Category Archives: Classroom Photos 2008-2009
I’ve updated my classroom layout for this year…of course, I took my camera with me to take pictures, and the batteries were dead! 🙂 So this picture will have to do for now. I’m including the layout from last year so that you can see what’s changed.
2009-2010 layout (click for a larger view)
2008-2009 layout (click for a larger view)
The biggest change I made was in the area where my storage cabinet used to be (dark blue area). I had that removed after getting rid of lots of stuff that was in it and then turned my computer table so that all the computer are flat against the wall (they were not this way last year despite what the old layout says!! 🙂 ). I also moved the volunteer table out a little and made it a round table instead of rectangle. Moving the cabinet opened the whole area up, so I can see all parts of the room at a time. The listening center is on the back side of the writing center, away from the Leap Pads and computers–they were all near each other causing a distraction and eating up much needed plug in space! 🙂 The Science table will be where my student teacher sits until October and then I’ll use it for Science again. I also angled the rug a little.
I’m going back in Monday, and I’ve charged the batteries, so I’ll take some pictures so you can compare them to last year’s photos! 😉
We began our study of insects/bugs by reading The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle. After taking a picture walk and reading it aloud to the children, we discussed the clocks that are pictured on most of the pages. The children learned that we would be learning about telling time and addition (with ladybug spots) this week during math.
I have several sheets that I will post in the next few days that deal with telling time and ladybug addition…so stay tuned! You can download pictures to sequence by going to my PDF page and searching for them–they will only download on certain computers (not sure why!!), and so far there is nothing I can do about it! Sorry! You can search on Google for images and print those out.
We also checked in on our beans that we planted last week and noted our observations in our Bean Journals: beanjournal (you can switch these so that the journals take up 1/2 of a page side to side instead of top to bottom like they are here).
Our Painted Lady Butterflies (caterpillars really) have arrived and are eating lots and lots! They have doubled in size since arriving last Thursday, so we will soon transfer them to our netting we have set up for them.
We also looked at our Scholastic News: “How Do You Know It’s An Insect?”.
I’ve got so many awesome ideas about Science floating in my head right now, and some ideas for Math Work Stations that I’m going to be working on this summer, so I’ll post as I think! 🙂
Last week (yes, I’m a little behind) we read Jack and the Beanstalk, which ties in nicely to my seeds and planting theme. We began by reading Jack and the Beanstalk (the version by Little Golden Books). When we finished reading the story, we noticed that there was a large note hanging on our Morning Message paper:
The Giant had left us a message and some of his footprints:
The directions in his note were to find things that were the same length, longer than, and smaller than his footprints:
Tuesday, I gave the children plates of beans (the same ones from the previous week that they had already sorted). This time, I asked them to come to a consensus at their table about which 5 beans that their table would plant and care for. That was interesting!! We planted them in clear plastic gloves so that the children could watch them grow and change over time:
I asked the children to make sure that they all planted at least one lima bean and then asked them to consider these questions as they chose their beans.
Here they are hanging in the window.
I introduced the word hypothesis today and the children though about what kinds of beanstalks that their various beans would grow. Some one asked if there was a way to see inside the beans.
Wednesday, I asked the children if they could figure out a way that we could see inside the beans. They concluded that they knew that seeds opened once they had been planted so one of the things that was used to plant them must be the thing we would need. We made a list of things (sun, water, soil, love, air) and checked each one of the things off on our list. We decided that we had planted seeds in soil on Monday, so that was taken care of. We held our beans up to our hearts and talked to them (love) and although that did not work, it was awfully cute to watch! We also tried holding the beans up in the air and nothing happened. Finally, we decided that our experiment to see inside the beans would involve sun and water. Our hypothesis was that one of these ways was sure to make the beans open so that we could see inside them!
We also decided to use our greenhouse rather than take the beans outside. Some of the children were worried that squirrels and other animals might take the beans and we would not see what happened to them.
In the greenhouse.
Soaking in water.
We determined when we would check on them and also wanted to write something down to show what we were doing:
Thursday, we noticed that the beans that were soaking in the water had expanded and cracked open, so we used magnifying glasses to check them out (I was at Science Academy, so there are no photos for this!! Sorry!)
The children then got to plant beans of their own to take home and observe.
Because we had quite a few steps involved in planting these beans, we made a list of “Lab Notes” so that the children could refer back to them if they forgot what to do next:
That was our week last week…now on to this week!
We are reading a big book this week titled “Seeds”.
