Sunday, April 28, 2013

Literacy Center Game - Green Eggs

A few times a week we have learning centers. I would love to do it more, but with 30 kids in my class, parent volunteers are a must. So, we do it as often as we have people willing to help. I try to include a reading game each week in one of the centers. This week I introduced a new game in tribute to Dr. Suess. Yes, it's a little late for Literature Appreciation Day, but my students love Dr. Seuss all year long. I got the idea from a pinterest pic and then just extended it to include a few more twists and threw in some green eggs to give it the Suess twist. I used the second 100 words on the Fry list. Copied them on yellow construction paper and the "twists" (lose your turn, skip, get two extra cards, etc) on green construction paper. You can download these colorful yolks here. Then I drew the white of the egg on card stock and had parents trace it onto white paper and cut. The kids actually cut out the yolk when their work was complete. They may not be perfect circles, but they loved my perfectionist side got over it. Glue the two together. I bought a spatula for 99¢ and we were in business. Place all the eggs upside down and have them take turns flipping over the egg. They read the word and keep it or follow the directions on the yolk. Have a parent lead the group to offer assistance. My kids had a blast!

Click here for Freebie!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Summer Journals

At the end of the year I'm always asked by parents what they can do to help their child over the summer. I suggest going to the library (READ, READ, READ) and to keep a journal. A lot of times parents are not sure what the kids should write about. I found that my young students need more direction when they write in their journals throughout the year. Giving them the option to write about whatever they want usually ends with..."I don't know what to write about." So, in class I provide them with a topic. This summer I'm going to do the same. I'm going to provide them with 40 topics, present it in a fun way (graphics, borders, etc) and bind them. There will be nothing left for the parents to do except set some time aside for their child to write. I hope this gives the parents the summer support they need and the kids the chance to keep up with their writing skills.
Below is a download for a summer journal cover and some blank journal pages. If you don't want to have each page with its topic already provided, maybe send home a journal with blank pages and attach a list of journal prompts or you can find my summer journal available here.
Click Summer Journal

You can use this as your cover and include some blank journal pages. Find them here.

Life Cycles - Water Colors

We did a mini unit on life cycles these past few weeks. Our duck eggs are now in the incubator and the countdown is on. The kids are thrilled! One of my favorite art lessons is this butterfly life cycle watercolor. You'll need to purchase 3 types of noodles and some rice, but it will last you for years. I like using craft paint, but I'm sure tempra works just fine. The noodles and rice will all hold with Elmers glue, but I use a hot glue gun for the "butterfly". It is a bit heavier and doesn't seem to hold well otherwise. I do a directed drawing with oil pastels (crayons work fine as well). The background shown is of warm colors, but it is also beautiful using cool colors.

You can find this and other activities in my mini unit of

Life Cycle - Butterfly and Plant Activities
Click here to find this unit.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Classroom Garden

I was at Home Depot and found these colorful tomato cages. I thought they would be perfect in our classroom garden. We put them in along with our tomato plants. It just adds a little bit more fun, rather than using the silver cages I have in my home garden. I suppose it would be easy to spray paint the silver cages as well.
We also added a few critters to our garden. When my family moved into our home 5 years ago, there was a ton of river rocks throughout the backyard. We made a lot of changes, but I just couldn't get rid of these rocks. I have quite a few buckets stored in my garage and every year, I take out 30ish for my students. We painted them and I had them place them next to their plant in the garden. It adds a little bit more fun, but also reminds the kids what plant they are in charge of watering and weeding around.

Just Getting Started...

I want to send a HUGE thanks to Honey Bunch Blog Design. They are amazing. Misty and Erika are a great team. I never felt as if I was being a bother. Nikki is such a talented illustrator. Thank you for my personalized surfer troll; he is adorable! Thank you soooo much for getting me on my way to this whole new world of blogging. You're a talented (honey) BUNCH!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

This is a test to see if I'm doing this right. Let's cross our fingers.