Saturday, September 3, 2011

First Week Under Our Belts! Brown Bear Activities

We completed our first full week this week, and let me tell you, it ended up HOT! The temperature in my classroom when I left on Friday, with the lights off most of the day, was 90 degrees! OK, complaining done. On to more productive things...

Our theme this week was Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?

On Monday, I introduced the big book and talked about the cover, author, illustrator, and characters. This is the version with the gray mouse, pink elephant, and teacher included. We also did the Gummy Bear Math activity I talked about in my previous post.

On Tuesday, we reviewed the parts of the book, and I let the kids read along with me. In math, we used character cards created by 1+1+1=1 from her Brown Bear Tot Pack to sort the animals by the number of legs each has.

We also created name mosaics, an idea I got from Deanna Jump's Blog. I printed the students' names in a large, plain font. They tore construction paper into small pieces (great fine motor activity!) and glued them onto the letters of their name in rainbow order (the first letter was red, the second orange, etc.). Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures of these.

On Wednesday, we used the same character cards for a counting activity. I passed out all the cards to the students, without telling them what we were going to do. Then I asked everyone with a Brown Bear to come and put it in the chart. We counted it, and wrote a "1" on the card next to it. Then I had everyone with a Red Bird come and put it in the chart, and we counted them. I continued in order until the chart was filled. The students enjoyed waiting for their animal(s) to be called.

On Wednesday, we also read the read-aloud version, which does not have the gray mouse or pink elephant, and has a mother instead of a teacher. After reading this book, we compared the two versions and created a Venn Diagram:

For our name activity on Wednesday, the students traced their names in rainbow order again, then cut each letter apart. I had them glue the letters back in order onto a sheet of construction paper according to the number of letters in their name. Then we graphed them:

We have a lot of 6-letter names!

On Thursday, I again used the characters cards in the pocket chart. I used them to support story problems that I asked the students, such as "Brown Bear was walking down the path, when he saw 2 red birds. How many animals were on the path?" 2+1=3.

I also printed up name cards with their pictures on them for us to use in recognizing our names - I'm proud to say that everyone in my class can recognize their own name this year! (This doesn't always happen, unfortunately...)

On Friday, we watched a video of Bill Martin, Jr. reading the book:

I created sentence strips that say "The {animal} is" and cards with the color words on them. We matched the color word to the correct animal sentence, and then read them together. I will try to get a picture of this on Tuesday.

I also created a color sorting activity for the smartboard. The students sort the pictures onto the correct color.
You can download it from SmartTech Exchange: Color Sort.notebook.

In between all of this fun, there were MANY bathroom breaks, recesses, and drinking fountain breaks ... oh, and Daily 5 Read to Self - we're up to 5 minutes already! But I'm getting a new student on Tuesday, so we'll have to drop back to 3 minutes for a couple of days and work our way back up.

Next week is Chicka Chicka Boom Boom - another of my favorites!


Ms. Preppy

I just found your adorable blog! Looks like you guys had a great week! I'm a K-2 math teacher, so I like your addition story idea with Brown Bear!

Ms. Preppy's Adventures in Primary and Polka Dots

Leslie @KindergartenWorks

This is an awesome post - so tracking it for when we get to this story! Thanks!
- Leslie

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