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Sunday, April 6, 2014

Springtime!

I love spring, it is such a happy time!  My class came back from our Spring Break with lots of energy and I returned refreshed and ready to go!  We started our unit on Spring this past week and here are a few of the highlights.

I have very few regrets when it comes to things I did with my son as a child (not that I did everything right, it is just a don't believe in regrets).  But, one of the things I would have done differently is hand print art.  I just don't have enough!  I think that is why this first activity is one of my favorites.  We put the children's hand prints in a circle.  The children ALWAYS decide on what color they want to use.  I feel this is part of what makes this art work so special, no matter what color they choose.  Next, we have the children cut out the leaves and the stem.  As the children are cutting, we talk about the different parts of the flower and the importance of each one..


 

I back the stems and leaves with brown construction paper to make them POP OUT.  This is a very special piece of artwork because it highlights our cutting skills and we will be saving it for our upcoming art show in a few weeks. 
 
Here in Alabama, like in most of the country, we always have a lot of rain during the spring.  This past week was very rainy so we spent an entire day discussing RAIN.  Our art project for the day was really fun, we made it rain!  We started by mixing blue paint, a little glue and water in a large container.  Then we used some really fun droppers to put small and large drops of "rain" onto our papers. 
 
 

 
"This is fun Mrs. Karen, but when are we going to make it rain?", "T" said.  So he lifted up his paper and . . . . .

"It's raining Mrs. Karen, it is raining!"
SUCCESS!

 
After they dried, they still looked great!
 

 

I love Pinterest, and I'm sure if you "follow me" you know I am almost obsessed (hahaha).  I saw this the other day and knew my class would love it!  Of course, we changed things a little and made it our own.  We started by painting a large paper plate yellow.


 I love when little "S" said to me, "I know that we are doing more than this!".  I just giggled and assured her that we were.  Next we painted a stem and leaf. 
 
We all have our "special" ways to paint!
 
If you look closely, you may be able to see that I outline the leaf and stem with hot glue.
 

I'm not sure if this was really an important step, but the children seemed to like it.
 
We had to wait a whole day to let it dry. 
 
Next, comes the wow!  We cut slits all around our paper plates and added real sunflower seeds to the middles.  Everyone picked their favorite colors to finish off our masterpieces.
 



 
I love these so much!  Everyone could not wait to take them home!  We were so proud!
 
Our "Fabulous Fun Friday" had to extra special this week.  We had survived a fire drill on Wednesday and our water was cut off for a couple of hours on Thursday, all because of construction in a nearby building.  As always, my class was amazing so I wanted to do something special.  Our letter of the week was "K" so I brought in my keyboard and opened up my large jar of keys! 
 



 
Everyone loved counting the keys and making key rubbings.  We even tried to put them in order from smallest to the largest.  Of course all this was done while someone was playing "songs" on the keyboard. 
 
Our art project was very simple, but is started our conversation about "wind" and it was a great way for us to review our shapes.
 
 
Our discussion about "wind" was very lively and fun.  I brought a box fan from my house and we took turns seeing what items would "blow in the wind".
 



 
The shredded paper was the most fun (of course) but it was also the messiest! :) 

Everyone knows that on "Fabulous Fun Fridays" we HAVE to cook, and cook we did!  We made our very own "cookie flowers"!  Each child cot a cup of cookie dough and colored it their favorite color food coloring.  Next, we squished it out onto some aluminum foil so that they would look like a flower and added chocolate chips for the centers.  (NOTE:  Mrs. Christi and I wrote each child's name on their aluminum foil with a sharpie so everyone could eat their own cookies.)  Into the oven they went and YUM  . . . .
 


okay, maybe not "yum" but if you look closely, maybe you see a flower????  It didn't really matter because everyone loved eating their very own flower cookies.

It was a long and exhausting week but I can't wait to do it again!  I hope you will visit us again soon.  Our next unit will be all about birds!



