This last week Friday we finished off our Polar Express week with our very special Polar Express day!! At the beginning of this week I decorated the front of our classroom door and on Friday before school I decorated the tables in the room to look like the Polar Express. The class got to also come to school wearing pajamas like the children in the book got to wear.
Students were given golden tickets to the Polar Express as they went off to lunch. When they came back from lunch they gave me their golden tickets and I punched holes in them like the conductor did in the movie. We then reread the book the Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg and discussed the elements of the story and drew the pictures of the things we discussed.
Finally students got to sit in our “train area” like they would sit on the train and watch the movie. Students got to enjoy cookies and hot chocolate while they watched the movie.
This week we began our unit on gingerbread. In this unit we read many different versions of the gingerbread man folktale. We started by reading a version that resembles original Gingerbread Man story. We did a retell of the story by doing a sequence cut and paste. Then we made our own gingerbread men and write action words to complete a phrase.
The next day we read another version called Gingerbread Baby by Jan Brett. Students made a list of things that they would run away from if they were the gingerbread baby and wrote about it in their journals. The gingerbread man writing prompt comes from The Education Center.
We compared the characters from the story from Gingerbread Baby to the characters from Gingerbread Man using hula hoops and character cards. Then students made gingerbread houses for the gingerbread baby.
This week we’ve been learning about and focusing on spiders. For science & math; we watched videos and read non-fiction books about spiders.
Then students completed a survey on whether they thought spiders were scary or neat, then we graphed the results and drew our own spiders. We also learned the song “Itsy Bitsy Spider” and made our own hand painted spiders to go along with the song.
We read the story There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly and retold the story using an old lady puppet and animals to put into the old lady’s mouth. Finally, students illustrated the main character and the other characters to make a character map.
We started our new unit on friends and feelings and to start us off we created a circle map on friends. Students were given the opportunity to illustrate our ideas as we came up with them.
Then we read the story The Little Red Hen and discussed on how the characters were not good friends. We used Popsicle stick puppets to retell the story as a whole group and students created their own Popsicle stick puppets. Then during free choice centers they got to retell the centers with their friends.
The next day we used sequence cards to put the story back in the correct order. Then students worked on cutting and pasting their sequence cards onto construction paper.
Little Red Hen sequence cards and character printouts found here.
As we near the end of the school year our kindergarteners have been working on becoming independent readers and learning about elements of a story. We read one of our Read On Your Own decodable book called Max and Quin. This story had words that students could easily decode as well as the sight words we’ve been learning throughout the week. In the story there are two characters that have distinct characteristics.
Students got into their reading partners and read the book to each other. Then they picked a character (either Max or Quin) and described a character trait. They were able to use the text to find evidence of their findings.