Saturday, July 18, 2015

Dr. Seuss Decorating

This year at our school the theme decided by the principal is "OH THE PLACES YOU'LL GO!" by Dr. Seuss. I decided I would designate one of the walls of my classroom to the theme.
Dr. Seuss Decorating with Fun Bags, Paper Cut Outs, and some first day Pencils and Erasers! Won't the kids LOVE em? 

I went over to Target the other day with my daughter and grandkiddos and what do you know? There is a big bunch of fun stuff over in the dollar section that has lots of Dr. Seuss and lots of Disney products for teachers.

I found a boatload of stuff. Lookee What I got!!
I loved these cardboard Dr. Seuss Decorating Posters. They're about 9 x 13 size. 

I'm going to use these 4 clocks to give the time when school starts and ends, and when recess and lunch are. This will help the kids to learn to tell time, and will reduce the number of times they ask me when lunch is. That is one of the hardest things about 1st grade. They are not used to staying the whole day.
Foam Clocks to use for Telling the Time of Day (School Start time, Recess, Lunch, Dismiss) for my Dr. Seuss Decorating. 

I also got these cute erasers. I don't know what I will do with them yet. Maybe I'll give them out in a little baggie with candy and a pencil on Back to School night. They also had Dr. Seuss Pencils. Target also had banners and cute clip art items with Dr. Seuss characters on them. I will use this on my bulletin board that says "Oh the Places You'll Go!".
Dr. Seuss Pencils and Erasers from the Target dollar bins. 
I don't know what I'll do with these cute Cat in the Hat decorations, but I couldn't resist them. 

The cute Cat in the Hats are a border. But I thought I could cut them apart and add the kids pictures underneath with a blue wig like they are Thing 1 and 2. That would be super cute to use to vote in my Graph a Week chart. The light up balls were only $3.00 but they probably won't work lit up for long. I'll just string them across some area of the classroom that needs a little "POP" of color!
My Weekly Graph has a different question each week and as the kids walk in on Monday they vote for what they like. Then later at math time we talk about it using math terms such as "greater than, less, more, equal, least greatest" and kids get used to that vocabulary. 

Last year for the Graph a Week chart we used these little people icons. This year I'll use the Dr. Seuss hats and add the kids' pictures in blue wigs. That will be cute. 

 I got a few games too. I'll use these for centers. The back of the ABC flashcards I'll use another way. They have cute pictures (in the Dr. Seuss tradition) and words under the pictures. I'll put these in a pocket chart at the writing center. I've wanted to have a cute word bank of some sort over there but didn't want to use up all my color printer ink. This is a very cheap way to go!
Telling Time Dr. Seuss Games and numbers and letters too. A darling aqua blue pocket chart will be great for schedule or center activities listings. Most of these were $1.00! What a steal! 

Here are a few Dr. Seuss freebies that I will use to decorate my classroom wall this year. HERE is a cute Triangle Dr. Seuss banner to print out with red and blue designs on all the triangle shaped banner pieces. It is really cute from from the Carefree Classroom.  HERE is a hall pass and some other cute things from Julia Rother. Thanks guys! Now I just need to get into my classroom and start decorating!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Butterfly Activities Hungry Caterpillar

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Books we made for Butterfly Week. 
We made Hungry Caterpillar books in my classroom. They turned out so cute. The kids were pretty good about drawing items for the caterpillar to eat around the holes I had punched in their little books.
Butterfly Activities and The Very Hungry Caterpillar Fun. 

We read the Eric Carle book The Very Hungry Caterpillar first. Then we talked about all the things we could have OUR OWN caterpillar eat. We made a big list on the white board of our brainstorm. Then I drew a little picture next to each of the words so the kids could read, write it, and copy the easy picture to color.

Then we went to work on our books. They had already been previously made up by ME the day before. Then I punched out all the holes. You could also have a mom helper do it but it is kind of complicated. I've just found it easier to do it myself.
After we drew and colored what the Very Hungry Caterpillar ate, we glued one on each page. They were so tiny and cute! 

