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!