Saturday, March 24, 2012

Spring Week

I am officially on Spring Break! Hooty-hoo! I wanted to share the spring Language Arts activities that I did this week! 

Lets see. On Monday, we read It's Spring, by Linda Glasser. Then the kids had to come up with a sentence about their favorite part of spring. That was the day that the fourth graders were on a field trip and Towhee  was absent, so only Kite, Starling, Triller and Rosella were there. The activity had to be pretty simple for them.

On Tuesday we read Quiet Bunny's Many Colors. I cut out flower shapes from index cards. I colored the backs of them with colors that corresponded with the colors in the book. On the front of each flower I wrote a comprehension question about the part of the story that matched the color. After I read the story, I showed the kids only the backs of the flowers. Each student had to pick a flower and answer the question. I really love this book... its very cute, and it has a good message at the end! 

On Wednesday, we read Spring Is Here, by Will Hillenbrand. This time, I tried a DRTA, or Directed Reading and Thinking Activity. Basically this just means that you keep asking them to predict what will happen next, and also keep asking them to check if their predictions were correct. Most of the kids did really well with it. Since I kept on talking to them throughout the whole book, they stayed really focused. 

On Thursday, we read Hooray For Spring, by Kazuo Iwamura. I did another very simple activity. I made a felt board by covering a piece of cardboard with black felt. I printed out some characters and items from the story, and glued them on pieces of felt. Before I read the story, I gave each student a character or prop. When the character or prop came up in the story, the student had to come and put it on the felt board. At the end, I asked for a volunteer to retell the story using the felt board as a reminder.Kite volunteered, and did the job well! 

On Friday, we did an activity that was kind of unusual. I had actually read about it in a blog. I can't remember which one, but if it was yours, feel free to let me know so I can give you credit for your idea! We read the story, When Will It Be Spring? by Catherine Walters. I covered the book with paper ahead of time so they couldn't see the illustration on the front. Before I started reading, I passed out clipboards with sheets of paper, and colored pencils. I told the students that I wasn't going to show them any pictures, and that their job was to listen and draw what they imagined when they heard the story. Most of the kids did very well with this. Want to see what they drew?

Martin drew a mama bear and a baby bear outside of a house. There are a bird, a butterfly, and a fire somewhere in the picture too. Aside from the fact that the bears were in a cave and not a house, this was a pretty good illustration for the story. 

Kite also drew a house. She had the mama bear inside the house calling the baby bear to come inside. She also drew a fire, snow, and a butterfly, which were in the story. 

Jay didn't even get to hear the whole story, because he was at some related service or another, but he still managed to draw a nice spring scene after he heard the ending of the story!

This is one of my favorites, by Towhee. On the top, he drew all of the things that the baby bear thought he was seeing, and on the bottom he drew the things that were actually happening. This was a very good illustration for the whole story! Towhee showed that he was really listening and understood the whole story. 

Here is another one of my favorites... for a different reason. Starling drew this. You probably can't tell what it is at all, because Starling just grabs colored pencils or crayons and scribbles frantically, the way a very small child would. However, when I asked her, she told me it was a picture of bears. For Starling to grasp that the story was about bears, without being able to see any pictures, was a pretty big thing! 

I think this was a really nice activity to do on the day before spring break.  We might have to do it again sometime, because the kids really liked it! 

In other news, I was observed by Professor A for the second time at this student teaching placement, the other day. She observed me doing my reading group. I was super nervous because my reading group consists of Starling, Rosella and Triller, who are on a preschool reading level or below. We use the Early Literacy Skill Builders curriculum with them. These three kids have a very hard time staying on task. In fact, they have a hard time staying in their seats instead of running around the classroom or laying on top of the table! But this ended up sort of working to my advantage. Professor A commented that my reading group was difficult to manage and that I did a great job teaching the concepts while also managing the behaviors. She said I was so patient and gentle with them, and kept the activities moving so they didn't have time to misbehave too much. In fact, she didn't have anything negative to say this time! I was so excited! 

Over spring break I need to be writing my plant unit, and also putting together a somewhat more informal Easter unit and chick and egg unit. Got any ideas? 


  1. Here's my advice. Relax! Enjoy your spring break.
    Check out the book My Father's Hand by Joanne Ryder.- its one of my favorite books about planting.


Do you have something to share with the class?