Sunday, September 1, 2013

Camping Themed Classroom

School is back in session.  I have 30 kinders this year!  I am so excited to watch them grow and learn!  My room took a long time, but is finally finished (for the most part).  I decided to go with a camping theme.  I felt that it matched my personality.  I may have went a little overboard on the camouflage.  ;) Here are some pictures!

These bins are from the dollar tree. I ordered camouflage vinyl and cut the words out with my cricut. Love that thing! 
 This is my helpers board (Whoooo's a great helper?)
 Calendar area - I used super cute bug fabric.
Behavior chart! Unfortunately, I had to take it down and hang it in another location.  Here, it is on the bathroom door :D hehehe.
 This is my camo duck tape and baggie quilt.  Saw this idea on pinterest.  I had to do it, since I have this awkward random strip hanging in the hall.
 Kindergarteners have s'more fun.
I won this on our first teacher day back. It's so cute that I couldn't tear it apart.

 View from my desk - On the back wall are numbers 0 - 20 they are in mason jars with bugs inside.

 I made two pendant banners with left over fabric from my boards.  I used ribbon and hot glue to put it together.  Worked like a charm.  Super easy and brightened up the room.
I'll post up close pictures soon :) 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Big Bug Eyes, Big Bug Eyes

We have started an Animal Unit!  The first animal group we studied was Insects.  We discussed how Insects have 2 antennae, 6 legs, have 3 stages (larva, pupa, adult), shed their exoskeleton, have compound eyes, are invertebrates, and have three main body parts.  I made up a song in the tune of "head, shoulders, knees, and toes," and it goes a little something like this:
-head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen
-head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen
-Feelers or antennae,  big bug eyes, big bug eyes
-head, thorax, abdomen, abdomen
The students absolutely loved it, especially "big bug eyes!!" They hummed it throughout the rest of the work time.  They have also been asking me if they can sing it often.  To further the concept of all the parts of an insect we made ice cream insects.  Ingredients: 6 twizzlers for legs, 2 pretzels for antennae, 2 skittle eyes, magic shell for exoskeleton, 3 ice cream scoops for the three body parts.  I got this idea from another teacher.  I have 24 students and we went through 4 (7.5 oz smucker) magic shell containers and a gallon of ice cream.  Just so you have an idea of how much you'll need.
I read A Monarch Butterfly's Life By: John Himmelman.  Then I had students make their own butterfly life cycle using noodles.  I saw this idea on, and modified it a tiny bit.  My students did not want the life cycle to go in a circle.  It made better sense for them to do it from right to left on the top and then move right to left on the bottom.  I told them they could do it in a circle or like the examples bellow, as long as they knew that a pupa came after a larva.
Here is what our display looks like! It's beautiful!

Estimation Jar

We are learning how to estimate.  It is crazy how big things can seem to a child.  We estimated beads, noodles, and beans for our lesson.  The children were sure there were at least a million beads in a little ziplock baggie! We had off the wall guesses from EVERYONE that day!  So I decided we need more a lot more practice.  So now we have an "Estimation Jar" in our classroom.  The students take turns putting their items in the jar.  Everyday there are new items and all of the children get to submit their guesses.  The jar has had buttons, crayons, cards, cowboys and indians, cars, hair beads, etc. This has been a lot of fun for the children.  It gives them something to share with the class.  We have been doing this for 3 weeks and our guesses are a lot more accurate these days.

I used egg cartons to count our items during the original lesson.  The students were not suppose to use the last two egg holes and they were suppose to put ten items in the other 10 holes.  This was a great way for them to practice counting by 10's and understand that there are 10 groups of 10 in 100.

If I were president...

We ended our president unit with a little creative writing. I read So You Want To Be President? by: Judith St. George.  It's a Caldecott medal book- for obvious reasons too!  I couldn't keep my students from laughing during the whole book.  The illustrations are truly great and amusing!  After I read the book, I had the students put their (pre-cut face) on a blown up 1 dollar bill.  Then I told students that they had to write about what they would do if they were president! The stories were fantastic and creative of course!  I love all of the big ideas the students had.  They really have sweet hearts <3
 My favorite part: "I would have a Lamborghini."
 My favorite part: "I would give no taxes.  If I were president I would be nervous."
 I love the whole list of things she would have :)
Favorite part: "If I was president I would never quit... I would save the country"

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Presidents- Yay for Centers!

This is my second week teaching presidents.  We are learning a lot! I tried centers with my class yesterday & today, and I am so proud of the students!  They worked so well together and kept the noise level down- which is usually unheard of.

First, we read about the country's capital city and ours.  Then we read about different monuments in Washington D.C.; such as, the Jefferson Memorial, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Washington Monument.  After I had the students make their own memorial out of play dough.  The monuments were suppose to be for them if they were president.  They turned out very interesting to say the least and were very creative.

I had a computer station as well.  The students got on this website:  If you have never been here I suggest you check it out! It has an interactive tour of the White House.  Students could go to different areas of the White House and click to view pictures in different areas and rooms.  The pictures were very neat and had captions.  The students loved getting a peak in the house.  I even learned facts from the site.  Like, did you know that the White House has a bee keeper and they make their own honey to be used in the kitchen!?
We did a fun craft for George Washington.  He completed our hallway bulletin board display.  It is so cute to see how the students use their own creativity to make a uniformed craft unique.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Gallon Girl

In 2nd grade we are learning measurement.  The children are trying to memorize how many cups, pints, and quarts are in a gallon.  We have a gallon man poster hanging up in the room, however, I felt that the students still did not understand what a cup, pint, quart, and gallon really looked like.  Sure they've seen a gallon of milk, but I did not feel that all of the sizes sunk in.  So... for the past 4 weeks I've been collecting containers and here is the final project!!! All of my students loved it!  (:

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Presidents - Abe's Hat

I started this lesson by reading, Abe Lincoln's Hat, by Martha Brenner.  If you're not familiar with the book, it discusses how Lincoln kept letters and important notes in his hat.  The book is a nonfiction picture book & the children loved it!  I had the students make their own Abe and write what they would keep inside his hat.  I saw this project idea on the blog:! I made some modifications and the stories came out great.  The children had a lot of fun writing and sharing their Abe.  I love making crafts with them, especially when I can tie them into creative writing projects!