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Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Tattle Book

If you teach little kids, you are well aware of how much they tattle... and for no good reason!  This year I think my class liked to tattle just to try and get others in trouble!  So... while there are many tattle solutions out there, this is what worked for me.  First we went over what things they NEEDED to tell me (such as when the boys bathroom flooded earlier in the year, and NOBODY thought to mention anything...) and reviewed some examples of things that I do need to know, using this sign:

Then I introduced my tattle book, called "The Official Report".  In it they are to write who was at fault, what they were doing, and who was making the report, as I would read all their entries after school so I would know exactly what was going on in our classroom (or so I told them!)
Click here to download your own copy
Then the fun began! I actually had to make 2 books (Vol. 1 and 2) and I didn't even start it until February! The kids felt it was really important to spell the offenders name correctly, so they kept taking their friends names out of the job chart, lunch count, etc.  So I added all their names at the top of the page, so it was right there in front of them to copy.  It was amazing that kids who had a hard time working together and getting along, would wait PATIENTLY in line for their turn to write in the book after recess!  If they didn't wait nicely, they lost their turn to write - talk about a meaningful incentive!  Since I usually do a read aloud after recess, the tattle line didn't really interfere with learning, as they could still listen and look while waiting for their turn to write.  Here are some of their entries:

Camren was saying one bad word By Parker
Tristan.  He was bothering me.  By Keira

 Mason did not line up when he was supposed to.  By Arabella

Chase put snow on the slide and made it slippery.  By anonymous 
(there are very few anonymous entries!)

I even had one little sweetie who would fill out the book on herself!  After who?:  she'd write "me"!  Other than reading these for my pure enjoyment, I'm not sure what I am going to do with them. I thought about saving them until they are in 8th grade (I work at a 4k-8th grade school) and then giving them to their *th grade teachers to share!  I think it would be a riot for them to see what was important and noteworthy to them when they were 5 years old!

If you would like your own copy of "The official Report", complete with the poster above, click HERE.  I left a blank at the top for you to add your own student's names :)  Happy reporting (and reading!)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Eric Carle-esque pictures

At the end of the school year we spend some time reading Eric Carle books and learning a little more about him as an author/illustrator.  Once the kids learn a little more about him and his techniques, they see his books in a whole new light!

Eric Carle has a website, with a lot of good information including links, resources, ideas, etc.  (www.eric-carle.com) One of the things I like to show the kids is how he creates the artwork (found under photo and video gallery on his site) for his books by cutting apart and putting together tissue paper collages. (this will actually make sense if you have seen the video/slideshow)

I also tell the kids that another way to achieve similar effects is by finger-painting, and we look through several of the inside covers of his pages to see what looks like finger-painting.

Then... we get to the fun stuff!  FINGER-PAINTING!  One of my literacy centers is the art center, as I found it is MUCH easier to have 2-4 kids do a messy/fun project at a time than a whole classroom. Anyways, the trick to make this work, is to only let the kids use 1-2 colors each day, and paint/cover the entire (or close to entire) paper. When I gave them too many colors of paint, everything turned out brown :( . This way, when we are ready for step two, they kids have different color painted paper to choose from.

The next week, I cut up the larger already finger-painted into fourths and put them at the art center.
Below are 4 different papers, already cut into fourths.  You can see I let the kids use more than one color, but only one or two so there was a predominant color over all.

Finally, students are to cut the finger-painted paper and make it into a picture, much like Eric Carle does with his tissue paper.  They are not allowed to draw anything on their picture, it must only be pieces they collaged together.  (If they want to draw lines on the painted paper to help them cut, that's OK with me).  Below are a couple of the finished results.  I am amazed at how good these turn out every year!

An owl in a tree

A summer scene

Can you tell which Eric Carle book inspired this?  :)

Happy creating!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Ice Cream Number Families

Summer is here!!  Woo-hoo!  I am hoping to take this time to update/post some of the things we have done over the year that I have been meaning to, but never actually got around to doing!  So, here is my first item that I am sharing in honor of summer: Ice cream number families:

These are super easy for the kids to make!  I just cut a bunch of 3"x 3" squares, and had the kids cut off the corners and "round" TLC style. (I didn't draw dotted lines for them - too much work!  I just did it here for example's sake!)  The cone I just drew on a paper that was 4" x 3".  I tried having the kids draw their own cone on the paper, but for whatever reason it was harder for them than I thought!  I had them glue it on a half sheet of 12x18 white paper.  When I tried it without the paper background, there was glue everywhere, the ice cream scoops overlapped so much you couldn't read their math problems, etc.

Then I made them pick a number between 5 and 20 (or you could have them roll a die) and take that many unifix cubes, and make them into a "train".  In this case, the student chose the number 12.  Then they break their train into 2 pieces.  Here, the student broke his into 7 and 5.  This is the math problem they write on the ice cream.  7+5=12.  Put your train back together, and break it a new way.  Ex: 2+10=12.

I think they turned out quite nice!  They kids really liked trying to figure out what flavor scoops of ice cream they were using - "I'm picking green because I like Mint,  I think the pink is bubblegum!" 

All this ice cream talk is making me want to scoop a bowl for myself!  Lol!  
Have a great summer!

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Mother's Day Necklaces

Here's a quick, easy, (and inexpensive!) project we did in kindergarten that we added to the purses like we made last year (see previous post)- necklaces made out of metal washers!!!  The kids used old nail polish (and who doesn't have a ton of that laying around!) to paint a pretty design.  I thought that they'd just paint it all one color, or rush through it, but they really took their time! I picked up 72 washers at Menards for about $2 (I'm sure they are available elsewhere for a similar price), along with some thin ribbon, and wa-la!  A necklace for mom!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Earth Day - EVERYDAY

Here's a cute little project that my class did for Earth Day.  Like every other class we learned about how to take care of the earth, recycling, etc.  Then we made these hand-print Earths, and wrote what we could do to take care of the earth.  I had the kids paint the "land" on the edges BEFORE I painted their hands - this way the paint brush doesn't get all icky! The poem/song that goes with it goes to the tune: This old Man.  If you need about a the pattern you can pick it up for FREE here.