Thursday, April 26, 2012

Freebie And All That Jazz

One more day until Friday!  One more day until I meet Giada De Laurentiis!!!!  Cheer Cheer!

Now onto the educational fun! 

My students continue to struggle with short vowels.  Ahhhhhh they are almost first graders!!!!  On a surface level they know what the short vowels are and can point and say 'a' says a (zoo phonics) but they have a very hard time taking that knowledge to the next level.  When spelling a cvc word they still get stuck on the vowel sound.  They still get short vowel 'o' mixed up with 'a' etc.  It was time for some intensive yet super fun vowel work.  Hence, Vowel Owl and this entire freebie package was born.  Click on the picture below to head straight to my TPT store and download your freebie!

In the freebie there is this cutie Vowel Owl craftivitiy.  Loved how they turned out!  The students went gaga for these.  After they finished making them they pretended to fly Vowel Owl around the room and "ooooooooooo-ed and ahhhhhhhh-ed" at the Vowel Owls their classmates made.  They were even more excited to lift up each other's feathers to find out the hidden short vowel words hiding underneath. 







In the freebie I made this little story to go along with Short Vowel Owl.  The kids got a kick out of Short Vowel Owl's friends! 

In the freebie there is a recording sheet.  Students took their Short Vowel Owl around the room to classmates and exchanged short vowel words to record on their sheets.  The kids must have spent a solid 15 minutes doing this.  I made the signal to clean up and they GROANED!  THEY GROANED!  I played along.  "Ok, I guuueeeessss we can spend more time with Short Vowel Owl...."   In my head I was thinking YES YES YES!!! They are loving short vowels and getting great practice!  


Farm Animal Jigsaw/Expert Groups/Whatever Ya Wanna Call It!

Back when I taught second grade I loved doing this activity with my students!  In the years that I have taught kinder I have doubted whether I could pull this activity off with success.  This week, with our farm unit winding down, it was the week to make jig saw magic happen!

I knew an anchor chart was going to be critical.  I needed a full prove Jigsaw system with visuals that would speak to kinders. 



Back before spring break students were split into four farm animal groups, hen, pigs, cows, and sheep.  In these groups students made posters (see picture below) They used books and parent volunteers to learn and research interesting information about habitat, food, ways these animals provide for us, and descriptive details about these animals.  This week students got back in to their Expert Groups and reviewed the information they learned and organized this information into a graphic organizer (the graphic organizer can be found in my farm unit on TPT)





If you scroll back up to the anchor chart, you will see that expert groups are symbolized with a light bulb!  As soon as students got into their groups I hear a few start using the word experts.  One student even said to another that was distracting him..."Shhhhh I am trying to be a cow EXPERT!"  Expert groups record one or two facts in each section of their graphic organizer.  For students in the beginning stages of writing I differentiated and had them draw symbols.  Once the graphic organizers were filled in, I gathered all students back to the carpet to check in with the anchor chart.  We had completed steps 1, 2, and 3 and were now on step 4! I redistributed students to form cooperative groups.  There were one or two experts from each animal in these new groups.

This is when the MAGIC that is a Jigsaw really came to life with my little kinders!  Each expert had a turn sharing with the rest of the group facts from their graphic organizer about their animal.  The other students used the back of their folded graphic organizer to take notes or draw a symbol.  The experts were BEAMING!!!! They had the power.  They were in charge!  They were the teacher!  For some students who struggle with academic confidence this was their time to shine and they did.  Beaming from ear to ear they were successful.  They had a nugget of wisdom their classmates needed.  I was also impressed with the note taking.  Yes, some of the information was very obvious like cows have 4 legs, but the rest of the group needed to practice listening to a peer, and quickly jotting down a quick note.  My little kinders looked so grown up and I was amazed that for a first time try; they GOT IT!  



When all experts had a chance to share, we met back on the carpet for one last debrief.  We went through our Anchor Chart again and this time we reached number 5!  We stood up and did a YAY We Are Experts On 4 Farm Animals Dance!!!! We talked about a puzzle and how each of us had a piece, but together we were able to put the pieces together and learn even MORE information!  I had a little kinder cutie come up to me at recess and ask when we were doing Jigsaw again. I said I wasn't sure and she responded that she wanted to be more of an expert than her brother.  LOVE IT!!!! 

