Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Social Studies - Mon monde et moi, unit 1

Clear Targets for our first unit Belonging in My World, loosely based on suggestions in the Many Voices District resources.

themes:  belonging to different groups, the value of being part of a group, rights and responsibilities

These resources are a catalyst for discussing rights and responsibilities at the beginning of the year or in November in conjunction with International Children's Day.  

Cards of groups students may belong to, cards are used to sort, identify with, use in drama games and writing.  Also sorted as which groups do you belong to automatically and which to you join as a choice?

I add cards each year for new students interests.  YOU MAY HAVE TO ADD THE ACCENTS TO ALL OF THESE CARDS.  Cut into 4, laminate.

Cards of careers.  Used in kindergarten for a community helpers unit (this is just a sample, men and women, traditional and non-traditional).

Community helpers visual dictionary.  Great for independent writing.

Posters of the rights of the child (they are each linked to the seven habits of happy kids as we are a  Leader in Me school).  Have students generate their own posters and identify a responsibility that would accompany each right.

les pancartes des droits de l'enfant (printable)

 Cut and paste to review rights and responsibilities.  Following the activity students use their sheet during the week to track when they exercise each right and in turn exercise each corresponding responsibility.  Students later illustrated the right they are most thankful they can enjoy as a Canadian citizen, I bind their responses into a collaborative book to add to the classroom library. (you may have to add the accents, sorry!)

les droits et les responsabilités (printable to 11x14)

We make collaborative books every month and put them into clear sleeves to add to the classroom library.  At the end of the year each child's pages are bound into a book that they wrote and can read.  Here are the pages for this month.  

Student brought in symbols from groups they belong too (uniforms, medals, guide books, artifacts).  I photographed them and added the photographs to this page.

About me and my groups poster.  Originally used for K but is appropriate for Grade 1 also. Great for students to present to the class and to parents on student showcase night.

Overview of Universal Children's Day celebrated on November 20th.

Precede watching the video with; What is a right?  What do you think you have a 'right' to (what do parents and teachers HAVE to let you do?).  Do you think it's the law for you to have the right to things or is just a nice idea?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

drama games, bird mini unit continued

You read the story, made the birds, still a day or two to go and it's gotta be fun!

Distribute the strips below to each student (there are only about 20).  Re-read the story.  As students hear where the cat found birds have students put their corresponding strip on the whiteboard/in a pile/in a bin.  Use the word strips for the following drama activity.

2 Options, for both games students use the word strips of locations from the story for their pantomime.  Be selective with the locations, some fit the drama activity well some do not (ie, dans un cage):

Impromptu Solo Pantomime:

With only a few minutes to plan, an actor (student) pantomimes (no talking) a simple activity and the audience guesses what it is.  The audience waits until the performance is completed before guessing.  The audience then recounts details of the performance.  The actor can also simply announce the activity in advance, in which case the audience does not guess the scene, but evaluates how well the actor communicated.  For example if the student draws, at the beach, they pantomime something they would do at the beach.

Impromptu Group Pantomime:

Four actors (students) pantomime the general activity of being, for example, "at a farm" by pantomiming specific activities, milking a cow, riding a horse, herding cattle, checking crops.  The audience will usually first recognize the general activity and then point out the different specific activities.


Quickly assign students groups and hand them a word strip of one of the locations birds were seen in the story (keep it secret and hidden from the other groups).  Make sure all the actors know they are to pantomime an activity, and not to speak.

As the participants plan their performances, circulate around the room, making sure that each group member plans to do a different specific activity.  be prepared to prod:  "what are some of the things you do when you are at the beach?"  Keep the planning time short - five minutes.

Locations from the story "Ah ces oiseaux", "Have you seen birds" by Barbara Reid.

Students have heard the story, made clay birds, participated in the story, dramatized the settings in the story.  Now, go and write and describe where your little clay bird is and who spotted him (in the story it's a cat, will it be a predator?  An observer?).

Play Crows and Cranes (Les hutardes et les mouettes, de notre histoire!).  If you love how easy-to-follow these PE game instructions are check out this site, my new favourite at The Physical Educator.

One more, only if you're hard core, go to Project Wild and play migration headache (À tire-d'aile).  It isn't as complicated as it looks and it really gives students an understanding of the threats to migratory birds.

Here are the habitat scenario cards, not in French yet . . .

last week of school clay birdies

Help - three days left and a lump of clay, what can we make?!
Read Babara Reid's book Have You Seen Birds? (Ah! Ces oiseaux).  Read it in both languages, it rolls along, I love it.

