Sunday, January 17, 2016

Winter Friends

These are by far my new favorite project! We have spent the last week talking about animals that migrate and hibernate. But we couldn't forget all of the hardy animals that stick around our snowy, frozen home in Minnesota! This project from Pinterest was the perfect ending for our winter discussions. You can get the project templates here. I have been known to blog-stalk the I Heart Crafty Things blog. I just can't get enough! Be sure to leave some love while you are there!

These projects are modeled after the artwork in one of my favorite books, Snowballs, by Lois Ehlert. 

I love the simplicity of the colors, but the vibrance of the red cardinal set against the gray and white background. They are quite different from any other winter projects hanging in our classroom or hallway right now. 

I wish I would have taken pictures of us as we completed each step. However, we were too caught up in the excitement of the project to stop for photos. The directions are below. 

1. Give the students a half-sheet of white construction paper and a whole sheet of gray construction paper. Have them cut the white paper into 4 strips the long way. 
2. Then have them use a black crayon to add black marks up and down each strip to make them look like aspen trees. 
3. Glue the strips down onto the gray paper. 
4. Cut out the birds (printed on red paper) and beaks (printed on orange paper). 
5. If you want you can explain the difference in colors for the male and female cardinals. My students were given the option to color over one of the birds with a brown crayon to make it look like a female cardinal. 
6. Glue down the birds and beaks and add some eyes. We used google eyes to give it dimension. 
7. We drew legs, but you could also cut them out of paper. Then we set them aside for the glue to dry. 
8. Using Q-tips, have the students add snowflakes to their creations. 
9. Add birdseed (we could only use sunflower seeds due to allergies) by creating a pool of glue at the bottom of the page. We also put a seed in one of the bird's mouths. 
10. Admire your beautiful winter artwork! 

I hope your kids will enjoy these as much as my children did. These are sure to become a treasured piece of artwork, both at school and at home! 

Monday, November 30, 2015

Special Delivery

We had a special delivery from the North Pole today! Each year I try to make the experience just a little more fun than the last year. I'm not sure why I get so excited other than the fact it is fun to see their expressions when a package comes from the REAL North Pole! 

So... last night I hid our little elf in the classroom and then went home to wrap up the package containing a letter from Santa and the Elf on the Shelf book. I always wrap the book in separate paper so that it is even more exciting. I found Elf on the Shelf wrapping paper last year for 50% off after Christmas. I'll be able to use it for years to come! After I carefully place everything in the box surrounded by tissue paper I wrapped up the entire box in fun wrapping paper and ribbon/string. Then I add our address and, most importantly, the return address of "THE NORTH POLE". You can't forget that step! I took the above picture before I brought the package to school. Once I arrived I sprayed a little spray adhesive and added translucent glitter to make it look frosty - this is something that the students never miss. They love the sparkles, and so do I! Then it was time for one last step... I placed the box into the freezer and waited. 

When the students went for a bathroom break I quickly ran up to the office and dropped off the freshly chilled box with the secretary. She called the room a few minutes later and announced that we had a delivery. I sent our Star of the Week up to the office to pick it up. The first thing he said when he walked back into the classroom was, "I don't know what it is, but it's really cold!"

The kids were so excited!

After we all had a chance to touch the box and the "frost" on the top, we decided it was time to open it up. There wasn't a noise in the room as I carefully unwrapped the parcel. You could have heard a pin drop! I took out the note from Santa and read it aloud to my kiddos. Then we passed around the book wrapped in the adorable Elf on the Shelf paper. They all commented on how cold the book felt. It must have really come from the North Pole if it was that cold!

 After reading the note and the story we looked for our elf. He was hiding up on top of the cabinets in the wagon with two new friends. He seemed very friendly. We decided that it was time to name our elf. We shared our ideas and after some silly and some nice suggestions we narrowed it down to a smaller list. Our choices were Elfie, Buddy, Cool Man, or Donut. We left a note for him and asked him to choose which name he liked the best. We can't wait to see which name he picked! I think he looks like a "Buddy!"

Stop by again soon to see what other adventures we have with our new little friend!

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Halloween Happenings

Halloween is always a busy time. It is my daughter's birthday so we have craziness at home and at insanity happening at school. This year my Kindergarten team came up with a cute, but easy, idea for our costumes. We always love to have a theme and this one was perfect for school! 

