Thursday, May 10, 2012

It's A Zoo In Here!

For the past two weeks we have been BUSY with our zoo unit!  Most of the ideas below are from Deanna Jump's Awesome Zoo Unit!

 Each day we focused on a different zoo animal.  We made bubble maps for many of these animals, completed an art project, and then wrote about them!

Last year, I found this gorilla measurement activity in Blogland.  Unfortunately, I cannot relocate the source!

Using diecut shapes, we created a cage for our animals and then wrote some facts about them.

These monkeys are again from Mrs. Jump's tpt store.  The link is above.
This is not a great picture, but I always, turn our room into a jungle like atmosphere.  They love the vines hanging form the ceiling.  Then, we add snakes, monkeys, and butterflies!

Here are some of the station that we have going on in our room right now!

Zoo animal tangrams and pattern blocks!

Zoo animal puzzles. I just love the giraffe!  It is a life size baby giraffe puzzle that used to my own children's.  I got it on clearance from Lakeshore Learning.

 Using zoo animal stamps, they stamp with paint and then label them. 

*A few more ideas that are not pictured include:
-They brought in their favorite stuffed zoo animal.  They then wrote about what their zoo animal did at school.  I then took their picture of them wearing a safari hat with their animal.  I used the picture and writing to make a page for their  Kindergarten Scrapbook!
*I gave each child a zoo animal grow capsule.  Using an inference page, much like the one from Deanna Jump's Dinosaur Pack, they made inferences about what was inside.  Then, they each got a cup of water to place their capsule in to find out what was really inside. They LOVED it!

Monday, May 7, 2012

It Is Never Too Late for Earth Day!

I have had my Earth Day activity photos here to share since last month!  Finally, I am able to update!  I also direct Sunday School.  I love how I can adapt school and Sunday School activities to meet both needs!  Here are some examples of this year's classroom and Sunday School Earth Day activities!
The Bubble map idea came from Pinterest.  Here is the link to A Cupcake for the Teacher for the original sources.

We have used an Earth shape with q-tips to paint them for many years.  We added the handprints after seeing it on Pinterest.  The writing paper was a freebie from Empowering Little Learners.  I just adapted the one above for Sunday School.

The handprint Earth was from Bulletin Board Ideas.  We then added the chorus from Dr. Jean's Happy Everything CD!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Mrs. Wishy Washy Returns!

After posting about our Mrs. Wishy Washy Unit, I was contacted by Hameray Publishing Group to review a few of Joy Cowley's new Mrs. Wishy Washy books!  Of course, I was completely willing to do so!  
Joy Cowley recently published 5 new Mrs. Wishy-Washy titles through the Hameray Publishing Group. She also has another 15 titles that will be published in the Fall!

So, I was very excited when the package arrived in the mail.  The two titles that I received were:  Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Wash  and Mrs. Wishy-Washy on TV.

In the story, Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Wash, she wants to give the same beloved animals a bath.  However, they have no water!  So she loads them up in the farm truck and takes them to town.   During their trip to town, the animals are distracted by the book store, music store, and the bakery.  Finally, they head to the car wash for their bath!  There is a sweet surprise at the very end as they are given some baked treats!

This book is delightful and my Kinder Kids loved it! The title is great!  Before reading the book, we discussed what this title could mean and what may happen in the story.  After all, the title is a gift and a lot can be told before even opening the book!  The illustrations are adorable and are like the ones we have loved so much Joy Cowley's original Mrs. Wishy-Washy book.  I love the look on the animals' faces when they realize that they are about to enter the car wash for their bath!  I also like how each animal has a quote as they are bathed.  For example, when the cow enters the wash, the book reads:  Swish, swish went the brushes.  "That tickles!"  mooed the cow.    This lead to great conversation of the descriptive words and how we were able to relate to how the cow may have been feeling during his wash.  

For the book, Mrs Wishy-Washy on TV, she is on TV to promote the Amazing Sudsy Soap!  She of course, demonstrates how wonderful the soap is by washing each of the farm animals we have grown to love!  The text continues with wonderful descriptive words.  "Number one is the duck.  She goes in the tub.  Scrub!  Scrub!  Scrub!"
Of course, each book has to end with a surprise!  In this book, Mrs. Wishy-Washy goes on to give the TV woman and the TV man a bath with the Amazing Sudsy Soap!  She ends by saying, "Sudsy Soap will wash anything!"

To no surprise, Joy Cowley does not disappoint with these two new titles!  They are perfect for the emergent and beginning stages of reading.  The text size, sight words, and decodable words offer a delightful read!  Both of these books also offer many opportunities to discuss the story elements and sequencing of events.  These books will definitely be added to my Mrs. Wishy-Washy unit in the future!

Hameray Publishing  has provided this link to download a free sample of Mrs. Wishy-Washy and the Big Car Wash.  You can also listen to the audio file of Joy Cowley narrating this wonderful book! 
I am so honored to have been able to review these lovely titles of an author that I admire and appreciate so much!

Please do not forget that you can check out Joy Cowley's additional titles right here.