December 9, 2013

Playful Penguins, Remembering Sandy Hook, & a RAK for You!

Who got snow this weekend? We got some snow which quickly turned to ice. As a result, we had a 90 minute delay to the start of our school day. Now, a delay doesn't mean we come to school 90 minutes late, we have to be there on time. The students are the ones who come 90 minutes late. The good side is we have extra time to work on our classrooms. My car was one big ice cube this morning! The first picture is of the icicles hanging from the bottom of my car and the second picture if of my footprints in the crunchy icy, ground.
We have been having so much fun learning about the Arctic Tundra, the animals that live there, and then more specifically about polar bears! This week we are traveling to the other end of the world and going to Antarctica to learn about penguins.
Today we read The Emperor Lays an Egg by Brenda Z. Guiberson. This is a great book to help learn facts about the emperor penguin.
We discussed how the penguins have to keep the egg on their feet to keep the developing chick safe from the harsh weather. We challenged our children to try to hold an "egg" (a ball) on their feet. They quickly found this was a very difficult thing to do:

So, we brainstormed ways in which we could make this easier. We decided to try without our shoes:

This was a little easier and the children were able to "waddle" a few steps without losing their "egg". However, it still wasn't easy. What if we had a brood pouch like a penguin does? Hmm...that might help for sure. So we used a sweatshirt and tied it around our legs and tucked the "egg" under the pouch. This time we could "waddle" even further. We felt like our egg was safe and warm now!

We then learned that the poor father penguin endures some of the harshest weather while taking care of his egg. How does he stay warm? By huddling together with his fellow penguins! So we gave it a try. We huddled together in a group and when you are in the middle of the huddle, you are definitely nice and toasty! Aww...look how cute they are!
After reading, we played comprehension bingo! We love bingo and what a fun way to review what we have learned from the story. Here is one of the cute bingo cards:
To tie up the lesson, children had to complete their daily journal by writing about something they learned about penguins today. The first sentence: I learned something new about penguins today! was dictated to them and they were to write any sounds that they hear. They then were to write a second sentence on their own telling their fact. Here are two examples of today's journal:

Last, but definitely not least, we are offering a RAK for you today in honor of all those that were affected by the events last year at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The blogging community is coming together to remember and honor all of those that had to endure this horrible act of violence.

Kelly and Kim are working to give all of you a freebie every day this week in their honor. Today we are offering three different penguin themed write the room pages for your classroom.
You can download them here.

As educators, we remember and honor our fallen colleagues and their students from Sandy Hook School. We honor them each day in our classrooms in which we continue their dream of teaching our children. We honor their memory with our service. Join with teachers everywhere in committing random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.
 We hope you enjoy your freebie. Please come back tomorrow to look for another one as we continue our week of honor. Stay safe, be happy, and hug your loved ones!


  1. Looks like your kiddos had a ton of fun! Thanks for the freebie!

    Kimberly Ann
    Live, Laugh, I love Kindergarten

    1. Thank you for visiting us!! The children had a ton of fun and the teachers did too! :)

  2. Love the penguin lesson! Getting them to 'experience' what happens is a great idea- I bet they'll remember it for a long time. It is awful sometimes when you are away from something tragic that has occurred that you (meaning me) sometimes forget the continuing impact of Sandy Hook on the community, families and the teaching community in general. Love the random acts of kindness idea. :)


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