Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Free Father's Day Craftivity Gift

Father's Day is soon approaching and I have a fun and easy craftivity for your child to create. This project can be created for a father or for someone who is like a father. When you download the free shirt template, choose which version is perfect for your needs. Here is our class set that we created in the last week of school.

Click on the picture to receive your free template

This is a 3 page packet. It includes one tie that can be written on for "Dad", one that can be written to someone "like a Dad", and one that is left blank for anyone the child would like to write about at Father's Day. 

This can be simply written on and colored as is. Students can create a head out of construction paper to depict the person they are writing on the tie about. This would make a terrific Father's Day display!

I copied this template onto white construction paper. I had the children cut the middle out of a paper plate for the head. We started by drawing an "L" in the middle for the nose. I did this as a reference point for where to put the eyes. I told them to draw two long jellybean ovals at the top of the "L" and showed them how to color the middle in with their father's eye color. The students added a black circle in the middle for the pupil. They then added their own style of mouth. I then asked them to think about what color hair their father had (if they have any, LOL) and draw the eyebrows that color. I then had them use the eyes as a reference point for where to draw the hairline (if their father had shorter hair...if they didn't, we discussed how to personalize this part for their father.)

I "interviewed" them to ask them what they'd like to write about how special their dad (or the person who is like a dad to them) is. I wrote it on a Post-It for them and they took it to their desk and near point copied it onto the lines of the tie. They then used a black Sharpie to trace over their words.

Next, they used colored pencils and colored the lines of the tie and the collar of the shirt any color(s) they wanted to. I had them color in the suit coat part with black crayon because it had a larger surface. They then put glue along the back of the shirt collar and on the front of the chin on the face and put the head onto the shirt.

Finally, they glued the entire project to a bright colored paper and wrote, "Happy Father's Day!" on the bottom.

I hung them up for one day on our board so that everyone could enjoy each other's. However, we didn't want any Dads to see them early, so we packed them into the Friday folders and sent them home to be saved as a gift for the big day. I think the sweetest part of this was watching how many of them drew in "those pokey things that stick out of his face"! I did have to rescue one project. The son said his father is tan...which he kind of is, and the father has light brown, almost blondish hair and the boy colored the father's skin dark brown and his hair dark brown. Fortunately, crayon is pretty easy to erase from construction paper, so we did a little rescue with the crayon and it turned out pretty good.

I hope you get a chance to try this project.


Tuesday, April 8, 2014

FarFaria Reading App GIVEAWAY (2 winners)

Here is an iPad opportunity you will NOT want to pass up on! 

How would you like access to more than 600 incredible and colorful children's stories, with five brand new ones added EVERY week for free for 3 months?

Farfaria is an amazing iPad app that was created for children ages 2-9 that provides an incredibly engaging reading experience. Every single story in this app can be differentiated for different levels of reading abilities and is leveled according to reading level with a badge right on the book cover. One option for reading the stories allows for the iPad to automatically turn the pages as the story is read by a cheerful narrator. Another option allows for the reader to swipe their finger right to left across the page and the narrator reads the book to the reader. The final option allows the reader to turn the page and do all the reading themselves. My students love the "Read to Me" option because the narrators are so upbeat and many of the stories include background sounds and/or music.

I LOVE to "grab" the corner of the page and let it "peel" part way across the iPad to give them "sneak peaks" of what comes next in the story. My students literally beg me to hurry and turn the page.

The "homepage" of FarFaria is designed similar to Disneyland in which you can access different genres of books in different "lands". Here is one example.

Every one of the books on FarFaria can be saved as a "favorite" to be read offline later. I like to save the books as favorites because most of the books are so well received by the students that they usually ask to see it again the next day. Some of their favorites are "Grumpy Cat" and "Monkey Ninjas".

Before I tell you how you can win one of 2 free 3 month memberships that are good for use in the USA and Canada, check out the FarFaria Demo that will give you a look at what I am sure will be one of your new #1 "go-to" apps.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

You can also try the FarFaria for free on your own. You can download the app and read one free story every day with no obligation to pay. If you like the app, you can purchase it for $3.99 a month or $39.99 for the year. 

