Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bob the Bat....A True Saga Of a Bat That Goes To Kindergarten

I do try to let my kids' interests guide what types of thematic topics we will be discovering in our centers and other times of the day. I always cringe when  snakes and other "eeww" types of topics become unavoidably popular.

Yes....I do try to sway their interests at times. I can't help it.  Mice are just not my thing.

But then there is Bob.

Bob for some reason just doesn't seem to bother me.  He has been part of our Kindergarten family for so long. I'm sure I'd feel lost in the Fall not focusing on him for a week or two.

Bob is a bat. A real live (well not anymore anyway...) petrified bat.



Here's the scoop on Bob and how he came to be part of our Kindergarten team......
   
Our old building ( the one that had my HUGE CLASSROOM I can't quit talking about even though it was years ago) actually had BATS IN THE BELL TOWER.

You could sometimes see them in our hall if you were up there at night time.

Fun huh????

Not really and Bob had yet to become part of our Kindergarten team so I was a bit scared of them to tell the truth.

So anyway one day our custodian found Bob the Petrified Bat in our art room. Who knows how long he had been there. Years I imagine.  I've heard he was found in the fireplace that was no longer used and I've also heard he was tucked away in some closet. No one really knows for sure. But Bob has been in his forever bat cave ever since and has been visiting many, many Kindergarten classrooms for quite some time now.  I'd say Bob has been part of our team now for over 14 years!!

Each year I begin my bat unit with



We then move on to various other books about bats. By the time I introduce Bob the kids have quite a bit of background knowledge about bats.  They are ALWAYS over the moon when they get to meet Bob! I always worry that I'll have a squeamish child but shockingly enough I never have. =)


Now we all know by blog hopping that there are some amazing blogs with some even more amazing bat activities out there for us to copy  put our own spin on.  When it comes to our bat unit I tend to stick more with writing activities and science center observations.  There have been years where my students have written about Bob ALL YEAR LONG. He's been like the mascot for some of my classes.  

In Kindergarten fiction Bob has been to outer space, castles and even played with dinosaurs!! 

This year after meeting Bob we created our Bat word list and wrote a class interactive story about Bob. 



We then moved on to recording our observations in the science center:





After discussing the importance of not shaking Bob's bat cave and even more importantly....DO NOT OPEN THE BAT CAVE....we were ready to begin our observations.

They LOVED observing his tiny little hands with the magnifying glasses. Some concentrated on his little scrunched up face. All were amazed by his wings and that one is not open as much as the other.  After taking some time to observe Bo they were asked to draw/write their observations for book we will keep in our science center.



This student was attempting to draw Bob's bat cave in her observation. I love it!






After we had some time to observe Bob we began writing our individual stories focused on him.  I took these photos last week. Today is Tuesday and almost all of my kiddos are STILL working on their Bob the Bat stories!

They are going back to add details to their pictures and are trying to out do one another with what types of adventures Bob can go on. Bob has gone trick-or-treating and Bob has even been to Wal-Mart!!

I'm amazed at their writing stamina! I love when children are truly invested in a topic. So much learning taking place from bringing one little petrified bat into a classroom.

Here are some of their writing samples from last week. Most were taken on the second day of writing about Bob. Of course it's early in the year Kindergarten and my students are at so many different writing levels. I'm so proud of the effort from all of them!




Bob flying over the school.




I love the bell tower in this one!












One of my little shining stars wrote the story above. He has since added details and has "filled in the white space!" I love his focus for so early in the school year! 

Now being a Kindergarten teacher that loves thematic units I couldn't help myself but to slip in a few math center activities focused on bats in this week!






Bat story problems......I used to use bat stickers that I cut out for this. This year I found little bats in the dollar section from Target! 

Well Bob has now moved on to visit some of our other Kindergarten classrooms. My students are sad to see him go!! I'm sure he'll be making some more visits to our room again this year. I can't wait to see what adventures this group of Kindergartners has in store for him!! 

                                                                                    Mrs. M

7 comments:

  1. Your science center looks amazing with all of the pumpkins! I think I need to expand my little table! Love it!

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  2. I love the book Stellaluna!! I also have the movie and it's great as well. I like the bat stories your kids have written. Your science center looks like a wonderful place to be:)
    Connie Anderson:)
    www.welcometofirstgraderoom5.blogspot.com

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    1. Great book isn't it? They do love the science center ....thank you!

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  3. That's a great idea for a child to learn beyond the usual lectures that is taught inside the classroom. The kids deserves the best and that's what we're doing at www.greatmoms.net. Come and visit us to learn more.

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  4. I too love your science center. I generally focus so much on reading instruction and writing because of my live for that and then don't do as much with science as I would like. This year I am doing much more with science besides just meeting state standards.....I'm really digging deep with science journals, weekly garden visits, a much richer vocabulary bank with the kids, daily experiments but I have just been inspired by your dedicated space for your little scientists! I think I will look into rearranging some things tomorrow. Thanks for the inspiration!

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    1. Thank you! I'm glad you liked it =)

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  5. HI Mrs. M. Can you give me more detailed instructions for your last math project on this page? I see 3 bats at the top of the tree and 2 at the bottom 3+2=5. Looks like the single brown cave works the same. How does the page with the 12 bats, a cave and the dice work? What are the detailed instructions for that lesson?- another Mrs. M, in Campbell, CA

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