Kindergarten here we come!

Kinder”garden” Here We Come!

Happy 1st day of Spring! Today we planted a flower garden! I wish I could show you the pictures of my class actually making it, but here is our finished garden! We started out the morning talking about how to make a garden. First you dig dirt, plant seeds, cover the seeds, and then water the seeds, etc. One of my students said, “You have to give it love.” I think we accomplished that today! They were all so proud to take their parents outside and show off their hard work. I loved hearing the conversations going on while they were working too. As one boy was digging he said, “I found a root, now I know all about how plants grow!” I can’t wait to see what else we plant this spring. I think this may be just the beginning!

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A visit from Lucky the Leprechaun!

We had so much fun this week Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! (Or “French Traffic’s Day” as one of my students called it!) We kicked off the week by making rainbow play dough and as much rainbow art we could imagine! We made Leprechaun masks  and rainbow hats (sorry I didn’t  get a picture). Today was our busiest day though. When we walked in our classroom it was a disaster! The chairs were knocked over, there was glitter everywhere, and then we saw…..Leprechaun tracks!!! We followed them leading us to our trail of gold nuggets, which led to the Leprechaun trap. Did we catch him? The class circled around the trap and lifted it so slowly so he wouldn’t escape, but he wasn’t there. Instead we found a note from “Lucky”. It read, “Sorry kids, but I know fake gold when I see it. You can’t catch me, I’m Lucky the Leprechaun!” We weren’t disappointed though there were more tracks! They led us to the bathroom, where Lucky must have needed to go, because there was green pee in the toilet! Ewwww!!! The tracks then led us to the sink where Lucky washed his hands with soap! At least he has good hygiene! This was all the Leprechaun did, but imagine 10 four-year-old children running around and every mess or paper or crumb they found the rest of the day “must be from the Leprechaun!” We also had a green food taste test. Families signed up to bring a green food, and then we charted which foods we like and disliked. It was a GREAT day, that hopefully the kids will remember!


Meet Mr. Alligator

This week we kept with our ecosystem unit and made a Rain-forest. My favorite part is of course Mr. Alligator, a.k.a Tic-Toc, a.k.a Snappy. We created him using recycled water bottles (gallon size), paper towel and toilet paper tubes, and golf balls. After we constructed his body we used paper mache to cover his body. I took a shortcut and added powder tempera paint to the paper mache so we didn’t have to wait for it to dry to paint it. While it dried we made giant tissue paper leaves for our trees, and adorable monkeys in the tree. Now everyday I hear the kids sing…

5 Little Monkeys Swinging in the Tree

Teasing Mr. Alligator

You can’t catch me, no you can’t catch me

Along came Mr. Alligator

Quiet as can be

And he SNAPPED that monkey

Right out of that tree!

We also had fun outside learning how to play Monkeys and Alligators. This is the same game as Sharks and Minnows, I just changed the name to fit the theme.

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Melting Crayon Art

I know you have probably seen this everywhere, but I had to try it for myself! The kids loved it too 😉 I hot glued crayons, wrappers and all, to a blank canvas and let the kids use a hair-dryer to melt the crayons. Yes it is really that easy!

And yes, if you know me, this wasn’t just for fun. Of course there were learning opportunities involved. We discussed the transformation from solid to liquid and back to solid again when different temperatures are applied, and mixing colors.


Life on Earth

After our space unit it was time to come back to Earth. This week we are learning about the ecosystems. I was inspired by the color wheel, which we had been observing during our Crayon Art. I thought it would be fun to make an ecosystem wheel that they could touch and feel. We used real sand, dirt, and seashells, and also cotton balls, tissue paper, plastic animals and construction paper. They had a great time making this wheel, and coming up with lists of animals that live in each ecosystem.

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Not by the hair on my chinny-chin-chin…

We started the week off by reading three versions of the classic tale The 3 Little Pigs. First we read the version most people know The Three Little Pigs by James Marshall. This was followed by sorting the materials that the pigs used to make their homes; bricks, sticks, and straw. The next morning we read the second story The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas. My students thought this was a silly twist on the original, but I liked it because it became a great tool to incorporate a little character education.

Spoiler Alert :-):

At the end of this story the pig smells the wolves house of flowers and the scent is so lovely it changes his mood. He realizes he hasn’t been a very nice pig and decides to be friends with the wolves. They all “live happily ever after” and play very nicely together. I took this as an opportunity to remind my friends that if we are grumpy, or need some time alone, it is okay! Sometimes you need a minute or two to think about the choices you have made and come back to the group when you are ready.

The last book was The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs by A.Wolf as told to Jon Scieszka. This one was a little tricky. A lot of the kids couldn’t get past that it was “written by a wolf”, so this led to a long discussion about reality and fantasy! I decided to let this one soak in for a day and read it again the next day. After all three books were read we created a Venn diagram, comparing and contrasting all three books.

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We spent a few weeks on an Outer Space unit because we had so much fun! Although, I’m not sure who had more fun, me or the kids! First we created a “starry night” mural, made out of butcher paper, tempera paint, and yellow construction paper. I traced stars and let the kiddos cut them out. Next we made paper plate planets, and more stars to make a 3D bulletin board. The biggest part of this unit was of course the rocket ship. We made this using recycled boxes, butcher paper, and tempera paint. We left the back open so they could play inside. They even decorated it with numbers, buttons, a steering wheel, and planets in the window! They loved playing in the rocket which wasn’t complete without gloves, booties, and motorcycle helmets (sorry hmm.. hmm..”Astronaut helmets and space suits”). I taped a large circle on the floor and a sun in the middle, and then gave my students a picture of a planet, and taught them how to orbit. They thought this was hilarious, and I have to admit, I did too. They reminded me of the Jimmy Dean commercial! We also had fun outside doing “Astronaut Training” where we set up obstacle courses on the playground.

This unit is endless and I keep coming up  with ideas even though it is over 😦

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