Sunday, October 27, 2013

A Quick Pumpkin FREEBIE!

I have a super busy night ahead of me, but I wanted to share a quick freebie with you! Last week my class spent time reading lots of pumpkin (and farm) books for our current I.B. Unit, How we express ourselves. To work on our lines of inquiry, we determined the difference between books that are real and books that are pretend and we recorded our connections to the texts and what we learned from them. To add more meaning to the experience, we spent one afternoon doing pumpkin science and creating even more connections to what we had learned. It was a BLAST! Below are some pictures from our science explorations as well as the Pumpkin Science FREEBIE. I have also attached some pictures of our Silly Pumpkin Portraits and a few of the books that we read.
Have a fun Halloween week!

Here are some fun pumpkin books to share with your kinders:


Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Playing with Numbers {FREEBIE}

Math in Kindergarten is SO much fun and I love helping my littles discover math in an exciting and engaging way! Our school uses Everyday Math, which for kindergarten is very inquiry based. It is all about exploring their environment, playing games, and working with numbers. Most of the time the kiddos don't even know that they are learning. In addition to the ascribed curriculum, I also do math workstations at least twice a week. I successfully used Debbie Diller's Math Work Stations in my second grade classroom and have modified it to make it work for my kinders. While the little learners require a lot more structure and practice than the older students, they have finally got the hang of it and it is going great! My favorite part of math work stations is that they allow me to work with small groups of students. Through my small group work I have discovered so much about my students, especially the span of abilities.  Some of my students are right were they should be, many of my students are ready for advanced math concepts, and some of my students lack the most basic of math skills. For example, I have some students who can count to 100 with ease and others who cannot identify the numeral 7. Because of this span of abilities, I have had to really differentiate the workstations. This is still a work in progress, but I feel like it is going in the right direction. Below are a few pictures of math in action in (and out of) my kinder classroom!

Finding numbers in our school:

Finding similarities and differences:

Making ABAB patterns with chunks of pool noodles:

 Identifying, comparing, and counting coins:

Comparing height by tracing our outlines with sidewalk chalk:
 Of course we had to finish by adding some details!

Going on a shape hunt!:

The FREEBIE today is a number book. I created this to use at the start of the year when we were making daily number posters as a class. We would make one together as a class and in small groups they would make their own for the given number. I gave them different tools to use, paper punches, stickers, bingo markers, crayons, etc... and they chose what they used to represent the number. For example, they might choose to draw four rainbows on number four day or place two apple stickers on number 2 day.

What does math look like in your kindergarten classroom? I would love to hear about it!

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rainbow Fish Shared Art: A Learner Profile Project {FREEBIE}

When introducing the Learner Profile to my little nuggets, I typically start with the attribute of being caring. This is something that they can understand fairly easily and it is also something that they have to practice daily as new members of our school community. Whether it is taking care of a friend that has a boo boo or sharing crayons, demonstrating that they are caring is something that they can all do. I like to use literature to introduce the learner profile attributes. I have amassed quite a collection of books (with even more still on my wish list). Below are some books that I use to introduce the attribute of caring.




Lola & Fred is a wordless book- This is a great way for the students to tell their own story of kindness.

For the older kiddos I LOVE:


This year I really wanted to do a shared art project to highlight the attribute of caring. After a brain storming, sleepless night, I came up with this Rainbow Fish shared art project. The shared part of this project is the scales which is a perfect connection to the text. After reading the story and discussing it, we began working on the project. On the first day the students created the paintings that would become the shared scales. I did not tell them they would be sharing the paintings at this time. I gave them large (tabloid) pieces of white paper and three colors of tempera paint (red, yellow, and blue).  They used these materials to create paint rubbings (smooshing). They painted on one side of the paper and then folded it over and smooshed the paint all around. They LOVE this part.

After the paintings dried, I spent about 1 hour cutting them into scales. It was simple to fold them several times and cut them out several at a time. I could've had the students cut them, but it would've taken an eternity. Additionally, the purpose of the project was sharing, so that was what I wanted them to focus on.  I put each student's scales in a ziplock. I also cut out scales from glitter paper that I would be sharing with them. The students were each given their bag of scales and then I told them about the sharing part of the project. I really expected a few of my littles to cry about having to share their masterpieces with their classmates, but they were are very excited about the sharing piece. The students then went around the room and traded scales with their friends. 

 Next, in small groups, the students chose a fish body color and face color and began attaching their scales. Before they finished putting the scales on, I gave them a glittery scale to add to their fish. The last step was embellishing with glitter, eyes (they used a paper punch to make their eye), and oil pastels. As always, the glitter was a hit!
 I hope that this is a project that you can use in your classroom! Below are the templates so that you can make your own! Just click on the picture.

 I would love to hear about shared art projects that you have done!

Freebie Fridays
Thoughtful Spot Weekly Blog Hop
Classroom Freebies Manic Monday

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Getting Crafty on Fall Break: It's a 3D Cloud tutorial!

I have been dying to make a 3D cloud to hang over the little tug boat in my classroom. I have had the supplies for months, but as every teacher knows, somethings need to go on the back burner and that is where it has been. Now that I am on fall break, I finally have a chance to get it done. The supplies are simple:
white paper lanterns
masking tape
fishing line
spray adhesive

Because I wanted to hang this from the ceiling, it needed to be lightweight and the paper lanterns worked perfectly. I used two small lanterns, one medium lantern, and one large lantern.

Next, I began taping them together, trying to keep it flat-ish on the bottom so that it truly looks like a cloud.

I added the fishing line two the two points that it would suspend from and then covered any openings with masking tape. You want to make sure that all of the lanterns are connected and firmly attached. Don't feel like you need to go easy on the tape! At this point, if you are a perfectionist, you could spray paint it white and let it dry before adding the fluff, but I forgot to grab the paint from my classroom, so I decided to take a chance and just start attaching the fluff. I was happily surprised when I realized that the tape didn't show at all.

Start attaching the fiberfill using spray adhesive. *Make sure that it is a high, permanent tack adhesive and not a repositionable adhesive.  Attach the fiberfill in small sections. I spray on the adhesive, allow it to set for several seconds (to make it super tacky) and then attach the fiberfill. You can add or remove the fiberfill easily as you sculpt the shape of your cloud. 

It is that simple! It took less than an hour to make and I can't wait to install it in the classroom this weekend! I would love to hear what you think. 

What types of crafts do you do when you have some spare time?

Classroom Freebies Manic Monday


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