What's Going on Here...

Friday, April 22, 2011

We're Going to the ZOO, ZOO, ZOO...

If you are like me, I am ALWAYS trying to think of ways to introduce lessons in a fun, exciting way, while transitioning from one unit to another in a meaningful, connected way! Talk about a headache! I should own stock in the Bayer Aspirin company! So, if you are looking for a transition from Farm/Insects to Zoo here is my idea of a fun "hook" activity...
After reviewing our previous week's learning, we make predictions about the book, Chickens Aren't the Only Ones. We've classified our animals into "clubs" throughout our previous units (Insect Club, Mammal Club, Bird Club, etc.) These are exclusive clubs, and you MUST meet the criteria to become a member. Then, I tell my kiddos that a new "club" of animals are hiding inside the  eggs in my basket. I then pass out big, plastic eggs to each child and ask for guesses as to what the new club could be. We all open our eggs together to find our next study - REPTILES!

We list the animals found in the eggs on a chart named, Reptiles.
Afterwards, each child draws the animal found 

inside their egg, and "puts" it into an egg that opens and closes.

Each day after the introduction we complete a page in our Reptiles book.
Here is the book my husband and I wrote during an evening out a few years ago! Now, you know how much school is part of my life. We sat at our favorite pizza place writing a reptile book ON NAPKINS, covering a "fact" about each type of reptile - but it also had to RHYME! My husband is such a good sport. He deserves an award for putting up with my maddness!
 This is the finished product....

We illustrate a page a day as we read and learn about each reptile. 
Alligators and Crocs are last to transition us into our Zoo Fact Book unit.
We begin each animal study with fun music to provide the "hook", then off we go to a great book!  

We complete a thinking map for each animal.
Here is our map about Alligators!
Please come back as we complete the Zoo Fact Book next week!
Here is the first page!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

ONE More Farm Post!

This is our Farm Fact Book. I found these animal tracers in a Mailbox Magazine 20+ years ago. I still like them and will probably NEVER change! I'm very sentimental.

This is the cover. I let the kiddos draw and cut out their own animals this year. CUTE!
Kristi and I made this ourselves.
I believe this is a TLC hen....

This is our symmetrical cow with our addition facts. It's not part of the book, but somehow hers was added! Oh well - it's all together!

We used our charts to choose our fact. I found a post here  that used this type of chart for Goldilocks  that I loved. So I made a few...

On another note...
Our ducks FINALLY decided to  HATCH Thursday...the day I got terribly sick and had to go home to pull up to dying!!!!  Friday, they were STILL hatching - with me still at home. Thank goodness for good friends and a driving son who could pick up my slack! My Phillip brought everything home for the weekend in a terrible rain storm. Only my luck... Anyway, two are here and 6 are pipping. I guess nothing worth doing is easy?! 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

With a chick, chick here...!

Each year we incubate chick eggs in time to have baby chicks for Farm Day. This year we hatched both chicks and ducks! The chicks were right on time, but I set the duck eggs too late. Oh well, we'll enjoy them when they get here! 
We covered lots of math and science objectives with this activity.
This was our tally chart. The kiddos added a tally mark each time they added a link. This was great counting by 5's practice, more/less comparisons, quantity to number, etc.!
We had a "chick" side and a "duck" side.

These are our duck eggs. As of today it's day 26...  we're still waiting!  We candled today and the kiddos decided it is close because the shadow fills almost the entire shell! Thursday should be an exciting day - #28 is the magic number for ducks!
The big day! On day 21 (right on time) the chicks started to pip!

Our wonderful Tech guys set up a live broadcast account for us so all 23 classes of K could watch the egg hatch on their projector screens in real-time! It was great.

Messy, but FUN!
We also candled every few days, then wrote about it in our Science Journals.
"The duck in the egg was getting bigger."
"The chick was hatching."
Here is a free download of our "countdown to chicks" sheet. I wish I had included the ducks, but it was already made and copied. Oh well, maybe next year!

A happy brood! Bring on the ducks!