We began a unit on penguins yesterday. I love teaching about penguins because I find them so fascinating. I began by putting the letters P-E-N-G-U-I-N-S all mixed up in a pocket chart. I called students up to make words using these letters (sun, pin, sip, sing, …) then I had them try and figure out the “mystery” word using all the letters.
Here is a Groundhog Day poem and a couple of activities to go along with it.
I posted my Christmas Tree Behavior Motivator in December, so now I have my Snowman. When the class is all working together and doing what they should be doing, they earn a part of their snowman. If they are making poor choices, a part can be taken away. When they complete the snowman, they earn some type of reward. They love this and by changing it up every month or two, it keeps the idea fresh.
Next, I posted the chart “What Do You Think?” and had students come up and write yes or no to the questions, “Can penguins swim?” “Do penguins live at the North Pole?” and “Do penguins have feathers?”
I posted two January centers a couple of days ago. Here are two more that I have been working on.
Students will match the snowflakes with the correct money amount to the snowman to make a winter picture.
Penguin Word Families
Students will match the fish to the correct penguins.
Here are two centers I created for January. I am currently working on more, but figured I would share what I have so far. The first one is Snowman Fact Families. Print off and cut out the snowman pieces. Mix them all up and have students match the correct snowballs with the snowman heads.
The next one is called Mitten Match. Students will choose a pink (noun) and a blue (adjective) mitten. They will have to use these two mittens to create a sentence. For example, “The bear was cold in the snow.”
In September, we had a Teddy Bear Day in my classroom. Teddy Bear Day is September 9th and National American Teddy Bear Day is November 14th. Don’t ask me what’s the difference? Even though both of these dates have passed, you could do a Teddy Bear themed day on any day of the year, or save it for next year. My students loved it. Here are some of the activities from that day.
I passed out a handful of Ellison diecut miniature teddy bears in a variety of colors to each student. They had to sort their bears and then graph them. We discussed the graph and wrote the one they had the most and least of.
I gave each student a handful of honey and chocolate Teddy Grahams. Then they had to write an addition number sentence to tell how many they had all together and a subtraction number sentence to tell the difference between their two types of Teddy Grahams.
A couple of months ago I saw an idea on another blog about student’s that went above and beyond on their work and it was like a sugar cookie. I cannot remember where I saw this idea. I loved this and went to the local education store to look for some cookie border for a bulletin board, but couldn’t find any. So, as I’m looking, I come across some ice cream sundae border and think “I can totally make this work!” I put up some bulletin board paper with the ice cream sundae border and I look for student’s that have gone above and beyond on their work. During writing time, I like to go around and say I’m looking for ice cream sundae work. They instantly try harder to make their handwriting nice 🙂 I also put a special ice cream sticker on the papers that get hung on this special bulletin board.
Even though I love Christmas Break, I dread taking down the Christmas decorations and bulletin boards in my classroom because it just looked so great with everything up. However, I want everything Christmas gone so I don’t have to come back to it in January. Our last day of school before break was today, so I decided to have the students write about their New Year’s Resolutions. We discussed the word resolution and brainstormed some ideas. Then we made penguins to glue our resolutions onto and titled the bulletin board, “Cool Resolutions.” Now we’re all set for January.
I loved their resolutions. Some of my favorites: “I will eat more fruits and vegetables” “I will not fight with my brother.” “I will try and behave.” “I will always listen to my teacher.”