Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Christmas Crafts

I'm preparing for my Christmas craft centers this Friday.  The last day before winter break is always crazy, so I have parent volunteers come in and run craft stations!  Students get to make different ornaments, a gift bag, and a card.  This way they have a gift to take home to parents for Christmas.  I also have a station where they make Reindeer Chow, which is just a snack mix that they will eat later in the day!

Here are a few of the crafts they will be completing:

I got the finger print ornament idea off of Pinterest, the original post was from Little Bit Funky.  I couldn't find teal bulbs, so I went with green!  I only had students do three thumb prints for the reindeer and wrote their name and year with Sharpie on the back.  I'll tie a bow with red ribbon on the top. 
I had students do their thumb prints, with brown acrylic paint, ahead of time so they'll be dry for the craft party.  Students will use a black Sharpie for the antlers, eyes, and two noses.  For the middle "Rudolph" nose I'm using a Sharpie oil paint pen.  My daughter made the sample shown!

The card idea is also stolen from Pinterest.  I used construction paper and the paper punches that I already had to make the different shapes.  Easy and cute!

This little Santa ornament is made with a red craft stick.  I used skin colored acrylic paint for the face.  I painted a strip ahead of time and students will use googily eyes, tiny white poms, cotton balls, and a sharpie to complete the rest! 

I will also have them make a bag similar to this.  I found shiny red scrapbook paper at Hobby Lobby and used an oval paper punch for the nose.  I'll be up tonight cutting ovals on my Cricket out of different brown scrapbook paper (whatever I have floating around at home!) for the mouth.  I used construction paper and the paper punches for the eyes.  I think they'll come out super cute!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Talking Elves

I started a new blog page for my students to post their work!  I'm using the iPad app Easy Blogger Jr., which sends the student's posts directly to my new blog page.  It automatically labels each post with the student's name, so that parents can click on the label and see only their child's work. 

Today we made our first post, which was so fun!  Students wrote a paragraph last week, "If I were an Elf..." and then drew a picture of themselves as elves.  I used the step-by-step drawing tutorial from Art Projects for Kids for the art project.  I used the iPad app Chatterpix to take a picture of their drawing and record them reading their paragraph.  Chatterpix allows you to put a mouth on the drawing and makes it look like the picture is talking - so cute!

The class page is pretty basic, but if you would like to see other examples of the Talking Elves click here.  :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Turkey Facts and Comprehension and Turkeys in Disguise

Turkey Facts and Comprehension
Check out my new Turkey Facts and Comprehension on TPT or Teacher's NotebookA Common Core aligned, informational passage about turkeys - perfect for Thanksgiving - with strategies for finding information in text and comprehension questions that require higher level thinking skills. 
Turkeys in Disguise
I post about my Turkeys in Disguise project every year, but it's one of my favorites!  I read students the book "Turkey Trouble" by Wendi Silvano and then send students home with a blank turkey to disguise - so it won't get eaten for Thanksgiving dinner!  It is sent home as a family project and I get some really fun and creative turkeys back!  Below are a few from this year (Ok, the first one is my daughter's - she's in second grade this year at my school! The sparkly paint didn't show up very well in the picture.):


Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Freebie! Groundhog Fact and Comprehension

I have high hopes of getting animal fact sheets completed for all of the animals we offer students to choose from for their animal report and diorama.  This is part of our habitat unit we do at the end of the school year. 

It was so crazy at the end of the year that I didn't get even one picture of my student's dioramas taken!  :-(  Hopefully, I'll be more organized next year!

I had started a groundhog fact sheet - somewhere around Groundhog's Day and ummm, weeellll - just finished it yesterday!  Again, maybe I'll be more organized next year (ha, ha!)

Go to my Teacher's Notebook or TpT Store to get a free copy!  There isn't much in either store right, as I cleaned up my Teacher's Notebook store and just started with TpT, but stay tuned for more! :-)

Jenny :-)

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentine's Day Fun!

I'm pretty sure that holding school on Valentine's Day is some sort of cruel and unusual punishment for teachers!  It's been crazy here all moring.  Now that I have my kids working independently for a few glorious moments - I'll update you on our projects!

