Friday, October 17, 2014

Exploring Our 5 Senses

Today I wanted to share what my kids learned about our 5 senses! We spent a week talking about our 5 senses and each day I read a book focused on one sense.

The kids also colored and read an emergent reader about their 5 senses that was created by my wonderful teammate, Samantha Halbert. (I highly recommend you follow her TpT store!!)


After talking about what body parts we use with each sense, the kids completed a matching activity:

They also completed a 5 senses book where they had to draw things they can see, smell, touch, hear and taste:




To finish the week, we took our 2nd grade book buddies on a 5 senses walk where we walked around our school and used four of our five senses (no tasting! haha):



When we got back to the classroom, the kids worked together to fill out a chart of things they found. For the taste column I told them to think about lunch: 

If you enjoyed these activities, please check out my new 5 senses unit by clicking on the picture below! The first three people to comment with their emails will get a free copy! 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Marvelous Maps!

Today I wanted to share what my kiddos learned about maps. I like to start the week off with this very simple book called Maps. It's very short, but gives the kids a great introduction to the vocabulary.  

The main vocab words I focus on are: map, map key, symbol. near, far and next to. I also introduce the compass rose and the directions: north, south, west and east. 

We do a couple written activities where the kids have to look at maps and answer questions. I display them on my SMART board so the kids have one to reference when completing their own:

We also label our classroom walls with the correct directions. We then play the North, South, East, West game! It is so simple, but they love it! 

Here are the rules: One person stands in the middle with their eyes closed and counts backwards from 10. Everyone else WALKS to a wall of their choice. After they finishing counting, the middle person shouts out a direction. For example, if they said west, everyone on the west wall would be out and have to sit down. The middle person then counts backwards again and everyone left chooses a new wall. This continues until there is only one person remaining. They are new "it" or middle person.

This game is a great time filler and an easy way to get the kids moving. It also gives the kids a chance to work on the directions vocab.

Of course, I also have the kids try their hand at drawing their own maps. I had them draw maps of two places they know very well: our classroom and their bedroom. 

To end the week, I plan a little surprise for the kids: a treasure hunt! My classroom is pirate themed so this is always a fun activity for my kiddos. Before school I place different clues around our school. After we come in from recess, there is a clue on the door telling the kids we are going on a treasure hunt. Every year they are extremely pumped to do this! 

The final clue leads us back to the classroom where we find a treasure box!

In order to get the treasure, I tell the kids they have to walk quietly and it's amazing how calm and quiet they walk through the school. They want that treasure BAD! This is great for later too because I often tell my students if they are being too rowdy in line to remember our "treasure hunt line" and remind them that is how we should walk every day.

Our final activity is to draw a map and label the different places we went to find clues. I first modeled drawing the map on my SMART board and had the kids come up with symbols for each place we visited. Then the kids drew their own:

We had a great time learning about maps! I always love doing this unit. If you are interested in any of these activities (and MORE), please check out my map unit by clicking on the picture below. The first FOUR people to leave a comment with their email will get a free copy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Wacky Weather Fun!

One of my favorite units to teach is weather and the seasons! We incorporate weather into our calendar time every morning so the kids usually have a little background knowledge to work with when we get started. I have classroom jobs, one of which is the calendar helper, and that person looks out the window every morning and reports the weather: How does the sky look? How does it feel outside? Once we learn the seasons we talk about what season we are currently in.

I have lots of books on weather and the seasons and here are some of my favorites:


We do this unit for two weeks and the first week we focus on weather vocabulary and observing the weather. In their science journals every day the kids would illustrate the weather: 

In addition to talking about the weather, we discussed what we would need to wear in different kinds of weather:

Later in the week, the kids had to illustrate each kind of weather in their own weather book:

I try to incorporate at least one or two crafts for every unit. These two are some of my faves:

Our second week is all about the seasons! We learn the name for the seasons and what makes them special. After reading several books about the seasons we did a season sort as a whole class:

We also played a super fun sorting game from Lakeshore where the kids had different objects and symbols from each season and they had to place them in the correct season:

The kids did a web for each season where they drew different things found or worn during that season:



Finally the kids drew their favorite season and we made a class book:



If you enjoyed these activities, check out my weather unit by clicking on the picture below! The first three people to comment with their email will get a free copy!