Category Archives: Classroom Photos 2009-2010
All this week, we have been learning about insects. This was a new unit to me (I usually teach about them as they come up in stories or during teachable moments). I really could have done lots more with this idea than I did, but I was sort of pressed for time. I will probably come back in a few weeks and talk some more about them.
These are the books that I had out in my Library Work Station during our Insects theme.
This area has be come one of our Science Stations, I have since expanded to ANOTHER table! 🙂
One of the activities we did was to sort various bugs/insects/other backyard critters into categories.
This is our OWL chart right before observing the plastic critters. I had the children observe the critters and that’s how we fill out the “O” section.
One of the books we read…where we discovered that Insects are NOT bugs. I need to stop called all bugs, bugs, they have different names! 🙂
Even though this is not an “official” IB unit (we did Ponds), we all are continuing to have these large question marks up in our classroom to help us to remember to write down the great questions the children have so that as we are learning we can answer them.
Sorting clip art pictures of Insects/Not Insects. As I observed the children sorting in table groups, I heard some interesting discussions going on. The threw in some “tricky” critters as an assessment–we ended up having a great group discussion about where the worm, stag beetle, and caterpillar belonged.
Here we are discussing the stag beetle. Many children had counted his antennae and thought those were legs, so the children were having a discussion about that. It was really neat to see them listening to each others ideas without interruption, and coming to a class consensus.
The beetle and caterpillar ended up under Insect and the worm ended up under Not Insect (we will revisit this activity to see if there opinions have changed in the next few weeks).
I made a list of critters and printed them off from Microsoft clip art. We were reading The Grouchy Ladybug this week as well, so I tried to pull some things from that book. When I re-assess, I will put in more Not-Insects and several that we have named Bugs.
For the past two weeks, we’ve been experimenting with ice. This is the first unit this year that has been truly all inquiry. Usually, I have to provide some leading questions (ok, MANY leading questions!) to get us around to where we need to be, but this time, it took only three.
What do you know about ice?
What are your experiences with ice?
When do we usually see ice?
We only got the first one answered and went in a completely different direction than what I had planned (at least that’s what I wanted them to think!!). I was expecting to use the other two questions and after 2 weeks now, we still haven’t gotten around to answering them!! Did I mention I LOVE INQUIRY??
Below are some pictures of the things we have been doing. Most of the charts you can probably figure out, but we did two experiments and I wanted to explain them at bit.
Yesterday, after talking about ice and how to get rid of it, we determined that we wanted to test different types of salt. I happened to have (wink, wink) rock salt and table salt in the room along with some ice and cups. We had 5 different types of things to test to determine how best to get rid of ice; the sun (a flashlight), our hands, rock salt, table salt, and a base (the control group). We waited 5 minutes and then measured to see how much water was in each one.
Today, we used dirt, gravel, hot water, and sea salt to try the experiment again. This time we used an ice journal to record our findings. I am presenting at NSTA in Philadelphia in March and this is part of what I will be sharing.
Okay, now on the to the pictures:
Here are some pictures that show how we have been learning about snowflakes this week:
They should be pretty self-explanatory, but if you have any questions, let me know!
More pictures of this week’s ideas coming on Friday!
Also, good news… I was able to get my Farmer’s Market Snowflakes paperwork rescued off my crashed computer so I can now offer the e-mail option in my Kristen’s Kindergarten store.
This week, we are learning about leaves and trees:
I copied several pages from the back of Leaves!, Leaves!, Leaves! and Leaf Man and the children compared the leaves they found on our leaf walk to them and tried to identify what kinds of trees we have on our school campus.
The Alphabet Chart that you see in one of the pictures is something I learned at a workshop I attended today. I’ll share more about that and several other things in a few days–need to review it and process it a little more! 🙂
I am so excited to share that our classroom was the reciepient of yet another grant through Donors Choose!! We got a new camera through a grant we wrote. Our old classroom camera had to be smacked against your hand in order to be able to see the picture on the tiny screen. I purchased the camera about 7 years ago, so I guess it had a good happy life!! It was difficult to figure out how to take a picture to send in our thank you package! The class finally decided that we would take some photos of things we do everyday so that we could share them with you and their parents through this blog!
