Saturday, May 19, 2012

Comparing and Contrasting Plants and Animals

In Kindergarten we're gearing up to finish our plant unit and merge it with our final science unit on animals. I love integrating reading, writing and science. In literacy we're studying lots of animals. Lucky us - we even went to the zoo for our field trip this past Friday!

We're learning about how animals move and what baby animals are called through our read-alouds. During Science we just finished learning about the differences between living and non-living things. To tie it all together (plants and animals) we're hitting a Common Core Science Standard: (K.1P.1 Compare and contrast characteristics of living and non-living things. K.1L.1 Compare and contrast characteristics of plants and animals.) in which the main goal is for students to compare and contrast plants and animals. 

I drew it on a big chart pad. I did it a little different on the big chart than on the worksheet. I put the sentence on the top "Plants and animals both" and then I drew the line with stems "can" and "need." I did it more like how I did this post on the sun 

Then I printed this page of sentence stems for students to fill in the blanks. I plan on using the graphic organizer to have students help generate sentences. The two boxes Plants: and Animals on the worksheet below: are for a quick word/illustration to help them focus on a specific plant and animal. You'll notice that I gave them a pre-made topic sentence. I think this level of scaffolding is necessary for Kinders! To finish, I typed up the following page using print-dashed (free tracer font) so students could "write" their own report as a final project. I hope that makes sense.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Mother's Day Art

Celery-stamping Mother's Day Cards
To celebrate Mothers' Day in our Kindergarten class my students did celery stamping art. I trimmed a bunch of celery so the ends were even. Then I put red paint on a paper plate and had students dip the celery in paint and stamp "roses" for their moms on pre-folded construction paper cards. We let the flowers dry and later painted stems and leaves. Eventually students wrote "Happy Mother's Day" on a 2"x9" strip of red paper (in black marker) and glued it to the cover of their card either at the top or bottom. Inside I printed a poem using the font: Print Clearly Dashed for students to trace and glue inside.

It goes:
Mommy, Mommy I love you,
Yes, oh yes, oh yes, I do!
I'm so glad that you are mine,
I will love you all the time.
Love, ____

The cool thing about this project is that the cards turned out really pretty and we were able to integrate science into the lesson. We've been working our plant unit and this was a fun way to incorporate their learning. The students felt so proud of their cards. They all turned out very beautiful.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Syllables Printables

We're currently working on this common core standard:

Phonological Awareness

  • RF.K.2. Demonstrate understanding of spoken words, syllables, and sounds (phonemes).
    • Recognize and produce rhyming words.
    • Count, pronounce, blend, and segment syllables in spoken words.
I made a couple of syllable worksheets for my students. Most of my students are proficient in being able to clap out words by syllables. However, some of my ELL students find this task daunting and tricky (they want to segment the sounds based on phonemes since that's what we practice for our district-wide assessment). Click on my dropbox links to instantly download these freebies. Sheet 1  Sheet 2 . Here is a screen-shot of what one of the worksheets look like. The other one had different 1/2/3 syllable words. One is in PDF format, and one is a Word document that you could use as a template to make more sheets as  you deem necessary.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Scientific Inquiry in Kindergarten

I'm right in the middle of my physical science unit on plants. I teach science using GLAD (Guided Language Acquisition Design). It makes challenging content really comprehensible...(have I mentioned that there are 14 different languages spoken in my Kindergarten class?). The plant of focus is the sunflower. However we are making tons of observations and doing research using a variety of plants to learn how they work. 

To kick off the unit I prepared "Science Folders" for each child. I put together a poetry book that is a freebie. You can download it by clicking on the link. Then I printed plant observation logs - grab that freebie here. Next up, I printed up plenty of worksheets to use during the unit.

We dyed water with red and blue food coloring and put white daisies in the water. Overnight the dye went up the stem and tinted the petals with some color. It didn't dye them bright, but you could see a couple of spots of color. The kids were so excited to see the results. We did this for background research before doing it with celery stems. Our next class project is to write up an inquiry project together. (see below).  

Here are the standards we are working on.