Thursday, November 6, 2014

What? It's November?

How did that happen?  We are on our 49th day of school today!  I can't believe how fast this year is going.

And my poor little blog is getting the shaft!  I have really been neglecting it!  In looking through my past posts from this year, there isn't much!  YIKES!  I've had lots to share in my head, but just never made it to the keyboard of the computer.

So a quick recap of the last few weeks:

This year we are looking at everything through the lense of a Conservationist!  We have been learning how to take care of our Earth and what that means. Also, and this is the biggie, what is conservation!  This has been the hardest concept to teach to this group of 6 year olds!  And I know it is a big concept for anyone, so I'm not that surprised.  When asked what it means, I get an assortment of responses:

  • saving the Earth
  • saving animals
  • helping the Earth
  • recycling
  • worms help the Earth
  • reuse paper
These are all great answers, but don't really define Conservation.  I've tried to come up with a "kid-friendly" definition and this is as close as it gets:

Conservation: protecting and saving our natural resources

Sounds simple. Most of the students are getting it.  Some are still trying to wrap their minds around it all.  That's fine.  It's a big and important concept and we will be weaving through our learning all year.  So how am I doing this?  Well...

We started off the year with our Green Team unit and learned all about the 4 Rs.  This is always fun and a great way to start the year.  We learn about recyling, reusing, reducing and rot!  We talk about how our choices impact the Earth. I also use this unit to teach procedures about where we put our scraps.  Each table group has a recycle bin on their table and one student at each group has the recycling job each week.  They love having the job of empyting the table bin into the classroom bin.

We did a fun activity with newspaper ads!  What first grader doesn't love cutting and gluing pictures to charts?  They loved it!

And one of my favorite art projects is a pastel/watercolr painting  of the garbage truck from I Stink?.  Our art teacher is amazing and integrates our theme into her art lessons!  She rocks!

This is also the unit where we go to the worm farm!  Fabulous field trip and so educational!  We learn so much from Farmer Mark, dig for worms, climb on a HUGE mountain of worm poop and even get some worms to take back to school and build our own worm farm in the classroom.

Right after our Green Team unit, we swooped into our study of BATS!  I love this unit and how into it the kids get!  They go from thinking that bats are creepy, dangerous, disease ridden creatures to loving and wanting to protect them!  This is exactly what I want.  This has been a great opportunity to see if our students are making the connection between CONSERVATION and our topic!  Guess what?  They did!  They totally got it!  We've been using our Ineractive Notebooks lots to record bat vocabulary and of course anatomy.  You can check out Käri's great unit here:

and below!  Look at these great pages in our Interactive Journals!

We still have another week, at least, to spend learning about bats!  

And in the middle of all of this awesome LEARNING, we took a commercial break for HALLOWEEN!

Halloween...oh my goodness...let's just say it was fun for the kids!  It may have rained all day and we may have had indoor recess and lunch in the classroom...but I'm still recovering so I can't be sure! :)

Whew!  That's a long post!  I plan on making a more regular appearance here, so please stay tuned!

 Thanks for reading!   

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