Because there are a few students who will be leaving early this week to head out on Spring Break, we did not do a Predictable Chart, however we did do several neat Inquiry Based things in Science. I like to begin almost all my themes/units with a KWL/OWL chart to asses where my children are at and what they are interested in. We completed the “K” portion of this chart first, then after Observing the seeds (see below) we completed the “O” portion and the “W” (wonder) section. I like to change the “W” from “What we WANT to Learn” to “What we WONDER” because it gets the children asking questions of the “I Wonder…” variety, something that is holding them back from exploring the world! At this young age, they know what they want to learn about somethings, but they have no basis to draw from for many Science concepts (some do!!). Asking “I Wonder…” questions sets the ground work for them to wonder, so ALL of my KWL charts are either KOWL or OWL charts.
This is the “Wonder” section continued…
Today, Tuesday, we planted all kinds of vegetables in Containers. My kids took such an interest in the Seeds book that I went and got many of the seeds mentioned in the story.
The next few months (until the end of May) will be spent on growing things/plants/bugs/insects/Monarchs/Jack and the Beanstalk/and anything else that fits in to one of these categories! 🙂
Here are the pictures–a little bit late…
I made the graphing sheet and sorting sheet MANY years ago and we always end up having to scribble out some picture of a marshmallow and adding whatever the new “special” marshmallow is for that year. I can’t find it yet (still looking on my computer) so when I do, I will come back and edit that in for you–there’s always next year! 🙂
I’m tired of the cold weather, so I decided to get everyone excited about Spring and do some planting! But plant what??
That’s when I chose our Big Book for this week: Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Ehlert.
We also started a new Predictable Chart:
(Sorry the computer is being funky here–I’ll try to undo it’s funky-ness later!)
Each child was given two deli containers, one small and one large. I cut holes in the bottom of the small one and the children put some wicking through and then put it on top of the larger container. They then added peat and some soil to the small container and planted their choice of 6 vegetables (squash, cucumbers, radishes, peas, tomatoes, peppers). We then watered them from the top and all the water seeps through to the bottom and collects there. The wicking helps keep the plants constantly moist, yet not too wet and so the plants grow much faster and the quality is always better. This is how you grow Wisconsin Fast Plants as well–those are amazing if you’ve never tried them. I was going to do them again this year, but I cannot for the life of me find the seeds from last year’s crop! 🙂
We had two 1/2 days this week, so we did a lot of writing and catching up on things. I need to go type my newsletter now–so I’ll be back in the next few days to update more! 😉
Thursday, we completed the graph that went with our Patten Block Snowflake (PDF page under “P”).
We also read Silly Sally and I showed the children how to act out the story using the Drama Props. We also did Cut Up Sentences and we really got some of the sentences mixed up! 🙂 We also completed our first 6×6 Sudoku puzzle (using shapes) and have started on another one.
We also checked in on the Monarch Butterflies in Mexico and watched a slideshow from www.journeynorth.org
We watched a movie about Dental Health and will talk more about that and Nutrition next week. I reviewed some of the basic topics covered in the movie (I got it from Colgate a few years ago, along with teeth brushing booklets and toothpaste samples and coupons and a board game). They still offer them, however you have to request them in September to be sure to get them in February each year. They are available in English and Spanish.
I also spent some time after school organizing my books by month/theme. They were like this already on the bookshelf, but I couldn’t find them when I needed them, so I decided to switch to this:
I’m still working on it, but basically each month has it’s own tub/or theme has it’s own tub and they are in the order that I use them in the year. I am in the process of dumping things out of other tubs to steal them to use for this project! 🙂 When the month changes, I can just pull the tub I need and set it on my bench and pull books from there all month long and then put it back on the shelf when I’m done with it and pull the next tub. I also need to have a general tub for books that can be read anytime. My hope is to take up some of the next shelf as well and add more books to each tub that are scattered around the room in several places. Today, after school, I plan on tackling the Library Work Station to reclaim my Arthur and Clifford books–hey, those are in tubs–I can steal those tubs too! 🙂
On Friday, I had the children play a different heads/tails game:
The children had to shake a penny in their small Dixie cup and then pour it out gently on their paper. They then had to cut out the appropriate picture and glue it on their graph. After 10 minutes, I stopped them and they totaled up their graphs and wrote those numbers down. We again, made a class graph to show the results of everyone’s papers and found that heads was again, most likely to come up! 🙂
I also introduced the children to a game I learned from my friend Karen Berman, called Enchanted Forest:
You will need Attribute Blocks:
or some other manipulative that has at least two attributes (like these farm animals have two sizes and are 8 kinds of animals, and come in several colors):
Here’s how you play:
1. Each child randomly picks one attribute block (I dump them all out on the floor and have a few children at a time choose one)
2. They put the block on the floor in front of them and you look to see what attributes you have to choose from (thick, thin, red, blue, yellow, big, little, etc.)
