Saturday, February 21, 2015

Gearing Up for Reading Week....a Bright Idea

Reading Week is coming soon.  Do you celebrate at your school?  We have gone all out some years, and others have been more low key.  I always want to do something extra special in my room, something that will transform our learning environment.  Here is my Bright Idea for making Reading Week special.

First I set the stage by making a truffula tree forest.  The supplies are simple and inexpensive: foam insulation tubes (from a home improvement store), yellow duct tape, colored tissue paper (gift wrap section), floral wire or twist ties.  Make flowers by accordion folding (like a fan) the tissue paper, tie in the middle and separate layers.  I use about six sheets of paper for one flower.   I used two flowers for one 3D tree.  I did need to put a yard stick in my short free-standing trees to keep them from falling over and I did use the yellow duct tape to tape some to the wall.

I collect books....lots of books.  I never leave a Dr. Seuss book on a thrift store shelf or yard sale.  That is how I collected so many.  I like having multiple copies, so students can read with a partner and each will have a book.  Eleven browsing tubs of Dr. Seuss books, and a couple of special books for the Teacher's Lounge.

On the last day of our Reading Week, we dressed up as our favorite characters.  I was The Cat in the Hat and my students were Things 1 through 23.  The blue wigs were butcher paper, folded in half, cut from the open end, stopping two and a half inches from the fold, and stapled into a circle.  Don't worry about large overlaps, it will make the wig look fuller. 

This yummy snack will turn your fingers red, but it is kid friendly and fun to make.  All you need are marshmallows, oreo-type cookies, red sugar, and water.  Separate the cookie (try to keep all the frosting on the side you will use), eat the half without the frosting.  Then dip a marshmallow in water (quickly and just a third) and dip the wet end in the sugar.  Turn the marshmallow over and repeat, leaving the middle white.  Put the colored marshmallow on the cookie, press to make it stick.  Yum!

If you enjoyed this bright idea please consider joining me here at KinderKapers, on Facebook, or my TpT store.

For more Bright Ideas from other bloggers, browse through the link-up below.  Choose a topic or grade level that interests you.  Thanks for visiting!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Christmas Craziness

I am TIRED!  Can I say that?  It has been a crazy week, with crazy fun, and crazy kids, and not enough time to do it all.

I am joining with other bloggers to share some of that fun on this last Friday of the year! ( Did I say tired?? )  Oops!, there is not a linky this week....but here are Five crazy things I have been up to in my classroom.  Enjoy and have some Christmas Break fun!

First up is Jingle our Classroom Elf.  He made his appearance late in the first week of December and has been having fun in our room ever since. 

He brought crayons and snow, he has put up a tree and paper chains, he hung out in the tree house with Jack and Annie, and he was the first thing everyone looked for each morning.  Today he was on top of the globe with the list of good boys and girls.

Jingle has kept us busy.  We wrote about him each morning, so along with tasks he brought from time to time, he has been a great asset to our journal writing.

Next is a shout out to my WONDERFUL husband....who suffers through itchy wigs to play Santa.

Our music program was this week.   Not only did our music teacher do a great job, but a fellow teacher gave up all her preps these last two weeks to play the piano for each class during their music class and got us organized with some backdrop decorations.  I work with awesome teachers!
I guess it is not Christmas without parent gifts....this year we made glittery candle holders with old jars, glue, glitter, and battery operated tea lights.  They were easy peasy and the glitter didn't scatter too much, but they did take a couple of days to completely dry.

We wrapped them up in Rudolf paper bags.

Today was party day.  We did a gingerbread house/Santa's workshop party.  I had several projects hanging around that we didn't have time to do, plenty of  paper, jewels, glue, markers and such, so my students got to choose and create while we helped them assemble their houses.  After lunch, when the houses had a chance to set, we added the candy.

All was finished just in time to head home.  Pack up was easy because we had paper bag "suitcases" that we started filling first thing in the morning.  As projects were finished into the bag they went.  The end of the day went....get your lunchbox and backpack, put on your coat, pick up your bag, hold on to your house and out to the bus you go!

Have a wonderful Holiday Season!  I am going to spend time with my crazy crew....

Sunday, December 7, 2014

A little Elfin Magic

An elf came to our classroom this week!  Here is how he arrived:

Thanks to Cara Carroll from First Grade Parade and her wonderful free ELFis pages he came in style!  He was cold (from being in the freezer) when my room was called and told by the office staff we had a special delivery at the front office.  I sent my helper of the day, but my class was afraid it might be something heavy, so I sent along an extra student.  When they came back with the box my class of second graders were through the moon with excitement.  We careful unwrapped his snowy insulation.

(they made sure no one touched and after recess when he had jumped to a new location they grabbed up the tulle and ribbons to take home).  Oh My Goodness!!  I could not believe how excited they were!!!

After much discussion and voting we named him Jingle.  He brought us crayons on Day 2.

What else is in store??  Along with journaling there will be: Task Cards for magical learning, a little mischief, a book to read, a puzzle to complete, some jingle bells (isn't that appropriate because of his name) for hands on learning.  Stay tuned for more ........

You may want to get started with this book.  I made this book for our elf to bring when he came to Kindergarten.  You can get it here:
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It does come in both color and black and white.

This Jingle Bell game is good for Kindergarten, First, or Second.  They all need practice with missing addends and what better way than to have our classroom elf bring some nice jingle bells to "play" with??  This is free in my store and you can get it here:
This also comes in color and black and white.
I am excited about all that Jingle can help us do in the next two weeks, so I am sure that my students will be too!  One of my teaching philosophies is....if you can't beat them join them. 

Take their excitement and use it!  Have a WONDERFUL week!