Happy New Year!! Kelly and Kim here with you today! We hope everyone had a great holiday season and are having a great start to the new year!
This month we want to share with all of you the fun we have in our classroom learning about groundhogs. As you know Groundhog Day is coming up soon in February, so we are getting ready.
It doesn't matter if you want spring to come early or winter to last for six more weeks, you can't deny how cute these little animals are!
We are planning on repeating activities from last year and then adding a couple new ones as well. We are getting excited already!
When Groundhog Day comes around we will be finishing up our themes of "Winter" and "Animals in Winter". The children are already familiar with the fact that groundhogs hibernate, now we would like to teach them more about these furry little mammals. We like to read nonfiction books to the children that use real photographs and we use our Let's Find Out magazines from Scholastic as well. Our school system has a subscription to Discovery Education so we like to use this as a resource for educational video clips too. After looking at all of these resources, we make a book together of groundhog facts. The children add a photograph and we add dictated sentences to the inside. When they are complete, we read the books together.
The children also like to make an adorable hat craft to wear for the day.
One of our favorite activities is a creative writing activity the children do after they see that we have turned them into groundhogs! We simply take a photograph of the child's face and then add groundhog ears and teeth. We do this on the computer, but you could also use photo booth like props in the classroom as well. They turn out so stinkin' cute!
The children are also given sentence starters to fill in on an "If I Were a Groundhog" template to add some creativity to their pictures.
We also have several center activities for the children to take part in that we store in our fast finisher containers. We use these containers to change out thematic centers for the children. We have some that are the same format for all themes, like Write the Room, I Spy, and Clippies, so those drawers have permanent labels on them and the materials are changed out based on theme. The remaining drawers include activities of varying skills during the year. Here are two different ways we store these centers:
Here is a peek into some of our Groundhog Themed centers:
In this I Spy activity, children use their magnifying glass to search for tiny thematic words in the scene. They practice letter naming, decoding, and copying when they record the hidden words on the recording sheet. They love completing these independently or in partners! You can find these fun magnifying glasses from Lakeshore Learning here.
These cute groundhogs are popping out from their burrow! Children match them to their correct burrow that has the correct letter to match the picture on their belly.
Our little critters can also practice their CVC spelling and segmenting with these groundhogs. The beginning and ending sounds are finished for the children, but they need to isolate the medial vowel and find the groundhog who completes each word correctly.
Children can also work on their ending sounds with these groundhogs and their shadows. They look at the picture in each groundhog's shadow and find the groundhog with the correct ending sound letter on it to place above it. They just LOVE these cute little groundhogs so much, that sometimes we think they forget they're reading and learning!
When we are done with our theme we store all of our center materials in these vertical backpack organizers we found at Target.
We also have a freebie for you! Our children love roll and color worksheets. When we bring them out, they cheer! Click here or on the picture below to a copy for your classroom! Enjoy!
Thanks for hanging out with us today! We hope we have gotten you excited about Groundhog's Day! We will be tuning in on February 2nd to see if Punxsutawney Phil sees his shadow or not! See you in February!