Sunday, March 23, 2014

Let's Eat an Insect!

WHAT!?!?!?  I bet that title got your attention didn't it???  Well, I'll get to the yummy insect in just a minute, but in the meantime look what else we did . . . .

Since we spent Monday talking about St. Patrick's Day, we only had four fun days of insects.  That was okay because we packed a lot into those four days!  We have a REALLY big day coming up in May.  It is our annual Art Show and each month I try and save a very special piece of artwork to display.  For the month of March, we made our "name bug".





SORRY, I have no ideas why this picture is sideways.
 
I know it may be hard for some of you to believe but, yes my students actually wrote their own names!  If you closely you will see that my sweet Sara has a little trouble with her "S" so I make little "dots" for her to follow.  Her S's have some a long way since September and I am sure in another month or so she will no longer need the dots!
 
We spent Wednesday talking about butterflies.  We fluttered and flew all over the place.  By the way, being a butterfly is a wonderful way to walk down the hallway.  After all, butterflies don't make any sounds!  We topped off our day by making some beautiful "squishy" butterflies.
 

The secret to these little beauties is a lot of paint!  The children glob large spoonful's of paint onto one half of the butterfly.  Next, we fold him and squish!  I love to see the children's faces when paint starts oozing out.  We open them up to see a lovely butterfly.  After they dry, we add his/her body and antennas.  The children draw on their own faces and our fluttery friends are ready to go!

All week long we talk about the anatomy of an insect (you know, 3 body parts, 2 eyes, 6 legs, 2 antennas) and on Thursday, we made our very on insects.




 Everyone got to paint their egg cartons any color they wanted.  The children added their own legs and antennas and of course we added some left over sticker eyes.  The each child decorated their insect with different shapes. 
 
Ahhh . . . finally it was our "Fabulous Fun Friday"!  This would be our last day before Spring Break so I wanted it to be very special.  I said "special" right?  Not messy??  Well, guess what?  We got both!  We spent Friday talking about bees!  It was so fun.  Everyone got to "buzz" around the room and up and down the halls.  (Not as quiet as butterflies, but fun no less!)  We even made our very own bees to take home!  First we taped off some yellow construction paper for our stripes.
 

 
Here comes the fun part!  Next, we painted.


 
We stripped off the tape to reveal some very special bumble bees! 


Don't you just love the wax paper wings?
 
Friday means fun in the kitchen so we buzzed and flew down the hall for some science and cooking fun.  Since I had been teasing everyone about "eating an insect", I knew I better start with that!  Here they are . . . .
 


 
That's right, they are made with bananas, pretzels and chocolate chips.  If you closely, you will hopefully notice that they are anatomically correct.  Each insect has 3 body parts, 6 legs and 2 antennas.  Oh, a few actually have "stingers" :)  They were very yummy!

Hang on, I'm not finished . . . . next we talked about our wonderful friends, the bumble bees and how they help our gardens.  We used Cheetos to serve as our pollen.


 
Then we wiped our hands and pretended to be bumble bees spreading the pollen.
 
 

Of course after all of this we were thirsty.  Finally, we drank our lemonade like butterflies!

 
Butterfly's tongues are like straws,  We cut our straws in half and pretended to be butterflies drinking nectar from a flower.

WOW, what a busy week!  I think I NEED a vacation to recharge my batteries. 

Thanks for visiting with us.  I hope you check on us again!

Monday, March 17, 2014

St. Patrick's Day 2014

 
HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY everyone!  Even if you aren't Irish, it is fun to pretend!  Today we made these cute little leprechaun hats.  Everyone loved cutting out their our rainbow strips.  



Our letter of the week is "I" so we also ate green ice cream!  And by the look on everyone's faces it was very YUMMY!

 
I hope you all wore green so you didn't get pinched!  And I hope you all stop back by, we will be talking about INSECTS this week!  FUN!!!