Wednesday, August 17, 2011

More Brown Bear...

We always start the year off with Brown Bear, Brown Bear by: Bill Martin, Jr and Eric Carle. The kids love this story because it is repetitive and easy for them to read along. I don't think they EVER get tired of it being read to them or them reading it to themselves. I started doing this unit about 5 years ago. My good friends and fellow teachers, Suzan Estes and Kristi Scott, had worked many hours trying to figure out how to turn the first days of school into more than just "being there". They searched the internet and came up with other ideas that are appropriate for beginning of the year k's. On the first day we read the story and search the school for the animals from the story. The kids have to look closely so we can find and color all of them. This is how we tour our school. We mark all the "important" places, or in other words, the places they will visit throughout kindergarten. After our tour, we go to our room and complete a brown bear color page while listening to the brown bear song by Greg and Steve. We pause as we come to a new color. The children have to raise the color in the air so I can make sure they know their colors- multi-tasking!! The second day we learn how to use our markers. We make a Brown Bear book to take home and retell while practicing the correct way to use our markers. The kids guess the order of the colors and animals (which we double check by re-reading the story as we go) and draw a circle and color it to represent each animal. After we finish we put our finger on each circle and retell the story together. They finish their books with a cool cover- a toilet paper roll with a bear they have colored brown and glued on. It's amazing how excited children can get over a toilet paper roll!! We also paint a mural. Yes, we actually paint on the 2nd or 3rd day of kindergarten every year!!! Believe it or not, they are so excited about getting to paint that they are usually neater now than later in the year. This is all we have accomplished with our Brown Bear unit since we are only in school until 11 this week. Tomorrow we are going to make our headbands using die-cut dots in the colors of the animals. This will allow the children to practice using glue and continue working on sequencing the story. The children will also bring in a toy/object from home tomorrow for us to sort by color and add to our mural. I will post those pictures tomorrow. I am going to post the pictures of the kids making their brown bear books and painting the mural. I hope everyone has a blessed day.

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