Friday, July 29, 2011

Crab Activities


I love the book A House for Hermit Crab by Eric Carle.
It is a great book to introduce students to ocean animals and hermit crabs specifically. After reading we  do a crab art project and then some writing. Kids could choose between a crab fact book or maybe a crab acrostic poem or a story about a crab. If you want to go the fact booklet route...

The Best Kids Booksite has this cute hermit crab art project.

Craft Picture
It looks just like the hermit crab in the book!



Cute
  Little Crab
Cute "bowl" painted crab craft from ourcraftsnthings.com
                             

CRAB POEMS - I always put poems on the back of artwork the students do and we read them together as a form of shared reading practice. Often you can put them to a tune like Twinkle Twinkle or Jimmy Crack Corn or Farmer in the Dell. Try it, it makes reading a lot more fun.


                           Five cranky crabs were digging on the shore.
One swam into a net and then there were four.
Four cranky crabs were floating in the sea.
One got tangled up in seaweed, then there were three.
Three cranky crabs were wondering what to do.
One dug a deep, deep hole, then there were two.
Two cranky crabs were warming in the sun.
One got scooped up in a cup, then there was one.
One cranky crab was smarter than his friends.
He hid between the jagged rocks,
That's how the story ends!

Also Enchanted Learning has a crab printout page with interesting facts.

A very cute art project I found was a hand print crab with red paint. The red crab hand print craft is HERE at Funhandprintart.blogspot.com . I think it would be very cute and easy with C-R-A-B-S acrostic poems written beneath it.

A fun P.E. game is teaching kids CRAB BALL. They must walk on their hands and feet with their belly facing up and kick a ball into the soccer net or hockey net or just between 2 chairs. It's hard to do and funny to watch and the kids love it.
                                   
This cute craft is at Classified Mom.
I love doing themed activities. I think  you can fit some of your language arts COMMON CORE in when you use a really interesting animal as your theme base. Crabs come in all varieties; horseshoe crabs, blue crabs, hermit crabs, there are so many ways to study and address crabs starting with a book of literature.

Another good literature book  I like is Chadwick the Crab by Priscilla Cummings. It's an older book I have in my library but it has lots of interesting crab facts in it as well as other ocean animals.

 
A cute 2 digit math addition worksheet printable is HERE at Kidzone Math Worksheets.  An easier addition worksheet to 18 is HERE at Kidzone Math. Both worksheets have a crab on them. You can also find subtraction worksheets to download for free HERE.

                                                     
INTERESTING CRAB FACTS
               YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW....
Hermit crabs are crustaceans (an invertebrate with an exoskeleton).
*  For protection, hermit crabs often move into empty shells. When it outgrows its shell, it moves into a new, larger one.
*  Adult hermit crabs range in size from 1/2 inch to about 4 inches.
*  A hermit crab has two pairs of antennae and round eyes on the ends of eye stalks. They have 10 legs, but only 6 legs show.
*  Hermit crabs are scavengers.
*  Hermit crabs are found on the Atlantic coast, West Indies, and South Pacific.
*  Sometimes, hermit crabs carry other animals on their shells. These animals help camouflage him, and will move with the crab.


Another cute hand print crab from http://craftycrafted.blogspot.com/

 This is my favorite book to teach the difference between TO, TOO and TWO. It's called Is This a House for Hermit Crab?
by Megan Mcdonald

Some of the text repeats too soft, too hard,  too big, too small.
Kids can see when they need to use the too form in their writing (too much of something) which is really hard to teach and for them to understand without lots of examples. I find that reading this book with them does the trick. It's also a fun way to do a theme day on CRABS!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

My Superstar Behavior Chart


You can see the small captions that tell about the consequences
underneath and to the left the Behavior Chart.. 