3. Choose an attribute and do not tell the children what it is. (for example, thin, yellow shapes) You can pick one, two, or three attributes.
4. Have each child one at a time ask you, “Will this key get me into the Enchanted Forest?”
5. If the shape meets your criteria, then you answer yes and that child lays their shape on the floor in front of you.
6. If you say “No”, then the child returns the shape to you and you put it away.
7. Let everyone have a chance to ask and then ask if anyone knows what the “key” was.
8. I then put the shapes back on the floor and we play again and again and again! They beg to play! 🙂
Have a great weekend!
Last week, we wrapped up our GBM theme with letters from 2 more countries. Germany and The North Pole.
I started off the week knowing where we wanted to end up, so I decided that our theme would be Polar Animals. We read a Big Book:
and this got us started.
We then made a KWL chart so I would better be able to focus my instruction:
We then read several books over 3 days about Polar Animals:
During our whole GBM theme, we were keeping track of all the places we learned about with the GBM’s travels: (it is not updated)
Look what was also delivered to our room this week:
The GBM also shared with us that there are no penguins at the North Pole, but there are ice bergs. I showed the children how to make them:
After reading one of our books on Polar Bears, some of the children wanted to know what the predators of Polar Bears were. I was telling them about how humans are the only predators of the PB. They wanted to know more about how we were hurting PB’s, so I showed them how acid rain and other chemicals we put into the air/rain are melting the icebergs:
This blue water was meant to represent the chemicals we put into the air.
The children were asked to see how fast the ice berg would melt with the “chemicals”.
We then got another round of icebergs and put salt on those (acid rain) and compared how fast they melted:
We graphed our favorite Polar Animals (don’t you love my spur of the moment drawings???!!! I can’t draw!)
This is our package from Germany!
We were left with instructions how to make cinnamon applesauce ornamanets. I decided to show my kids how to do this without measuring anything! Bad idea!!! We ended up adding all sorts of extra things (oats, glue, powerded tempra paint, more cinnamon) to get it to thicken and harden, but after leaving it over night, no such luck. Next year, I’ll measure!! 🙂 Lesson Learned!
We also colored and hung these NOEL banners I made a few years ago, but the GBM brought them this time!
We got a package from the GBM on Wednesday (we are in our jammies). He sent us our last package from the North Pole. Inside was a copy of the Polar Express movie, the soundtrack, tickets to ride the Polar Express, a letter and these puzzles:
The children had to work in their table groups to put them together. It was very intersting to see who took charge and divided up the pieces and who just sat there waiting for direction. It took them about 10 minutes to get it all together. We did this as a time filler right before lunch and after their puzzle was all put together they had to get their lunch boxes and sit quietly, so we would know that they had finished their puzzles.
All the puzzles were the same:
I found an image of the book cover somewhere and cut it into puzzle pieces. The kids had such a blast with it!
We also wrote about where we would go if a train came to our door and could take us anywhere we wanted to go–there were lots of Hawaii’s !!! I imagine they all wanted somewhere warm! 🙂
If you look at my previous post: December15plans, you can see how all this fit into the week. I posted my lesson plans for last week in that post.
I’ll be back in a few minutes to post the plans for our first week back (I like to plan ahead!! I’ll be getting the rest of January in order by Friday).
Here are some pictures of what we’ve been doing in math–when not chasing the GBM man!
The cards you see in the background come from Developing Number Concepts by Kathy Richardson.
The children had to first build the animal/object 1 dimensionally and then make it stand up, and make it look the same when they did so. Difficult for some! After we did that for awhile, we counted how many cubes it took to build our animal and then tried to make another animal/object using the same amount of cubes.
The next few days, the children built their own animals/objects and then transferred their ideas to paper (3 dimensional to 1 dimensional).
This would be a great idea for Math Work Stations–transfer of knowledge, one to one correspondence, and showing your work!
We will now be moving on to addition and subtraction (to 10) for a few months, until they have a good handle on it–we are so tired of patterning! And all my kids can make very simple to complex patterns–so time to move on! See the GBM post 4,5,6, and 7 for more on what we will be doing next in Math! 🙂