Monday, March 28, 2011

Rosie's Walk

If you haven't had the pleasure of reading the book Rosie's Walk, I suggest that you run to your library and find it.The words in this book are really simple and the thing that really makes it special is that the pictures tell a completely different story than the words because it adds more details to what is going on. Rosie goes for a walk and unbeknownst to her a fox is trying to catch her. I used this book to talk to the kids about using the pictures to help us understand what is going on in the story (an important comprehension strategy).



After we read the story, we made our own Rosie the hen. Since it was letter R week we added some pretty red feathers to her tail using tissue paper. We started with this drawing that I did to look like Rosie.


Here's What You Need:
  • liquid glue
  • tissue paper cut into small squares (maybe 2 inches by 2 inches)
  • unsharpened pencils
  • crayons
  • copies of the hen

Here's What We Did:
  1. Color your hens.
  2. Put a dot of glue on the tail.
  3. Put the tissue paper on the table and put the unsharpened pencil in the middle of the tissue paper square.
  4. Take the edges of the tissue paper and wrap it up around the pencil.
  5. While holding the tissue paper to the pencil, put the paper in the glue and let go of the paper. Lift up the pencil so the tissue paper that is left forms a type of cup shape.
  6. Repeat until the surface is covered.



Ribbon Dancing


Who would have guessed that a ribbon on a stick was so much fun? We did ribbon dancing this week for letter R week. It was so much fun that one of our parents jumped in and joined the play when she was dropping of her student.

We listened a lot to the rhythm and followed the slow and fast parts of the music in how we moved. The kids had a lot of fun and it was great watching them enjoy a new way to move. Making these are really easy, it only takes about 5 minutes and can keep the kids busy and happy for a long time.

Here's What You Need:
  • 12 inch dowels
  • 3 inch wide ribbon of any color
  • hot glue gun
  • fray check or a lighter
Here's What You Do:
  1. Cut the ribbons to about 3 feet in length.
  2. To stop the end of the ribbon from fraying, either put fray check on the end or turn on your lighter and hold it on. While the flame is on, quickly run the cut edge of the ribbon through the flame to melt the edge slightly.
  3. Put a line of glue on one end of the ribbon.
  4. Lay the dowel over the glue and start rolling it.
  5. Add another line of glue and roll the ribbon more until the glue stops squishing out.
Easy peasy!

Friday, March 25, 2011

R is for Riding, Running, & Relays

I told the kids that there would be a surprise for them when they got back from spring break. And SURPRISE! We added a bike track to our backyard. We broke it in with a lot of fun activities like riding our scooters and bikes, running around the track, and doing some relay races. I am excited for a lot more fun as the kids enjoy this addition during recess time!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Letter P is for . . .

. . . Puzzles. It was puzzle mania during centers this week, we had puzzles of all different sizes and shapes.
. . . Puppets. For more information on our puppet fun, check out our post found here.


. . . Puppy Patterns.

We made patterns using little plastic dogs this week. Essentially you could make patterns out of anything that you have a lot of in different shapes or sizes. (Buttons, noodles, blocks, plastic toys, etc.) Since it was letter P week, we used puppies. I made strips of papers with patterns using the colors of the dogs. They matched each dog to each color. At the end, the kids had to figure out which puppy came next. Then, they had a strip with no colors where they could make their own pattern (or maybe just play with the puppies : )

. . . Popcorn!
. . . Pepperoni Pizza! We made some for snack and sang the song, "I Like to Eat Pepperoni Pizza."

. . . Pretty Pennies! We shined pennies to make them nice and Pretty.

Here's What You Need:
4 tbsp Vinegar
1 tsp salt
vegetable oil
rags

Here's What You Do:
1. Mix together the salt and vinegar in a small bowl.
2. Drop in your pennies. If your pennies don't become instantly clean, stir them a little with a wooden spoon.
3. Polish them with the rag and a drop of vegetable oil.

