Saturday, April 27, 2013

Life After Chicks.... ( Sea Turtles )

Moving forward! Out with the cute and fluffy and on to the Sea Turtles! It felt GOOD today to clean up after our furry friends went back to the feed store farm. The teacher farmer was ready for them to go home! We started out with the Sea Turtle close reading, and read the Gail Gibbons book Sea Turtles.
We started our can/have/are anchor chart and next week we'll be ready for making annotations from the close read, and then writing facts. We'll also do our sea turtle writing craftivity, they will love this one, and it focuses on the life cycle of the sea turtle, so we should hear some great language happening too!
I love how now that they are familiar with retelling the life cycle of animals it comes so much more naturally for them to tell it almost like a story. I heard a "Once upon a time... today at the storytelling center" :o).

Here is the link to my Sea Turtle unit:
Sea Turtle Life Cycle Literacy, Science & Math Activities & Centers


Thursday, April 25, 2013

Chick Plan B: Impostors!



Well.... sometimes things just don't go as planned. I have never had this happen (until I wrote about it on a blog - ha) but none of our eggs hatched. (insert sad, sad face here).  The other classes had the same problem. A couple of the classes got a couple of chicks, but not as healthy as ones we've had in the past. So.... our lovely science person from our district brought us some IMPOSTORS to fill in!
I could not bring myself to fib to the kids. They are way too smart, and they would know.
 So they got the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Such is life and nature that sometimes things don't work out the way we expect or want them too, and it's probably for a good reason, though we may never know or understand. They were a little dissappointed, but they really seemed to understand and take it in stride, and when the IMPOSTORS showed up they greeted them happily and we never looked back! Lots of unexpected lessons this year, I choose to see it as a postitive :o)

-Update-
Today we did our LAST chick activity... pictures are great motivators when it comes to writing! I took pictures of each kiddo with a chick, and today they did their "How to Hatch Chicks" writing. Too cute!







Friday, April 19, 2013

Chick Patrol!

We are ready! The nursery brooding pen is ready and so are we!
We should hear some peeping and see some cracking by Monday or Tuesday! Yay! It's been a long 21 days!

Today we finished up work on our Chicks! Close reading activity, with the writing of the facts from the text. They did an awesome job! Once again, they loved the big words which was refelcted in their writing.




We also worked on our Chick Life Cycle Story Sticks, they had so much fun retelling the sequence and added so many cute details to their stories ("chicken's are good mama's because they sit on their eggs").  It's so facinating and delightful to hear their skills at articulating information become so distinctively different than the way they started out a few months ago. I love spring in kindergarten for SO many reasons :o).


Here is the link to my Life Cycle of a Chicken Unit:
Chicken Life Cycle Uncovered! Literacy & Science Activities & Centers

Monday, April 15, 2013

Non Standard Measurement with Beanstalks!


Non standard measurement is a common core objective, and we found an engaging way to do it!
We had SO much fun today measuring our bean plants! It was so interesting to do something more than just the observations of their growth! (Although we sure like doing that too!)

 It was so fun to hear all of the "math talk" happening, and all of the great questions and conversations that occurred!

We measured with linking cubes, paper clips, crayons, and beans
Here are some of the questions I asked...

Are all of our plants going to have the same measurements? Why or why not?
Which unit that you measured with had the most? The least?
Why did the beans/linking cubes have more?

They really got into it! Double checking before they recorded and agreeing or disagreeing with their partner so that they had to show evidence of their thinking, and why they recorded what the did. Wow!
It went so great that I almost wish it had been an evaluation lesson for me! (Okay maybe that's going too far, but it did go well!) Let me know if you try this!

Here is the link to this Jack and the Beanstalk unit:
Jack and the Beanstalk Literacy Fun Activities & Centers

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Fee Fi Fo Fum! Kinders cannot live on chicks alone!

I LOVE our Chick unit! But..... 21 days seems like forever when you're waiting for them to hatch! We are simultaneously working on Jack and the Beanstalk! It has been so much fun! Yesterday we worked on our Writing Craftivity (the writing took a couple of days). They are getting ready for their end of the year benchmark for Common Core Literature and writing elements, and they don't even know it!
We have read the book 4, maybe 5 times now, and it is so fun to hear them say the Fee Fi Fo Fum..... part! Even better was seeing what they wrote in their Giant's speech bubble, here is my favorite:

Free Fi  Fum
I small a bud uv a ingish boy
Be he ded or life I will gan
his bos to mak my bred!

I'll say it again... kid writing is just about my favorite thing in the whole wide world!
Here's a little peek at our Jack and the Beanstalk work so far:





Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Chicken Life Cycle: The Oral Retell.... they are getting good!

Complete sentences from reluctant speakers, oh my! So exciting to hear little voices during The Chicken Life Cycle Retell today! Wow, they have come a   l  o  n  g  way! I can't imagine learning to speak another language in such short time and being able to do it so well. I am a proud mama hen :o)



On another note about our chick unit:
The "Chick Patrol" was in full gear today reporting about the conditions of the incubator and eggs,
here are a couple of reports! (Just in case you're wondering, some of the reporters wrote a 12 and crossed it out to make an 11, this was to note the unfortunate fact that one of our little eggs cracked, oozed, and had to be removed from the incubator, yuck!)



Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Precious Moment

We have been working on our "Chicks!" Close Reading Activity.
Today was our third encounter with the text, and they were doing great with understanding the vocabulary and were ready to go a little deeper. So I broke out the student annotation pages and they really went to town! I love this time of year when everything just starts making sense to them and they can apply all of these great skills, it really is the icing on the cake!
What was I going to tell you??  Oh yes, precious moment.  (When we do annotations I have the kids talk to their partners about information in the text that they found particularly interesting and then write some notes about it on their annotation page so that they can use these notes to help them write facts the next time we encounter this text.) One of my boys wrote A LOT (for him), and I spied his partner pointing her finger on his page to read HIS words back to him. He was tongue-in-cheek (literally) proud of her reading his words back to him and prasing him! I snuck up behind them and took a picture of their sweet moment. Made my day, and his too.  :o)


     Life Cycle of The Chicken Uncovered! Integrated Literacy and Science Unit

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Life Cycle of a Chicken - Here we go!

Adventures in Chicks:  Day 1
Well, today was the day. The eggs finally arrived, I think (I hope) we got the conditions just right in the incubator, put the cute little eggs in their warm home and hope for the best! They arrived in a typical egg carton, but it is so fun knowing that they are special eggs!

Incubator in a safe "out of the way place" - check.
Temperature 100 degreees - check.
Humidity 58 % - check.
Calendar for counting down 21 days - nope... next on the list!

    Chicken Life Cycle Uncovered Literacy & Science Activities & Centers

(This unit does not require hatching chicks! It primarily focuses on the Chicken Life Cycle!)