  Then with The Jackson Five's "ABC", it made them think about school and learning.  The Art Feeds ladies then had the students think about their favorite song and draw a picture of what it made them think of.  Here are a few of my favorites...

 Blak I pez (Black Eye Peas)
The River (sorry, I couldn't get it to rotate!)
And my favorite...
Sexy and I Know It
He told me he was so hot he was on fire!  Note the people in the flames!
Here's mine. 
I will pick one name from those who guess it correctly, song and artist, and they will win my newest pack, my Frog Life Cycle Emergent Reader and Retelling cards.  You have until tomorrow night at 9 CST.  Good luck!!
For more information on Art Feeds, visit

Friday, April 5, 2013

Egg-stra egg-citing!

Last week was a blur! Not only was it the week after our Spring Break, but it was a short week due to Easter. We spent the week beginning our life cycle studies with a look at oviparous and viviparous animals. One of our SpEd para was extremely impressed with the fact that not only could my Kinder kiddos define those words, they could say them correctly!

Our poem for the week came from Deedee Wills' March Poetry pack titled "Eggs! Eggs! Eggs!".  The kids loved reading it and naming different oviparous animals that would fit each description.  The only problem is....I forgot to click a picture of it!  Just go here and buy it yourself.  A truly awesome resource!
 While you're there, check out her egg math stations.  My kids are loving her Alligator Babies and The Oviparous 10 games in our Math stations!
 We used a lot of literature in our studies.  Here are some my favorites!
We began our discussion of life cycles.  The students used the retelling cards from my Chicken Life Cycle Pack to recreate the life cycle.  
 Afterward they read the coordinating emergent reader.
 Click on the picture to check this pack out for yourself!
When I was a kid, my grandma used to call jelly beans 'jelly bird eggs'.  It's kinda stuck with me so I always make sure to include some jelly bean activities during the week.  First we read this book.  I LOVE IT!  It always cracks me up!
 We did the usual sort and graph...
 ...with a twist!  I added a Jelly Bean Addition sheet that the students completed after they finished their graph.  They used their sorting sheet and added together two colors.

What's an egg unit with a few hundred Easter eggs floating around your room?  We played my Cracked! game.  
You should have heard the groans when someone got the Easter Bunny card and they had to give up an egg!  My kids are very competitive!
Ok, imagine this scenario.  It's the day before Easter Break.  It's rained for two days.  We are going to have our Easter egg hunt that afternoon and my desk is PILED with candy that I wasn't going to use.  Every 5 seconds I hear "When's our hunt?"  Then we go to our monthly SOAR (school expectations) assembly where we get this surprise...
the high school mascot, Eddie the Eagle, and our Bright Futures Sunshine Squad brought every student in our school an Easter basket!  Well, let's just say, we lost everyone after that and it was 8:30 in the morning.  Can you say extra long recess?

While we were in the assembly, our Kindergarten Early Lit teacher was gracious enough to hide (and by hide I mean throw on the ground randomly) our eggs for our hunt.
Such a doll!
So we grabbed our bags...
 headed out...
and chaos began!
If you look closely, the little guy in the picture has a strip of paper in his hand.  I couldn't just let it be just an egg hunt.  Each student had a strip with a number of eggs on it.  On each egg was a color word that let the student know what eggs to gather!  Fun, yet still (a bit) educational!

Our week was short, but jam packed with some egg-ceptional learning!