Monday, March 6, 2017

Hurray for Dr Seuss!

                                               Dr Seuss inspired artwork!

Today we had Dr. Seuss Spirit Day at school!  Everyone was invited to come dressed up as their favorite Dr Seuss character. It was so much fun and everyone was so creative! Our office staff even got into the school spirit and brought One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, and Blue Fish to life! My TK students were so excited to join in the fun. When I opened my door this morning, I was surrounded by Cat in the Hat, Thing 1, The Grinch, a Snitch, and even Mr Brown. In class we talked about Dr Seuss and I shared a short video about his life on BrainPopJr. We read many of his books and looked at his illustrations. Then we drew our own characters from our imagination. Some of us even wrote stories about them. The highlight of the day was making a Thing 1 and Thing 2 craft with our 4th grade buddies. It was a great day!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017


     So, if you have ever seen the musical, MY FAIR LADY, you will know exactly what I am talking about when I say that many days I feel like Professor Higgins as I stand in front of my classroom trying to connect with my 5 year olds while I introduce a new concept and wonder to myself, “Do they get it?” Their little eyes look up at me like I am an alien speaking some foreign language from outer space. When this happens I quickly instill some of my wonderful tricks of the trade that often bring them back to this planet…or at least makes them wake up and laugh. This is when you can see me making silly noises, wearing funny outfits, drawing awful pictures, and dancing around my room looking much more like an alien than they thought I was before. But as the saying goes, drastic times brings drastic measures!
     But today, I got to celebrate the moment when all that extra time, effort, and self humiliation paid off by receiving an email from a parent. This is what happened. I have been working with circle maps in my classroom from the beginning of the year. One activity where I use a circle map is when I introduce the phoneme for a letter of the alphabet to go along with our Alphabet Animal Mini Phonics Books. Every week we brainstorm words that begin with the same beginning sound of the letter. I draw them on a circle map and we use it throughout the week with our ABC Phonics, Printing, Crafts and More activities.
     This week I had a little boy who was ill and was unable to come to school for two days. His mother was checking in to tell me he was coming back to school the next day and attached the picture below. Yes! That is a circle map and he has drawn pictures that begin with the letter O and labeled them. Just like Professor Higgins I declared...

                I THINK HE'S GOT IT!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Happy Valentine's Day!

 Look!  Our TKs took what they had learned 
about Pablo Picasso's Rose Period and applied it to hearts for Valentine's Day!

Wow!  Don't they look GREAT!
And they were so easy to make!

To start, each student got a 
white heart, a palette of paint, and a dry brush.  

The kiddos used short brush strokes and 
covered their hearts with 
red, pink, purple, and white tempera paint.

To help with the clean up, we covered the tables
 before starting so the kids could paint 
off the edges of their hearts!

Hope you have a 


Friday, February 10, 2017

First Grade Fun with Pablo Picasso!!!

Today our firsties learned about Pablo Picasso!
At the end of the lesson we all knew that Picasso was a famous artist...
not a soccer star-as one of our very energetic kiddos thought when we first said his name!
We learned about his Blue Period, Rose Period, African Influence and Cubism.
They loved looking at The Weeping Woman, The Three Musicians, and The Old Guitarist

We were planning a lesson on Bouquet of Peace
but our students were more interested in Picasso's Guitar collages,
so we switched gears and our first graders began to design
their own interpretation of Picasso's Guitar, 1912.

We let our firsties choose their own colored paper for their guitar collages.
We had tables filled with different colored tones of blue scrapbook paper to represent his
Blue Period and natural tones similar to the colors in the Guitar.  
Check out their amazing work below. The results were dramatic! 

 Everyone was successful with their expression of Cubism! 
The directions for this art project and two more Picasso inspired works of art 
are available in our BRAND NEW Meet Pablo Picasso unit on TPT! 
He is one of the featured artists in our new Famous Artists Series! 

We can't wait to show these off at the Southern California Kindergarten Conference!!! 
Sign up for our session and join us to get your art on! 
Hope to see you there!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Thank You Picasso

Can I begin by saying, “Thank you Pablo Picasso!” 
If you are like me, one of my favorite ways to teach my students Math, Science, and Language is to integrate it with art. The only problem is when my students compare their art to one another or I hear the dreadful words,
 “I can’t do this!” Then the fun disappears.