In my classroom, I do not have Apple TV to show the whole class what is on my iPad, but I have found an awesome work-around that allows me to share FarFaria with everyone at once. I open FarFaria on my iPad and place it under my document camera. Students can then see the story unfold before them up on the large classroom screen through the LCD projector. I have translucent pointers that I use to point out details or point to words I want them to practice with in the story. My students give this app 46 thumbs up! 

Good luck on your entry!


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

A Year Long Technology Project

Are you looking for a YEAR-LONG technology idea to do with your class this or next year? Watch this Prezi for some ideas about something you could do with a few tools (and possibly some help from a few volunteers).

I am always looking through Pinterest for technology ideas I can use in my classroom. Please tell me about some of your favorite ideas!

Enjoy the Prezi!

Look for more tech tips from teachers here!
Teaching with Technology

Monday, February 3, 2014

Feel the Love, Valentine Math Freebies

"I'm doooo-ooooone!" we have all heard those words from one of our lightning flash fast students at one point or another. When my students are finished with their work, I have them turn to their "unfinished work" folder. However, when the work is finished there too, I will then let the students work in a center or work in pairs on the iPads. At times, there is really not quite enough time to really start an activity on the iPad or in a center, so I always keep a current folder of an extension activity for math and phonics. Here are a few of my favorite February ones just for you.

In the spirit of Valentine's Day activities, I have some that I have created that you can have for FREE!

A Valentine Pictograph

This is a card game that can be laminated, cut, and played with either in a math center or individually in the classroom. This activity reinforces knowing how to count from 1-20 and also reinforces matching objects to numbers. This game can also be used as an assessment by having the children try to put the number cards in correct order from 1-20. Accelerated students could then match the correct object card to the number card.

Give each student a box of candy hearts. Have them sort their colors on to the sorting sheet first. Then have them graph their candy on the Valentine Heart Graph. I allow my students to remove their candy and place it back in the box and then use the correct colored crayon to show how many hearts were on each line. I then send the paper and the box of candy hearts home with the students. This is a HUGE hit every year.

Finally, how about some BONUS LOVE! If you enjoy these activities and leave a comment about how you might use my activities with your email address, I will send you my  most popular math activity for FREE! This is a paid product in my TpT store, but I will send it to you for FREE!

Leave a comment to get this paid product for free!


Sunday, February 2, 2014

A Super Offer

I plan to be watching the Super Bowl with my family tomorrow. However, I will also be checking out some of my fellow teacher's stores that are having a 20% off sale on their products.

Primary Possibilities

Stephany at Primary Possibilities is hosting a link up of teachers that all plan to offer sales to you tomorrow during the Big Game. Click on her button to be taken to the group. Thanks, Stephanie!

I will be one of the teachers hosting a 20% off sale. My sale runs February 2nd through February 4th. Click on the picture to be taken to my store.

As a thank you to all who purchase from my store during this sale, I will help you get ready for Mother's AND Father's Day with a free copy of BOTH my Mother's Day and Father's Day journals. These are great to complete for morning work. My students complete a page a day until they are finished. I then bind them and save them as a gift for the parents in my class. 

Just leave a comment below with your email and the product you purchased from my store and I will send both PDFs your way for free!

You can click on both pictures below to see if you would like to use them!


Tuesday, January 28, 2014

QR Codes for Video in a Class Collaborative Written Book in Kindergarten

Our class loves to make collaborative class books. This is one we made for our parents to look at as they waited their turns in the hallway to speak to me at our report card conferences.

We made one based on the book, I Went Walking. It is written by Sue Williams and illustrated by Julie Vivas. I had two copies, so, I took one copy and used the front cover for the front of our creation. 

I also found a wonderful singing version of this book on YouTube. The person who made the video turns the pages during the song, so a child can watch the book being sung to them. I created a QR code at QRstuff.com from the YouTube url and pasted it onto the front cover of the book.

This book is part of our Houghton Mifflin Reading program. We looked through this book and made a lot of inferences. It was so fun for the child to see if they could guess which animal would show up on the next page, based solely on the part of the animal the illustrator teased them with on each prior page.

We then read the book and retold the story. The students loved the repetition and opportunity to make guesses about the animals. To develop their oral language with this activity, I let students use iPads to record each other sharing about what animal they would see if they went walking. I reminded them that they had to speak using the full sentence that said, " I saw a ____ ____ looking at me."