I have clothespins with all the students' names on them and daily they get moved up or down the chart depending on their behavior. I can "catch them" being a "superstar" and they get a treat from the penny candy treasure box or a sticker at the end of the day.  School rules are just to the left of that small consequences chart. The treasure box is on the bookshelf out of view.
My behavior chart is all about Happy Faces!
If they break one of the class rules they helped write, they move their clip down to the 2nd color, yellow, and that means just a warning. The 3nd color, orange, means miss 2 minutes of recess. 4rd color,  red, means miss 5 minutes of recess. They NEVER miss their whole 15 minute recess. Kids need to run around and get their wiggles out.
                                         

 Hardly anybody ever gets called out 5 times in a day. But the last face on the chart is blue and it is not happy.  Blue  means go to think time in another classroom for 5 to 10 minutes.  Students draw a picture or write out what they did wrong, how they need to change it when they return back, and if they think they can do it, with Yes or No circled. It's on a little form where there is a place for a picture and a few lines for text. Then they talk with the teacher in the other room before she signs it and they return back.
Classroom Treasure boxes are great tools for motivation....
                            
 That way it takes the emotion out of it for everybody and the student can get direction in what they need to do in the future from the teacher down the hall. But it puts the responsibility on THEM for figuring out what they did wrong.  I like it. It has worked for me for more than a dozen years. Kids likewise come to my classroom for think times occasionally. I have a desk they sit at and everybody leaves them alone. When their paper is filled out they raise their hand and I go talk with them privately about what they wrote, and then I sign it and they return back to class. It's not a big deal, it's very low key and positive reinforcement for our school rules.
                                       

 I made the circles out of poster board linked together with 1-inch rings.  The superstar chart I got from a teacher supply store.  The clothespins are from the dollar store. Some years I find colorful rainbow clothespins. I like the positive  behavior motivation this chart is.  But I do think you always need to address both to be sure you are dealing with misbehavior as it happens and noticing the good behavior too. 

                                            
If students are "caught" doing something good; book out first, helping another student, printing neatly, helping the teacher, whatever I notice, I call them out to go move their clip to SUPERSTAR! They get a treat or sticker (their choice) at the end of the day!  It makes them feel so great to be a superstar of the day. Many days I will have 6 or 7 clips up on that star.  It's great to call a few out when you see trouble brewing because it distracts everybody for a minute and they want to also get on superstar so lots of times it will motivate the class to do a better job instantly!
                                                  I also use forms such as these for returning homework on time. The student gets a sticker in their homework folder on one of these. When it gets filled up they go to a treasure box with stuff the parents help me fill up. It has things like hot wheels cars, crayons, super balls, ring pops, dollar store stuff. It helps encourage responsibility. And it takes 4 months to fill it up.   And it helps me keep track of homework and behavior for report card time too.
                                                         

 I think most kids are visual learners so my Happy Face Chart  just helps them keep track visually on their own behavior in school. And you should see their faces when I call them up to come move their clip to superstar! Priceless.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

My Writing Workshop Chart

I found some cute pointers for half off today at the teacher's store.
I like to let the kids use pointers for "read and write the room" activity when they are at centers. I have a box with 4 clipboards in it with A to Z lined writing papers clipped on. The kids LOVE to do this writing activity. Maybe because when they are done with all 26 words they can go get a sticker. It seems to be very motivating. :)



Another fun motivator is my writing workshop bulletin board. My kids move their own little icon with their name on it (and velcro on the back) up and down the board as they go through the writing process. 

The whole thing is surrounded by a "roadway" for their "animal cars" to move on. I got the roadway and the animal cars just from 2 different borders I cut up and put velcro on the back. The topics are all from 1 original poster $1.99 from the teachers supply store.


They go through brainstorm, prewrite (usually one of those we do on the board together) sloppy copy, teacher editing....the whole works.....
Then after a final copy and illustration, they can sign up to share in the Author's Chair.
We did some writing about summer....an acrostic poem....

I think it is also motivating to have creative papers for them to print on and then decorate. Here they did summer beach scenes using stickers.

