Friday, February 1, 2013

There's No Place Like Space: Outer Space Adventures & Friday Freebie


TGIF!!!  What a week!  I absolutely adored seeing my kiddos learn about space, but this week was a toughie.  Sick and tired kiddos do not make for a happy class.  Everything kept going the wrong way: food spilled on the newly cleaned carpets, bloody noses on the newly cleaned carpets, bathroom accidents during the middle of centers, pink-eye working its' way around the room, forgotten materials at home, the printer at FedEx Office went haywire and messed up my play-doh mats, the copy machine at work broke, I broke the side mirror of my car coming out of the garage... Yikes!  I was seriously scared to leave my house this morning!  :)  So here's hoping the stars re-align this weekend and my class comes back rockin' and rollin' and ready to learn on Monday!

With all that being said, it was still a fun and jam-packed week.  I loved overhearing one of my kiddos tell his parent, "Mom, did you know the sun is ACTUALLY a star?!?!"  And I got to test out another new packet I made!  :)  This unit is titled "There's No Place Like Space" and will soon be available at my Teachers Pay Teacher store!  (As always, I test it on my kiddos and make revisions first).  Read on to tale a look at our week and for your Friday freebie- a space-themed emergent reader!

Art:

Squishy Paint Suns

These were a ton of fun!  I squirted some red and yellow paint onto a white circle (which I had previously glued onto the black construction paper), covered it with saran wrap, and let the kiddos squish away!  :)  This was definitely the most favorite art project this week.


Cotton Ball Paint Print Moons

Sneaky fine motor practice!  :)  My kiddos used a clothespin to pick up cotton balls, dipped them in the gray paint, and filled in the moon.  They were careful to stamp the moon with the cotton ball instead of smoothing the paint, because as we discussed, the surface of the moon is bumpy and filled with craters!


Tissue Paper Earths

More sneaky fine motor fun!  :)  After learning about eight planets and why the Earth is so special, my class made tissue paper plate Earths.  They had to tear off strips of paper and paint over them with a mixture of glue/water.  They turned out great (even though I vastly underestimated the time they would take to make!)


Name Rockets

More fine motor fun!  The kiddos cut pre-traced square shapes out of construction paper, wrote their name in each square, and then assembled the body of the rocket.  They also cut out the triangle top, assembled the rocket onto a black background, and drew flames coming out of the bottom.  Then (since Ms. Jessica here forgot the Q-tips), they finger-painted yellow stars onto the background.  They are now adorning our bulletin board!

Literacy:

Letter A Astronaut Handwriting Racers

They just never get tired of these.  :)  Spent some time with letter A this week, discussing its' sound and formation.  This activity is included with other handwriting racers in my upcoming space unit!

Moonscape Search

Another fun activity from my unit!  The kiddos LOVED this.  We pretended they were astronauts analyzing photographs of the moon taken by satellite and recording their findings.  They thought it was so funny that someone had put alphabet letters on the moon... "Those silly astronauts!"  :)  Unfortunately, this was the first activity that printed all weird at FedEx (and being me, I went in to print the day I needed them), so I didn't have time for them to figure it out and fix it.  The kids didn't really notice though, so it's all good!  (This was also the day I forgot materials... my super cute recording sheets!)

And being the helpful students that they are, they reminded me that the moon is supposed to be dusty and white/gray.  Also, the flag is supposed to be on there.  So I went back and made these changes in my pack!  (I also changed the font size to be smaller, this was a little bit too big).

Stamp a Missing Space Sound

Yep, you guessed it- another activity from my unit!  :)  The kids LOVED using our new alphabet stamps for this activity!  It was great to check up on how they're doing with isolating beginning sounds!

"I See Planets" Emergent Reader

My highest group worked on a new sight word emergent reader I made (also included in the unit) which focused on the sight words "I, see, a" and color words.  They did great!  This kiddo (if you look very closely) added a little guy looking at the planet underneath, which inspired me to revise the book a bit.... which brings me to your Friday freebie!  Click on the picture below to be directed to this free emergent reader.  Enjoy!  :)


"If I Were an Astronaut..." Class Book

On Friday we made this fun book using all our knowledge of space.  The kiddos decided where they would like to go and were careful to draw according to the characteristics they had learned of outer space!  Here's some examples:




Math:

Planet Patterns

This week we learned about AAB and ABB patterns.  I assessed their learning at the end of the week with this fun planet patterns worksheet! I encouraged them to use colored cubes first to make the pattern, that way it was easy for them to check before coloring.

