Thematic Units

I’m finally back in the teaching world. I had baby W. He just melts my heart!
Now I feel ready to get back to tell you all about what’s been going on. I came back to work on October 12 and I hit the ground running! This year has been a little different because I’m implementing a theme every single week along with a blend each week. I started to create units based on what we are teaching each week and honestly, I feel like my students have made major gains. 
Why do thematic units?
Imagine a kids brain is like a computer. In the old days if you wanted to switch programs you would have to shut the computer down. It was a 10-15 minute project. That would be 10-15 minutes of learning time what we would lose. By the end of the year, it could be an entire weeks of learning that you’ve lost.
How do you do themes?
I choose a theme based on the book for the week. I will use the week of Halloween as an example for our themed week.
Theme: Witches
Blends/digraph- ch [ I have 1-2 a week]
Math-we were working on matching tens and numbers together so the game had a boiling pot with the base tens, and then a witch for the number. It literally just had the cute fun game with a witch on it.
Writing- we wrote a “how to” book on several things. 1- how to make your own stew [or potion] (if you were a witch, of course). 2- how to put a spell on someone 3-(not a how to but still works) how to be the best witch of them all. They were a lot of fun to write and we enjoyed reading what everyone’s stew (or potion) would do to people.
Reading- during reading we read Piggie Pie. Have you read it? It’s so cute! That was for our interactive read a loud. Then for shared I wrote a book called something witchy and we read that several times along with identifying the ch on each page. The kids love these little books because they add them to their “paper” Baggie and are able to read from there anytime they want. We then read a poem called Witches. I wrote it and we read it everyday and then we were able to place it on our poetry journal. 
Themed weeks are such a huge hit! At the end of each week, the students get a brag tag that they can add to their necklace that says they are an expert on that topic. All my kids get one because they all worked equally hard to learn about the topic.
October themes:
Bats, spiders, fire safety, witches
November themes:
Voting, Veterans Day, thanksgiving 
Come back monthly to check out our new themes!
Do you do themes in your classroom?What are they and what do they look like?

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