Friday, April 17, 2015

Five for Friday:Under the Sea

Hello friends! It's Friday... again! The weeks are flying by! I'm linking up with Kacey from Doodle Bugs Teaching.

Here are my five randoms from this week....

We "dove" into our ocean unit this week.
I used our literacy block to have my students work on mini ocean animal reports. Now that we are "practically first graders"... we were ready for a multiple step writing project.

I let them choose which animal they'd like to research. This year dolphins took the lead... surprising! It's usually sharks.

Each day we researched a topic: habitat, characteristics, diet, interesting facts...

I model how to use the contents page to search for specific information.

We are really working on starting our sentences with a capital letter and ending with a punctuation mark. If I catch them remembering these things without a prompt, I'll draw a doodle of their choice (shooting star, smiley face) on their hand with a colored marker. I guess it's like a little "Way to go!" tattoo.

During free choice time this week I had a variety of ocean animal coloring pages for everyone to color, cut, and add to our ocean habitat mural.

I was surprised at how many students wanted to spend their precious play time adding to it.
Maybe these bad boys were the real draw....

Mr. Sketch Markers!
I recently added them as a privilege students can earn - a box of Mr. Sketch Markers for the day. This week they were open to the public. (Families are probably wondering why their kiddos are coming home with a rainbow spotted noses?!? The cinnamon scent is my personal fave!)

Next, we will add labels to each ocean creature.

 Here was another one of their favorite centers this week - sea shells!

They sorted them and measured them... oh, and tried to look for pearls. Hehe! Since they couldn't find any, I added some plastic pearl beads for them to pretend with.

Our new favorite sight word activity..."Beach Ball Sight Words"!

We stand in a circle and toss the ball. Whoever catches it spells the sight word closest to their right hand. The other students raise their hands if they know it. The catcher calls on someone to say what word was spelled. If correct, they get to catch the ball and have the next turn. 

Our school had their annual Spring Banquet and Actions last week. One item up for bid was a 1/2 day off for your teacher of choice.... subbing services provided by none other than our principal.

Guess which lucky duck got it this year? Bam!

Two student families went in on bidding on it for me. I feel so special. I think it's cool that our principal is willing to come into our classrooms and teach for 1/2 a day. My kids think he's a rock star.

Looks like I'll have to plan a "Treat Yo Self" afternoon... I'm thinking lunch, shopping, and massage!

Each year we order painted lady butterfly caterpillars from Insect Lore. My students love watching them grow, molt, and eventually emerge from their chrysalises as beautiful butterflies! Our little caterpillars seem to change in size each day. They will be forming their chrysalises soon.

One student said with excitement "We should let them go free on the last day of school!" (Which is fast approaching. Can it really be May in 2 weeks!?!)

I plan my butterfly unit around the time the butterflies are predicted to hatch. I don't mind stopping our lesson to rally around the net to welcome each new butterfly into the world. Priceless moments.

Have a happy weekend!


  1. What a fantastic theme! I love how you incorporate math, science, and literacy! Your ocean wall is adorable too!

    I like to connect things to the real world. Maybe introduce your students oceanographers and give them a problem they need to solve (ocean pollution/overfishing) or plan for an exhibit of the animal.

    Happy Teaching!

    -Bri @ Knowledge Mobile

  2. Your Ocean ideas are super! So glad I found your blog via the Five for Friday linky! I'm your newest follower, too!

    Learning at the Teacher Table