Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Chattering About Chipmunks

Here's a peek at what we've been working on this week....I love this time of the year to delve into my sciences standards. I think fall really lends itself to woodland creatures, habitats, how they prepare for winter and hibernation.
This week we did a little mini unit on these animals and focused on those pesky little critters, chipmunks! ­čÉ┐

I always like to begin with a read aloud and this time I read "Chipmunk at Hollow Tree Lane".  Have you seen this book?  It's part of a great series called "Smithsonian Backyard" which focuses on lots of different woodland animals.  It's fiction, but written in a way that really gives a lot of great information on the animal, it's habitat, it's habits, etc.  The illustrations are beautiful,  very well written and keeps the firsties engaged in the story.  You can pick it up here

I'm also lucky enough to have a subscription to Scholastic News magazine....which if you don't have this great resource, you should really hit up your principal for a subscription!! It's great for Science and Social Studies standards, has a super online component with games and videos that go along with each magazine and all of the past issues are available to you as well!  We used this resource to view several magazines about woodland animals and how they prepare for winter.  

Next we were ready to begin our web about chipmunks.  We always do a shared writing before we begin any independent writing.  It's really important at this age to give lots of guidance and modeling if you really want to pull that great writing out of your firsties. We made a class web with some of the things we learned about chipmunks and then the students helped me compose my report about chipmunks.  We made sure to use our "opening" and "closing" to make it a good report.  

After this, the firsties were ready to begin their own reports.  They used our classroom web as a guide to create their own web.  They chose four things to include in their web and then they wrote their reports using their web.  I never leave my report on the board for the children to copy from.  They must always create their own.  They are encouraged to use our word wall or mini word wall dictionaries to help spell words correctly and they are also encouraged to used "kid writing" and spell things as they sound.  


I think my fab firsties did a GREAT job on their reports, don't you?? We finished the week by making a picture of the chipmunks habitat and a couple of cute crafts to go along with our reports.  


So that's the chatter this week in our class.....how do you teach this science standard in your room?  Please feel free to post your ideas so we can learn from you as well!! Thanks for stopping by and come on back next week, cause there's always something fun happening in ......