Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Friendship Fish

Back in September, we brainstormed and charted words and actions we use when being friendly.  I wish I saved the chart we made, oops.  Every year we read Marcus Pfister's Rainbow Fish, and partner the children up to make a beautiful rainbow fish with a sparkly scale.  The goal of the project is for the children to listen to each other ideas, share the fish, respect each other's ideas, and agree on one scale on the fish to turn into a sparkly scale like Rainbow Fish.  We have the children design the fish scales together with a sharpie, take turns drawing the scales and decorating them with oil pastels.  The final touches are a watercolor layer over the oil pastels, followed by gluing glitter sequins on their sparkly scale.  The children work so well and so hard on this project every year--it is so enjoyable to watch them talk and listen to each other as they work!

I realized the picture of our rainbow fish has my reflection in it--taken in the wee hours of the morning!

Who's Who in Kindergarten?

We love owls--the trick is always when and how to fit owl fun into our curriculum!  Owl Babies by Martin Waddell is a favorite, along with the poem Five Little Owls from homeschoolshare.  I used the owl template from the same website and created a file folder activity with each owl numbered on the back for the children to put in order on the tree.  We used this when we practiced ordinal numbers this fall.  The homeschoolshare link above has tons of owl information and activities too.    

Using different shades of torn brown paper (brown paper bags from the grocery store would work well too), we created a our name-scramble owl.  Each child wrote their name on a brown paper, and then did a scrambled version of their name on a piece they glued as a flap on top.  Since we practice writing our names in the proper "kindergarten way" so much, it was fun for them to make their names in a silly way.  The picture is a little blurry, but hopefully you get the idea!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

October 2012

I love to tell our students that kindergarten rocks because we are now big kindergarten learners!  I am a new learner too, with this blog, but since I get so excited with some of the things we do I want to share them.  I will try to post weekly and start with some freebies each week as I get going.

Apples, Apples

To prepare for our apple-cidering field trip this October, we read many books on apples!  Our favorites included The Seasons of Arnold's Apple Tree by Gail Gibbons, Johnny Appleseed by Steven Kellogg, and Up, Up, Up! It's Apple-Picking Time by Jody Fickes Shapiro and Kitty Harvill.

We did an apple-sequencing activity using one line on each page to create the four steps in picking apples and eating them using our "starter lines."  It was a great perceptual task as well to orient the lines to make each form.  Here is a basic template for the sequencing activity.

Since we study poetry in our literature in the fall, we completed a poem with rhyming words called "Thank you Trees."

After reading our poem, we brainstormed what kinds of things we use that come from trees (paper, leaves, wood).  We collected acorns, sticks and leaves to create apple people--only the glue, ink and markers didn't come from trees!  I cut the apples using our die-cut machine to cut out a step, but next time I would have the children cut out the apples from a template.  Here's a basic homemade apple template, and then a student's apple-person.