Thursday, December 19, 2013

Holiday goods

I have been somewhat neglectful with my blog here.  It is not exactly the way to keep my followers and I apologize.

We have been busy.  We made have made counting Christmas trees, the boys adored.  Photo coming.
We made ornaments, courtesy First Grade Blue Skies.  They came out really great and by class loved the bulletin board display.  We used scrap booking paper, fancy scissors (the ones that make different design like scallops and more), gems, and glitter.  Who doesn't like a little glitter?  Photo also coming.

We made adorable pictures with our room parents (found on Pinterest).  Great gift for the parents.

"Love Never Melts" - so cute.  Their handprints are transformed into snowmen. 

We made ornaments.  Kindergartners just have to make something with their photos.
Wish I remember where but somewhere I saw a gingerbread man... with a photo of the student for the face. I used that "Model Magic" by Crayola.  It is simple "clay" that you can mold into anything and then paint or color with markers.  It comes in individual packets or in bulk.  I had a supply of white.
So I rolled out the dough and cut out soldiers with a cookie cutter and a small tree.  I used a straw to make the hole for the ribbon hanger and foam sheets for the backing.  The face was cut out with a small cup and I glued their cute little faces into place, and the boys were eager to color.

Then we made our own wrapping paper.  It was amazing.  The used rubber stamps and markers.  I showed them how to make plaids, stripes, and other patterns.  They really got into it.
We used holiday stickers instead of tape and added green yarn as the ribbons.  The final touch were tags that said "Fragile - Handle With Care" and attached them with little pieces of pipe cleaners.
Mission Complete.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

We remember Sandy Hook!

Sandy Hook, the students, the teachers, the families, the town,  
we are all thinking of them this week and especially today.

To honor their memory, we will be encouraging random acts of kindness.  We have been counting down the days until our Christmas break.   Here are our plans for the week:

Monday *We will make holiday decorations and hang them 
(quietly tip toe.. and hang them when no one can see us.)
Tuesday *Make holiday cards and put them in mailboxes for our custodian and other teachers.  
The cards will bear only the name of the receiver - not the giver.
Wed. *We will make special decorations for the kitchen staff and hang it up before they come in.
Thursday *We will let someone go ahead of us in line.
Friday *We will ask someone to play who we do not usually play with.

So join in with teachers everywhere in committing 
random acts of kindness to show our love for Sandy Hook.

Thanks to Greg from Smedley's Smorgasboard  for putting this link together.

Feel free to use the image above and share it on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and wherever you can.  Email it to all of your co-workers, friends and family.  Spread the word. 

As you share on social media, please use the hashtag #love4SH to spread the word and fuel a movement.  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

5 Colored Ghosts

We have been working on re-telling stories.  And one of my goals for the year is to add more puppetry in the classroom.  Each year in Kindergarten, I see children struggle more and more with the classroom puppets.  I stumbled upon a wonderful story about 5 colored ghosts.

Simply, they are white because they eat only white food, such as mashed potatoes, milk, white bread, sugar cookies, vanilla ice cream and more.  My boys added "marshmallows, cheese" and more.

  After mommy leaves, they of course adventure on their own and eat broccoli, blueberries, strawberries, orange juice (This ghost thought "drinking" was safer than eating.) and chocolate chip cookies.  Not sure if you can see, but the last one had "chocolate chips... all over.

Mom comes back and says, "I know what you have been doing!  So you will all have a glass of milk and go right to bed."  In the morning, when they woke up, they were all white again!  (Don't you love the ending.)  Check out the  Time for Play blog (click on the name) for the complete story.

I am crazy about this because each student made their own set of the puppets.  They are "reversible" and so simple.  I did the first show and made a big deal about setting up the stage by covering a table with a sheet.  This led to a wonderful discussion on how they could do it at home with chairs... and more.  We are taking turns each day to tell it again.  I love that you can change whatever they eat, just so long as the color matches.  The boys totally get it and we have had great success.  I sure hope you try it.  Let me know if you do!

"5 Days of Halloween"

It has been too long since my last post.

