Monday, January 7, 2013

What fun we are having in January! It's all about the Arctic this week!

My students are especially interested in non-fiction science-related topics this year, and what fun to be studying Arctic animals! My little dumplings can tell you all about the North Pole, the South Pole, the Arctic, and Antarctica.  They know which animals live at the North Pole, and which animals live near or in Antarctica.  We have already studied continents and oceans, and have read and reread arctic books.  These are our current projects for our  Arctic study.

This is a free download at TpT! It's from Jennifer Knopf, a TpT seller. :) Props to Jennifer for a wonderfully easy little penguin craftivity! We used cute patterned scrapbook paper for our bows and bowties!
The cute clip art penguins are from Oodles of Doodles, by Nancy Messenger (another TpT seller).

Here is our North Pole display with a friendly polar bear I drew and shaded when I was still feeling artsy a couple of years ago!

I am so proud of the writing we are doing now.  I did not ask for much today, but several students wrote sentences about the bear they drew! Our drawing mini-lessons are really working out nicely!

A baby polar bear :)

An adult polar bear!

During December benchmarks, it became crystal clear that we are in bad need of letter naming fluency practice! So...I am being proactive and have copied and begun timed "Super Speed Letters" practice with all of my students.  Here's how it works:  Students begin reading letters as fast as they can for one minute, then stop and mark the letter they stopped on.
Then we set the timer for another minute and start at the top again to see how far we get the next time! We mark that spot and time ourselves for one more minute! Students are really seeing improvement when they beat their time! This is the variation on the game that I use.  However, my higher level reading students will be learning the tandem letter reading method as they work in pairs soon.  To see this wonderful FREE activity, go to Whole Brain Teaching's web site.  If you are not a member, you should be! There are fantastic resources there that really work!   (look for the Kindergarten Power Pix, Super Speet Numbers, and Super Speed Letters under the resources link!)

Here are pics of my little dumplings practicing individually :)

Tomorrow, we will be making this cute Pinterest find!!!