Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Our Class Took a Trip to the Zoo

Saturday was a beautiful day for a trip to the zoo!  Mother Nature cooperated here in Ohio and gave us a sunny, 80 degree day.

My students were SO excited to visit all the animals they learned about.  They were eager to tell their friends that they saw the animal each person researched.  Students went on a scavenger hunt with clues created from the research done by our class.  Parents were incredibly appreciative of the tickets provided and commented that they learned a lot.  Each child brought the whole family!  Below is a group shot, though not everyone was willing to hop in the picture (many camera-shy adults).  We had a great time!

Graduation tomorrow, then field day on Thursday.  2 more days to go...it is flying by!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Off to the Zoo

My students are looking forward to our trip to the zoo on Saturday.  I am not able to go on a school day, so students and their families will meet me at the zoo on Saturday.  Tickets for 1 adult and 2 children in each family were funded through DonorsChoose.org.  I am also giving each student in my class a drawstring backpack with a scavenger hunt, zoo-themed stationary items and snacks thanks to a second DonorsChoose.org project.

In preparation for our trip, each student chose an animal they wanted to learn more about.  Students then met with me in small groups.  We talked about what students wanted to learn.  They formulated questions, which I wrote out for them.  We used a variety of easy-reader books which I helped them read to find their answers.  My favorites were National Geographic Kids, Pebble Plus and Weekly Reader books series.  We also used a free 2-week trial of www.pebblego.com, which students LOVED!  Below are some examples of their questions and answers.


After finding the answers to their questions, students used KidPix software to type a sentence for each question and draw a picture.  

"A flamingo baby's mom feeds it by chewing up food and spitting it in their mouth, but when it's a grown up, it can eat by itself." (This is one of my highest students...the grass and sky are wallpapers, but he drew everything else with the mouse!)

Students were SO excited to print these!  Even more exciting then typing and printing is that they get to be the teacher and teach the class about the animal they chose.  We will learn about the animals at the zoo we are visiting tomorrow.  Animals that are not present at the zoo we are visiting will be presented Monday.  They did an awesome job!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sale and a Story

Today begins the TpT Teacher Appreciation Day sale!  All items in my store are 20% off.  If you use the code TAD12, you will receive an additional 10% off.  Visit my store by clicking here.  We are currently using the zoo (safari) themed materials and will be using the beach themed materials after next week.  Stock up now!

This was just a funny story from Friday...A student brought me a plastic insect and the follow conversation transpired:

Student: "Miss Hennon, what kind of bug is this?"

Me: "It looks like a bee to me.  What do you think it is?"

Student: "I think it looks like a bee too.  Hold on."

(Student goes back to the science center and brings back another bug)

Student: "If this is a bee, then what is this?" (pointing to the new bug)

Me: "They look similar.  Maybe they are both bees."

Student: "I think this one is a 'China Bee'".

Me: (not knowing what a China Bee is) "Why do you think it looks like a China Bee?  I don't know what a China Bee is."

Student: "Because it says "China" on it".  The bottom of the bee said "Made in China". 

I love kindergarten kiddos who are learning to read! :)

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Blogging Success!

When I started this blog a few months ago, I mentioned that my students have had their own blogs since October.  Since this was my first experience with blogging and the website Weebly, there was definitely a learning curve!

We started out with students dictating to me what they wanted to say once a week and I would type it in for them.  This took me about 2.5 hours to get through the whole class.  We blogged during centers with the help of local college students. 

Our blogging then moved to students dictating content, and I wrote their ideas out on a dry erase board.  Students then typed their content into their own blogs.  This cut down on the time a bit because I could do multiple children at one time. 

Today I tried what I thought might be the impossible: my whole class blogging at the same time.  The most I have done at one time is 5, so I wasn't sure what this might look like.  We went on a field trip this morning, and I wanted them to write about it when it was fresh in their minds.  So, we made a list of things we saw on our field trip on chart paper.  Students were partnered so that they could help one another make sure their sentences made sense and share an iPad to blog.  I gave each student a dry erase board and marker and gave them the task of writing about the things they enjoyed on our trip.  After writing out their sentences, students helped one another log in to their blog accounts and type their sentences into the blogs.  You could have heard a pin drop!  They were awesome!!!  I was so impressed with their ability to work together and help one another get their blogs completed.

With only a few weeks of school left, they seem so grown up from where we started.  The things that they can now do independently amaze me everyday.  So proud :).

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Looking Forward to Summer!

The countdown to summer seems to be on around our building.  I believe we have 16 days left.  My students love books they can take home and read at home.  I created the book below to go with my ocean math unit on TpT.  You can download the book by clicking on the picture below.  The book follows the pattern of Brown Bear, Brown Bear.  Check out my TpT store for a math packet and a reading packet with an ocean theme.  If you download the book, I would appreciate you following my blog if you don't already.  Leaving a comment would be great too!  Happy Reading! :)