Sunday, March 20, 2011

Organizing Manipulative Bins

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?


Lion Paper Craft

My son brought home this lion from school and so I thought I'd share it with you. Everything is made from paper. The mane of the lion is made from paper chains.

You might also like this Lion and Lamb Handprint Craft.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Tissue Paper Shamrocks

Since I teach special needs preschool I am always on the look out for easy craft ideas that all of the children can do and that will help them improve their motor skills. Since St. Patrick's Day is this week we made these tissue paper shamrocks. They were so simple to do and the kids seemed to enjoy it. These shamrocks were still a little wet when I took the picture, but you can imagine how the finished product looks.

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.

Simple and easy. :)


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Tie Dye Butterflies

I was wanting some spring decorations that we could make for our classroom. I don't remember where I saw this idea (it must have been 10 years ago) but these are really cute and simple to make.

For our tie dye butterflies we used bingo daubers, markers, coffee filters, and pipe cleaners (chenille stems).

Before you begin, be sure to write the child's name on the coffee filter. I chose to write their name in very small print on the outer edge of the butterfly.

To make the butterflies you don't have to use bingo daubers but our kids really like them so we put the daubers to use. We used the markers and daubers to color the coffee filters. Next, we just sprayed about 3 squirts of water onto the coffee filter and moved the filter around a little so that the water would make the colors run. If a child didn't color their filter very much then I scrunched it up to help the color spread.

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. :)