The Kindergarten curriculum does not necessarily cover learning letters, however, the Kindergarten team strongly believes that it is imperative to begin to learn the letters as they enter elementary school. Each week or so, we cover a letter. We are starting with the vowels, and then move to on the consonants. Each teacher teaches these in different ways.
I start off my lesson by introducing the letter through a song. For example, for letter 'A', we listened to this song:
I will pause the song every so often to see if they can remember any words! Once we listen to the song, we move to our workbook (given by the school). They colour in a big letter A, trace the letter, write it on their own, and then they have 2-3 activities.
After we finish our workbook activities, we move on to an art activity.
Here is our letter 'A' for 'Avion' (French):
During this lesson at the Jolly Phonics reading camp, I had the theme of Harry Potter. Not all of them had read the books or seen the movie, but we discussed it before getting into the activities. They were each sorted into a house, and we discussed what a crest was, and what it represents. They then created their own crest using pictures that represented themselves. This was followed by writing activities, and extra fun worksheets such as crosswords, spell-writing, word searches and reading.
This activity involve writing and art together. The students who participated in this lesson were between the ages of 6 and 8. They first coloured in their rocket, and then cut it out. At the back, they were required to write "Reading is important because..." or "I like reading because...". They then cut it out, and glued tissue paper "flames" at the end. This was followed by a writing activity on their favourite book.
I love when teachers and educators share resources. This past week, I received this awesome spring themed word search from Shannon, the Community Manager over at Education.com It also comes with an answer key.
Make sure to check out the website for more great resources. I've already been downloading a bunch of Math worksheets!
Click the link here to access similar worksheets: https://www.education.com/resources/spelling
Click link here to check out Education.com > > www.education.com
If you've never heard of blackout poetry, here is your incentive to get out there and see what it's all about. My university professor was the first one to introduce it, and I've loved it ever since. Essentially, students are given a text- that body of text is dependent on you, and what you want them to use. It could be an excerpt from a book, something you're learning about at the moment, or anything else. You could also have students choose a text of their own! I chose a 'spooky story' since it was around Halloween time. From that text, they must select words/sentences to make a poem. All other words/sentences will be blacked out.
I've decided to include a lesson plan that I created which explains the activity in more depth. Although it uses the Ontario curriculum, it can be modified to fit any curriculum.
Here's what the final product looks like:
As promised, here's the lesson plan:
Never underestimate the power of a guest speaker. The Grade 3's we're doing a science unit on Forces and Motion.
There is so much that can be done with this unit- it is A LOT of fun.
We had just learned about friction, push, pulls, and the different effects of a force (start, stop, slow down, speed up, change direction and change shape). My Associated Teacher and I wanted them to think about forces and motion in a different way. We thought about it for a while, until we finally came up with the idea of getting them to talk to a race car driver!
Luckily, I knew someone who races as a hobby.
A few days before, as a class, we came up with a bunch of questions to ask him. We started off with questions like...
- What made you start racing?
- How old were you when you started?
Then we started to come up with questions like...
- What surface is easier to drive on?
- Is there a lot of friction on the track?
The other Grade 3 class joined us on that lovely morning, and we had a lot of fun. Each student had their question on a piece of paper, and we went around the classroom asking Mr. C our questions about forces, motion and racing! The students were very attentive, patient and respectful- and they really enjoyed having a guest in the classroom.
If you ever get the chance to invite a guest speaker, I strongly suggest that you do it. It's an awesome experience for everyone, a nice break in the routine, and feels like a field trip in your own classroom.
Writing letters may seem simple, but in actuality, there's quite the process behind it. This past practicum with my Grade 3's, we learned about just that- letter writing.
I started off this unit with asking a very important question:
"Why do we need to learn how to write letters?"
Are letters only paper pen? Where else do we see them in the day of technology? I believe it is important to start off a unit with the question "Why are we learning this?" It motivates the students to come up with real reasons, and find reasons to want to learn about it.
What I loved about this unit was how creative I was able to get with the students. We read books that had letters to and from fairy tale characters. They had to then write a letter to a character of their choice.
Lucky for them, those fairy tale characters wrote back!
For each character the students wrote to, I grouped them up (based on the characters), and wrote back to them. They received letters from the Big Bad Wolves, Peter Rabbit, Little Red Riding Hood, and others.
These back and forth letters led up to them writing a letter to a race car driver who was coming to visit us for our science unit!
Their final letter writing activity was a Letter to Self, which they could only open on the very last day of Grade 3.
Letter writing may seem mundane, but with a little creativity, it can be really exciting.
I loved this lesson so much, and it's a lot of fun. I'm placed in a Grade 3 class, and we were learning about structures; what makes a structure strong, stable, etc...
We had previously gone over what we thought we knew about structures, and created an anchor chart. They were then given the opportunity to choose a structure, and research it.
During this lesson, I initially led it with a short, relatable video about structures.
Here is the link: www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_rDpyhuzOE
Next, I asked the students to tell me what they knew so far about structures. After a short conversation, I then put them into groups myself, and gave them the instructions:
They were each given a plastic bag of materials, and had about 30 minutes to build a structure that, if placed on top of jello, could withstand a jello storm.
Once they completed their structures, we gathered around a desk, and I placed each of the structures the jello, and created a storm! This opened discussion about what worked well, what didn't, and why?
NOTE: This lesson idea was given to me by my fellow teacher candidate, which also worked well for her in her grade three placement!
Also, I did not go into full detail of my lesson plan here; this is just a basic over view. There was a lot more discussion and questions.
Enjoy the pictures!
Dinosaur Language Arts
I taught this lesson during my last practicum, and the students absolutely loved it. For a few weeks, I kept hearing how the students loved learning about dinosaurs; reading about them, writing- whatever it was. Naturally, it was disappointing to them learning that it was not part of the curriculum, and with such a limited time to teach multiple subjects, it didn't seem likely that we would get to it. Best advice I received about teaching was cross-curricular learning! I created a language arts lesson based on writing skills (parts of language arts that are in the curriculum) and easily made a dinosaur theme, that also included art. This made the lesson that much more exciting, and really made the students eager to write, which I found to be a struggle at times.
You can download the worksheet at teacherspayteachers by clicking on the link here:
This summer, I'm working at a preschool, and am constantly looking for new art activities. This was a great one found on Pinterest. On plastic ziplock bags, I drew snails and jellyfish. When I arrived at the pre-school, I chose 5 different colours to use (orange, yellow, blue, red and green). The students chose two colours that I scooped up in a spoon, and put put into the ziplock bag, which I then closed. The purpose of the art activity was to cover the drawing completely in paint by moving in around on top of the ziplock bag. The students loved it, and especially the second time around where they wanted to choose more than 2 colours to see what the end product would look like!
This activity would also be great in a kindergarten class.