Puppets & Pigs

You have never seen one of life's greatest joys until you have seen a puppet show put on by 4 year olds. Oh. My. Goodness. It was adorable and cute and funny. I loved being able to just sit and watch their little personalities shine through.

And I love how my 3 year old class did not understand the concept of hiding behind the curtain. Their little eyes peeking out are just so fun!


I made this puppet theater and did a Three Little Pigs puppet show for the kids for letter P week. The theater was actually pretty easy to make. I followed the instructions found here on wikihow. You basically take a table cloth and cut it apart to make three panels that you hang on a spring tension rod in a doorway. It was really easy because you use a lot of the seams that are already there so you don't have to do a ton of sewing.

I'm not going to include the step by step instructions here because you can find them on the link I posted. I will offer a few tips of things that I learned:

First, the bottom curtain is suspended from the top bar with ribbon. Then it uses a dowel inserted into the curtain to keep it's shape. (See instruction 14 here if you are confused.) Instead of a dowel, I used a light weight valance rod to prevent the bottom curtain from swinging when it was hit.

Second, a basic table cloth isn't necessarily long enough to do a proper curtain so I just added a few strips of cloth to the bottom to make it a little longer. It was really quick and easy and it saved me the cost of having to buy two table cloths.

Third, it was easier for the kids to play when I took down the blue curtain in the background. They felt like they had more freedom and they could see what they were doing.

If this is clear as mud, you can always contact me for help. Enjoy!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

In honor of Dr. Seuss' birthday and Read Across America day, we had a read-a-thon in class this week. It was so, so, so much fun! All the kids brought pillows and blankets and their favorite book to share. Before we started the read-a-thon, I had each child color a Dr. Seuss bookmark and every time we read a book, we put a stamp on the back of the bookmark so they could count how many books we read. To keep things exciting, we read in different places.

We read inside.
We read outside.

We read in the dark.

We read where it was bright.
As we read, we would stop occasionally to do a Dr. Seuss craft. The kids colored these Cat in the Hat hats and we added a strip of construction paper to turn them into hats. We also made these easy Cat in the Hat bow ties.

Here's What You Need:
a rectangle of felt (ours were about 12 X 8)
painter's tape
yarn (enough to go around their head like a necklace)
ribbon

Here's What We Did:
Bunch the felt in the middle in an accordion fashion and pinch.
Put the ribbon under you fingers at the bottom of the felt.
Put the yarn under your fingers at the top of the felt.
Have the child hold the accordion pinch in place by pinching on either side of your fingers.
Use the painter's tape to tape the felt, yarn, and ribbon together where your fingers were.
Tie the yarn together and enjoy!

And of course for snack we had green eggs and ham! I was surprised that only one of the kids refused to try it.
Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

As a side note, this is a cute idea that my girl's made to go along with the book Ten Apples on Top. We didn't do it in class, but I thought it would be fun to share.

The Napping House

We read the Napping House this week for letter N. I think that it is one of my new favorite books. The story is fun and has a nice rhythm. Plus, the artwork is beautiful.

After we read the story, we did some Napping House math. We recalled who was napping in the house. (We didn't count the flea because it wasn't asleep.) For each thing that was sleeping, we glued the appropriate amount of feet in our house for that thing. i.e. two feet for the Granny, but 4 feet for the dog. After we remembered everyone in the story, we counted how many feet there were, how many paws there were, and how many there were all together.

Then each child got their own house to color and they glued on the appropriate feet and paws for all the people that sleep in their house. After they glued them all on, we counted how many feet and paws sleep at their house.

For a link to a free printable, check out our most recent post here. 

N is for . . .

. . .Nose!
We explored our sense of scent today. We smelled different foods: chocolate, bananas, lemons, cinnamon, and cheese (I used feta since it is so aromatic). Then each child took turns wearing the super sniffer noses to see if they could figure out what they were smelling without looking at it.

. . . Noodles!
When I taught 3rd grade, we made skeletons using different types of noodles. So between that project and this project that we did in September, I had lots of noodles in lots of shapes and lots of sizes and lots of colors for the kids to explore. They made noodle art work with them.