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Friday, April 5, 2013

Integrating Spring

"Hopper Hunts for Spring" Book Cover

I'd like to start by thanking Linda at Primary Inspiration for hosting her Primary Math Linky Party.  What a terrific idea!  My contribution to the linky party is this integrated post featuring several freebies including addition bunnies.

I love using the book Hopper Hunts for Spring because it can tie in math, science, language arts, and writing all in one beautiful spring package.  The story itself focuses on a young bunny's confusion about who "Spring" is.  I think this book is fabulous for starting discussions with your class about the spring season.  I try really hard to encourage higher-level thinking by asking open-ended questions such as "What do you think Hopper is thinking?", "What kinds of things do you like to do in the spring?", and "What would you see, hear, smell, and taste in the spring if you were a bunny?".

For writing and art, I'm going to have my students use these differentiated spring cut-up sentences that they can also illustrate.

I've taken a few classes this year that say it's really important to use sentence starters for ESOL children.  Since my class is almost entirely ESOL, I've really embraced sentence starters throughout this school year.  Here is an example of one of them, with a picture word bank.

Spring Writing Prompt by Sharon A Blachowicz Dudley

Even though Common Core has taken time and money out of kindergarten, I still think that a short calendar time is important.  I still use my calendar and I use different songs to represent special times of the year.  Some songs that I will use in April are:

"Five Little Bunnies" by Mar Harmon
"5 Little Bunnies" by Joanie Calem
"Celebrate the Spring" by Jack Hartmann
"It's Spring" by Tiana

I feel that my children focus much better when we sing and dance to bring us all together on the carpet and to transition between subjects.  I think all four of these songs give details about spring that some five-year-olds aren't yet familiar with.  They also provide a nice baseline to make connections between the book, what they're writing about, and what they're hearing.  The bunny songs are nice fingerplays for those students who still don't have one-to-one correspondence - I still have two in my kindergarten class who are having trouble with this.  It's still good for the other children in my class because they can focus on the rhyming parts of the song.

I'm going to cut up these addition bunnies, laminate them, and put them in my math center for further practice.  My children are going to use manipulatives of their choice from the center to check their answers.

Please let me know which ideas you like from this post.  Your feedback really helps me to decide what to write about next.


  1. Hi, Sharon,

    I wasn't familiar with "Hopper Hunts for Spring", so thank you for recommending it.
    Also, I really appreciate the linkback to my linky party.

    By the way, I tried a few days ago to comment on your last post, but it didn't accept it. What an honor to be on a panel with the Secretary of Education! I'm sure the passion that was evident in all of your comments was also clear to Mr. Duncan. Great job!!


    1. Linda, thank you so much for your kind words! I've been wondering lately why people haven't been commenting very often. Maybe others are trying too but the comments just aren't showing up. If that ever happens again to you, please email me and let me know.

      I really liked your idea to do a math linky party. I'm actually doing math lesson plans for my kindergarten team in the 5 E's format, including Common Core, so I'm always looking for new ideas. Thanks again.

      Sharon Dudley, NBCT

  2. Dear Sharon,
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I love all the Hopper books, Have a great spring.

    1. Linda, thanks so much for stopping by and leaving a comment! I didn't know that there were other Hopper books. I appreciate the tip. Happy spring to you too!


  3. Hopper Hunts for Spring sounds like a good book I can use with my science lessons! I love the ideas you posted! I'm your newest follower :)

    Science for Kids Blog

    1. Thanks, Sue, for reading my post! I really enjoy making new bloggy friends, and hearing what ideas people think are worthwhile and even not so worthwhile.

      Thanks again.