We made the super cute owl bags!  Mrs. H. used my templates, but put her own twist on them - they came out cute too!  The kids with their wacky eyes crack me up :-)

Mrs. H's Variation :-)

What better way to start an already crazy day than with candy?  Said, the crazy Mrs. Z!

And, a little Pop Art to decorate the halls!

Hopefully, I survive the Nacho Bar and "Friendship Party" after recess!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Valentine's Day Owl Bags - FREEBIE :-)

I created these little cuties today with a bit of inspiration from Pinterest :-)  Click here for your FREE template!  Copy pages onto a variety of colored construction paper.  Have students cut out and glue to paper bags (larger size lunch bags work best!)  Use one heart for the body and one heart (cut in half) for the wings.
Enjoy :-)

Friday, February 7, 2014

Eric Carle Inspired Art

We have a snow day today - yay!  So I'm posting a project I do at the beginning of the school year.  I use it with the Mixed-Up Chameleon, by Eric Carle - one of the first stories in our basal.  I show students video clips from Eric Carle's Official Site where he shows how he paints his own tissue paper and creates his pictures by making collages.

I don't use tissue paper with my students, because it would be a nightmare with 2nd graders!  I have them use tempera paint on regular copy paper.  I give them three cool colors and three warm colors and we paint as shown on Eric Carle's tutorial.

I then give my students a template of a chameleon (see below) that I section off into chunks to show them where to cut.  They cut up the chameleon into pieces and then lay them on the painted paper to trace and cut out.

Students then put the pieces they traced back together and glue onto a piece of construction paper.  This gives them a chameleon created in a similar manner to how Eric Carle creates his art work!

:-) Jenny

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Tears Of Joy Performance

Have you had the opportunity to see a Tears of Joy performance at your school? It is truly an amazing experience. These are the most incredible puppet shows I've ever seen!  I have had the opportunity to see many of their performances over the years and am always impressed!

They travel to: Idaho (except Kootanai County), Oregon, California, Nevada, Tri Cities WA, and Portland Metro Area. 

Today they performed, "Malika, Queen of the Cats" at our school!  My daughter sat with me during the assembly.  I loved seeing how enthralled she was with the performance, even at 6 years old!  The overall message was kindness, and this provided a fabulous way to talk about being kind to others and how our words can be hurtful toward others.  A much needed message for my second grade girls!!!

Below are some pictures and a short video clip.  If you would like more information see the Tears of Joy Website!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Van Gogh Inspired Art Project

Our school has a parent led art program called Meet the Masters.  This year parents will be having students create Van Gogh inspired art work.  In preparation for this, Mrs. H and I decided to pre-teach a bit about Van Gogh. 

I found a great idea on Pinterest that was done by middle schoolers, see here.  Being that we teach second grade, we pulled blackline masters of different flowers off of the internet and had students color them with oil pastels.  I think it came out really cool and is brightening up our hallway.  We are in desperate need of something other than winter, cold, and overcast here!  A few bright colors does wonders!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Common Core Math Curriculum

Are you struggling with finding math curriculum that aligns with Common Core?  Join the club!  I have recently been introduced to engageNY and I am LOVING it!!!

This is offered (currently) for free - yes free!  I am downloading all of the modules for my grade level, just in case it's not free in the future!  I have to say that I am very impressed with what I have used so far.

There is a scripted teacher's guide (which I don't read verbatim) that is a great guide, work pages, exit tickets, homework, and assessments!  It sounds too good to be true - but it's not!!!

Below are a few pics of my kids enjoying one of the "hands on" activities!  One of the students actually said, "Are you crazy?" when I dumped 1,000 - yes 1,000 popsicle sticks on the floor!  Students had so much fun grouping them into tens, hundreds, and eventually counting to 1,000 by using groups of 100 :-)

Many of the lessons have "hands on activities" such as shown above.  I really enjoy the exit tickets, which are quick to check each day and give me the opportunity to correct any misunderstandings that may have occurred before they work on the homework that night!
To add the "Mom Factor" to Teacher and a Mom, here is a pic of my own sweet kiddos on Super Bowl Sunday!  We were so excited to FINALLY be, not only in the Super Bowl, but to be winners too!