Saturday, January 28, 2012

“Freezin Season”? Not “Snow” Much-But a bit “Tacky”

A Year Without Snow

Last week we finished up our “Freezin Season” centers and winter theme, but it was a bit difficult to do without snow! We tried to cheer up the room with a few snowmen “craftivities” but it was difficult to get in the mood when we didn’t even need a coat at most of our recess days! So we decided that we would just have to “pretend” and travel south to Antarctica and learn about our favorite winter friend-TACKY the Penguin! We just finished up our Penguin theme this week and they amazed me with all the facts they learned and applied to their penguin writing. We had a “parade of penguin” centers and activities that we did this week.

penguin poem


penguin centers 1

penguin centers 2

penguin facts1

After reading and researching information on penguins we used our KWL chart and wrote what we had learned about penguins. We made these cute covers (thanks to something found on pinterest!) for our penguin information.

penguin facts2

Tacky Thursday!

We finished up our study of penguins with our favorite penguin character “Tacky”! We read several different Tacky stories and then made these cute Tacky the Penguin art projects. We also did a story map to discuss character, setting, problem, resolution, and events from the story to recall information. The kids dressed “tacky” on Thursday too! They were sooooooo cute! We were so busy all day that I didn’t get pictures of them dressed up…but they were “tacky”!

tacky friends

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Martin Luther King, Jr.

What an inspiration these stories were to my students. They were really intrigued with Ruby Bridges, Rosa Parks, and ML King’s Dreams. They just couldn’t believe those things happened to Rosa, Ruby, and Martin! After reading several biographies about MLK we made these pictures of him and then wrote about our own dreams to make the world a better place. Wow, 6 and 7 year olds really do understand that we need to work together! They did an amazing job telling about their dreams!!!



This group of students did a shared reading of Robin Hill School Martin Luther King Jr. Day with the class. After reading all these books here is MLK and a few of our DREAMS! I was soooo impressed!



Let’s hope our dreams come true!!! Our world WILL be a better place!

Smitten With Mittens!

Every January I start off the new year learning about animals and how they adapt to the cold. We learn which animals migrate, hibernate, and  those that stay active. Starting 2012 with 60 degree temperatures here in Kansas was a little tough to make them understand the concept of migrating! Our weather has been unbelievable here! We read Animals In Winter and did a cute book called Welcome to the Animal Channel.


Next we moved on to our “Mitten” theme. We had so much fun making our Mitten Journals and reading so many neat stories about Mittens! First we compared/contrasted these 3 versions of The Mitten. Of course their favorite version was from Jan Brett because they love the peek a boo pictures!


After reading our stories we added these details to our Mitten Journals:


We discussed the characters, setting, problem, and resolution of each story and then wrote the beginning, middle, and ending of each of the books we read. Here are a few more mitten stories that we enjoyed this week:


The Mitten Tree was perfect to discuss our Maize Way Character Trait of Generosity.

LOVED this new book: Missing Mittens-it went perfect with our math lesson on odd and even numbers! We played a game where we drew numbers that were on mittens and we sorted them onto a chart of odd and even numbers.


We finished up our mitten theme with a very fun math lesson. Each of the students had one mitten. First they “predicted” how many linker cubes would fit into their mitten. Then they got to stuff their mitten with linker cubes until it was ready to “pop” like in the story The Mitten. Then they dropped out their cubes and grouped them into tens and ones. After everyone had recorded their own findings we traveled around the classroom to count how many tens and ones fit in each of our friend’s mittens. They had a great time with place value!


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Of course we always have to be creative and do some “craftivity” and these were the mitten friends and wreaths that we made:



We were “Smitten with Mittens” at our center rotations this week also. We worked on sorting real and nonsense words using digraphs, sorted long and short a pictures and spelled them, played + – bingo, did an ABC sort with the characters from The Mitten and used the words in complete sentence, counted tens and ones and matched up the number, and did a mitten number order line up from least to greatest. Always enjoy our center time. It is so neat to see them interact, problem solve, and enjoy the activities!!


Next up SNOWMEN!!! Will we ever have a SNOWDAY??

Holly Jolly, The Grinch, Polar Express, and Happy New Year!

Happy New Year friends and family! Wow, getting back into the swing of things has been tough! Decided tonight was the night to download pictures off the camera and realized that I had not finished my posts from our last week before the holiday break! We had a fun filled week too with Holly Jolly Centers, The Grinch, and Polar Express. Here is a look at some of the things we finished 2011 with.



A few of our centers were using nouns and adjectives to make complete Holly Jolly Sentences. They put Holly Jolly words in ABC order and used them correctly in sentences. They sorted  math facts at the Rockin Reindeer center. They also sorted candy canes and graphed them by color and added sets.


Grinch Day!


We read the famous How the Grinch Stole Christmas and brainstormed words of what the Grinch was like at the beginning of the story and they wrote how the Grinch behaved at the beginning.



After reading the story we brainstormed words to describe how the Grinch was feeling at the end of the story and wrote about how he had changed. The students really got the meaning of Christmas!


Then we made these cute torn Grinch art projects and Grinch masks!


Polar Express Day!

We finished up the holiday with a favorite book The Polar Express. We all got to wear our PJ’s and got comfy! We made the cute Polar Express Train art and sequenced the story events. Made silver bell necklaces with beads and shook them all day because we “believe”! Then we made these darling PJ glyph kids from Deanna Jumps Polar Express Unit…TOO CUTE! Then we all settled in for a long winters nap and headed home for our holiday break!!



Happy New Year! We are Back!

Happy 2012…I am a little late, but we did start our year off with a darling story called Squirrel’s New Years Resolution by Pat Miller. We used this story along with our Maize Way Character Trait: Self Discipline. It was a perfect story to teach the students about making and setting goals for themselves to become better at something or helping others with something. We then brainstormed a list of resolutions and made this cute art project and writing activity that we found online from A Cupcake from the Teacher. So we were Ringing in the New Year and now we are ready for 2012!