Luckily Bennett had the stuffed animal of the caterpillar from Kohls. I had left mine at home. So he brought it in so we could use it as a visual aid. Fun! A cute Dot to Dot Butterfly art is HERE at Activity Village.
Stuffed Very Hungry Caterpillar puppet. 

Then we did a bunch of Caterpillar and Butterfly activities. Here are a few.
A cute VOCABULARY list with cute visuals you can print out is HERE. It was a great center activity for the pocket chart and some HAND pointers too. A roll and cover game was HERE at TPT.

Last year at recess I passed out these "find a bug" jars and kids LOVED them. They fought over doing this activity for 2 weeks. In never got old. This is science at its best. Little scientists observing nature. 

A cute SONG to sing about Caterpillars is here.

POETRY or MUSIC (Sing to the tune of Itsy Bitsy Spider)

A little, green caterpillar crawling on a leaf,

Spun a little chrysalis, and fell fast asleep.

While she was sleeping, She dreamed that she could fly.

 And later when she woke up, she was a BUTTERFLY!


Graphing- What is your favorite bug? Butterflies? Honeybees? Grasshoppers?Dragonfly? Ladybugs? These were our top 5 we voted on. Guess which one was the winner?

We do a weekly graph where I ask the kids a question and they vote from 5 choices. 

Here is our "What is Your Favorite Insect" Vote. It looks like dragonflies won. 
We also did an estimation jar with plastic Dollar Store insects inside. That is always a fun math activity.


Do a life cycle of a butterfly. A link for a black line page of the 4 stages of a Butterfly can be found Here at Digital  They have lots of games, a podcast and another video of a butterfly pupa stage. You can also buy the butterfly larva at Carolina Biological Supply for about $15.00. The link is Here for Carolina Biological Supply. I usually don't send away for them until Springtime. A cute wheel life cycle is HERE on TPT. You can get the butterfly garden below from EAI Education  for $15 bucks. 

Butterfly Garden is a great science Activity and it usually comes with a certificate for free Butterfly Larva. This is how I ordered mine the first time. I've put butterfly, praying mantis and ladybug larva in here before. Once the praying mantis got out through a hold overnight and they were all over the kids' desks in the morning. It was funny. Buy it HERE at Insect Lore for about $15 bucks. 

 P.E. "Bug Garden".  Have students sit in chairs in a big circle. This game is like FRUIT BASKET. One student is in the middle without a chair. I'm usually the first one as I have to teach the game. Go around the circle of chairs and give students names;1 ladybug, 2 dragonfly, 3 butterfly, 4 honeybee.  Then start over going around till all are named. 

Then tell the caller to call out an insect name. (bees) All the bees must jump up and fly to another chair. Everyone else stays sitting and just watches. It is FUN to watch, believe me! Nobody who was a bee can stay in the same chair. The caller grabs one of the chairs and sits during the commotion. The one who is leftover  with no chair is the new caller. Then one fun part of the game is if the caller says "Fly Away Bugs!" then all the bugs get up and trade places. Last one to find a seat is the new caller! I do this for a Halloween party, a Valentine  or Christmas party too. Just name the kids theme names for the holiday (skeleton, ghost, bat, witch for Halloween, and for Christmas; stars, candy canes, ornaments, trees,  etc. 

We had a great time doing Butterfly Week! 

Friday, July 10, 2015

Brown Bear Brown Bear Teddy Bear Picnic

Here the kids are getting all ready to run over to the bounce houses on field day on the last day of school. There was also a giant parachute we played with. 
It is the last week of school and the end of my year teaching kindergarten. I have loved it. It is like trying to keep a lid on popping popcorn!! Yup. I wasn't that successful at keeping the lid on, but we had a lot of fun every day!

This is the little Patriotic Bear I painted and put on a wreath on my front door. I added a little flag and some stars and flowers too. 
I love the book Brown Bear, Brown Bear. It is perfect for Kindergarten. They know most of their color words and can read the simple text from the story since it is so repetitive.
These were the 3 funny 6th grade teachers who dressed up all in the 50s for the dance festival the last day of school. haha. They looks so cute. Our class danced to Ball in the Jack. We rocked it! 

