Saturday, January 28, 2012

Golidlocks 2012

The objective here was to update the fairy tale of Goldilocks. Since people don't exactly eat porridge anymore and most likely an intruding tot probably wouldn't run straight to the chair to amuse herself; we wanted to come up with what the story might look like in 2012. What Goldilocks might do in their homes today.

Penguin Ethics

We made paper plate penguins as an art project. I just love how different they all came out to be. And then the students wrote about whether or not it was fair penguins could not fly-was that right or wrong and why.

Friday, January 27, 2012

100th Day Ideas Incorporating GT Concepts

I don't know who is more excited about the 100th day this year-the students or their teacher! :) It means we are officially more than halfway through the school year.

There are literally 100's of lists of activities to do in classrooms to celebrate this day in an educational way. I was trying to come up with ways to incorporate our GT icons/concepts for this hallmark occasion.

Critical Thinking: Give the students exactly 100 blocks/manipulatives/legos and have them make a structure using every single one. Or split it up into groups-give each child 20 and they have to work together as a team to make a structure with the total being 100.

Creativity: Give them 100 toothpicks, sequins, torn paper and have them make a collage picture of something.

Ethics: How fairly do we treat 100 year old people? If you found a $100 bill in the hallway of the school, what's the right thing to do with it? Does that change if it's in the street? or a mall? Is is right to spend $100 on something frivolous?

Perspective: Write from the perspective of a Kindergartener 100 years ago? How would it feel to be the number 100-what's good/bad about being that number?

Rules: for counting to 100, being the number 100

Over Time-how does a person change as they age from 0-100? How has society changed? Technology?

Language of the Disciplines: Think like a Mathematician-how would someone in that occupation view a painting differently-like Dali or Van Gogh. How would they view the moon/stars? How is that different from an artist or student?

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Fairy Tale Futures

We started our Fairy Tale Unit this week. One of our first stories was Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Using their icon for Over Time, I asked the kids to write about Goldilocks in the Present (as she was in the story) and then to think about what she would become in the future. What would Goldilocks study in college? What profession would she choose and why.

I really liked what some of them came up with:

Made the prediction that the bears will come ruin Goldilocks' things in her house when she grows up.

A pet keeper

Doctor so she could check to see if they're sick.

Builds shelters (maybe she'll put in better security systems).

A doctor-to learn the rules.

My mom always had a theory about those kids who were "bad" when they were little. Either they'd end up in jail or as a police officer.

Zoo Keeper

Sunday, January 22, 2012

New Uses For Snow

I love to have the kiddos come up with new uses for things and snow couldn't escape that exercise. I told them to imagine truckloads of snow and what we could use it to make. I really wanted them to think creatively, getting past the everyday snowmen and snow angels people make with snow. That's been a tough road this year.

I think he wrote to make a "pool" with it. There are people who enjoy Polar Bearing!

Winter Poems

Ok, so now even I'm tired of talking about snow! :) I think I've probably mentioned it before--I love, love, love poetry. I use it daily in our reading warm-up. Use it for fluency and vocabulary instruction. Love it! (did I mention I like poetry yet? :)  We do a Poetry Celebration in April and invite parents in to hear their kiddos reading poems they wrote themselves. I wanted to kind of test the waters to see where they were now in ability to write a poem.

Our budding poets on Winter:

You should have seen this kiddo's face when I told him how much I liked what he wrote. I think it genuinely sounds like a poem!

The snow is really is. I love when they make up their own adjectives.

We truly are working on alternatives for "good".

Hot cocoa-soft and smooth--spoken like a true poet. I can almost taste it now.

This is a little Emily Dickenson-esque to me (never really did get her poems). Love the hats on the snowflakes at the bottom. Too cute.

Bluey snow! :) We are working on "awesome" too. Everytime they say it I'm just picturing Jeff Spicoli. The 80's were making a comeback.

How Would You Make Snow?

I try to do a lot of critical thinking exercises with my kiddos. In this activity, I asked them to come up with a way to make snow. We don't really have snow here in Texas-if I wanted it to look like snow on my lawn what could I use. I got a lot of answers like a snow machine (my question then was, what would you put in the snow machine) or fake snow. Basically, I would make snow out of snow. Not what i was looking for. So I sent them back to the drawing board to put a little more thought into their critical thinking.

She's talking about frost-we do occasionally get that here in Texas. :)

My favorite: Poodle Hair

Not sure how the EPA would feel about that one. :)

What a typical man's answer. Make it out of dirt and white paint.