Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Water Cycle

We've started learning The Water Cycle song in our class, and as usual- it's a favorite! Every year, without fail, it's a favorite.  Dr. Jean and I made a packet all about The Water Cycle, Water, and Clouds!

Here is the Prezi that is included with the packet. This Prezi includes The Water Cycle song by Steve Songs.  We also love singing  Dr. Jean's The Water Cycle song, (the download is included in the packet)- and WOW- do my kids know all about the water cycle!

Here is my class singing the song after only one week!

I taught my kids The Water Cycle song in sign language a couple years ago. They did a fabulous job!  
No, I don't know sign language.  BUT- that didn't stop me.  Signing Savvy became my best friend because I figured out the individual words to the song, and put them all together.

We  practiced in line before we left the classroom. I would say, "Show me 'water.'  Show me 'cloud.' Show me 'hurricane.'" (It's  a great way to have them quiet down, too!)

Here are some of the signs that I taught them that we use in the song:  water, water cycle, around, cloud, puddle, rain, up/down, sky, ocean, ground, river, glass, horse, Oh no, forgot, person, well deep down, blanket, fog, warm/cold, trouble, storm, bad, see, look out, get out, grab, son, daughter, crash, boom, uncle, hurricane, hiding, garbage can.   Now, for words like "Some clouds look like cauliflower- that's cumulous."  I just had the children make a "c" in sign language for both, because I wasn't going to have them start spelling words like that!  For the most part, it was so easy and made sense to the children.  They loved it.  I did teach them to spell "Dan" in sign language because there is a silly part they love with Uncle Dan.  

Here are some great books to go with this unit:

In our packet, we have included our favorite activities.
After we learn the songs and read stories about the water cycle, we make an interactive writing poster including the different parts of the water cycle.  We break the words down into syllables, clap the syllables, and then hear the sounds in each to write the words.  The children are always amazed that they can actually WRITE these grown up, long words.  I always quickly explain "tion" to the kids- and show them how that is at the end of each of our four words.  I don't expect them to know that, or even remember it, but it's amazing how some of the children pick that up and will try it in their own writing.                        

Then, each child writes the words on his/her own paper!

We do experiments for each part of the water cycle.  The experiments are also included in the packet.


Another favorite part of the unit is our cloud study.  We learn all about the different types and names of clouds, and then the children make their own to take home.
(Sometimes I like to use wax paper for the stratus clouds. This is gray paper.)

We talk about how important water is in our lives and different ways we use it everyday.
 We "jrink" it... :)  

Later, just to tie in the water theme, I do a  quick whole group math assessment using raindrops for my word problems.  When I do a quick assessment, whole group or small group, it is really easy to have the children prepare their papers themselves.  I have them fold a "hotdog" fold ( the long way):

Then a "hamburger" fold (the short way):

Then, they each have a sheet ready with 4 sections on front and back so that we can do 8 quick questions.

We do the first addition and subtraction problem together as I model it.  I want them to get very used to showing their work and then writing the number sentence.

My question was, "Two raindrops fell on my umbrella.  Then, three more fell on it.  How many raindrops fell all together? "  We review how hearing "more" and "all together" tell us we will be adding.
"Four raindrops were playing in a cloud. One raindrop fell out of the cloud.  How many were left in the cloud?"  We talk about how when one goes away and we have how many left, we will subtract.

I usually ask the children two more questions like that to complete without my help.  On the back I may have them practice writing their numbers to 20, draw shapes I tell them to draw, write what number comes before or after a number I say...or maybe I will have one side be math questions and the other be writing sight words or answering a question in a complete sentence. It is a great way to do a quick assessment for the day.

It is great to use raindrops for word problems, because the children can draw them easily.  I try to always use something that can be quickly drawn as a circle, stick, or rectangle.  We do lots of problems about balls, cookies, pencils, crayons, presents, bricks...  If I use something like, "Two birds were on a branch. Three birds landed on the branch with them.  How many birds are there altogether?" I will have some children drawing one bird for five minutes no matter how many times I say, "Just draw quickly!" So I stick with basic shapes for my word problems. 

I have so many glass stones, that I can also let the children use them as counters for math problems, which is always fun.  They work great for ten frames.

This paper I use for a morning work activity to quickly assess writing numbers to 20.

By the way, I had to look up altogether vs. all together. That always gets me.  Here is what I found, just fyi for a bonus:

altogether = in total

all together = every one gathered in one place

You probably never have that problem. And I probably still will have that problem, even though I just looked it up.  Hmmm.  

I hope you love this packet as much as we loved putting it together. It's perfect for spring and Earth Day!
Thank you for stopping by!


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