So for the Teddy Bear Picnic that I usually have at the end of the year we will do some Brown Bear Activities. Here are a few I came up with that are lots of fun.
We went into the gym and watched a Disney movie and ate popcorn after field day. FUN! 

1. ART - MAKE A BEAR WITH MOVEABLE ARMS AND LEGS or just a Bear HAT- We are only using the head this year to make a hat. It is HERE. The arms and legs if you want a jointed bear are on this page HERE at Virtual Vine along with a gazillion other great resources. Look under the quilt for 3 printable body parts. It turns out cute but takes a while for the kids to color. Or make a Bear Hat. Use a Bear coloring page and just use the head and a brown strip of construction paper to go around heads.
We made this Brown Bear only we didn't make it into a hat. We made Bear puppets on a stick instead. But we've made these in past years. HERE is a cute art bear from Girl Scouts of USA.
2. SHARED READING - Read the Book Brown Bear, Brown Bear. Make a necklace after coloring all the brown bear characters. Add pony beads in between each character on yarn for a cool and colorful Brown Bear Necklace. Perfect art activity for kindergarten. Free printable is HERE. Or you could make a fruit look necklace and add the characters in between several fruit loops. That's fun too.
Read the book together with the Youtube of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What do You See? It is a cute one.

3. PHONICS - Matching Center "Rhyme Time" Activity after reading the book Bear Says Thanks. HERE. There is also a writing activity and a cut and paste freebie. A cute mini books for $3.00 is HERE at TPT.  A free version is HERE at TPT. Thanks gals!
There are always activities you can do with addition and subtraction using counter bears and a number line. 
4. MATH - Fun Brown Bear "counting the characters" cut and paste math activity great for kindergarten. It is a freebie on TPT HERE.
Holding our Teddy Bear Puppets and puzzles. 

5. PICTURES - Take a picture with your Teddy Bear. I also found a picture
frame to color and put a picture inside with the bear hats and their teddy bears they brought for the read-a-thon.  It is cute. Check it out HERE.

You can always do a Bear art project using lots of brads and brown paper. We didn't have a lot of time so we made bear heads on a stick (puppets) instead. They were cute. 
This is my little patriotic bear and Uncle Sam on my entryway table. I've got all my red, white and blue stuff out for July. I got the little stars and stripes (the red and white one is to the right but you can't see it in this pic) buckets from the Dollar Tree. 
6. Read-a-Thon with Bear books. After doing all of our BEAR activities we will do a read-a-thon with our Teddy Bears we've brought from home. Then we will have a picnic with hot dogs, root beer floats, chips and gummy bears of course. Then we will go outside and draw bears with sidewalk chalk. It should be a very fun Teddy Bear Picnic this year.
Here's the hubs and I at Yellowstone visiting one of the fun gift shops in Jackson Hole. We usually go to our cabin at Bear Lake the weekend I'm off of school to unwind. And we usually take a short tip up there or some town close by. 
7. Writing our own Brown Bear Brown Bear innovations. "I see a red fish (or Blue Bird) looking at me". OR....Each child can write about things that are brown. "Brown can be a bear, a hamburger, a chocolate bar and a coconut."  Brainstorm on the board a list of brown things for them to choose from. This is an especially good idea for ESL kids who need language experiences.
Field Day and Teddy Bear Picnic on the last day of school. 
We came back in the classroom after field day and ate hot dogs, chips, cookies and drinks. It was fun to have a picnic with our Teddy Bears! Teddy Bear Picnics are the bomb! The last day of school was sure lots of fun. Have a great summer everybody!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

15 Pirate Party Activities

a PIRATE card art project we made turned out cute. 
I always do a Pirate Party at the end of the year. It is a fun day we look forward to all year. I've done different things each year but these are 15 of the most fun things I've come up with in 21 years of teaching. Have kids all put their name on a brown bag and add a handle to it. Put some torn red/white fabric and tie a strip on the handle.  Add a pirate sticker or skull crossbones printout  to the bag. Then have the kids go to 6 stations of activities you choose and bring their bag with them for all the prizes and loot they will get! All stations should take about 8-10 minutes.

