Nothing Says Spring Like Butterflies!

Hi there! It's Pam from Little Bird Kindergarten!
One of my favorite things about my teaching journey has been
how my units  have evolved over time. . . . It reminds me of taking out the Christmas decorations from our attic at home every year-  some things are forever cherished, some have seen better days, and some just don’t make the cut from out of the storage tub and
into the house! When I look into my tubs at school I find the same kind of situation. . . 
love it – trash it – or not this year!  
Just like with my Christmas decor, I always feel the need to update!
Updating my units breathes new life into my teaching! Adding new books, lessons, activities, etc. just makes me so happy! I love finding new and
different ways to engage my little ones with ideas that will insert
a broader range of standards and fun! It makes me feel like the longer
I teach (and update) the more I have to offer in purposeful, rich experiences for my little ones!

I re-wrote my Butterfly Life Cycle Unit two years ago, and have added more to it 
several times after that. Every year we order caterpillars (from Insect Lore) and hatch butterflies. It never gets old!
For me it just wouldn’t be spring without it! 
As the standards have changed,
I have added to my Butterfly Life Cycle Unit to include Close Reading with many writing
extensions. It was one of the first passages I wrote for my kids when
I was unable to find a short, worthy piece of text to fit my needs for teaching
the standards in a kindergarten and first grade friendly kind-of-way. It was
really the first time I saw kids respond to my writing in a way that
inspired me to write many, many more close reads! It has become
the cornerstone of my butterfly unit, and I am continually humbled
by the writing that has come out of the annotations my kids have done!

Much of the beauty of doing close reads in kindergarten (or any grade for that matter)
comes in the conversations that occur. Dialogue with their partner that includes
academic language, and content vocabulary, all in a most authentic way, is
the key element in producing all of this clever writing. 
The writing happens after synthesizing information
by listening, re-telling, discussion, and opportunities for multiple conversations, 
each time talking about something different. 

When a young child can create a pictorial representation
of this sort, add writing to it, discuss it, and explain it to me, it provides me the most compelling
evidence of deep understanding and mastery of standards, far more than
any high stakes assessment ever could. 
I am their teacher. I want to know
what they really know, how they can show it, and how it will ulitimately 
contribute to the pocketful of riches they have aquired to help make them
an articulate, educated human being that loves to learn and knows how to learn.
In this case it was about butterflies, but it’s just so much more than that.  :o)

This year our district has provided us with more technology resources!
Our kids used the i-pads to scan QR codes
to write about the butterfly life cycle. They loved finding the QR code reader on the i-pad, 
and then scanning their QR code recording sheet, which took them to the butterfly life
cycle anchor chart. It was so much fun to watch them use technology skills
to integrate science, ELA, and writing standards!
(Want to try it?? Grab it here for free!)

If you have never hatched butterflies in your classroom, I urge you to give it a try! 
(Appropriate for kids ages Pre-K – 100)!
Nothing says spring like butterflies, and it is such a wonderful way to let your kids
shine and show how much they know!
If you your butterfly unit needs some updating you
will find my resource by clicking on the picture below!
(On sale this through this week!)

Thanks so much for stopping by today!
Happy Spring!

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