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!


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!

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.


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.


Monday, January 9, 2017

Matchbook Summaries

        I was reading Melissa's blog, "Got to Teach".  She had posted a fantastic idea, Matchbook Summaries.  You should check out her blogpost on Matchbook Chapter Summaries for Novel Studies...

     Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your idea.

    I used Melissa's idea in my Social Studies class as an end of the chapter wrap up.  We just finished a chapter on early exploration.  So I thought this would be perfect. 

     I started explaining the project with a mock up and a rubric.  Melissa had a rubric which I edited to meet the needs of my unit. Instead of chapter summaries, I had the students write short four sentence summaries of each section in the chapter.

      My kiddos took off running full speed ahead. Each student took four index cards to begin with.  We did some paper folding so the matchbooks would be the same basic size. The section numbers titles were written on the small flap of each index card. They began writing their section summaries on folded index cards. I suggested that all the summaries be completed before they started doing the matchbook cover illustrations. At the end of our first work session, every student got an envelope to store the index cards.  The envelopes were stored in class so nothing would get lost.  I am happy to say we had no tears due to lost work. 
    At the beginning of the next class, each student would retrieve their envelope, get more index cards if needed( 14 matchbooks in all) and continue working.

     The second step was to work on the illustrations for each matchbook cover.
The art work had to represent the information written in the summary.


    The  final step was to work on the cover of the file folder. The students decided if the illustration would be horizontal, vertical, or split in half depending on the layout of the folder and matchbooks.

In this one the cover is divided in half.

       The children were very interested in the project that was completed in school by the majority of my 88 students. I was extremely impressed at all the hard work my students put in completing their matchbook summaries.  One girl ask if we were going to make one from every chapter. 

Here is part of my students' work in the hall. The kiddos love to see their work on display.

     Hi kids, do you see any of your work? You did a great job!

     Thank you again, Melissa, for sharing this super project. My 5th graders loved it! 

   Please leave a short comment if you have a minute.  I would love to hear from you. 


Felt Old MacDonald Had a Farm

                A felt Old MacDonald Barn sounded like a good idea when my 18 month old granddaughter wanted to watch a "Old MacDonald" video over and over, and OVER again.  I wanted her to be able to have a more hands on experience with Old Mac Donald Had a Farm than just screen time.
            So,   I found a little candy box, about  4 by 4 inches.  Covering with felt to resemble a small barn was done with Tacky glue  to adhere the felt to the box. I know this is a Very basic barn.

       Then I worked on  some small felt animals to fit into the barn. You will have to excuse my hand sewing because it is really not very good, but I think they are kind of cute. 

       This  barn is made from a tin  Altoids box. It has a different shape with a hinged top. All the animals fit quite well.

           A duck is always a popular animal on the farm, with a quack, quack here, and a quack, quack there.

            A chick, chicken, or hen makes a good sound in the barnyard," Peep, Peep"!

                 This quiet little lamb makes a nice Baa- Baa sound on the farm.

          You can't sing "Old MacDonald had a Farm" without a pig.  The Oink- Oink here is very special to little ones.

      Last but not least is a cute brown cow that says Moo.

         Singing the Old MacDonald song is  a staple in every child's young learning life.  The tactile experience of opening the barn to pick up the next animal is enriching. As we sing the song, and make the animal sounds, each animal moves around the farm.  Then the barn is opened for the next animal in the song. This animal can be the next on the pile or the choice of the child.

         I feel this type of experience is more beneficial to the young child than watching the videos.  Watching videos for our children is so much fun, but screen time should be limited and not over done.

        Please, interact, sing, dance, and read with your young children. These are so very important event in their lives. They are young for such a short time.  They will grow up so very fast and this experience will be gone forever.

        I remember my mother and grandmother singing a song to me"When I was just a little girl, I asked my mother what would what would I be? Would I be pretty , would I be rich? Here's what she said to me. Que sera, sera, what ever will be, will be. The future's not ours to see, Que sera, sera."  This song is from 1956 written by Jay Livingston and Ray Evans. Doris Day sang it so beautifully.

       Please leave a message if you have a minute to spare in your busy day. I'd love to hear from any readers.