01 09 10

Monday, April 28, 2014

{Guess Who Zoo}

Last week was ZOO week! We had a blast learning all about zoo animals. We kicked off the week with some great books. Some of our peas brought some wonderful books to share. This one is really great: 
This one had everyone in giggles: 
And this one we used in guided reading to read together!
 Both classes set up materials for the peas to build their own zoos out of blocks and animals in centers throughout the week.

 This pea made this elaborate zoo building at the end of the day and his mom waited while I took a picture of it! I thought it was pretty cool!

 In Pre-K 1 we read one of my very favorite all time stories:
And then made giraffes in Pre-K 1.
 We used our sweet little fingerprints to make our giraffes spots.
 Here's how they turned out...adorable!
Pre-K 2 made parrots from the zoo! They used their handprints and added feathers.
They turned out super cute!
Pre-K 2 also did several Venn Diagrams comparing different animals and they were suprised by how many things very different animals had in common.
Pre-K 1 choose one animal to research in depth about. We have been learning about researching, and we wanted to continue to put our new knowledge to use. We chose hippopotomuses. They are such a strange and fascinating animal.We brainstormed what we knew about hippos and then we used our ipads to research about them. We found that a lot of children's books and cartoons have led us to some misconceptions about hippos being harmless or even friendly and not having sharp teeth, when in fact, they have very sharp teeth and are one of the most dangerous animals in Africa!
Afterwards, we added some facts to our morning message.
Later, we reviewed we we already knew, the misconceptions we had about hippos and the new knowledge we had gained!

Next, we did some hippo art! I found some inspiration from the wonderful art at Deep Space Sparkle. The lesson there had a basic outline with shapes and the peas and I discussed how to draw a hippo and what shapes to use. We used the white board to practice, then they got to work!

 I'm totally in love with these water resist hippos. Aren't they wonderful?
 Later, we added some writing to our artwork.
Pre-K 2 did a really cool art activity, too, and did some research of their own! They used the ipads to  research how different animals look  and really notice their shapes. Then they tore paper to make their own animals. I love this activity because it really uses a lot of thinking skills!
 As they tore, they laid their paper down before they glued to see if they liked their design.
Here's a gallery of their torn paper animals. What an incredible job!
Meanwhile, Pre-K 1 was busy at work making a zoo out of play-doh and popsicle sticks, a pinterest inspired activity that the peas loved.

You gotta love that fine motor work!
We also had the ipads set up to explore the Wild Kratts, which was VERY popular! :)
Pre-K 1 wrapped up the week with Alligator Pie. I posted the poem in our room at the beginning of the week and had the peas predict whether the alligator pie would be a silly recipe or made from real alligator! 
They were guessing all week until on Friday....
They got to try my special recipe!
It turned out to be a silly recipe!
But it was still pretty tasty. :)
Have a great week!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Critter Clinic

We had a unit on pets a couple weeks ago and Amy and I saw a great opportunity to turn it into a mini PBL of sorts! We knew it would be a great way to get the kids involved in a topic they would really love to learn about and we had a few ideas about how to make it a fun project!
We brainstormed and determined there were three things we wanted them to gain from this theme:
We started the week with an introduction of the series and the peas brought pictures of the pets they had at home. It helped facilitate conversations about different pets and needs. Pre-K 1 graphed what kind of pets we had or wanted to have, then we used ipads to look up the needs of those pets.  We had some morning messages about the topic. Pre-K 2 drew a cat as a group!
  Pre-K 2 got started right away doing some research on domestic animals. They broke up into groups and used the ipads to find out characteristics of different pets. They did such a phenomenal job!
Ms. Amy had different animals to choose from and this group started with a dog.
To modify for the little guys, she had some cards with some brainstorming questions to get them started and she showed them how to research their animals!
This pea colored the animal. :)
This pea helped with one of the cards...
Here's another group about to get started.
I love this concentration!
  I LOVE this precious pre-k writing.
Here's the finished posters:

Over in Pre-K 1, we researched how we could bring to life a pet shop in our classroom! We discussed what we would need to have to serve the needs of pet owners and decided to have a comprehensive shop that offered grooming, veterinary services, pet supplies and puppy training. We began working to put it all together. First things first, a sign!
We added a cash register and a phone to meet the needs of our patrons. ;)
We set up our veterinary shop.
And customers came!
Class members brought animals from home to contribute to our shop and then the peas labeled them as they added them to the shop.
During center, the peas took shifts.
They enjoyed being customers and patrons of the shop.
Our awesome parents brought pet supplies in for our shop and we were able to decide how each item would be used and what kind of pet would use it. It was such a great way to learn hands on. I even brought my puppy's cone from his recent surgery and it was put right on a puppy in the shop. One mom brought us a kennel and we started offering overnight services!
Pre-K 2 read one of the best books ever:
Then, they did a craft about Harry.

Such a cute craft! One side is Harry the clean dog, and one side is Harry the dirty dog! If you love this story as much as I do, or if you've never heard it, you should listen to Betty White read it here.
In Pre-K 1, we began making puppies for a writing project. We have been reading a lot of poetry lately, so we decided to write a circular puppy poem. They wrote the name of their puppy, several describing words about their puppy, then finished with the name of the puppy again. They loved it. 

I mean how cute are these puppies?
Here's just a couple of the poems. If you come by our class, read some more of them! I'm so proud of how hard they work on their writing!
Ms. Amy made these cute pet sheets for both classes for our journals. We put them out and let the peas use them as inspiration for journal writing.
Some great art was inspired by pets!

Pre-K 2 also made cats at art!

There were a lot of opportunities to practice cutting and gluing.

And both classes provided a lot of opportunities to play with animals and different materials all week. There was a lot of imaginative play going on all week long.

Pre-K 2 wrapped up their week with a making words activity. They worked on -at words.

Look at all those -at words! Great work peas!
Our pet mini PBL was a great success! We learned so much and had a great time pretending and learning about a topic that is so relevant to our lives. Have a wonderful weekend!