Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Holiday Activities Part

Hello.  Here are somethings we made at school to celebrate the winter holidays.  Something that was cool this year for me was that we actually got to look at where some of the holiday celebrations came from.  I guess at our school, first graders used to really study Christmas around the world.  It isn't written the same in the curriculum as it used to be, but many of the ideas and activities are still done because it hits on things in the core.  We looked at who and why certain holidays are celebrated.  We learned about Ramadan, Hanukah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas.  With Christmas, we also learned how some different countries celebrate and where some traditions come from.  It was interesting because we were able to look at WHY people celebrate these holidays.  The students had AMAZING things to say.  The conversations were able to go beyond just Santa and presents.  I can't tell the students what I believe, but they were able to express some things that THEY were taught to believe.  Some of them have a great spiritual background that really shocked me with how much they understand.  It really impressed me and showed me how ready these young students are to embrace others' beliefs and cultures.  Here are just a few of the projects we did.  Some have pictures and some don't.

We painted Menorah's and then used the top half of our fingers to make the candles and the tip of our fingers and the flames.  The students wrote something they learned about Hanukah.  This was more difficult than I thought it would be because we do similar activities all the time.  Another teacher and I realized that the reason why it was difficult, is because for most of them Hanukah was a brand new idea.  They had heard of it and knew a couple songs about it (like the Driedle Song), but they didn't understand what it was about.  They had almost no background knowledge of the topic.  Everything else they respond to, they knew something about it before we talked about it and read nonfiction books on the topic.

We made count down chains.  The students took them home and used them to countdown how many days until Christmas.  Now I have many different poems that can go on the star.  I was given this one this year.  I like it because it can be used to countdown to any holiday in December OR if you have a student who does not celebrate any holidays in December, you can use it to have them countdown to the break.  Since the students are still young.  I encourage them to glue the links in a pattern.  This year they were able to choose what pattern they did.  They are also responsible to count them before they bring it to me.  I sent them home the day we made them.  Also, I sent a sheet of different activities parents could do with them that addressed different skills.  For example, have your child count by 2's.

Here is a closer look of the little poem.

 We also made ornaments.  They were very simple.  They are made out of glue, cinnamon and apple sauce.  We made it into a dough and used Christmas cookie cutters to make the shapes.  Next, we used a straw to make a hole at the top so we could put ribbon through it.  Then you let it dry over a couple days.  It makes the whole room smell like cinnamon.  We discovered this year, that if you rub glue over the outside of the ornament after it dries, they do not break as easily.  The students thought it was cool.

I was planning on adding a bunch more, but I don't have the pictures to go with them right now.  Hopefully I will get them put on here soon.  We will see how it goes.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

It Looked Like....

At the beginning of last year, we read the book "It Looked Like Spilt Milk." We then made our own pictures by putting white paint on blue paper and then folding the paper.  The students then decided what their picture looked like.


So I just found an activity I did with my Kindergartners last year.  We learned about bats and wrote a bat fact we learned.  Then we got to make a bat!  We used our foot for the body and our hands for the wings.  The students loved this, especially putting paint on their foot!

Girl's Camp Summer 2012

So I just recently got released as the 2nd counselor in the YW's presidency.  I enjoyed my time in that calling and I do miss the girls.  I am now the Special Needs Primary Worker for our ward.  This is a great calling as well.

When I was in YWs I was able to attend a couple days of Girls Camp.  It was so fun!  I wish I had been able to attend more of it.  I got to spend time with the 2nd year girls.  This was great because I was over the Beehives.  We did not have a swimming pool for the girls and they DON'T go swimming in lakes or rivers (alligators you know).  I thought, "how are these girls going to survive?"  It was so hot!  Well they get this awesome slip and slide!  I even went down it several times.  It is steeper than it appears in the picture.

You could go down with a tube or without.  Let me tell you that if you add soap to your back or the tube, you fly!!!

So as you all know, I am not so great at taking lots of pictures.  The girls were also able to do lots of cool activities.  They learned how to throw tomahawks and knives, do archery (I did this and it was so fun!! I felt like I was in Brave), canoeing, and many other fun things.  The last night there was also a great spiritual experience for the girls when they were able to do an interactive activity where they got to learn more about the Tree of Life dream in Nephi.  It had a great impact on ALL involved.


I came back from a teacher training and a parent had decorated outside my door with this really cool pumpkin.  

