Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Stars aglow

Let's make stars.

First start off with our bodies, spreading feet apart (not in the splits).

Stretch out both arms.

Wave left hand with elbow straight and twist body.  Waving hand as it moves in front of their body.  (Wave at me.)

Now touch (opposite) right foot and stand back up.

Wave right hand with elbow straight and twist body continuing to wave hand. (wave at me)
Then touch (opposite) left foot and stand up.
 Then I show them with lines repeating their body movements.  Redrawing to show what they did next.

Hey!  They made a star!
They get so excited. 
Practice on Dry Erase boards talk through each movement to practice drawing a star!  
Make a paper full in different colors.  This helps some students who need practice physically crossing their mid line and then on paper.  It is important to be able to cross their mid line to make diagonal lines too.  Young children have the most difficulty with making these lines.  It shows when they struggle to write the letters  A or M, N, Kk, Vv Ww and Yy.
They will be making stars all over.  Use this excitement to have them draw sets of stars or stars in a pattern.  (big, little, colors...)

Hidden Stars
Give students a white crayon to make stars (even just x-line stars) on a white paper.  Be sure to press hard with the crayon.  It's hard to see..but then use water-base dark blue/black paint to paint left to right to uncover the stars.

What's in the night sky?
Star sticker science:
Give students 5+ sticker stars.  Use the kind you need to lick.
Hold them in one hand over a black/dark blue construction paper about 10-12 inches.  One, two, three turn over hand and open up.  Let the stars drop on the paper.  One at a time, students pick up, lick and stick in the same spot.
Then students can connect the stars with chalk or a white crayon.  What does your design look like?
This could be an introductory lesson or conclusion to talking about the constellations and star designs. 

These help introduce sky watching from our science series.

Now I know Stars is good to begin learning the sun is our closest star!  
Then we practice drawing stars in "Counting Stars".  On each page students draw the number of stars, learning number words, to the poem.  A sentence strip shows the step-by-step lines.
"One star twinkles,  Two stars shine, Three stars glow, Four stars sparkle, And five stars fill the sky!"  
I'm sure I adapted the poem borrowing it from somewhere.
I've also copied pages from our science series so each student has their own copy as we learn about the day and night sky.
Together answer questions about when do you:
? Eat breakfast, walk the dog, sleep, eat lunch, go to bed, see the moon, see stars?  Day or Night
Fold a paper in half (hamburger fold) and title each side with DAY  - NIGHT, draw pictures of things they could see in the day sky and in the night sky.  Label.
Nursery Rhymes
Of course, include reciting these rhymes.
Twinkle, twinkle little star.  Research the other verses!
Starlight, star bright.  (making wishes)

Count the Stars
Make cards with varied amounts of stars. Use different  color of stars or use same color star stickers on different colors of cards.  Place the cards around the room. Make a record sheet for the students to "count around the room" and color the stars corresponding to the card or star color.
Variation for Sight Words on colored stars and students write the word and color the star to match.  See sample of record sheet below.

Pull a star card with a letter on it from a bag/box/pile.  Write the letter and its pair.  See sample of record sheet below.

Ten Frame counting 
Make ten frame cards, some filled with ten stars, some blank frames and individual star cards.  Gather a small group of students to practice counting together and filling ten frame with stars (can also use star shaped erasers).  When the group conceptualizes the value of 10, substitute the filled ten frame card and use an empty frame to count on, build teen numbers, etc.
Hands-on counting practice helps students conceptualize the value of numbers.

Star cards 
Put sight words, nonsense words, letters on star cards for games such as Lotto (directly matching same) or letters for letter sound matching.  
MEMORY GAMES with star cards to match same word, uppercase to lowercase matching, letter to initial sound picture, rhyming pictures, pictures with same ending sounds.
HIDE IT -Using rectangular word cards facing student, hide a star card and students have to read the word they think the star is behind. Or adapting the letter pair star cards, place a shooting star behind one of the cards.  Put the cards on the floor or a pocket chart.
READ THE STARS - place 'star word' cards around the room and give students a star pointer to take turns reading the words.
Fun with stars can work anytime throughout the year.  But during the dark days of January and February, it fits best for my classes.

Reach for the stars! 

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