Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Spring Break and Penguins

      I am way overdue in posting.  I'm sorry that I've been missing lately!  It's been a difficult Winter Term, but I made it to Spring Break.  My Spring Break began on Friday and I'm off until April 2nd.  This is a much needed break for me.  

     We had conferences on Wednesday after school until 8 p.m. and then on Thursday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.  Those were exhausting, long days.

     The students have been learning all about penguins.  They just love learning about this!  One Russian student told me one day as we lined up to go to PE, "I just love penguins!"  This boy doesn't talk a lot.  This was cute!  My modeled reading has been using books about penguins.  This quarter, in first grade, I have been teaching about nonfiction and the students can tell the difference between nonfiction and fiction.  

     The students have gained so much learning through our penguin study.  We have been learning some penguin poems.  Below is one that the kids have enjoyed about the Emperor penguin.     

Below is one of our first charts which shows what the students have learned about penguins.  We used the book Penguins from National Geographic Kids to get the information.  

We also labeled some of the main parts of the penguin.

     This past week we began a Pictorial Glossary to illustrate and define the new words that the kids are learning.  This helps the students understand one of the text features:  glossary.  It also helps them learn the new words.  I have 9 ELD students in my classroom.  Using pictures is a great way to help them learn.  I am amazed that I can even draw things like this!  They picked the word regurgitate to include in our glossary as our first word!  I told them that I would draw it after school while looking at a picture.  I'm not artistic at all, but I was able to do it by looking at a picture.  The kids loved this when they got to school the next day.  

Here is the full chart with two glossary words chosen by the students.  These are two words that they learned through the books that I have read them.

We will be adding more pages and definitions to our Pictorial Glossary.  The students are making their own Pictorial Glossary to include in their All About Penguins book.  I didn't think about taking a picture of a student's glossary page.  I'll have to do that when I return to school. 

Our ELD lesson included learning about verbs.  The book, Busy Penguins, is a board book but is excellent in showing verbs with penguins.  

I scanned the pictures and blew them up to  8-1/2" x 11" and this helped as the students learned verbs and used sentence frames to show how penguins move.  These pictures are now on our walls.

Last week I read The Emperor's Egg to the students.  This book shows and describes the Emperor penguin.  We discussed whether this book was fiction or nonfiction looking at our standard.  It was confusing at first because of the pictures, but as soon as I began to read the book they knew it was nonfiction because it gives information.  This was a new book to me, but a great one to teach with.

I read another excellent book, Penguins, written by Gail Gibbons for our modeled reading lesson during our second week of learning about penguins.  I didn't take a picture of the book and it's at school.  You can see that book on a post about penguins from last year here .

     After Spring Break the students will begin researching and writing a small report on one type of penguin.  On our last day before the Break I told them what penguin they will study:  Emperor, King, Rockhopper, Chinstrap, Gentoo, or Macaroni.  This will be their first report.  They will finish with presenting a speech to the class.

     When we return to school, we will also read some fiction books about penguins.  There are a lot of books out there, but we will read just a few.

     I've been enjoying my Spring Break so far:  sleeping in (when the cats let me), cleaning, and getting together with friends.  My car is in the shop today, so hopefully it will force me to concentrate on cleaning.  I do want to print some things for school that I want to make.  I will be leaving town (Salem, Oregon) tomorrow to go visit my dad.  While there, I will get together with friends in Portland.  It will be nice to get away for the remainder of the vacation.  I'll probably work on some school things while I'm there.  That's why I'm trying to print things now.

     I was without a printer for about a month.  That was awful!  I can't print things in color at school.  My printer was only a year and a half old, but the color wasn't coming out right and one day it quit in the middle of printing.  I had to wait until pay day to buy another one.  I was convinced to get a printer that cost a little more, but I was told I will spend less on ink.  Well, so far I haven't replaced the ink.  The black is getting low, though.  I really like this printer!

     I will try to write again during the Break!  I hope you are all having a great week whether you are teaching or are on your Spring Break!


Post a Comment