October 26, 2012

It's Turtle Time!

  Well, it's Friday night. And, what are my exciting plans?
Um, watching the Duck Dynasty marathon on tv! Have I mentioned that it's my new favorite show? Because, it is.
It totally is.
I'm also in tonight because my sweet little Finleydog had surgery yesterday. She got "fixed" and she is PITIFUL. She's 100% miserable, I'm pretty sure. She's still really sore and so she's spending most of her time laying in her crate and staring up at me with the saddest, sweetest eyes I've ever seen.
Exhibit A:
Oh, and she has a cone on her head... which she DETESTS. She usually walks around with her head down to sniff and, well, she can't really do that with a cone on. So, she pretty much just stands there and lets the cone drag on the ground.
Exhibit B:
Poor baby.
So, yeah. I have some time to blog and I actually took pictures at school today.
So, blogging it is!
In Reading, we've been working on a comparing/contrasting standard. We did it a full week and I felt like my kids were doing it decently. So, I wanted to spend the second week doing some kind of project to incorporate several of the standards we'd already done as a review.
So, I sat down at my computer and googled "animal articles for kids."
And, what should appear first on my screen?
Sea turtles.
Sounds good to me.
Plus, the articles were really good! They even included a glossary of words at the end of the article. So, I printed off four different articles: the Green sea turtle, the Loggerhead sea turtle, the Leatherback sea turtle and the Hawksbill sea turtle.
I gave each kid a partner and gave them an article to read. I had them highlight the information that they thought was most important.
 Some groups highlighted more than others. This group obviously didn't see too much information that changed their lives :)
Next, I put all the kids into the four groups to find the main idea. We've worked a LOT on main idea and it's something that they seem to either "get" or not. So, I feel like we need to just keep revisiting it over and over again. I made a graphic organizer for them to fill in together.
The next day, I had each set of partners team up with a set from another group. In other words, there were four kids in a group and they had two different turtles to compare/contrast. They used a graphic organizer to record their information.
We made an anchor chart of comparing/contrasting terms to help them explain the differences and similarities.
I had the kids write about the similarities and differences between their two turtles.
I also let them make some sea turtles out of clear plastic plates and tissue paper.
I hung it all up together on a bulletin board in my room.
We did one other thing with sea turtles. On Tuesday, my kids took the Constructed Response Assessment. And, just sayin... that thing was H>A>R>D! When they were done, I played a Netflix movie for them about the life of a Loggerhead turtle. It was a documentary but very kid oriented and educational. And, my kids were sooooooo into it! They referred to that movie all week long. And, it helped them understand some of the stuff they had read about in the articles.
I made them a graphic organizer to fill out as they watch. I wanted them to understand the life cycle of sea turtles. We're going to be working on that next week so it ties in nicely :)
I made one other activity but we just ran out of time. It was a checklist of facts about sea turtles and I was going to have the kids work in groups to put checks in the boxes that apply to their turtles. Then, they were going to have to use fractions (our math standard right now) to write sentences about the facts. We may do it next week if I can fit it in.
We had a great week learning about sea turtles. And, you know what? I didn't read them a SINGLE book about sea turtles. They figured out every bit of information they learned completely on their own. How cool is that?
Well, I better go. I'm going to the flea market tomorrow so I have to get up sooooooo early. You know what they say: the early bird freezes their tail off!
What? That's not it? Well, it applies for tomorrow because the temperature has dropped about 30 degrees today and tomorrow looks to be frigid.
Have a good weekend!