Starry Sky Math Mats

Another goodie from my upcoming space unit!  :)  This was the FAVORITE manipulatives/math activity this week.  (Of course it was- who doesn't love play-doh and cookie cutters?!?!)  And, if you look closely enough, you will see where the printer at FedEx Office used different colors of black.  Weird weird.

Color by Number Rocket

Science/Sensory:

Solar System Sensory Table

I made this fun table using glow in the dark stars, black aquarium gravel and a Space Toob from Hobby Lobby!  This was great and helped us add to our shared writing of things found in outer space.  I need to get a Planets Toob as well!

Astronaut Exploration Boxes

These were so much fun to make and watch the kiddos explore!  I made these astronaut exploration boxes after being inspired by Sue's glove boxes and space unit at The Very Busy Kindergarten, which you can check out here.  One box contained flour and baby oil (moon sand) and silver spray-painted rocks (moon rocks).  The other box contained magnets and a variety of magnetic objects.


However, I made a very bad sleep-deprived choice when I set up the two different boxes with two different recording sheets on the same day.  Next year I will do the moon rocks one day and the magnetism box the next!!!  Oh well, we live and we learn!



Dramatic Play:

Cardboard Box Panel Space Ship

The last of my big cardboard box!  :)  We made a big point of differentiating between a space station and a space shuttle.  The kiddos loved grabbing their astronuat helmet and air to take off and explore a foreign planet, then head back to the station to study what they collected.

Aluminum Foil Space Station

Ta-da!  I got to work super early on Monday morning to cover our kitchen with aluminum foil and stock it with some props to make it our space station.  Good thing too, since all my furniture was in the wrong place after the carpets were cleaned!  (Please ignore the baby dolls, dollhouse and kitchen table in the background... I moved them out of the way when the space station was open!  My room is just so dang small!)

Here's a look at what was inside the space station (basically, objects I have gathered at Dollar Tree and Target over the years):


Lastly, check out these great books we read!  I have got to say that my favorites were Zoom, Rocket, Zoom! (which was fabulous for teaching about what astronauts do in outer space) and If You Decide to Go to the Moon (which taught my kids a TON about the moon and space travel).  If you are teaching about moon phases, reading Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me is a great idea to spark the conversation of why the moon shrinks and gets bigger.  Scholastic also has a great science emergent reader series with books about the sun, moon, stars, planets, etc.







That's all folks!  I'm off to put the finishing touches on my space unit (going to try to have it up for the Super Bowl Sale!) and think about next week: Simple Tools and Machines.  I really have NO idea how I'm going to swing it next week (I don't like the curriculum ideas, but I am having the HARDEST time finding resources for teaching these concepts to PreK!)  Any suggestions would be much appreciated!

Don't forget to check out the rest of the great  freebies...

Freebie Fridays

And have a good weekend!  :)

13 comments:

  1. Cute activities!! I gave your blog a little shout out on my blog post today. It's through a Shout Out Linky Party. Hope you can check it out!

    Mrs. Thigpen's Kindergarten

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    1. Thanks so much Nicki! :) That really means a lot to me, thanks for the shout out and for stopping by!

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  2. Thank you so much! We are just starting Space and Objects in the Sky this week :)

    Catherine
    The Brown-Bag Teacher

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! :) Hope you can use the ideas and freebies and I can't wait to see what you do!

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  3. I found you through Nicki's shout out and I am so glad I did because I am your newest follower. I am teaching a space unit next week and I am loving all your awesome ideas! It will be my first time teaching this unit in kindergarten so I was looking for fun ideas.....I came to the right place! :)

    Mrs. Pauley’s Kindergarten

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    1. Thanks so much Amanda! I hope your class loves the ideas you found and I can't wait to see what you do! :) Thanks for following and your kind words!

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  4. I love all of your space crafts and activities! I will have to try some of these out with my kiddos!
    Kate
    http:funinecse.blogspot.com/

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    1. Thank you Kate, so glad you like them! We had lots o fun! :)

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  5. WOW!! What an incredible post!! There are so many good things in this post! Thanks for sharing it!
    The Moffatt Girls

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    1. Thank you Annie for stopping by and commenting! :) Your kind words really mean a lot to me (especially since you are such a guru of incredible ideas)!

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  6. Can you put a link to your teachers pay teachers store? I'd like to purchase this awesome unit!

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  7. Can you put a link to your teachers pay teachers store? I'd like to purchase this awesome unit!

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  8. Thanks for the wonderful ideas! The parents/teachers are putting together a "Solarbration" at my first grader's school in a few weeks and I love your ideas, especially the sensory table and the astronaut explorer box.

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