Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Teaching About Weather

The four types of weather we focused on were: sunny, windy, rainy, and cloudy. I made posters for each one to give the kids a visual and then we did a brainstorm session where we discussed everything we knew about each one. I would interject new things as we went along. We spent one day on each type of weather. We also kept a weather graph for the month. Then we would write a journal entry on each weather we had learned about. They turned out so well! Then we did an awesome art project where we make a art page for each weather type and stapled them together at the end and hung them in our room. SO FUN!

The Water Cycle/ Rainsticks

This week we have been learning about the water cycle. First we learned the song "The Water Cycle" from the Kiss Your Brain CD (just google it), discussed what each one meant, drew our own water cycle, and attached it to our rain stick. For the rainsticks we used paper towel holders, beans, tin foil, and glue. They turned out really cute and my students loved it. And they know all the parts of the water cycle!

Teachers Pay Teachers

I have joined teacherspayteachers! I just put up a free lesson plan for teaching addition and subtraction. Check it out! I use this in my classroom and it's worked wonders for my kids!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Our Special Visitor!

We had a little leprechaun that came to visit us today! The kids were so excited!! These are just the photos from the day (see St. Paddy's Day Ideas for more details).

Dancing Leprechauns!

These are the leprechauns we painted (please see St. Paddy's Day Ideas for details). So cute!

Spring Art Project

After we talked about Spring (we've been discussing the seasons this week and the fact that spring is just around the corner) we did a Spring art project. For this project you need tissue paper, water color paints, pipe cleaners, and sponge paint brushes. You first use the water color paints to paint the white or tan colored tissue paper. You'll need to let this dry overnight. You want your tissue paper cut in about 6 " x 8 " for the butterflies. For the flowers you'll want about 4 " x 4 ". After the paint has dried you start with the butterflies. You use a pipe cleaner and tie it around the middle of the butterfly. Spread out the tissue paper for the wings and curl the tops of the pipe cleaner to make the antennas. For the flowers you also put the pipe cleaner int he middel of the tissue paper and tie it around. Then push the paper up until it's shaped like a flower. We then put them all together to make our own "Spring Garden."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

My Green Eggs And Ham Paper

This is my adaptation to the 1st grades' Green Egg and Ham papers that they made. I did not have my students write all of it but they only chose and wrote the food words. It was a much simpler activity. If you feel like your students could handle writing the whole thing then you can use the format that the first grade used. We put this in our journal binder after we were done with it.

Three Finger Rule: "I Am Done"

In my classroom my students know that when they are done with the task I have assigned them (such as writing their name on their paper and then to wait for further instructions) that they are supposed to put three fingers in the air. I tell them that each finger represents one word: "I" "am" "done". This way I don't have 25 students telling me every 3 seconds that they're done and waiting for me and I can quickly see who's ready to move on and who is not. It works great!

St. Patrick's Day Ideas

Here are a few ideas for St. Paddy's Day. First, we did an art/writing activity. You need to take a picture of each of your students then they color a hat, hair, beard, and 4-leaf clover to make themselves into a leprechaun. They loved it...they just laughed and laughed. As soon as I figure out own to attach a pdf file onto her I will give you the outline for the hat, beard, hair, etc. After they've made themselves into a leprechaun I gave them the writing prompt: "If I were a leprechaun:_________." Before we started writing we read stories about leprechauns (cute, funny picture books) and then talked about what leprechauns usually do. Most of my children said that if they were a leprechaun then they would "steal gold." That seemed to be the most common consensus that leprechaun's have lots of gold!
The next activity we do for St. Paddy's Day is called the "Magic Potion." After the kids come back from recess they come in to find the room a mess, that a leprechaun has been there, and that he's left them a note and a secret potion. The note says something to the effect of: "Dear Kindergarten, Today is a Magic Day and I have left you a Magic Potion, but you have to find it. When you find it you much drink it right away and it will keep you healthy. BUT if you an adult drinks the potion their feet will turn green...this I promise! Good luck. You can't catch me. Love, Lucky Leprechaun." Then you go and find the potion which is green juice. You give each of the kids a glass of the juice and wait for them to try and get you to drink the potion. Finally give in and drink the potion and make a big deal about it and then take your shoes off to show your now green feet. I use food coloring to make my feet green. I just put food coloring on a paper towel and pat it onto the tops of my feet. The kids absolutely love this!!!
Another activity I do is we draw our own leprechauns (free hand) and then use water colors to paint them. Then we cut them out after they have dried. They turn out so cute!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kindergarten 35 Book Challenge

Our first grade classrooms were having a 100 book challenge for there students which inspired me to do a 35 book challenge for my kids. It has been awesome! My kids are so excited about reading now! Every time they read a book they color in a part of their dragon scale. When the scale is completely colored in they bring it back and we put it on our dragon. This hangs in the hall for everyone to see! I made the dragon by using paint and a large piece of green paper. I then cut it up and put it through the laminater and pieced it back together. Then I make the dragon scale on microsoft word and sent home multiple copies. I've already had a few students bring back 2 or 3 of them!

Presidents Day Ideas

For Presidents Day my students and I talked about the responsibilities of the President of the United States. Then we brainstormed about what we would do if we were President. Then their writing prompt was: "If I were President of the United States I would:______________________." They came up with some really funny things. My favorite was: "I would help the snakes." What does that mean? I didn't know the snakes needed saving:) SO FUNNY!

Dr. Seuss Week

Here are a few ideas for Dr. Seuss week. First is "What's in the Closet?" This is an idea I got from the other kindergarten teacher at my school. It's inspired by Dr. Seuss' book "There's a Wocket in my Pocket." The kids have to think of a word that rhymes with "closet" and write it on the line There's a ___________ in the closet. And then they tear up paper to make a monster for their closet. So fun! The next activity goes with "Green Eggs and Ham." The kids write down food that they wouldn't like if it were green and they then use green construction paper to make the food. The writing goes as follows: I do not like green _______ and green __________. No, I do not Sam-I-am. My first grade teacher friend came up with this one! The last activity is making a funny rhyme. We called these our Silly Dr. Seuss Rhymes. The kids had to rhyme with a lot of the word families that they know. It was good practice for them.

Teaching About Warm and Cold Colors

My PTA art mom taught this lesson for me. She started by showing the kids different paintings where warm and cold colors were used. Then she read some children's books that discuss warm and cold colors or just had pictures that showed the colors. Then she gave them each a box of oil pastels and told them that blue, green, and purple were their cold colors; red, yellow, and orange were the warm colors. They then had to create a picture where one part used warm colors and the other used cold colors. It was a great lesson and the kids had an awesome time! I was really impressed by their pictures.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Integrating Literacy and Math Into Art

Whenever I do an art lesson with my students we integrate literacy and/or math as well. For this one here I had the kids do an abcc pattern around their heart (this was a pattern a lot of my students were struggling with) and then we put them together to make Valentine Flowers. You can't seen the patterns in these pictures by they were quite creative, a lot of my students used Valentine symbols since we were doing this in February. But anytime you can integrate literacy or math into your art lesson it makes it that much more valuable.