Here is their own versions of The Little Red Hen.....some of them were so funny!


We also do non-fiction writing....here we were learning about famous presidents for Presidents Day.  They liked learning about Lincoln and Washington. And notice the cute paper? I think it helps motivate them to finish the writing so they can color the pictures.
My oldest granddaughter just graduated from an excellent preschool where writing skills begin. She is barely 4 and writes her own name perfectly. She's got a good teacher who helped her learn her ABCs and she's actually reading 3 letter words now. Here she is getting cold feet just before going up to get her "graduation certificate". My daughter had to "talk her down". :D

It is rewarding to me to be that good teacher in a child's life.  And to get to daily celebrate all of their learning. I hope writing is as big a part of your classroom as it is mine. Especially in this age of texting, kids need to learn how to write the "right way".  We write at least 45 minutes uninterupted every single day. I rate it tops on my list of skills to teach. 


Friday, July 15, 2011

Lollypop Tree

I loved this idea from a fellow  blogger Jill Dubien.



Classroom Lollypop Tree.


If you'd like to make one too just click HERE for Lollypop Tree tutorial.

I got a cute ceramic pot from Hobby Lobby for $2.00! Such a deal!





Then a big bag of Dum-Dum suckers, and a styrofoam ball to fit my pot...


The big bag of suckers was $6.50 but this many (250) treats will last me for quite a while! I poked holes in the ball in rows lined up all along the ball. It was hard to do with the sucker sticks...I had much better luck with a thin, phillips screwdriver.  I poked a bunch of holes while I was watching "The Lincoln Lawyer" with Matthew McConaughey. Oh may gosh that movie is GOOD! And MM is quite hunky as well.






The styrofoam balls are kinda pricey. I didn't want to spend $4.50. So get a coupon for Hobby Lobby or Joannes before you go to get 40% off. I happen to have one I've used in my space and planets unit...so it was nice that I didn't have to spend more.


Oops! I see a hole in my Lollypop Tree...better go fix that!

Then I added the pops a few rows at a time....then added more holes....more pops...repeat....repeat.... It was kinda boring. So get a nice DVD while you are working and it makes it a lot more bearable! :D
But look how it turned out!  My kiddos are gonna love "winning" a pop for good behavior. Oh ya!
 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Wise Old OWL DAY!








For the first day back in school I'm going to teach the kids all about barn owls. I think it will make a cute bulletin board with the title "Whooooo is in Our Class This Year?  Then I'm going to get the kids to write about themselves to introduce things they like and do to the class. But we can learn something about OWLS in the process. Maybe make a little OWL fact book!
Owl paper bag puppet....
                      

I found so many cute ideas for art projects too. I have a ton of pine cones in my front yard since I have 2 pine trees. We could do pinecone owls like the ones above from Crafts by Amanda.   Or paper bag owls, but both of these looked kind of easy too.






These cute owl crispie treats are from Jill at Meet the Dubiens.  Love them! We could do the same thing using cookie shapes frosted with chocolate. Much easier. 
http://old.dentonisd.org/pecancreek/lattaya/owls.htm

Tear art Owls
 






I love this art project. I love the moon above although I don't love the animal stripe prints on the moon.  This would be a good project to do after reading Owl Moon.
This Owl Cupcake is taken from Wilton...I'd use a candy corn for the beak

This owl cookie is from Mrs. Attaya's First Grade website. I still like the candy corn beak better.

Mrs. Attaya's website had a good idea for using lima bean "owls" for counters to make individual word problems. They had scenes of a tree and a moon and the kids put the owls on the tree and the moon and then wrote word problems. My students could draw the tree and moon and do the same using maybe some fingerprint owls.  Here is a picture of her darling counters. 



