Sunday, March 18, 2012

Clouds, Water Cycle, and Wind! Oh my!

Hello all!

Here is another post, just like I promised! I have so many exciting things to share about my Weather Unit that I taught as part of my Impact On Student Learning Project for my degree. As part of student teaching, which takes part during the final semester of college before graduation, we are also required to complete a project called Impact On Student Learning. We must choose and develop a unit on a particular topic and prove, with the use of data, that we have impacted the students' learning. For my topic I chose weather, as this is something that my firsties love to talk about during our morning meeting!
     For my first lesson, I decided to start out with clouds! I collected so many ideas on weather from my favorite blog The First Grade Parade. She really lit my fire for weather! We began by brainstorming adjectives that describe clouds (gotta throw that language arts in whenever possible!) 

They did such a great job! And they loved the cute cloud poster when it was finished. :)

After brainstorming words about clouds, we read the book It Looked Like Spilt Milk by Charles G. Shaw.

Then, we talked about what clouds can sometimes look like. They came up with so many neat and funny suggestions!

To close the lesson, we created 3-D clouds and wrote about what clouds sometimes look like! I mixed equal parts shaving cream and Elmer's glue to create the puffy paint, and I tell you what, I was super shocked with how well it worked. After I let their cloud creations dry, I cut them out and attached them to blue and yellow paper to display in the hallway.
"Sometimes a cloud can be big or small but my cloud looks like a flower. It is big and fluffy and white. It is good." - Katelin

"Sometimes clouds can look like a volcano erupting" - Devin
"Sometime clouds can look like butterflise (butterflies)" - Gracie

"Sometimes clouds look like... Micky (Mickey) Mouse." - Brooke

"Sometimes clouds can look like (an) octopus." - Alyssa

Of course I couldn't let the kiddos have all the fun :)

For my second lesson on clouds, we got a little more specific. We learned about cumulus clouds, stratus clouds, cumulonimbus clouds, and cirrus clouds! They loved it!

We read Little Cloud by Eric Carle


I created these little paper clouds and colored them with crayons and markers for an additional visual.

We wrote about each type of cloud...

And then for a more fomal assessment, I created the following worksheets. Unfortunately I'm kicking myself in the behind because I didn't save either one, but I will post some new jazzier ones on my Teachers Pay Teachers site, and let you know when I do!

And for a center one day, we created little cloud charts (hey, gotta fit it in somewhere!)

As a little anchor chart to keep in the room to help remind the kiddos about clouds...

I just think these little guys are so cute! They help remind the kiddos which clouds hang high/low in the sky, a great idea I found on The Inspired Apple blog, which is also just fabulous!

Next, we dove into The Water Cycle nopunintended. Actually, yes, yes it was. 

Anyway, here are some of the things we did with the Water Cycle!

I found this awesome video on Brain Pop Jr that did an amazing job of explaining the water cycle on a first grade level. You do have to have an account to access the website's content, but I think it's totally worth it!

Then, thanks to Cara Carroll over at The First Grade Parade, I had the kiddos create their own water cycle diagrams. They loved trying to pronounce evaporation, precipitation, and condensation!

To tie it all together, I gave all the students their very own copy of the Water Cycle song (which we probably sang 20 times, no kidding) They loved it!!!


The water cycle lesson was such a huge success, I couldn't have been happier with how engaged the students were. They loved every minute of it. Every morning at the start of school, I began having kiddos coming up and asking me if we were going to do any weather lessons that day! They were that excited! My firsties were practically begging for more lessons on weather, and I didn't let them down.

Next, we learned a little about wind. We read the story The Wind Blew by Pat Hutchins


Then brainstormed examples of good wind and bad wind:

Can't ya tell they really got it?!

 Finally, my last lesson was about rainbows. We began by talking about what rainbows look like. Then, I read
them the book The Rainbow and You by E.C. Krupp.

I don't have pictures of the project for this lesson unfortunately. We talked about what ROY. G. BIV stands for (the colors of the rainbow). The students wrote about what each color reminds them of, and made tear-paper rainbows! They had to remember to put the colors in the right order using ROY. G. BIV!! So fun!!

I made and brought in this little guy to help the students remember ROY G. BIV:


Ahhhh, so happy to finally be able to share with you all of our fun weather lessons! I hope you found some of this helpful, and perhaps even something you would want to use in your own classroom!

Besides all of this fun and crazy stuff taking place in my classroom, I have also been slightly addicted to a new show I stumbled across: Dance Moms. I tell you what, if you want to see the most entertaining train wreck ever, you gotta watch this show. It is absolutely nuts, but I'm literally laughing my butt off every time I watch it.   I do not make Mr. Boyfriend Joe watch it, because honestly it would probably be torture for a man.

Now off for a nice jog outside in this beautiful weather... 


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