Monday, April 20, 2015

Celebrating Easter

Color by Sight Word

We started off our Easter with a Color-By-Sight-Word page. This is free to download from A Pea in a Primary Pod on TpT.


Adopt a Peep

After morning meeting, the kiddos chose a peep, named it, and made a home/nest for it, by cutting a paper bag to about half size, and drawing windows and doors. Tissue paper was added inside. They left the room for recess, and upon return, it was discovered that the candy peeps had laid candy eggs! Some of the ideas for "Peep Day" came from The Shroeder Page on TpT.


Instead of having Guided Reading groups today, we rotated through three small group centers.

Group 1 - Easter Bunny Drawings

We worked on following directions and visual-spatial awareness while learning to draw a rabbit with sharpies. Later in the day, the kids filled in their drawings with watercolor. The template for this came from Artventurous.





 
Group 2 - Cookie Decorating

My aide helped children decorate Easter Egg cookies with frosting and sprinkles.



Group 3 - Egg Dying

In this center, the kids drew on their eggs with white crayons, and then dyed them. I had a 2nd aide help with this. Yes, I'm lucky enough to have 2 aides during an hour of the day!

In the afternoon, we had "snack time," where we got to eat our boiled eggs, egg cookies, and candy eggs. There are always a handful of kids who have never eaten a boiled egg before. Their reactions and questions are amusing!

"Can we eat the white stuff?"
"Why can't we eat the shell?"
"Look what I found inside! (the yolk)"
"The yolk is a sphere!"
"Can we eat the yellow part too?"


Egg Hunt

After lunch, we learned that the Easter Bunny had hidden 70 chocolate eggs around our room. It took less than 10 minutes for us to find them all though!



We counted up the candy, and then estimated how many pieces we could each have, for it to be fair. We distributed them by going around the circle, each taking one at a time, until we ran out. We didn't have enough for everyone on the fourth round, so the kids decided that we could share the leftovers with the preschoolers.


Peep Reading Time

After all the excitement, we needed some quiet time. The children chose a few books, found a quiet spot and read with their adopted peep.



Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spring Fever!

It looks nothing like Spring outside right now, but both students and teachers here are starting to get antsy for summer vacation (5 more weeks!). 

We are at that point where we have more daylight than we know what to do with (sunrise before 8am and sunset after 10pm), which means I can start hiking in the morning before work. Over the weekend I also got my classroom set for Spring, and I love walking in and seeing this every day!

I found this pastel banner on Yellow Bliss Road.


The kite printable is from Tater Tots and Jello. I love adding bits of environmental print like this. The kids will stand around trying to read the words, and then determine the meaning of it. "Miss Sarah, is it Happy Spring now?"


I believe these adorable bunnies were from the same blog. I glued on cotton balls for tails.


It was snowing and blowing outside on this early April day, but the little birds are in fact returning! I added some to my window with strings of yarn and bird cutouts. The idea came from a photo I came across on Flickr.



Happy Spring!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Spring?

We woke up to a -20 wind chill in Saint Mary's, and to this sunrise over the frozen river. I'm glad I decided to bundle up and take my morning hike despite the cold.


I also decided to change my desktop display this morning. Design/milk has the prettiest wallpapers with the best quotes, and they have a new one each month.

http://design-milk.com/desktop-wallpaper-april-2014/

This is another of my favorites.

http://design-milk.com/desktop-wallpaper-december-2013/

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Learning with Legos

This year I discovered Lego Education, and am so glad I did! The first kit I ordered is called Learn to Learn, and actually comes with a great curriculum linking construction and problem solving with reading, writing, and math. The materials come in individual pouches, so that each student has their own set.

One thing I've learned already is not to worry too much about all the pieces getting put back in the right bags. I designated a little tub as a "lost and found" for legos, and that is working well. I give each child a tray to contain all their pieces while working, and that helps as well.

I also learned to have kids sit at tables and NOT on the floor. I can't even count the number of times trays were stepped on and legos strewn about when we attempted this.

Wheelchairs

Our first challenge was designing and building a working wheelchair. I showed the children how to make wheels and axles, and they took it from there. Here are some of their designs.





Yes, the wheelchair above has a propeller on it! It was great to see how unique their creations were.

Once the wheelchairs were finished, they had to draw their design and write a sentence about it. My favorites were:

"My wheelchair is going up up up up up up up the hill."
"My wheelchair is SO cool."
"My wheelchair is bum." (It was tippy)


I'm so proud of this girl! She remembered how to spell the /oo/ sound, the CH digraph, and to add a silent E to the end of chair.

A to Z Class Book

For our second challenge, each child was given a letter of the alphabet, and asked to think of something that begins with that letter.

Next, they had to build it. I photographed each one, and we created an A to Z Lego book. The next day, they authored their book page by writing, "_ is for ____." For example, "L is for Lion."

This is a duck..


A horse..


And a fox.