BATS!!! - Queen of the First Grade Jungle


Wowy-wow-Wow!  This past week was one of the best weeks that I have ever had in my classroom! We learned so much and had a blast!  The nonfiction resources on the right of the picture below are from Falling into First's All About Bats unit.  All the other resources I used are from Amy and I's unit Rooted into Reading: October.  

{P.S.  did you know we will have November finished very, very soon!}

At the beginning of this week I posted this anchor chart without all the post-its.  We worked together as a class to come up with the responses that we added to the chart. 

The first day my kids had a little bit of a hard time with problem and solution.  For example, they would say that Stellaluna was attacked by an owl and the solution was that she found mangos to eat at the end.  They weren't recognizing solutions that "matched" the problem that they had identified.  So I used these different colored post-it notes to help them visualize what I was trying to say to them.  It worked like a charm!

Here is a full picture of my reading bulletin board.  I love how someone who walks in my room will have no question about what our focuses in reading are! AND that just so happened this week. 

Anyone else get SURPRISE observations from their District higher-ups?!? Today was mine. I don't care how long you've been doing this.... They still make most teachers sweaty and all kinds of nervous!
My observation just happened to occur during my reading block. I was BLOWN away by the fantastic vocabulary, deep comprehension, and insightful conversations my students were having. We followed up our discussions with several of the activities from our Rooted in Reading unit. I wholeheartedly believe in teaching reading this way! My kids are hook, line, and sinker! Link to our unit in the comments!

Our deep discussions of the text Stellaluna also led us into exploring the interesting characteristics and skills of bats!

The super quick directed drawing of bats motivated my kids to crank out some fantastic factual writing.

The combination of Crankenstein and bats is making for an awesomely creepy Halloween display for the hallway!

I love our daily little vocabulary writing too.  This little girl took the liberty of changing the prompt a little bit.  I love her answer!

On Friday I have started doing an hour that we call STEAM (Science, technology, egineering, arts, and mathmatics) hour.  The kids love it and it meets the focus that my school is implementing.  We started by watching Batney Spears :) on youtube to help remind us about echolocation.  This song and video is the BEST! 

We also tried a few things that I read about on Holly Ehle's blog.  I had one person be the bat and call out "ECHO."  The three bugs had to "ECHO" back at her.  She ran and dodged with her eyes closed until she caught all the bugs (this Marco Polo).  It was precious and they loved it!

Sorry for the blurry picture!  We then did an art project that I found on Reagan's blog.  We created sunsets with water colors and then did bat silhouettes over them.  

The end results were super striking! The kids were SO proud of their artwork!

The last idea for you was also something I found on Holly's blog.  Each child was given a cotton ball with a scent on it.  I used peppermint, banana, coconut, lemon, root beer, and orange.  (Next time I won't use root beer because it was brown so it kind of gave it away AND orange and lemon were a little too hard to differentiate!).  The kids walked around smelling each other's cotton balls so that they could identify their bat family by scent. 

They were SO serious and excited through this whole process. We of course made the connection that this is how Stellaluna's mom found her at the end of the book!

Last but not least, when you find your bat family....of course you react this way!

Hope you took away a few new ideas for your classroom!

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  1. Wow what a week! How do you fit it all in? I would love to see your schedule! We just have so much we are mandated to do sometimes it's hard to fit in the extra fun stuff even if it is academic. I love all your ideas, especially the finding their scent and bat family!

    1. I agree! Tell us more about your schedule Katie :)

  2. Where did you get those water Colors? What brand are they? They seem so bright! Love all your fun bativities!!! 😀

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. I have never seen so many activities/lessons from one topic! It is incredible that you did that! From just starting with a book about bats, you covered English, problem solving skills, science, art (from them coloring and painting the pictures) etc. You incorporated so many things into this topic about Bats and it's amazing!! It's safe to say that I'm hooked on your blog and I can't wait to see and hear more from you and your class!

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