P.S. These are pictures of our current Literacy Work Stations–let me know if you have any questions! 😉
We’ve been learning and reading all about Pumpkins this week…even though I was out 2 days this week (my son was sick). We started off the week by taking a picture walk through the Big Book Pumpkin, Pumpkin by Jeanne Titherington. Then the children heard the story read aloud. On the second day, the children re-read the story and then re-told the story using their own words. Today, we looked at the pictures to help us re-tell the story and then we played Guess The Covered Word. I covered the words pumpkin, seeds, pulp, flower, and sprouts. We would read the sentence and when we got to a covered word, we would try to guess what the word was. If the first letter was correct, we sounded out the word we thought it might be and would figure out if it fit. If not, we needed a new word.
Then later in the afternoon, we cut open our pumpkin and checked out the insides. I scooped out the pulp, we observed it and I put it in a plastic baggie to take home and roast the seeds. We also have a few smaller pumpkins in our room that were donated by parents (THANK YOU!!!) so we could observe them. And observe them we did and wrote our findings down on our KOWL chart.
I charged my batteries in the camera and took some pictures. I’ll take you on a tour and you can also check out my photos from last year here to see the differences.
Everything is mostly in the same place, but a few things were changed. First, I’ll start with some general views:
This is a look at my new computer area; last year the table was perpendicular to where it is now and there was a tall white cabinet in front of the back half of the blue bulletin board you see there.
Looking at my Listening Center Work Station (it’s on the backside of my writing station)
Library Work Station–I moved the book cases around and added my light up palm tree for some fun
Calendar area, bench where I sit, my Big Book teaching cart
The back of my big book cart, this is where Drama Work Station will go–tentatively, I may move it
A view of the mess that is my room! 🙂 The house, loft, my desk and a few tables
My desk, this year I stacked my filing cabinets and moved a table next to my desk.
We moved my son’s train table from home to school and it’s up in the loft now.
Here’s a view of the rest of the loft
My pocket chart stand my hubby built last year–I’ve come up with some new ideas how to use it! 🙂
I use this pencil pouch to store what ever the children are working on at Pocket Chart Work Station
Here’s the new part: I’m using the back of the chart for Magnetic Work Station during LWS. Below is an explanation…
Here’s an upclose view. I just hung it on the 2nd rung down with some of those metal binding rings.
I put magnetic letters in these pencil pouches and velcro-ed them to the stand…
Here’s the velcro
Sometimes, the children will not be using the board with the spaces I’ve defined. Instead, they will use these sheets I made last year.
I put magnetic strips on the back to hold them on.
Here’s the desk where my student teacher will sit–do you think she has enough prizes from me?!?!
Binders–waiting for my classlist to arrive so I can write names on them and put their sheet inside for practicing their name
I signed my classroom up through TerraCycle so we can recycle our snack and Capri Sun containers. These are some I purchased from Target to show my children.
After our first round of Getting to Know you, we will put beads into plastic water bottles with sand so the children can find the letters in their name.
Some birthday certificates I got from the Target dollar spot to recognize birthdays.
A game called Whiz Kids from Discovery Toys I will use with my kids this year. You pick a letter and a category and then get the number of points on the letter card if you can name something starting with that letter in that category.
This shelf sits next to my bench and will be home to several Literacy Work Stations.
My small group area, parent volunteer area, and where the wonderful, amazing Pam will work!! 🙂
Listening Work Station
The tape recorder sits on top of the cart and the tapes and head phones are stored in the drawers
My basket of things for Pam (yeah!! Pam!!) to copy and pass out to the kids for me.
There it is…I’m going back tomorrow to clean up some more and work on pulling things out for my Math Work Stations and figuring out where they will go! 🙂
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! 😉