Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Valentine's Card

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Do you ever get the feeling you're going to need something so you keep it, although you're not sure what you may need it for?  That's what happens to me at the end of each year, as I go through the kid's containers of crayons.  I just can't bear to throw out ALL THESE CRAYONS, but really, they're just stubs, too short to colour with comfortably.  Now, this bag was FULL of bits of crayons before we started this craft!  By the end, the bag was empty!  It was so nice to put them to good use!  We made melted crayon hearts for valentine's day!  Here's what you need:
-old crayons (we didn't use black or brown)
-a heart mold (we got these tin baking molds at the dollar store)


This was such good fine-motor practise!  The kids were such troopers, peeling away!  At first, I heard a lot of "I can't do this!" or "This is so hard!" but after some initial assistance they got the hang of the peeling process in no time!  I would ask the kiddos, "Do you need help?" and they would respond, "No, I can do it!"  They peeled enough crayons to cover the bottom layer of the heart mold.

The kiddos did a great job colouring the front of the card!  Right in the center is where the heart mold goes.  The best part is that it's a functional crayon that can be used at home by the kids and their families.

We put the crayons heart molds into a preheated oven at 375 degress for about 15 minutes.  I waited until they had liquified completely, then I tood them out, gave the colours a swirl with a toothpick and set them on the counter to harden and cool.  I didn't take them out of the molds until the next day.

Here is the finished product!  The kids wrote Valentine greetings inside (and we inserted a cute picture of the kids too!)

If you would like to make the card above you can find a template for the front of the card if you click here.  There are two different spellings (colorful or colourful!).

Wishing everyone a colourful (or colorful!) Valentine's Day!

Sunday, 26 January 2014


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There is so much snow outside, but it's been so cold that we haven't been able to go out and enjoy it!  Well, since we couldn't go outside to play with and explore the snow, I brought it inside!  This week we talked all about snow!

We brainstormed things you could make with snow, and the kids came up with these snow "chalk" pictures.  I am so impressed and proud of how the students are able to represent ideas pictorally.  Even the JK's (Pre-K's) are creating these beautiful works of art.  The SK's really are a great example for them in terms of behaviour and work habits!

We did a choral reading together from this big chart I created.   

You can find the above art activity and this simple reader (as an interactive pocket chart activity), along with many more fun winter activities including literacy, math and science activites (melting/freezing), below:

We made our own snow and talked about how it was similar and different from the snow outside!  This was SO MUCH FUN!  They were sculpting, packing and creating as if it were real!  The best part was they didn't need mittens!

To make this simple recipe, use:
2 cups baking soda
2 tbsp. dish soap (I used Palmolive which turned the 'snow' a slight tint of green, which faded as the kids played with it)
4 tbsp. water
(I used extra water as I found it too flaky)

**I tripled the recipe, to make a large quantity**

It's been difficult staying inside all week, and we have needed movement breaks.  A parent told me about Cosmic Yoga for Kids on Youtube, so we started doing them on our new Bright Links board.  These movement activites allow kids to stretch and move while acting out various stories/scenes involving different animals.  If you've been cooped up all week, you should definitely check it out!

Playing inside with snow was great, but there's nothing like the real thing!  Here's to hoping this week won't be so cold and we can go outside again!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Happy New Year! And a peek at our week

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Happy New Year everyone!  It was so nice being off school for 2 weeks, but I'm also so glad to be back!  I thrive on routine structure, and while it was nice sleeping in until 7:30 each morning, it was good to get back into the swing of things.  I love this time of year teaching Kindergarten.  The kids have grown, matured, and know the rules and routines of the classroom so well that it runs like a well-oiled machine!  Their attention spans have grown and their skills have improved so we can do so much more together!

We talked about our New Year's resolutions this week and brainstormed them together.  The kids had so many things they wanted to learn to do this year...draw, cook, make rainbow loom bracelets, and more!  My ECE Linda is so creative!  I was off one day with my little guy who was sick and when I came back this beautiful display was on our front door!  I got the idea for this craft from my teaching partner Mrs. Albanese who got it from Julie Lee.  I love this on-line sharing community!

Right before the Christmas holidays, we had a Bright Links Board installed.  I told the kids that my New Year's resolution was to learn how to use it, and to use it daily with them with interactive games, songs, books and videos.  The kids loved using it to explore Starfall.

During our Guided Reading rotations we used our Winter playdough mats to practise making sets and count quantity.  You can find this product here.  This is a great way to develop 1:1 correspondence.  

We wrote in our Memory Books.  It is amazing to see the growth and development of the students from September to present in the way the JK's write their name and are able to represent themselves pictorally.  They are also adding detail to their drawings.  The first picture has snowflakes and the second has a really great snowman!  I'm sure the parents will love this keepsake charting their child's growth during their Kindergarten year at school.  Click here to find my Kindergtarten Memory Book.

The SK's are getting so good at phonetic spellings, and reading their sight words.  We always circle the words we know from the poem and this little one (like so many others) knew them all!  Next step for our writing: look at our Writing Checklists more to review our work before it's done (check for capitals, punctuation, etc.)

I'm also done my Write the Room, Long Vowels Pack.  It's on the printer as we speak and I can't wait to use it with the kids this term.  Check it out by clicking here, or click the picture below.