Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Monday, April 18, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Every now and then there are projects that you want to get done in your classroom but you know how time consuming they will be. What a great feeling it is do get those projects off your list and see some of your work being used.
Last week I decided to conquer another project - labeling all of our manipulative bins. It wasn't too difficult and I'm pleased with the results.
Each day as I would pick up bits and pieces of toys I would get irritated searching for the correct bin. If this irritated me, I can only imagine how the kids felt.
For this organization project I simply took each bin one at a time and took a picture of the content inside the bin. For most of them I was able to put a few pieces on the table and take a picture. For smaller items (such as the bears) I left them inside the container when taking the picture. I printed the pictures on the color printer at work, cut them out, laminated them, and taped the pictures onto the bins. Like I said, it wasn't anything difficult, it was just time consuming.
I'm sooooo glad it's done. :D
What kind of classroom organization projects have you conquered?
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
To make the shamrocks: I did a google search for a shamrock template and used it to cut out shamrocks from green paper. Then I let the kids paint the glue onto the paper. Painting the glue works much better than squeezing it on. It allows for better control and avoids a big glob on the paper. Then the children put little green squares of tissue paper onto the paper.
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
We laid the coffee filters out to dry. We used recycled copy paper and newspaper on the tables during the coloring and drying process and it was very helpful.
Next, I used a pipe cleaner to make a body for the butterfly. I gathered up the coffee filter and wrapped the pipe cleaner around the middle a few times and then twisted it to make a body and antennae. It took a little practice to figure out how I wanted to wrap it, but I think it turned out well.
These butterflies are a colorful addition to our classroom. :)
Friday, February 18, 2011
It is super double coupon week at Harris Teeter and I managed to snag some pasta for only 30 cents a box! Since we don't eat much pasta in our home I decided to purchase some for the classroom.
Dying pasta is super easy, economical, and has many uses in arts and crafts projects. In our classroom we plan to make necklaces, bracelets, and collages. Stringing the pasta will provide an opportunity to improve fine motor skills. In addition to these ideas we can also use it for counting and making patterns.
As you can see, the pasta turned out bright and colorful. The colors remind me of fresh fruits and vegetables.
- large ziploc bag (I used gallon size)
- food coloring
- vinegar or alcohol
- wax paper
- Add a few cups of pasta to your ziploc bag.
- Next, add about 10-12 drops of food coloring and about 1 tbsp of vinegar. (You can use alcohol but I prefer to use vinegar so that it's safe for the preschoolers that decide to put it in their mouth.)
- Close the ziploc and stir up the pasta to mix around the food coloring. You can let the noodles sit in the food coloring for a little while if you'd like a deeper color. (I didn't let mine sit and I am pleased with the color.)
- Dump out your noodles onto wax paper and allow to dry. You can let it dry on newspaper but I used wax paper so that I don't have to worry about the wet noodles drying to the paper.
- Let the noodles dry overnight. I made our pasta on Friday so that it would have plenty of time to dry over the weekend.
Money saving idea: To cut down on the number of baggies I used, I planned an order for dying my pasta so that I could reuse the bags. For example, I dyed yellow pasta and then used the bag to dye orange pasta. I knew that the orange would involve using the yellow and another color.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
One of our recent themes was construction. We used The Three Little Pigs as our main book for the week. Here are a few activities to go with the theme.
There are so many different versions of this story that I actually had a difficult time finding the original story. You could share the different versions with your class. Depending on their age and abilities, you could compare the differences.
We also read Our Tree House. This book talks about building a tree house and it shows the people working and building so we were able to point out the different tools and the purpose of the tools.
We have a blocks center in our classroom. We recently added some of the sturdy cardboard brick blocks to our collection.
My son had some toy tools at home so I borrowed them to take to school. They were a hit and they preschoolers have really enjoyed playing with the tools.
We are fortunate to have a nice manipulative center in our classroom which has many wooden puzzles.
I added some of these pig coloring pages in our art center that week as an optional activity. The kids could color and trace the word "pig". Other sources for printables: First School, Coloring.ws, Coloring Pages for Kids.
Other things we did during the week:
Read Humpty Dumpty
Sang the Humpty Dumpty song
Watched The Three Little Pigs from the Discovery Education website
We made The Three Little Pigs stick puppets. We used our puppets to retell the story.
Other activities to try:
Blow paint with a straw.
Pig craft (from paper towel roll)
Friday, February 11, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
This week we're making heart people for our Valentine craft. We're also decorating our bulletin board with these cuties. The idea is very simple and I have seen it around for a while now so I am not sure where it originated.
As you can see, the body of the person is a large heart and the feet and hands are smaller hearts. We use strips of paper for the legs and arms. We folded them to give a crinkled effect. You could wiggle eyes or buttons for the eyes or you could hand draw them. We let the kids draw the mouth.
This is definitely an cute, easy, and inexpensive idea.
Sunday, January 30, 2011
January is almost over but it's not too late to make a snowman. These are just a few ideas I rounded up for you all. Enjoy! :)
Tuesday, January 25, 2011
One of the things were we struggling with in our classroom was lining up and staying in our own personal space. We haven't exactly mastered the concept yet, but these crayons sure are helping. ;)
Our crayons are made from bulletin board paper. First, my assistant used a die cut machine to cut out all of the letters. This was her guide for how long the crayons needed to be. Then she hand drew a pattern which she used for all of the crayons. She glued on the letters and added a black stripe to make them look like crayons. We taped the crayons to the floor with masking tape and then added large pieces of clear contact paper over the top of them for durability. This also enables the floor to be swept and mopped.
The floor crayons have many purposes:
- As already mentioned, the crayons help to provide some structure. It gives a defining place and tells the student that this is where we should be.
- Use the crayons as an every day way to teach the children their colors when lining up (Sarah, line up on red. Ben, line up on orange.)
- Use the crayons to provide spatial boundaries/personal space when lining up. (Stay on your color.)
- You could also use the crayons for a game. Our children enjoy jumping from color to color. You could use bean bags and play a toss game.
What ideas do you have for the floor crayons?
Thursday, January 13, 2011
Here's a song we sing at school. I wrote it on sentence strips. Each child gets a turn. They come up and find their name and put it in the line. Then we sing the song to them. They can dance, jump, etc while we sing their name.
This is a great song for name recognition. I chose pigs for the names because we are learning about The Three Little Pigs. It isn't necessary to choose a new die cut for each week; this is just something I did for now. You could change this according to season or you could use the same one for the entire year.
Look Who Came to School Today
tune of Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush
Look who came to school today
School today, school today
Look who came to school today