Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Really Dirty Unit

Hi Friends,

As promised, here are the lessons I did on soil with my kinders last week. After writing and learning about mud pies, we dug a little deeper and explored soil. I launched the lesson with an interactive flipchart on our Promethean Board. For those of you who are not in teaching or familiar with it yet, a Promethean Board is like a chalkboard from the future, and the future is apparently now.
Our morning weather graph flipchart using ten frames with sentence frames
at the bottom to help compare information we see in our graph.

It integrates aspects of Powerpoint presentations with a more dynamic way for students to engage and participate with your lessons. For instance, you can save old work and bring it up at any point as a refresher for your students when reviewing a previous topic. Students can come up and use what I like to call the "magic pen" to move words into sentence frames, circle answers, etc. The possibilities with the flipcharts that you can create with the program are endless! I never got to use this kind of technology when I student taught in kindergarten because my master teacher was much older and didn't really embrace technology. However, when I was placed at the middle school level for my second student teaching placement, I used it every single day just like I do in my classroom now.

Here is the completed content for our soil wall:

I printed out the slides from the flipchart that the class filled out as they progressed through the lesson and put them up on our soil wall. Another benefit to creating flipcharts is it makes sure you don't forget any one part of your lesson. For the hands-on exploration of the soil, I had little jars of soil like the one pictured hanging from the soil wall, ready for each row. I had the first student in each row observe the soil, then rang the bell to signify it was the next student's turn and so on and so forth until it reached the end of the row. The last student brought it back up to me and we repeated the procedure for the remaining slides.

Students were given careful instructions as to how to properly explore the soil using their senses. By having little samples ready I didn't have to worry about soil getting everywhere and it made management a breeze. After exploring the dry soil, I had my students add water and shake up their jars. My students loved being able to see the different components of soil settle in distinguishable layers. We discussed what students thought was in the soil by observing their settled soil jars. Students noticed things like sand, twigs, rocks, and dirt which they all noted and wrote down during journal time (also pictured on soil wall).

I see stuff that went to the bottom.
I see dirt and sand and roots.
I see wood.
I see dirt.
During our literacy block we focused on the fabulous story Mrs. Wishy-Washy by Joy Cowley.

This is such a fun book for kinders to practice the skill of retelling and it doesn't hurt that it totally related back to our mud theme. It is about some farm animals (a cow, a pig, and a duck) that love going into mud. Mrs. Wishy-Washy then comes along and gives them all a bath. Can you guess what happens in the end? Yup, all the animals jump right back into the mud puddle. The whimsical illustrations and predictable text are just perfect. Kinders always laugh at the page where the pig goes in the tub and never fail to point out the pig's butt in the illustration. Oh to be five again.
Everyone's favorite page.
Pocket chart summary with student highlighted sight words.
For their Make-a-Book center we summarized the story and hit the sight word: said. Here are a couple completed "Oh, Lovely Mud!" books written and illustrated by my students.

I created little hand motions to go with each of the characters in the story to not only help students remember the story, but to keep them engaged during the read aloud as well. My kids were literally obsessed with this story and by the end of the week they could retell the story verbatim without any visual or supplementary supports. Good stuff!

Lastly, during journal time, we also wrote about our favorite character from Mrs. Wishy-Washy using the power word: because. My district is a little behind in phasing out the old standards and moving into Common Core, but we are slowly getting there by focusing our writing to be opinion-based at the kinder level.

My favorite is the pig because he plays in the mud. I like the duck too.
For the next couple of weeks, we'll be talking about seeds and the life cycle of plants before we plant our own beans and start working on our kindergarden.

As always, thanks so much for reading and have a great week everyone!

No comments:

Post a Comment