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Showing posts with label art activity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label art activity. Show all posts

An Educational Winter Art Project

I love a craft that ties into something educational.  

I also love a craft that allows room for individual creativity.  

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

This time of year, we have to pull all the stops out to get them enthusiastic about learning, so we did this art project.

The kiddos made snow people with snowballs for each of the letters in their names. They made a math equation to represent their names, then decorated the snow people. 
 
An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

Sorry, I had to cover the last names. Middle names were optional, but several wanted to include them. 

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

Look closely at this one: the third snow person is sad because the wind blew away his hat!

An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!

Here's another, aren't these adorable?
An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!


One thing I really like about these: I can hang them in the hallway now, and I can keep them up until January!


An Educational Art Project: turn a snow man art project into math problems! The best part? You can keep it up after the holidays!


A Batty Art Project

I'm sure you know some children that are fascinated by bats! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

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!
 

 
 
A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

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.

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

Then we added a watercolor wash.

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

The kids loved how the crayons came through the watercolor!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!
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?

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

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!


A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

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

These kids are amazing!


A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

Here is a freebie informational book about bats the kiddos might enjoy: Bats Informational Text Mini-book
 
A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!
 
This freebie is part of a bigger October resource with more fun Science and Social Studies activities:
 
A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

I'm thinking I'll be reading this book real soon! 
I love comparing fiction books to non-fiction!

 
 

Here are a couple more informational books about bats that might interest your students.

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 
 
Here's another resource to bring all the learning together:  
 
A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!
 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!



Ten Tips for Helping Learning Stick

I've been interested in how the workings of the brain for many years now. I've read tons of books, articles, and videos. I'm hardly an expert, but a lot of the information I read about really makes a lot of sense!
 
 
10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn and remember what they've learned.


Here are ten ideas that are research based, and help me out in the classroom!


1. Move!  Studies show that combining movement with learning helps learning stick!  There are plenty of ways to include movement. I like to include a gesture when I teach a concept, and have the children mirror the gesture.  Trust me, they come back years later repeating the gesture!
10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn.


Here are some of my darlings acting out one of the Author's Purpose reasons:  Entertainment!

 
2. Feedback!  Children need to know if  they're on the right track! I use a "Traffic Light" symbol when I correct papers.I'll highlight the child's name in green if they're doing what's expected at grade level. I'll highlight in yellow if there's something they need to be careful about. (Usually there's a written note.) I'll highlight in red (or pink, it's a little more "gentle,") if they need to stop and revisit the idea. (Usually there's a personal conversation, too.) Plus, there's one more color: if the work is "above and beyond grade level expectations," I'll highlight in purple. Of course, purple is for royalty, and I've been known to bow to children who pass in this sort of work! 

3. Talking!  Yes, students need to talk and have social experiences! Since I work with little ones with short attention spans, I include loads of "Turn and Talk" time!  I often pose a question for discussion with a partner. The question might be a review, or a query, or maybe a prediction. It's tough not to be engaged when they're involved in conversation with their peers! Plus, when I listen in, I can tell if they're learning what they are suppose to be learning, or not! That gives me feedback on my teaching, too!


 4. Humor! Did you realize that laughing is actually healthy? It brings oxygen to the brain and minimizes stress, which is bad for learning. It's time to pull out the joke books and get those kids laughing!



5. Stories!  Kids remember your stories! They love to hear about your family, your pets, and they especially love to hear about when you were little! HERE is a link to a story I often tell my students about my first day of school ever. I tell it to the kids as a model to show them how to write about their lives.



6. Emotions! I'm sure if you think of times where you felt strong emotion, you'll have strong memories as well. The above link tells about a strong emotion for me. Don't most people remember their weddings, the day their children were born, and, unfortunately, the death of a loved one. That's proof that our memories are tied to our emotions. Luckily, with kids, a little friendly competition or exciting situation will do the trick! I'll bet you remember that class play in third grade, and the Spelling Bee in 5th grade! Just be careful... bad emotions bring strong memories as well!



7. Music! How many of you remember all the words to the Brady Bunch Theme Song? I'll bet you never even had to work at it! I've written simple songs with simple lyrics to help the children remember important facts, such as The Seven Continents.  (See THIS post for lyrics.) I also use music to set the mood as they enter the classroom, and I use classical music in the background to help the children focus.



8. Brain Breaks! Studies show that children can attend only their age plus or minus 5 minutes, with 20 minutes total for adults. After that time, they need time to process the information so it can work its way into the long term memory.  I'm sure you can find plenty of ideas for brain breaks.


9. The Five Senses!  Studies show visual trumps all the other senses. If you pair knowledge with some sort of visual, it has a better chance of sticking. It's also been said the way to a child's heart is through their stomach! Teaching about a country?  Serve some food from that country! Teaching estimation? Estimate lollypops! Here's something I did to help the children remember to put spaces between their words.


10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn.

10. Integrate the Arts!  I've already mentioned music, but integrating other arts has been known to ignite a passion for learning.  Dramatics, dance, clay, painting, drawing, and photography are great ways to help learning stick!  I'll bet you can even think of more varieties of the arts, and how to connect them to learning!

I hope you have enjoyed these Ten Tips for Helping Learning Stick!  

10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn.









10 Tips for Helping Learning Stick: Ten research based strategies for helping children learn and remember what they've learned.


Booking Across New Hampshire

This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.

Happy Booking Across the USA!  There are over 50 bloggers representing 50 states who are posting about their states today!  What are we posting about?  Books, of course!  Everyone has found a book that represents their state.

