Monday, 9 December 2013

What's a matter with you? and Easy Christmas Tree Art

Well my teachers friends - this matter unit is NOT for the faint of heart.  Yes I did use the word viscosity and volume - oh and even properties and matter!  It is important vocabulary and I think that kids need to understand these ideas now before it is too late and they are in high school chemistry and just discovering that water does not actually gain "coldness" - heat is taken away!!!  Aaack!!  I learned so much! 

science demonstrations for teaching about solids, liquids, and gases

Science Demonstrations for teaching about solids, liquids, and gases

Click on any of the pictures to check this item out at my TpT store.

 science primary

Above is the front cover our our little matter lab book.  Every demonstration has a little write up to go along with it and a concluding wrap up statement for kids to fill in the blanks.  

Here are pictures from our culminating Science Fair.  It was a blast.  The girls above are doing Baggie Blow Up.  The boys below are doing Floater Boat or Sinker Stinker!!  It was an amazingly FUN mess!!  P.S.  Thank you to my amazing partner teacher Meg who always goes above and beyond for her students.  She helped me make and test out this unit - without her it would not be as wonderful as it is!!

Click HERE for some additional experiments!!

Today we took the Polar Express around the world to Germany.  I am using a wonderful little unit by Amanda Tervoort called Christmas Around the World.  I wanted to make a Christmas tree to go along with it so I came up with this!

You will need: 

blue construction paper
coffee filters
brown construction paper cut into rectangles for trunks
green tempera paint
star stickers and square stickers
sequins and beads for decorations
black marker
glitter glue
glue sticks
glue bottles

First, students will glue on the trunk.  Then, have students fold coffee filters into quarters and glue these one on top of the other.  P.S. Coffee filters are also awesome for holding popcorn while watching movies with your class right before Christmas holidays!!

Next, have students paint their tree with green tempera paint.  Finally, students can use white glue and stickers to add decorations.  My kiddos were SO into this!!!  They even look a little 3D!

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, 2 December 2013

Deck Your Christmas Activity Folder!

Well I think that this whole Christmas spirit thing added with Cyber Monday has almost knocked me off my rocker!!  I am just exploding with new ideas to try in the classroom and I am having a blast teaching about Christmas around the world.  Just posted my 10 Christmas Nativity Plays for beginning readers.  I had a ridiculously good time writing them!  Get them now while the sale is still on!!

early beginning readers Christmas religion

Here are a couple of the covers of some of the plays.  Also check out the ridiculously cute graphics by Kari Bolt!!  LOVE!

plays for beginning readers

10 Christmas Nativity Plays reader's theater

Nativity plays

On a side note I went wreath making a couple of weekends ago - here is what I created.  My sister says it looks like the forrest threw up - lol.  I LOVE it!!  It smells so nice and forresty!!

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Technology Tip: Organize Your Computer Files with Flair!!

Well this is strange - this is the first time I am doing this from school!!  I just have to share a quick organizational tip - especially for all of you technologically savvy up and comers!!  I LOVE technology - but I find it especially hard to use if my digital files are not organized.  See picture below:
 As you can see my files are all over the place. I do not follow any pattern for naming, etc.  It is nearly impossible to find anything say I were to try teaching a lesson on the SMARTBoard or even plan for the next week!

FACT: Your files will automatically alphabetize themselves...BUT did you know that you can add spaces or numbers to the front of the file name and they will appear FIRST in your folder!!

Save time as a teacher using technology

YES!!  You can have your most important files appear at the top of your Documents folder for easy access!!!

Click twice on your file folder leaving time in between each click (double clicking fast will just open the file).  The first click should highlight the name of the folder and with the second click a cursor will appear.

Position it at the front of the name and add a "1" or a space, periods, or even an underscore "_" to your most used file. 

Don't panic if it moves spots.  The computer will numerically organize it for you as soon as you click anywhere else in the folder.

  My number first file is titled "_Basics Elementary".  Next comes "_Opening Activities", followed by "0LongRangePlans". 

If, like mine, your files were all over the place ordered with no thought, begin by creating folders within your Documents folder for however you decide to categorize your folders.

Open up a second window and begin transferring and organizing your files to your new numerically, symbolically organized folders.

This has made my life SO much easier when teaching with technology!!

Happy teaching!!!

Friday, 15 November 2013

La météo en français! Voilà!!

Well - report card season and Christmas concert season is almost among - ahem - upon us - if it hasn't already started for some of you!  For all you Canadian French teachers out there, with the help of my lovely multi-talented and multilingual aunt - thanks Aunt Tricia!!! - I have created a little weather unit to help teach all of the weather vocabulaire!!!

teach French weather vocabulary en français

One of my favourite things to teach is French - it always amazes me how fast some of them pick it up!!  I am teaching Grade 2 this year so it will be fun to see if they remember anything from last year when I taught them in Grade 1!  And once again the exclamation marks are getting away from

primary French activities

This little packet will easily fit into any morning routine.  With a little practice and a lot of fun you will have vos éléves á parler français, devant vos yeux (before your eyes)!!

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Need a Last Minute Halloween Art Project?

Boo!  Did I scare ya?  Are you scared anyway because the sugar levels in the children are going to skyrocket this week?  Bring it!!!!  We can handle it!!  As long as we have some fun art projects in our back pockets we are good to go!!  Here are two that I made recently with my class!

