Monday, January 16, 2012

New Units!

Week 17

This week we're back into the swing of school and starting new units. I hope everyone had a good vacation. It's fun to hear about all of the travels our little ones have been on these past few weeks.

PreK 3 & 4 - Unit: Mother Goose. 
Guiding Question: What are some Mother Goose counting rhymes?
Each week we'll learn new rhymes with fingerplays and songs. This week we learned a classic "One, two, buckle my shoe" and a lesser known one, "One, two, three, four, Mary's at the cottage door...

These are wonderful vocabulary builders and many have videos for extra practice and fun at home. See the Early Childhood page of the library website for videos and rhymes posted from Mother Goose Club.

We use different versions of Mother Goose in this unit, beginning with Rosemary Wells' two wonderful volumes: My First Mother Goose and Here Comes Mother Goose. These feature one poem per page with large text and illustrations making them wonderful for read-aloud.

Kindergarten - Unit: Story Strategies
Guiding Question: What's the difference between "real" and "pretend"? 

We looked at a nonfiction book with photographs of porcupines to establish that "real" means things that actually exist in our world. Then we read What Mommies and Daddies Do Best which features pretend porcupine characters. How do we know they're pretend? They're wearing clothes! 

Finally, we read Dogs Don't Wear Sneakers and Chimps Don't Wear Glasses for more silly examples of things from the author's imagination. These are all written by Laura Numeroff.
Bear playing the drums!

After reading, 
we created 
our own
an animal 
doing something people would do! 

Rabbit juggling & digging!
Here are two drawings some kiddos did after 

Grade 1 - Unit: Caldecott
Guiding Questions: What is the Caldecott award? How do we decide if illustrations are "good"?

We learned that the Caldecott award is given once each year for the best picture book in the United States. There is one gold medal winner and there can be one to three silver medal winners, called "Honor" winners.

As a group we brainstormed ideas about what we like to see in picture books. One of the ideas was that we like colorful pictures. We looked at several black and white Caldecott winners and read one: Kitten's First Full Moon, which I reviewed for Book Talk Tuesday.

As we study Caldecott books in the next several weeks, here are the criteria we decided to look for:
- Pictures that match story (and extend our understanding)
- Pictures that are creative (and we'll look at what that means to us)
- Pictures that grab us (elicit an emotion, or detailed, or use a neat technique, or expressive, or ?)

Grade 2 - Unit: Continents and Countries
Guiding Question: What continents and oceans do we know? 

In their classrooms, grade 2 students are learning about different types of communities. We will support this work by learning about different continents and their countries. In the first part of the unit, we will learn the continents and oceans and do a mini-research project about countries that celebrate festivals. This will support a unit in Hungarian Culture class about the Hungarian festival Farsang.

We read Follow the Line Around the World, by Laura Ljungkvist and talked about the continents, countries, and animals mentioned. We also took a quiz via Shepperd Software to practice our continents and oceans.

Grade 3, 4, 5 - Starting Golden Dragon and Silver Knight!

Stay tuned for a separate post about our reading program for grades 3, 4, and 5. This week, classes learned about the program, about the books and about where to find the trailers and more information about each title.

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