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Sunday, 20 May 2012

Spring Bulletin Boards

April Showers Bring... Mud

I love this take on the typical "April Showers bring May Flowers" bulletin board and the kids had lots of fun with it too.  The mud was made by the kids handprints in brown paint (next time I will make the brown paint darker) and the umbrellas are a simple cut and paste activity.  The rain drops on the umbrellas was made by putting a drop of blue paint into white glue. 

Cloud Pictures
The next bulletin board was still related to the weather we have been having.  After reading the story Little Cloud by Eric Carle my students were very excited to make thier own cloud pictures.  There are alot of ideas online about cloud pictures using cottonballs, but I decided to go with shaving cream and stencils.  The kids had lots of fun mixing up the glue and shaving cream and choosing thier stencil.  I like using the stencil because it made seeing the picture much clearer than allowing the students to create the shape on their own.  I am so happy with the final product and the kids were too!

Saturday, 19 May 2012

The Lorax

Believe it or not I was obsessed with the Lorax book before the new movie came out, and I still prefer the old movie version.  It is a perfect story for introducing Earth Day to young children in a way they can understand.  I always use that story as a starting off point for my Earth Week activities.  This year we had lots of exciting things planned for earth week.  Beginning with our Lorax door to get students interested in what was going to be happing in the week ahead.  We did a Lorax writing activity, each student had to decide what they would like to speak for and then fill in the blanks on their paper.  Each student got a lorax mustache and they had their picture taken to go along with their writing.  This made a very cute bulletin board! We also played a Lorax game where students had to be the first to plant thier truffula trees.  Get the game cards here.  Our school celebrated Earth Week with a Trashion Show.  Our class made our outfit from Scholastic Book orders.  Our Outfits were a great success and we even got recognition from Scholastic and they sent us some books and pencils!


Bulletin Board with several students writing and pictures.  The truffula trees were made when we celebrated Dr. Seuss' Birthday from a pipecleaner, styrofoam ball and feathers!


The students really loved seeing thier pictures with the mustache.


Trashion Show Outfits from Scholastic Book Orders

Organization

Planning for 26 kindergarteners and 21 Pre-Kindergarteners has been a challenge this year and there never seems to be enough desk space or counter space to keep the materials for the week or the day.  I have several plastic drawer units by they were often filled with junk that was cleaned out over couple of months.  I decided to do a bit of rearranging and pull those units apart so they fit perfect on my counter top under the shelves.  At the beginning of the year these drawers were labelled Monday-Friday but I found there was so much overlap in the materials for the week so it wasn't working.  Now I am happy that they are labelled by subject area.  Every friday I clean out the drawers from the week and fill them with the materials that will be needed for the week ahead.  This keeps me organized and helps me in planning ahead.  The drawers are also very useful when I have random papers or items that pop up in the classroom that I don't have time to put away at that moment, I can just slip them into the drawer and it will be dealt with on that Friday.  I also have a drawer of 'Notes to go Home'  this also includes any important papers i recieve from parents, book orders or other papers I do not want to lose on the counter top.  the top drawer has a caddy that I keep pencils, pens, tape, scissor etc. on so they are easily accessible and out of the way of little hands that love to take things off the counter.

Classroom Organization

This is a 24 drawer shelving unit. 
My labels are put in plastic sleeves so they can be changed easily.
I make a great effort to be organized in my classroom.  Somedays I pull it off, some days my room is a disaster.  My pride is in my art supplies, they are one thing in my classroom that are completely organized (with the exception of one misc. drawer) and it makes planning and preparing for crafts and art lessons so easy.  I have my art materials in three different areas in my room, one is strickly for the kids where they are allowed to use the supplies at their leisure for crafts during centre time.  Another is the craft materials that are for me housed in a shelf with drawers and the last is a back room where all of my paper, paints, and large items are kept. 

Get my art supplies labels by clicking here.


Friday, 18 May 2012

Caterpillar Craft

Here are the directions to making this cute little caterpillar:



Materials:

- styrofoam ball
- foam sheets
- pipe cleaner
- pony beads
- googley eyes


Step One:
Cut Styrofoam ball in half using a knife.


Step Two:
Using the styrofoam ball as a stencil trace and cut out foam circles.  I used 12 circles, but if you want your caterpillar to be longer use more!


Step Three:
Paint both halves of the styrofoam ball with green paint.  This part gets messy!


Step Four:
Stick pipecleaner in the centre of the back of one styrofoam ball.


Step Five:
String beads and foam circles onto the pipecleaner beginning with a bead.  I like to make a AAB pattern with two shades of green foam.  Don't forget to put a bead between each foam piece!


Step Six:
When your caterpillar is long enough cut the pipecleaner about 1cm from the last bead and place the other half of the styrofoam ball on the end.


Step Seven:
Using the leftover pipecleaner make two antennae by placing a bead on the end and poke into the head of the caterpillar.  Glue on eyes.  Enjoy your wiggly caterpillar!




Caterpillars

Our caterpillars have arrived.  Our kindergarten class is very excited to have caterpillars in our class this year and on Monday we will begin our observations!  This week for centres we will be discussing caterpillars.  We will be observing them and recording how they move and what they look like.  We will also be making some caterpillar crafts including a super cute caterpillar with paint and a balloon.  The highlight of our centres will be making thier very own wiggly caterpillar from a styrofoam ball, foam sheets, beads and a pipecleaner. 


Our little caterpillars