Monday, January 25, 2010

Rotation Six

PreK3 and PreK
Guiding Question:  Which nursery rhymes have to do with counting?
We began a unit about Mother Goose rhymes that will continue for the next several sessions. 
In this first class, we read rhymes that deal with counting.  "One, two, buckle my shoe", "This little pig went to market", and several others.  See the complete poems here.

When we finished, we made "Little Miss Muffet" counting books.  Each child made a book showing fingerprint spiders from one to five on each page.  How many legs do spiders have?  Eight, but we weren't too concerned about accuracy, as many students enjoyed getting creative with their spiders.

Tomie dePaola's Mother Goose, illustrated by Tomie dePaola
This is a favorite Mother Goose; it includes all of the most common poems, as well as many not-so-common ones, and the illustrations are childlike but snappy.  The poems are well organized, flowing together by theme, character, and settting.

Guiding Question: What are the names of vehicles that transport us on land, water, and air?

We read a few books about transportation, including Zip, Wiz, Bang, by Stephanie Calmenson, and I Have to Go, by Robert Munsch (about a boy who has to use the bathroom when he gets into the car and in every other "tight" situation)

Things That Go, by Anne Rockwell is a great way to review some of the more unusual transportation vehicles such as bobsleds, snowmobiles, cruise liners, and more.  Each spread shows one type of vehicle and we made a game of learning the words and then saying them back.

Afterward, we sang "Wheels on the Bus" with the hand motions, reading the lyrics from a slideshow on our new projector.

Grade 1
Guiding Question: How can we keep ourselves safe?
We learned about trusting our instincts, wearing special equipment for sports, learning a parent's phone number and our own address.

To start off, we watched a video version of the Caldecott-winning picture book, Officer Buckle and Gloria, by Peggy Rathmann.  It's the hilarious story of a police officer who gives safety talks at local schools and his dog, Gloria, who gets the kids' attention with funny stunts. The expressions on the characters' faces are perfect and Gloria, the dog, is an absolute comic genius.

Next we read I Can Be Safe, by Pat Thomas and talked about how we can keep ourselves safe so we all grow up to be happy, healthy, and strong.

Grade 2
Guiding Questions: What is setting?  What details give us clues about a story's setting? 

Continuing with the theme of reading a book from each of the continents, we read Tar Beach , by Faith Ringgold, which takes place in North America in New York City.  A young girl imagines she can fly over the parts of the city that mean most to her and that she can 'own' them to make everything right for her family. A unique style of illustration, sections of a story quilt, give a multi-layered effect.

After reading and discussing the story, we leaned about some geography games and practiced our knowledge of the continents and famous landmarks here.

Grade 3
Guiding Question: How can we use World Book Kids and Student Britannica to find information about our developing countries?

We learned how to find various types of maps on World Book Kids, how to browse for information, and search for information.  We spent time discussing and exploring the features of both World Book and Britannica, two online encyclopedias the school pays for.  These are available from home via the library website, but password are needed (and can't be given over the internet).  Students were sent home with bookmarks listing all passwords they might need.

Grade 4 and 5
Guiding Questions: What do call numbers mean?  How does understanding call numbers help us find our books in the library?