Hi everyone! Thanks for the ideas for units I could do with the kids! I am going to keep a lot of those ideas in mind for when I have my own classroom, because I'd want to be able to spend a lot of time on them and be able to expand them creatively. In this class I'm a little limited. In fact, I found out that we're supposed to try to do a unit that the cooperating teacher would have done anyways. Mrs. Eagle tossed me a few ideas. I'm leaning towards a plant unit!
What really got me excited about the plant unit was when I stumbled upon the website for the Tickle Me Plant, aka the mimosa plant. The Tickle Me Plant grows pretty quickly, And, when it grows leaves and flowers, it will actually curl up and lower its branches when you tickle it! I can get a package of seeds for about $5.95, which would contain enough seeds for each kid in my very small class to have one.
Here's what I'm thinking. The first day, we would learn about what seeds need in order to grow, and the plant life cycle. We'll plant our seeds on that day. Even though the plants will most likely not be full grown within the week, the unit can be informally extended for the rest of the year... I'll set up a little center by the window where they can care for their plants, measure them, and chart their growth.
During the second, third and fourth days, we'll learn about the parts of a plant, how seeds spread, and uses for plants. I;m also thinking of having them make lap books, and we'll add to our lap books each day.
Our fifth day will be an "assessment," but it will be a fun one. I'm going to make a giant game board on a poster board, with Velcro game pieces. The game will hang up on the board. (This will prevent grabby hands from messing with it.) The kids will be in teams of two or three. When its their turn, they roll one of my giant dice, move that number of spaces, and answer a corresponding question about plants. They'll be able to use their lap books as a reference. This way, they'll be getting informally assessed to see how much they learned, but it will also be reinforcing what they learned in the unit!
I'd love to hear your thoughts on this unit. Good? Bad? Needs more? Needs less? Ideas? I want to hear from you!
Kite, by the way, will not be leaving our classroom after all. It turns out that, because the family is moving in with their grandmother due to finances, they qualify as homeless. When a family is homeless, the children are permitted by law to continue going to their home school for up to eighteen months, and the school district even has to provide transportation for them. So, Kite will be coming to school in a taxi cab for the rest of the school year! Since she is transitioning to middle school anyways after this year, she will just start her new middle school in her new school district. That will be a lot better than having to switch schools for three and a half months, and then having to go to a new middle school!
Also, Miss L asked if I use aliases for the students, and where I get the names. I replied to her comment in the comments section of that entry, but I thought I'd answer it here too! Yes, I do change all of the students' names. This is for their privacy, and also because I want to remain sort of anonymous on the web so that I can talk about my real life experiences without worrying that it will effect my job searching! Currently, I've named all of my student teaching kids after birds. Each school year I'll change the "theme" of aliases for my current students. So future kids may be named after trees, flowers, colors, etc! What do you think of that?
Alright, everyone, its time for me to hit the hay!