In our classroom, we have music therapy with Ms. Jenn every-other Wednesday. We love music therapy and the students really look forward to it. Ms. Jenn does a great job tying her music therapy sessions into what we are working on in the classroom. One of my favorite aspects of music therapy is that Ms. Jenn gives each child multiple opportunities to talk about what's important to them, pick a dance move, greet a friend, etc. It's great for their speech, social, and fine/gross motor goals! For the past few weeks Ms. Jenn has been working on a bell choir song with the students. Each child has a bell and must pay attention to the colors Ms. Jenn has up front to know when to play their bell. It's been a lot of fun watching the students grow in confidence and ability each time Ms. Jenn comes to our classroom.
In science this month we are studying flight. I love teaching science but it is always a little bit of a struggle to find materials for each unit I teach since we don't have an official "curriculum". I created this unit using ideas from a book I purchased called Hands-on Science by Scholastic and then building on those ideas with activities I knew my class would be able to relate to. We started the unit last week by brainstorming a list of things that fly and then making a venn-diagram categorizing those items. We used pictures we found on the internet and with the Educreations app on the ipad we were able to move around our pictures within the venn diagram! To tie this concept into a previous unit, we divided our pictures as either "living" or "non-living". It was great to simply print this page and send it home with their homework to share with parents.
This week our objective was "wings help things fly". We began our lesson by observing a paper as it fell to the floor. It didn't fly at all. We thought like scientists to try to think of ways we could make the paper fly. I made a simple whirlybird (a straight piece of paper cut in half at the top and then folded down as wings) and the students observed that the whirlybird could fly because it had wings. We then made paper airplanes and ended our lessons with observing whose paper airplane could fly the furthest in a quick contest. The students loved the lesson, but most importantly they were all able to restate the objective at the end of the lesson that wings help things fly!
In Mrs. Childress' classroom we have been studying penguins. We started by reading our Scholastic News magazine about penguins. We used the Scholastic News issue as our main source to learn about penguins. The students each chose four facts about penguins from the magazine and put them into sentences using their own words. After writing the paragraph, we took our work to the computer lab to publish. One of my big goals for my classroom is to become familiar with the computer and to improve our typing. Computers are such a big part of life today and I want my students to have access to that form of communication! We made the cute penguin pictures by cutting out a template, ripping papers and gluing. It was great fine motor practice! (the idea came from a teacher's blog I found on Pinterest).
In keeping with our theme of penguins, I made this cute penguin out of a small box I found at school (using this idea). To reinforce the idea that penguins eat fish, I made small fish and wrote sight words on them. In our reading groups, I had the students read the word on the fish and then feed it to the penguin. It was a lot of fun and highly motivating to the students as they really wanted to give each fish to the penguin!