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Monday, February 27, 2012

Writing to Inform and Temperature

Hey guys! I'm still alive! I have been going through a slump the past few weeks when it comes to teaching...

So I've finally got a few things to share today--- we have been busy writing!

A few weeks ago I introduced how to write a friendly letter. We used the morning message to help build the background knowledge and my kids did a great job! After they finished their final copy, I let them decorate the letter on red paper with some cute stickers I got from Joann's last year!
I forgot to take a picture of it, but I modeled how to brainstorm some nice things to say in a letter by making a tree map. I put my picture at the top and had 3 words branching from it.
Ms. G
is           has         can

Then the kids thought of adjectives to describe me... and oh how sweet they were! Then I gave the kids a tree map with one of their classmate's picture on it and they had to do the same thing for one of that child. So each child got a letter written to them. They turned out adorably! Here are a few:












And after seeing a post on "Writing to inform" by April from Chalk Talk...
Found here:

Chalk Talk


My kindergarten team and I decided to have the kids start to write some non-fiction. So we read and watched some informational facts on some arctic animals on pebblego.com and recorded what we learned on a chart similar to the download April has on her blog.  I took a week to research (instead of doing predictable chart) and then the week after we used the information we learned to write.

So last week I had the kids begin to write about their favorite animal we learned about and I have never seen them work so quietly before! It was amazing and I HAD to take pictures of them! It was precious to see how much they enjoyed writing about their favorite animal.
Emperor Penguins

Humpback Whales

Polar Bears

Seal

Here are some close-ups of the charts we made together. (I underlined the key words/phrases for htem to remember when they were filling out their brainstorming graphic.)








Here is one of my girls brainstorming about an Emperor Penguin:



Brainstorming about a Humpback whale:



Beginning to brainstorm about a Polar Bear:



Brainstorming about Seals:


After the kiddos brainstormed, the next day I had them use their graphic and write a sentence for each one. This week we are going to be putting their sentences into a book format and they will illustrate each page. Then I will have them write about why they chose their animal and complete a diagram of their animal. (I will post pictures once this is finished!)

Then we are going to start writing about what they want to be when they grow up and why! I can't wait to see how they turn out!


In Math, we have been learning about measurement. My kiddos had a hard time measuring length with non-standard and inches. So we are going to continue working on that in small groups. However, when it came to weight and temperature, they did great!

Talking about weight, I had a balance scale and had the kids each bring an object to the carpet. They predicted which item would be heavier and then we would measure by putting each item on the balance scale. They had a blast and this week I'm going to put it into a center with classroom items and a recording sheet. They will circle which is heavier and "x" out which is lighter.

Then we talked about temperature, watched a brainpop, jr. video and then created this anchor chart together about what we learned:


Then I assessed my students with these two activity pages from our math series:
The first one they had to color in the thermometer to tell me what it woudl look like in each type of weather situation show on the page. Then the right one they would circle the correct thermometer to match the type of weather they would wear each piece of clothing.



When teaching them about temperature, I brought out our classroom thermometer and drew lines for "HOT", "Room temperature- 70 degrees F", "Water Freezes- 32 degrees F", and "COLD". We also reviewed that when we think of hot weather.... we think of "red" and cold- "blue". (They were so excited because they knew all about cold and warm colors from art class!)



These were just a few of the MANY activities we have been up to! I will try to post more later this week! Hope ya'll are enjoying this beautiful weather.... I can get use to 60 degrees in February! =)