Monday, May 25, 2015

Memorial Day Activities for Kids

This Monday is Memorial Day. We get the day off so we can honor all those who protect our country. I teach the kids about the 5 branches of the military; Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. Most of them know a few branches but not all or what they guard and protect. HERE is some Vocabulary to go over with the kids. I had them copy the word. Fast finishers copy a few times.

I love this book called H Is for Honor: A Military Family Alphabet by Devin Scillian and Victor Jushasz. It is a look at military life for the entire family. What boot camp is like, why soldiers make sacrifices, and how much letters from home mean to those serving far away.

I read this to the kids and we talk about some of the sacrifices that military 
families must make so their loved ones can serve us as Army and Navy and Air Force men and women. 
This eagle painting is out of handprints in brown for the fingers and palm, and the thumbs are either red or blue. The white tailfeather is just a pointer finger in white paint. I added red and blue and silver glitter to the red and blue and white painted thumbs. The kids added the white heads, and beaks. Then when they were dried we added a wiggly eye. 

This was something my nephew Tyler put up on his Facebook page one day. I typed it up and added it to a poster I keep up in my room during our study of what Memorial Day is all about. 

Here are pictures of all the branches of the military I found online for free. The kids chose their favorites and colored them and we make a cool mural of all the symbols and uniforms of the 5 branches. 
I make a big brainstorm of all the kids' ideas on the board. Then we write a few more as sentences beginners; such as....I am proud of our military because they....or....Thanks to the military men and women of the .....or...On Memorial Day we remember all the military men and women for.....

Some coloring pages I leave out for fast finishers and some stationery sets I got on TPT. HERE are some Cute Ones.  Some of them I added the words Memorial Day or a flag to. A cute math coloring page I found HERE too that I just changed a few of the harder equations. I also cut out "Presidential" and put "Memorial Day" instead. 
My cute entry table all decorated for the holidays coming up.....
 I have a few bins in my storage room for Patriotic holidays. I usually put it up end of May and leave it up through the summertime. I add red and white flowers to my greenery baskets around the house too. Silk geraniums work well.
I love this Uncle Sam and red, white and blue quilt I have in my living room. So Patriotic! 

For Fast finishers I had a few coloring pages kids could choose from before going to centers. One of them is HERE. A cute minibook to copy, color and read is HERE. We only did 4 pages. 

Memorial Day Table Decor

 Now I just need to finish decorating the house for all the Patriotic holidays coming up. I leave the decor up from Memorial Day through 4th of July. It is fun to change it up around the house. And I got some new white couches, so it is fun to switch up the pillows. I have a few navy and red ones that work great! 


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;
BOOKS on PLANTS AND SEEDS 
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



 CELERY SCIENCE EXPERIMENT
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

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