Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Valentine collection jug

    Valentine's Day is coming soon.  The kids want to bring their Valentine's to school.  If the kids made Valentine bags in school from paper bags, they didn't take up a lot of room, but the bags weren't big enough to hold all the goodies. In addition, most of the bags ripped before the end of the day. Candy and cards were on the floor. The tears were flowing.
     A plastic gallon milk jug was my perfect solution.  The gallon size holds all the Valentines.   My kiddos can carry their Valentines home on the bus without any problems.

      My Valentine jug is very basic.  I just used a permanent marker.  My kids like to decorate theirs with all sorts of embellishments.  Doilies, stickers, felt, ribbon, etc.  Make sure you give the kids at least a week or two notice in order to design their creation and bring it to school.
   I hope this will help in your classroom. 
                       Happy Valentine's Day! 
   Today I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching.  Check out all the ideas other teachers have posted. 


Monday, January 30, 2017

Adding Illustrations and Color in Notetaking


 Many students doodle while in class. Flowers, spaceships, airplanes, animals of all kinds, squiggles, stars, hearts, etc. We've seen it all.  Kids like to color.  But teaching your students to add little pictures and color to their notes can be very beneficial for your kiddos.  The pictures can help a person stir a memory of a piece of information during a test or sometime later in life. 
    My Social Studies class was making a flip chart about the Lost Colony of Roanoke.  I suggested that they add some pictures to their flip charts by telling them, " A picture is worth a thousand words".  

        This student drew an island on the Roanoke flap and a crown on the Queen Elizabeth.

        The flaps continued with a helmet and sword for Sir Walter Raleigh.

     This student took a different approach with stick figures and speech bubbles.
Sir Walter Raleigh is saying, " Go to Roanoke".  On the Captain John White flap, he wrote, You can't go back!" referring to John White leaving Roanoke to go back to England for supplies. 

    I love teaching these kids. They help me learn something new every day.  I hope I can do the same for each of my students.

   Please leave a comment if you have a spare minute.  I love to hear from my readers.

    This post is featured on Teachjunkie.com     Take a minutes to check out all the great ideas on the blog!  

I have linked up with Forever in 5th Grade for Show and Tell Tuesday.


Enjoy your day!


Sunday, January 29, 2017

Colonists Protest Taxes


        Today I linked up with Forever in 5th Grade for SHOW and TELL Tuesday.  Head on over to the link.

          Leading up to the Boston Tea Party and the American Revolution, my students learned why the colonists protested the taxes levied by the British Parliament. We read about and discussed the Quartering Act. Stamp Act, the Townshend Acts, and the Tea Act. I needed a hands on activity to help my students understand the frustration that the colonists felt during these years.
             A colonists holding a protest sign! Yes, that's the ticket!   I drew two figures, one man and one woman, two represent the Sons and Daughters of Liberty. 
             You might ask, "Why are these people headless?"  There is a very lightly drawn outline of a head which may be difficult to see.  I wanted my students to have the chance to draw their own head, hair, and possibly a hat on the colonist.

             The students know what the type of clothing the colonists wore because they will be coming to school in colonial outfits for their Boston Tea Party SKYPE.  So the kids got right to work designing colonial clothing and tax protest signs.

             I was very pleased with the work these awesome 5th graders accomplished and their understanding of the colonists frustration about taxation. 
         Yesterday the 2nd graders were waiting in line to get on the bus. They were reading all the protest signs.  I asked if they knew what it meant. Of course they said, "No."  Their teacher and I proceeded to ask the children how they would feel if they had to pay five cents every time they wanted to play four square.  As you can imagine, these second graders said they would not like that. We continued to tell them that the colonists did not want to pay extra money for tea, stamps, or sugar. We got the point across in our mini lesson in the hallway minutes before the end of school. 
  I guess learning does  take place when you least expect it.
         Hopefully some other 5th grade class can use this idea as part of a Social Studies lesson on Taxation without Representation. 

        Please leave a comment, I'd love to read your note.

      Looking forward to Spring! 


Friday, January 27, 2017

Loyalist or Patriot

       We have been diligently working on discovering the differences between Loyalists and Patriots living in the colonies My students got together in groups to discuss the differences and similarities.  We also talked about things that each group might say in relation to the idea of independence from Great Britain. This brainstorming session lasted about ten minutes.
         I found this freebie from Ginger Snaps. It worked very well for my 5th graders.

It was perfect for our comparison purposes.  Here are a few examples our my students' work. I gave the choice of either drawing a portrait, using a photo copy from a book, or printing a picture from the internet.  I found some paper with an interesting border to add a little more interest.  My students went to work in class.

        I was pleased with their knowledge and their work.  

What topics are compared in your class?  What strategy do you use?
 Please leave a comment. 
ENJOY your day!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Gooey Play


            Today I mixed together  2 T. of sugar and 1/4 cup of cornstarch. This mixture was added to 1 cup of cold water in a small sauce pan. I found this recipe on one of Martha Stewart's blogs. ( Martha Stewart's recipe calls for 4 T. sugar, 1/2 cup of cornstarch, and 2 cups cold water). Then sugar and cornstarch was stirred into the water heated over medium heat. Stirring constantly while heating the mixture began to thicken.  When heated and stirred the mixture will be smooth.  This mixture will continue to thicken after it is removed from the heat.

            I stored the gooey mixture in a plastic container.  You can add food coloring to make a "finger paint" if you wish.  I did not try this.  We were thoroughly entertained with the white goo.  
                As you can see, this toddler used her Ernie in the goo. Just another addition to the the tactile experience.
            I did let my little one spread the goo on a blue sheet of construction paper.  Prior to the activity, I used masking tape to form the outline of a snowman .  After the goo was applied to the paper, coarse salt was sprinkled on the goo to give a snowy effect. You can see where the masking tape was removed from the paper.