1. Whole Group Activity - Make a Pirate Hat (Do altogether on tables - directions and printable tutorial diagram are HERE at Birthday in a Box.
The skull and crossbones printables are all over the internet. HERE is a cute one, and it is free! 
Pirate Hats - I used black butcher paper folded like a sailor hat. Kids added their pirate names to the back and skull and crossbones I copied and they glued them to the front. 

2. Station 2 - Pirate Name  (What is your pirate name?)  Print out this freebie on a big poster on a table. Kids write their funny pirate names on the back of their hats with white crayon or chalk. Hats made with black butcher paper. Add a skull and crossbones free printout cutout to each hat. HERE is a freebie Find Your Pirate Name Game.

We've made black, red and white bracelets with pony beads in some of my past pirate parties. 

3. Station 3 - Get some Pirate Bling (Make Fruit Loop necklaces with gold coins or use pony beads in black, red and white) glue gun a chenille stem loop to the gold coins before the party. Or make a mustache on a stick!
I used black poster board for the eye patches and we taped a piece of black yarn on top and tied them in a bow around our heads. It was easy. The mustache was construction paper taped on a skewer stick. 

4. Station 4 - Get a Tatoo and an Eye Patch. (Face Paint a scar or put tatoos on arms) Put an eye patch on some string and tie it around forehead. HERE is a free printable. Get pirate tatoos at a party store or Oriental Trading. Some eye patches are HERE as well as a beard you can put on a stick.

5. Station 5 - Make a Pirate Hook Hand. Directions on how to do it using red plastic cups and tin foil are HERE. Decorate it with these doo dads HERE.


6. Station 6 - Walk The Plank Obstacle Course. 2 games here. 1st is put a plank of wood between two crates and kids walk with one eye closed and hands behind back. 2nd obstacle is hop with a tennis ball (canon ball) between your knees and drop it in a bucket. Everybody gets a chance to do 1. Then watch others. Then do 2nd obstacle, then watch others.
For our Pirate Party all the kids dressed in black and white. 
Have a fun photo station where kids have pirate hand hooks, eye patches, fun hats and take pics!
7. Station 7  and share Pirate Jokes Check out some at Enchanted Learning. and do a ring toss on water bottles. Use cut out black and red plastic plates (just cut the outside of the plate to make ring toss rings).  Read a joke, throw a ring.
example: What's orange and sounds like a parrot?
(A carrot!)
 Another joke: What did the pirate say when his wooden leg got stuck in the freezer?  Shiver me timbers! Check out this page for joke ideas HERE at Enchanted Learning.  We did a pirate maze and jokes and pirate math on the back when the kids first arrived at school. It was a good ice breaker activity. 
Some of the girls really dressed up for the Pirate Party! Super Cute! 

8. Station 8. Pictures & Throw a sponge at the pirate. Take turns getting behind the cut out pirate face. Get an assortment of spongy balls and cut out some square sponges from the dollar store. Take turns seeing if you can hit the face. Take pictures at the end of each child in the pirate cut out. If it is an outside summer party on a hot day get the sponges wet.
They loved their pirate patches! They all wore them home on the bus ride. 

9. Station 9. Pin the Patch on the Pirate Printable is HERE.  I've done this with 1st and 2nd graders and it is lots of fun. I just blew up a pirate coloring page and backed it with red and white striped paper and bordered it with black. HERE is a link to eye patches you can print up or just cut them out of black construction paper and have kids tape them on. Cover their eyes with red bandanas and sing "Yo Ho, Yo Ho a Pirates Life for ME!" as you spin them around.


10. Station 10 - Pirate Bingo Game (using sight words- good for 1st grade or end of kinder) free printable games HERE. Or HERE is another cute Bingo game.
Here was my Pirate Bingo we called Buccaneer Bingo. Get free copies from Kinder Gater Gals at TPT HERE.

11. Station 11. Math Cardgame - Pirate War - get in groups of two partners. Both of you put down a card. Add up the numbers. The one with the highest sum gets both cards. Person with the most cards at the end of 10 minutes is the winner and gets a jewel to put in their sack. Check out THESE free printables. Or THESE that I used. Kids can cut them out and take them home in envelopes.

