February 28, 2016

Thematically Planning---Objects in the Sky

Week 2 of thematic learning is in the books!
Want to know what motivated me to change how/why I'm teaching this way...find it here.

This week's focus was all about things in the sky: Sun/Moon/Clouds.
Below are the books that formed my instruction this week.

I like to kick off the week reading non-fiction. It never fails to draw them in and get them excited!
We read Gail Gibbons book, The Moon Book.

We reviewed what it meant to be curious and how good readers ask questions before/during/after reading. I showed them the cover and gave them a few minutes to write down a question before we started reading. They took their papers to the floor with them and also wrote down a question while I read. After I finished, their response was to write down a question they had after hearing the book.
Then I showed them our moon chart and they got to choose 1 question to record.

Throughout the week, we took a few questions each day and tried to find the answers.

We moved onto reading fiction. Another reason I read non-fiction first is because many of the fiction books will mention facts we read about and their faces light up and you can tell they feel smart!

When they heard the title of this one, they were super excited to listen.

This book is GREAT for reviewing or even teaching problem and solution.
Here are some reader's responses they turned in after reading.

 {This paper can be found here}

We also read Owl Moon which is a fabulous book for having students record their visualizations.
The author describes the setting in great detail.

 {This paper can be found here}

We changed gears and focused on the sun next.
This book below introduces the sun and relates it to a child's life perfectly!

After reading, we wrote down questions it left us wondering or some we already had on this chart.

Then we read this book in search of answers for our questions.

I had students who heard the answer to their question write it on a "ray of sun".
If they did not hear their answer, they simply wrote down a fact that "wowed" them.
I put the two together, and made a ray of sunshine with our questions/answers/facts!

This week there haven't been much clouds to observe in our clear blue skies, but  we did stop for a day to read this cute little story and discuss some cloud types.
I didn't snag a picture but this book pairs great with a lesson on characters and their feelings.

The very last thing we did was put together a model of how the sun, moon and earth work together.

I found a freebie here at More Time 2 Teach's blog.
Kids LOVED this. I even challenged them to go home and explain it to a family member!

Hope you found some neat ideas to implement! It was a fun filled week!

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