Sunday, May 1, 2016

I have a Bright Idea for Mother's Day

Mother's Day is just around the corner and if you are looking for a BRIGHT IDEA......I have one for you.  
In my Kindergarten classroom there are always so many things I want to have my students make, but these bath salts have been a favorite year after year.

They are easy and fool proof.  
You just need:
          Epsom salts  (any variety of epsom salts will work)
          coarse sea salts 
          baking soda
          a container 

The measurements don't have to be exact (which is great when kinder kids do their own measuring).  There are many, many recipes on the internet, but mine goes like this:
     3 parts Epson salts
     1 part sea salt
     1/3 part baking soda
     few drops of scent (essential oils)
     few drops of color
     *mix together until scent and color are evenly distributed.

In real life, for each student it looks like this:
     measure into a quart baggie:
            1 cup Epson salt
           1/3 cup sea salt
           2 Tablespoons of baking soda
           few drops of scent (I use the liquid candle oils, essential oils are expensive)
          few drops of color

*mix together, then pour into glass jar (just because it is so pretty)

Add a card or a note, and you are set.  Send home any extra in the baggie (or layer the extras like a sand painting, and give to someone special at your school).

If you want to try something a little different try this:

I have these ready to go for some special friends and coworkers this year.

If you like this idea consider following me on facebook, at my store on TpT, or Pinterest.

 For more bright ideas from other wonderful bloggers, please browse through the link-up below and choose a topic/grade level that interests you. Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

It's a Snowy Five For Friday (0n Monday)

It's funny how when you get out of the habit of doing something, how difficult and scary it can be to start again.  That's me.  I can't believe how nervous (and excited) I am to be blogging again.

I love linking up with Doodle Bugs Teaching and Five For this is a great place to start (even if it is Monday)!

Is it snowing where you are?  After two no snow winters we have snow that doesn't seem to want to stop.  We have been taking advantage of it and having some great fun and learning too.

On Tuesday we had cold frost coming out of the air forming perfect crystals.   We went out right away with little magnifying glasses and black paper to see if we could catch some....and WE DID!!

My best advice is to take advantage quickly.  If you wait, the flakes may be gone, or as the day warms up, turn into rain.  The colder the better (they don't melt as fast on the paper or your clothes) and you don't have to be out for a long time.  Be sure to write, draw, and talk about what you discovered.

If you have lots and lots of fresh snow try this recipe for snow cream:

You can keep the ingredients on hand if you use canned milk (for that surprise snowstorm)

Of course it is not a good snowstorm if you can't make a snowman.  But it was, so we did!

After making snowmen I got sooo much good writing!!!  My students were motivated!

We also reenacted The Snowy Day (good chance to talk about why we don't through snowballs).  No pictures, but lots of giggles when I knocked snow onto my own head.

No snow where you live??  I have a solution for that too.  Try this recipe for snow.  My kids went crazy over it.

You could also have a little snowball fight during math.  Try this game for practicing missing addends.
You can pick up a copy of my recording sheets, instructions, and a Math Talk workmat in my TpT store for FREE!  Just click right here or on the picture.

Don't be afraid to bundle up and take your students outside in the snow....or if that is not possible, bring some snow into your students and have some FuN (and learning too).

Friday, October 23, 2015

Pumpkin Science....A Bright Idea!

Ask this question for creating a science experiment:  
Does the largest pumpkin have the most seeds?

I do not give my students spoons.  I like that they have to touch the inside and truly get to "experience" the pumpkin.  All the seeds go on a large baking sheet where I have taped a piece of their paper as a label to identify the group.  Pulp goes on the paper, then it all goes in the trash.  I don't worry about bits of extra pulp. me, let the seeds dry overnight before trying to count them.  They won't be totally dry, but they will be significantly less slimy and easier to count.

We always take time the first day to talk about what we saw, smelled, felt, and heard (we save tasting for another day) as we were observing our pumpkins.  We record our describing words on an anchor chart and use that to write about pumpkins too.

Every time I have done this activity it has gone smoother with parent volunteers, one for each group.  Even second and third graders have a hard time keeping track counting.

If you liked this bright idea consider following me on TpT, facebook, and here on this blog, KinderKapers.  There will be more tips on what to do with your leftover seeds and how to keep your pumpkin from molding (not forever....but longer).

Next week is Pumpkins and Skeletons and math manipulatives from beyond the grave!

Saturday, October 3, 2015's OCTOBER!!