12. Station 12 - Pirate Go Fish - Use these 16 colorful pirate pictures and copy twice for each partnership. 2 kids cut out and then play go fish or concentration with the cards. The free printables I found are HERE. Also an ABC Maze Printable is HERE. or HERE is an ABC order Pirate game.

Here was my classroom Pirate Party Refreshment Table. We had 2 kinds of drinks too. I don't know why that duct tape is there, we didn't eat any duct tape. lol. 

13. Station 13 -Refreshments

1. Pixie Stix (pixie dust) (add little black triangular pirate flags to the top).
2. Pirate Canon Balls (cheese balls or malt balls)
I just got cheese balls (generic) from the market and made up a cute sign. 

3. Fish and Chips (orange goldfish crackers  and potato or tortilla chips)

Next to this bowl is a bowl of cheese fish crackers. Get it? Fish and "chips". lol. 
Here are the goldfish that went with the "Fish and Chips" Signs. I just typed them out and pasted them on red paper then on black to border it nicely. Then I added stickers or pirate pictures I got off the internet. 
4. cupcakes with pirate Cupcake Toppers HERE, or HERE. 
5. Fruit Roll Ups wrapped with a pirate treasure map coloring page
6. Pirate Popcorn - use jello and make red popcorn balls, or just get some caramel corn or regular popcorn and call it "Pirate Popcorn".

We had double stuffed Oreos and of course Chips Ahoy cookies. 
7. Chips Ahoy or Pirate Os (oreo cookies).
Here are some "skeleton" brownies I made at Halloween that would also be great for a Pirate Party. The heads are candy melt discs, the bodies are yogurt covered pretzels. I used icing for arms and legs and faces. 
8. Skeleton Brownies.

14. Take Home Gift Ideas
1. Goodie Bags with pirate items inside. I had jewels from the dollar store, rings, pirate bookmarks, chocolate coins, lollypops, and cute little chocolate pirates wrapped in gold foil with skulls and crossbones.
Aren't these the CUTEST Chocolate Pirates wrapped in foil? A parent bought a whole class set of them. They went into my goodie bag. Another parent bought each of the kids 2 gold chocolate coins. Those went in too. In years past the kids have gotten pirate black balloons and pirate erasers.
2. ABC  maze HERE and wrap it around a fruit roll up.
3. Lollypops or Tootsie Rolls  taped to a small Pirate wordsearch HERE.
4. Pirate Playdough (make your own in purple or black) I have a recipe for Koolaid Playdough HERE on my blog. Put them in mini ziplock baggies.

Land Lubbers Licorice. haha. 
5. Pirate Superballs and Balloons. I bought mine from Oriental Trading HERE. They are tiny but fun to play with.  Wrap them together in a bag.
6. Landlubber Licorice - This is cute in a jar. The above one was for a different party but you could put pirate skull and crossbones on the jars. Make an assortment of "Pirate Loot" and put them in bags like this tied with black yarn.

I also had pirate superballs I had ordered from Oriental Trading a few years ago. They have lasted through several years of classroom parties. 

I try to have 6 really good PARTY ROTATIONS (centers) and kids spend 10 minutes at each one. They go around in groups of 4 so the games can be played multiple times (like Bingo).  I try to do 2 crafty type activities, 2 active play activities, and 2 learning games (educational).
For a home party you could  fill cookie jars with candy or gumballs and let the kids do their own goodie bags. 
If I do a bingo I try to have the words along with the pictures so they are reading. The first activity is making the hat and bag. They take the bag around with them. At each center is a fun token or giveaway (pixie stix, rings, bubbles, bead necklace etc.) so they have an assortment of take home prizes. Some are just prizes if they win.
I've used this party bucket for prizes, ice and cans of sodas and all sorts of things. Just add vinyl lettering to a red bucket from the craft store and then for each party add a decal, sticker or printable coloring page to the top on a theme for the party. Skull and crossbones work perfectly. I do this with small buckets to hold silverware, napkins, and craft supplies at the rotations too.

The whole party should last about 75 minutes. Have fun Mateys! Argggg! And have fun Walking the Plank!

Pirate Party Fun! 

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