Friday, August 15, 2014

Five In A Row: The Story About Ping

Our three pairs of feet...this is how I love spending my days!

So we kicked off our Kindergarten year here at Crestwood Oaks Academy with The Story About Ping, which is all about a little yellow duck who lives on a boat that travels the Yangtze River in China. 

Our calendar board/bookshelf...

The Five In A Row teacher's manual outlines lots of things you can do for each subject during the week and then there are a ton of printable packs and worksheets for free online that you can print off, which include maps, word searches, mazes, flags, graphs, copywork, etc.  I won't show you everything we did because that would be a long post with a lot of pictures of worksheets (not so exciting if you weren't there).  However, I will tell you we did some of each along with our math, grammar and handwriting pages, and I think this week we struck the right balance for us (yay!). 

LadyBear looking for the duck in a tube of farm animals...

Some highlights of the week were... a science experiment on buoyancy and a rousing game of will it "Sink or Float?!"

Sink or float!??

We also watched a few videos, which I also believe there is a time and place for (though now if you ask LadyBear about China, she'll automatically announce that Big Bird was there...*sigh*).  We took two field trips for the week including getting lunch from our favorite Chinese restaurant (Magic China!), where we talked about rice (how it's grown, etc.) and in what ways our meals are similar/different.

Chinese food!!!!

We also fed ducks on the Brazos River underneath Waco's famous suspension bridge.  We had way more ducks than our last feeding adventure and even saw a momma Mallard with ducklings!  We talked about the different kinds of ducks we saw and watched them swim, heard them quack and talked about the river.

 feeding the ducks...lots of different kinds!  Momma is in the middle with her babies...

And lest you think I am "Pinterest Perfect," I will confess that one area I did let suffer was Art.  I am just not good at incorporating formal art projects into school, which makes me sad because I love the subject of art and think it's really important.  I had even planned what projects to do, but we ran out of time.  Since I knew this was a weakness of mine, we joined a Co-Op this fall which offers a pre-k/k art class that will meet once a week, which LittleBear will enjoy taking with his best friend E.  I am going to do my best to get the art projects in at home, but I'm not going to stress if they don't get done because we have this Co-Op class.  So there you have it...honesty :)

And yes, she has marker on her face...we don't forego art completely!

Both kids enjoyed this book quite a bit and we are thrilled to have already had this one in our library.  I'm sure we will continue to read it for years to come :)

our bookshelf this week of go along books

Resources and printables I used for The Story About Ping can be found at:
My Five In A Row Pinterest Board
Big Bird in China (Youtube)
Modern Marvels: The Great Wall of China (Netflix)

**NOTE** When I was researching books to supplement this unit, I had a really hard time finding a comprehensive list from anyone, so I'm going to put the list I compiled at the end of these posts in case it is helpful for someone else later.  If that's not you, then feel free to ignore it :)

Go Along Books we used for The Story About Ping:
The Five Chinese Brothers
Children Just Like Me (specifically, the pages talking about the girl from China)
The Magic Boat
A Grain of Rice
Little Pear
The Empty Pot by Demi
Usborne Beginners: China
We're From China
Ducks Don't Get Wet
The Yang Tze: China's Majestic River
Ms. Frizzles Adventures: Imperial China
D is for Dancing Dragon
The Ugly Duckling (a short version for LadyBear and a longer version for LittleBear)
The Fuzzy Duckling (a little Golden book for LadyBear)
My First Book of Chinese Words: An ABC rhyming book
Shanyi Goes to China (FYI- there are parts that refer to offerings to other gods and burning money for ancestors to use in the afterlife, which surprised me, but then gave me a good opportunity to talk about what we believe and how others don't always agree.)

A few that we tried to InterLibraryLoan, but didn't get:
Watch it Grow: Duck
Ducks Quack
Explore Asia
Children of Asia
Ling and the Magic Paintbrush by Demi
Young Fu of the Upper Yang Tze
The Year of the Panda (Schlein)
Good Times Travel Agency Adventures in Ancient China by Linda Bailey
The Great Wall of China by Leonard Everett Fisher
Little Pear and His Friends

LittleBear adding the story disk to our world map...

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