To go with our reading story "Little Panda" we have been learning about Panda Bears which was a good addition to our Bears and Hibernation unit. The kids love Panda Bears. This week we started out learning about Pandas and Panda Kindergarten. The students were definetly intrigued with Panda Kindergarten. Go figure....you know it might be that connection to self thing working ;) Who knew?
After reading "Little Panda" I had the students write their favorite part of the story. Before writing they had to close their eyes and think about their favorite part of the story. I had them visualize in their minds their favorite part and why it was their favorite part. After about 30 seconds, I told them to turn to their neighbor and whisper what their favorite part is. Then students swapped. Whoever told now became the listener and whoever listened became the teller.
I have made the decision to accept ALL forms of writing. When kids are ready they naturally will write like the above sample with no help. As long as a student can tell me what they wrote I will accept it. The key is you have to tell me what it is you wrote. I tell them if they can't read it to me, then how am I supposed to read it. Out of 22 kids and over 1/2 are ELL or Non I have children in all stages of writing.
I am fortunate this year to have some very talented illustrators this year too! The students loved writing while I played soothing instrumental Christmas music in the background. The students were very intent. I have modeled writing since day 1 in our classroom. We will be doing more and more free writing throughout the rest of the year.
I have Netflix and they have some great Panda documentaries and one is about the Panda Kindergarten. We watched it last year and the students LOVED it. I have to admit those little guys are pretty darn addictive! I am hoping the movie will be here in time for us to watch it nex Monday!
After panda bears we will begin looking at the North and South Pole. We will be learning about Polar Bears, reindeer, penguins and more Oh MY! Lots of great activities and fun things to do in store.