Saturday, April 26, 2014

Earth Day Projects

Earth Day 2014 - Remember to clean up some area of your community this week in honor of International Earth Day April 22nd. It is a holiday celebrated all across the world in every country! And FRIDAY the 25th was Arbor Day. 
WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD....

I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom, for me and you
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
I see skies of blue, and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, dark sacred night
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
The colors of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Are also on the faces, of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, sayin', "How do you do?"
They're really sayin', "I love you"
I hear babies cryin', I watch them grow
They'll learn much more, than I'll ever know
And I think to myself
What a wonderful world
Yes, I think to myself
What a wonderful world.
You could plant a tree or some flowers, clean up a park or beach with your family, or recycle clothes and old toys. 
This week we celebrated and learned all about EARTH DAY! 

 We wrote about Earth Day after reading a bunch of books on recycling, reusing things, and reducing garbage and pollution.

A fun contest is finding all the words you can make from EARTH DAY. A printable link from ABC teach is HERE.
I got the beads from Oriental Trading over the summer...I added green and blue beads for making  these
cute bracelets out of chenille stems cut to their wrist size and twisted when they were done.  SUPER EASY!
They also have Earth Day inflatable GLOBES
you can get for about $1.00 each. The link is HERE at Oriental Trading!


My favorite Earth Day Book to read to the kids to teach them about Recycling, Reusing and Reducing our water and energy usage and trash. 

 We did some beautiful watercolors of the earth and some rainbows too. Happy Earth Day!

What is Earth Day all about? All around the world people who care about pollution, ecology and going green help educate others about how we can improve our habits in regard to trash, using cars and vehicles less, walking more, and conserving our Natural Resources like water, trees, oil, coal and electricity.  

Everybody did a great job making their own Earth Day promises. 

 We saw some windmills up in Lehi on our field trip to Thanksgiving Point. Windmills make natural power without any pollution.


Reduce, Recycle, Reuse
(Tune: "Three Blind Mice")
Reduce, recycle, reuse.
Reduce, recycle, reuse.
Now's the time to choose.
There must be no excuse.
 It's up to each one of us to do 
our part to make the Earth clean, it's true.
 So let's work together, yes, me and you!
Reduce, recycle, reuse! 


 We also learned about solar power from black, solar cells. Mrs. Moss has a cool robot that moves on solar cells. We learned that reusing things like rechargeable batteries are better than just buying new ones.
 Good job guys! I liked all of the summaries I read. The kids had definite ideas about how they can help protect the earth and conserve energy and water.
We wrote about ways we can help celebrate Earth Day! 

Here is what my class came up with; a brainstorm of ways to help on EARTH DAY and always! 

 Some of the books and Weekly Readers we read to find out how we can help clean up the earth and Go Greener! We can do the 3 Rs; Recycle, Reduce and Reuse.

Everybody made a badge to wear on Earth Day! 
 Do something nice this week to improve your community, your yard, recycle something or redo an area where you live to make it prettier, cleaner or healthier. Or else go plant a tree or some flowers!




Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mother's Day Classroom Gift Ideas

MOTHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS....
This idea is taken from Holiday Crafts for Kids HERE. I would decorate a tin can with colorful washi tape and duct tape designs and stickers. Then add a cute flower on a stick with a clothespin attached (for holding a recipe card). 
  1. Every year it seems like I reinvent the wheel and come up with another kind of mom's day gift. I love having the kids write a card. I have them put their handprint on the front in some cute way. Then they write a really nice letter inside telling their mom things like; I think you cook ______ really good.  My favorite thing you do with me is ________. Things like that with specifics. I loved learning that one of my boys loved me to make Taco Salad. I never knew till I got his first grade card!
Then we make some sort of gift. Here are some I've done in the past. 
Decorate a cookie or cupcake or make little beaded bracelets. 
  1. Make a recipe book with recipes from the students and a real recipe from the moms on the back. Copy them into a class book. Put a picture on the front of each and decorate with scrapbook paper.
  2. Make a silouette with each child's black silouette on the front and a letter/card on the back.
  3. Get some rinsed out baby food jars or small sauce jars from the kids. Use a solution of half water half glue. Paint on 2 inch squares of pastel tissue paper. You can also use modge podge. Fill each glass jar with a voltive candle. Wrap with tissue paper and ribbons when dry. 
  4.  Get Dollar Store whisks and fill with any type of wrapped candies. Wrap up with celophane and ribbons. Add a note "Whisking you a Happy Mother's Day!"
  5.                                       
  6. 2. Have kids bring in some short, fat cans like pinapple or fruit cans or could even be soup cans. Cover with pastel scrrapbook paper. Line the top with a coordinating ribbon. Cover inexpensive Bic pens with floral green tape and add a flower to the eraser area. Put the finished "flowers in your "pot" by adding rice or dried beans. Voila! A cute pot with flowers. 
  7. Pot some soil in a small ceramic or clay pot. Have students paint hearts and kisses and flowers on with acrylic paint. Tie a ribbon around the rim. Add alphalpha or grass seeds to the dirt. Let it grow for a week or so. When it is high send it home with a cute scrapbook paper note that says "I love you with every hair on my head!".
  8. Make bath salts out of Epsom salts and scented oils. Wrap in celophane with cute ribbons. Attach a poem;  Roses are red, violets are blue, here's some bath salts I made just for you! Stamp a KISS on the bottom of each card with red ink. 

Free happy Mother's day  Themed printable stationary(stationery) and happy Mother's day  border paper for school teachers and students

Bath Salts Recipe-
3 cups Epsom salts
1 tablespoon glycerin
perfume (or lotion)
two drops of food coloring
 Combine glycerin and food coloring. Add perfume to make a fragrant mixture. Then add to Epsom salts. Stir thoroughly. When it's dry wrap in celophane and pink ribbons.










Here is how to make a box for your mother's day presents.You can make another one that will fit over this one and make a little "box" to put a cute treasure inside. One year I got kits to make up beaded bracelets from Oriental Trading. It was surprising how well the kids did on beading. It was easy for them. Then we put them inside a cute box made from hot pink paper and put some heart stickers on the top.  You could use scrapbook paper or neon papers.



One of my favorite gifts was from my youngest son Daniel when he was in first grade. It looked like this.
Cards are still my favorite gift as a mom. If you don't do anything else, send home a heartfelt card. We lost this boy when he was 17 years old. All his little school cards to me are so much more precious now. I'm so glad I still have them.

His little letter to me at age 6 in first grade.....sniff.......
                    


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 Shared.com.It 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!

HERE'S THE WRITING PROJECT: 

 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. 






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