Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Novelty Keeps Them Learning!

The end of the year is fast approaching and we teachers have to stay on our toes to keep the kiddos engaged and learning.  We are studying insects this week and I came up with this idea and the students loved it! They each had their own "yard" and played with a partner.  Between the partners, they had a baggie of 10 outdoor creatures and a dirt pile (black plastic container).  The first student grabbed a handful of creatures from the dirt pile and put them in their yard.  The second student emptied the rest of the creatures into their yard.  They each recorded the number sentence that showed their creatures.
This student wrote 6 + __ = 10. Their partner recorded 4 + __ = 10.  They played this for 20 minutes and I tell you, it wasn't long enough for them! However, I did give them 5 minutes when we were finished to just play. The "yards" are pieces of indoor/outdoor carpet.  Lowes had pieces already cut so I bought a roll for $20.  It took me less than a half hour to cut 32 yards.  I bought insects at the Dollar Tree.  They only had 5 bags so I had to add snakes, frogs and spiders to the baggies to have enough.

Check out the pictures!

This is how I am storing them.

On to flies!
I am sporting my fly glasses while reading my
favorite fly book, Old Black Fly.

Fry Fly Fun!

I copied my Fry Fly words onto regular paper and cut  them out.  I placed them all over the classroom while the students were at recess.  When they came back in, I told them we had a fly infestation!
They each got a fly swatter and had to read and then swat as many flies as they could.  There were 100 flies in our room.  The winner had 11.  They got to keep the flies they read and swatted.

The students had them swatted so fast I barely had time for pictures.

Click the picture or here to check it out!
Fry Fly Fun
We read a nonfiction book on flies and the students recorded 4 facts they learned.  Then they wrote an informational piece on flies.  They colored "Fly Guy", cut out 2 hands for wings and added him to their writing.

The Fly Guy came from
Frog Spot a blog from The Pond.

The graphic organizer and writing pages are available here if you are interested.

Informational Writing Spring Pages
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Frog and Butterfly Fun!

A sweet little guy brought in 2 tiny frogs for us to watch! We were fascinated....ALL DAY LONG!

I introduced our frog unit with the BrainPop Jr. video on frogs. After the video, students wrote down things they learned about frogs in their notebook.  They also got poems to add to their poetry journals.  Each day we watched a short YouTube video on frogs and they continued to add to their notes. We also read a fiction and nonfiction book about frogs each day. One day they wrote down the life cycle stages in their journal. 


I read a fiction and nonfiction book and passed out a mini frog to each student for a story souvenir. 

Green Wilma by Tedd Arnold is my very favorite fiction book to read when we study frogs.  It is an adorable story! The students think a little girl is dreaming about being a green frog but it turns out quite differently! Click the picture or here to check it out on Amazon!

We graphed whether or not we liked frogs.  It was unanimous! The students all like frogs!  They were very excited as this was our first unanimous vote ever!

We played "Lily Pad Hop" which reviewed parts of 10, addition and subtraction facts.  I played "Five Little Speckled Frogs" while the students "hopped" around. When I stopped the music, students hopped to a lily pad and had to solve the math fact.  We played through the song twice. They wanted to keep playing but we had to move on!

Our inflatable frog life cycle that greeted the students the morning we began our frog studies.

Drawing and labeling the life cycle.


Frog hoppin' fun! Students made their frog hop three different times, measuring the distance and recording it.  The frog that went the farthest two out of three times was the winner.


A little extra measuring practice after the race was over.


If you are interested in any of the activities from above, click here to check out Frog Hoppin' Fun!


I introduced butterflies almost the same way except I had students guess what was in the package that was delivered to our classroom.  I purchase our caterpillars every year from Insect Lore on Amazon.

We wrote in our journals the day the caterpillars arrived.  We wrote about their arrival, what they look like and drew a picture.  We will add to our journal occasionally and as we notice changes. I forgot to snap pictures of the students journals.

We will begin studying butterflies next week.  We will watch the BrainPop Jr. video, read the books below, receive a butterfly souvenir and do pretty much the same activities as we did with frogs.

If you are interested in checking out my butterfly activities, click here to see Butterfly Flyin' Fun!

Thanks for hoppin' or flyin' by!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Poetry and a Free Earth Day Poem

I love poetry! Have you hear of Giggle Poetry?  I use the poems about family for our Mother's Day Tea. Students choose one to memorize and recite for our mothers during the tea.

I begin every unit of study/theme with a poem...or two or three!  Students keep every poem in a 1 inch, three ring binder.  They pull them out to read as a fast finisher activity.  We also use them occasionally for Read to Someone in our Daily 5 rotations.
At the beginning of each month, we also read that months Chicken Soup with Rice poem by Maurice Sendak.  I typed them up so students can illustrate them and keep them in their binders.  In May, we read June and July, watch the video (old VHS) and eat chicken soup with rice.  I have a big book, which I got through Scholastic years ago. 

Product Details

Since April is poetry month and Earth Day is this month, here is a free poem for you! Click the picture if you'd like to download it.
Earth Day Poem/Song

We are beginning our fairy tale unit soon.  These poems are a great addition to our unit.  The students love to rap!
Fairy Tale Poetry

Thanks for stopping by!