Sunday, March 5, 2017

Learning about the forest

Hello Everyone! During the beginning of the school year my Kindergarten class learned about the forest.  I was so excited to teach them about the forest life especially because we live in one! It's important for them to learn about what type of forest we live, as well as the plants and animals that call it home.  Check it out...

If you have read my blog before than you probably recognize this anchor chart. I use this format when I start teaching a new thematic unit.  I start out by recording their schema, and as new information is learned it is added to the chart.  

Looking for some great forest literature? Here are some of my favorite fiction/ non fiction books. Two of the books pictured above are from Kristen Smith's Discovering Forests  pack.  You can find it here.

We used this sort to learn about living and non living things.  As I mentioned above Kristen Smith's Forest pack has so many amazing resources (including this sort) that perfectly complimented what I already had planned.  

                           After learning about living and non living things we made this chart.  You can find it here.

My students learned about coniferous and deciduous trees and how to spot them in our forest.  

With all our new learning we went on a walk in the forest. Our purpose was to collect leaves, pine needles and pine cones to bring back to our classroom to take a closer look at. 

Everything the class collected was put into a center for them to inspect.  

We also learned about some of the animals that call our forest home.  

We sketched our favorite leaves.  

After our walk in the forest I had my class write about what they saw.  This unit was taught in early October when many of my kids were in the beginning stages of writing.  

Thank you so much for stopping by! 

Monday, June 15, 2015

End of the year ideas

Hello there! Summer is FINALLY here and I couldn't be more thrilled!!  At the end of each school year I have my class vote on fun activities that they would like to do.  This year my class decided upon ice cream and camping day - and of course I had a few more fun activities up my sleeves! 

These are my go-to summer books.  They're fun to read, and therefore PERFECT for this time of year.

Camping day is a super FUN end of the year activity, especially when the school year is winding down. If you'd like to try camping in your own class first set the stage- with A LOT of imagination and a few good props you can turn your classroom into a campsite.  Next, plan a few simple activities that will keep them engaged.  My camping day consisted of learning a new camping song, making S'mores how-to art, eating/ describing S'mores, brainstorming about what to bring when camping, graphing who has and hasn't been camping, and lastly learning about Smokey Bear's rules for fire prevention.  Check out The First Grade Parade for cute camping ideas, as well as, the graph and S'mores art that you see above.

Here is a cute informational cartoon about Smokey Bear's rules for fire prevention.

          Another easy activity to do at the end of the year is to have an ice cream day.  My ice cream day consisted of learning a song about ice cream, an ice cream cone craft and eating ice cream. I bought ice cream cups- which I have absolutely no idea why I have never done this before!  I didn't have to scoop, there was no mess to clean up and the kids loved the little wooded spoon that came with it (it was a win win situation).   

       We also blew bubbles, practiced spelling cvc and cvce words with Cheez- It's, and had an amazing graduation celebration.  If you're interested in how to make the graduation hat pictured above click here. It was a wonderful end to a great year!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

Plants, Plants and More Plants

Hello there! I wanted to pop in and share a few highlights of my plant unit.  

Take a look...
Here are some of my favorite plant fiction/ non fiction books.  

I love to use the format of the anchor chart pictured above whenever I start teaching a new thematic unit.  It's a great way to record their schema & new learning.  We refer to this chart and add new information as we learn. 

Next, we dove right into learning about the parts of a plant.  

This has to be one of my favorite art projects this year!   I loved that it has a purpose, and let's be honest it turned out so darn cute! You can find it here

After, we used the diagram to label the different parts of a plant my kinders did the same in their interactive journals. 

Also, my class reviewed the life cycle of a plant with this great freebie from the blog Wild About Firsties

We practiced what plants need to survive with YET another freebie! I KNOW this is exciting... I love to find good quality freebies! This particular one was found here

If you read my blog you know I LOVE a good Harry Kindergarten song! Who doesn't?!? This movie is a great introduction or review of what a plant needs.

The AMAZING school that I work for has recently built 2 growing domes.  These domes allow the students to plant, harvest and learn about plants.  We have an extremely short growing season here in Lake Tahoe, but with the edition of the domes we can grow through out the year.  

My co worker had his kindergarten class make these fantastic ceramic plant name stakes to label the different plants growing in the domes.  How creative is that!?!

We learned about the different parts of a plant that we eat and listed examples of each on the chart above.

My class grew cherry tomatoes in the growing dome.  We read many books abut tomatoes and recorded our new learning on the chart above.   Also, my kinders did some independent writing about tomatoes.

Here is a close up picture of one of our growing domes.

The next few pictures show what it looks like inside the domes.

After, reading many non fiction books about fruits and vegetables we completed the chart above.  Usually,  I remove all pictures from the chart and give them out to pairs of students where they discuss if it's a fruit or vegetable.  Then, it's glued under the correct category.  

Our wonderful PTA put on a farmers market for the students at out school.  Each class gets to go to the farmers market to taste test fruits/ vegetables and different ways to eat them.  

Students bring a reusable bag to bring home fruits and vegetables.  They also bring a water bottle to try 
fruit infused water. 

My class had an amazing time! 

Saturday, May 30, 2015


We have 8 and 1/2 days until the last day of school!!  I'm not gonna lie I'm so EXCITED for summer!  It's not just me who is excited- my class thinks it's already summer break.  I have kids coming to school in sunglasses, tee shirts, and shorts like they just got back from a tropical vacation.  Look, I'm not knocking it, I feel the same way.  

Take a look...
This is a fantastic depiction of me through out the year.  


Let's move on to the farm. 

We started out our farm adventure by recording our schema on the chart above.

Here are some of my favorite fiction & non fiction farm books.  

We read a non fiction book about who lives on a farm and recorded our learning on the anchor chart above. 
Next, we filled out this chart after we read a book about baby animals.  They learned about what baby belonged to what adult.
My kinders graphed their favorite farm animal.  I found the pictures for the graph here

We learned about the different parts of a cow and labeled them on the diagram above.  

Then, we learned about the process of how we get milk.  

We read many books about the life cycle of a chicken. The books pictured above are my favorites. 

After reading about the chickens life cycle we filled out this anchor chart. 

We read the book Chickens Aren't the Only Ones by Ruth Heller to learn about animals that are oviparous.  If you would like to check out how I taught my kinders about oviparous animals check out this post.  To demonstrate their understanding of oviparous animals each child completed the art/ writing above.

We went on a field trip to a farm. The kids had a blast!

Here's a picture of our farm board.  Each child made a farm animal.  

Check out our farm writings.

Happy Weekend!!