About me

Saturday, October 6, 2018

All About Me Unit

This year I added a new unit of study entitled "All about Me." 
It incorporated lessons on feelings, name activities, and Conscious Discipline ideas. When I started to get my classroom ready, I was asked to go through my old Pre-K Splash curriculum.  I was absolutely delighted to find that these four Shubert books were included  in the kit as well as the "It Starts in the Heart" music CD.

Using the Shubert books, I was able to introduce the important concepts of Conscious Discipline and using the CD we were able to start bonding into a school family.
These students are practicing their breathing using the feeling dolls.  These are homemade dolls that are based on Becky Bailey's "Feeling Buddies."

This student is explaining how we use the feeling dolls after we read the "Feeling Buddy" books.

You can get a copy of  my Free Kindness Recording Sheet through my TpT store.

As part of our procedures, we developed a voice scale to learn when and where certain voice levels are appropriate.  

The unit involved explore feelings. Notice that children gave different responses to the same picture.
Using some terms of the unit, we created a "word, letters, sentences" chart.

This predictable chart was used to help students learn name recognition and create a book entitled "My School Family." Each page of the book included a photo of the child named.

This is the unit of study wall.  It included feeling faces and emotion names as well as the breathing posters.  These are available free at https://consciousdiscipline.com/free-resources/
You simply have to sign up to access these resources.

We read many books about feelings and used interactive writing to combine the learning of print concepts with learning about our emotions.

I introduced the time machine when students began having conflicts that they were not able to handle on their own. Students have begun to ask to use this tool when they feel it is needed.

Students were asked what emotions they have trouble dealing with, what they could do to handle it, and what could they create that would help them. We used this information to create projects.

I am not in any way affiliated with Conscious Discipline.  I simply own two of Becky's books and decided to incorporate the ideas into my unit.
I hope you found something useful today.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Insect Unit

This year our school was tasked with creating units of study based around project based learning.  Our final unit was the insect unit.

Here are some of the activities.

When solving word problems, the children were required to add all the details of the story.
Example, "Justin found 6 ladybugs in the park. 2 of them flew away. How many ladybugs does he have left?" In this story children needed to draw the setting (park),the character (Justin), and the plot (ladybugs leaving).  In this way, they are practicing detailed drawings as suggested in "Write From the Beginning." After, they may write the answer as a number or a number sentence. 

This was a drawing activity that challenged the students to listen carefully to the directions. Students were told draw:
  • a square, yellow head
  • an orange, triangular thorax
  • a green, oval abdomen
  •  2 antennae
  •  6 legs
  • a grumpy face on the insect
  •  the setting (grass and sun)
Then we were able to tie math into this by having the children measure their insect with cubes.

Our essential learning involved discovering how insects can be helpful or harmful. 
We used these resources to lead discussions.

We created a double bubble map comparing insects.

The final project was to create a 3D insect with all of its parts (head, thorax...) and to tell what the insect does to help to or hurt the environment.  The students were required to design their project and were allowed to add special features to the insect.
The insects were created with adult help.

Materials List
packing foam, felt, pom poms, pipe cleaners, egg cartons, wax paper, left over laminate, paper towel tubes, construction paper, craft sticks, cotton balls, masking tape

Have fun with your units!

Saturday, March 3, 2018

Bearded Dragon Unit

I am very excited to share my Bearded Dragon Unit!  We have completed our projects and are in the process of sending these home.

Since we have a bearded dragon as a class pet, students were familiar with some of the behavior and needs of these reptiles.

The first activity was taking a look at our bearded dragon and to observe his physical make up and thinking about why he is built this way.

The next step was to create our pet using clay, toothpicks, googly eyes, and pipe cleaners. (A bearded dragon actually has 5 claws, but we only had room for 3.)

Children have had the opportunity to observe the behavior of our pet, but there are other things they have not been able to see. So, I created this slide share to teach the children about common behaviors they could see.

Bearded Dragon Behavior from stinablossom

We kept a journal and did interactive writing lessons throughout our learning.

After talking about nutrition, we went on to learn about common bearded dragon illnesses.

Bearded Dragon Illnesses from stinablossom

The children used some plastic lizards in the vet center to attend to the injured or ill. 

Our Banker Boxes were set up and the thermometer and substrate were put in.

The bearded dragons were not able to move into their homes until they had the required heat light and a UVB light "installed." 
The children were asked to bring in some rocks and branches to create a hide for the animal's comfort.

These projects were displayed during a science night for parents.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Three months later...

This year has not been good for finding blogging time.  Mainly, my son's school schedule makes it impossible to get home early enough to find the time.

Well, here are some of the things we did...



I was able to attend the Reptilian Nation Expo at the San Bernardino County Fairgrounds.

The Expo will be back to the San Bernardino Fairgrounds in late March!


I hope to be back sooner, not later, to share my unit of study on Bearded Dragons.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Show and Tell: Color and Nursery Rhymes

It's Show and Tell Tuesday and I linking up with Stephanie from Forever in Fifth grade!

After reading the book "Mouse Paint," I wanted to have the children do a color mixing activity.  Normally, I would have given them the paint and the brushes and let them go at it. But at this point in the year, students are lacking self-control, so I decided this baggie method was safer.

We made a puppet of Pete that reinforces colors.

I made this chart that was inspired by Mrs. Parzych's Kindergarten. It really helps teach the steps to design. My class created traps to catch Little Miss Muffet's spider.

 Here are the design plans that students made...

Here are some of the actual traps that students created...

Mat man is made from magnetic pieces on the whiteboard.  He was hanging there for our Back to School Night.