Saturday, October 28, 2017

Ethics and The Giving Tree

One of my favorite books to use to teach ethics is The Giving Tree. There's a video of Shel Silverstein reading his story (I love hearing authors read their own stories because we are hearing it exactly how it was intended to be read):

So we discussed who was right in the story-the tree or the boy?

I asked this little girl if that reminded her of anyone and right away she said "my mom". 

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Costumes for People We Know

So I usually like to ask the students to decide what costumes certain characters would wear for Halloween. I ask them to think about the traits of the character, the likes and dislikes of the character. This year we really haven't discovered any beloved characters yet but I do think it's a good exercise in creativity-so I asked them what costumes our principal and their teacher should wear and include their reasoning. So they couldn't just say "my teacher should be a ghost" because that's Halloween-y. I was actually impressed with some of the answers they came up with. And I LOVE that they know our principal well enough (he's very present on our campus) to create a costume for him as well. 


Friday, October 20, 2017

A Modern Itsy-Bitsy Spider

The Itsy-Bitsy Spider song rhyme is a great one-a classic! But what is a waterspout anyway? And there are lots of different kinds of spiders-not just the itsy-bitsy ones.

So I used the Substitution part of S.C.A.M.P.E.R. to have the kids re-write the rhyme for the 21st Century. Now what I'm sharing with you is our 2nd attempt. The first time I had them copy the sentence and the blanks confused them. Plus my responses were all big/little spiders and they were all climbing up a wall or a house. So I read them all aloud and they saw how many were similar. The second time I asked them to really think outside the box. I like that they are more varied now. 

Also, we are sounding out our words to write!!! This is a huge milestone in Kindergarten. We have been learning about out letters and the sounds that they make and now here we are applying that knowledge. I just had to share!

Friday, October 13, 2017

Designing Bat Habitats

We did a unit on bats this week. We read some great stories both fiction and non-fiction. The students learned about their habits and vocabulary like echolocation and nocturnal.

I wanted to see what they learned so I asked them to apply their learning by thinking like a zookeeper who was designing a bat habitat. We just did it on paper this week just because we ran out of time. But here are some of the blueprints.

The bats have stick on the ceiling to hang from and they are feeding them lots of bugs.

This one cracked me up. She even included a tv for the bat. When I asked if that was something the bat would need she said "well, they are probably going to be bored just flying around all day".

This one gave them vegetables to eat. I asked if bats eat vegetables and she said "well, they could!".

I cut it out of the picture with her name but this one put stars on the ceiling so the bat would think it was nighttime and fly around for people to see.

This one had a stick for the bats to roost on and a hole where they could eat bugs.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Using Nature to Make Self-Portraits

I want my students to learn to see all different kinds of materials as ways they can make art. I read them the story Leaf Man by Lois Ehlert:

We went for a walk outside and found sticks, leaves and rocks to make self-portraits with. Now here in Texas we don't exactly have "fall" but we were able to find some materials on our playground to work with. I don't think I've seen such focus from my students as they made themselves using nature. I think they really enjoyed this project.