Learning with Mrs. Langley

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How do you SPICE up your required curriculum?

I love being a part of Facebook Kindergarten groups. We live in such a interactive world where we can share ideas and lean on each like no other time in history. Goodbye to the age of shut your door and teach....open your door, open your mind, and open your browser to a whole new age of teaching!

Recently I've run across a lot of "I have to" teach this curriculum posts from teachers. While I want to say....I'm with ya sister....I also know that having a required curriculum doesn't have to tie your hands. I love our scope and sequence and I use all our stories as a guide for further research. Every story is a new opportunity for new learning, you just have to know where to look. I just finished up one of my favorite stories of the year, If You Could Go to Antarctica. Here are a few ways that I spice up this story.

Use Questions to Guide Instruction

I fell into this one by accident but it really made me open my eyes to what can be done with a required curriculum. After reading If You Could Go to Antarctica my first year we made a good ol' KWL chart and talked about all the things we knew about Antarctica. One of my kiddos said that polar bears live there. A few argued with him so I used it as a teachable moment and we decided that we needed to know MORE before we could agree on this.

We spent the week reading more stories about penguins (which we knew lived there because it was in the book we read), Antarctica, and some books on polar bears. I used this opportunity to do a week worth of penguin activities and learned all about penguins. At the end of the week the class decided that polar bears couldn't live there because they would be the penguins predators and everything we read about penguins said that seals were their predators. It was like one of those magical moments in the classroom where everything falls together, angels sing, and you sit in a circle and sing kumbaya.

A fluke? Nope, it works out that way every. single. year. I always worry that no one will add polar bears to the chart but it never fails, they always do!

Use Your Small Groups to Your Advantage

I try to keep our small groups pretty focused on our goals. You can read more about how I put my groups together HERE and I just posted over at KinderTribe about activities I do in our small groups. During a really exciting story week though I use these little readers to keep the theme going. We read the little reader and do a sentence building activity together. I love the weeks we get to do these!

I made these all to go along with themes throughout our curriculum. That is how I spice it up! Thank you for stopping by today and have fun with what you 'have' to do.