Time has gotten away from me.....AGAIN!!!  It is already October (my busiest month in school as I try to squeeze in so much).  I want to link up with Farley and Oh Boy, It's Fourth Grade to reflect on the month past and the month to here goes:

I tend to let the TV be on in the background for white noise when I am home alone.  I need to make more intentional choices, because I would really like some beautiful music today.  I also need to figure out how to play music on my phone.....wait!....okay....DONE!  Downloaded and playing.  I am not as technology challenged as I thought.

My mom lives all the way across the country from me.  She came out for my nephew's wedding in September, but she had broken her hip right before she came.  We convinced her to stay here and let us take care of her for a few weeks of her rehab.  It was WONDERFUL!!

My mom is Patricia Thomas, a children's book author, so she came to my school and did author visits for almost every class in my school.  I think I wore her out.  She needed to go to my sister's house to recoop from me.

I also blog at PreK and K Sharing and today is my day to post!  YIKES!!  Between school and my mom I let the month of September slip away.  But I am on it!!  You can hop over there to check it out (all about Zombie Eyes and Bat Wings....there is a freebie).

I have THAT class this year.  Seriously.  I am not kidding.  It is taking all my energy, and skill, plus all the brains I can borrow to make things run smoothly in my room.  My golden tickets (which I stole from The Teeny Tiny Teacher) were just not cutting it.  Whole Brain Teaching wasn't quite working either....last week I changed my whole setting arrangement (stinkers are together and workers are together).  That helped for about one day.  But, we are making progress.  I actually think it will help my workers the most.  They deserve my best.  I can't let them suffer because I have so many that do not know how to work or behave.  My little stinkers will come around and see the is just taking time.

My mom was telling me last night that she and my sister were decorating my sister's house.  I was jealous and realized I hadn't even thought about getting my Halloween decorations and autumn things out.  Autumn is my favorite season and putting my things out will be Boo-ti-ful!

The colors and being outside just make me happy!  Have a wonderful October!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Every Kid in a Park

I just learned the most amazingly incredible news....if you are in fourth grade you can get an annual National Park pass for FREE!!!

Yes, you heard me right FREE!

If you are an educator of fourth grade students (teacher, religious leader, homeschool leader, scout or other after school leader) you can facilitate your students getting a pass.  Check it out here.

The pass will cover entrance fees for your student and three adults or any one he brings with him in a car at any National Park.


Is this for real?  Yes....Yes it is.  Go to the Every Kid in a Park Website here  and follow the simple steps.  Teachers can download the activities for their class and then print off the passes when students complete the activity.  Students can go to the website themselves and download an activity.
I had started counting down the years until I am old enough to buy a Golden Age passport, now I just need to find a fourth grader!

Friday, September 4, 2015

Five for Friday....the First Week of School

Oh My Goodness....There is no tired like the first week of school teacher tired.  I can't remember when I have started off the year this tired.  Either my age is catching up with me or I had so many ideas I wanted to implement after the amazing conferences I attended this summer that I just couldn't do it all.  I tried...but I couldn't do it ALL.

So I am linking up up today with Doodle Bug Teaching to show a few little snapshots of what I did do and how my first week back went GREAT (despite not doing EVERYTHING).

First up...Back to School Night, which technically was last week.  I was not finished with my room, but it was done enough that my parents knew I was working on it.  I had these cute treats for my kiddos and ice cold water for my parents (note to self...there might be more than one parent with their student, so bring more water).  Thanks to Ashley Schroeder from Schroeder's Shenanigans in 2nd for the cute tags and idea!

On the first day we tried to open with major excitement by doing some minute to win it and get to know you games.  We timed to see if we could get an Oreo cookie into our mouth in just a minute (sorry no pictures) and we played Stand Up for Friendship (a freebie in my store).  Just ask general questions, like who has a brother?  And then they Stand Up.  Give your students a chance to see who has interests similar to theirs and maybe talk about it a bit.

Pete the Cat helped us take a tour of the school as we looked for his shoes.  Each of our specials, our lunch lady, principal, secretaries, and nurse decorated a shoe.  We collected them as we went along.  Later we will use them again when we write about our school community.

We ended the day making friendship salad.  I like to use different ingredients to describe the behaviors I want my students to exibit.  Then when it came to our banana they all yelled NO!!  Why no banana?  It was a rotten one of course!  This gave us a chance to talk about those rotten banana behaviors we don't want in our class.

We revisited this discussion later in the week, when we made our own little recipe books and chiefs.  The books came from my unit...but the chiefs belong to Miss Kindergarten.  Hers are so so cute!!  Don't you just love them??

Home to collapse and rest up.   It is going to be a GREAT year!