Apples! Apples! Apples! (Part 2)

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The second week of apples was just as full of explorations as the first. And, honestly, I'm ready for a different unit. I loved it. They loved it. But I'm about appled out. Pumpkins anyone?

We started off by labeling the parts of apple tree (bud, flower, fruit, etc.) and exploring the seasons of the apple tree. 

We made apple pie play dough and we weighed our apples against other objects in the room. I usually dread these kinds of activities because it seems so chaotic, but this time was BY FAR the best we've ever done. I started by putting a balance scale on each table with an apple on one side of the scale and 1-2 objects to weigh on the table. Yes, I know scientifically that the size of the apple could change whether or not the other object weighs more or less than "our apple," but the apples were all relatively the same size. And for management's sake, I didn't care. We just needed approximations. 

The kids were then given the pictures of the things they were going to measure. If the object weighed more than the apple, they were to color that picture red. If the object weighed less than the apple, they colored it blue. MOST of the kiddos understood this. We went over this procedure at least a hundred times about 10 times. The kids were also instructed NOT to remove the apple from the scale. We didn't need any run away apples. 

In the end their picture sheet looked like this:

Did I mention they did a FANTASTIC JOB of measuring and recording their results?

They look so studious, don't they? 

AFTER they colored the pictures, they cut them out and glued them into their science notebook as heavier or lighter. It was the best science lab in kinder EVER!

AND even though we someone get sick all over the carpet, we had 3 other kids out or go home early, and we had 3 friends from a substitute-less classroom come join our class for the day, the kids did an INCREDIBLE job reading quietly during Daily 5. 

It was my hallelujah moment. It lasted a whole 10 minutes. And social centers went incredibly well with additional kids, too. 

Next week: Shapes and light sources. Maybe next week will be just as "enLIGHTening" as this week was. (Sorry, I just couldn't resist.)

Classroom Rewards

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I can't believe it's already October! Where is the time going?! A fellow teacher said, "It's already October. Parent conferences are next week. Before you know it, it will be Christmas break and spring break and BOOM! The school year is gone!" I definitely felt that way last year! The school year goes by so fast and there is so much to fit into each day. 

One of the hardest parts of teaching is handling behavior. Anytime I can give recognize positive behavior, I do. One way I reward the kids for expected hallway behavior is with a Mr. Potato Head.


Yes, Mr. Potato Head. Each time the kids get a compliment for walking quietly and staying in a straight (-ish, they're kinder people) line, we add a piece to Mr. Potato Head.

When the class gets all the pieces on him, we have a reward of some kind. Our first reward was to bring a small stuffed animal to school. Our second reward has been the class favorite for years: shaving cream. 

Yes, one of my friends needs a visual for personal workspace. The tape has been replaced a time or two, but it really helps define personal ares. 

What do you do for classroom rewards?

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