Monday, 14 January 2013

New Location Temporarily

Hello Everyone,

After an amazing internship, I am back at the university for the next four months! For my ECMP 355 class (Technology in the Classroom) we are required to develop a WordPress blog. Until the end of my semester, I will be posting on here:

Monday, 10 December 2012

My Word Work Savior!

While browsing my Teachers Pay Teachers "10 Free Downloads" email -- totally worth signing up for -- I came across an amazing resource for practicing Word Work in the Daily Five.

Check out the Fabulous Firsties Blog and download this resource from Mrs. M's TpT Store!

      Word Work Task Cards & Recording Sheets

Not only does this resource include a multitude of task cards with new and interesting ideas, it also comes with the accompanying recording sheets and graphic organizers for students to document their progress. Although it is designed for first grade, I have witnessed much success with my Grade 5's. I have never been so impressed with a FREEBIE!

Sunday, 29 July 2012

Brain Break Kit

Here is a kit that I composed based on little activities or brain breaks that I have experienced. I made them up into cards for convenience. The general principle is that students' attention span is a minute/year of age. If that seems like too short a time, definitely change activities every 15 minutes or provide a brain break.

For the activity cards, click here.

For ease of access, I colour matted my cards according to approximate time needed. A purple card in my deck would take about 5 minutes of class time, whereas a pink card might take 5 seconds.

Friday, 27 July 2012

Exploding Art -- The Best Kind

As mentioned in an earlier post, my classroom’s reward system was called the “Caught Being Awesome” Jar. When I saw kids following the classroom rules, they would get a slip to add to the jar. Well, we filled that jar for the first time on July 10th! To celebrate, we did exploding balloon art!

  • PAINT SHIRTS and OLD bathing suits (Trust the bold words!)
  • Tempera paint in a variety of colours
  • Balloons
  • Funnel
  • Garbage Bags
  • Large Paper Roll
  1. Using a funnel, add some paint to a balloons
  2. Blow it up
  3. Add it to a jumbo garbage bag for easy transport and a contained mess in case of a POP
  4. Roll out some large paper outside and dump the un popped balloons
  5. Unleash the kids!

This activity was sooooo much fun and the kids loved it. To add to their artwork, some of the popped balloons even stuck to the paper which we used as a mural for the inside of our classroom

NOTE: Make sure you are ok with paint splatter. We decorated the shed and windows of our centre, however it washed off after a few good July storms!

Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bubble Party!

Initially designed to be outside, we had to move our planned bubble party inside when the winds in Regina were gusting to about 80km/hour. Although it was messy (and took a bit of elbow grease), we had a blast!

Before our party, we had to make sure that we were wearing our professional bubble explorer outfits! The kids loved the goggles.

We filled a kiddie pool full of bubble solution in the middle of the room.

Bubble Art: Give each kid a cup filled with some watered down tempera paint and a few drops of dishsoap. Add a straw and let the bubbles overflow onto some paper.

In addition to these activities, we also had bubble wrap taped to the floor all over the room and a bubble machine! The kids were engaged for the whole afternoon.

Empty Counter Top?

Friday, 20 July 2012

Window Art

“In order to act as an educator for the child, the environment has to be flexible; it must undergo frequent modification by the children and the teachers in order to remain up-to-date and responsive to their needs to be protagonists in constructing their knowledge." (Gandini, 1998)

When looking for ways to improve the classroom environment, I sought out an art project that would also provide an opportunity for learning. Taking advantage of an open window space, I found the idea of using recycled milk jugs to make art. Not only did it turn out beautifully, but it also sends the important message of environmental responsibility and sustainability to children. Instead of using brand new art supplies, we made use of what we already had.

Teacher Prep
1. Save milk jugs. At the centre we use 14/week so it did not take long. Educators may also ask parents to contribute.
2. Wash them out thoroughly. Unwashed plastic exposed to sunlight in the window will not produce a smell to enhance your classroom environment!
3. Depending on the age of the children, you might want to cut off the handle and the spout of the jug.
4. To make the "paint", mix together about 1 cup of glue, a few drops of dish soap, and as much food colouring/water colour to get your desired colour. NOTE: This amount of paint will go a long way! 

1. Have children cut out any shape that they want.
2. Using paint brushes or glue spreaders, have them decorate their pieces. Some may choose to spread it out, or make a drizzle pattern.
3. Hole punch either end of the piece and string them together using fish line.
* We used a fallen tree branch to add an earthy component to our window art.

For more ideas on recycled art, check out the Recycled Arts and Craft Guide