Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March Art, Science, and Spraypaint

Hello! Marissa from The Inspired Owl's Corner and Lisa from PAWSitively Teaching are opening their monthly pick 3 Linky party for all of us to share some great ideas for you to use in your classroom in March! Thanks, Ladies!!

Here are some ideas I have for you.

My students really enjoyed creating the oil pastel and watercolor reindeer from ARTventurous in December, so when I saw that the author created a cute version of a bunny rabbit using the same medium, I saved her lesson immediately to my Pinterest board. I seriously love that even though the students all follow the same directions, each creation turns out with an entirely different personality! In most of her posted creations, the students painted with one color of watercolor in the back. I kind of liked the one that showed two colors kind of mixed. This made me think about trying this project on our watercolor paper. I found a bunch of it on sale sometime back, so I am going to try it out. I bet it really makes the background turn out cool!

Please click on picture to be taken to original Pinterest link,

In our class, we do have science lessons on matter. We don't get to talk a lot about viscosity of liquids in kindergarten, but with a big focus on rainbows in March, this would be a really great science project to do. One aspect I really enjoy about teaching kindergarten is that most of them don't come in with any idea of what could happen when you mix liquids such as honey, light corn syrup, dish soap, olive oil, rubbing alcohol, or water. Watching their eyes bug out and hearing them yell, "Boooooyaaaaah!" when something really cool happens is just pure fun. I saw this experiment done on a few websites and one of the authors mentioned that it was REALLY IMPORTANT to add the ingredients down the side of the jar S-L-O-W-L-Y and that more was not better when adding drops of color. The more color added, the more difficult it becomes to differentiate the colors in the rainbow experiment.

Please click on picture to view original Pinterest link.

Finally, this is a project that Debbie Clement found at a conference created by a teacher named Cindy Tuisku. I was drawn to how beautiful each picture was and then amazed that they were created by a kindergarten class! Debbie does suggest that you read the directions carefully three times. If you scroll to the bottom of her post and read Cindy Tuisku's response to Debbie's post, she tells more about how she managed her class while creating this project using real spray paint.

Click on picture to view original Pinterest link.
If you like these ideas, check out what some others have found for you by clicking on the linky below. If you'd like to join the linky it will be open for the next month.

I love to collect pins for things that can be done in my classroom. If you are interested in seeing those, click on For My Classroom.


Friday, February 27, 2015

Create a Free Avatar for Fun!

Avatars are so fun to create. Today, I created an avatar for myself. I have naturally curly hair and the site I used didn't really have an option for what my crazy hair can look like on a bad day, but it did have an option for what my hair might look like on a pretty good day when I straighten it out.

Created by Christina Aronen on mybluerobot.com

If you'd like to create your own avatar, you can do it using something offered by a company called My Blue Robot. It is free, though they do ask at the end if you'd like to make a donation to Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis.

Though the website is fairly user-friendly, I have a tutorial for you here:

This is what the main page looks like.

Choose what gender you'd like to create.

Choose a face shape. 
Choose a skin color.

Choose what you'd like your iris to look like.

You can also choose the color and shape of your eyes.

Choose your hairstyle.

You can alter natural hair color if you wish.

Choose an eyebrow shape.
Use the directional arrows to tilt eyebrows.

Choose a mouth.
You may tilt or widen it using directionals.

Choose a nose.
Use the zoom to enlarge or make smaller.

Choose an ear shape.
Some hairstyles do not show ears.

Choose a clothing style.
Use the color swatches or wheel to change color.

Glasses can be added.
Styles and color can be chosen.
Use directionals to lower or raise glasses.
Use zoom to make smaller or bigger.

Choose a background.
Or leave blank if you prefer.

Backgrounds can be colored as well.

Click "download" on lower right corner.
It will go straight to your downloads folder.

Finished product!
Have fun with it!

I uploaded mine to Microsoft Publisher and added words to mine and a border too. I forgot to add that you can also zoom the actual picture in or out and tilt the head either direction as well if you'd like.

