The day (let's be honest... the whole month) before Christmas break can be a very busy/hectic/crazy time for teachers and students. So we always get our excitement out through literature! We do close reads with the book Polar Express during the week, and on the final day, we get our "tickets" punched throughout the day as we complete different activities that tie into each subject area, related to the book. After lunch, we pop in the movie, and enjoy some hot chocolate. To boot, we also get to wear our PJs this day!! This is one of my favorite days as a teacher! ALL ABOARD! :)
The Human Body!
We finished up a unit on the human body. I used a Reading A to Z book where students went through each section picking out text features, and using the strategy of "paragraph shrinking" to find the details and main idea of a the section. Let me tell you, if you asked my students the essential question "How do you poop?" they can all answer you! It's also hilarious that this is the day my admin decided to come in and observe me! She thought it was funny, (and I think a little impressed with how my kids were using the strategy I taught them! BOOM! hehe)
After they completed this task, they were "rewarded" by being able to make life sized human bodies (and meet a health standard!) of identifying the major organs of the body. This is always so much fun, and I add to the fun by playing (on repeat) 'Stayin' Alive' in the duration of the activity!
What's a Tadpole? Really?
We were studying life cycles of plants and insects. When it came to our "Days with Frog and Toad" unit, I wanted to extend it a little more with a non-fiction research project on real frogs and toads... With this being said, I thought to myself... "Self, what better way to show a real life cycle, than with a real tadpole?" SO, I went online and ordered us a tadpole. It took longer than it said to be delivered, and now that we are well past frogs, toads, and life cycles, here sits our tadpole (named through a unanimous class vote, Messi. Apparently he is a big time soccer player?) He hasn't grown his back legs yet, and all he does is stink after a week. High maintenance! I put him in my research center with a "KWL" Chart. What ever they start to wonder, they write it down and find the answers. It's actually been a pretty good learning experience, and now, for the first time ever, I have a class pet!
A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning.