Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Fire Dog Hats

Welcome to kindergarten, 2013! This is my first actual blog post of the school year, although I hope to go back and post-date blog about some of the things I've taken pictures about this year. The blogging isn't going quite like I expected because I have been dealing since May with sever tendinitis in both wrists, and it is difficult and painful to type. So, while I have composed lots of posts in my head this summer and fall, none of them have made it into electronic form! At least none until now...

October is Fire Safety month and our "Bomberos" unit is in full swing! We have been talking about what fire fighters wear and use, and what they do. Our fire department shares different goals for different grade levels regarding fire safety (I think this is a national program? Not sure), and for kinder the biggest thing is for kids to learn that fire fighters are safe and not scary. Every year children die in house fires because they hide from the "monsters" that try to come and get them in a fire. With their respirators on, fire fighters really do look scary! We have been learning about the special clothes and equipment they wear, and why they need them in Spanish and English.

I've used several resources throughout this unit which I will share below. One of my favorite new finds this year is a Sesame Street video on YouTube. It's a little less than 12 minutes long, and it is so clear and well-done that even my students with very little English were able to understand. Elmo and Maria are at Hooper's store when there is a fire, and they have to get out and call 911. Elmo gets scared of the fire fighters in the masks, so they show him all about their clothes, and invite him to the fire station. At the end of the video, he isn't scared anymore and eats dinner with them. My kids loved it and it hit all the right points!

Dot, el perro bombero
Dot, el perro bombero by Lisa Desimini

My sister, Miss Coco, is a volunteer firefighter and brought us her turnout gear to look at and play with. We used it as realia for our ELD lesson, and for the rest of the week the kids will get to play with it during free choice time. They were surprised by how heavy the clothes are, and super excited to get to touch them!

Another of our favorite stories is Dot, el perro bombero. Available in English and in Spanish, this sweet book again shows clear pictures of all the firefighters' clothes, and tells the story of a fire department Dalmatian who goes with her unit to a fire and saves a cat from a burning house. The kids love it! Then we made Fire Dog Hats. LOVE this project! Over the last several days, each student has had the chance (in a small group with my assistant at the back table) to paint a piece of white 9x12 construction paper and one white sentence strip with black bingo dotters (that we found at the Dollar Tree). Then today they each cut out a red hat and a yellow K-9 badge. Next, our 5th grade buddies came down and helped us trace their shoes on the big white paper (we folded it in half and just cut once to go faster). Finally, the buddies glued it all together and sized and stapled the sentence strips. Aren't they the cutest little fire dogs ever? =)

Lastly, I've created some fire-safety-related patterned texts at a variety of early reading levels. You can find them for sale in English and Spanish on TeachersPayTeachers!

Fire Safety Resources:
  1. Readers by Mrs. Doring
  2. Reader by Hubbard's Cupboard (in English, Spanish, French, and German!)
  3. Mailbox Magazine link to fire dog hat patterns
  4. Books on Amazon
Clifford, el perro bombero by Norman Bridwell
Dot, el perro bomberoby Lisa Desimini

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