Wednesday, August 19, 2015

reggio inspired natural alphabet

You know how the universe sometimes nudges you to do something, change something.

For the last few years I have been taking things out of my classroom. Making it more simple, fewer colors, less clutter.  I want the kids and their work to be the focal point, and the classroom "decor" to be the background.  A background that supports independence, curiosity, imagination and learning.

This summer, I knew it was time for my classroom alphabet line to change to something more organic, more simple, more natural.

Friday, August 14, 2015

in praise of imaginary friends

Beekle, Bing Bong & Binker

This summer (which is coming to its close far too quickly), seems to be full of imaginary friends.

I don't think that I had one.  Unless when I am talking to myself ...

The Adventures of Beekle: The Unimaginary Friend
author and illustrator: Dan Santat
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company (2014)

2015 Caldecott Medal Winner
New York Time Bestseller
#1 Indiebound Bestseller
Huffington Post Best Overall Picture Book of 2014
PBS Parents Best Picture Book of the Year

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

show and tell solution

3 clues and a brown paper bag

I finally found a way to do show and tell that I not only could live with, but actually like and enjoyed.

I had banned show and tell from my classroom for a number of years.  I could not stand the "bring and brag" that it often turned into.  And I could not keep my eyes from glazing over and the kids sitting attentively for another "this is a rock that I found on my driveway this morning" or "this is the toy that I got from McDonalds when I went with Grandma - it is very special to me".

I found other ways for the children to use their oral language skills and practice speaking in front of others.

This year, one winning smile accompanied by some gentle cajoling, and a bit of serendipity, resulted in show and tell that the shower-and-teller, the rest of the kids, and the teacher enjoyed.

Monday, August 3, 2015

pick 3 pinterest party - August

Happy August!

For us, August means that we are half way through summer holidays.  But I know that lots of schools go back this month.

I am joining for their Pinterest Linky party with 3 back to school pins that caught my eye and my fancy.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Stick and Stone - and sticks and stones

Looking for a sweet book about friendship?

Stick and Stone
author: Beth Ferry
illustrator: Tom Lichtenheld
publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (April, 2015)

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The Book With No Pictures

Some school years are defined by a particular event or activity.

This year we all fell in love with the same book.

The Book with No Pictures
author: B. J. Novak
illustrator: no pictures!
publisher: Dial Books (September, 2014)

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

book report: When Emily Carr Met Woo

Emily Carr is a well loved West Coast Canadian artist.

When Emily Carr Met Woo
author: Monica Kulling
illustrator:  Dean Griffiths
published by Pajama Press (May, 2014)

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Pick 3 Pinterest Party

When we are looking for inspiration, where do we head?   Pinterest!

I thought that I would join the the Pinterest Party fun hosted by Inspired Owl's Corner and Pawsitively Teaching.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Reggio inspired alphabet lines

I have been thinking about changing my alphabet frieze in the classroom for a couple of weeks.

Then numbers 1 - 6 fell down.

And that settled it!

The alphabet had to go.

Time for something new.  Time for something less manufactured and more organic.

I went looking for inspiration.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

trees like Emily Carr

Emily Carr (1871 - 1945) is a well known West Coast artist.  She is known for her paintings of First Nations villages, and the tall majestic trees that grow here on the Pacific coast.

We also love the forest, and we were inspired to paint trees like Emily Carr.

Monday, May 18, 2015

learning how to tie knots

My student teacher is a cub leader.

Her cub pack just won a knot tying challenge.

I figured we should put her knot tying teaching abilities to good use in kindergarten.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

insect sensory bin

Insects have captured our imaginations.

We have had numerous snails, spiders, and wood bugs visit our classroom in various containers.

Since the kids seem to have a need to play with bugs, it was time for an insect sensory bin.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

pumpkin seed measuring

We are in the middle of planting seeds and growing thing.

And my student teacher, Miss Jane, decides that seeds are not just for planting - they are for measuring.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

eggshell Lorax planter

It is always a good day to remember to take care of the earth.  

Dr. Seuss' book The Lorax reminds us of the importance of protecting the trees and keeping the air and water clean and safe for living things.

Read the book, and make an eggshell Lorax planter.

what do you need?
small yellow pompoms
small googly eyes
yellow yarn moustaches 
(I made them out of pre-cut rug hooking yarn)

I put craft glue on the eggshell for the kids, and they transformed an eggshell into the Lorax.


They look pretty good with everything glued on.

The Lorax reminds us of the importance of taking care of the earth.

One way we can take care of the earth is to take care of plants. (And we think the Lorax would look pretty spiffy with green hair!)

Fill the eggshell with potting soil.

Add seeds (we used grass seeds).

Put the Loraxes on the windowsill, water and wait for the them to sprout green hair!

click on the graphics to see other rubber boot and elf shoe Lorax activities

Remember,  unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot ...

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