I’m sorry this is so late getting out this week. I had a raging case of bronchitis early last week, which put me behind (and exhausted) for the rest of the week. It was a wonderfully busy weekend that included taking my kids to see Sesame Street Live and visiting with lots of family. So, really – I’m not sorry this is so late…I’m just sorry I’m up so late writing it and that there aren’t any pictures to share because I haven’t even printed out the materials! Yikes!!!
This week begins standardized testing in Arkansas’ elementary schools. For the next 3 days, I’ll be spending the better part of my mornings with four second graders who have small group and extended time accommodations. Next week, I’ll have 4th graders. The dynamics in both groups are enough to make me nervous, much less the strict rules I have to follow. Even an accidental faux pas could lead to loss of my teaching license or at least a slap on the hand. Yikes!
But – that’s only 3 mornings this week. There’s also therapy to be done! This week, I’d personally love to do something related to Easter. However, I work in a public school and while I really don’t think anyone would raise an eyebrow (we are in the Bible belt after all), I’m just going to leave Easter to the kids’ parents. We’re using The Tale of Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter as the literary springboard for therapy. (See how I snuck that rabbit in there without actually calling him an Easter bunny?) The copy of the book that we’ll be using was given to me by my parents for Christmas when I was one. I’ve turned those pages a million times. It’s such a great story, rich with vocabulary and a moral lesson that even little ones can understand. Here is our lesson plan for the week:
The word documents for the cloze activity, the apology letter and the story sequencing are over in the right hand column for download. The cloze activity is pretty straightforward. I even put a word bank on it. When we do the apology letter, we will work on how to apologize (not just saying “sorry”, etc) and trying to encourage the kids to use some of the vocabulary that we’ve targeted. When I get to school tomorrow, I’ll print the story sequencing activity and cut it into strips. I’ll glue the words onto a strip of construction paper and then put a paper clip on each of them so that the kids will not only put the story in order, but also choose the picture and clip it to the appropriate strip to match the words. Then, they will sequence the story and try to retell it. If I had time to laminate it all, I’d use velcro for that part, but – seriously – this is way more last minute than I usually do things! Maybe I’ll get that done tomorrow after school and it will be in better shape for the next day and to reuse in the future. This is why I try to have my lesson plans done by Thursday at the latest!
These are the higher level vocabulary words that we’ll target: tale, lane, garden, mischief, naughty, rake, thief, frightened, net, brass, sobs, sparrows, exert, wriggled, toolshed, flowerpot, trembling, damp, puzzled, wheelbarrow, scarecrow. For the lower level kids, we’ll focus more on the simpler vocabulary like the many fruits and vegetables mentioned in the story. I may try to have them do a category sort with those, but they aren’t really common fruits and vegetables (French beans? gooseberries?) – or at least they aren’t ones that our kids would have typically been exposed to.
For the bunnies in the grass activity that I’m using with my artic kids, I’m completely stealing this idea from PWW365. I even found the same basket in the dollar bin at Target and happened upon those same bunnies in the Easter section at WalMart. I’m going to put some Easter grass in the basket to make for a softer landing (and less bouncing). Plus, a lot of my kids are on the Autism spectrum and they aren’t going to let me get by with calling it bunnies in the grass unless there is really some grass in there. I hope I get to use it with my language groups too, but it’ll definitely be used for artic and they will love it!
Happy Easter to you all and be sure to stay out of Mr. McGregor’s garden!