Friday, September 27, 2013

Seasonal Trees

We discussed the four seasons this week and did a little project every day to go along with each season.
We used large white construction paper and I divided it into four sections. In the top left box, I wrote "Fall" in dotted lines so the kids could trace it.
Then they drew a tree and used Q-tips dipped in paint to add colorful leaves.
The next day they made a winter tree by gluing on cotton balls to the branches and on the ground for snow.
When we discussed spring, they again drew a tree and added scrunched up pink tissue squares dipped in glue to the branches to make flower buds.
And finally they made a summer tree by using corks dipped in green paint.
I love how they turned out. I was originally thinking of using a template to make the trees and just have the kids color them in. But by having them each draw their own trees made the project more personalized and special.

One boy made really small trees and they reminded me of Charlie Brown's Christmas tree. So cute!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Apple Tree Class Display

Yay! Another class display! I love these things and I hope you enjoy them, too, even if you don't have a class. I started by hanging up some big white paper. I squirted green paint into the kids' hands (one child at a time), they rubbed their hands together and then made a bunch of prints on the paper.
I did use a pencil to lightly draw a tree shape just as a guideline for the kids. But it was also to prevent them from getting their hand prints on the wall, which didn't work completely as you can tell by those two hand prints way up top, which left little fingertip prints on the wall! When all the kids were done, I made a few prints myself to fill in any big gaps. Then I traced over the pencil lines with a green marker and painted a trunk.
When the paint was dry, I cut out the tree. Then it was time to add the apples. I took pictures of the kids, printed them out in black and white and taped them to apples I had cut from card stock. I added a stem and laminated them, then I taped them to the tree. I hung it in the hall with the words, "The Apples of my Eye."

The reason I printed the pictures in black and white was because my colored ink wasn't working so well. But I really like the black and white against the red of the apple!
Cute, right? And so easy to make!

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hand Washing Activity

Last week when we were discussing all the rules of the classroom, one of the big ones was washing your hands as soon as you get in the room in the morning. This is a very important rule, to start the day with clean hands, but one that too often gets forgotten. I decided to make a little chart to get the kids more excited about washing their hands. I made a sign that says, "Did you wash your hands this morning?"
I used my Cricut to cut it out all fancy, just for fun. Then I found bubble paper at Jo-Ann's. I couldn't believe my luck! It was exactly what I was hoping to find! I again used my Cricut to cut out the words "Yes" and "No." I put YES on one piece and NO on the other. (I ended up cutting the paper so it would fit in my laminator.) I also found round tags at Jo-Ann's, and although I had envisioned using little hand prints, I thought these looked like bubbles so I bought them. They came in a pack of 20. I wrote the children's names on them in shades of blue. I even made myself a bubble because I need to wash, too! Then I laminated those. This was important because they will be handled often and near the sink. In the future I think I will laminate the circles first and use a Sharpie to write the child's name. Then when I need to switch the names for a new class, I'll just scribble over them with a dry erase marker and erase them! I hung everything on the wall next to the sink. The bubbles have blue poster putty on the back so they are easy to move around.
So far it's working great. The kids are excited to wash in the morning and move their bubbles to the YES side. (I just have to remember to move them all back to NO at the end of the day.) They even remind others as they come in the door in the morning. It's cute.
We also did a little fingerpainting project to go along with handwashing. It was more of a sensory activity than an art project, though. I brought in some dishwashing soap from home (yes, handwashing soap would have been more appropriate, but the kids didn't notice) and got out primary paint colors.
The kids could pick two colors and squirt small globs of paint onto their paper.
These are the germs. Then I put some soap on their fingers.
They rubbed it together a bit and then started "killing the germs!"

It was extra smooth and the kids enjoyed it. They also commented on how easy it was to wash the paint off their hands when they were done! Ah, the power of soap.
UPDATE 11/21/2013: First of all, the hand washing chart is great! Not only do the kids remember to wash their hands every morning, but they learned how to read each other's names! Secondly, I won the contest I linked up to. (see below) Yay!!

Linking up to:

Hosted by A Cupcake For the Teacher, Miss Kindergarten, and A Modern Teacher.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Rock Crabs

We are reviewing our colors this week, but to make it more exciting I decided to teach the kids about colorful animals along the way. Today's colors were red and orange, so we learned about Sally Lightfoot Crabs (also called Red Rock Crabs). And what better way to make a Red Rock Crab than with a rock!
Cute, ain't he? I started by painting the kids' hands red and orange. I decided not to do their thumbs. I overlapped the palm prints on the paper.

Then the kids painted rocks.
When everything was dry, I used masking tape to attach red pipe cleaners to the bottom of the rock. I also used scotch tape to attach the pipe cleaners to pincers I had cut from red construction paper.
I cut out the hand prints and helped the kids shape the legs, just by folding the fingerprints up, then down again. We used regular glue dots to attach the rock to the hand prints and mini glue dots to add the wiggle eyes.
Even though there are no other facial features, I still feel like they each have a personality!

I love how they turned out!

Fun Fact: When Sally Lightfoot Crabs come out of hiding to feed, they can move at remarkable speeds (hence the name Lightfoot).