Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Frog Life Cycles in Kindergarten

We've been having lots of fun learning about Frog Life Cycles! Here are some of the Frog Art and Writing we did this week. And we did a Frog Life Cycle cut and paste too. Check them out!

Frog Life Cycles on top, Frog Art with that curly tongue in the middle, then we wrote Frog reports. They are really great! 

I shared a few pictures I found on the internet with the kids. This is one GIANT frog! Big ones are called Goliath Frogs. (go figure). 

We read a Scholastic News on Frogs and a few cute books on frogs too. 
A few of the books I show the kids during Frog Week. 

This is a great book to read showing the life cycle from egg to tadpole to adult Frog. 

We cut and colored some colorful frogs for art this week. 
Here are the kids with their frog life cycle wheels! Whee! 
A fun Math hands on activity I do is these subtraction Frogs on a Log. They are lots of fun to do. And kids love to play with them in centers. 
Here are the Frog Life Cycles we did. So Cute. The kids wrote the names of the 4 frog stages too. A freebie life cycle wheel I found is HERE on TPT. I also found some cute frog bookmarks HERE at TPT.  Both are free.  

Our bulletin board outside has all of our frogs on it. It is very colorful! 

Some great little Frog Facts. 

I loved this little report. It is as good as any first grader could do it! Good Job! 

Frog Jokes

Q: What happens if a frog parks in a bus stop?
A:  He gets toad away!

Q:  Why are frogs always happy?
A:  Because they eat whatever bugs them.

Q:  What happens when two frogs catch the same fly?
A:  They get tongue-tied!

Q:  What do you get when you cross a pig with a frog?
A:  A ham-phibian!

Q:  What kind of frog lives in a tree house?
A:  A tree frog!

This also was an awesome Frog report. I am proud of all of the kindergarten kiddos. They did a good job on this INFORMATIONAL WRITING. 

Frogs DO make a ribbit sound. :D
We made these frog life cycle wheels yesterday to finish up the unit. They turned out cute...just like these kiddos! 

The kids had their choice of colorful wiggly eyes to glue on their frogs. I had some giant eyes to choose from, and all colors. 

Frogs are always a really engaging science topic for little kids. I love Frog Week!

Books in our unit.....
I  always like to mix fiction with non fiction in text sets. 
Frog and Toad are Friends by Arnold Lobel
Frog on a Log by Phil Roxbee Cox
Froggy Learns to Swim by Jonathan London
Flashy, Fantastic, Rain Forest Frogs by Dorothy Hinshaw
Fantastic Frogs by Fay Robinson
Fabulous Frogs by Sue Unstead
That Toad is Mine
 by Barbara Shook Hazen 
A link for a reader's theatre of the book is HERE

I copied off the words to a song we sang about frogs and we glued it onto the back of the frog art. 
A CUTE little printable book to copy and color is HERE at TPT and is Free. It is in the same vein as Brown Bear Brown Bear. But THIS ONE at TPT was my favorite. I used this one for the life cycles above. The kids had to color and cut and paste the pictures onto cloud shapes. 
5 Little Speckled Frogs Song. I made these felt frogs to go with the song. 

Five Little Speckled Frogs (song lyrics)
Sat on a speckled log
Eating the most delicious bugs. Yum! Yum!
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Now there are Four green speckled frogs 

Four Little Speckled Frogs
Sat on a speckled log
Eating the most delicious bugs. Yum! Yum!
One jumped into the pool
Where it was nice and cool
Now there are Three green speckled frogs (keep going down to none)
The kids always love singing this song and acting out "diving into the pool". The text for the song can be found HERE at The Virtual Vine.  More frog activities are HERE. Lots of freebies!

MUSIC: Sing the song Frog on a Log or 5 Little Speckled Frogs acting out the frogs "jumped into the pool" and use percussion instruments with students as you sing the song whole class. Copy off the lyrics on to an overhead or a poster board to sing along. Or type up individual copies of the song to glue on a puppet. We glued our song on the back of our colorful frogs and sang it together. 

 The UTUBE song with words link is HEREA coloring page frog printable  can be found at this link HERE.  Have fun enjoying our FROGS! 

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Plant Life Cycles for Kids

We finished our unit on plant life cycles this week and took home our little radish plants. I forgot to water them the day before so they were kind of hanging by a thread. I have a natural black thumb I have come to believe. It just isn't my forte. I can cook, and decorate, and I'm a pretty good artist and party planner. But my plants around my house are always looking a little beat up.

