Monday, March 25, 2013

It Isn't About the Bunny - Easter 2013

I'm going to start by making most teachers extremely jealous . . . . we are on a TWO WEEK spring break!!!  The two main school systems in our area decided to do their spring breaks at different times so our school made the decision to be out for both!  (HAPPY DANCE!)  But since Easter is coming up Sunday, I wanted to show you what we have been up to.  Remember, I teach at a large Baptist church, so we celebrate the true meaning of Easter - God's love to us.
One of our art projects this week is very special.  We started with making a cross with the children's hands.  Next the children cut strips of paper for the grass.  They glue on the grass and little flowers (the flowers are punched from scrap paper) and the end result is amazing!  Look closely at them.
We have been working on patterns.  Can you see the patterns on the grass???

Here is an example of our pattern work.  We used colorful linking chains to make our patterns.  


Our letter of the week was "E" and there is nothing more fun than a good 'ole egg science experiment (or two!).  Of course we HAD to do the raw egg in vinegar experiment.  Everyone enjoyed watching the bubbles form and seeing the egg float up and down.  
I don't like to have glass containers in my classroom but, I kept the egg in my classroom all week so we could see it.   While we were talking about our experiment one of my students asked what would happen if we put an egg in orange juice?  To be honest, I had no idea!  So Tuesday . . . . we put another egg in a jar of orange juice and waited.  By Friday not much had changed so I sent the experiment home with him.  We will have to wait until after spring break to find out!
We really gave our fine motor skills a workout this week!  Our stain glass egg is always a big hit. 

We worked on our fine motor skills a little more as we made a beautiful Easter basket. Each child cut their own grass,  This student really enjoyed making patterns.  She even made a pattern with her grass!

Our beautiful "squishy" egg got an updated looks this year.  If you have never done a "squishy" art project, I highly recommend you try it.  First, I cut out an egg from poster board (the poster board we have is not very thick, but it works wonderfully for this project).  Next, I used a hot glue gun to draw a cross in the center of the egg.  Each child gets to pick their three favorite colors and we squeeze them onto the egg.  (We also added some white to make the colors more pastel.)

I cover the egg with plastic wrap and the children "squish" the paint all together.  This is a great sensory activity and the children love squishing the paint without getting their hands dirty.  After the egg dried, I added a bronze paint to highlight the cross.  I love the end results!

On Thursday, we worked on a project that was not only beautiful but very meaningful.  I cut some old scrapbooking paper into 1" strips and the children glued them onto a cross.

Friday was finally here!  Everyone knew that our spring break was right around the corner but no one was talking about that.  We wanted to see what happened to our egg! 
Yes, that is me!
It was fun to watch the children's faces as we looked at the egg and some of the bravest ones actually touched it!  The most fun came when we bounced the egg.  AND of course, everyone squealed when we bounced it a little too high and it burst!!!  WE LOVE MESSY FUN!

We also did a quick art project on Friday.  We call it the "Colors of the Cross".  We read and talked about each of the colors as we glued them on.

It was a great week!  I hope everyone enjoys their spring break (no matter when it is or how long it is).  I'll be back after Easter to share some more of our classroom fun.  I hope you will join us!

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Quiet Spray

I have had a landslide of requests for my "Quiet Spray" label. As always I am happy to e-mail you the label. If you would like a copy please do me a favor, leave me a comment (with your name and e-mail address) and become a follower of my blog. THANK YOU!

Farm Week

This past week turned out to be even more exciting than usual.  Our unit was "The Farm" and after a very fun week of discussing Dr. Seuss, I knew I had to bring in some extra fun.  Little did I know, some of the other teachers were helping me out!  With that said, I have to start with our "Fabulous Fun Friday".   The four-year classes were talking about animals and pets last week and Mrs. Emily had one of her friends stop by and talk with us about puppies.
(The amazing Mrs. Emily is on the left!)
She brought wonderful pictures and told us all about mother and daddy dogs and they care for their puppies.  Then she showed us her surprise!
We even got to pet them and give them a little preschool love!  Of course everyone went home and told their parents they wanted a puppy!   OOOPPS!  THANKS MRS. EMILY FOR INCLUDING US!!!!!!
Back in our room we busy talking about the letter "R".  We worked on one of my favorite art projects - a red recycled rabbit!