        I'm not sure which way the paper is turned to look more like a snowman. This did not turn out the way I had planned.  Oh well, sometimes you have to take the good with the bad.  I always tell my kids that I learn something new every day.  I guess I'll have to do a little more experimenting with this goo. 

          This was a good activity for a January day. We had some freezing rain this morning, so we could not get outside to play.  January in Michigan can be a difficult time to get your kiddos out doors for play time.

 Enjoy the day!  I will!

Friday, January 20, 2017

King George Character Traits


    In order to integrate 5th grade Social Studies and Language Arts I read the story, Can't You Make Them Behave, King George?  By Jean Fritz to my Social Studies class.  We had just learned about the events leading up to the Boston Tea Party and the First Continental Congress.  I thought this would be the perfect book as a read aloud. The kiddos participated by saying, "God save the king!" very enthusiastically with an  "English accent".  They also chimed in with a loud, "Huzzah"  after the American colonists dumped the tea into Boston Harbor. 
       After listening to the story, I asked the students about the character traits they could think of that reminded them of King George III of England.  How did he act, speak, feel, and act towards other people?  This was my jumping off place.

         This is the worksheet that I gave to my students.  The character trait is written in the box  on the left side of each section.  I like to add some kind of graphic to my worksheets. A picture is worth a thousand words.

         Here are some samples of my students' work.

        I do hope some other teacher can use this idea in their Social Studies  or Language Arts class.  It helps the students understand that this was a real person, not just another character in a story.  King George made a huge impact on the American colonists.

 You can also find this featured on Teach Junkie.com
<a href=”http://www.teachjunkie.com/”><img src=”http://bit.ly/1KnXxGz”></a>
      Please leave a comment if you have an extra minute.  I'd love to hear from you.  Enjoy your day!


Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Hickory Dickory Dock

    Hickory, Dickory, Dock

     One of my favorite nursery rhymes is Hickory Dickory Dock.  Recently I watched a version online that involved a mouse and also a snake, cat, squirrel, monkey, and an elephant.  My granddaughter was enchanted by this video and song, especially the elephant. Of course, at the end the elephant goes up the clock.  Then, the  clock begins to creak and becomes smashed under the tremendous weight of the elephant.
     So as usual, I decided it would be fun to have a felt clock and some animals to sing and retell Hickory, Dickory, Dock. As you can see, I made a very basic grandfather clock and mouse to begin the song.

          Here is a silly little cat to add to the fun.

      I also had a lot of fun making this elephant.

        These felt animals and the clock are small enough to fit into a sandwich size zip lock bag.  I wanted to make it easy and small enough to fit into a diaper bag. It also had to be a good size for toddlers little hands and fingers to play with.

       Please spend as much quality time with your children as you possibly can. You won't regret it.  Some day, when they have grown up and have their own children, they will say that they remember when you played with them and sang, "Hickory, Dickory, Dock"!

Today I am linking up with Forever in Fifth Grade  for January's Show and Tell Tuesdays. Check out all of the January ideas that are included this month.

       Please leave a comment if you have a minute.  I'd love to hear from anyone who reads my blog.


Thursday, January 12, 2017

Five Little Monkeys


            Five Little Monkeys is such a wonderful finger play for the young toddler.  These children are beginning to listen and repeat actions and words. They love rhyming sounds and silly songs.  What better song than "Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed"?  
            I made these little finger puppets for my granddaughter. Riding in the car seat for a long trip can be very boring a for the child as well as the adults.  But I would rather hear Five Little Monkeys jumping on the bed than a child whining or crying unnecessarily.
           Some little distraction like this will definitely help with the sanity of the adults in your car. Spend a few quality minutes with your child instead of putting on a video. Remember that children benefit more from adult interaction than screen time. 

          As you can see, there is nothing fancy about these finger puppets, and you can whip these up quickly on a sewing machine with minimal sewing skills.

               These little monkeys needed a little bed to jump on. A little tin  Altoids box was the perfect size.  I cut a little blanket and pillow from some felt and glued it to the lid of the tin. Hopefully, you can use your imagination to see the little bed. The five little monkeys can sleep inside when not jumping on the bed.  This little tin can be popped into a purse or diaper bag.

              As you can tell from my blog,  I am a proponent of being with and doing as much as you can with your young child as you possibly can.  Our children are young for such a very short time.  They grow up so very fast.  Don't let another opportunity pass you by.  
       Today I linked up with Doodle Bugs Teaching for the Five for Friday linky.  Check out all the other blogs who have linked up, too.


            Please leave a comment if you have a minute.  I'd love to read your thoughts.


Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Bubble, Bubbles, Bubbles

Bubbles, Bubbles, Bubbles!

           Playing with bubbles is always a great sensory experience.  I whipped up some bubbles using baby shampoo and a very small amount of water.   Then I scooped some of the bubbles in a small plastic cup to place on the high chair tray. If the bubbles happened to get splashed, the shampoo is gentle on the eyes.  My granddaughter really enjoys this activity.
           Not much water was used, so we didn't get very wet, but had a great time exploring with the bubbles.  The nice thing is you can do this activity during the winter without getting completely soaked.  Notice the plastic bib.
           I liked the idea of thick bubbles that would kind of keep their shape while while a child is playing. 

                Some green food coloring was mixed into this batch of bubbles. It is fun to add another color to see what color appears next.

            Here we got into a big bowl of bubbles for a different experience.
             We don't have to spend a lot of money or need an Ipad for our little ones to learn about their world.

        Please leave a comment if you have the time. I always enjoy reading your ideas.