I start with this lovely book called THE TINY SEED by Eric Carle. It tells how plants travel by wind, water, animals and humans planting seeds. It is also on a youtube, but I usually just read the story to the kids.

Then we look at dried Lima Bean seeds that I've put in a bowl of water for 2 days. Each child gets a napkin and a tiny magnifying glass. The seed coats get very soft and peel off really easily. We look at the little root at the tip of the lima bean too and we talk about how that turns into longer roots that grow down into the dirt.  Then we get seeds and plant our own plants into pots of dirt. I usually do radish seeds because they germinate in 3 weeks. (if I don't kill them before then!) A link to a fun lesson plan using Lima beans is HERE at A to Z Teacher Stuff. A link to a cute lima bean plant coloring page with labels to cut and paste is HERE at Kindergarten Crayons. Another one is HERE at TPT "Magic Beans". It is a cute one too. 

Some years we take the lima beans and "sprout" them in cute little construction paper "Sprout Houses" stapling a baggie filled with wet cotton balls inside and hanging them onto the windows for a week. 

The next day I read the kids Flower Garden by Eve Bunting. It is a beautiful and colorful book that I love and they always do too. Then I have the kids look at my poster of Parts of a Plant too and we discuss the parts. Then we color a picture of a flower and label the seed, root, stem, leaf and flower. While they are coloring I show this short video that has a great visual (with clay-mation) on the parts of plants.

The next day I read the book Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert. And we do a mural of the parts of a plant, each child doing a flower, a stem, a root and a leaf. Then we mix them all up and glue them on each other's roots and stems. It turns out looking like this. (I cut out a long strip of brown for the soil and glue that on before school starts onto a piece of blue butcher paper. Then I usually glue on a small sun in the top corner of the mural before we start. I tell the kids plants need sun, water, dirt and air to grow.

While the kids are coloring and cutting out their mural pieces, we watch the youtube below on what plants need to grow. Then we look at a Scholastic News on the needs of plants and parts of plants.

Other books we read during the week as we make a mini book and watch our plants grow are these;
Flower Garden by Eve Bunting
Sunflower House by Eve Bunting
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons
Frog and Toad Together by Arnold Lobel
Jack in the Beanstalk by Stephen Kellogg

The next day we read From Seed to Plant by Gail Gibbons. It is a true science book so I do skip over some of the parts. It is very detailed. But I love how she makes science interesting to kids. Then we color and cut out and staple together a mini book on parts of a plant and how plants grow. 
I found a cute one HERE at Worksheetplace.com. It was a freebie download and the kids loved it. 

Some years we do a terrarium out of a 2 liter clear soda bottle. We add dirt and succulents from my home garden, and shells and little rocks to it. It is a great activity but takes a lot of time cutting the bottles in half. 2 Liter bottle terrarium instructions HERE

We are almost done with our unit. The last thing we do is discuss parts of the plants we eat. I have lots of little cards of fruits and vegetables and we put them in categories in a pocket chart; leaves we eat, roots we eat, stems we eat and flowers/fruits we eat. 

This is the side of my black filing cabinets. It is the magnet center. Every few days I change the activity. Lots of times it is math or science. 

One of my centers I have made up is Parts of a Plant for the magnet center. Here is what it looks like. The kids love to put the 3 plants together and label them. 

A fun song we sing is this one: 
MUSIC  (use percussion instruments) 
A Seed Needs (To the tune of "Ta-ra-ra Boom-de-ay" )  
I see you are a seed,
Tell me what DO you need?
I need some soil to grow,
And then the sun to glow,
Water to make me wet,
Air for my leaves to get,
Space for my roots to spread,
I'll make your flower bed!

by: Iram Khan

Lastly we do another science experiment using celery in a cup of water and adding food coloring to different cups of celery to see what happens when the celery drinks the water through the stems.
Check it out....We do THIS experiment at teaching tiny tots

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Community Helpers

Community Helpers is such a fun topic to study in school. Kids love to make police hats and badges for art and a puppet to start a puppet show writing project. We always sing a few songs about different occupations, read these fun story books,  and do some riddles on the same topic.
Community Helper Stories. Here are some of the fun stories I read the class. For social studies we learn about communities and what that means, and we talked a lot about helpers in our community.
Community Helper Books I read to my class during Community Helpers unit. 
Then we made a brainstorm on the board of all kinds of community helpers. We would make a puppet out of 2 of them and think of a story idea with a problem that could happen to one of the puppets we chose. Then we had to come up with a solution to the problem that another puppet (community helper) might come and fix for us. We made a list of problems and a list of helpers. Then we decided on 3 opening sentences to get us started and everybody chose one.

