Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Fall or Winter Fun!

Shaving cream/glue snowman
I couldn't resist trying the shaving cream/glue puffy paint recipe I found on Pinterest. So, I mixed equal parts Elmer's glue with a squirt of shaving cream and mixed it with a popsicle stick in a little rubber bowl. Then I finger painted this snowman. I let it dry overnight (it took a long time to dry - at least a full day). Then I added tempera paint for the scarf, nose, and eyes/buttons. What a cool 3D effect! I think I'm going to try doing this with my Kinders later in the year (January), but it was so fun that we're going to do our December monthly calendar art using this technique. 

This snowman is dried and looks so cool! See the dimension!

Side view so you can see the raised puff!

Snowman scene (test)

This one is still wet - notice the shine. When it dries it's a smooth crust.

I know this is a little late, but in early November we worked on learning our 2D shapes. We made these little shape scarecrows. They are cookie-cutter art (which I'm not so fond of) but it was a great reading/math/art lesson and they each turned out so different. We read The Falling Leaves and the Scarecrow.

 One last note: look at the COOL big book easel I got from Donors Choose! Yay! I am so excited for my class to get this amazing gift!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Giving Thanks

It's Thanksgiving Eve, and I'm lying in bed thinking about all of the things for which I'm thankful. One of the most recent things I'm adding to my list is Random Acts of Kindness shown by family, friends, and strangers. This is a picture of my new big-book stand that is being shipped to me "free" thanks to a completed donation request via Donorschoose.org. You can visit my projects here. I'm also thankful that I can occasionally make donations/perform random acts of kindness too. It's hard for me not to squirrel away "all" of my $, and give back, but I've come to realize that paying it forward means so much!
I'm going to rattle off a list of what I'm thankful for now as I feel each person or thing deserves to be mentioned. So here goes: I'm thankful for...

  • my health (I'm doing pretty good now...nothing to complain about here)
  • the health of my child - I am thankful every day that he is normal in every way, and has not had to face challenges that surround me every day
  • my husband - oh dear, how he puts up with my mood swings, laundry on the floor, and messes I make in the kitchen. As much as we have our ups and downs, I really love you!
  • my mom - she's probably my best friend. We talk on the phone almost every day, and she is my #1 supporter of everything I do. When I sigh that I don't want to buy one more thing for my classroom, she throws the googly eyes and jingle bells I was looking at into her cart. She's a born "giver."
  • my other family members - they are quirky, funny, witty, annoying, loving, disgruntled, or whatever...they are MINE and I take them as they are. In return they accept me.
  • Pinterest! Um...I'm thankful that I've found so many cool projects to do from this site.
  • my students - they teach me what it's like to be a child again, when the "S" word is stupid, or the "F" word is fat...and they help me remember what a magical job I am blessed to have. 31 little squeals of delight as I quiz them with a shape "password" to enter the room - they remind me to make teaching fun!
  • pictures/memories - I'm glad I have these to look back on the ones we've lost and to remind myself of what joy I've had with them. Gma, I think about you all the time, and I miss you every time I take out my hot glue gun (which is often) to do a little craft. You're always with me!
  • stores - after reading about the Pilgrims who had it soooo hard, I'm really glad I can zip down to my Fred Meyers and pick up groceries to make yummy food instead of having to grow it all myself or go hunt. Same goes for buying clothes.
  • the internet - I find deals online all the time, and the convenience of online shopping is awesome - I'm into the diaper delivery service big time.
  • friends at work - I love having friends at work who know what stresses me out and who are there to support me. My colleagues are the best
  • my natural strengths - I'm thankful that I have some natural talents like being crafty/artsy...I love sewing without patterns, and creating things on my own. It is plain old-fashioned fun.
  • rain...I know this is putting my Oregonian stamp on myself, but I LOVE the rain and am so thankful the hot days of summer are long gone and it's finally gray and rainy. I think it's the best kind of weather!
  • cartoons - they are always there on demand - even in the middle of the night when a teething baby can't be consoled...Barney at midnight is my best friend
  • modern medicine - I guess Barney made me segue into thinking about Tylenol...lol...Thanks modern medicine - I love you!
There are many more things I could list but I don't want to bore you. I'm thinking of things that are like my weird little microwave egg cooker, and my starbucks Iphone app that earn me free drinks. There are many things that I am thankful for, but health, friends & family are truly the greatest.

Link up What the Teacher Wants to read about what many other teachers are thankful for!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Fall Game - Making Learning Fun!

At our school we have many different cultures represented, so on holidays like Halloween we can't do traditional parties due to religious reasons. Instead, teachers have to be extra creative to put a non-holiday touch on things. Anyhow, we had a short "fall" party on Halloween and played this fun game. I stole it from my teacher friend Leah's Halloween party and put an *educational* spin on it. Background: our class is studying letter R this week, and the alphafriend character is Reggie Rooster (from Houghton Mifflin).

Here's how to play:
1. While kids are out of the classroom (at lunch/music/PE...whatever) hide 20+ candy corn pieces around the room. 
2. Once students are back in the room draw sticks to choose one boy and one girl to be "roosters." Give each of them a cup.
3. Tell the students that the roosters are hungry and want to find the corn in room. If boys see a candy corn they are to crow the R sound and flap their wings. Their boy rooster will run over and put the candy in his cup. The girls are supposed to do the same thing and their girl rooster (I know this is weird since roosters are male...but that's a technicality) will pick up the corn. 
4. No chickens (non-roosters) are allowed to touch the corn - only the roosters.
5. Let them play and find the corn. 
6. When time is up or you think they found them all make a circle around the carpet and as a class count/and or graph the number of pieces of corn that were found by each team.
7. There are no "winners," just tell students that the team with more corn was the "hungrier" team.

This game was so fun! My kindees were crowing the R sound like crazy and I'm amazed at how many retained the sound when I did my letter test this week. Yay for making learning fun!