Sunday, April 20, 2014

Easter Fun with Peter Rabbit Pop Up Books!

Did you know one of the most famous books in the world is Peter Rabbit by Beatrix Potter? It outsells other Easter books by far. I have 3 different illustrated copies of the Beatrix Potter story book.

The Tale of Peter Rabbit in a Pop Up Book retelling was really fun and turned out sweet. 
What do we learn from reading this story? Well, for starters we learn Peter didn't obey and got into trouble. We learned mother knows best! And we learn not to steal from other people's gardens!
We did 3 pages of retelling and 3 pop up pages with the last one having Peter running out of Mr. McGreggor's garden as fast as he could go! 

I remind the kids that the problem in the story was that Peter did not mind his mommy. And because he didn't mind, he got himself in a heap of trouble. And I ask them to listen for the ending where his brothers and sisters get rewards for being good, and he loses his reward and has to go to bed with no dessert. 

Our whole class showing off their Peter Rabbit pop up book retellings.....

Cute coloring job guys! 

He turns out to learn a lesson about obedience AND not being a thief! 
Here are the pop up book pages in order.....

Their printing is getting so beautiful! You can tell it is another sign of Spring! 

The students did some cute backgrounds on each of the pages, the Peter is the pop up. 
I have 3 copies of the Peter Rabbit books. The oldest book I bought for my own children many years ago. It is very dog earred.. It was published in the early 60s. I think Ms. Potter is long gone now, but her books are absolutely timeless. I bought the whole gift boxed set of all of her little stories in little pastel 7 x 9 hardback size. They are super cute! The students love to look at the cute pastel pictures and they love the darling characters. 
The pop ups make the Peter Rabbit look 3D. 
 A flannel board story you can download at this link HERE at For would be a cute addition to this activity. 

Cute kiddos and their cute Pop Up Books. Everybody chose a different colored cover for their books. They were very artistic! 
I LOVED this coloring job. What a cute background! 

I have a whole collection of her books in 4 x 5 pastel hardbacks that the kids love reading as a fast finisher during the week before Spring Break.
It turned out to be a fun writing project. Later in the day we had an Easter Egg Hunt, but I forgot my camera. Yay me! I'll post some pictures if my mom helpers that day send them to me. THEY didn't forget their cameras. :D

Here are a few of my collection of BEATRIX POTTER books all about springtime animals and their  human-like adventures they go on.

 Well, I hope you loved the pop up books! And we sure had a great Easter Egg Hunt. I think most of the kids got at least 10 eggs. We had over 300 hidden eggs! You should have seen it when I blew the whistle and kids went running wild all which ways! Super cute! And it was over in mere moments!

 And HERE at Nick Jr. is a link to some fun Peter Rabbit games and activities for kids to keep them busy at home this Spring Break. Happy Easter Everyone! See you soon!

Monday, April 7, 2014

Geometry Shape Books and Pattern Block Art

I wanted to do a few fun projects to go along with our geometry unit in math. We wrote little mini books called "My Geometry Book of Shapes." They each had 8 pages with 8 shapes. Most were 3D shapes but there were a few 2D.
My Geometry Book of Shapes.....I once was a sphere, but now I"m a soccer ball on the UTAH REAL team's game!

Open ended math writing prompts are differentiation naturally. I like to add a writing prompt to my math once a month and get 5 birds with 1 stone. (math problem solving, differentiation, punctuation and creative writing practice mixed in with some cool art!) And talk about engagement.... Kids LOVE these kinds of multilevel, multisubject projects. 

Here's one of the cool books I read during this unit; The Greedy Triangle by Marilyn Burns. It's a great one that talks about 3D shapes and 2D shapes in a fun way. 

I found some fun worksheets to look at "edges and vertices" of shapes too. This goes along with our math unit in Geometry. Check them out HERE at ezschool.
We started with "I once was a sphere, but now I'm a _____________. They had to fill it in with a real world something with that shape. Then they had to add a describing adjective, and an adverb of time or place.
In the past I have bought Pattern Block Stickers for this design art, but this year I had 30 kids so I just punched out lots of colorful pattern block shapes out of the Ellison Die Cuts. It took me over an hour to do enough! Whew! 

