Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fire Safety

Wow!  It seems like forever since I've blogged.  You know when you start a home improvement project that you think will take a day, and it turns into three weekends?  Yeah... that's my life right now.  I'm trying to keep my eye on the prize and be thankful I have a home to improve.  I'm a planner, and I don't like when things don't go as planned.  Oh well, I'm taking a few minutes to share what we've been up to in my classroom.

Last week, we had a short week because we had two teacher work days.  For the first time in my career, I didn't spend the days chatting it up with the other teachers.  I actually stuck to my grand plans and organized my library (partially).  Anyway, our social studies topic was fire safety and community helpers.

We used my fire safety/firefighter unit for our writing.

We always start with a non-fiction book (or two) about our topic.  Then, we illustrate the "little books" that are included in each of my writing units.  There is one sentence per page, and the kids illustrate each page with pictures that give them clues to read the sentence on the page.  The books are formatted to copy on two pages back to back.  You add two staples and then cut them in half.  The kids LOVE them!  Then, we read those books each day to work on our reading skills.  In this file, there are two book: All About Fire Safety and All About Firefighters.

Usually, we would use the circle map/tree map page to brainstorm and organize our ideas about firefighters.  The kids would then help me make sentences from the tree map.

They would copy their sentences on the paper that says "Completed in Class" and then take that paper home.  The next day, they would make the tree map with me, and then write the sentences on their own.  The third day, they would write the sentences on their own, after being reminded of the verbs (are, have, can).

We had a big conversation about sounding words in order to figure out spelling.  I showed them how to spell words phonetically, and how "vjktyuk" does not say "firefighter".  After that big pep talk and lesson, I only had two that sat there looking lost.  So, I'll work with those two a bit more in order for them to be successful in writing.

We had a firefighter come to all of the kindergarten classrooms to talk about fire safety.  Firefighter Lanna is super cool.  She is the parent at the school, and she is so good with kids.  She talked to us about fire escape plans, and the usual fire rules.  It was so much fun!

In order to thank Firefighter Lanna, we wrote a friendly letter to her.  This was the first friendly letter we wrote, so we talked about the format, when we would write a friendly letter, etc.  So, that is my freebie this week.  I am giving you some fire safety paper.  One page is formatted like a friendly letter and the other page is just lined.

Freebie Fridays

This week, we are studying pumpkins and we're continuing our unit on community helpers.  Expect a neat freebie next week.  :)

Happy teaching, and have a great week!

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