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Our first theme of the year: worms!!
15 Sep, 2014. 2 Comments. . Posted By: Kristen Smith

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.

fun with worms

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.)

My students helped me layer the sand and topsoil in an AB pattern (yay for a math standard).
fun with worms

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.)

fun with worms

After our layers were complete, some BRAVE kindergarteners added some worms to their hotel! (Yes, EVERYONE wanted to add the worms!)

fun with worms

We talked about how we should handle the worms and made sure to describe the worms as we placed them carefully into their new homes. 

fun with 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!PSS Week 1-10

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.

PSS Week 1-13

As the day continued, my students were allowed to observe the worms. They loved watching the worms burrow throughout their hotel. PSS Week 1-15 PSS Week 1-16

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!
PSS Week 1-20

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.
PSS Week 1-21 fun with worms

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! fun with worms

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! 
fun with worms

Tomorrow we will continue our fun with worms by taste testing worms!! (GUMMY worms!)

I hope that you have a great week!

{All of these activities can be found in my worm pack found here!} 

2 Comments
  1. M.Taylor -

    The worm unit looks awesome! Are you still following the unit plan your shared earlier or have you changed them? If so, Will you please share your new teaching themes for the year? Thank you for sharing!

2 Comments

  • M.Taylor -

    The worm unit looks awesome! Are you still following the unit plan your shared earlier or have you changed them? If so, Will you please share your new teaching themes for the year? Thank you for sharing!

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