Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hail to the Chief!

Wow!  What a great week of learning!  In conjunction with President's Day on Monday, we studied George Washington and Abraham Lincoln and learned about the president and what his job entails.

We started by taking a look at George Washington and reading George Washington:  Our First President.
I found an old Kermit the Frog "News Flash" segment where Kermit interviews George's father as he explains about George cutting down his favorite cherry tree.  That, coupled with our conversations throughout the year about honesty, apparently really stuck in their brains.  At the end of the day, we made a chart about what we had learned....and look at the first idea they gave me!
Our Art project in centers this week
Day 2 focused on Abraham Lincoln.  We read A Picture Book of Abraham Lincoln.  The students made a lot of text to text connections between what was said about Lincoln and how he felt about slavery and Martin Luther King, Jr's ideas about equality.  I was very impressed!  We also made a chart to show our learning but my picture has disappeared.... :(
Wednesday was all about democratic principles and the right to vote.  We began by reading Duck For President.  Then we had a discussion about why we vote.  The students decided we vote so it's fair and nobody gets to boss everyone around all the time (I LOVE Kindergarten thinking!).  Then it was time....we got to vote ourselves!  I asked the students to pretend they were one of the animals on Farmer Brown's farm and was going to go vote for president of the barnyard.  They stepped up to our voting booth...

...and cast their votes!

Once all the votes had been cast, we tallied our results.  Duck was declared the winner, just like in the book!
We reviewed all that we had learned about the presidents on Thursday by sorting ideas about the two presidents and placing them in our venn diagram.  The students did great!  They easily knew where each idea went.

In Math, we graphed which president we liked learning about more.  Hands down it was Lincoln!

On Friday, to wrap it all up, we made log cabins.  I think we ended up with more chocolate "glue" (icing) on our hands and faces than the actual log cabin but the kiddos had a blast!
But here's the best part--the conversations I overheard and had with my students:
   *"My cousins are coming this weekend and I think I'm going to ask my mom to take me to
      Springfield (Missouri) so I can see where Abraham Lincoln got shot." (I know, not total accuracy
      but they knew enough to remember Springfield and it's ties to Lincoln!)
   * 2 students come over with a book.  "Ms. Doennig, look!  We found all the presidents and
      here's George Washington!"  (me) "That's great! Can you find Abraham Lincoln?" (student 1)
      Ummmm....(student 2) "I know how to find him! 1...2...3...4..." and he counts to 16!
   *While we are making our log cabins..."Ms.Doennig, see?  I made one window in my log cabin 'cuz
      in that book you read us (Abraham Lincoln: A Boy Who Loved Books) it said he had just one
      window in the whole cabin.  I just put in one."  Awwwwwww....
I love my kiddos!


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