Monday, April 23, 2012

Earth Day

I am a big proponent of helping my students treat others with respect. That's not limited to just people, though. We talk throughout the year about different ways we can recycle or reuse items.

In the beginning of the year, we bring in cereal boxes to create our Active Thinking Strategies journals.

When hot lunch includes ice cream cups (once every 2 or 3 months), we wash and reuse the cups for counting (groups of ten) or the rare occasion we take to use watercolors or tempera paints.

 Last week, we began brainstorming some ideas that are important when it comes to celebrating our Earth. Here's a chart where I recorded some of the students' ideas (pardon my mistake and borderline sloppiness).

We then talked a little bit about what we could do to make our Earth a more beautiful place. We split this up in two ways: a) what we will do and b) what we will not do. I found (Pinterest, of course) a cute little Earth Day Pledge sheet, that I modified a weencie bit and used with my students.

Here's my sample followed by a student who I am so proud of for showing meeting IEP goals on this writing piece!

Annotated. Great phoenetic spelling & ending punctuation!


Today, day after Earth Day, we began our day with listening to Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World. I just love that song.
I looped it for about 8 minutes while the students wrote a few ideas about why they think our world is wonderful. The paper I gave the students was blank, but on the projection screen were a few parts to copy: 1) the quote, 2) the artist, and 3) the writing prompt.
Throughout the day, there've been a couple opportunities to get the writing back out. I love when the students WANT to return to a writing piece (rather than me feeling like I have to bribe them)!

Finally, we painted a globby globe last week (few drops of green and a few drops of blue inside a circle, then twisted colors into each other using a doubled-over paper towel-- some students used the dabbing technique-- some dabbed with paper towel and some with a brush). It was fast… we had like 10 minutes to do it including distributing materials and getting globs on circles. We added to that today, though, some pictures of things that we love about the Earth. I told my students they could use pictures of places or words or even write their own ideas onto the globe. As an extension, some students completed a t-chart of things they already do to help the Earth and what they will start doing to help the Earth. They're super cute and headed out to the hallway tonight! Steal this idea and do it with your kiddos. You'll love it and so will they!

So… it's not just about Earth Day… we could go on and on and on! I hope there's something you can find and use with your kiddos!

I look forward to hearing your feedback and to follow each other for more rich experiences for our students.
Have a fantastic day!

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