 I  modeled how to start a puppet show with the class. Our class story had a baker that had a fire start in his bakery and called the fire department and had firemen come put out the fire. Then the baker gave some cupcakes to the firemen and they became friends after that. (gotta have a happy ending people!)

Here we are doing a match game using community helpers and what they do for us. The kids had to match up the occupations with a riddle of what they do. We did it in small cooperative groups of 3 or 4. Here are my little police people matching up their cards. (some of the boys were too "cool" to wear their hats home.) Isn't that so funny? Gotta be macho in Grade 2! tee hee.....)

We also did a few worksheets on vocabulary words from the Reading Streets story and some community helper songs.HERE are a few songs I thought were fun. I played my autoharp and we sang to a few familiar tunes.   I had the kids do a few fun activities like a Venn diagram comparing and contrasting Urban communities with Rural communities.
Here at First Palette.com was a lot of free printables of community helper people to use as puppets. We put heads on bodies out of paper and glued them to tiny popsicle sticks. 
My goal was to have them write a fictional story with a problem, a solution and the setting would be a community helper's place of business. We are learning about story structure. Then they buddied up with a partner who did their puppetry for them while they read their story in a microphone.
Here are the finished puppet shows and puppets. I forgot to take a pic of our puppet theater I got out for the occasion.It was cute seeing them taking it all so seriously. Some of them got "stage fright". Good thing we had a microphone!  It took us all week during writing workshop to finish the puppet shows. Then we read and shared them in the afternoon. HERE at only passionate curiosity are some cute visuals you could put up in a pocket chart. Another cute one that is free and downloadable is HERE at k-3 teacher resources.

 Here is our finished bulletin board. I also had a magnetic match game with these little community helper cutouts they could match up at the magnet center. I'll take a pic of that too.
 Some of the kids made more than 2 puppets, and some had extra visual aides.....like wedding cakes or butterflies.
Lots of great illustrations happened here.....yup! 
     I try to get them to learn the vocabulary in the writing process. The one before sharing is illustrating. So they learn what to do to become great illustrators; at least 4 colors, no white showing.

are a few songs I thought were fun. I played my autoharp and we sang to a few familiar tunes. Then I read them a few stories on people that help out in our communities. We are a mixture of urban and rural where we live. And a mixture of both where houses are outside of a city is called Suburban.
Community Helper Puppets and Stories we shared last week to go along with reading The Twins Club.
Bulletin Board of our Community Helpers and our Puppet Show Stories....

We also did a fun activity using URBAN, SUBURBAN, and RURAL. We did a Venn Diagram to compare and contrast both. The kids did it on whiteboards while I did the one on the doc camera.
Kids did a venn similar to this one....
 Then we came to the rug and did a brown bag activity where they each got 3 cards (using the COMMUNITY CHARACTERISTICS CARDS found below at UEN) and they had to decide which bag labeled Urban, Suburban and Rural, to place it in of the 3 Vocabulary Words.. HERE at Utah Education Network are all the activities and some lesson plans to go along with it taken from our Utah core
Each bag had the caption "URBAN" or "RURAL or "SUBURBAN" and kids had to come up and place picture in the right bag. The class all helped. 

There are many youtubes about communities highlighting our vocabulary. I liked this one and it was a short 5 minute video. There are longer ones with reading blurbs on each scene too. ..
 Nice Handwriting and illustrating on all of these cool puppets guys!
 It was fun to listen to such creative stories. We have some budding authors in our class!
Community Helpers Puppet Shows
Our vocabulary for the week were  the amazing words from Reading Streets. I keep them in a pocket chart all week and we do short activities with them every day from acting them out, to switching around the words and then matching them back with definitions. Then we tested them all on Friday. 30 kids all got 100%. Way to go parents!! Woot!
 This little artist in my class won the illustration contest.  We have lots of other good illustrators too!
 Another fun things to do in this unit is to play Community Helper Bingo. A VERY easy one is HERE made by Michelle Prinzo. It would be great to put these words in the pocket chart to help the kids learn the vocabulary of different types of community helpers.
Our finished puppet shows and puppets were awesome.
 It is a fun reading unit and a great story to compare with Country Mouse City Mouse. I have 3 different versions and it's fun to read them to the kids and get a different response and perspective on each one. And we are thankful for all those community helpers we rely on.

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