A few days ago our classroom was given tadpoles to watch, care for, and observe. My young learners were SO excited to dig deep into learning about them and how we can best take care of our new classroom “pets.” I pulled together all of my frog books and created a new life cycle packet to inspire and teach my students about frogs.
To begin the unit, I set up a museum walk in my classroom. Using the posters and cards that I created for my packet, I placed them around the room along with our frog manipulatives, books, and Post It Notes so that we could create an “I see, I think, I wonder” anchor chart.
Here’s a quick video to show you how I set up the room and a bit of the museum walk in action.
We hung up the anchor chart and used some of the “wonders” to guide our inquiry.
That afternoon, we created these cute frogs as well.
All week my class was inspired by our tadpoles. They loved observing them and writing what they noticed.
One thing that I love to do in my classroom is to fully integrate whatever we are learning about into all of our subject areas. I find that this not only creates a “spark” but also it allows students to dive deeper into learning about the topic and practice the other skills in more meaningful ways.
Integrating frogs into Math
As we are nearing the end of the year (we only have 15 days left), I wanted to use some really fun integrated math activities to informally assess many of our counting and cardinality standards as well as measurement standards.
The first activity was using plastic frog jumpers. Before my students had entered the classroom, I had set out “work mats” around our room complete with math cubes, measuring tape, two plastic jumping frogs, clipboards and recording sheets. During our morning meeting we discussed the activity and then I sent pairs of students to each work mat to see just how far they could get their frog to jump.
My students placed their frogs on their start line and then launched them. They then measured how far their frogs jumped.
A few days later we did a similar activity outside; however, this time, my students were the frogs and they had to see how far they could frog jump!
In pairs, my students took turns jumping and measuring how far they jumped. We used sidewalk chalk to draw the distance each child jumped so that it was easier to measure.
My students used both math cubes and measuring tape to measure.
When we came inside from the activity, each child shared their farthest distance and we placed them on a number line from smallest to largest. (informally assessing comparing numbers)
Then we wrote about the activity.
Integrating frogs into language
We also integrated frogs into our language lessons. During rotation time my students wrote about frogs, took observational notes about the tadpoles, and practiced reading nonfiction and fiction texts during guided reading.
We created a venn diagram comparing frogs and froglets.
We also played a fun sight word swat game using fly swatters.
They LOVED this game so much that they chose to play it again and again during exploration centers!
Integrating frogs into technology and art
This group of students loves showing what they are learning through art projects. They are particularly fond of making hats and begged me to set up a life cycle hat making station.
I happily obliged!
During exploration centers we created models of frogs out of Hey Clay.
We created origami frogs that actually jumped!
My students used our art cart to make their own frogs.
And my students built and coded Lego WeDo frogs!
We had such a great week and are looking forward to watching our tadpoles turn into frogs!