Wednesday, October 22, 2014

A Fun Art Project


After reading a great information book by one of my favorite non-fiction authors, I wanted to do a fun art project to help the children remember what they learned!


Click the image for a link to Amazon.


I'm not a fan of "cookie cutter" art projects that all look alike. I like to give the children an opportunity to be creative and make something unique. 

We started by making a night scene with crayons.

Then we added a watercolor wash.

The kids loved how the crayons came through the watercolor!

It's amazing the effect paint has on a class of kids.  Suddenly all chatting stops and they are totally engrossed in what they're doing.

Of course, some classical music in the background inspires the creativity!

Now, please tell me why aren't I bring out the paints more often?
I was tempted to give them a pattern to follow for the bats, but when I looked at photos of bats in the night sky, you really couldn't make out a specific shape. I gave each child a piece of black construction paper and they developed their own technique for making the bats.

The results were spectacular!


Each child wrote a fact they remembered from the book, and these are displayed with the pictures. These kids are amazing!




I'm thinking I'll be reading this book real soon!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Sneaking in a Little Curriculum with a Morning Greeting


We always start our day with a morning greeting. 

One at a time, the children shake hands and greet each other by name. Then they say something related to a given topic.

As we know, squeezing in enough time for everything is nearly impossible, so we squeeze in some learning any place we can! Time for social studies and science are especially strained, but we squeeze them in!
We all love starting our day with a morning greeting, and I usually try to squeeze in a learning concept while we greet each other. 

After a lesson on Columbus the day before, they were asked to state something they remember from the lesson.

After working on the 4 kinds of sentences, I had them tell statements about themselves one day, then ask each other questions on another day. Their questions were priceless! (Some of their answers were even more priceless!)

For a writing project this week, they had to tell why their school was great. (We'll be writing opinion stories!)

I read an information book about Bats, so the next day they had to tell a fact they remembered about Bats. It was amazing what they remembered!

It's never tough to think of a topic, 
we just think about what we've been learning! 

Of course, sometimes we just have a fun question. 
Today we shared our favorite kind of ice cream!

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For more BRIGHT IDEAS, please browse through the link up below. You'll be amazed and enlighted!



Friday, October 17, 2014

Short Weeks are Harder Than Long Weeks


Seriously! We just had a long weekend, and now I'm needing another one! I sure did enjoy that extra day last weekend, and I managed to have some fun and get some work done! But I somehow made it to Friday, so I'm celebrating with a Five for Friday!
Click the link to see link up!


It became a week about bats. That really wasn't what I had planned, but it happened. It all started with this book:


Don't you just love Gail Gibbons? She presents non-fiction in such a way that children understand it and enjoy it. Well, she inspired my kids with her Bats story!

I'm so happy with the way this art project turned out! It was a good experience for the kiddos, and they look really great hanging in my hallway!

We've been watching our class tree, and it's been changing fast! I wish I could have captured the beautiful colors we see from our class window, but it just wasn't at its best on a cloudy day.

Here is a progression of the changes we've seen:

This is why I love living in New Hampshire!


One of the many things I love about my job is watching the friendships and social patterns develop. After a couple of months, the little ones are really coming out of their shell and getting to know each other. It's such a delight to see little guys who barely spoke those first few weeks laughing and chatting with classmates they didn't even know earlier in the year!

Yes, now that they're more comfortable with each other, the chatting is non stop! I've been even more tired by the end of the day than I usually am!

But we'll work it out. I've got a lot of tricks up my sleeve to get them to get their work done... including a Halloween party in the works to dangle like a carrot!

Have a wonderful weekend, and rest up! The next couple of weeks are going to be jam packed with energy and excitement... and perhaps a little bribery!



Monday, October 13, 2014

Halloween Favorites and Freebies!

Halloween is one of my very favorite holidays! Why? Well, first of all, it's a chance to be something you're not.  What kid (of all ages) doesn't like to play pretend? 

I also love Halloween because of all the great children's literature out there!  Here are some favorites: in case you're interested, each book cover is a link to Amazon so you can explore some more!

Who doesn't love Room on the Broom?



Dogzilla is a favorite in my classroom, along with its sister story, Kat Kong!

I'll be exploring the world of bats this week with my class, and Gail Gibbons is my favorite author for information books for second graders. She manages to put information in a way that little ones can understand it. 

I have 2 copies do In a Dark, Dark Room, and both copies are barely holding together!  That's a good sign it's a popular book!
I also have a few Halloween related joke books, and they are wildly popular! (And a good time to introduce homophones, since most jokes depend upon a double meaning!
I usually read a kid's version of the classic: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow on Halloween day. If I have a class that can handle it, I'll turn off the lights, but I don't want to scare the dickens out of those sensitive ones!
Last but certainly not least is my very favorite Halloween story, The Hallo-wiener! Who doesn't love a book where the underdog becomes the hero? (Pun intended!)

Besides books, I try to squeeze in some Halloween fun wherever I can!
Click the image above for this freebie sampler of Halloween No Prep Printables! Or, for the whole set, click the image below:

We're working on sentences in my classroom. This freebie set saw a lot of attention last week! Just click the image!

Or, if you'd prefer the full set, click this image!

Or perhaps you're looking for some math?

Click the image for this Math story problem freebie!

Here's one more source of freebies: My October Pinterest board has loads of Halloween freebies!
Click the image to see my Pinterest board!

How do you celebrate Halloween?
What are your favorite books?
What are your favorite Halloween activities?

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