“AR” It’s a Pirate’s Life For Me

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Saying last week was one of my favorite weeks in the classroom would be an understatement.  I dove deep into a theme, more so than I’ve ever done before, and the result was astounding.
The kiddos learned, laughed, and made memories.
I learned, laughed, and made memories.
Fortunately I documented many things that we did during our “AR” Pirate Week, and I’m sharing them with you today!
The whole inspiration for this week was the “ar” digraph, or r-controlled vowel.  I’d seen some other teachers post about pirates when teaching this r-controlled vowel.  Well… I ran with it!
We did all things pirate in reading.  We used treasure (plastic gold coins) to review addition and subtraction concepts.  We learned about the ocean and shells during science.  We reviewed maps during social studies (pirate themed, of course)!

Here’s a look at the start of our week.  I like to vary the use of my can/have/are charts.  Sometimes I use one to get a picture of what students have learned mid-way through the week, or at the end of the week.  For our pirate week I decided to use it as an assessment of their background knowledge.  As you can see, some of those things are not necessarily true – but it’s what the kiddos thought at the start of our unit.

Throughout the week we read several fiction and non-fiction books about pirates.  This helped to clear up a lot of misconceptions.  Here’s a list of my top 10 pirate books:

To introduce the ar digraph I can’t think of anything better than a Harry Kindergarten song!  This one is AWESOME!

We also created a hands-on ar words anchor chart together after the kiddos had been introduced to the ar digraph.

love getting the kiddos involved in creating the anchor chart beyond
them stating their ideas and recording it myself.  Plus, they get so tickled
to use sticky notes!  Each student wrote at least one ar word on a sticky note to add to our anchor chart.

After some practice with “ar” words, the kiddos went on an “AR” Word
Hunt.  I made these cute little signs pretty quickly one afternoon using
the school’s die-cut machine.  The kiddos went around and recorded
words that either did or did not have the ar digraph.

We did another “AR” Word Hunt, but this time the words were spread
throughout the Kindergarten hallway.  Such a small change in scenery can
be a game changer for engagement!  The kiddos loved searching for words
with their pirate hats and eye patches!  The hats, recording sheets,
and ar cards came from another teacher’s product [here].

You can grab your own eye patches for super cheap by clicking the following link, Pack Of 24 Felt Eye Patches – Pirate Eyepatches – Party Favors – Costume .

We ventured into using QR codes with the iPads this week during Daily 5.  During Listen to Reading the kiddos watched a read aloud of “How I Became a Pirate” by Melinda Long.

I can now say that I love using QR codes in the classroom, and so do the kiddos!  You can grab your own copy of the QR code (links to SafeShare) by clicking [here].

During science we focused on oceans (landforms, animals, etc.).  We started off with some hands-on exploration of seashells.

Shhhh…. Don’t tell anyone, but I gave my kiddos the full science block of our first day studying oceans to just explore the seashells with a hand lens and their senses.  I knew the majority of my kiddos didn’t have any experience with seashells, and I wanted to give them the opportunity to form some background to attach new learning to.

The next few days we spent discussing how seashells are made and sorting them.  I let my kiddos decide how they want to sort them (in small groups).  As long as the group can explain how they sorted them, I’m a happy camper!

The group on the top chose to sort their shells by size (small, medium, large).  The group on the bottom sorted their shells by shape.

This little guy was listening for the ocean.  So cute!

To wrap up our fun pirate-themed week, we made a yummy snack!  We made blue jell-o together to resemble ocean water.  Then, we dropped a Swedish fish candy in.

The kiddos loved getting to help make our snack to end the week.  I loved secretly building in review of math skills we learned during the year.  ๐Ÿ™‚

I secretly made these super-cute orange boats to go on top of the jell-o.

I added them to the jell-o cups while the kiddos were at specials.  They were beyond excited to see and eat their finished product in the afternoon.

Happy Friday, y’all!

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