Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Going Batty!

Hey everyone! Lindsey here...

You know what I was just thinking? I start every post off with "Hey Everyone! Lindsey here..." That's kind of lame of me. I should be more creative...I am drawing a blank. Suggestions???? I guess for now I will have to stick with it.

Anyway, let me get back to the reason I am on the blog tonight. I wanted to share with everyone our week of bats! I LOVE teaching about bats. I hate bats. A lot of them have creepy faces BUT the kiddos love them AND they are important, so I like to teach about them. Side note...I also love to teach about sharks but I DO NOT like sharks and I REFUSE to swim in the ocean...maybe there's a pattern here. Back to bats. I love to teach about them, so we have been focusing our week on learning non-fiction text features while also learning about bats. We started off with a KWL chart. It's actually a KML chart because instead of 'what we want to know' we wrote 'misconceptions.'


Now, before I go on, let me tell you where I got a lot of this stuff. I have three different bats units that I pulled my resources from. The first one is a Bats Mini Unit by First Grade Weinerful which you can get here. The second one is Bats: An Integrated Unit by Aimee Salazar which you can get here. The last one is Nonfiction in October by Jodi Southard which you can get here. All three of these units are FANTASTIC and are wonderful for teaching about bats. I recommend all three!

So, we started off talking about what we already know about bats. I put down EVERYTHING they said just to make sure that we can fix any misconceptions that we had. Then we read a book about bats by Time for Kids.

Next we created our pictorial. This is teacher directed but I stop continually as we go through it and they share with their neighbor what they have learned so far. THIS turn and talk takes practice. NO... we are not sharing our favorite color. NO... we are not sharing about this one time I saw a bat. NO... we are not sharing why bats are creepy. NO... we are not sharing what you had for dinner last night. It takes A LOT of practice. But we get there and eventually they are all ACTUALLY sharing what they have learned. It's a miracle!



This awesome pictorial came from one of our ELL teachers who is also a GLAD trainer and she is AWESOME! I'm not sure where she got it. Maybe she came up with it or possibly from the Project GLAD website? Whoever created it is awesome! I can't take credit for this awesomeness.

We have also been learning about non-fiction text features throughout this week. We have focused only on labels, photographs and images. We will make it through a lot more but I like to take my time so that I know the kiddos have them down. I also clean out the local library to make sure I have a good selection of books for the kiddos to read. Here's a peek of some of the books we use.


As we go through this unit we are also learning about vocabulary. We are learning about mammals, nocturnal, echolocation, etc. We use these fantastic vocabulary books to keep track of our words.


Notice the Seahawk colors:) This book is from Aimee Salazar's bat unit. It is a great way for the students to organize all these new words.

Next, we used our passages to start looking at the difference between bats and birds. We also practiced repeating the question in our answer. What's so great about these passages is you can have all the kiddos working on a passage that is at their independent level. They are ALL working on the exact same response page as well. I had a groups of students working on the D/E, F/G and H/I passage. They all look similar which allows the students to still feel successful.



Not only are we working on non-fiction text features with this bats unit, but we are also working on informative writing. So, we started by front loading them with a lot of information on bats. Next we created a can, have, are chart to help the kiddos get their facts written down.


Once the kiddos have this all written down we move onto a plan, draft and then final. However, we haven't gotten that far yet. We have only gotten the can, have, are done. Like I said, we are cramming a lot in this week.

That sums up our week so far. We are going to keep plugging along:)

Next week we are going to finish up bats at the beginning of the week. We are going to wrap up with Stellaluna and using our passages, which you can get here, to do a more in-depth comparison between bats and birds.


Now, I am not sure where the Venn diagram came from. It doesn't have a name on it. So, if it is yours I will gladly give you credit for it:)

Once we finish up bats we will move onto spiders, which REALLY creep me out and I don't enjoy teaching about. But once again, the kiddos love it.

I hope you all have a great week! We are half way done:)

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