Sunday, September 28, 2014

An Owl-tastic Unit of Study!

I'm so excited to share today's post with you! We spent the last two weeks learning about owls, and friends, it was all kinds of fun!  It always amazes me how interested young learners are in animals. Owls are no exception.  Every day, when it was "Owl Time" I would get fist pumps and a few cheers.  No joke, I promise.

Here's a peek into our language arts based unit of study.  Beware, there are lots of pictures, but there might also be a freebie buried somewhere in this post. ;)

As with most units of study in my classroom, we started by gathering facts about owls.  Each time we read a book, we created a class anchor chart recording various facts from the text.  I'd like to say that I make anchor charts worthy of being displayed in a museum or art gallery, but sadly, I do not.


 Each day that we created a fact chart, the students used that information to complete a graphic organizer.  I love using the can/have/are organizer because while it seems simplistic on the surface, it does challenge the students to correctly classify the information they have.


Three Truths and One Lie is always a hit with students.  They love trying to trick each other.  I think I pretty much use this activity with any unit of study we do, and the kids never tire of it!


We also read a passage about owls and then answered a set text dependent comprehension questions.  I helped the students practice the skill of going back to the text to locate specific information.  I apologize, but I forgot to take a picture of the Q/A page, but this picture shows how the students went back to the text to find the information they needed to answer the questions.


The students got to be owl experts as they played a game of I Spy.  They sneaked around the room (like actual spies) and attended to a series of task cards.  Their mission: to determine if the statement on each card was true or false.  Oh, how my students LOVE I Spy.


I love Reading A-Z!  We used one of their readers, shown below, to read some really great facts about owls, and the pictures were awesome (even in black and white).  We used the text to write a shared constructed response.


No unit of study would be complete without an art project!  I led my students in a directed drawing of an owl.  I wanted this project to be fun and creative, so after the students traced their drawing with a black Sharpie, I let them have at it with some oil pastels. They thought that was beyond cool.  I love how excited little ones get about the small things!


Aren't these owls just the cutest?  They have made a wonderful addition to our classroom.  When I look at them, I smile.  Click {HERE} for a free copy of the directed drawing process!


We did a little more language arts based owl learning by reading/completing this interactive mini book about owls and their babies. We read the text on each page and then responded to the text by drawing diagrams, illustrating text and writing captions, making connections, defining words, comparing/contrasting, and more!  Below is just a sampling of the pages that were included in the mini book.





I've saved the best for last....drum roll, please....owl pellets!  Oh my goodness, the students had been looking forward to this day for the entire duration of the unit!  They knew it was coming because I asked them all to send in a small donation to help cover the cost of the pellets.  As disgusting as an owl pellet is, the experience was really exciting for the kids.  They absolutely loved picking it apart and figuring out what the owl ate.  They even acted like scientists and documented their investigation.







This year, I purchased the owl pellets from Owl Brand Discovery Kits.

The majority of these resources can be found in my Owls unit on TpT.  I hope you check it out!


Toodles!

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Monday, September 15, 2014

Identifiying Complete Sentences and Addition Bingo: A Few Freebies

Happy Monday to you!  It really is a happy day because I have a few freebies to share with you!

Last week, we worked on identifying complete sentences and incomplete sentences.  One of the things we did was play a game of Two Corners, a variation on the game Four Corners.  Since we only had two categories, we only needed two corners: one for complete sentences and one for incomplete sentences.  I didn't make any signs for the corners.  I just told the kids which corner to go to for each category.  I gave each student a card with a sentence/incomplete sentence printed on it.

So sorry about that glare!

The students were tasked with reading the card and deciding if it was a complete or incomplete sentence and then going to their corner.  Once there, the kids checked each other's cards and I let a few volunteers share their cards with the whole group.

You can grab a copy of these cards by clicking here. Feel free to use as described above, or however you'd like!

Another fun activity my students did was make their very own bingo board to use when we play addition and subtraction bingo.  It's a big deal to make your own bingo card!  I tasked the students with numbering their boards using the numbers 0-20.  I told them that they did not need to use all of those numbers, and that they could use a number more than one time.  I laminated the cards so that we can reuse them throughout the year.


To play, I used addition and subtraction flash cards.  I simply pulled a flashcard out of a bag, read the problem, and the students covered the answer. Bingo is always such a hit with kids, and mine are so excited that they will get to use these boards often when we have "Fun Friday" time.

Click here to grab a copy of the bingo board.

Enjoy!

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