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Amphibians~ Frog & Toad Fun

Last week we had a blast learning about amphibians, their characteristics and incorporating a little fiction on frogs and toads too! 

We began the week by reading Leo Lionni's book "Fish is Fish" from my Lionni author study unit.  This was a great lead into the characteristics of a frog.  After reading the book we completed a compare and contrast Venn Diagram chart looking at the similarities and differences between a frog and a fish.  

Then we decided if we would rather be a fish or a frog.  We went around the room and surveyed 10 classmates.  This activity gets them up and moving and they are pretty good at it now.

After our survey, we wrote an opinion piece explaining which animal we would rather be and why.

On Day 2, we read a mini paper booklet I created about amphibians.  We used this booklet to sort amphibians, label an amphibian, and list the characteristics of an amphibian.

These characteristic posters were displayed in the science center all week. 

We also made a class poster of the characteristics and our own mini posters. 


On Day 3 we read "Frogs" by Gail Gibbons and completed an anticipation guide.  We completed the "What I Think" side, read the book, and then did the "What I Learned" side.  After completing those activities we focused on the lifecycle of a frog.  

We created this chart together using the photos I made.  I wanted my students to see real photos of the frog changing throughout its lifecycle.

On Day 4 we read, "Why are Frogs Wet?" and did another anticipatory guide.  

Before writing we read one more additional story.  "True or False Amphibians".  This is a fun read because the children have to answer the question before hearing the answer.  We do a thumbs up for true and a thumbs down for false. It also review all of the facts before our informative writing. 

  We made a web together and then we went to work writing our own stories.

On Day 5, we focus on comparing and contrasting frogs and toads.  I have a great little paper mini book that the children read first to get a good basis of information.  Then we watched a few video on youtube that I will link below.  They were great.  I set the students loose and they work on comparing and contrasting them in groups.   First we sorted the given facts, then the children added their own.  On the back, we wrote what they had in common.


After they worked independently, we created this chart together to review.  

Once we had our facts straight, we went on to writing.  Some of my first graders are ready for paragraph writing so I have been modeling it a lot lately.  In this example, you can see I changed pen color to illustrate each paragraph.  

After modeling, they went to work on their own stories.  They did such a nice job with this activity. 

You can see that this student has their pre-writing exercise next to them.  We always do some sort of pre-writing to gather our thoughts and organize our writing. 

Finally, we ended our unit with a research day.  In all of my animal units, I created research projects on different animals with crafts to go with them.  I begin by letting the students choose which animal they want to research.  I feel choice is always key to motivation.  Once we are in our groups, we do one page at a time.  We discuss the topic, brainstorm ideas, and then get to work.  Eventually by the last animal group, they don't need as much guidance.    We use our Chrome books to gather information that we don't already know throughout the day.  When we are done, we get to make our animal craft.  They always do an amazing job and they love their independence and collaboration.  Here are this year's projects with a sneak peek inside of each one.





I hope you enjoyed reading about our week with amphibians.  We were very busy! 



I'm one super proud teacher!  "Love what you do and do what you love!"
















  
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Dental Health with a Little Tooth Fairy Too!





This year we decided to spend a week learning about Dental Health and having a little Tooth Fairy Fun too.  For our focus we learned about diagrams and labels because we would be looking at a diagram of our mouth and a tooth, as well as labeling both.  Above you can see a snapshot of the literature I used over the week.  I LOVE the book "Open Wide" but it is a hard read.  The text is all over the place but it has great information.  When I saw that it was a Scholastic video, I bought it.


We began by making a class graph.  After we graphed our teeth lost, we created our own questions for the graph.  It is almost like being the teacher and they really enjoy this activity.


Next we read, "What if You Had Animal Teeth".  This is such a fun book.  We matched the animal with their teeth.  A great text to pair with this book is "Nice Try, Tooth Fairy".  The little girl wants her tooth back and the Tooth Fairy keeps returning animal teeth. 

For writing, we made a craft with our own animal teeth.  Then they wrote about what teeth they would have.


These are ALWAYS hilarious.

On the day we learn about our mouth and teeth, I like to read "I Know Why I Brush My Teeth".  There are so many wonderful books out there, but this one is informative and fun to read.  We label a tooth and look at our different kinds of teeth. We also focus on some important vocabulary.


I love to throw in some fiction too so we had to read Karma Wilson's book, "Bear's Loose Tooth".  Since we have read so many of her books, I thought it would be fun to make predictions.  Then we talked about Bear's Feelings.  They had to show proof from the story when Bear felt worried, frustrated, and happy.


We also wrote letters to the Tooth Fairy after reading "Dear Tooth Fairy". 


Another fun writing activity that we did was a "How To" piece.  We glued pictures in order of how to brush our teeth and then we used the pictures to write the story.  They really enjoyed this activity.


At the end of the week, we made these cute little Tooth Fairies which are currently hanging in our hallway.


I love how each one is different.  

With this craft we read "How to Catch the Tooth Fairy" and then did a writing about it.  This is free at my store, just click on the picture below to grab it.  


I hope you enjoyed a sneak peek of our tooth fairy week.  We did so much more and had loads of fun! 

Grab these activities here!






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George or Abe...President's Day Fun!

This past week was the perfect week to learn all about two famous presidents, George Washington & Abe Lincoln.  We used Monday and Tuesday to wrap up our poetry unit and celebrate Valentine's Day which left 3 days to complete this unit.  I could have used more days but we squeezed in as much as we could in the three we had. 


The first two days we did exactly the same thing but with different presidents. We began by using the mini reader and reviewing fact and details.  Then we completed an anticipation guide using the new Scholastic Kids biographies pictured below.   


Next, we worked on our informative writing.  I have to tell you by now they are really shining with their writing.  Most students write one complete page and several are up to 2-3 pages.  You can see that we create a web first and then as we add our facts, we check them off.  My students also include an introduction and conclusion.   I saved both of these pieces for our craft at the end of the unit.


We had a little extra time for Abe Lincoln so we read this cute new book as well. 


Then we wrote what we would put under our hat if we were like Abe.  
I thought they turned out pretty cute!


On the last day, we worked on comparing and contrasting the two presidents.  First we discussed who we would want to meet.  We made this graph together. 

Then we surveyed our friends and created our own tally and bar graphs. 


Next we wrote an opinion writing on who we would rather meet.  
We had to justify why we made our choice. 


After  that, we split into groups and made posters to compare and contrast.  This was by far their favorite activity and they are so proud when they finish. They use a third reader to help them look for similarities and differences plus all the other things they have learned.  




As you can see by their faces, team work is fun and rewarding!
 

Finally, we looked at our informative writing from the week, picked our best piece and made the craft to go with it.  Half of us made George and half made Abe!  


These kiddos are always amazing me with their love for learning, and amazing talents.  We had a super week learning about these two important presidents and how they changed the America we live in today!  
If you would like to grab these goodies they are all put together for you here.








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