 Bubble Gum Graphing Bonanza!!!

I wish I could take credit for this next graphing activity but alas it is the creative works of Mrs. Lee.   She is always filled with such great ideas!!!!  Such an inspiration!




One last picture of a few of our other graphs during the Graphing Unit. 

Thank you for stopping by my blog on this fine Thursday evening.  I hope you all have a fantastic Friday!    Giada book signing here I COME!!!!



18 comments:

  1. So lucky.......getting to meet Giada! Love your freebies! Thanks!

    ✰Amber
    Sparkles , Smiles, and Student Teaching

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    1. Thanks Amber! I am super excited to meet her and I am still trying to think of exactly what I am going to say or ask her..... hmmmmm... Stopped by your blog! Happy belated birthday! Loved your post of portfolios. Your portfolio looks amazing! Have a great weekend!

      Sheila

      Sprinkle Teaching Magic

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  2. Your lil owls are adorable! Love the flip-ups! We are new to TpT as well and Boo to the negative feedback with "no" helpful feedback-guess they shouldn't really call that one feedback then should they?! People are just not so nice :(
    Your stuff looks great! Keep at it!!!

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement! Cheers to being newbies in the blog, and TPT world. We will learn quickly I am sure. Loved stopping by your blog. What a great story about the two of you teaching together and becoming such great friends. And how fun now you have a blog together! Love it!

      Sheila

      Sprinkle Teaching Magic

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  3. I love the owl freebie. I think your resources are great, keep it up!
    Barbar
    happyteachingfirst.blosgspot.com

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  4. I am having the same problem with my Kindergarteners. This freebie is going to be extremely useful for this afternoons activity. Thank you so much! Stop by and visit me =)
    *Jessica
    kinderkiddies1.blogspot.com

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    1. Let me know how it goes. Can you believe our kinders are almost first graders?!?!? I am turning in to quite the worried mama duck wanting to make sure they are completely set and ready for first! Yikes the school year is almost over!!!

      Sheila

      Sprinkle Teaching Magic

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  5. Thanks so much for the freebie~mine really need some work on those vowel sounds, too! I LOVE the jiigsaw activity! The learning & confidence building going on with it is just awesome!!
    ~Jen

    Jen's Kinder Kids
    Come by for a visit!

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    1. Thanks Jen! The Jigsaw activity really showed how much my students have grown this year. Hip Hip Hooray! Watch out first grade here they come! I hope yoga re having a great week.

      Sheila

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  6. Thanks for the Owl Vowel freebie!! It looks wonderful and I can't wait to try it with my kiddos.

    heathernnance@yahoo.com

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    1. Oh good I am glad you found my freebie Heather. Hope your kids love it as much as mine did!

      Sheila

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  7. This is adorable and something my Firsties will love at the beginning of the year! Thank you so much!

    I would be so happy to get a Kinder from your room! Let's just say most of my kiddos coming not knowing all of their letters and very few sounds. =(

    You are an amazing teacher! =)


    Heather
    Heather's Heart

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    1. Thanks Heather! You are always so uplifting. I didn't even realize Owl Vowel could be a great review for Firsties. Yay! I can not believe your kiddos come in not knowing sounds!?!?!?! I can't even imagine. Thanks for being so positive!

      Sheila

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  8. Congratulations! I'm giving you an award. Just visit my blog for the details.

    Becki
    http://littlemisshoodsadventuresinkindergart.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thanks for the award Becky! What an honor!

      Sheila

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  9. I heart your ideas! Thank you for sharing! P.S. I am a newbie blogger and I’m your newest follower!

    Sylvia
    I Heart My Kinder Kids

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    1. Thank you for stopping by Sylvia. I love sharing ideas and finding great ideas! Speaking of great ideas I enjoyed stopping by your blog. Wow! Talk about freebie fun. You got it going on girl!

      Sheila

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Sheila Chako
Sprinkle Teaching Magic