Friday, April 6, 2012

My Easter Themed Week

Hi everyone! I'm back to report on my Easter-themed week! I already wrote about my Bunny Writing Prompt a few days ago. And now for the rest of the week!

On Monday, for Language Arts, I read the book Quiet Bunny, by Lisa McLure. We read Quiet Bunny's Many Colors during Spring week, so the kids remembered the character. This time, I created stick puppets for most of the characters in the book. Each kid had a puppet to be in charge of. When their character came up in the book, the kid had to make the correct animal noise. At the end, when all the animals make their noises together, all of the kids had to join in with their animal noises!

On Tuesday, we read The Easter Cub, by Justine Korman Fontes. We played the 5 W's game. All I did was take a poster board and divide it into 5 categories... who, what, when, where and why. I wrote questions about the story on the sticky side of Post-it Notes, and then stuck them to the poster board in the right categories. The kids couldn't see the questions. They had to pick a category, and I'd read them a question from that category. Basically, its just a more novel way to do comprehension questions on a book. 

That same day, we did the Bunny Glyph I made last week. The kids who have more difficulties had to get very close, step-by-step assistance from teachers or aides, but all in all it worked out as a great following directions activity! It was a good exercise for the kids because they had to listen, make a connection between the choices I gave and which one applied to them, follow the direction that went with that choice, and then stop and wait for the next direction. I actually took pictures of the completed glyphs so you can see how they turned out! Starling, of course, got a little out of control with hers! If you want the code to decipher their pictures, here it is:

I colored this bunny in a special way, so you can learn all about me.

If his EARS are BROWN, I am 9 years old.
If his EARS are GRAY, I am 10 years old.
If his EARS are WHITE, I am 11 years old.

His EYES are the same color as MY EYES!


His FACE is the color of my HAIR.

If his BOWTIE is BLUE, I like READING best.
If his BOWTIE is RED, I like MATH best.
If his BOWTIE is PURPLE, I like SCIENCE best.

If his BELLY is WHITE, I’m the only child.

If his FEET are YELLOW, I like GYM CLASS best.
If his FEET are GRAY, I like MUSIC CLASS best.
If his FEET are BROWN, I like ART CLASS best.

If the REST OF HIS FUR is BROWN, I like playing outside.
If the REST OF HIS FUR is YELLOW, I like video games.


Now you know all about me!

On Wednesday, we read a very funny book called Here Comes the Big, Mean Dust Bunny, by Jan Thomas. The story is about some dust bunnies who love to rhyme, all the time. So we brainstormed a whole bunch of rhyming words! 

That day we also played an Easter memory game. A lot of people may have heard this idea. I bought lots of Easter erasers and Fun Foam sticker shapes from Dollar Tree. I put an eraser or sticker in each egg, making sure that I put two of each item in both sets of the game. The kids played it just like regular Memory, but instead of turning over cards, they had to open plastic eggs and see what was inside. Each set had about 26 eggs. The more higher-functioning group (Kite, Towhee, Martin and Oriole) loved this game, did very well with it, and played it twice in a row. Meanwhile, the lower group (Rosella, Starling, Triller, and to some extent Jay) played one game for the whole time, with two adults assisting them, and never got a single match. By the end, we were really coaching them, saying things like, "Remember, the BUTTERFLY is in the DARK BLUE EGG! If you get another BUTTERFLY, choose the DARK BLUE EGG!" And at some point I just started rolling the correct egg towards kids and hoping they picked it up. I wanted everyone to get at least one match before we went home! The lesson I learned? Next time, give the first group the large set of eggs, and make a very small set with about twelve eggs. for the Rosella-Starling-Triller-and-kind-of-Jay group. 

On Thursday, we read the book The Night Before Easter, by Natasha Wing. For this one I used an idea given to me by someone from this blog (I cannot find the comment anywhere right now, but I remember it well.) I told the kids that there were three ways to read a book. (The commenter actually told me about four, but the kids don't really write during Language Arts... thats more of a Unit thing.) First we did a picture walk through the book. (Even though I hate the phrase "picture walk." I have no idea why but it gives me the heeby jeebies! It may be the Asperger's coming out in me... when I first heard the word "picture walk" I imagined a teacher taking a group of children on a cool walk through lots of giant pictures. When I found out it just meant looking at the pictures of the books, I felt sort of nauseous. Ever since then, I've felt sort of sick whenever anyone said "picture walk." I'd rather say, "Look at the pictures." But I digress...)
 The second way to read the book is just the normal way, for me to read it to them. And finally, the third way, was for them to retell the story to me. Whenever we retell a story, it is really just Kite who retells the whole thing. For the other kids it seems nearly impossible! So I've been trying to get them to practice it often. 
Today we also painted eggs. The kids had been asking to paint eggs, but Mrs. Eagle thought it would be difficult to bring hard boiled eggs into the classroom and then have them transport them home. Three quarters of them would probably forget to take the eggs out of their backpacks for several weeks, and they'd start to rot in there! So I found some Styrofoam eggs at Hobby Lobby, and I brought them in with some paint brushes and neon poster paints. I stabbed each egg with a toothpick and then stabbed the other end of the toothpick into the bottom of a small paper cup, to make a little egg stand. This way the kids could paint all of the sides of the eggs, plus the top and bottom, without trying to turn them around in their hands or having them roll all over their desks. The eggs turned out rather lovely, if I do say so myself!

After that, the kids got to do an egg hunt, which Mrs. Eagle plans every year. They do it in a kind of unusual way... One student goes into the hallway, while another student hides five eggs. Then, when the hallway student returns, he hunts for the eggs while the others give them hot-or-cold hints. Its kind of a problem solving and team building exercise, as well as a fun party game! 

So that ends my Easter week. I had a blast planning and carrying out this week's unit! Next week is my plant unit, and then we start eggs and chicks. 

In an interesting side note... Yesterday I logged onto Blogger and saw that I had gotten 75 views on my Monkey In My Chair post! I was kind of excited, thinking so many people had been interested in the organization. But when I checked my stats, I saw that 65 of those views had come over from a large anti-Obama website! (In case some people reading are not bloggers,this wouldn'tmean that people did a Google search for something and came up with my blog. There would have had to be a link to my blog somewhere on the anti-Obama site, so viewers could come straight here from there.)  I cannot figure out why... I went to the site to see if somehow my post had ended up in some sort of news feed. I couldn't see it anywhere. So, where did all of these anti-Obama readers come from? I guess I'll never know. 

I hope you all have a nice weekend, and a nice Easter if you celebrate it! Thanks for reading! 

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