Monday, February 11, 2013

Longish Update

Hello friends!
I feel like it's been so long since I've posted. But here's a peek at some of the things we've been doing.

Polar Bear Fever!
We had such a great time studying polar bears. The students were really into it, and they were some of the best researchers!
We started out with the wonderful idea from Reagan over at Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. You can read about that here.
I started off with four tables, and each table had a grouping of polar bear pictures. I tried to categorize them into four groups: polar bears with their cubs, polar bears hunting for seals, polar bears swimming and a general set of pictures that lent themselves to describing polar bears (teeth, paws..etc) They each walked around and used the provided sticky notes to write questions or observations about the pictures.

These stayed up for the entire study. The students referred to them often.
Then I read aloud Gail Gibbons book Polar Bears. We stopped though out the reading to list facts we learned or facts we thought were important to our study. Then the students chose another sticky note to write about something the learned from the book.

The next day we completed our sticky note research. I got this right from the Primary Comprehension Toolkit..I love that kit!!! I broke the students up into four groups.

There was a reader and the remaining members were the recorders of new information from the text they were reading.
 I picked four different non-fiction books on polar bears and copied different parts of each book. The categories were: what they eat and how they hunt, their babies, passages describing polar bears, and what they do in the winter. As the reader read the text they all decided what was the important information to add to their sticky notes. They were working so quietly and discussing what would be the best information to write onto their post it's. After all groups were finished we got together and shared the different findings. Students got more sticky notes to add new information they learned from the other groups.

On the third day or our research we watched National Geographic's Polar Prowl. 

I love these videos...I finally broke down and bought a set for my classroom. During this dvd we paused and added more information to our notes and learned a bunch of new vocabulary words like insulation, migrate and camouflage.

The next day we took a look at all of our information and categorized them into groups. We decided on descriptions of polar bears, how they hunt, their babies and interesting facts. Then we started creating our nonfiction books. We started with the table of contents and went from there. Their books turned out so well.

We topped it off by completing a Glyph Girls polar bear. I left off the buttons, bow and patch. I wanted our display to look as close to authentic as we could.


We had such a wonderful time researching!
Sorry for the long post and if you made to the end thanks for sticking with me. 


  1. What a great study!!! So glad you were able to use an idea! Love the sticky notes!

  2. Those polar bears are adorable!! I also love the sticky note research! So fun! :)
    A Cupcake for the Teacher

  3. Looks like a lot of learning taking place. I love the sticky notes. The polar bears turned out great! Glad to "hear" from you. :)

  4. I absolutely love everything you kiddos did while learning about polar bears. I think Laura Numeroff's next book should be, "If You Give a Kid a Sticky Note" so fun!


  5. This is all awesome! Love the sticky notes. Those bears are just TOO cute. Their books are great! What a fabulous study!
    ❤Dragonflies in First ❤

  6. Your polar bears are fabulous and I love your little mini books! You just always share the best ideas! Thank you!
    Kerri B
    Teacher bits and bobs

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  8. This was my first year with an entire week dedicated to Polar Bears and I LOVED it! Aren't post-its amazing little wonders! First graders weigh them like gold! So excited to see you love Polar Bears as much as I do!
    Ms. Marciniak's First Grade Critter Cafe
    Celebrate and Join my 100th Follower Ultimate Giveaway: Skype Author Visit!

  9. Love your polar bear ideas!! I'm your newest follower!
    Science for Kids Blog

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