What do you think we did with these items? 

Any guesses? 
Well, here's a hint...
When you add us all up we are worth 18 points! 

There are twelve of us (6 teachers and 6 paras) so KINDERGARTEN was the perfect 12 letter word!

Here we are with all of our little super heros, princesses, cowboys/girls, wild animals and more! 

Friday evening we took my daughter to the ECFE Fall Festival at our school. She loved it. We have the most amazing Early Childhood program in our district. It is always fun to attend their special events. Here a few pictures of my little monkey's adventures. 

Slime Time!

Shaving Cream Painting

We could hardly pull her away from the corn pit!

Pumpkin Pounding

She said it was the best day of her life... until the next day which soon became the best day of her life. She woke up singing Happy Birthday to herself and wanted to eat lunch at 9am so that her party could start. Ahh, to be three four years old! 

All she wanted for her birthday was an elephant cake. We aren't sure why, but that was the only thing she asked for. Ask and ye shall receive. :) Didn't it turn out amazing?!

I have a "thing" with people blowing on cakes. So she gets a cupcake each year to blow out the candles. 

If you're going to carve into an elephant cake, you need to have a little fun with it!

After a busy day opening presents and eating cake a girl needs to take a nap, right? Wrong... we went Trick-or-Treating instead. My little monkey and Wonder Woman snuggled up together in the wagon as we collected treats. Everyone slept really well that night. And even though it poured rain on us halfway through our adventure it was a great day!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Owl-mazing Animals

We've been studying many fall animals but the owl quickly became our class favorite after we did a little bit of research. We read some fiction stories and then read some non-fiction books to see if the stories that we read earlier contained any facts. Then we created a chart to record our newfound knowledge. 

I decided that we needed a fun little owl craft to celebrate all of their hard work and research skills. So, we created these cute little guys (and girls!) to display with our anchor chart. 

They are all so adorable. We used random scrapbooking paper to give them a whimsical look. 
Here are a few close-ups of their projects. 

Don't they just make you smile?! 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stop, Swap and Roll!

I'm so happy to be part of a group of elementary educators participating in this awesome Stop, Swap and Roll adventure! 

Before we get started I want to say THANK YOU to Melissa from Jungle Learners for putting this together for us. She has been working very hard at getting everything up and running. Thanks so much Melissa!

So, here we go...

I was paired up with the talented Emily from Emmy Mac's Class. 

Emily is a 1st grade teacher from Ontario, Canada and has a ton of creative and useful materials in her store. When given the opportunity to pick any item from her store to swap and review I wasn't sure what to choose! There truly were so many amazing products. I chose her Breakfast Bonanza: A Bonanza of High Frequency Word Games because I felt it could be used all year long with my students. I love that it is adaptable for the different levels of kiddos in my classroom.

This product has endless possibilities. Emily created four different games in the set. They all have a breakfast theme (obviously!) and are awesome for word work, sight word review and RTI. Here are some pictures of the different games that are included. Click on the pictures to visit her amazing store!

There are over 150 1st Grade high frequency words. I teach Kindergarten, so I adapted it to work with my students. We used the words we have already learned and I added in some of the harder ones for my more advanced students. I also used the blank game pieces to write in extras of our newest sight words. 

One of the awesome parts of this set is that Emily included black and white versions too! I printed one of the games in color but the rest were printed in black on colored paper. She also included various spellings for Canada and the US. :) 


Here are some pictures of my kinder kids' favorite game from the set - SPLAT! We used some of the utensils from our dramatic play area to make the games even more interactive. 

The students took turns using the spatula to flip over the pieces. If they could read the word, they put the food on their plate. If they couldn't read it we put it back and mixed them up.

But beware of the SPLAT cards. If you find one, you need to empty your plate and start over!

This is just a small sampling of the pieces for the SPLAT game!

You really should try this game with your students. They will "flip" for it! :) 

Want a chance to win the Breakfast Bonanza games? You can enter to win one below!

Don't forget to check out the product that Emily chose from my store by clicking here. I will have all of my "In a Snap!" products on sale through the weekend. So be sure to stop over and get them now. :) You can see ALL of the bloggers participating in the Stop, Swap and Roll by clicking here

Thanks for stopping in - hope to see you again soon! :)