All Things Penguin! (& Groundhog FREEBIES!)

Penguins! Are you tired of them yet? We aren't! We are still going strong with this theme, and those little tuxedo-ed birds are popping up everywhere in the classroom:

During Math we did this fun "5 Little Penguins" craftivity which incorporated making sets, graduated order and counting. Oh, and goldfish eating! That's the best type of activity, don't you think?
These were inspired by this pin and were surprisingly easy to do as a whole class. Since this was more of a following directions/math activity, I went ahead and pre-cut the pieces. Usually I like to give the kids fine motor practice by making them cut out their own, but in this case I opted for time-saving.
I passed out the pieces to each penguin separately, and we put it together and glued it in place before moving on to the next penguin. We then numbered the penguins and glued on the appropriate number of fish. The eyes we did with a Q-tip and white paint since I didn't feel like cutting out that many circles.
Aren't they adorable?!

Also in Math, we've been doing our Penguin Math Readers:
This book focused on number words and numerals for 1-5. I love doing pocket chart stories like this during math because it helps get in those print concept skills!
We generally do each pocket chart version for a few days and then the students color their own versions to take home.
My students loved this one, and we got to talk about rhyming words while introducing basic subtraction!

If you read last week's post about "Sneaking in the Learning", you'll remember I like to do intervention activities during free choice center time, so I often create something fun that everyone will want to do. That way I know my "target" will freely choose to come play at the activity I want them to work on!

This week I  created a fun Penguin activity for letters/sounds! I made "snow" by mixing baking soda and white Suave conditioner (not the coconut one - I figured that would be too odd for snow) in a shallow plastic bin. Then I added some little penguin counters and the cards from my Penguin Alphabet Match-Up pack.
With my student who is struggling the most, I focused on simple uppercase letter recognition. I would write the letter in the snow with my finger, and my little guy would have the penguin trace the same path while repeating the letter name.
One of my other students matched up the lower and upper case letters and then wrote both in the snow.
Another student matched the beginning sound card to the letter card and then wrote the letter.
And one of my high fliers was able to take a beginning sound card and write the beginning letter on her own!

A fun, simple activity that reached every level in my class and had students begging for a turn!

I also solved the problem of the disappearing Sharpie! When I added my glass gems to our icy sand and water table, the letters I had written on them quickly rubbed off! So much for permanent markers!
I decided to switch up our table again (generally we do each medium for 2-3 weeks or until I notice that the materials aren't engaging the students any more. 

 In this case we had ice in the table for a week, followed by 2 weeks of water play. 

More water was starting to make its way onto the students and the floor ~ my hint that something needed to be changed!
So I dumped the water and added shredded paper "snow". I took the gems and used a generic permanent marker and then painted over it with clear nail polish. Those letters won't come off no matter how much they're rubbed now! The best part is that they fall all the way to the bottom of the table so the students really have to search for them!
I forgot to take pictures, but today I also added scissors. I had a quartet of students who were thrilled with the chance to cut up the shreds even more and I was thrilled that they got to practice the correct scissor grip!

Our 100th Day of school is Monday, and in the madness of prep for that, I totally forgot about Groundhog's Day! Luckily I have TWO FREEBIES from last year that are low-prep! I'm so happy to have these to fall back on so I can incorporate them into our 100th Day festivities with little extra work! You can grab them at my TPT store by clicking the pictures:

Alright, time to start cleaning the house & hopefully sneak a nap in! Have a great weekend!

2 Rustle Up A Response!:

Miss Stone said... Reply to comment

Love the idea of putting gems in shredded paper! Where did u find your gems? They look larger than the ones I've purchased in the past.

Jennifer Knopf said... Reply to comment

@Miss Stone
I bought my gems at various places - Hobby Lobby, Walmart and Dollar Tree - so I have a variety of sizes in the table!


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