Sunday, April 29, 2012

Writing with Ice!

During a unit on the United States, students played around with ice in the writing center (e.g. Alaska). Instead of just plain old paper and pencil to practice writing their sight words, students enjoyed exploring a new element and seeing what happened when their warm hands were writing for a long time.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Letting Kids Explore!

During our unit on measurement, I have tried to let go of only using certain tools during direct instruction and instead allowing students to explore them on their own. Here there are two students weighing things in a scale. They were trying out different materials and objects from the sensory tub and trying to balance them out. They were SO excited when they got the scale to balance! I also have tried letting go of my need to control mess. I personally cannot stand having scissors in centers because my students end up cutting the paper into a million pieces and making a complete disaster area. I gave in today though and allowed them to use scissors (upon their request) to collage the potato print pictures they were making. They were really excited about it and they made some pretty cool collages and discovered that the paint acted like glue.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Retelling Stories with Shadows

My students loved our unit on Shadows, so I decided to continue using it as we switched to our unit on Fairy Tales. I put a projector in the library to promote retelling stories using shadow puppets. Students were given puppets of characters from the stories and were also encouraged to play with their own hands to create characters. In this photo, two students are reenacting the story Hansel and Gretel. We had already read the story once or twice as a class, and they had a great time pretending to be the mean old lady in the candy house as they retold the story on their own! They students were using a lot of oral language to discuss roles and talk about the sequence of events, and they had fun encouraging each other to use silly voices in their different roles.