Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Little Whining, Polar Animals and a Little Freebie!

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It seems like every time we get a long weekend, I end up getting sick.  I suppose that it's better than waking up sick on a work day (since my emergency sub plans are never really ready) but it still stinks!!!

I'm blaming stress!!!  My grade book is sucking the life out of me (I literally worked on it for 3 hours yesterday, that was just the AM, and I didn't even enter any grades)!  My daughter is applying to any college she can that is either way too expensive and/or super far away.  My dogs have hit old age and it's one thing after another...  It never ends.  All I want to do is have things right, all the time.  Is that too much to ask?

All right, I'm done whining.  Last week we started our polar animals study.  The kids loved it!  We started with our schema chart (I forgot to take a picture, but trust me it was pretty basic -Polar Animals written at the top, then a space for Our Schema, New Learning, and Misconceptions).  Despite the fact my chart was no match for the cuteness Mrs. Jump always produces.  The kids were super excited! I just love that when I say "it's time for our schema chart" I hear a chorus of yeahs!!!!

I like to start my polar animals study off pretty general.  We learn about different animals that live in the Arctic and Antarctic.  I break out the globe.  The kids learned that polar bears live in the Arctic-AKA North Pole-then some were a little fearful for Santa.  But we are pretty sure a polar bear would never eat Santa because then they wouldn't get any presents.  I love my conversations with 5 year old children!

Everyday we read a different Polar Animal Book by Melvin and Gilda Berger.  Then we added to our schema chart.

We are really needing structured writing right now so when we finished with our schema chart we did a shared writing about something we learned.  We thought of a sentence together.  I showed them how to draw whatever animal they suggested and reminded them that we do our best, even when we don't know how!!!  Then we thought of a sentence, counted the words, sounded them out and I modeled how to write them.  For the final step I had them do something I've never done before...I had them write the same thing in their journal.  Like I said, we need some structure right now.  They did awesome and I think it really helped because on the last day they were able to write their own sentence and I actually saw improvement!!!

Our Polar Animals Journal was pretty basic, but it worked great!  Here's a copy if you like!  Just make as many copies of the second page as you need. -The awesome border is from graphics from the bond.  The cute clip art is all microsoft!


  1. So sorry you are sick. Hopefully you will feel better soon and enjoy some of the long weekend. What a cute unit. Thanks for the freebie. Renee

  2. You're welcome, and thanks for the sympathy!!


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