Sunday, April 29, 2012

We've Got Ants in our Pants, FREEBIE and GIVEAWAY

Well, this weekend has been wet, wet, wet for us! It has been raining almost the whole weekend. This has allowed me to get the much needed rest. I am feeling bettert not 100% yet. At least, I have my voice back.

Enough about me, let's get back to my Insect Unit. This post is going to be about my Ants Unit with my Second Grade class. We started off the unit by reading the poem "Ant".

I have my students write it in their poetry journals and illustrate "If they were as small as a little black ant, what they would do that big people can't?" Some of their illustrations were very creative. I forgot to take pictures of them. When I go in tomorrow morning, I'll take some and post them for you all. I have the students practice reading the poem with partners throughout the week for fluency.
After our poetry, we completed a Ant Brace Map. It's a FREEBIE. Click on the picture below to snag it.

We then read the "National Geographic Reader: Ants" by Melissa Stewart.
After reading, I had my students recall facts and I wrote them on my dry erase board. I then took the facts and wrote them onto this chart.
My Second Graders loved the fact that "Ants eat aphids sugary poop!" Haha! 
We also read "Hey, Little Ant" by Phillip M. Hoose.

My students did a Text to Self Connection by writing about themselves as the ant and how they would convince the boy not to squish them. (The pictures of the project didn't come out very well. I will retake them tomorrow and add them to this post.)

Here is the Ant Literacy Unit that I created.

This unit includes: Parts of an Ant- Labeling; Life Cycle of an Ant; Antsy Antonyms; "Catchy Ants" Fact and Opinion Sort; Vocabulary and Definition cards; Fluency Phrases Board Game; and Hungry, Hungry Ant Contractions.

One lucky follower will receive the Unit. All you have to do is follow my blog and my TeachersPayTeachers Store. Leave in the comments which ones that you follow. Giveaway will end Tuesday, May 1st at 8pm. Good Luck!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

I've caught the bug!

Yup...I caught the bug that has been going around my classroom. I don't have a fever, however but I have this annoying cough and keep losing my voice. Ugh! This is going to be a quick post as I'm going to go to bed soon, so that I can get more rest. I feel bad that I haven't posted anything from my Insect Units. Here is some quick pictures of a few things that my Kindergarteners did.

In Kindergarten, we learned about Butterflies. We read "From Butterfly to Caterpillar" by Deborah Heiligmam, "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle, "Butterflies (Pebble Plus: Bugs, Bugs, Bugs)" by Fran Howard, and "Clara Caterpillar" by Pamela Duncan Edwards. There are a few more but I just can't think of them right now. We created this Anchor Chart after reading "From Butterfly to Caterpillar".
My students recalled the facts from the text. The next day we discussed informational text. I adapted this Anchor Chart idea from Kreative in Kinder.
We used information from the chart to create this example. My kindergarteners then created their own Informational Text about butterflies. Here is some of their work.
This little darling wrote: Butterflies are pretty. Butterflies are nice. Butterflies drink nectar. Butterflies have 6 legs. Butterflies migrate.
This little man wrote: Butterflies are nice. Butterflies are insects. They drink nectar. They have 4 wings. They have antenna.

I also do poems in the classroom to promote fluency. At the beginning of the week, they write them or glue them in their poetry book. Then they illustrate the poem on the other page. Here are two poems we did.

Side Note: On the poem/song above my heart sank the other day. We had a conference. Our conferences are a little different since all 3 teachers are in attendance. Well, my room was where the kids were while we were meeting with the parents in the other room. There is an adjoining door. I didn't notice it that afternoon, but I noticed the next morning that on the blank space, the student's sibling decided to write their names there in marker. I was devastated. My clustermate mentioned that I could just cut the bottom off and still save it, which I did but it was still heartbreaking. Have you ever had that happen to you?

Well, I'm going to head off to bed and get some much needed rest for the voice that I keep losing. Very hard to do with a toddler! I will be back tomorrow to finish up the rest of the unit.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Earth Day Sale

Since today is Earth Day and to celebrate our planet. I am having a 15% off sale at my TPT Store. Stop by and enjoy!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Our Lima Beans Finally Grew

This week has finally ended. FCATs are done for the most part (my husband teaches Fifth Grade and they have 2 days of Science next week). We managed to stay quiet during our lockdown time for testing. Yeah! : )
On another note, I wanted to post pictures from our Lima Bean Greenhouses last night, but I was so tired that I decided to go to bed early. We finished up our Plant unit last week, but it took our Lima Beans a lot longer to grow.
This is what our beans looked like on Monday after a few days.
By Wednesday our beans had grown a little bit more.

This is what our lima beans looked like today.

All of my Kindergartners were super excited. Many of them started dancing around the classroom first thing this morning when they came in and saw their beans. I wish I had it on video. Haha! They got to take their lima beans home this afternoon and were given instructions on how to replant them.

Since we finished our Plant Unit last week, we officially started our Insect Units this week. To give you a little insight on my classroom, I teach at a Project CHILD school. Project CHILD is a program that has three teachers working together as a cluster teaching three grades (K, 1, and 2). The students rotate between the three teachers. I teach Reading, while one clustermate teaches Writing and Social Studies and the other teaches Math. We all teach Science to our homeroom students. My homeroom class is Kindergarten.

Now that you got that little glimpse, you'll have a better understanding of why I will be sharing my three different Insect Units. That's right 3!!!! My Kindergartners are doing Butterflies. First Grade is doing Ladybugs and Second Grade is doing Ants. I will share some of the things done so far for the units and posting the units in my TeachersPayTeachers store this weekend. I off to bed as it has been a long week. I can't wait to share with all of you.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

One of THOSE Long Days

Have you ever had one of those days when it just seemed to be going on forever? Well, today was that day with me. It started off with me having 6 students absent out of my 19 kindergartners. I then opened up my email to find out that those 6 students were out sick with either a fever or throwing up. My first thought, "Oh geez, when can I get out the disinfecting wipes." I just got over being very sick and woke up this morning feeling "blah". Well, I didn't get a chance until later in the afternoon to sterilize the room since with have state testing going on this week and can't leave the classrooms or make to much noise until the lock down is over. So the morning crept by slowly. Another student left early with a fever and a student in my first grade class got very sick in the hallway. Man, what is going around!?! So enough with my sick kids story! Time to share! : )

I have made some Earth Day activities to use in your classrooms. Click on the images below to go to my TPT store.

How about an Earth Day Freebie! It's a Making Word activity. My students LOVE these activities and always try to see who can make the most words. Click here to snag it! Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

Finally Starting a Blog!

After much debating, I have officially decided to start a blog. This is a first for me! I am still learning the ropes, so hang in there. Haha! My husband (who is also a teacher), fellow co-worker Lori at Teaching with Love and Laughter, and other co-workers, I decided to take to plunge. Welcome and I hope you stick around!