Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter @ Home!

Sam and I colored eggs even though neither of us have kids at home.  It was fun, even if we don't actually eat them!  Happy Easter!

Happy Easter from B3!

We have been doing Easter activities all week long in our free time, but had lots of fun when we finished all our work today.  We made these cute bunny masks (don't these little monkeys make cute bunnies?) and  colored beautiful stained-glass like Easter eggs.  We also made Easter antonyms in Language and  sorted and graphed jelly beans in math.  In the afternoon, we decorated our paper Easter baskets and played some fun plastic egg relay games, then had an egg hunt in the classroom (unfortunately it was a cold, wet day and the playground was very muddy).  Finally, while the class was at specials, the Easter Bunny visited us and left some goodies in our Easter baskets!  What a fun way to begin our short spring break!

Our Easter baskets:

Our Easter goodies:

Had to add Peeps after reading Kevin Henke's Owen's Marshmallow Chick!

Hope everyone had a Happy Easter!

Optical Illusion

This is an oldie, but a goodie!  Students traced and cut out one shape on two colors of construction paper, yellow and either white or brown if they want a chocolate rabbit.  They added features to the yellow shape to make it look like a duck, and to the white or brown shape to make it look like a rabbit.  They glued the two shapes together and then added the following poems on each side: 

My little yellow duck
Is really very funny,
For when you turn him over
He is an Easter Bunny!

  Little Easter Bunny
You show the strangest luck,
For when I turn you back again
You are a yellow duck!

I like to hang them from our strings so that you can see both sides!  They looked so cute hanging from the ceiling, and the kids loved making them!   

Better Late Than Never!

We made some beautiful Easter eggs to decorate our homes.  The students traced and cut a large egg, then drew large designs on their eggs.  They then traced their designs with black dry-erase markers (they don't smear when you paint over them!).  After coloring them with cray-pas (paint crayons), the kids painted over the colors with water, turning them into paint.  They did an "egg"-cellent job!  (Okay, but first graders think it's very funny when I write it on their papers!)


Monday, April 4, 2011

Daily 5

The Daily Five is a reading program that we are implementing in our school.  Students make their Daily 5 choice when they sign up for lunch.  They can choose from Read to Self, Read to Someone, Listen to Reading, Work on Writing, and Word Work.  Thank you to The Two Sisters for this great system.  I got to see them speak in Omaha last year, and our district has really encouraged the use of their reading plan.

I got these posters in a Daily 5 Learning Team class given by our wonderful Reading Specialist and one of the 3rd grade teachers in our school (two excellent teachers!).  They downloaded the posters from a great source, Ms. Winston's web site, although she has since changed her reading plan.   Check out her blog, too!  Amazing!

Frogs in Trees?

Last week's reading story was "Frog and Toad All Year," by Arnold Lobel.  There is a nonfiction selection directly following the story, called "Frogs in Trees?"  After reading the story, the students imagine they have discovered a frog that no one has ever seen before.  They cut frogs from cardstock and use brightly colored markers to design their frogs.  We then use the "Step Up to Writing" system to write about their frogs.   I give them a topic sentence suggestion, such as "I discovered a new frog!"   They must then add at least two details about their frogs, and then end with a wrap up sentence, such as "Clearly, my frog is amazing!"  Their paragraphs show hints of Spring Fever, unfortunately, but their frogs are colorful and creative! 

Inspired by Monet's "Water Lilies" and Lobel's "Frog and Toad"

Claude Monet is one of my favorite artists, and I have always loved his Water Lilies paintings, so I share a book of his artwork and life with my students each year.  His art inspired one of our favorite art projects.  This project has many steps, so you have to be patient, but the end product is worth it!  It appeals to both boys and girls and makes a big impact when hanging in the hallway.  We first trace and cut two flowers from watercolor paper and paint them with watercolor paints on both sides.  The flowers are folded and attached with a small flower cut-out and a paper fastener, then to a traced and cut out green lily pad.  The students then use oil pastels to make waves, ripples, and reflections on blue posterboard.  We attach the lilies and lily pads, then stamp a frog and a dragonfly on each.  Finally, we hang them together in the hallway to mimic Monet's huge paintings of water lilies.  I love them, and so do the kids!