Thursday, February 7, 2013

Groundhogs Day-Shadows

Monday we did an activity about the groundhog and his shadow. Students first cut out the clipart from:My Cute Graphics.  There were many curves and it was tricky cutting.  I did discover I had to trace on the outside border with a colored pencil telling them to only cut on the colored pencil and black line because they kept cutting on ALL lines...cutting of hands and heads.  We took a sample from the small group working on it and put it on an overhead projector.  First it was on and he saw his shadow, "AHHHHH! Go and hide, we are having more winter!" Then the projector was turned off, there was no sun, and, "Phew, no shadow.  It is safe to come out and eat and start spring." We then taped it face down on black paper.  Students then painted with white "sunshine" to leave a shadow. He then, "popped" out of his whole and was glued up looking at his shadow, Oh no!
Inspiration from TpT Groundhog Activity

We read a book about shadows from Scholastic: What Makes a Shadow?  I felt this did a great job explaining shadows to this age.

We also read Who will See Their Shadows This Year?  The students got a kick out of it.  A fun read about shadows as well as weather and groundhogs day.

Students enjoyed Double Trouble Groundhogs Day.  It was a funny story, and we began so important reading skills.  What is a burrow? Can we find out by reading?  What is the vocabulary word we learned for long winter nap, etc.  We have just begun getting into books this way so this was a great book to do it with.

We watched this video.  The kids loved it!  It does a great job introducing shadows as well.  The thought the chicken was very funny.

During our free choice time, I gave students the opportunity to make their own shadows in the discovery center with the overhead projector.  Some used it correctly, some did not. They really enjoyed using the center and for one of the first times there was a line for the center!

Opening work on Wednesday was to start by sorting the tangrams (colored wood shapes) that were dumped on the table. They were then told to make shapes out the the shapes we had poured all over the classroom tables. Students did well with this and initiated a lot of shape conversations and vocabulary!

Small group work sheet (available TpT) on shadows. This was done as a small group.  Students looked at the shadows on the overhead projector and answered questions about them.  They did well with this activity and worked a large variety of skills including: fine motor skills, reading readiness, shape identification, listening skills, observational skills, and the scientific concept of trial and errors.  I did  notice I had to teach the concept of a question, the answer goes below it.   I figured out if I had then point to the first question, ask it, and then tell them to put their answer under it, they did well.  Turns out, filling out a worksheet is also concept we improved upon.
Our Igloo has seen better days.  Students were just to rough playing in there and the "back door" they just put in just turned into a "no back wall."  It still stands, so they still play in it, but its not quite the appeal it used to have.  But then I go an idea......
Valentine's day buckets!  I remember making one when I was in school, We could make our Valentine buckets out of milk jugs and recycle even further!  Then, I got an even better idea: What if other teachers did want to as well?  Well, I asked and they all wanted some!  Yes!  Now I have a way to recycle 90 milk jugs even further, and teach a lesson about sharing and caring!

Here is how to make a milkjug Valentine bucket (pre-child-decorations of course!)

1. Poke a hole with the scissors (open) between the circular opening and the handle.
 2. Cut from that hole down a little less than half way.  Then cut from that down angle to the corner.  Make your way around the square and come back up the side of the handle.  Cut back up to your original slit.
 3. Top view, pleanty of storage room!

 4. I heard (from the other teachers that got their special deliveries ;) ) that glue had a hard time sticking to the jugs. I decided to make a little slip cover for the jugs.  I cut a rectangle piece of paper out just a slight amount larger than the circumference of the jug.  I wrapped it tight and taped. I squeezed a little glue between the paper and jug to have it stay on.  Student then could much easier apply their decorations to the jug.
(Check back for Valentine's week to see their decorated ones!)

And then we delivered them to the classrooms down the hall (students are pushing an old produce sorter from a grocery store.  My family friend works there and she got it for free!)

Talk about Team work!  They worked very hard to push this down the hall and made a great team making sure every one could reach. They were very excited to drop them off and hand them out!

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