Lines of symmetry in a few of these pattern block picture designs 
I had them make a pattern block sticker design using hexagons at the center. I told them to do anything they wanted but that I was looking for a few to be symmetrical. I ended up getting about a third of the class doing symmetry designs and 2/3rds that did other designs. Then I post a question;
WHICH OF THESE DESIGNS SHOW A LINE OF SYMMETRY? It is fun and challenging for the kids to pick out the truly symmetrical designs!!
I love how colorful and creative these pattern block art designs look too on black paper. I've seen them done on white paper plates too, but I think the darker color looks cool. Maybe we will try them on yellow plates one year, that might be cool! 

Can you find the symmetrical one in this pattern block picture group? There is only one! 
This is a fun center for the week too, magnetic pattern blocks. I have a magnet center in my room just made from using the side of a black filing cabinet. I have a rug in front of it and lots of magnetic games for fast finishers in math. 
How about symmetry in this Pattern Blocks Design; there are a few! 

Tell Which Designs are SYMMETRY?  

They turned out really fun to look at and share. The students were very creative and did a beautiful JOB!


 Making a Geometry Book. The pages in it go like this....."I once was a _________ but now I'm a _________. Fill in with circle to sphere, or triange to pyramid, or square to cube. (I once was a circle, but now I'm a sphere shaped basketball in a Laker's Game.) 

The students then draw a picture of a real life example with a sentence to describe how it is used or where they would find it.

Another Example: I once was a square but now I'm a cube of ice in a cold glass of Coke. Then they draw a glass with cubed ice inside. It's a lot of fun.

 Each child does 5 to 7 pages and it takes a few days of writing time. But it's great integration of math and writing. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Grouchy Ladybug Life Cycles and Telling Time Games

We learned to tell time to the 5 minutes this week. I also taught the kids "quarter till", "quarter after" and "half past" vocabulary. They also know the difference between analog clocks and digital clocks. Here are some other fun activities we do during the time unit.
  • Books:  The Grouchy Ladybug by Eric Carle
    Five Little Ladybugs by melanie Gerth
    Are You a Ladybug? by Judy Allen Tudor
    Ladybug Life Cycles by Justin Martin
    I love Eric Carle books. One way I love to introduce telling time by 5 minute increments is using the book "The Grouchy Ladybug".  It has clocks on every page and they have incremental times listed.  It's a good springboard for telling time.
    We read the book and then we make a ladybug clock. I just found a basic clock pattern and copy it off on red construction paper. Then I add a half circle shaped, small, black, head and have the kids give it a face with white crayon. Then we add 6 black legs and we accordian fold them so it looks kind of funny. Here are our ladybug clocks.
    Very Grouchy Ladybug Clocks - great for a math extension....

A cute activity that I bought from Oriental Trading is called Telling Time Flip Chart. The kids love it for a math learning center. 
Telling Time Flip Chart Set
Telling Time Flip Chart game  is on sale for only $13.00 bucks now too! Check it out! HERE at Oriental Trading.
A fun activity that I do every year is we make our own analog clock faces from red cardstock or construction paper. It is fun to make them look like ladybugs! 

Here is a link for a telling time worksheet HERE at ABC teach.

Every day for a few weeks call out different times and have them put the hands on their clocks. Be sure to also introduce half past, quarter past, quarter till. These are really difficult concepts for young children to get so I introduce it in first grade. I also have a magnetic clock I keep on my white board. I draw 4 lines on the fact to "cut" the clock into "quarters" or fourths. I point out that 3 and 9 are the quarter past and quarter till numbers.
We also like to paint ladybugs and do the Ladybug Life Cycle or a Ladybug report 

Fun Game: Find a partner and use both of your ladybug clocks. Decide to do "o'clock" or "thirty" for doing elapsed time. Then decide how many hours difference there is going to be and make up a sentence. Example:  3:00 is 2 hours later than 1:00. 12:30 is 3 hours later than 9:30 etc. Elapsed time is another very hard concept for young kids to get. This is higher level but some of your high kids will get it and you will be differentiating for those who can do it.

ART: Paint a ladybug on art paper. When dry use black markers to make the line down the middle and dots on his back were traced using the top circle and bottom circle of a dixie paper cup. Add 2 wiggly eyes. Paint yellow, orange and red. Wait for color to dry.

(We put these songs on the back of our ladybug painted art)
Ladybug Song (Tune: If You're Happy and you Know it, Clap Your Hands)
Oh I wish I were a little ladybug,
Oh I wish I were a little ladybug,
I'd be shiny red and black,
I'd eat aphids for my snack,
Oh I wish I were a little ladybug!

