Sunday, August 26, 2012

Pete the Cat and Some Zoo Plates

I have to say that I originally was less than impressed with Pete the Cat.  I bought I Love My White Shoes at the Scholastic book fair at the end of last year and when I looked through it, I thought, "Really?  What is all the hype about?"  Now wait a minute, all of you Pete the Cat lovers, let me finish...
but before school started this year, I went online and listened to it.  THAT made ALL the difference!  I am now officially a Pete the Cat lover.  And, the best thing about it is that I have also recruited the rest of my first grade team to be on the Pete the Cat bandwagon too.  The music really does it.  If you aren't sure about Pete and haven't listened to the music, you've gotta go listen now (click here).  My kids had such a good time reading a listening to Pete that we decided to make Pete.  This was sort of a spur of the moment thing.  I just passed out some blue paper and gave the kids simple directions ("draw an oval and cut it out - this is Pete's body.")  I think they turned out pretty good (considering it was a last minute thing and I am SOOOO not an artist.  This is why I let the kids make their own!):

This turned out to be a very cool activity because it served as a shape review, a fine motor activity, and when I asked them to write the sentence underneath, a writing lesson.  Look at all that learnin' goin' on!

We also had some fun with zoo plates and math last week.  We were introducing part-part-whole models.  I had seen somewhere this summer (probably on Pinterest) where  a teacher used zoo plates to show the two parts in the small section and then how to put them together as a whole in the large section.  It just so happened that the day before we did this lesson, I found these cute printables from Wild About Teaching:

Animal Plate Math-Counting, Part-Part-Whole, Addition, Fac
just click on her blog name to go directly to the link. 
These are free in her TpT store!
Anyhoo, the kids had a blast using the plates (or it might have been the M&M's we were using...):

You may notice that some of their plates were upside down.  That's because our math series puts the parts on the bottom and the whole on top.  I wanted to keep the activity as similar to our math pages as possible so they wouldn't have trouble when we transitioned to doing it on paper. 
We're having a blast this year!  Monday is our first "Mad Scientist Monday" experiment!  The kids are super excited and I can't wait.  Check back to see our little scientists at work!

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