Sunday, December 16, 2012

Snowman brace map

This month we have started our snowman unit.  We have read many books, watched movies, and looked at pictures.  After gathering information, we began documenting it.  We created a brace map after reading Lucille Colandro's "There Was a Cold Lady Who Swallowed Some Snow."

We used some parts from the book and others from our background knowledge.  After creating the map, we used it to compose sentences.  We also added "and" and "he" to improve our sentences.

For each sentence, we decided what we wanted to say, counted the words and spaces we would need, and chose the words one-by-one.  The words were on the bottom of the easel (sentence strips with magnet tape), ready to be used.  I called on kiddos to find the words and we read them as we added.  We used our big spaceman in between words and a marker for the periods.

The next day the easel was set out for centers.  Small groups of students worked together to create sentences.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

November: Thanksgiving book

I am LOVING these books!  Last month our thinking map book focused on Thanksgiving.  Every year, the kinder team continues the tradition of a big feast for our students and their families.  We buy all the food (with donations), cook all the food, and serve it to our 130 kinders and their families.  My job was potatoes.   Three hours, 2 gallons of milk, 14 sticks of butter, and two large boxes of instant mashed potatoes from Costco later....and I had enough for 400+.  We also served turkey, gravy, stuffing, corn, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie with whipped cream, and apple juice.  It it always so much work but SO worth it when you see the kiddos with their families.  Many of our kids haven't ever had a traditional Thanksgiving (predominantly Hispanic population) so it's a wonderful first experience.

Before the feast, we had a unit on Thanksgiving to learn all about the holiday and history.  We started with a circle map to show our prior knowledge.  I introduced the topic, let them pair/share, and set them to work.

 Next, we used a bubble map to describe turkeys.  Adjectives are tough for the kids to understand, but this sentence frame helped a lot.  The bubble map was perfect for us to write a simple sentence.

Then we made a brace map to show the parts of a turkey.  I took this opportunity to teach some higher-level vocabulary.  We drew the turkey step-by-step and found the vocabulary word to match.

We used a tree map to sort the different food groups we could have for Thanksgiving dinner.  

We used a simple flow map to show the story of the first Thanksgiving.

The double bubble was perfect to compare and contrast the pilgrims and Native Americans.  We used a book (One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by G. Hennessy)

The multi-flow map was a great pre-feast way to finish up the maps.  We talked about what we had to do before our feast, and what would happen after it started.  It was a nice way to let them know what to expect and what work went into making it happen.

Last but not least, we wrote a sentence to show what we learned.  I love the kinder spelling!