Much apologies for being so late in updating. The holidays were quite the busy time for my family.
The last week of school before break was one of my favorite units, Polar Express week! We started the week by reading the book The Polar Express by Christ Van Allsburg. Then throughout the week we did activities that went along with the book.
On Friday December 20th we had our Christmas party and Polar Express day. Students were able to come to school wearing their pajamas. We started out the morning by making ABC order trains. For math students math train glyphs; coloring the trains based on questions asked. Afterwards they got to open their Christmas presents from me!
Then after lunch students were given their own ticket’s to “ride aboard the Polar Express”, and they came into the library to watch the polar express on the big projector. The outside of the library door shows a train tunnel with the train light shining and railroad tracks below.
Students sat in columns as if they were on a train. They got to have hot chocolate and popcorn! At the end of the movie they each received a tiny bell that came from Santa’s sleigh!
Throughout last week we compared different Gingerbread Man folktales from around the world. We also did art and math projects that supported our readings. During math we learned out to make patterns using gingerbread people and students made glyphs based on the directions I gave them.
The directions were:
- If students favorite holiday cookie was chocolate, color the gingerbread person brown
If students favorite holiday cookie was gingerbread, color the gingerbread tan
If students favorite holiday cookie was sugar, color the gingerbread yellow
- If students favorite milk was chocolate, color the frosting green
If students favorite milk was strawberry, color the frosting red
If students favorite milk was plain, color the frosting blue
- If the student is a boy, color the buttons blue
If the student is a girl, color the buttons pink
Last week was our apple unit. We learned about living things and how they grow and change. We talked about how apples are living things and we learned about their life cycle. We read the book A Day at the Apple Orchard and made a life cycle of the apple using the book as our guide.
For math we worked on learning quantities and number words 1-10. We read the emergent reader book Apples in the Basket and drew the number of apples that matched the words on the page.
Thursday as part of our family unit we read the book My Wild Sister and Me, and we talked about how the boy and his sister liked to dress up and pretend to be animals. Then we discussed about what we like to do with our family and then illustrated pictures about it. I dictated what they said verbally in their stories.
For math we made a class graph that illustrated who had only brothers, only sisters, both brothers and sisters, or no brothers or sisters in their family. We compared the numbers and discussed which category had the most and which category has the least. These activities and more can be found here.
Finally as a treat we had one of our students parents come in to the class to read a book about a special family.
Last week was our unit on families; how our families roles and responsibilities are different, and activities that families do.
We started off by reading an informational text called What Makes a Family. For math we made a family tree, gluing apples on our tree that match the number of people who are in our immediate family.
For writing we’ve been learning how to draw circles and sticks and how to be illustrators. We drew our family portrait that matched the same number of family members on our family tree. The activities can be found here.
My new school, Fremont International Academy, has 30 minutes of daily Spanish instruction which is co-taught by myself and our Spanish instructor. As we’ve been singing familiar songs in English to start out the year; we’ve been learning the same songs in Spanish. We learned the song Five Little Monkeys in Spanish called, Cinco Monitos.
We then did a cut and paste activity that guided students in matching quantities with the visual number. Students cut monkeys with numbers on them onto the correct numbers of dots. Students practiced saying the numbers both in English and in Spanish.
Sorry everyone that there has been a lack of updates, my student teacher had been taking over the responsibilities for much of the winter / early spring.
This week we’ve had our unit on beach and ocean animals. We started off the week by reading an emergent reader book called At the Beach. We labeled a web thinking map that identified the main idea and details of the story.
For writing students used the ideas from the web thinking map, as well ideas of their own, and wrote about what they would like to do at the beach.
For math students took various 2 dimensional shapes and created their own sandcastles. They then graphed the number of each shapes they used for their sandcastles.
As we continued our Polar Express unit we read the book The Night Tree, which is a book about a family that goes to decorate a tree with food that is made to look like a Christmas tree. The book is very different than The Polar Express however it is a great introduction in showing how to compare popular stories. We discussed how in both stories the characters had hot chocolate.
We then watched a video on how to make hot chocolate and then wrote directions on how to make hot chocolate in three easy steps. For math we made hot chocolate mug art with cotton balls acting as marshmallows. Students wrote how many marshmallows were in their cup. To have a copy of the mug activity click here.
Today we continued our unit on the Polar Express. We read the story Christmas Kitten and compared the gift that the boy got (the bell) as the first gift of Christmas in the Polar Express and the gift Sophie got (a kitten) in Christmas Kitten. Based on the story Christmas Kitten we guessed on what we thought Sophie would have picked as the first gift of Christmas. Then we wrote about what we would pick.
During read to self, students read the emergent reader Santa Has.. and filled in the blank line with the word ‘has’ and drew the picture of what the sentence said Santa had.
For math & art students completed a cut and paste puzzle that matched numbers with their number word. Students then colored the picture showing The Polar Express and the conductor.