Friday, July 31, 2015

Habitats of the World Lesson Plans

Habitats of the World lesson plans and activities
Several years ago, we received the news that habitats had been added to our science curriculum. We loved the idea of taking our students around the world to learn about plant and animal life around the globe! What we didn't expect was that it would take our science curriculum to a whole new level that our students would love. 

We've received a lot of questions on how we use our Habitats of the World Bundle throughout the year...So climb aboard our plan book...Buckle your belts and let's take a ride through our Habitats of the World lesson plans.

We start the year by introducing our students to the idea of habitats...Most of them have little to no prior knowledge of the topic, so we created this little book to help them understand.  
What's a Habitat? little book. Great introduction to the concept of habitats around the world.

Habitats of the World introduction little book
You can download our "What's a Habitat?" little book for free in our TpT Shop. 
Our habitats bundle currently has 6 habitats, but soon to be 7. By popular demand, we'll be adding Forest Habitat very soon!

All of our habitat unit covers just got a facelift...We love them!
Habitats of the World lesson plans with vocabulary, little book research reader, games, art and more!
Here's What's Included in Each Unit

*16 Habitat Vocabulary Cards

*1 Blank Habitat Bingo Card Master

*5 Pre-made Habitat Bingo Cards

*Habitat Vocabulary Definitions 

*1 Habitat Mini (8 page) Book

*Habitat Fact Finders Activity

*Habitat Definition Activity

*Habitat Vocabulary Sentence Activity

*Habitat Vocabulary Activity

*Habitat Writing Brainstorm Page

*Habitat Writing Final Draft Page

*Habitat Art Project

*List of Common Core Standards for each unit

You can see each unit up close by downloading their previews in our TpT Shop.
We typically teach habitats in this order throughout the school year:
August - Ocean Habitat
November - Forest Habitat 
January - Polar Habitat
March - Pond Habitat

We follow the same lesson scope and sequence for each of our habitat units as outlined below. Of course depending upon the time of year, abilities of our students, and the amount of time we actually have in our days, we adjust some of these activities accordingly. 


Each of our habitat units of study focuses on a mini book. These non-fiction, fact filled readers help our students focus on key information and reading for details. We ask them to highlight as we go and they get a ton of practice finding facts. Then, they illustrate the page to solidify their understanding. 
Rainforest habitats science unit
Rainforest habitats science unit
We provide tons of opportunities to learn, practice and use the academic vocabulary that accompanies each habitat. It's amazing how quickly our class picks up these words! We disguise the vocabulary in games and give them multiple opportunities to "play". Our favorite way to use these is with parent volunteers. They are easy pick up and go activities and the more we practice our habitat vocabulary the more we find our students get out of our research. Polar habitat science unit
We use our vocabulary in as many review activities as we can. Whether they work on them during morning work, centers, or as homework, we give them multiple opportunities to review the concepts and key vocabulary of each habitat. 
Habitats desert science unit
Once we've researched and have a solid foundation for the habitat, we take our students through the writing process by brainstorming facts and writing reports from our learning. 
Pond habitat science unit
Rainforest habitat lesson plans
Finally, we have some fun! We create an art project to culminate our learning and to go along with our habitat reports.
Pond habitat lesson plans
Desert habitat art project
Most of our art goes into our habitat books, but some are too cute not to hang on the classroom walls.
Giraffes savanna habitat art project bulletin board
We save each of their reports and art projects to make a keepsake habitat book of all the habitats we research throughout the school year. 

Habitats of the World lesson plans
We create our habitat book covers during Earth Week. You can download the instructions and cover template from our post {here}.
Habitats of the World lesson plans
We display our class habitat books at Open House at the end of the school year. It is one of our favorite take aways for families year after year. :)
Habitats of the World lesson plansSo there you have it...Our year of habitats!
You can download our habitat lesson scope and sequence below. Enjoy!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Listen Up 3...Yippee!

Our Listen Up Family is growing! wink emoticon
Listen Up 3 has just been added to our collection.

