Wowza! It’s been a wild and crazy week and it’s only Wednesday! I have been so incredibly busy with school, home, and classes. My daughter danced with the Moscow Ballet last week in a performance of The Nutcracker, I had my final project due for my grad class, AND I had to get my topic proposal in so that I can graduate in May! PLUS – both girls have dance recitals this weekend! Do I even have my Christmas tree up? Nope. Soon…this weekend. Yes, it WILL happen!!
Last week, we had so much fun studying owls! Because of the shortened week from Thanksgiving, it meant that we had 2 extra days of centers to make up – plus one day that school was delayed because of a storm. So…it worked out perfectly not to start “Christmas” until this week.
Deanna has an amazing unit on Owls at Teacher’s Pay Teachers. The children loved putting the All About book together!
Here are some snapshots of what we did:
We started off the week reading Owls by Christine Butterworth. The children were immediately fascinated!
The children then practiced labeling the parts of an owl independently. My daughter let me borrow her Webkinz owl for the week. My practicum student made the velcro versio so the children could explore with it at the science center.
On Tuesday we read:
This is a great book for teaching about mental images. The children created a page for their Reader’s Workshop Journals about their mental images when they listened to the story. (forgot the picture!)
On Wednesday we read:
We discussed the characteristics of fiction and non-fiction and why this book is a fiction book. After we read this book, we created a page in our owl about owl books about owls being nocturnal – in the story they go to sleep at night.
On Thursday we read:
Again, we discussed fiction and non-fiction books, but we also discovered that even though a book is fiction, it can sometimes tell us true facts. In this case, the owl eats a rat – this led to us completing the page about owls what owls eat.
We created a title page for our all about books.
On Friday we wrapped up our unit and read this book:
Before we read, we brainstormed words that might be in this book. I was so pleased with the words that they came up with!
We also created this tree map about owls.
I forgot to take a picture of the work mats for this activity – but you can find them in Deanna’s packet. I modified it so we made number combination up to 6. The kids really enjoy doing this, and I really think they are starting to get a sense of number and addition doing these whole group.
The next pictures are photos from our math problem solving that we did with owls. I am SO exciting that the children are really starting to think about math and numbers on a higher level. We always do the problem whole group with leading questions to guide the children towards the answer.The children complete it independently when they go back to their tables. I love to see the thinking that some of them do – some were even wondering about multiplication! holy moly!
One of the most incredible, amazing experiences of my teaching career happened during the owl unit. I had a parent volunteer in my room, and I had mentioned to her when I was reading that I would have LOVED to let the children explore with owl pellets, but they were just too expensive. Later, when she came back to eat lunch with her daughter, she told me that she ordered a set of owl pellets for the class! I couldn’t believe it! It was such a kind, selfless act, and it just made my day! I can’t wait until they get here to explore even more!!