Thursday, May 31, 2012

Farming Fun!!!

Almost the last post of the Make-up Series! :) This year, our school won an award for being a healthy school. We had USDA representatives that came to our school to present the award and they also were going to tour our school. We all made a huge deal out of it and as a school organized their visit into the "Tasty Travel Tour". It was really something! My pod (the group of 4 classrooms that face each other) did "Harvesting Healthy Habits". It happened to be the week after our farm petting zoo field trip- so it made a great mini-unit!!!! We talked about different types of produce, what part of the plant they were, and different uses for them.
I saw a similiar idea on another blog, but I have searched again and again trying to figure out where it came from!!!! I think some of the ideas are originally from Kinders by Kim, but I just cannot find the same blog that had done this in their room. I want to give them credit for the inspiration for it, so I am going to continue to look for it so I can come back and add their name. I loved the end result!
We were out of brown paper in our workroom and I don't live in a large town. So paper grocery sacks were the best I could do for the soil. The kids used paint dabbers for the corn....
They did these cute handprint carrots (and they painted the rest)...
My neighbor and I decided to make our doors into barn doors- but then it needed a barn. I never took a picture of the finished project. I added cow heads on our doors (looking out of the stable) and I added a polka dot chicken to the coop.
You wannna know what the BEST part is???? I SAVED the barn and we are doing a "MOOving into Kindergarten" theme next year!!! So I am half way done with my back to school decor! Woo hoo!!!!! At the other end of my wall, we did these cute pizza glyphs from Shari Sloane
I also let the kids write about their favorite food. We made these chef heads and attached them to their stories. I think it would have been really cute to do recipes instead... maybe next time!!! :) ...
I loved doing the farm unit! I am excited about putting the barn back up in August too! :) This will be my last make-up post for the day. We got out of school last Friday and this week has been FANTASIC!!!! Because of new legislation, we will have a looong summer! Almost 3 full months. Sadly, we will have very very few holidays when we start back. I am trying to focus on the long summer right now though. We have already had some pool days and took a day trip to the beach yesterday! I have been able to run in the mornings instead of when it is 95 degrees in the afternoons. I LOVE watching the sun come up during a morning run. I have also been able to start a 5:30 a.m. cycling class at our local gym- which is currently kicking my butt, but it is still fun. Most importantly, I have been able to spend all day with my sweet little girl!!!! :)

Jazzing up Journals

Make up post #3 :)
I have used Math Journals for 3 years now, but this is my first year with Science Journals. I know I posted about journals a while back, but before I sent them home for the summer, I took a few more photos of them. Journals are one of my favorite things to do!!! Here are some of our science journal entries. We have AMSTI science (Alabama Math, Science, and Technology Initiative) and we get 4 kits a year- Balls and Ramps, Living Things, Trees, and Clouds. We do those quarterly and also add in some additional subjects. I did a 2-week bug unit this year that was VERY popular with the students. Here are some science journal entries...
In Math, I do all kinds of journal entries. By the time we actually discuss addition, they already understand it because we do addition and subtraction in our journals. We have done Saxon Math the last 5 years. I also try to integrate our lesson into some entries. Next year we will be doing Math In Focus. I am really excited about it!!! Here are a couple of math entries...
I didn't photograph many math journals this time. I am definitely going to do both journals again next year! I love looking at their first entries and their last. It reminds me how much difference a year can make!!!!

When Spring Sprung...

Make-up post #2 :)
I know that doing free-handed art with 5-year-olds is a bit time-consuming, but I just love it! They do such a good job with it! When we do art (like painting), I always do a step-by-step example for the group first. I then call them in groups of no more than 2 and let them paint at my table. The other students are given a different activity to work on. This way I can make sure they understand the process and I can monitor the use of supplies. This spring we painted these cute birdies. The boys did the teal with pink and girls did pink with teal. Like always, I was impressed with how well they listened and the effort they put into them.
I failed to photograph any of our other spring-themed activities. :( I am hoping to do better next year!!!

Christmas... In May

This is my first make-up post. :) I love Christmas artwork! As a grade level, we try to do the same "parent gift" for each class. We usually do something different every year, but I really hope we repeat this one next year. We ordered small (4 x 6) flat canvas from here They were only $0.46 since we ordered more than 36! The kids just stamped their hands on them with regular acrylic and then I turned them into reindeer and hot glued ribbon on the back.
Aren't they adorable??? We wrapped them in little bags.
I cut cardstock and let the kids do this thumbprint design on the front of the card.
Two things I am obsessed with: Pinterest and hand/thumbprint art. :) The kids did this cute thumbprint Christmas tree design on mini paper plates....
I tied a ribbon so they could hang them. A few weeks later, I found ceramic ornaments at Michael's for about $0.25 each. I let my daughter do the tree on the ornaments for her grandparents. They were soooo cute! Next year I am going to try to find the ceramic ones before the holidays so I can let my class make them also. This next one was probably my FAVORITE! I saw this on Pinterest and the Christmas lights turned out soooo cute!!!!
Here's another handprint idea. (I told you I was obsessed!!!) I did this larger canvas with my daughter- she was 2 at Christmas. I let her do some type of artwork for her grandparents and great grandparents and then I always make one to keep. Last year we did reindeer heads (with her hands as the antlers) on plates. This past Christmas we did small canvas and ornaments. This one was mine to keep:
Something I struggle with every year is a gift for my students. With all the other holiday expenses and the endless amount of money I pile into my classroom already, I don't want to spend a fortune. In the past, I have gone to the Dollar Tree for a puzzle or colorbook or something. I like to give them something that they can use though. This year, I found these water bottles (at Dollar Tree). I used my Cricut to cut out their names in vinyl. I added pawprints for boys- our mascot is a bulldog- and I did polka dots for the girls.
I did this all in about 2 hours or less and they were sooo cute! A lot of the students used them the rest of the year for their lunch boxes or snack drinks. I think I will repeat that idea as well!!!! :) The next two projects were actually for winter, not Christmas, but I am going to add them here. They both came from Pinterest. This one was a fun art project. I love penguins and it makes a great mini-unit.
We did these fun snowman and hung them in a row, so it actually looked like a long graph in the hallway.
Well- that was just a few bits and pieces of our Christmas/winter activities. I'm sorry that I am posting them in May! Ha!

School's Out.... For the SUMMER!!!!

Now that school is out for the summer, I can catch my breath and add the pictures I have been meaning to add for the last 7 months. This past year, I have noticed a HORRIBLE decrease in my short term memory and I hope to find out the source before next year. It has caused me to feel so overwhelmed with even small things- so things like blogging, etc... have been pushed to the back burner. It's really sad when I can't remember what I had for breakfast, but I can still recite "Little Orphan Annie" from my fifth grade program. I wonder if I have just exceeded my capacity. Ha!!! I have done several new things in my classroom this year and I want to share some of them. Instead of one long random post, I want to just do individual posts- I am going to try to get some up today. :) I just HAVE to share this first though.... My daughter was browsing the "Barbie" aisle in Toys-R-Us and I saw this:
Hmmm... because I TOTALLY wear stilleto heels and a spaghetti strap sundress to teach Kindergarten every day. Am I right??? Photobucket