Friday, May 31, 2013

It's the Last Day of School!

As I have in the past, I will continue to post regularly during the summer. In the meantime, enjoy your vacation!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happiness is...

Finding out your mother left a message in your lunch box.

Friday, May 24, 2013

An Easy and Beautiful (Albeit Messy!) Art Activity

I saw this initially on Pinterest, and decided to give it a go with my class. Taking black Tempra paint and plastic cups, they stamped circles all over their white construction paper. Thank goodness Tempra washes out easily!

I gave the sheets a day to dry before giving them their watercolors and letting them fill in all the interlocking sections.

When the sheets were completely dry, we hung up our finished masterpieces! Please note that this project takes 2-3 days, giving ample time for the paints to dry. And although the initial cup-stamping part only takes a few minutes, the time it takes for them to use their watercolors can last well up to an hour.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Monday, May 20, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

Cap (and Hat) Tac Toe

I'm reviewing short vowel sounds, and came up with this game for short a. I made two versions: Cap Tac Toe, and Hat Tac Toe, allowing up to 4 players. There's also two ways to play it.

Version 1: For the CAP version, there are baseball cap cards and graduation cap cards. Each player decides which "team" they want to be. Player 1 draws a card and says the name of the picture on the card (ex: web). Then they have to tell whether the word has the short /a/ sound. If they're correct, they get to place a marker on the CAP gameboard. If they're wrong, they lose that turn. The winner is the person who gets the three in a row.

The HAT version is played the same way, using fedora and military hat cards. If I wanted to, I could extend this to more players by using a CAT or BAT, etc.

Version 2: Rather than playing Tic Tac Toe, two players square off to see who can fill up all nine spaces on their game board first. I have even had two players play on the same game board, and the winner with the most covered squares becomes the winner!

You can get both game boards, and the card covers here. (Note: For my vowel pictures, I cut them from old worksheets.)

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

"Old MacDonald Had a Bug"

Our topic last week was bugs, so we took the song "Old MacDonald" and changed the animals to bugs. What made the song fun was the hand gestures we added (especially when it came time to swat the mosquitoes!)

Click here to get your PDF copy of the song!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013

Letter I Activities

Wow. When I originally checked the Internet for ideas and activities for the Letter Ii, there were hundreds for ice cream, a couple for insects, and a few for Indians, but otherwise Ii was pretty scarce on anything else. So I came up with some ideas of my own.

For beginners, I took the lower case, and we all made our own butterfly (insect).
Looking back at a previous activity that got them excited, I made a 20 Is paper, gave a sheet to each table, and some newspaper. First table to fill up their sheet got balloons (my kids LOVE balloons!), and second place winners got a sticker.

Next, I made a sign that said "We drive our teacher buggy because..." (Our unit study this week was about Bugs.) I made these templates: "___ is a SPIDER!" and "____ is a ______!" The children got to pick out one template and color it. Lastly, they got to take their head shot and add it to the top of the bug.

You can get the spider and insect template here.
I've seen Indians made from hand prints before, but I wanted to change it up a bit. So we started with our fingers closed and thumb out, mitten style. Add the headband, make each finger a different colored feather, and add a nostril to the thumb "nose". An eye and a mouth, and there's our Indian!

I had thought about adding googly eyes instead of drawing one, but I didn't get the chance to go to Hobby Lobby and get more. (BTW, mine is in the center of the circle.)

Of course, if you use the lower case i, you have to use the upper case. In this instance, we put a head, toes, and tail on it to make an iguana. Quick and easy!

And finally, for Fun Fun Friday, we topped off our week with ice cream! (Or, in this case, Popsicles.)

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Uh Oh, Pick a Chore

I'm adapting this for my classroom for when I have children who bring toys to school, or who play with their necklaces, or bracelets, or watches, and I have to take them away until the end of the day.

Of course, this works great at home, too.

Monday, May 6, 2013

On a Typical Day in Kindergarten

Sooner or later, everyone realizes that using the white crayon on white paper doesn't work.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Letter Z Activities

We've had a very full week studying the letter Zz.

First off, we built ABC patterns using pictures of a zipper, zebra, and the number zero.
On Tuesday, we took a field trip to our city zoo, and got up close and personal with some of the animals.
The trip inspired us to do a class book called OUR TRIP TO THE ZOO. Every child contributed a page stating which animal was their favorite, and drawing a picture of it.

We then took 1/4 sheets of manila drawing paper. And using catalogs, we looked for pictures of zoo animals. Cutting out the pictures, we glued them to the paper, then cut 2 pipe cleaners in half and glued them to the paper to resemble cage bars.

(Note: Last year, I used popsicle sticks, but they were too wide and covered up too much of the picture. I've discovered the pipe cleaners are very difficult to manipulate. Next year, I'm going to try yarn.)

On a large sheet of paper, we arranged our zoo pictures in sections, grouping like animals the same way a zoo does.

On Fun Fun Friday, I made a bingo template. (I made it generic enough to where I could use it for other subjects.) I also took some animal graphics from the web and added their names to make a selection sheet. Each child cut out their choice of 9 animals and glued them to their bingo paper to make their own game card. (You can get both templates here.)

 We played bingo - the first time for most of them - and had a ton of fun! (Note the animal markers we borrowed from our math centers.)

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Teacher Resource - File Folder Fun

Save this site! File Folder Fun is a terrific resource for teachers, and includes folder games for language arts, math, and science. I've also added the URL to the sidebar.