This week we are starting our very first theme in kindergarten and it was a HUGE success. This is a brand new theme for me and I’m SUPER excited to teach it. This week we started to learn all about…. WORMS!
Unbeknownst to my students, today I had a bunch of tricks up my sleeve. When they entered into our classroom, they sat on the rug as usual. However, our morning message gave them a few hints telling them that we had some special visitors. My students used their deductive skills and came up with the prediction that some WORMS were going to join us for the day!
After they guessed our special visitors, we learned a little bit about worms. We talked about what we already knew and we got to work making some “worm hotels” for our visitors.
To make these worm hotels I went to my local Hardware Store and picked up:
1. One bag of sand
2. One bag of topsoil (without fertilizer!)
3. A few large mason jars
(I made 3 at home the night before so we only made one all together.)
We used team work to add the layers into our mason jar. (Please note that I brought in my tarp to cover the rug!) While one friend held the jar, the other friend added a scoop of either soil or sand to our jar. Then the two students switched roles. (This ensured that everyone got a turn doing everything.)
After our layers were complete, some BRAVE kindergarteners added some worms to their hotel! (Yes, EVERYONE wanted to add the worms!)
My students loved adding the worms! As each student took turns adding them, we talked about the variety of sizes of the worms. This was a perfect introduction to measurement which was our math lesson today!
After our worms were settled in their new homes, and we washed our hands, my students drew pictures of what their worms looked like. We have been working on adding details to our pictures and making good color choices. I love that my students took the time to add segments to their worms and even added soil and sand to their illustrations.
Many people wonder why I teach with themes and I’ll be honest, one of the reasons is to build engagement and excitement towards learning. Students love to discover the world around them and they naturally LOVE to learn. Simply by introducing worms to my kindergartners today increased the engagement level in my classroom. More so, by creating centers to go along with the theme it helped my students build their stamina during center time.
We are only on the 9th day of school and we already are rotating throughout literacy and math centers daily. We are building our stamina and adding worms to the mix, definitely helped that today!
One of my students’ favorite math centers today was our sensory table. I added some sand to it and hid different colored worms to the sand. My students’ job was to find all the worms and to graph them based on color. We have been working on building graphs and this was a fantastic extension to that learning. My students loved digging through the table!
After they found their worms, they used a nearby pocket chart to create a graph! I loved hearing their conversations as they added worms. They used all of the terms that we have been learning and compared the worms without even being prompted.
Another center that my students really enjoyed was one called “roll a worm.” For this center my students had to roll a dice and then look at the key to see what color worm they needed to collect. The goal of the game was for the students to get 4 of the same colored worm. They really liked playing this game!
Finally, the last center that was new today was our “build a worm hotel” center. In this, students rolled TWO dice, counted up the dots and then built a tower with that many snap cubes. This was great for practicing number concepts and it kept them engaged!
Tomorrow we will continue our fun with worms by taste testing worms!! (GUMMY worms!)
I hope that you have a great week!