A muffin scoop and a mini muffin scoop will make design easy for grade 1s (a big ball and a small ball each is all 'ya need).  Roll, smooth, score and slip.  Beware, they need to score and slip or heads will roll (literally), I always pack a glue gun to avoid tears the next day.

This is the bin of junk in the garage that inspired these birdies, he saw copper wire, I saw knobby legs and twisted feet.  No random rolls of copper wire laying around the garage?  Uncoil some large paper clips, voilà.

For the wings we made a pancake, cut it in half, and pinched a scalloped edge.

Are they not the sweetest ever sitting on the window sill waiting for paint?  
At the end of the year I bring out some new stuff, metallic and sparkly paint.  They require an undercoat of regular paint first (they don't seem to cover) but who doesn't get a kick out of a little glitter?

Tempera paint pucks work fine.  It just occurred to me that a feather in his bum might be more fun than a clay tail!
I finally put my acrylics into plastic containers with wide lids, no more squirting and washing, they dip their brushes right in (a little bit kiddos, just a little!).

A quick coat of shiny varnish spray makes 'em beautiful.

I had planned to show students how to use the end of their paintbrush and cotton swabs to make dots, eyes, dots on dots.  In the end they were thrilled to do their own thing, which was just lovely.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

écrire des directives

Students write step-by-step directions on how to eat or make a snack.  A gingerbread man or any other favourite snack.  How would you describe how you eat an oreo?  A chocolate chip cookie with a glass of milk?  Do you take apart a kit kat bar layer by layer?  How do you make 'smores?

Let students bring their snack in and record or describe orally the steps of devouring it.

Thank you Mrs. Shelan for the original idea found here in English.

Two examples are posted, 'I can write simple sentences'.

'I can write more complex sentences' using the word bank or a synonym web tool to make my writing more interesting.

Is including a "word bank" along with the gingerbread book template in grade 1 and in grade 2 effective?  Does it limit student creativity or is it  helpful for those who want/need it?  Does it encourage students to use more colourful language in their writing?

Friday, June 15, 2012

My how to guide - Inquiry

Twitter teaches me everyday.  Today has been pivotal.  Read the first one for sure.  I have to change everything.

This collection is updated on my Pinterest Board here:  Inquiry and PBL
Far More Engaging Than a Paper Hat (Part 1): Meaningful Art and Learning
by Aaron Puley
A humbling article for me, this is THE post that hit me in the head and said fix it, quit doing what you're doing.  What's worth learning?
The 8 Elements of Project Based Learning: A Model Project
by Bianca Hewes
by Edutopia Staff
by Neil Stepheson
How to: Inquiry
Dr. Cornelia Brunner (based on her research)
Inquiry Resources from CSS and the ConnectedEd Canada Conference
compiled by David Truss (great conference - it really started here!)
6 Big Assessment For Learning Practices
by Chris Wejr

Learn Virtually Alongside Global Gathering at PBL World

by Suzie Boss
I'm following this conference closely, great stuff.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

The kindergarten teacher song

My experience teaching French Immersion Kindergarten for the first time summed up in 3 minutes 31 seconds, set to William Tell Overture.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

burger collage and menu

We had fun with all the left over bits of stuff I've collected.  I keep everything in containers in true Reggio style and I'm always happy I kept the most random found items.

Bits of left over scrap book paper served as table cloths.

See the original post on Jacquelien's blog at Kids Artists

A basket of bits for each table.  I pre-cut the cardboard buns, good thing because it was a tough go.  Peeling off a layer of cardboard isn't as easy as you might think (to expose the corrugation).  The students will have to be patient and peel and clip along the ridges with scissors.

I keep jars of lentils and pasta in my art boxes, each basket has something different so students can share and circulate to choose ingredients.

No hamburger would be complete without a menu and price.  A simple list of ingredients is fine, a mouth watering description even better.

Hmmmm . . . I see descriptive writing about delicious, juicy hamburgers in the near future.

Love this site for French synonyms, it's pretty easy to use.  What's a more interesting way to say bon?  Grand?  J'aime?

The word strips and visual dictionary from our food unit earlier in the year came in handy.

By June, when we made these, most grade 1s are sounding out words themselves.

Junk food visual dictionary.  I print the two back to back.

Les hamburger de la classe 2F


You can make all kinds of cool French signs at this website, save them as jpegs for students.