Monday, March 16, 2020

{Extended} March Break Fun!

I've been a little quiet on social media (and haven't touched my blog at all these past couple of weeks!) because of everything that's going on around the world.  But here's how I feel - let's use this time we have to spend with our families at home and make the best of it!
I know keeping children entertained can be a bit challenging (I'm in the same boat!) so I plan on updating this blog post with ideas, activities, printables and more to hopefully offer you some much needed relief!

ONLINE GAMES
I know what you are thinking....my kids don't need anymore screen time!  True!
But there are times during the day/week that you can offer them (and you!) so down time.  I've listed websites that are just a few of our favourites in class!  Print this paper and keep it beside your computer/iPad.
NOTE:  Starfall may not work on an iPad unless you have a paid subscription but it is FREE on a desktop.


SCHOLASTIC ONLINE
Scholastic is offering online activities that are definitely worth checking out!
Click {HERE} to visit their site.

SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS
Here's a great link for science experiments that are easy to do at home from Mad Science!
Click {HERE} to visit the site.

VIRTUAL MUSEUMS
I stumbled across these virtual museums as others have been posting about them and WOW!  They are all amazing!  I feel like I'm there!  Here are a few of my favourites:





If you click the Google Arts & Culture link {HERE} there are so many amazing places to travel without even leaving your home!

GO OUTSIDE!
My own children love being outside ALL DAY. ALL THE TIME. 
We go for walks, play on the swing set in the backyard, ride our bikes and draw with chalk.
I also printed these scavenger hunts for spring, which will be here soon!
You can download and print these for FREE from teachingmama.org


PLAY GAMES!
My children LOVE family game night (which has now turned into family game days & nights!).  Here are a few of our favourites!


LEGO
Lego is probably the number one staple item I would suggest every household to have.  It's great for kids of all ages!  Here's a super building challenge to try!

CREATE A SHOPPING LIST
With the need to social distance, we really shouldn't be visiting the grocery store daily.  Why not use the flyers to create a shopping list of everything you need!  Search and write down items you like/need.  If that's a little challenging, cut and paste items and write beginning sounds!


COOKING WITH KIDS
I love cooking with my own kids at home!  There are quite a few easy recipes on this site (and most of the ingredients you probably already have at home!)
Check out Nomster Chef -> click {HERE}

SONGS
We sing song ALL.THE.TIME in our classroom!  One of their most favourite times of the day is when we get ready for home - the first person ready gets to sit on a chair and be the "song leader"!  They can choose which song to sing and Down by the Bay by Raffi is always a hit!
I made this song into a FREE printable where students can match the rhyming cards while singing along!
Click on the picture below to download.


MATH GAMES
Math is virtually everywhere!  We are doing math when we count out forks, spoons and knives to set the table.  We are doing math when we measure flour to bake cookies.  We are doing math when we walk up the stairs and count how many there are!
I prepped some fun and simple math games you can play with materials you probably already have around your house.

Who Has More?  Card Game
All you need for this simple game is a pack of playing cards.  Use only numbers 2-10.
Shuffle cards and place in a pile.  Choose a card and flip it over, placing it on the mat.  Another player does the same.  Compare the cards.  Who has more?  How many more?
Click the picture at the bottom to download for FREE!
If this is too easy using just one card per player, try it with 2 cards!  Add the numbers together and see who has more!


Lots more to come.....check back often!

Thursday, March 05, 2020

March 2020

March is here!  Already?!?  It feels like this school year is flying by!
Although March is a short month (and broken up because of March Break), there's still a lot of fun activities I've set up!

Since St. Patrick's Day will fall during our March Break and the students won't be in school, I set up some fun activities starting last week and will continue for next week.

LUCKY HAT LETTERS
I made a small sensory bin (filled with black beans) and placed letter cards inside.  Students can choose a card, find the matching letter on their mat and trace it.  Both uppercase and lowercase are included.

DOT A RAINBOW
I like prepping fine motor activities for students every week or so.  I set up paint and Q-tips for students to dot a rainbow.

MATCHING RAINBOWS
I originally made this matching activities for letters (uppercase and lowercase) but then went back and also added rhyming words!

FILL THE POT
My favourite math games are those that are simple and easy to prep!  I showed the students how to play this game once and they were set to play with a friend, small group or even alone!
You need 2 dice - numbers (1-3) and +/-.  I made my own using wooden cubes I found at Michaels.
Roll both die and either add or take away that many coins from the pot.

CVC SPELLING
To challenge a few of my Year 2 (SK) students, I set them up with this activity.  They had to say and listen to the word, then find the letters to spell the CVC word.  I made the vowels red to help.

SHAMROCK ADDITION
There are a few students who love addition!  I see them adding materials in our class, counting the children and figuring out how many are at school and how many are away, etc. so I made this game for them to try.

COIN STAMPING NUMBER FUN
With my Year 1 (JK) students, I gave them a yellow bingo dabber (you can also use marker, finger paints or stampers) and had them show me the number of coins on each page.