I'm so excited about the book I chose!
This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.
Click image for link to Amazon.

A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry is a piece of history, and a lesson about respect for the environment.  Plus, it is a beautiful taste of the state of New Hampshire!

When I first picked up this book, I thought I had a nice picture book about a river that runs through Massachusetts and New Hampshire, but it turned out to be so much more!

This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.
This map from the end pages show how the Nashua River runs through parts of
Massachusetts and empties into the Merrimack River by Nashua, New Hampshire.
The story  begins 7000 years ago when Native Americans first settled on the banks of what is now  the Nashua River.  (They originally called it Nash-a-way, which meant "River with the Pebbled Bottom.")  When I read this story to my students, they had an unmistakable vision of the clear water and the shiny pebbles. For hundreds of years the Native Americans lived by the banks of the river, taking only what they needed and respecting the river and the surrounding forests.
Then came the English settlers.  The story explains in detail how the settlers cleared the land of the forests, building farms, villagers, then sawmills. 
Then came the industrial revolution.  The Nashua River became a dumping ground for factory waste and was no longer the beautiful clear water with the pebbles shining from the bottom.
The story continues to tell the story of the efforts to clean the Nashua River.  It is a true story which tells a valuable lesson.

As I read the story to my students, I was struck by their passion for what happened to the river, and how strongly they felt about the need for a clean up!  They commented on the beauty of the water and Lynne Cherry's beautiful illustrations that are so similar to what we see in many parts of New Hampshire.  They loved the borders around the text, which told the story of that error of history.  (First, the wildlife that lived undisturbed in the river valley, then the tools of the Native Americans, then the tools of the English traders, and onward until the clean up efforts and clean waters of today.)  You could spend days learning about New England's history from this book without even reading the text!  (But please, read the text, too!)

This book would be a great book to read when learning about Native Americans or when learning about the environment.  It's a great choice to read on Earth Day because of the environmental lesson.  It's also a great book for teaching history as well as the beauty of New England.  
This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.

I had many thoughts about activities connected to this book, but settled on one that celebrates the beauty of the clean waters of the Nashua River.

The above picture from the book reminded me of a technique of artwork called pointillism as done by some impressionist artists such as George Seurat and  Vincent Van Gogh.  (See THIS LINK for examples.)  It's simply artwork made by lots of tiny dots.

Although this little project hardly captures the complexity of Starry Night by Van Gogh or A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte by George Seurat, the kids get a kick out of it.

For this activity, you'll need crayons, water color paints, and my favorite:  blue glitter glue!

This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.
This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.
This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.

First, start by drawing lots of little brown, black, and gray pebbles in a "river shape".
This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.
Second, make a green wash, with loads of green dots beside the pebble river.(This is the beginning of the forest by the river.)
This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.
That will need to dry before the next step: add yellow, orange, and red dots.  (These dots will be the beautiful New Hampshire trees in the autumn.)
This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.
Here's my favorite part:  cover the pebble river with the blue glitter glue.  Can you see the pebbles sparkling from the bottom of the river?  
This blog post tells about the book A River Ran Wild by Lynne Cherry, and has a craft to go along with it. It's part of the Booking Across the USA series.
Reading this book, and knowing more of her work makes me want to read some of these other books by Lynne Cherry!  (Click the images for links to Amazon.com)
                              

Here are a few more books with a New Hampshire theme:

                                        

Please check out these other reviews as part of the Booking Across America celebration.  And if you like what you see, please pin them and tell your friends!
Alabama: Everyday Snapshots Alaska: Little Wonders’ Days Arizona: Simply Kinder and Think, Wonder, & Teach Arkansas: Homeschooling in Arkansas California: Juggling with Kids and The Outlaw Mom Colorado: Learners in Bloom and Living Montessori Now Connecticut: The Teacher Park Delaware: Mama Miss Florida: Teaching Stars Georgia: Fabulously First Hawaii: Teaching With Style Idaho: True Aim Education Illinois: Growing Book by Book Indiana: Teach Preschool Iowa: Surviving a Teacher's Salary Kansas: KCEdventures Kentucky: Chicken Babies Louisiana: New Orleans Moms Blog Maine: Maine Adventure Mom and Country Fun Child Care Maryland: Picture Books and Piourettes Massachusetts: Mama Smiles Michigan: Play DrMom Minnesota: The Wise Owl Factory Mississippi: Hey Mommy, Chocolate Milk Missouri- Ready. Set. Read! Montana: The Honey Bunch Nebraska: The Good Long Road Nevada: Boy Oh Boy Crafts New Hampshire: Elementary Matters New Jersey: The Pleasantest Thing New Mexico: Enchanted Homeschooling Mom New York: What Do We Do All Day North Carolina: Realistic Teacher Blog North Dakota: ND HealthWorks Ohio: Smart Chick Teacher’s Blog Oklahoma: Herding Kats in Kindergarten Oregon: Journey of a Substitute Teacher Pennsylvania: Land of Once Upon a Time Rhode Island: Smiling in Second Grade South Carolina: Cookies and Kiddos and JDaniel4’s Mom South Dakota: The Wise Owl Factory Tennessee: No Monkey Business Texas: Curls and a Smile and Kid World Citizen Utah: Teach Beside Me Vermont: Burlington Vt Moms Blog Virgina: Once Upon a Story, and The Freckled Homeschooler Washington: Home Learning Journey and Boy Mama Teacher Mama West Virginia: This Week @ Great Peace Academy and Mamas Like Me Wisconsin: Reading Confetti Wyoming: No Twiddle Twaddle USA: The Corner on Character
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