Friday, March 30, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up...3-D figures, more Easter fun & getting ready for spring

Although this week was a short (4-day) week, it certainly was busy!
Here's a look at some things we were working on...

3-Dimensional Figures
Our students have taken a strong interest in building castles, towers and houses using 3-Dimensional figures so we wanted to extend their learning.
We played "What's in my bag?" - where we hide a few of each 3-D figure in our small bag.  
You can play in 2 ways:
- Students have to reach in and choose a figure.  Before pulling it out, they feel it and say it's name.  Then pull it out to see if they are correct!
- Students reach in and choose a figure.  They have to describe it to their friends (i.e. "It's round and reminds me of an orange.") and have their friends guess what it is.
We left the larger shapes out so students had a visual if they needed it.
The small plastic geometric shapes are from Wintergreen Learning materials.

Students sorted 3-Dimensional figure cards in our pocket chart.  
You can download these for FREE by clicking {here} or on the picture below.

We invited students to use the 3-Dimensional blocks to create a structure.  They were able to record their findings by gluing these small pictures of 3D figures to their paper.



***Be sure to look out for a new unit all about 3-Dimensional figures coming soon!***

More Easter Fun!
Students absolutely LOVED this fun activity.
We bought these plastic carrots a few years back from the Dollar Store.  They open up which made it great to place small cut-up letters inside for students to unscramble a sight word.

We also set out our poem for the week "I'm a Little Bunny" in our pocket chart and had students rebuild the poem.  Then we used these yellow highlighter tape pieces (which I made by cutting an old yellow plastic duotang) and asked students to find sight words.





We also introduced a sight word game called "Find that Egg!", where we placed an egg sticker behind a sight word card.  Students had to read a sight word, and we turned that card over.  First person to find the sticker wins!


  

You can get your own copy of this game {here}.
*Best part is - it's editable so you can add your own words!*

Even though this week marked the beginning of Spring, it hasn't felt very spring-like yet (it's still so cold!).  We brought in a beautiful purple hydrangea and invited the students to paint it to set the tone of our new season.  
Hopefully it will be warming up soon!  More spring provocations and activities coming up...

I hope everyone has a Happy Easter and enjoys the long weekend!


I'm having a BIG sale on everything (including bundles!) in my TpT store all weekend long if you are interested in picking up a few things.

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Easter Fun....with a FREEBIE!

We are celebrating Holy Week at school starting tomorrow.
Since I teach at a Catholic School, this is one of our most important weeks during the year!
Our students have been learning about Lent, Palm Sunday and the events leading up to Easter Sunday.

Palm Sunday
Last week we read a passage from the Children's Bible all about Palm Sunday.  We also made this palm craft.  I got this idea during my first year teaching from my colleague Ms. Alves and we do it nearly every year!
All you need is a 1" strip of Bristol board (or sturdy piece of construction paper) and lots of 1" pieces of green construction paper.  Students glue the green paper in a "V" formation onto the Bristol board.

Easter Crafts
We just started making these oil pastel crosses on Friday.  They look difficult but are super easy!  I cut out a cross for each student and had them colour the edges with oil pastels.  They we taped it to another paper and students smudged the oil pastels off onto the other paper.  We removed the cross and then used water colour paint to paint the sky and grass.


These are our Easter cards.  We made the glowing sun by using eye droppers to drip yellow and red food colouring onto a coffee filter (we just folded it in half).  Once it's dry we glued it to a folded blue construction paper and had students write "He is risen!" on the outside and "Happy Easter!" on the inside.  Very simple but isn't it so beautiful?

In my last blog post I showed a picture of the beautiful candles we made and instructions on how to make them if you are interested.



Easter Activities/Provocations
My students love using the tweezers to pick things up (which is great for fine motor practice too!).  Here they have to pick up the carrots using the tweezers and place that many into the correct basket.
Carrots and basket are from Dollarama and the tweezers are from Wintergreen Learning (these are the BEST tweezers out there!)

Students open a carrot and build a sight word using the cut up letters.  They can record them on their paper. 


Sorting coloured eggs (they are made of foam!) into muffin tins.

Our sensory bin for Easter, filled with Easter grass, plastic eggs, small chicks, and tweezers (all from Dollarama).

I'm also setting up my Write the Room - Easter activity.  Students take a clipboard and write all of the Easter words they find around the room.  Different worksheets included for differentiated instruction.  There are 18 Easter vocabulary words (non-religious)  AND an additional 6 Easter vocabulary words that are religious.  Click on the pictures below to view.