NUMBER LINE
We have been practicing skip counting daily and when I set this huge number line up in the hallway and had students skip count down it, they loved it!



WRITING CENTRE
At the Writing Centre, I prepped a variety of paper and this vocabulary chart to encourage students to write about St. Patrick's Day.
We have been reading a few books and they have really been enjoying them!

CAPTURE THE GOLD - A SIGHT WORD GAME
The group I have this year always asks to play games.  ALL.THE.TIME!  So I knew they would have fun with this one.
I placed all of these sight word cards in a large pot (I had this one from Halloween believe it or not!).  There are also a few leprechaun cards.
Students reach in and choose a card and say the sight word.  They keep the card as a point.
If they get the leprechaun card they must put all of their cards back!
We played this during our whole group morning circle time and they wanted to set it up where girls were versing boys.
I also included a recording sheet if you'd like to have your students write all the words they found.

PLAY DOUGH NUMBERS
At our Playdough centre, I left out green play dough and these number mats.

You can find all of the above activities in my NEW "Let's Play - St. Patrick's Day" pack on TpT if you'd like to see more.

FIND IT! ST. PATRICK'S DAY
I have set up this Find It! game before (Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day) so the students knew how to play.  It comes with an editable file and includes numbers and sight words.  This time I used the sight words.
Students read a word, flip the card over and try to find the pot of gold.
This makes for a great whole group activity or leave it out for students to play during centre time!


CREATE A MAZE
We just ordered this at our school and I was so excited to try it out!  It's called "Create-a-Maze".  Students can use the pieces to build a maze and have the ball travel through.  The nice thing about this activity is that it isn't flat.  There is a ball underneath that allows the board to wobble!


MATH STORIES
The book Ten Tiny Fairies is perfect for showing students how numbers decrease, or get smaller, when you take one away.  I had a few fairy items and left them out with the book for students to explore telling a math story of their own.


LIGHT TABLE GAMES
I also set up loose parts at the light table, inviting students to think of their own game to play!
And since it's almost St. Patrick's Day, I printed these rainbows on transparency paper and added them.

SOUND PROVOCATION
Over the past few weeks, I've noticed students taken an interest in music.  They have been asking to play classical music such as the Nutcracker, Beethoven and Mozart!
They have also been using the tin cans at the Blocks Centre as drums.  So I set up a simple provocation inviting them to think about sound.
Inside the plastic yellow containers (which are just empty Playdough canisters) I filled beans, buttons, rice, small scraps of fabric and jewels for students to guess the sound and also to think about loud sounds versus soft sounds.
I can't wait to see where this provocation leads us!

ST. PATRICK'S DAY WORDS
I made these picture cards to help students spell St. Patrick's Day words.  They have a lot of fun with them!  (Check on my older blog posts to download Halloween, Christmas and Valentine's Day ones too!).
Click on the picture below to download these cards for FREE.



I'll also be making Spring cards soon so check back!

Friday, February 21, 2020

Our Arctic Inquiry

Our Arctic Inquiry began when there was much discussion about snow and ice.  I set up a couple of different provocations ... this one was all about exploring ice:
 I also wanted to know if the students were interested in creating different homes for animals.

There was so much interest in animals such as polar bears and seals (where do they live? what do they eat?) that I decided to explore this further by setting up a few activities and reading books to find answers to these questions.
Here is a small world play activity I set up.


This was the start of our Arctic inquiry!
As we read through several books, we wrote down the names of animals that live in the Arctic.  I printed a picture of each and posted them on our bulletin board.
Then the students decided that we should research these animals so they each chose their favourite (we did this by pulling straws) and they started researching!
I created this research paper for students to write about their animal and draw it.
We turned our research into a class book!
You can download this paper for free by clicking on the picture below.

Here's our class book all about Arctic Animals:
















We also watched a few videos all about the Arctic and noticed the beautiful Northern Lights.
So we painted our own!
This activity was inspired by Kristen Smith from A Day in First Grade.
We used watercolour paints and water to make the northern lights.
First we wet the entire paper (I used Bristol board) with water and a sponge.  Then we painted using liquid water colour paints (I got mine on Amazon a few years back).  I showed the students how to paint up and down, side to side and diagonally to really show the beauty of these lights.  Then we went back over it with water and a sponge.




 We added scenery to the picture by cutting out black construction paper.


We decided to draw our animals using the overhead so that we could create our own Arctic tundra!
I showed the students how to carefully trace the outline of their animal.







Since there was still a strong interest in learning about these Arctic animals, I made these picture cards and left them for students to write "on ice" (foil) which they loved!

We also started drawing and painting our Arctic tundra!



We also added snowflakes because there's lots of snow and ice in the Arctic!
We learned how to fold paper and cut so that our snowflake comes out symmetrical!


Here's our finished Arctic tundra!


 This is a closer look at our documentation.