Ladybugs    (Tune: Oh My Darlin' Clementine
I'm an insect, not a spider
I've got 6 legs instead of 8
I have 4 parts to my life cycle
I eat bugs that farmers hate

We put the 2 songs above on the back of our painted ladybug art projects and sang it together.

"Five Little Ladybugs"

Five little ladybugs climbing up a door, One flew away and then there were four.

Four little ladybugs sitting on a tree, One flew away and then there were three.

I copied this free printable to go on the upper inside flap of each page from Enchanted Learning.

Three little ladybugs landing on a shoe, One flew away and then there were two.

Two little ladybugs looking for some fun, One flew away and then there was one.

One little ladybug sitting in the sun, She flew away and then there were none.

MUSIC: I found a cute song called Ladybug in my Soda on the website K-8 Kidstunes and got a copy for 99 cents in an MP3 download. The link is HERE but you do have to sign up a "kid" to get the cheap version. I have kids and grandkids so it's easy now that I have signed up. It's a funny song with a real catchy beat and easy to learn.
Cute Ladybug Life Cycle we did earlier in the year when we wrote insect reports.....This is a flap book where we write the 4 stages underneath each flap. 
Here is our finished Ladybug Life Cycle bulletin board!

A fun printable with black dots on individual ladybugs to print out can be found HERE at A Kids Math. You can print off a dozen of these to place in a center with a key. Kids write down their answers on an answer sheet and then check with the key.
This CUTE game from Posh Lil Divas was a great idea to add to a math telling time center. Check it out HERE!
My kids are working on telling time to the minute, and this online game helps! It's fun to try some new ones in the computer lab! 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Birthday Gifts for Students

What do you give your students for their birthday? I have loved giving out these giant Pixie Stix Birthday Balloons to my kids.

Birthday Gifts for Students - a Giant Pixie Stix Balloon Treat! 

Here is my Birthday Corner in my classroom. These balloons are made on colorful cardstock. I give students a giant Pixie Stix with a cute Balloon Happy Birthday card attached for their birthdays, along with a sucker and a birthday bookmark and hat.

Happy Birthday Student Gifts 

I get the Pixie Stix from Sams Club every year online. They come in a package of 50 so you can either use them up in 2 years or else split a package with another teacher.
I just staple the balloon Happy Birthday Message for my students to the paper part of the Pixy Stix at the top.

Get your Giant Pixy Stix from HERE at Sams Club.
I have birthday balloons and also birthday cupcakes blown up giant for the top of the Pixie Stix. They look so bright and colorful in the corner of my classroom.  The kids also get to wear a birthday crown (I have a selection of 3 styles for them to choose from).
Birthday Crowns
These cute birthday hats don't have a place for a name, but they are just an example of similar ones I buy, but with a place for their name and age. These are from ORIENTAL TRADING. I buy a lot of stuff there over each summer. 
Lastly, they get to choose a Happy Birthday bookmark from the little Happy Birthday box.  They are very spoiled on their birthdays.  I got these cute suckers from a candy factory near my home. They have 2nds I buy in a giant bag once a year for $5.00. Some years I find a sucker deal, some years we skip the suckers and they get a hat, bookmark and the giant Pixie Stix, which they all LOVE.
12 Jumbo Swirl Candy Lollipops
Suckers like these make a really delightful gift for a student's birthday too! 
And everybody loves a Happy Birthday Bookmark!  Some teachers give out a free book choice form their Scholastic stash of freebie books too. I save that for my Christmas gift, along with a new package of Crayola 24 Crayons I buy over the summer at the 25Cent sale at Walmart or somewhere else. 
Here is a copy of the Balloon I used. I copied it once. Then cut out the balloon. Then I cut out and added the Happy Birthday to the inside (cutting off the string). I copied a bunch on many different colors of cardstock colored paper. Then I cut them out and stapled them to the Pixy Stix top.  I add a little bit of curly ribbon in rainbow colors to them. It is really colorful and pretty. Link is HERE at Twisty Noodle.
Balloon Coloring Page
Inside the box are the suckers and the Happy Birthday bookmarks. I pick a package up anywhere I find them onsale. I usually give out bookmarks several times a year too; one on Dr. Seuss Day, One before the 1st parent teacher conferences.  I decorated the area with these cute cardboard Happy Birthday Decorations too.

 I found the green, metal vase at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. I put some Happy Birthday stickers on it. I think you can find these also at Michaels Art Mart. It's a cute teacher gift and it adds a lot to this corner of my classroom! What are YOUR Birthday Gifts for your students?? Leave a comment below!

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