This week we’ve been learning about ourselves and how we are the same and different. At the beginning of this week we read two books. The first book was a realistic fiction story called I Love My Hair! about a girl and all the different ways she could have her hair. We discussed how our hair was the same or different from her hair.
The next story was an informational text about different parts of our body. We discussed how we all may have things that makes us different there are things that are the same about us as well. Such as, all of us in the classroom have two ears, two eyes, a nose, a mouth, 10 fingers, and 10 toes. We then practiced reading from left to right reading one word at a time with our fingers to guide us.
We also looked at ways people can be different all over the world such as how names can be different in different parts of the country, we also counted the numbers of letters in our name. Finally we created all about me rainbows that illustrated different things about us such as; number of siblings, pets, favorite color, what we want to be when we grow up, etc.
Last week the All-Stars started talking about who we are and what makes us special. Students filled out an “I am Special” book that highlights things about themselves; including their eye color, hair color, favorite birthday present, what their hand print looks like, etc.
Students were sent home a form to fill out about their favorite things. Last week students had the opportunity to share their favorites with the class. This helps their speaking and listening skills.
At the end of the week we took what we’ve learned about ourselves and design a puzzle piece that shows all of the things that us special; our favorites things, things we are good at, what we look like. Students then took their puzzle piece and glued them together to form a puzzle. A couple of students wanted to glue their pieces away from the puzzle so they could show how the puzzle gets put together to make a community.
As part of our All About me unit each student received a puzzle piece. On the puzzle piece students drew and colored pictures that resembled themselves. They drew pictures of themselves, their favorite colors, favorite food, favorite toys, etc. Students where then encouraged to find others with puzzle pieces that they felt matched their pieces.
This last week our theme was All About Me, where students learned about what makes them who they are. They learned about different body parts and how they look different and similar from others, discussed their favorite things, and learned about other classmates. It is an introductory unit to the bigger International Baccalaureate unit of Inquiry Who We Are.
We started of the unit by learning how to read to self and partner reading with the emergent reader book, All About Me. We read the book as a class first then students practiced reading by themselves and reading to partners. Finally we filled out a web map and discussed the main idea and details of the story.
As we finish up our first week of school, our kindergarten & 1st grade friends spent some time getting to know each other using math. Kindergarten wrote their names, cut them apart, and glued them back together. Kindergarten counted the letters in their name and shared it with the rest of the class.
In 1st grade we’ve been learning about addition strategies so the 1st graders used what they’ve learned to share about themselves to the rest of the class. The activity can be found over at First Grade Smiles.
With the second week of school the Kindergarten All-Stars, we have been busy with learning procedures, the schedule, and basic skills such as letter / number recognition. Yesterday we read a story adapted from a song called Wheels on the Bus and we discussed the problem and solution of the story. At the end of the day we made school buses and made a new part of the song using students beginning letter of their name.
We have also been learning about the sight word “I” so we read a story called The Way I feel by Janan Cain. Then students made self portraits of themselves, paired up and shared how they felt. We talked as a whole class how feelings are important no matter what they are.
As the first week of school wrapped up, we continued to learn about following rules / expectations and participated in getting to know each other activities. We read the story No David! by David Shannon. The students paired up and practiced looking for the rules that David was breaking as we read the story. After the story, students made David Popsicle stick puppets and retold the story using the puppets. You can find the No David! puppets here.
The next day we read Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Marin Jr. and talked about how letters make up words, and the most important word we know is our name! Students wrote their name in boxes, cut them up and put them back in the correct order. They counted the number of letters in their name and wrote the number.
Then we continued to get to know each other by sharing how many letters are in our name, and saying our favorite color. Then we graphed how many letters are in our name to as a little math extension!
Finally, one thing I’ve been really trying to teach my students this year is proper use of shared materials and not wasting. Students have been learning how to making good use of glue sticks and not wasting bottled glue. They have been taught the phrase “just a dot, not a lot”. I gave them a worksheet copied on card-stock where they glued on the dots of the worksheet, trying not to overuse the glue. To find out more about this idea go here.
As we learn to become more comfortable in our classroom community, we read a book called I’m Gonna Like Me: Letting Off a Little Self Esteem. We talked about how to be happy and proud of who we are. We also shared about ourselves whole group and learned how we are special. This activity helped students feel confident in who they are so they feel safe to share with others in class. During centers you could see how happy and comfortable the class felt with working together.