 This year for Halloween, my class got to carve Jack-O-Lanterns (with the help of parents).  The students were placed in groups of two and three (I had that many parents and pumpkins volunteered) and they designed what they wanted the pumpkin to look like when it was carved.  They then asked the parent if it was something they could do easily.  This was good practice on compromise and working together for them.  After the parents cut the top off, the students had to pull out all the seeds and stuff from the inside.  While the parent carved, the students separated the seeds from the strings.  Some of the pumpkin seeds were kept and I took them home and cooked them for the students.  The students loved eating them the next day!  Also, I took all the seeds from one pumpkin.  I cleaned them and the next day we counted them.  We would place 10 seeds in a little solo cup.  Then we stacked 10 solo cups together.  We placed the stacks of 10 solo cups under a chart that said hundreds, the leftover solo cups under the tens, and the extra pumpkin seeds that didn't add up to 10 under the ones.  We are learning place value in first grade so it was a great math activity.  Here are what the pumpkins looked like when they were done.

Here are some other activities that other classes did for Halloween.
These students learned about how a pumpkin grows and then put it together themselves.  

These students learned bat facts and made a bat out of a small paper bag. Their fact is under their bat.    
My class also made spiders.  I thought I took pictures of theirs hanging up, but I guess I didn't.  Here is what my example looked like:

I gave the students different numbers depending upon their current skill level in math.  The students had to find 8 different ways to make that number.  They could use addition, subtraction, tally marks, etc.  This is one of the standards for math in first grade.  They traced a body pattern onto black, brown, or tan construction paper.  They cut out their own legs from the leftover paper.  I am thinking of making this a game students can play during centers or math rotations next year.  They will pick a spider body.  They will then have to find the 8 legs that match it.  The legs will have addition and subtraction problems.


I will be updating some today.  It will mostly be projects and stuff we have done at school.  They will be in no particular order.  I just get frustrated when I try and do that and then I don't update as much.  Here we go!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's Day Tea

Since it is Mother's Day today, Happy Mother's Day to all you Mother's out there!  I am going to jump a head to this past Friday.  At school, all the Kindergarten classes held a Mother's Day Tea for all the moms of the students in our class.  Three teachers held theirs on Thursday and the other three of us on Friday.  It was a lot of work, but worth it!  The moms loved it and so did the kids.  Here are some of the pictures of what it looked like.  I can't put pictures that have students in them so all these pictures are before the actual  event.  

These first two pictures are of the signs my class wrote to put on the door about a week before the Mother's Day Tea.  They are telling the moms to stay out because we are making surprises for them.  

This is the backdrop the students painted.

The flower pictures in the background were made when they were in art class.  The papers around those are a writing activity that the class did about what their "mommy always says."
We did a program for the mothers'  That row of chairs is where the students were.  There were 5 students standing behind the chairs six sitting in the chairs and six sitting on the ground.  The class each recited a line from a poem and than we sang some songs.  One of the little girls also read a poem.

This is where the mothers sat.  On the chairs are the gifts the students made. There is a recipe book of how the children think their moms make their favorite foods (I would NEVER eat anything that was made from this cookbook!), a book with how they drew themselves each month this year, a tile they painted that has a clothespin glued to the back to hold a picture or note, a coupon book, a card, and a painted butterfly.

We had refreshments at the end.

It was quite fun and even with all the stress, it was worth it!  I don't have pictures of the paintings the students did of their mothers.  On the back of the paintings, I glued a survey the kids filled out about their mothers.  It asked questions like, What is your mother's name? How old is she? What makes her happy? What makes her angry? Where is here favorite place to eat? Etc.

Tower of Terror

Let's start with the reason why we made the move to Florida when we did.  Brent got a Disney internship where he worked at the Tower of Terror.  Now I know this ride is quite popular but I HATE it and refuse to ride it again.  Yes, for all those people that doubt, I have ridden it both at Disney World and Disney Land.  It was a long time ago and the experience will NEVER be repeated.  Now, I did visit Brent a few times when he was working, but I never rode the ride.  Here are some fun pictures of him in his costume.  

Here is the proof that I did visit him:

So I know I'm a slacker.... excuse for not posting but hey! I will post some today of things that have happened since my last post. Here is a little run down of some of the things that have happened (I will try and give more details later.):
I am teaching Kindergarten here in Orlando.
Brent did an internship for Disney at Tower of Terror and is not working for the Disney Vacation Club
I got in another car wreck, in the Honda again, in January.  The car was deemed totaled and now we have another car.
Athena and Erin visited.
Asha and Layne came for another visit.
My grandmother died and I went to Arkansas for the funeral.
Lots of fun and exciting things have happened at school!
That is a brief overview of some of the things that will hopefully be coming soon!