Friday, May 25, 2012

Dinosaur Math Theme Pack

Having fun with a spring Dinosaur theme?! I usually do some sort of dino theme that fits in with what we are learning because kids find dinosaurs simply fascinating! They love learning about them, and have tons of questions about how they became extinct, why they became extinct, and all the different types. 

And the end of my unit, I do a dinosaur DIG. A "real" one! 
Could I find any pictures of this? NO! I think they are on an old computer that I am yet to remove all my files/documents. Bummer.

Anywhoooo----if you want to have your own dino dig, just visit your local butcher! Yes, the butcher! They will probably be more than happy to hand over some very large cow bones for your little paleontologists! A very nice butcher will boil them or put them on a smoker to make sure that the bones are free of all meat and grimey stuff before you bring them to school. If not, just have them bag 'em up and have your ever-understanding and more than willing to help, husband, do it! :)

To be really effective, you have to arrive to school VERY early. I brought my paraprofessional partner in crime with me, 2 shovels, and we started digging holes all over the playground.Not very deep---but deep enough to make the kids work for it. Once that first bone is discovered, it kicks them all into high gear and they don't stop until I have to call off the dig! Have your camera ready for those very surprised, wide-eyed, looks when the children pull out those GIANT bones. They are big, and heavy, and so believable. There's no harm in a little embellishment, is there?!

To get your students ready for the dig, tell them a story about how long, long, long ago it was heard that dinosaurs roamed <insert school name here> school playground. Tell them you don't know if the stories are true or not, but you asked the principal, and s/he thinks it might be true and gave us permission to conduct a research dig! * I recommend telling them at the very end of the day when they are ready to go home, so that they don't go digging during recess or something. Then, when they return in the morning, they will be pumped up for the dig!

This dig will quickly become the buzz of the whole student population in your building! You'd be surprised how many 5th graders buy into the idea that preschoolers acutally found dino bones on the playground! Too cute!

Other tips for a successful dig
* Ask a parent volunteer to pick up the bones and/or bury them
* Get permission from your administrator so that they are on board and approve you digging up an area of  
   the playground
* Contact your butcher ahead of time, find out what day they slaughter (sorry, I know it sounds awful), and
   arrange to pick up the bones shortly after so that they do not have to have them sitting around long.
* Make sure the bones are in a plastic bag when you pick them up from the butcher, and when you dispose
  of them. They can be stinky---especially if they are smoked. They do attract flies/animals...just FYI.
* Count your bones (I had one for each student)...and double check at the end. No need for raccoons,
  dogs, etc. to invade the playground later on. Ewwww.

Now that you are all pumped up...
Get your dinosaur stomp on with this AWESOME

Lots of great skills for all your little learners!
Pattern cards
Addition & Subtraction work mats w/ recording sheets for accountability
Counting Mats
"Go Stomp"
Number recognition
Number sequencing

Get it HERE!

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