Students then illustrated the animal they wanted to see when they went walking and wrote what animal they would see on the page using this format: I saw ________________________________. They filled in what animal they saw looking at them.

I then uploaded each of their videos to my YouTube channel and made sure to set the videos to "unlisted" so that only the people with the url could see the videos.

I created a QR code for each individual video and printed them out on a paper. I cut each person's QR code out and glued it to the page they were creating for the class book.

Finally, I added a picture of each child to their page. 

Parents were instructed to download a free QR code scanner to their device so that they could scan the QR code from their child's page and watch their child read the page to them while they waited for their conference. I also offered my device if they either did not have one or did not want to download something like that to their own device.

I put the book together by punching the sides with a three-holed punch and placing rings through the pages. At the end of the school year, I can take out the children's pages and have them place them in their end of the year book that they add to each month. It will be a really neat collection of projects that they have worked on throughout the year.

The students loved using the iPads in class to scan their friends pages and watch their friend read their pages to them.

I hope you get to try something like this in your class. If you do, I would love to hear about what you created!


Saturday, January 11, 2014

Beautiful Penguin Art

I just LOVE how this penguin project turned out! I love the variation in each penguin's facial expression and body language. I can not take credit for this project, so I will point you to Patty Palmer's site, Deep Space Sparkle. It is an amazing resource for art ideas for your classroom.

I added my own variation on the directions she gave. I was drawn to the bright colored paints she let her students use. We used 5-6 colors of tempura paint, full strength. I did this with 6 students at a time. As each student made a stripe of paint across their paper, they passed the paint cup to the next student and painted stripes down their paper until the paper was covered. I like that it meant that the colors were in different order for each paper so that when they were hung up, the backgrounds didn't all match exactly.

We added a textured look to the painted background by taking two paper towels and laying them over the painted paper as soon as the student was finished painted. They patted the paper towel down and slowly peeled it off the paper, leaving a cool textured look to the paper. The other positive outcome of this added step was that excess paint was removed and the paper dried fairly quickly.

On the next day, students took Q tips and painted white tempura paint snow balls onto the dried colorful background. I let them mix in silver glitter tempura paint to give the "snow" a shimmery look. We then sprinkled silver glitter onto the paint. I had the student return to their seats to paint more white with silver drops onto the background so that the paper had some white and some glittered snow balls.

We then created the penguins out of construction paper. I had the students cut a penguin body out of black construction paper by explaining that they cut a "mountain" out of the paper. They then did the same thing on a smaller piece of white paper for the penguin tummy. They used the white paper scraps to cut out large eyes. I had them cut out any shape feet out of orange paper. They also used the orange paper to cut out a triangle beak. Some of them wanted to just cut out a triangle while others preferred to fold a square piece at the corners to make a 3D triangle beak.

I included the closeup because I love how it really shows the variety in the facial expressions of the faces. I also think it was cool to see how the way students placed their wings changed the penguin's demeanor. The penguin on the left looks pensive while the one in the middle looks mad. In the picture above, the penguin with the 3D bent beak looks like he got caught doing something wrong. These turned out so fun!

One of the final parts of this project called for creating an iceberg piece out of white construction paper and a blue oil pastel and Q tip.

The students drew a rectangle. They added a line at the bottom of the rectangle and colored it in dark with the oil pastel. They then used the Q tip to "push" the color up from the dark blue rectangle. They then also did it inward from the lines on the sides and downward from the line at the top. They were so impressed with this part of the project, I could have done only this part of the project and I could have made their whole day. One student exclaimed, "Wow, this is WAY better than getting a pet puppy for a present!" I had to laugh out loud at that!

They then glued the penguin onto the iceberg and then glued those to the painted background. I thought these looked great, but wanted a more "finished" look, so I matted them on black paper to make the color "pop" more and to put a focus on the black penguin in the middle. These made for a beautiful bulletin board and a fantastic art project with a multitude of art mediums for my students. Thanks to Patty Palmer at Deep Space Sparkle for the fabulous idea!!

I am always looking for new art ideas. Deep Space Sparkle has given me so many wonderful ideas to do with my students. Where have you found some wonderful art ideas?


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