Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Jack and the Beanstalk - The Giants story

For a book study in our plants unit Idecided to use Jack and the Beanstalk. Its a story all the kids are familar with and I love that depending ont he version you read, it leaves an open story ending which is perfect for kids to make their own stories. These stories are all titled, 'The Giant's story After he Fell From the Beanstalk'

I love how even though they were all given the same set up each story ended up completely different. This is something I will definetly be doing with them more often now :)

Living and non living

Part of our studies this month involve learning about the difference between living things and non living things. To help us do this we made little books..

Front cover

Inside pages. Each book had 3 pages like this. It was so cute seeing the things they came up with, one of the most common ones being a living dog and a not living car :)

We then went on to talk about plant cycles and explain how plants are living. This is a nice introduction to starting our garden up again as very soon we will be starting some of our seeds inside so we can hopefully grow some giant pumpkins!


During April we are learning about spring so I thought it would be a good idea to do a mini unit on clouds.

We started by looking at 4 basic cloud types with these 3 part cards I made. It was so cute seeing the kids looking through them and staring out the window, tryin to figure out what kind of clouds we were seeing.

Then we made clouds and tried to decide what they looked like. We did this by using an eyedropper and dropping bits of white paint into the center and then folding the paper and squishing it all around. I love doing things like this where I get to realy see their imaginations at work trying to decide what things are.

Next we looked at the water cycle. First we colored these pictures which explained everything to us and then we played a game where we were waterdrops. They would start in a cloud and then the cloud would fill up and they would fall to the ground. Then they would decide if they were travellin to the ocean or into plants and then evaporate up and start all over again. We also use this little song to remember the cycle..
Puddle Puddle, Puddle Puddle,
On the ground, On the ground,
Evaporating up, evaporating up,
to the clouds, to the clouds,
Oh no! Oh no!
The cloud is full! The cloud is full!
We're falling to the ground, We're falling to the ground,
Rain drops fall, rain drops fall

And of course, hands on learning always works best! We brought out cotton balls and I let the kids hold them before putting water on them to see how heavy they were. Then we slowly started added more and more water to see how much it would take for the cloud to start raining. Then, the kids had fun making their own storms! They would put the cotton balls into water and pull them up and watch the rain fall. Some of them were happy to just let the rain fall back into the container where as others realized that just like clouds, their cotton ball could move a bit before it would run out of rain and they could use it to fill different containers.

I dont have a picture of our other experiment but we also made rain in our kitchen. First I boiled a pot of water and then put a lid on it. As the droplets caught on the lid it looked like rain.

Now if only we could find a way to get rid of all the clouds outside to make way for sunshine!


Ok back to being able to blog more, now to just catch up! We've done a lot in April starting with.....

April fools day! We decided to celebrate France style this year by making and taping paper fish to each others backs.. The kids loved it and it kept them from wanting to try to play actual tricks on each other!

Making snowmen. Luckly the snow almost completely melted right after this snowman though I am hearing we are getting snow again soon! Least it shouldnt stay for long this time

Making Calendars.. This time we used our footprints and turned them into rabbits. Then I just looked arond on the internet for a spring poem to go with it. I find since we have started doing these every month the kids are so much more inerested in what month it is.

Making domino towers. Such concentration went into making this

Making sentences. I have a word wall up for them with the primary dolch words on it and a group of them thought it would be fun to write out different things they could make with those words.

An awesome dollar store find.. A mini version of perfection. There is a start/stop button so the kids can just use it to practice putting the shapes in though they do love to set the timer and watch the pieces jump up at them!

A mini pop up pirate game, also from the dollar store! You put the swords into the slots in the barrel and if you hit the wrong spot, the pirate jumps up out of the barrel. Great for my pirate loving boys here. Soon, I'm going to get a little treasure chest to store the swords in as well

All in all, we have been having an awesome April :)

Friday, April 15, 2011

Sorry about the silence!

What a crazy couple of weeks its been... my son is turning 6 on Sunday and so I've been making him a version of monopoly junior all super mario style.. i'll put some pics up of it as soon as i finish which has to be tonight - lol. Then tomorrow is a sleep over party with his best friends.. should be a busy time! Will try to post soon and get things up to date again