Scarecrow Sam: We read The Lonely Scarecrow in class and did some art to match!

Art primary easy fun

You will need:

hat templates from Kathy OR Mynda
white paper places
yellow tempera paint
buttons or googly eyes
straw from a hula skirt or Easter straw
squares of material
white glue
black felt tip marker
construction paper

fun creative

In the morning, I had students paint their paper plate yellow, making sure to put their name on the back before they painted.

In the afternoon, I laid out all the materials and options.  Some even decided to design their own hat!  Love the creativity!!

They used white glue in bottles to put it all together!!  I love the personality!!!

Easy and fun!!

We also made Hanging Button Spiders!!  These were so much fun!!!

Easy fun art!!

You will need:

pipe cleaners - 4 per student
googly eyes
hot glue gun
clear beading string for making necklaces
bamboo stick

Creepy Creative fun!!

Have students tie the clear string to their button first.  Then they can thread their pipe cleaners through the button holes until they are cut in half.

fun and easy

Have students bend legs in an accordian shape pattern.  Hot glue gun on googly eyes.  Tie other end of the string to a bamboo stick - I bought these at the dollar store in the garden section.  Use a piece of tape to secure the string in place!

hanging - scare your friends!!

My kiddos loved scaring each other!!  We had a blast!!  Happy Halloween!!

Thursday, 24 October 2013

TWO Easy Thanksgiving Art Projects: See It, Do It Turkeys

Not sure if I mentioned this but this growing season I was invited to work a chunk of garden at my friend's place.  I had such a great time weeding and watering - l learned a lot about plants and how they grow.  Here is a little of the bounty I collected from the garden.  Crazy how much there still was, even in October!!  You should of seen me try to wash the kale.  Looked at youtube videos, asked around.  Finally found out from my mom that you put a little salt in the water and boom, the aphids off!!!  Ack!! LOL.

As Thanksgiving has already come and gone here in Canada, I wanted to share the two crafts my class did this year.  The Grade 2's did these cute pinecone turkeys courtesy of my partner teacher Meg:)

What to gather:

large pinecones
colourful feathers
google eyes
red felt for the waddle
orange construction paper for the feet and beak

You will need white glue bottles for the kids.  Direct them to put on lots of glue and hold pieces in place while counting to 100 - it is a little overkill but it makes me laugh - they slow down a little bit - the room gets awfully quiet - LOVE!

Last, I hot glue gunned the google eyes and any feet, feathers, etc. that would not stay put!  Gobble, gobble!  

The Grade 1's got together with the other straight Grade 1 class and made a twist on last years apple turkeys.  Check out my post from last year!  Our pear turkeys turned out SO cute!

Thanksgiving Art

You will need to gather:

unripe pears
baby marshmallows
large marshmallows
carrots - shaved and stored in cold water
raisins or craisins

Thanksgiving Art
This is a flying turkey I am told!

We gave the kids the pictures of the apple turkeys from last year and the materials and the kids went at it!!  I love this method of See It, Do It art!  The kids get so used to us telling them step by step what to do, even though often if they just looked they would be able to figure it out.  In this case no instruction was the best instruction!  Critical thinking!!  Oh yeah!!

Thanksgiving Art
Not sure where this guy's feathers are coming out but they do help him stand!!  lol

See It Do It Art  Thanksgiving
Hee, hee, precious!!

Thanksgiving See It Do it Art
Turkey cuteness, right there!
Thanksgiving Art for kids
Hmmm - it actually kind of works!!!
Happy Thanksgiving all!!  I am very thankful for the many blessings in my life!!

Friday, 27 September 2013

Hilarious Yes Day!! Writing Freebie

YES!!!  Wouldn't that be easy?  If every answer was yes, I mean?  My muffins would surely love it...for awhile at least!  We actually read this book last year when I was teaching a straight grade 1 class.  Last week one of my 2's found it and wanted to read it again.  My goal this year has been to have my students write about topics they are excited about and they LOVED this book - never mind the theme we are working on!  BINGO - writing activity!

I decided we would make a class book.  Also, I wanted to review the use of question marks since each page has a new question.  Here is our little book we made:

I was confused by this one at first but then I realized he meant actually sitting on his desk rather than in his chair.  LOL

Oh yes!  ToysRUs is going to LOVE us!!

This one cracked me up!  Yes!  If you really want to - go for!

I had to ask what an alucorn is...apparently it is a cross between a unicorn and a pegasus - who knew!

YES!!  Sounds like teacher heaven!!!

Click HERE to download this for FREE!

Also, be sure to check out my newest packet.  I have really began to explore inquiry based learning and it has really made each learning experience for my kiddos individualized.  Their interest in their project is increased to the max because they have had a part in developing their own question to inquire about.  My packet details the steps needed to implement your own inquiry based unit.  I did mine on animals but it would work for any topic you were researching with your class.  It also covers a broad range of curriculum.

Here is one of the final projects one of my grade 1 students did last year on the lobster!!

Included are writing and colouring assessments, pictures, materials for mini-lessons etc.  I would say that these materials would stretch all the way to grade 3!

Can I take a break from blogging now!! YES!!  lol!  Even though I love it!