From That Artist Woman


I really loved this owl from That Artist Woman the very best.  I am going to try a variation on this. I bought feathers from Michaels in earth tones and I've been collecting twigs since we've been having tons of windstorms here in Utah.  I like the idea of 3D.  So I'm going to use the egg carton eyes from the paper bag puppet owl and do some white on the inside, black on the outside and wiggly eyes inside.  I think it will add dimension and depth.


So I'm going to use a compilation of all these great projects I found on the web. For the body parts of the owl I think we will use tear art. It always turns out so unique and individual and I think that first day back it will be a good ice breaker art project to get to know everybody in the class too!
This project is from Deep Space Sparkle. Awesome!
                                            
But then I found this wonderful 2nd grade directed drawing project from Deep Space Sparkle. The link to her owl directed drawing blog is HERE.  Maybe instead we will paint the owl using these earth tones. Then add the feathers, the twig and the pop out egg carton eyes.  I'll have to make a model.  I like the big white moon and stars.  We could add some glitter glue in silver and gold for the stars. That would look cool. 

Owl Coloring Page 5
Owl Writing Paper
I found a cute link to some Owl writing paper. This could be a cute cover and just use lined newsprint for the inside pages or else draw lines on this page and copy it and then do an unlined copy for the cover and lined copies for the inside front and back. Kids can write OWL facts they find in the books we will be reading.  This one makes a really dark, clear blackline too. I love it!  Kids can make up their own book titles.  This cold also be a great creative writing story using an owl as a main character.


And here is what we came up with! Some cute OWLS I must say!  
They all look so different too! 

So I'm about ready for my first day. I have my twigs and feathers, my blacklines and I'll purchase some cookie dough in the freezer section for our owl cookies. I think the kids will love our first day of school.
And I wonder WHOOOOOOOO will be in my class?  :D I hope I get a WISE bunch!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Things I bought for Back to School

I've had a steady drop off of brown boxes from Mr. Postman.  I've been naughty and have been online shopping WAY TOO MUCH for back to school.  I will show you what fun things I bought.

Pattern Block Stickers are such a fun activity to do. Kids love making designs out of them using the yellow hexagon for the middle on black construction paper 10 inch squares. They turn out so beautiful too! They are $9.99 at most of the online teacher sites. You can find them in the math section. They last for about 4 years and I've gotten at least  5 years worth of class sets out of one $9.99 pack. The "stick" runs out before the stickers do!

                         
Then I wanted to add to my health unit on germs and handwashing. I heard from another blogger about this "germ powder" that you can buy that shows "dirty hands" under a black light. I am going to use this to show kids how hard it is to keep hands clean and germ free.

  

The website for a kids lesson plan for the grade of your choice from 1st through 6th grade is at the Glow Germ website HERE. I have some cute literature to go along with it too; Germs Make Me Sick is a great one I purchased a few years ago and the kids love it. 


Another fun resource is a Utube and a Red Cross demonstration by Scrubby Bear. You'll have to google it to see if the Red Cross does it in your town. And a cute UTUBE link on handwashing I found is above. It is pretty cute too.




Another thing I bought was Giant PIXIE STIX from Costco for $13.00 a package.  I use these for birthday gifts. I just attach a giant cardstock round balloon to the top that says Happy Birthday on it.  They look really colorful in a giant green vase on top of my filing cabinets. Kids can't wait to get theirs.
I put the "balloons" in a large vase like this.
Pixy Stix  Giant Variety  50 ct
The Pixie Stix are about 2 1/2 feet long so it's a NICE Student Birthday Gift!




Balloon Coloring PageThe link to the Costco Giant Pixie Stix is HERE.

  They look kind of like these balloons here on top. The "string" to the balloon is the giant Pixie Stix.  I found a blackline master for a balloon at  Twisty Noodle HERE.  Just blow it up to 81/2 x 11 and add text " Happy Birthday" to the inside and then copy 25 or so on many different colors of cardstock. Then cut them out, staple them to a Pixie Stix, and add some colorful curling ribbon to the "balloon lip". They turn out soooooo colorful and cute!

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