Friday, April 22, 2011
1. What’s Inside? Book
Wiggle Works by Scholastic that is called What’s Inside? by Mary Jane Martin. I have saved it all these years because it is a nice, easy to read book, and I had enough copies of it for a reading group. The basic text goes, “What’s inside? It’s a baby _____. That’s what’s inside!” Each page features a different baby animal that hatches from eggs.
After last week’s success with the Bunny Book, I wanted to do something similar, so I decided to have them make a What’s Inside? book. My sample went something like this: “I found an egg. What’s inside? Look and see!” “Here is another egg. What’s inside? Look and see!” “Oh, look! Here is one more egg. What’s inside? I can’t wait to find out!” Each time the children got to the “Look and see!” part, they were to open up their plastic egg and read a note that they had written. The little note could have anything on it at all, but my notes said, “A kiss,” “A cuddle,” and “A hug.” My thought was that the children could take the eggs home and read the book to their parents, and then open up the eggs and read them the notes.
To help get them started, I taught them the “What” song from Sing and Spell Vol. 2 and the “Find” song from Sing and Spell Vol. 5. We also learned the “Bossy E” song from the new Sounds Fun Phonics Songs CD! (It is now at the CD duplicators and printers, and should be on the website in a couple of weeks.) The kids seem to really be getting the idea about the Bossy E, so they weren’t having any trouble with the “inside” word at all. They also seem to be suddenly finding those Bossy E’s all over the place and are decoding them with few problems! I must admit, I was nervous about introducing the concept to them, for fear it would confuse them with the short vowels, but so far, so good! I’ll keep you posted, but I think it is going to work out GREAT!
2. An Easter Egg Nonsense Word Worksheet
I do like this type of worksheet, because it allows me to keep a group of children busy coloring, and then stop just ONE of them and have him or her read try to read some of these words to me.
CVC book and put them on my rolling pocket chart. I told the children that if they were not sure if a word was a real word or not, one thing they could do to check was to see if that particular word was on the chart. If it was on the chart, then they would know for sure that it was a real word. That seemed to help a lot. Other than that, those poor little ones just keep trying to “make sense” of so many of these unknown words that they keep grasping at straws, trying to make it into a real word that makes sense to them. We went over them as much as we could ahead of time, and I even put the worksheet under my document camera and they watched as I did the whole thing in front of them ahead of time as a whole group lesson before the small group rotation began. No matter what, this one was just a hard one! I think that if I could go back and do it again, I would put all of the words on flash cards and then sort them as real and nonsense words for a day or two ahead of time. THEN I think it would have been more of an independent activity. I will probably use those very same words on another worksheet sometime soon so that they can try it again. The fact is that the children had a much easier time completing a worksheet with long e words- but there were no nonsense words on it. I suppose it is just a difficult concept, because the children can no longer rely on making meaning of the word to double check their decoding.
3. Egg Math Activities
I posted these two math activities on my HeidiSongs Facebook page earlier this week, just in case anyone wanted to make use of them before Easter rather than after. In any case, here they are!
A. The Egg and Bean Game
B. The Cup Game with Eggs
August 2010, you may remember me talking about a fun and simple game using cups turned upside down. The cups had numbers printed on them. The children would hide their eyes and then the teacher would place an object under one of the numbered cups. The children would then have to guess which numbered cup hid the object. The teacher helped by giving them clues to narrow down the choices. For example, if the child chose a seven and the correct answer was a three, the teacher might say, “The number is less than seven but more than two.”
In this game, though, we are using egg halves rather than cups to give it a fun spring theme. Enjoy!
4. Skip Counting Songs
We have been enjoying learning how to skip count this year! In fact, we have been singing these skip counting songs while doing crossovers and “helicopters” each morning so that we can wake up our brains and get the oxygen flowing up to those brain cells where it needs to be. (“Helicopters” are what I call exercises in which you reach down and touch your right hand to your left toe, and then your left hand to your right toe, etc.) In any case, I think that most of the children can now count by two’s, five’s, and ten’s quite easily now! They can also count backwards from 20 because we have been including that in our exercise routine as well. In any case, please enjoy this video clip of the kids doing the skip counting songs from Musical Math! They love them, and they are a very effective way of teaching children this skill. Someday, I am hoping to write more of these skip counting songs! I just need an extra several hours in each day.
5. The Rhyming Dust Bunnies by Jan Thomas
Meanwhile, Jan Thomas managed to come up with a second Dust Bunnies book! It is called “Here Comes the Big Mean Dust Bunny!” In this one, there is a big mean Dust Bunny that is a bully and he keeps torturing is fellow dust bunnies. I won’t give away the ending, but I can tell you that this book is just as much fun as the first one! And even though it has “Bunnies” in the title, the book has absolutely nothing to do with Easter, rabbits, or spring time at all. It can be used at any time of the year. I definitely give both books my “Heidi’s Stamp of Approval!” (Well, I would if I had one anyway!)