Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Eagle Eyes and a Giveaway!

Just a reminder that my Fun in Fall Prezi and Googly Eye Giveway ends today!  Stop over and enter.  I am giving away 2 of my Fun in Fall prezis- and these silly- yet awesome- googly eye rings that loved- and thought you might, too! :)


 
On to one of my favorite reading helpers...   The first reading buddy that I introduce is Eagle Eye.
 
 


I start talking about  this strategy from day one.  We notice.  Everything.  The children are already using their eagle eyes to get used to and remember details about our room, new toys, new friends, their locker, their bus, their new teacher. They just don't even realize what a valuable tool they are already using- so Eagle Eye helps me point that out! 



When I first introduce Eagle Eye, we talk about the eagle's amazing eyesight.  They love hearing that eagles have can see forward and to the side at the same time. (They have 2 centers of focus where humans only have one.) They can see a fish in the water when they are gliding in the sky way up above, and a rabbit up to a mile away. (I give the children the name of a place about a mile away from our school so they have an idea how far a mile is.) A fun fact is that people see just three basic colors, but eagles see five, so they can see even well-camouflaged prey.

 
We play 'The Detail Game' a lot at rug time.  It is simple, fun- and a great way to introduce and explain what a 'detail' is- since we will be using that word a LOT all year long! If a detail applies to the student, he/she stands.  I start by saying, "I am thinking of a person," so everyone is standing.  Next I may add a detail like, "This person is a girl."  Then, "This girl has short hair," "This girl has a pink striped shirt," etc until only one student is standing because I have given so many details that we figured out who I was describing. 
 
Another game everyone likes is the sorting game.  I have everyone stand on one side of the rug. This is a completely QUIET game.  Everyone must be quiet- until it is time for me to call on someone to guess what detail I chose.  In  my head , I decide on one detail that I am looking for the children I choose to have (maybe a striped shirt).  I point to children to line up on the other side of the rug, one by one, who match my detail -no talking. ;) .  Once I have chosen all the children, I ask if anyone knows why this group is has been picked.  The children raise hands, and I chose someone to answer. 
I start with kind of an obvious detail- like all red shirts , then move to trickier ones- like writing on shirts, a hairband in hair, shoes with no laces... We play this game a lot and the children become very good at noticing details.  After a few times, the children love to be the ones to chose a detail and be the leader.
 
I have out my bin of I Spy books as some of our first free reading books of the year.  The children love these books- and have fun working with friends to find the pictures. It's a great way to make friends when you are both trying to find some tricky little things in a picture! ;)
 
ANYONE losing anything in the classroom is a  great way to reinforce Eagle Eyes! We all search for the missing item (which 5 year olds seem to love to do...) and when it is found, I name that person "Eagle Eyes (insert-last name-here)."  Just wait until you see the pride that follows this new name... :)The next time something is missing, that little person is all over the job of finding it! 
 
I wrote a post about a writing activity  I do later in the year using details.  This may be a good activity for 1st graders earlier in the year.  For Kindergarten, we start slowly- first noticing details everywhere, and then adding them to our illustrations.
 
I also  do lots of activities with the eye when I introduce Mr. Broom's Sense of Sight
 Mr. Broom is how I teach the 5 Senses. 
 
 
 
He looks silly, but he is a class celebrity... He gets a new sense each day which explains why he only has his eyes and nose...  I usually teach the 5 Senses in February or March because that seems to be a time we need some fun science activities.  It would also work well at the beginning of the year- and I know lots of people teach it around Christmas since there are so many great activities to go with it that time of year.  You could use some of these sight activities on their own to go with Eagle Eye, too.
 
This post reminded me of a couple favorite "grown up" things I have read about noticing- and perspective.  First is Hands Free Mama's post Notice the Good -which is a wonderful reminder anytime especially for the beginning of the new school year. I love her writing.  The second is the book The Noticer by Andy Andrews.

 
Have a wonderful week and thank you for stopping by! Don't forget to enter that giveaway!
 
 
 


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