Thursday, May 22, 2014

Oceans of Fun!

The past two weeks we have been learning about the ocean.  I find it so fascinating!  The kids also loved learning about the different ocean animals!  When the end of the year comes, I try to do some fun and exciting activities to keep the students engaged.  Let's get real - I do it to keep me engaged also!  :]


For writing, we focused on two different topics.  Our first topic was about how to survive in the ocean.  The students did a fabulous job writing.  We started by writing a list of ways to survive in the ocean.  I am able to have several students write their own list independently which is always fun because they are able to come up with their own ideas.  However, there is still a small group that requires that we come up with ideas together.  After they have completed their list, they begin their four square writing prompt.  I generally split up the four square writing into two days - the students complete the topic sentence and two of the four squares one day.  Then, they complete the other two squares and the conclusion the following day.  Students use the four square to write a rough draft and once they edit their work, they complete their final copy. 

We painted seashells to go with our writing this week.  My students always love to paint!  So, I try to give them the chance whenever I can.  Honestly, they do a great job, and they are always eager to help me clean up!

Check out our awesome writing!

We also wrote about what we would do if we found a box of treasure in the ocean!  I love hearing what the kids will do with their treasure.  Some are really funny!  For example, they will say that they want to pay bills with it or buy food with it.  We completed this writing piece using the same process as above.  At the beginning of the year it would take us 2 weeks to complete writing following this process, but now we can successfully complete it in 1 week!  WOW!


I love when the reading centers match our theme for the week!  Check out the reading centers my students completed below!  Students picked various writing topics to write about in their writing journals.

We also practiced making sentences using ocean words.  The sentences also shared various ocean facts!

Students reviewed punctuation.  You can find my punctuation packet in my TPT store!  

*Click to buy your copy!

We also used our Ee/Ea Packet that you can find in my TPT store.  I love the book that highlights ee/ea words, and there is a comprehension compare and contrast activity that goes along with the book!  
Click to buy your copy!

Students also reviewed rhyming by completing the fun ocean rhyming activity!  At the bottom you can find the various resources I used from TPT. :) 


Students love math centers that include hands-on materials!  So, I give my students what they want!!  I have 6 different math centers.  There is one center for each table.  This helps my students stay focused.  If they complete a center during their center rotation (during Math Workshop) then they can go to another center.  My students were so excited about the different centers.  Check them out!

*This center helped students practice their addition facts.  They used the fun containers to add dice together and color in the seashells.  You can find this product for FREE in my TPT store!

*Click for your FREE copy!

*My students LOVED this math center!  They practice exchanging coins using this fun tray.  It is perfect.  You can sort the coins in each section - then save two sections for your bank and your partner's bank.  You can use the middle cup to roll the dice in.  This is perfect because the dice don't roll all over the place or make too much noise!  Students roll the dice, get that much money, and exchange the coins until they get 4 quarters to equal one dollar.  The first person to one dollar wins!  For some reason my students flocked to this center!

*Greater than and less than is a great concept to review.  Students would pull a foam mat and count the ocean animals on the mat.  Then, they would use the sign to show if it was greater than or less than.  They also recorded their work.

*Place Value Noodles!!!  Students would close their eyes while their partner would set out the noodles.  Then, their partner would open their eyes and state the number the noodles represented.  The one long noodle counted as ten and the small pieces counted as ones.  Check out my TPT store for your free worksheet that helps check for place value understanding!  

*Click for your FREE copy!

Sunglasses Subtraction was a fun center where students could wear fun sunglasses while they practiced subtraction problems.  They would pull a card, write the numbers, and subtract them.  You can find this fun center in my TPT store!

I also used a sand bucket with balls that had numbers on them.  Students then had to scoop out the balls and write addition facts using the numbers on the balls.  They enjoyed scooping out the balls during this center!  What do you do during your math center time??  Please leave me a comment with a link so that I can follow your blog to learn about your math time!


Students learned all about jellyfish, and I learned a few things too!  We made our jellyfish and write jellyfish facts to help us comprehend what we read.  Look at how great their jellyfish turned out!  Of course I had to add glitter to them!


We learned about fish and how they survive in the ocean.  I swear, I learn something new every year! I find it all so fascinating!  We then made an addition problem using the fish.  We added shiny spots to their fish bodies and added the dull spots and the shiny spots together.  I had the students add the shiny spots and paint the fish before we did the addition problems, so many had very large numbers to add!


Crabs are really neat!  Did you know that they walk sideways?  We read a book about crabs and wrote down text evidence from the book.  Then, students practiced writing details about crabs using commas in a series of three.  I believe this is great practice and helps them not use the word and over and over and over...


Foodie Friday treat with goldfish! YUM!


Whales and sharks are ginormous creatures of the ocean!!  I have no desire getting close to either one of them!  My students are a little scared, too.  We made whales and sharks to help us remember what facts we learned about each animal.  We read 2-3 books on each animal and recorded important facts that we learned.  We then compared and contrasted whales and sharks.  My students are getting really good at this!  Check out the chart we made together, as well as their own writing that highlights similarities and differences between whales and sharks.


Turtles are such fun reptiles!  We enjoyed reading about turtles and really enjoyed making a turtle Foodie Friday treat!  Yum!!  It was so simple and FUN!


The ocean is a great big place.  We learned about the four different oceans and played a game on the globe where they had to spin the glob with their eyes closed.  Students would then point their finger anywhere on the globe.  When they opened their eyes 8 out of 10 times students landed on water and not land.  This helped students understand that our world is made up of more water than land!  This was a great visual!!

**Check out these resources to find some of the ocean activities I did!

All About the Ocean by: Kindergarten Smiles

Under the Sea by: A Cupcake for the Teacher

Ocean Unit by: Victoria Moore

Ocean Unit for Early Elementary by: Once Upon a Creative Classroom

I hope you had a wonderful week.  What are you working on in your classroom?  Now that I am done with our ocean fun - we are going to move on to camping!  We have two weeks of school left and we're going out with a bang in Kindergarten!!  

No comments:

Post a Comment