Weekly Poem - FREEBIE!!!
We always have a weekly poem we introduce in Monday (and stays up on the chart stand all week so students can go back and read poem).  Here is the poem I will be introducing tomorrow for this week.
You can download this poem for free by clicking HERE.  I made it with both Canadian and American spellings of the word "colourful/colorful".  Just print the poem you need.
It's from my new Interactive Pocket Chart {Poem Builder} - I'm a Little Bunny pack that I just uploaded to TpT this morning if you are looking to do more with this poem.
After introducing this poem to my students, I will place the cut-up cards in our pocket chart and invite them to rebuild it.
This pack also comes with smaller cards for your students to cut and glue into a large journal.

You can also find this poem in my Interactive Pocket Chart {Poem Builder} - March BUNDLE.

I've gotten a lot of e-mails asking to do a blog post about how I use the interactive pocket chart in my class.  I promise to take more pictures and post about it next weekend!  Stay tuned!

Happy Easter!

Saturday, March 24, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up...Dramatic Play update, Fairy Tales, Math Games, and sneak peek at Easter!

Our first week back from March Break was busy, busy, busy!
The students couldn't stop talking about what they did with their families over March Break.  Since many of them (myself included!) went out for breakfast together, we decided to turn our Dramatic Centre into a Breakfast Cafe!


(Blog post with more details on our Breakfast Cafe coming soon!)

Fairy Tales

We have also been reading a variety of fairy tales.  The children are learning about who are the characters, the setting, what the problem is, and how it is solved.  Next week we will continue to explore fairy tales but these stories will have different characters or a surprise ending.  Students can compare and contrast the different versions.

Can you create a math game?

We left out this provocation, inviting the students to create their own math games using these materials.  They came up with amazing games! 


Invisible Ink

One way to encourage students to practice reading and writing sight words is through hands-on play.  This activity invited the students to write an "invisible" sight word (using baking soda) and have a friend use "magic purple water" (concentrated grape juice) to make it appear.
To make the "invisible ink" we mixed equal parts water and baking soda and had students use a Q-tip to write the words on the paper.  And be sure to use grape concentrate (defrosted, right out of the can!).  It's amazing how it turns the paper blue!


Sneak Peek at Easter...

This week we are preparing all things Easter (as I teach in a Catholic school, this is one of the major holidays we celebrate).
Here's sneak peek at what we are making...
To make your own candle, have students draw and colour (with permanent markers) on a piece of tissue paper.  Then wrap the tissue paper around the candle with a piece of wax paper on top.  Use a hairdryer to melt the tissue onto the candle using the wax paper.  This takes several minutes as you want to be sure to go all around the candle.  Peel off the wax paper and discard.  Voila!


Blog post all about Easter (activities, cards, crafts and more!) coming very soon so you can prepare your week too!

Friday, March 09, 2018

Weekly Wrap-Up...nutrition games and a STEM tower challenge

This week was Healthy Eating week at our school.
We were asked to each submit a mixed media piece done with the students about healthy eating.  Last week we learned about eating a "rainbow" and sorted our favourite foods.
You can read all about that here.
To extend our learning about healthy versus unhealthy foods we played the Going Shopping game.

Here's how to play:
1)  Each student gets a shopping cart and a grocery list.
2)  One at a time, students choose a card from the middle.  They have to match the card to the picture on their list.  If it's a match they put it in their cart.
3)  First person to fill their shopping cart wins!
*This game generated lots of discussion around foods that are healthy and unhealthy and what students like to eat.  It even prompted some students to create their own shopping lists for their parents!*
You can find this game here if you are interested.

I absolutely love these felt board storytelling sets from Wintergreen Learning.  They are so durable!  We read the book The Very Hungry Caterpillar and students were invited to use the felt board to retell the story.


Students also worked at the Pocket Chart centre to read and build the predictable text about rainbow colours.

Students read the sentence and then match the coloured rainbow to the word at the end.  On the worksheet, they can circle the sight word "this" and write in the colour word.
You can find this activity in my All Year Long Pocket Chart Fun pack.

Still with the idea of rainbows, since our students are so interested in them still, we set out Rainbow Pentominoes and challenged them to fill the mirror without leaving any spaces.

Another provocation we left at a table asked the students to create a tall tower.  
We love challenging STEM activities and so do our students!
They quickly turned this into a competition and documented their towers, measuring and modifying their designs.
Here are some of their designs!








They worked so hard this week on this challenge that we wanted to share our documentation with visitors so we placed our learning story in the hallway for all to read about!


It's finally March Break and I'm off next week.  I don't have too much planned as of yet (which I don't mind actually!) but I am sure my own children will keep me busy.

Check back on Instagram tomorrow when I can't wait to share what I will be doing!!!!

Happy March Break!