March 1, 2014

Five For [Saturday]... March 1

I had big plans for this post yesterday... alas, I fell asleep super early just like every other exhausted Friday night (living that teacher life!). So, happy Saturday!

Did a great writing center this week using a freebie I found on TpT for Black History Month. I was super happy with it and found it here.

Students chose a famous African American icon we discussed this month: Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr., or Ruby Bridges. I provided them with books we read in class as well as other books they could use to help them. I encouraged them to peruse the books and look at the pictures (most of these were above their reading level) to help remind them of the person's accomplishments. They wrote their first "research paper" by filling in a picture of them, their accomplishment, a drawing of their accomplishment, and something else that they learned. It was a challenging writing center, but they all did really well with it.

I had an idea this week that I used for our unit on weather. One of the kindergarten standards is to know how to stay safe in a storm. We watched a video on Extreme Storms which they were talking about all day (I love it when I hear them chat with their friends about the "cool" stuff we do in class!) and the following day, we made "Survival Kits." I got this idea from a friend's lesson plan from one of my university classes a couple of years ago. I hadn't thought about it in a LONG time, but it hit me that I could totally adapt their plan to work for a kindergarten class!

First we discussed some items that they would need to survive an extreme storm and wrote them on the board. We talked about what a survival kit is and they definitely understood. In Florida, we get some heavy rains periodically so these kids are no strangers to power outages and lots of extreme weather!

They were given pages from magazines and had to cut out items that would be useful in their survival kits. Their survival kit was a brown paper bag that they decorated. Their assignment is definitely for a grade, so they were instructed to have at least 5 different items (I wanted 5 different items, not like 5 different pictures of a candle, for example). Most kids had WAY more than 5 items, but I'm grading them on having at least 5 different items in their bag, correctness in the item placed in the bag, and their bag decoration details. They were great!

Here's my Pinspiration for the week! We did a Character Trait lesson on Ruby Bridges and Rosa Parks. I had this anchor chart up without Post-Its and just "Ruby Bridges" on it. We discussed what an adjective is and what a character trait it. It took them a few tries to come up with some character traits rather than accomplishments for Ruby Bridges, but they did an EXCELLENT job! I mean, one kinder said, "generous," another saying "compassionate." I was a PROUD teacher that day!

As they came up with descriptions, I wrote them on a Post-It and stuck it around my [terrible] picture of a little black girl. I swear, she's black... the picture made her look a lot lighter!

Then I changed the big Post-Its to Rosa Parks and just said, "What if I did this?" and stood there letting it sink in. Then a few kiddos gasped and I heard whispers like, "They're the same! They can be the same!" I love my job...

We did this great group project this week about what to wear in each season. They are photo booth posters! And they get to put their face through the hole when they present. I am so excited! They present next week. I actually have a separate post with MANY more pictures of this project HERE, or you can click one of the pictures above. I have a picture of each season on that post and details on the project. It was SO MUCH fun.

My husband starts a new job next week! We are going to go clothes shopping because he has to wear a shirt and tie! Good bye uniform days! Hubby can pick his own clothes for work now! He's surprisingly excited about wearing a tie. Pictures will be posted soon!!!

Happy weekend!