Luckily, Picasso invented the perfect style of art for beginning artists to feel like accomplished artists, Cubism. If you have ever wanted to do an art project where everyone in the room feels great about their creation, 
this is the perfect project!

We peeked into the life of Pablo Picasso by reading
 Jonah Winter’s book, Just Behave Pablo Picasso.
Then we discussed and viewed many different paintings that Picasso created using Cubism.

We focused on his painting,The Weeping Woman. 
After, the students created their own portrait 
 inspired by The Weeping Woman.

They turned out amazing and they had so much fun.
(For complete directions visit our TPT store.)

Our first graders will be working on another inspired work next week, Picasso's Bouquet of Peace

We will keep you posted.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

LOVE These Valentine's Day Cards!!!

Yesterday we had our firsties make valentines for their families!  
They came out so cute, we had to share the idea with you!

First, we cut white copy paper down to 2 1/2" x 2" rectangles.  Each child needs 4 pieces.  
The students then wrote LOVE on the papers.  One letter went on each rectangle.  
Some students did block letters and some did curly letters. They were all cute!
The simple letters were easier for them to work with in the end!

After writing their letters, students traced over them with marker. 
(We used black, brown, purple, and blue markers
to make sure they could see the letter through the paper.)

Students then placed the paper letter upside down on top of a 2 1/2" x 2" styrofoam rectangle.
 (The letters need to be backwards or mirrored in order for the letter to read correctly once printed.) Using a pencil, students traced over the paper letter, pressing into the styrofoam.
Once they had an indentation, the students went over the lines on the styrofoam so they had a "printing template".  Our Ralphs grocery store sells styrofoam trays!  Just $0.87 for 30 trays!
Who can beat that?
If you don't have a Ralphs chain near you,
 I am sure you can find them at any restaurant supply chain. 

To make the prints, students used acrylic paints.  
 (You can get inexpensive paint at Walmart for 50 cents a bottle.)  
Students painted over their styrofoam letters and then pressed the letters onto a
piece of colored 2 1/2" x 2"construction paper rectangle.  
We let them chose which color paper they wanted to use and had a 
variety of red, pinks, and purples tones.

When the letters dried, students glued them onto a white card.  
 They sell pre-made cards at Michaels or you can make a card
out of construction paper or card stock.  

Now we are ready to write our love notes inside the Valentine's Day Cards!  
We hope you have a Happy Valentine's Day!

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Groundhog Day! Hooray!!

With Groundhog Day rapidly approaching we decided to combine a Groundhog Craft with Felicia Bond's story, The Day it Rained Hearts, to create a cute February bulletin board!

After sharing this story during read aloud time, we made this adorable groundhog.
Students then completed a math story problem.
We were short on time today so the kids didn't write their own story problem.
Instead, we used this one.  It was quick and easy!  They look adorable hanging in the room!

If you like this activity it is available for FREE!
If you love groundhogs and want a more in depth unit we have a complete mini unit available as well.  You can see it by clicking here.

We ended our day by discussing whether we thought Phil the Groundhog
would see his shadow tomorrow.  We talked about what we knew about shadows
and the weather forecast for Pennsylvania tomorrow morning.
The students were tasked with going home and talking to their families
and writing down a prediction!
To help them remember their homework assignment
we passed out baggies of chocolate and vanilla Oreos!

 We found this adorable freebie by Jennifer Drake on TPT!  

If you want it you can get it by clicking here!  
Happy Groundhogs Day!

Monday, January 30, 2017

100th Day of School!

Are you ready for Day 100?

We have seriously updated our 100th day freebie!
It now includes 
a parent letter for a 100th day homework project, 
a student documentation sheet, 
and all the materials you need for a cute class graph
 to show how your kids skip-counted to 100!
Click here for this freebie!

For more fun 
check out: 
 100th Day of School with The Wolf's Chicken Stew.
 It includes math, language arts, and a cute craftivity! 
Click here to see this fun mini unit!
Thanks to all who have sent us 💓💓! 
We truly appreciate it!

Happy 100th Day!