I have been very busy with my class.  They are wonderful group of energetic boys with a thrill for learning.  We have made collage fall leaves, glyph scarecrows, learned about apples and pumpkins, and so much more.

One of my favorite holidays is Halloween.  Each year we sing a Halloween song to the melody of "The 12 Days of Halloween."  

On the first day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, an owl in a spooky old tree.
On the 2nd day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 2 jack-o-lanterns, and...
On the 3rd day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 3 bats-a-flapping...
On the 4th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 4 witches flying...
On the 5th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 5 scary ghosts...

One year my class was sad that was all there was.  So we added more!

On the 6th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 6 goblins gobling...
On the 7th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 7 mummies marching...
On the 8th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 8 spiders spinning...
On the 9th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 9 monsters marching...
On the 10th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 10 vampires dripping...
On the 11th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 11 mice a munching...
On the 12th day of Halloween, my true love gave to me, 12 trick or treaters.

Today we got together with our 9th grade buddies and illustrated our own copies of the book.  They all had a blast.  We just did "5 days of Halloween."

Here are some photos.  Try it in your own classroom!  Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Author's Chair

So last year I moved classrooms.   I found a little wooden student chair left in the classroom.  It had clearly been painted several coats of white paint.  There was a big crack in the middle of the seat and paint had chipped off in several places, but it seemed sturdy enough.  It was enough just to get the room set up, much less worry about this chair.  I did use it as part of our morning meeting routine, and the helper/show and tell friend got to sit on it.  It worked out just fine.

I did however, made a goal to have my husband fix the crack and to re-paint this chair this summer.  Turns out there is not a crack!  It is actually how the chair was made.  It is clearly 2 pieces of wood for the seat.  I spray painted the whole chair white (again) - my husband was concerned sanding it was risky; could be lead paint... A trip to Joann Fabrics and I got the rainbow colors.  Pinterest inspired me and I set to work.

I know my class will love it.  After following the book study "Talking, Drawing,Writing" 

I have been very inspired to do more writing.  Special thanks to Cindy at Love Those Kinders for organizing it for the summer.  If you missed the book study, click here,  I definitley recommend the book. 

Here's to a great start for the year!  Let me know what you think.


Sunday, August 18, 2013

Monthly Weather Graphs

Kindergarteners love giving the daily weather reports.  I have an amazing stuffed "wireless" microphone that my students use.  We sing the weather song while our "meteorologist" checks outside the windows and prepares to give us the weather report.  He must greet the class, give his name and then report the weather.  We save each day's weather card and at the end of the month we graph the results.  It is actually a highlight of the month.  I have been doing this for years and they never cease to cheer and yell for their winners.  "Yeah - Sunny!  I knew it!"

Here is the one I use for the first few month.  I include the graphics so each student can read it.  And of course we graph from the bottom up.  In January, we do not have the pictorial clues.
And I am proud to day, I have used this graph to make my first "Teachers Pay Teachers" freebie!

CLICK HERE  to grab your own set (Sept. - June).
I love comments - so please let me know if you download it!

Thank you!  Here's to days of Abundant Sunshine!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Back to School Blogger Exchange

I recently learned about a summer "secret blogger" exchange over at Covered in Glitter and Glue.  What fun!

I actually kind of forgot about it (the sign up was several weeks before the actual required ship date.)  The door bell rang and I see the delivery man.  I ask my husband if he was expecting a package...  What a genuine surprise to see it was for me! 
(My blogger friend was right on top of this project!)

I was so excited.  What could it be? Well, it was perfect!

Fun pens, pencils, a little stapler, googlie eyes, eraser caps, primary colored big erasers (perfect as my push pin keeper for "Pokey Pinning", lotions and more.

Check out this fun "Solar Dancing Bug!" 
My class is going to love it.

So glad I signed up to do this.

And do you want to know the best part?  I found a friend!  A fellow 
CT Blogger who lives very near me!  Yeah.

Check out her blog "Pinkadots Elementary" - great ideas.

Here's to a great start of the year to everyone!
I feel nicely pampered to begin. (Thanks, T!)

PS.  I love comments