Sunday, September 7, 2014

Saving Fred

Saving Fred is one of my favorite activities for the first week of school. You can find tons of ideas online (especially Pinterest) of how different teachers are using Saving Fred in their classrooms. I use this as an opportunity to practice working cooperatively and to teach the kids how to use their science journals.

Before we start the activity, we make an anchor chart on how to work cooperatively. The kids brainstorm what it should look like and sound like in our classroom when they are working in pairs or teams. We also brainstorm some possible solutions to different conflicts that could arrive. My class this year had some great ideas on dealing with conflict. They were all about compromising, taking turns or letting your partner get their way. (Wow!)

This year I found a couple of free powerpoints on Teachers Pay Teachers to introduce "Saving Fred". My teammate and I tweaked the resources to fit what we needed for our kids. The kids were so excited about saving Fred and then their excitement grew when they realized Fred was a gummy worm and *gasp* "Can we eat him?!?"

I loved seeing how well the kids worked together. They really followed all of the norms on our anchor chart.

Great teamwork & determination!

A successfully saved Fred!
As the kids were working, I was taking pictures with my iPad. When they were all finished, I showed the pictures up on the screen and they LOVED seeing themselves!

I let them eat a gummy worm/ gummy life saver and then we got to work in our science journals. Working with their partner, they drew a flow map to show the steps they took in saving Fred. Their flow map needed pictures with labels. I did an example first in my journal, and it was a great reminder that we all have different kinds of smart. I reminded the kids I was NOT picture smart and to be nice about my illustrations. : )

In addition to their flow map, they also responded to some journal prompts about the activity. Once everyone had finished, they self-assessed their journal entry with our science journal guidelines. I loved seeing some students make changes in their journal as we reviewed the journal guidelines.

The activity was such a hit, they asked if we could save Fred again the next day!

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