The Seasons Song
This is the tenth lesson in the unit. We sing The Seasons Song many times throughout the unit to remind the kids of what each season brings. It is a fun quick warm up to any lesson on seasons and can also help kids remember the order of the seasons.
I almost always (sometimes there just isn't an action) give the students some TPR (Total Physical Response) to help them remember the song and the seasons. It is a common strategy used with second language learners, but it can be used with any student!
I introduce “The Seasons Song” to the familiar tune of “Row Row Row Your Boat.” I add motions to each verse to help students recall words.
For the first verse we pretend to hold an umbrella and wrap ourselves with a sweater.
For the second verse we pretend to put on a bathing suit.
For the third verse we pretend to put on a jacket and rake leaves.
For the last verse we pretend to put on gloves and a hat.
Process Grid Review
I review the process grid season by season. First, we review each season and its identifying qualities together. I stress to kids that we read off the grid in complete sentences, so they can’t just tell me “Warm” because that isn’t a sentence. We review the linguistic patterns for each category for those who struggle with generating the complete sentence. I model reading off the map: “In spring, it is warm outside.”(I do) I, then, have students echo me in repeating that sentence. (we do together)
Next, I pair students up and have them practice reading off the process grid with each other. (you do together) While they are doing so, I move from pair to pair, coaching those students who need help in generating a sentence.
After that, I ask for volunteers to read off the process grid by sharing with the group what they shared with their partner. (you do alone)
Why Gradual Release of Responsibility?
Because my students are second language learners, they need a lot of modeling before they participate with confidence. With "gradual release of responsibility" we practice together first. Then I have them do the task together so they have some support without relying on me. It also causes less anxiety. Finally, they perform the task alone after they've had two opportunities at the task with support. This holds the kids accountable for learning and weans them off of the support. By this stage they are ready to 'fly solo,' so to speak, because they have heard and seen what the task should look and sound like!
Emergent Reader- The Four Seasons
Each student has a reader and they are sitting at their desks. We read the title together and students quickly picture walk through the reader before we start reading. This doesn’t take long because we’ve done an entire week on the seasons.
We then read the book together. This can be done in small or whole group. I have mine on the document camera(whole group) or in front of me (small group) and students are reading with their ‘reading finger’ in their own book.
Students track the words so that I can see they have 1:1 correspondence. I will step away from the document camera and monitor those students who either don’t have the 1:1 correspondence or need me near them to keep them on task!
If we come to a word that students are struggling with, we use our letters and sounds and the picture to figure it out. I help them through the process if they need my support. If students mispronounce a word, I have them echo the word after I model its pronunciation.
The last page where they draw their favorite season is assigned as homework, along with reading the book to someone at home. This promotes the home/school connection that is so important to student learning. It is a great way to encourage parent participation with a manageable activity. Most parents are willing and want to help, but don't know how. This takes away the guess work!
Formative Assessment: Independent Drawing/Writing
Students independently draw a self- portrait in their favorite season either in their journal or on a separate piece of paper. I usually give my students a separate piece of writing paper. They should include appropriate clothing/details.
I say: Today we are going to draw ourselves in our favorite season with the weather that is typical for that season.
I think aloud: I really like the fall because it is when school starts. I also like to wear boots an that is the time of year where the weather lets me wear boots! I am going to draw myself in the fall with my boots on. I model drawing on the document camera so all students can see the process of drawing a self portrait.
I continue: Now I'm going to write a sentence to go with my picture. Does anyone have any suggestions for me? I take student suggestions. I write: My favorite season is Fall because it is the time of year I can wear my boots! I also like it because the school year is new.
I remind students about sentence structure before they write. I say: “What kind of letter do we put at the beginning of a sentence? (capital) What do we need to put at the end of a sentence? (end mark)
At this point in the year I have talked to my kids about declarative(telling), interrogative(asking) and exclamatory(strong emotion) sentences.
I ask: What are we doing in our sentence here about our favorite season? Telling, asking or saying it with strong emotion? (telling) What end mark to we use for telling sentences? (period)
They can use the process grid, word wall for sight words and letter/sound cards for support with their writing.
This is what opinion writing looks like in the first part of kindergarten. It is manageable for the students, but has enough variables that they do have to think a little bit! It is also a great opportunity for me to formatively assess whether or not the kids understand the standard of picture/text relationships.
Because this is a unit on Seasons and weather, we will act as meteorologists throughout the unit, observing and recording the daily weather. We want the kids to make personal connections to their learning so they see it as meaningful learning, and this logbook does just that!
I ask: What is the date today? We write the date.
I ask: What is the weather like outside today? We draw the weather, circle the word that names the weather.
I ask: What sentence could we write to go with our weather picture? What words can we use to describe or tell about our picture? We write a simple sentence describing their daily observation (It is sunny. We see rain.).
I ask: How many boxes should we color in for our weather today? (one) Do we color from the bottom up or the top down? (bottom up) Students will then record the daily weather on a bar graph in their log.
After completing log, students will discuss with a partner the weather results for the week. (How many sunny days?, How many windy day?, etc… Which weather condition has more?, has less?)