Monday, May 23, 2011

Watermelon Math

This is our last week of school and every day is themed.  We did a lot with watermelons and math today.  We had all things watermelon flavored for special snack:  jelly beans, Kool aide, air heads, jolly ranchers, real watermelon, gum, etc.  We taste tested them all and voted for our favorites.  We then made a bar graph to represent our data.  Gum won- are you surprised??

We also had an estimation station with Walter the Watermelon.  We guessed how big around he was, how much he weighed and how many seeds were inside of him.  All of my students recorded their estimates and then we gathered in our "Laboratory" (my kidney table) to check our guesses.  To determine the number of seeds, I cut Walter into 17 pieces and had each child count the seeds in their piece.  We then worked together to add up the total number of seeds.  It was great practice for counting on.

We also made a watermelon number sentence that I found online.  We cut a paper plate in half and painted it to look like a watermelon.  I let the kids choose weather they wanted a pink or a red center.  We represented our addition number sentence with the seeds.  (I wish that I had used real seeds, but they were too wet.)
We made a watermelon glyph to represent our personal data.  I love glyphs, they are such and interesting way to show information.  They glued a small legend on the back of their watermelons so that others could figure out the meaning.  The legend is included below.

How old are you?
5 years old- 5 seeds   
6 years old – 6 seeds
Is Watermelon your favorite fruit?
Yes - seeds are  round
No - seeds are  square
Boy or Girl?
I am a boy – lime green rind
I am a girl – dark green rind
Math or Reading?
1 bite - I like math
2 bites - I like reading
Which do you like best?
watermelon koolaide - pink melon
watermelon gum - red melon

Eric Carle- Week Two

We have started our second week of our Eric Carle Author Study.  Below, you will see the highlight of each day...

We read The Mixed Up Chameleon.  We started off by making a venn diagram to compare the two chameleon books that we have read this year (this one and Leo Lionni's A Color of His Own).  We have really been working on comparing and contrasting with venn diagrams this year and they came up with some really great thoughts.  Next, we made our own Mixed Up Chameleons.  I have each child a tracer and they cut out their chameleon.  Then they turned it into another animal, just like the chameleon in the book.  We gave each one a tag that said "I wish I could be _________ like a _______."
We read two Eric Carle books, one during Math and one during Unit Study.  For Math, we read Rooster's Off to See the World.  We talked about how rooster met so many new friends and how they would all need new shoes for such a trip.  We talked about how many friends the rooster met (9) and how many shoes they would wear.  They worked together in groups to represent their thinking with drawings and came up with 36 shoes :)

During Unit Study, we read Draw Me a Star.  We practiced drawing Eric Carle's 8 point star on dry erase boards.  After we felt that we had perfected it, we drew our stars on aluminum foil with dry erase markers . Why??  They will wipe off if you mess up :)  Next, we cut them out VERY carefully and painted them.  This year, I was smart about it....I had a paint brush for each color and asked them not to blend colors, but to make dots.  They turned out great !

We started off the day by revisiting Rooster's Off to See the World.  We talked about the fact that this book is actually an addition and subtraction story.  We created addition and subtraction number sentences by picking two groups of animals to work with.

We read Papa, Please Get the Moon For Me.  We used finger paints (always a fun and messy experience) to create our own version of Eric Carle's illustrations.

We read two books today as well.  We started off Math by reading 10 Little Rubber Ducks.  We talked about how this is a subtraction book.  My students recognized that it was like our game Minus One; we were taking one duck away each time.  We used our Promethean Board to show our thinking and write number sentences as we read through the book.  Afterwards, we made a class book to retell the story.  Each child created a page of the story- it turned out really cute.

For Unit Study, we read A House for Hermit Crab.  I found a great craft online.  We started out by making a construction paper ocean scene and added a hermit crab.  Next, we decorated the shell just like the main character in the book.  We used sequins, glitter, jewels, etc.  They had a blast :)

We read The Grouchy Ladybug.  I LOVE ladybugs, so we themed our whole day around them.  Fridays are so fun- especially the last full Friday before SUMMER :)  During Math, we made ladybug glyphs.  I really love glyphs and was so excited to revisit them.  Below, you will see our meanings and a picture of how great they turned out.  My co-worker found these on KidsCount1234 by Shari Sloane- she has fabulous Math activities if you have not checked her out, you should !

We made ladybug cookies for special snack- they were cute and delicious :)  We also have a cute how to book that shows the steps:  Sugar cookie, red or yellow icing, Oreo head, chocolate chip spots and icing eyes.

During Unit Study, we made a fun ladybug craft !  We used all shades of red, pink, orange and yellow.  They used black paint and their fingertips for the spots.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Eric Carle- Week One

We are starting a two week Author Study on Eric Carle.  This is one of my favorite units for two reasons:  1)tons of cute crafts and 2) it is our last unit :)  Over the course of this unit, we read many wonderful Eric Carle books.  I tell my students that I love Eric Carle because he is both the author and the illustarator of most of his books.  Below, I will hit the daily highlights of our author study.

Introduced Eric Carle by reading The Very Quiet Cricket and watching a documentary on how he creates his illustrations.  We learned that he acutally paints collages on tissue paper and cuts them out in the designs for his books.  We also learned that he always puts a sun somewhere in his stories.

We read The Very Hungry Caterpillar, talked about the life cycle of a butterfly and made beautiful butterflys out of painted tissue paper just like Eric Carle.  (I would suggest starting this project in the morning so that the paper has time to dry and bringing a lot of patience with you!)  The papers my students created were beautiful- I wish I had taken a picture before we cut them up.  They cut the tissue paper in the shape of their butterfly and glued them on.  Many of them layered their papers like Eric Carle does to create a more interesting piece of art.  We also put the life cycle on our butterflies.  A bean for the egg, an elbow shaped noodle for the caterpillar, a shell noodle for the cacoon and the butterfly was the finished product :)
We readThe Very Lonely Firefly and made text to self connections about a time when we felt lonely.  We also made a cute firefly craft.

 We read The Very Busy Spider.  We made a huge spider and worked on our math facts.  Because spiders have 8 legs, we worked with number sentences to 8.  I had some choose to do addtion number sentences and some chose to do subraction number sentences.  I even had one student who chose to do subraction facts with teen numbers to get to eight- so proud :)

We read Pancakes, Pancakes.  We had a pancake themed day :)  We started off by reading the book and having pancakes for special snack- they LOVED them.  Then we played Pancake Meltdown with our Snap Words and recorded them on our pancake stacks (pictures below).  I found these games on a Harcourt Story town link- click here for the pancake snap words and here for the recording sheet.

 Next, we made a pancake craft.  We discussed what would be a rational number of pancakes for each of us to eat.  Then we created our perfect plate of pancakes- complete with butter and syrup.  We finished them off with a label saying "_____ will eat _____ pancakes."

Monday, May 9, 2011


Last week, we studied frogs.  It was mostly pretty standard stuff:  life cycle, comparison of frogs and toads, identifying the difference between fiction and non-fiction books, cute crafts, ,etc.  One lesson stands out  as cute and purposeful.  I introduced my kindergartners to verbs.  We talked about the fact that a verb is an action word and shows that someone is doing something.  We brainstormed (a skill we have been working on all year) some of the verbs that we could use with frogs.  My students came up with some really good verbs:  jump, hop, swim, walk, and so on... (of course we had to have the conversation about things that frogs could actually do).  We then used those verbs to plug into a sentence   Name   is ready to   Verb    into Summer. Then we glued our sentences inside the mouths of our cute frogs :)  I turned it into a really cute bulletin board for the end of the year.