Sunday, March 4, 2012

Whether the Weather...

I've been wanting to post this stuff for awhile, but I always seem to get sidetracked with... teaching! As we all know, it feels like the work never ends. Oh well, better late than never! Our reading unit just recently ended with a weather theme that I am going to pick back up when Spring rolls around... though it already feels like it is here in Arizona, we don't really have a winter... ha! I wanted my kids to keep a daily weather observation journal, so prior to starting that we began to brainstorm a weather word wall. I was so impressed with the vocabulary they came up with! We brainstormed 3-4 words a day, added them to a sentence stem, and the kids read and wrote the words.

When we began to do our weather observations, my kids used the word wall WONDERFULLY and their writing came out so good. We went outside everyday and I videotaped the kids with a microphone (a pencil topped with a styrofoam ball!) as they pretended to be "meteorologists". I created this journal for the kids to use - they had to choose one weather "word of the day" to write in the box at the top of the daily journal entry. They then have to use that word at least one time in their actual writing entry. Feel free to download by clicking the link above the pictures:

Google Docs: Weather Journal (Clipart courtesy of Scrappin Doodles/Fonts from Kevin & Amanda)

In an attempt to get my kinders to start doing more independent work, we read the story "What Will the Weather Be Like Today?" by Paul Rogers. After we read it whole group, I split the kids up into 5 separate groups, gave them their own copy of the book, and gave them one certain page to study and describe to me all the different picture clues they saw to let them know what kind of weather day it was. After they found all of their clues, each group created their own poster to describe what they would do on their certain weather day. I wasn't sure how the whole small group work would fly, considering they hadn't produced many projects on their own, but they did a great job! They all created their respective posters together and then presented it to the class. I was very happy with how they worked together. Here is one of the posters my Sunny Day group created: 

Most kids just drew detailed pictures, but a lot of them wrote sentences describing what they did. Love it!

I began creating my own weather unit with some math and literacy games that I hope to get out on TPT come Springtime. In the meantime, I used a couple of games I created. One of them was the "Striking Short -I" word sort. They loved this game! After they sorted all of the lightning bolts, they used the recording sheet to write the words in the right word family section. Here's a glimpse of what it looks like:

You can download the game for free here on Google Docs! (Clipart courtesy of Scrappin Doodles/Fonts from Kevin & Amanda): Striking Short I! Word Family Sort

Before I end this I just wanted to send a huge thank you to Deedee Wills at Mrs. Wills' Kindergarten and a host of others for having a February contest -- I was one of the lucky winners and I got 7 FABULOUS February units to use in my classroom. I was able to use a few of the literacy activities from some of the ladies' units and my kids about died over them. Thank you Deedee and your fellow bloggers for having such a generous contest!!


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