We are cruising through the alphabet; we are already on Tt! Last week we had turtle day. I wish I could have found a real turtle to bring in, but the pet shop in town is not very friendly when I ask to borrow pets. I've asked twice and they stare at me like I'm crazy. I haven't been volunteering at the nature center this school year, so that was sorta out too.
Anyway, this nonfiction (told in a friendly picture book style) called Turtle Crossing by Rick Chrustowski was a really good one. I added a little bit of description and other turtle facts I wanted the kids to learn so that I didn't have to read a number of books. I also skimmed the mating part. There was a lovely turtle wedding and then some eggs. Before I started reading, I told them we were listening to learn about turtles, so we were listening for turtle facts. After reading, I asked some questions about important aspects from the story. They are SO getting ready for kindergarten.
Before the reading, I shared a few turtle pictures from old calendars and old magazines. Then I showed them these pictures of images I found online.
I had them describe what was happening in the pictures. They are learning to raise their hands (It's so nice) and this was a good opportunity for them to speak out using complete sentences. They loved the yelling baby turtle. They pretty much all agreed that the black and white picture was taken in the snow. Even when I explained that it was black and white and the background was probably sand, the next person said something about snow again. That picture could be tracked back to here, but no farther. The other two could not be tracked back any farther than pinterest.
I passed out these turtles to each friend. We sang a little song and that child brought the turtle up and added it to the flannel board. I had the white cards read in case they needed to check their turtle with each letter.
(to the tune of bingo)
"I have a friend who has a turtle, and on it is the letter _L__.
/l/ /l/ /l/ /l/ /l/, /l/ /l/ /l/ /l/ /l/, /l/ /l/ /l/ /l/ /l/, and on it was the letter __L_.
Here's another song I wanted to do that we did last year. I picked up the little finger puppets at the party supply store and had to change the song a little to fit my characters. It's just the mosquito and flea song.
"There was little turtle, he lived in a box.
He swam in a puddle and he climbed upon the rocks.
He snapped at a mosquito and he snapped at a flea,
he snapped at a bumble bee and he snapped at me.
He caught the mosquito and he caught the flea.
He caught the bumblebee but he didn't catch me."
I wanted to do something else with first letter sound so I made up with little bing- like turtle game. I found a black and white clipart turtle and added a few letters, then printed them on green cardstock. Each kiddo got a turtle and a handful of glass beads for markers.
I showed a clipart picture and we sounded out the beginning sound. They looked for that letter on their turtle and covered it. The kids thought the turtles looked angry. I think so too!
Then we hung the pictures up on the flannel board sort of graph style. The kids only cooperated through the first dozen or so, so we stopped. Surely we can use these cards again. They are from PreKinders.
I made up an eye spy sheet for the letter Tt. We however didn't get time for it. That's rough. Sometimes I spend an hour working on something and then it either doesn't go or we run out of time. Stinks.
Here's the craft, triangle turtles. Lou's might have extra legs.
At arrival and dismissal time I set up Lou's Tepee. We used tickets and a timer to help make the tepee a pleasant experience. I considered not bringing it. I really thought they'd get crazy, but the tickets and timer made a difference.
Here are a few things from our other Tt day. The kids used toothpicks to build towers. Good grief, they could have worked on this for an hour! They were not satisfied with the 15 minutes they were given. I took these pictures with my ipod, which I can now use with our new classroom music players! I feel weird getting it out during class; I don't want someone to think I'm checking my email or texting with someone or something.
Some built 3-D, others built flat. Some chose to work with a partner, others wanted to create alone. The kids are old enough this year that we can just say, "the marshmallows are not for eating" and they just wont do it. It's lovely.
The kids also used toothpicks to move around teeny tiny letters. There was so much silent concentration!
They spelled their names out with the teeny tiny noodles.
And here's our Tt letter craft, a tree.