Thursday, April 16, 2015

Plant Time!

Plants, plants, plants! This week has been all about plants in Room 104. We started with this schema chart (the cute design was stolen borrowed from the amazing Cara at First Grade Parade)

I love how schema charts show our learning is always
growing and changing!
If you haven't seen these schema charts yet, they are an awesome activity similar to KWL charts. We start a unit with kids telling their schema--what they think they know about the topic. I include everything the kids say, even if I know it isn't right. As we learn about the topic and find out some part of our schema is wrong, we move that post-it to the misconceptions area. Anything new that we learn goes in the new learning area.
We read Seed to Plant...a very kinder-friendly non-fiction book. We added our new learning to our schema chart. The next day we read Jack and the Beanstalk and compared the 2 types of books.
Beep, beep, beep! Email alert! Jack emailed us! He had a question about how to plant his magic beans and needed our help!
That prompted these "how-to" writings explaining how to plant a seed.
Then we used our writing to plant our own beans. The boys planted lima beans that had been soaked in water for a couple of hours and the girls planted dry lima beans. The kids unanimously predicted the wet beans would grow faster and taller. We're going to chart their growth over the next few weeks.
Today was cactus day. We read a few pages from a non-fiction book about desert plants and the kids talked about what they saw. Then we watched READING RAINBOW!!!! WHO DOESN'T LOVE READING RAINBOW?!?! Anyway, they have a VERY informative episode about the desert and the Saguaro cactus.
We then worked on retelling the main idea and details with this super-simple circle map.
The kiddos used this circle map to write information about the cactus. To add a little artsy-ness to it, we glued rice to the cactus to show its spines.
Here are some examples of the finished project. Cute, huh? (I found this template somewhere on the web for free, but now I can't find it again!)

Tomorrow is tree day and next week is fruits and veggies. I think that will tie in well with Earth Day next Wednesday.

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