Thursday, April 18, 2013

FREEBIE for Filling in Those Test Bubbles!!



Hi there!!  Is everyone ready for standardized testing?  Our school will be testing for the next two weeks. However, I got a week-long head start since I have to give the normal test with accommodations plus two modified versions to my kiddos with special needs. I have a FREEBIE posted over in my TeachersPayTeachers store... It is a packet that gives kids practice bubbling in circles for the tests. Get it here. If it works well and you want your students to have even more practice, then consider purchasing my Pet Themed Test Prep packet, which is similar to the freebie. While you are at my store, please check out my other products! 

Best wishes to everyone who does statewide testing! Hope it goes smoothly for you all!



Sunday, April 7, 2013

Easy Butterfly Art for Parent Conferences

I love how the butterflies add color and seem ready to flutter right off the wall! 
This project comes straight from my own kindergarten experience and is pretty simple to do. All you need is 3-4 pre-cut butterfly templates, colored large construction paper, tempura paints and brushes, and pipe cleaners. I chose to do this over two days because of time constraints during PM groups (3 or 4  fifteen minute rotations, depending on how much time we have).  For Day 1, students traced butterfly pattern on construction paper color of their choice. Then they cut it out.  Day 2 and 3: Students in my group were on computers so I could pull them over one at a time (We have carpet and past experience has taught me that one at a time is better when dealing with paint!)  After folding butterfly in half and opening back up again, the student painted a few dots, swirls or blobs on one side of the butterfly. Then we closed it, smoothed it out, and opened again. (Great way to teach symmetry!) After they dried we stapled an antenna on each butterfly. If we had more time I would have liked to add some glitter!  To add a 3D look, pin the center and both sides so part of the wings stick out from the wall. It was interesting how some only wanted to paint dots, even though I was wanting them to be more creative with swoops, stripes, etc.  Oh well, even telling my story didn't inspire them.... 

When I was in kinder we did this project.  The whole class was painting and folding their butterflies at once. Well, the boy next to me bumped into my arm and I ended up getting my blue dot smeared into my red dot! I was so upset that my butterfly was ruined! I marched over, probably crying, to my teacher... but she folded and smoothed it down (oh boy, now I thought she was making it worse!!) and when she opened it here was a beautiful blob of red, blue and even purple.Whoa, it was like magic! I couldn't wait to tell the others at my table... after that we were all inspired to make multi-colored blobs on our butterflies!!

















I am now ready for parent conferences this next week!!  Hope you have a great day!


Monday, April 1, 2013

Make what kind of Noises???

Right before Spring break I had been introducing WBT classroom rules in my class. Using WBT (see end of my post for more info) techniques, you add gestures to everything you teach in order to help kids remember, and it makes it more fun, too.  Later in the week my students were wanting to show off how they had memorized the classroom rules and gestures. Well, many of my kiddos have trouble saying all their letter sounds due to speech impairments so at times it is hard to understand them.  The funniest one that made us adults have to hide our smiles was when the child said, "Rule #4: Make fart choices."  (Which if you aren't listening carefully sounds a lot like "make fart noises.")  Fortunately, none of the other kids were listening, so no one got made fun of!!    So can you figure out what the rule is supposed to be??  


Please go to the Whole Brain Teaching website at  www.wholebrainteaching.com.  All the workshops are free so some teachers from my district have been going whenever one is given within 6 hours of where we are. I'd been hearing about how much fun and helpful they are so I decided I wanted to see what all the fuss was about, and see if any concepts could be adapted to my special day class.  Chris Biffle, the founder, is amazing - he gives a fast-paced all day free seminar that is relevant, fun and gives you tools you can literally use the next day.  All their materials are all free on their website and there a lot of videos on You Tube as well.  Go check it out!!

Washington and Lincoln writing and craft


This was a fun project that compared George Washington and Abraham  Lincoln. After discussing what a president is and learning about Honest Abe and "I cannot tell a lie" George, we composed a sentence about each man. The simple sentences that won the vote were:

  • George Washington was our first president.
  • President Lincoln was called Honest Abe.

Then we cut out two copies of the same pattern... what began as Abe's hat became George's jacket when rotated 180 degrees.  Likewise, Abe's beard became George's curls (which can't be seen since we glued cotton balls on top for George's wig). The kids thought his wig was awfully silly, which sparked a discussion of hairstyles of all the presidents over the years!


We choose to make them small so they could both be glued on a small piece of construction paper, but you could decide to make them as separate projects.

Have a great week!

Save Time with "Office in a Box"

Have you gone to the office to make copies only to find that the office stapler is out of staplers, or you can't find a paper clip or s...