 We're so excited to start the school year with daily listening practice because our class needs a lot of practice learning how to listen! Over the years, we've found listening is a skill that can be challenging for our little learners...But, they do LOVE to talk! :) We really don't blame them...Life's moving fast nowadays and stopping to listen seems to be a thing of the past.
But, this can make teaching and learning a little more challenging in our classroom. So, we created our Listen Up series to provide differentiated listening skills practice for our "little learners"...Though we've heard from a few reading specialists, speech and language pathologists, ELD instructors and even upper grade teachers who are loving it too! :)
 
WHAT'S INCLUDED:
-Listen Up Binder or Folder Cover (Color & Black and White)
-Listen Up Instructions for Use
-Listen Up Class Poster (Color & Black and White)
-25 Listen Up Print and Go Lesson Printables
-25 Differentiated Listen Up Lesson Cards (Beginner)
-25 Differentiated Listen Up Lesson Cards (Intermediate)
-Common Core Standards Tracking Sheets for Listening
-Listen Up Rubrics
-Listen Up Self Assessments

Once our students get the hang of our Listen Up activities, we will ask them to use these self assessments to reflect on their own listening awareness. 
We keep track of their Listen Up scores on these recording sheets as we work through the daily activities. It's a great tool that we LOVE to share at parent conferences. We keep a few of their activities over the school year to compare their progress and give parents insight into their own child's listening skills. We've even sent a few Listen Up activities home for homework or optional practice, which gets our parents involved and excited about the practice too! 
The easiest way we've found for storing all of our our Listen Up activities is in a 3-ring binder. We use page protectors, which are copy machine friendly, and keep all of our lesson printables and lesson cards together in one place!
If you're new to our Listen Up activities, we've created this Listen Up freebie for you to try.

We've also put all of our Listen Up units on sale for a limited time.

You can grab Listen Up 1, 2 or 3 separately or we've bundled all 3 together at a discounted price.
**Please note ~ This bundle replaces our recently retired Listen Up 1 and 2 Bundle which is no longer available.** If you already own the retired bundle, you can grab Listen Up 3 for the new school year at the discounted bundle price for a limited time.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Editable Student Spelling Dictionaries

One of our favorite classroom tools is our Student Spelling Dictionaries! They build responsibility in our students' writing all year long. Here's a Throwback Thursday post  from last school year all about them.  
Our kids learn quickly that we have a class "My Writing Words Rule" that never bends...
If you don't see a word, you can ask the teacher, parent volunteer, aide (or whichever other adult is armed and ready with mad spelling skills and a pencil) to write the word in your dictionary ONE time. After that, you own it and you cannot ask. :)
Sometimes we also just spell aloud for the kids and have them write it.  
From time to time, a few friends ask for a word that is already in their dictionary...Ugh...We know.
In that case, we have them highlight the word so they "never lose it ever again". ;)

We're still deciding which cover to use this year, but it will definitely be ink friendly. We love using the bright colored card stock or construction paper and letting the kids color their own covers. It's a great beginning of school time filler fine motor skills lesson (stay in the lines!), listening and following directions practice, and kills time gives them some much needed down time after their summer soiree. 
We've got BIG news for you! 
We've received lots of requests for adding, deleting, or changing certain words in our My Writing Words Spelling Dictionary.
So here's the deal...
You can do it yourself!
That's right...
We've added an Editable version to our Student Spelling Dictionaries so you can add, delete, or change the A to Z pages to meet your own class needs.
Got a reading program word list that has to be in the book?
Do it!
Got a district who makes you use their words?
Add them!
Want to personalize and add your class names?
By all means!

My Writing Words Interactive Spelling Dictionaries also include motivational mats and activities that we use in Workshop all year long. We introduce an activity a week for the first 9 weeks of our program. Eventually, we leave all 9 activities available for the taking because, well, like us, kids like choice! Please note: The motivational mats and interactive activities are not editable.


Please visit our TpT Shop to update this purchase if you own this file. The editable version is there for you! 
To find out more and to download the full preview including a FREE interactive activity and Spelling Styles cards please click below.
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