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Frog Week- summaries, writing, and an art “experiment”
30 Mar, 2014. 5 Comments. A Day In First Grade, First Grade, First Grade Science, First Grade Writing, Kindergarten Science, Preschool Science, Science, Writing. Posted By: Kristen Smith
In Texas, the weather is currently beautiful. Spring is in the air (and allergies are on overdrive)! To capitalize on what is going on around us, last week we focused on frogs and amphibians. In many of the ponds nearby, frog spawn can be found and my students have soaked up all of the information they have been learning. I even had a parent text me from the zoo yesterday telling me that her daughter was teaching their family all about the frogs in the amphibian house! (LOVE IT!) 
Throughout the week we worked so incredibly hard and had so much fun. My students were SO excited to have a temporary class pet, too. He sure did inspire some fantastic writing and learning opportunities! 
During guided reading, my students soaked in all the information they could about frogs while reading the articles that I wrote for them. 
They practiced taking notes while they read this week. 
 Throughout our writing workshop we worked on writing expository texts. My students worked diligently adding facts to their graphic organizers and then turned them into fantastic writing pieces. 
We practiced using our resources (books) to add details and facts to our writing. 
{This was by far our favorite book that we read!!}
After we had come up with a topic sentence, and had great supporting details, we started our final products.
 On Friday, we turned them into a cute hallway display thanks to Jen Ross’s cute frog craft! My students felt so proud when the fourth grade teacher at our school had her fourth graders read their papers to encourage HER students to add more details to their writing! My first graders walked a little bit taller after that! :) 
This week we also have been working on understanding what a summary is and how to write them. We used Frog and Toad books to help us. Each day we read a book and then discussed what the summary could be. My students would help come up with two sentences that we could add to our changeable anchor chart. I laminate my anchor charts after I draw the picture and then use dry erase markers to write on them. This allowed me to write a different summary each day on this chart! 
 
After practicing summaries a few times orally, my students got to try it by themselves. We wrote three summaries this week and they did great! 
 A unit on frogs would be incomplete with learning about their life cycle! Therefore, we created these paper plate life cycles and displayed them in the hallway as well.
 Finally, on Friday, we ended the day with an art/science activity. We made liquid  “exploding” chalk using:
baking soda
corn starch
water
food coloring
{The mixture uses 1/3 of each ingredient}
We made multiple batches and put them into cups and ketchup-style squeeze bottles. To manage the activity, I sectioned off a part of our parking lot and put my students into groups at different sections of the marked off “territory.” Each group was given multiple cups of chalk paint,  paint brushes, squeeze bottles, and a spray bottle filled with vinegar. The only real directions that I gave my students were that they had to work together with their group and to share all the supplies. 
My students eagerly got to work creating masterful art pieces in the parking lot. 
 They loved using the different mediums and spraying their artwork to see it “explode.”
 It was so neat to see my students explore and create.
 I am a firm believer that children learn through play, hands-on activities, art, and science. This activity was a great activity that allowed my students to work together as a team, to create without the structure of paper, pencils, and crayons, and really allowed them to explore multiple ideas. 
 We created, explored, and played for about 35 minutes at the end of the day and my students went home extremely happy. 
 
To clean up, I just sprayed down the parking lot with a garden hose! 
A note: If you do this activity, I would recommend pre-mixing nearly ALL of the liquid chalk mix before you let the kids explore. I mixed mine in pitchers and was so grateful that I did. Since the mixture starts out clumpy, the pitcher made it easy to stir and simple to transfer into the cups and squeeze bottles. The mixing process took a bit of time. {After we made a batch together, I mixed the rest of it while my students were at recess.} Also, add a GOOD amount of food coloring to your mixtures. Honestly, I used a whole bottle of food coloring for each mixture to get bright vibrant, colors. 
I hope that you are enjoying your weekend! 
{All of the writing activities and guided reading articles are found in my “All about Frogs” pack. You can get it by clicking on the cover below!}

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5 Comments
  1. LOVE that chalk paint idea! I’m going to have to do this for a “fun Friday” activity. LOVE!!
    Nicole

  2. Love it!!! I love letting kids explore without lots of directions!

  3. Your frog ideas look terrific! I am especially inspired by your summarizing activities, though. And what a great idea for anchor charts….draw, laminate, and then use dry erase markers? GENIUS!!!!

  4. ooh – I’m so glad the craft worked out for ya! Love all the fun activities!

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5 Comments

  • LOVE that chalk paint idea! I’m going to have to do this for a “fun Friday” activity. LOVE!!
    Nicole

  • Love it!!! I love letting kids explore without lots of directions!

  • Your frog ideas look terrific! I am especially inspired by your summarizing activities, though. And what a great idea for anchor charts….draw, laminate, and then use dry erase markers? GENIUS!!!!

  • ooh – I’m so glad the craft worked out for ya! Love all the fun activities!

  • there are numerous regarding books from generating a good effective work out regarding In the same way Relate marketing AND ALSO freelance creating. we personally utilized most of these actions earlier birth precisely what my partner and i currently observe because MY PERSONAL full-time employment.how to start freelancing

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