He/she was really easy to make thanks to some recycled toilet tissue tubes and lots of red paint!  The eyes are stickers (everyone had to find a matching pair of eyes!), the feet are cut from cereal boxes and he/she has a cotton ball tale.  SUPER FUN!

Talking about the farm is fun but it is really hard to explain to children the art of milking a cow.  So instead of talking, we milked a cow! 

Yes, that is me holding a rubber glove and the cutie milking the rubber glove is my buddy Max!  I pricked tiny holes in some rubber gloves and my glass pretended to milk a cow.  It was great fun, messy but fun!

I'll continue our week in reverse order and show you what happened in our class on Thursday!  I've had a box of interlocking cubes in my room for over a week now.  Mostly the students just connected them together and that was fine, it was a good work out for our fine motor skills.  But, on Thursday I got sneaky!  Before they got to class I made a pattern with the cubes and set it on the table.  Of course that was the first thing everyone saw when they came in the door.  The next thing I knew the entire class was sitting the floor trying to make their very own patterns! 

I had to crop this picture to show you the SMILE on JB's face!


I had to pry some of them away from the cubes to work on our art project, but since we were cutting with scissors, no one really minded. 

As you can see, the students wrote the word, "cow" and cut the cow's spots all by themselves!  (Just a note:  I don't insist that my class write, I simply encourage it and let them give it a try!)

Writing words seemed to be extra fun this week because we also wrote the word FARM on our hand print animal project!

I especially like this farm scene. 
The child didn't want the sheep to be with the horse and cow!

This child wanted his fence to be broken!

I don't do many of the same projects year and year.  I always seem to find something that I think would be more fun.  BUT, one of this week's art project was so much I do it every year!  First, we paint a pink pig -

Then we had some mud!  
Okay, it is really brown paint, oatmeal, sand and glue!
And we have some really muddy pigs!

My class loves to cut with scissors!  I have never had a class that gets so excited about cutting.  We made a quick horse this week and it was the perfect opportunity to hand them the scissors
First, we wrote the word HORSE.

Then we cut some strips of black paper.

OH BOY, it is time to glue it all together!

All in all, I must admit we had a great week!  Thanks again for visiting with us and I hope you will stop by again soon!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Dr. Seuss - Part 2

I have had the best time with my class this past week!  I don't think I have every heard so much giggling and laughing in my entire life.  I'm certainly going to have a tough time next week trying to live up to all the fun we have had talking about Dr. Seuss.  On Wednesday, we read The Lorax - the entire book, the very first thing that morning.  I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to keep my class' attention, but with Dr. Seuss, it wasn't difficult at all!  Everyone talked about the truffula trees the rest of the day.  We even managed to make our very own trees.

Everyone loved using feathers for the leaves on the trees!
Our Thursday started off with us reading Horton Hears a Who.  We loved it (of course!)!  Afterwards we immediately started working on our art project.  First, we used some sandpaper and crayons to do rubbings for our elephant trunks.  Next we used markers to color our stems and we cut them out.

We have a HUGE container of of pom-poms that are so much fun!  Everyone picked out their favorite colors for the flowers.  Aren't they wonderful?!?!?!?

Our Fabulous Fun Friday was (in my opinion) the very best, so far this year!  We spent the entire day reading and talking about The Cat in the Hat.  We even tried rhyming words - we had so much fun!!!  Our "Cat in the Hat" art project was silly and fun!  First, we cut some long red strips.

Everyone had so much fun singing happy birthday to Dr. Seuss while we glued our fabulous Cat in the Hat all together.

 As soon as we ate our lunch we headed down to our kitchen to make our Fabulous Fun Friday snack.  I teased everyone all week by telling them that they were going to eat "green eggs".  To be honest, I'm pretty sure they all knew I was kidding.  We made our green eggs with ice cream!  We added yellow and blue food coloring to turn our ice cream . . .

Next we added some whipped cream (straight from the can!) for instant Green Eggs and Ham (Mrs. Karen's style!). 
Now, you know you can't have a birthday party without cake, right???

I'm no baker and I'm certainly not a cake decorator, but no one complained!  It was a great day, a great week in fact!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. SEUSS!

I guess I've got to get busy!  It is going to be difficult trying to top this week . . . but I think I'm up to it!!!!!!  I hope you come back and see what we will doing next!