December

It’s December, and we are working on our Children around the World unit in kindergarten.  The children just finished painting their life sized portraits.  They turned out so cute.

Next up, we’ll be making our passports and luggage for our trip around the world!  For our celebration, each kindergarten classroom is transformed into a different country.  We travel from country to country, learning about an important tradition and making a special craft, as we move from room to room.

The children are also working on their reports and will be presenting them next week.  Here is a free copy of the report:

children around the world title page

I’ll take more pictures next week as we prepare to travel.  We still have so much to do!

Is it oviparous?

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Without having the experience of actually raising chickens, we found other ways to explore with eggs.  We put this egg in vinegar.  The kids loved watching it change over time.  From the moment we put it into the liquid, the size appeared to change, then bubbles were everywhere, and depending on the stage things, it would either float or sink.  Eventually, we could see through the shell to the yolk, which was cool.. at that point, I was supposed to take it out and bounce it around, but forgot… so it kept on getting bigger and bigger, fuzzier and fuzzier, until it was a big white explosion.  Not for the faint hearted, but great for the scientist in you and your students.  I loved their excitement each time they walked into the room, exclaiming with excited chatter about the observable changes.

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These are some of the paintings and drawings that we made of oviparous animals this year.

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We made a graph of animals that were oviparous and viviparous.  This was a good resource for information on the difference.

I made cards to go with the presentation that the kids could sort and use to make the graph.  I cut a piece of construction paper in half and had the kids write either… A _____ is oviparous or A _____ is viviparous, depending on the animal they chose, and draw a picture for our graph.  I didn’t take a picture of it at the time, which I regret, because it was a great learning experience and made a nice visual of our learning.

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The concepts of oviparous animals wove through many of our discussions about animals and the cycle of life.  The kids even began to discuss the parallels the noticed between the life cycle of a plant and that of an animal.   We were able to draw analogies between seeds and eggs and life cycles in that way.

Books I recommend for this unit:

Chicka, Chicka: Alphabet, Numbers, and Coconut Science!

We love using Chicka, Chicka, Boom, Boom! to integrate our beginning of the year learning as we are focused on letters and sounds, numbers and counting, and our 5 senses.  Our students LOVE the rhythm and rhyme of the story and … Continue reading

All About Me in Kindergarten: Memory Book for August

Capture the first weeks of kindergarten with this memory book. You’ll find over 25 prompts to get your students drawing and writing! Each child will create a personal memory book that captures memories of themselves and the important skills they … Continue reading

Whole Body Listening

I was first introduced to the concept of Whole Body Listening many years ago when I became the full inclusion teacher for our students with autism.  However it has proved to be a method that is helpful to all my kinders, … Continue reading

More Common Core: Understanding Teen Numbers

Common core takes number practice beyond counting and identification because it allows our students to understand the value of each number, how it is made, and represented by numbers.  Ten frames and base ten blocks are an important component of the process … Continue reading

Animals 2X2: New and Improved!

Every year that I’ve been creating curriculum packets, I learn more, which is wonderful, it makes me a better teacher, but then it also compels me to go back through curriculum that I have out there and make changes.  I aspire to be as good as some of the amazing teachers out there blogging, creating, and working as teachers.

Summer has started, and I’ve dived back into some of the packets that I’ve been wanting to update.  I’ve finished the Goldfish and Worm packet… for this year at least!  I love science and so this has been at the top of my list for some time now 🙂

earthworms and red worms preview

I’ve updated the look, expanded the ‘big’ questions that you can explore with your class, and created some fact pages that you can make into a book and use as a guide as you and your students go through the units.

goldfish and guppies preview

Clipart generally becomes one of the biggest challenges to creating curriculum for me.  I’ve learned how to make my own drawings, scan them, and photoshop them as a supplement.  My daughter actually made most of the art for both of these packets, which as awesome.  Below is her beautiful goldfish.

goldfish sample page

I still a beginner with photoshop, so I am sure as I continue to work with it, as with anything, I’ll get better, learn new tricks, and then find myself back in older documents, updating my work.  I tend to do best with scientific drawings, though they can be somewhat rudimentary.  I am live in a house full of artists, so I am hoping, as with blogging, I’ll get better as I go, develop a personal style that I feel comfortable with, and learn all the tools I need to make work I am proud of and that other teachers enjoy.

worm clipart sampleCan you tell who drew the picture of the adult worm and who drew the hatchling and cocoon?  Which was mother and which was daughter?  At least I got the job done and the science across.

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The kids art, of course, is always my most favorite.

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Happy learning!