Friday, September 23, 2011

Johnny Appleseed (Part Two)

We used our data sheets to graph the apples we liked.  Granny Smith and Red Delicious were the two highest.  

 We ate our YUMMY applesauce...

 We tried apple butter on apple chips and apple cider.
 And here we are all packed up and ready to go...
 I'm pretty sure they'll sleep good tonight cause we were BUSY today!  Well...knowing their may just be ME who sleeps well tonight!  A big thank you to all the parents for the help in making our day a HUGE success!!

Johnny Appleseed Day (in two parts)

Welcome to Johnny Appleseed Day!  We are finishing up a unit where we've learned all about apples and John Chapman (aka Johnny Appleseed).  Johnny Appleseed Day is usually celebrated on Sept. 26th but we have a special birthday celebration on Monday, so we went with the first day of Fall.  Here are the kids signing in...Today's survey question:  "Are you excited about Johnny Appleseed Day?  Yes or No."  

Here is the cute little Johnny Appleseed craft I found at Oriental Trading.  So easy and fun to make!  Well, truth be told, we had a few boots fall off...but it was nothing a little glue couldn't fix!  

 We had five stations in our rotation. The first was the craft shown above.  At one we made an Applesauce book that helped us know how to make applesauce.
 Here the kids are tasting seven different types of apples and recording their data.

 And here they are making apple prints with painted apples.
 Then there's the cooking!  Making applesauce together.

 Then, of course, we wrote about our experience!  We used the words "I like..." to start our writing today.  I thought it was funny when kids kept saying, "I liked it all."  I said, "Then write about it all!"

 And here we are together...celebrating the day...

Monday, September 19, 2011

Phonemic Awareness

Phonemic Awareness is the ability to HEAR parts of words from syllables to individual phonemes (sounds).  Recently our curriculum has had us segmenting words into parts (or syllables).  Today we played a game called "Clap it Out" where we looked at a picture, clapped the word parts and then sorted the word to the numbers 1, 2, or 3.  Here are some of my kiddos demonstrating this fun activity.  Now it's in a literacy center for them to continue playing this week.  

Notice we have a "clapper" using oven mitts to clap the words.  They LOVE this---and it keeps it QUIET when it's center time.  The student with the card, names the picture.  The clapper claps it.  Then the student decides where to sort it.  We sorted up over heads, which the kids thought was funny!  

As we move through this week, we will start deleting a part of the word.  For example, if the word is "sunny", we may say "sunny" without the "ny" and they would say "sun".

Hearing words this way helps kids start to get ready for reading.  It makes writing easier too!  Eventually, these skills will be used in our phonics work when we add words to our pictures.

This is an easy game to play in the car or when you have a few minutes at a restaurant.  Parents, why not try it this week?

And on a "Funny Note" while out at the playground, one of our friends picked up trash.  She's done this before.  I said, "I think you might become an environmentalist when you grow up because you like to take care of the earth so much!"  She said, "I don't think that could be true because my room's a MESS!"  Cracked me UP!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Wrapping Up another BUSY week...

Our week started with Parent Information Night where our parents sat in our seats for a bit to learn what we do during the day.  Thank you, parents, for coming and joining us for this night!  You, too, are an amazing bunch!

Then, on Tuesday, a great thing happened for me as a teacher...I got to share my sweet class with two of my FAVORITE teachers: my Mother-in-law and Father-in-law.  These two spent many years working here in Sarasota County Schools with many many students and families.  Now they will be spending time in our classroom from time to time!  If the kids tell you "Grandma and Grandpa Nations came to visit"'ll know who they are talking about.  It was a pleasure for me to have them come meet all the young K friends I've been telling them about this year.
We finally started Literacy Centers this week.  These centers help us have meaningful activities from which to choose when I'm teaching small reading groups.  This week, we practiced moving to, and staying in, our centers.  We also practiced using materials the right way and knowing what to do while we are there.  We have sixteen literacy centers in our room.  Each day, students visit four centers.  They will be required to complete one activity in each center group weekly (in the near future).  For now, it's all about exploring them and getting to know what's what. Below is our center rotation board.
As the week closed down, we culminated (sort of) our Eric Carle exploration by looking at seven of the books we read by this author/illustrator.  Each child picked their favorite, wrote about it in their reading response journal and then created their very own book cover using some of our art supplies.  I'm going to close this blog post with a gallery of pictures from our sweet artists!  I am so proud of how they incorporated mixed medium into their artwork.  These are now proudly displayed in our classroom and may just be coming to a home near you very soon!  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Last Friday we painted a retelling of The Very Hungry Caterpillar.  We talked about all the things that cute little caterpillar ate through before hiding away and becoming a butterfly.  Each child painted one thing that he ate.  Then, we sequenced the food and hung it on our window.  All children created their OWN very hungry caterpillar that we also hung on the window.  
On Monday, we came together and talked about the sequence of the book and how we could use words with our pictures to retell the story.  We participated in a shared writing activity, where we located words we needed and then practiced writing them.  Some words we found in the book, others we found around our room, like the word "orange" and the days of the week.  Students made and hung  labels to go with the artwork.  

It's hard to see the effect of the entire piece hanging in our windows, so I tried to take a few close-ups.  Still, we think our "wall story" (or is it a "window story"?) came out pretty neat!  I am pretty sure the bottom pictures can be clicked to enlarge.  Enjoy the work of these amazing readers, writers, and artists!