I hope you have fun trying this out! I did.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Valentines Day Math and Writing Activities

How fun was it to start the week out on Ground Hog Day? Our students loved it. I showed them some PowerPoints about the day and they were so funny. They thought it was ridiculous that a ground hog looking at his shadow could tell us that there would be six more days of winter!

As we look at February and have only 11 more days until winter vacation, I've been looking for some great ways for them to enjoy integrating Valentines Day into our activities. I found some great ideas and I'd love to share them with you!

Click on image to view original Pinterest link

Cathy Wolfram at Adore Your Place is an interior designer and a mother of three children. She created this beautiful picture for the teacher as an end-of-the-year picture. In our class we make a memory book and if I could possibly get my classful of kinders to stand still for two seconds, I think I would LOVE to make this to include in each of their books. I think I will do our picture on a red paper background. It would be really cute with patterned paper too.

Click on image to view original Pinterest link

Littlebins has some really terrific Valentines Early Learning hands on math activities. This pin will take you to some really engaging math fun.
#1: Counting by 10's
#2: Patterning
#3: Math Game
#4: Graphing
#5: Water Bead Math
#6: Number recognition, 1:1 counting to 20

All of these great activities use some really cute math manipulatives!

Click on the image to view original Pinterest link

Finally, Mrs. T's First Grade Class has some sweet Valentines Day activities. I thought this writing project was terrific. She offers a free printable with the prompt that states: "I once was a candy heart and now I am a....." The idea is that you take a candy heart from the conversation heart candy box and create a picture around it. In this example above, she turned her heart into a cat nose. For younger students, you can simply have them write the name of what they turned their heart into. For older students, encourage them to add some adjectives, adverbs, and prepositional phrases to make the sentence sound more interesting.

If you'd love to find some more excellent February Fun Finds, check out what these bloggers have found for you to do!


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Do You Have a Digital Story to Tell?

Kristen, Juliet, and Cassie over at the Teaching Trio host a linky called Technology Thursday. It is a weekly linky dedicated to all things technology related. Teachers can share reviews of websites or apps you've tried, tech tips that make your {teaching or personal} life easier, and helpful tutorials. Their hope is that this linky provides a place for teachers to share and learn new ways to use technology and engage students!

Be a rule follower!
Rule #1: Include the image above and a link to their blog somewhere in your post.
Rule #2: Be a good blog reader...visit the two blogs who link up before you and leave some love on their pages!
Rule #3: This linky is not intended for product promotion. You may include products you've created in your posts, but they should not be the sole focus of the post.

Today, I have an amazingly easy way for you to tell your story. You can use still pictures, text and embed videos right into the story. This program allows you to create a timeline and use a Google map to help take your viewers along on your story. The program is called MEOGRAPH. One of the nicest things about it, it is FREEEEEE!

I can think of a number of ways you can use this program with your class.

1) Students can create a meograph to tell a story about a biography and to show the different places the character travelled to in a lifetime.
2) Students can tell their autobiography.
3) Students can use this program to create their own lit trip through a book such as done with Google Lit Trips.
4) Students can create a Meograph to share their vacation or field trip stories with the class.
There really are numerous ways you can use this program.

Not only is this program free, it is easy to use. I am including a tutorial for you here.

Begin by opening the website and click on the "Try!" button to begin.

Add a title and then click on "add a moment".

Choose whether you would like to add a photo, video, and even narration. Next, click on "More" to add the location and other information for each "moment" you add.

Next, you can add links, text, where, and when the "moment" happened. I love that by doing this, a Google map is added. As you enter each "place", a line moves from the previous to the new place on a Google map. You can adjust the size of the map as well, by zooming in or out up at the top of the map. You just repeat this process over and over for however many "moments" you want to include in your story.

Click on the picture above to be taken to a Meograph I created to tell the story of a mission trip I took to Mexico. It has still pictures, text, narration, and even includes an embedded video.

If you like this tech tip, click on the button at the top of this post to visit the Teaching Trio for some other ideas!



Saturday, January 3, 2015

January Art Projects for the Classroom

Hello everyone! Thanks to Marissa at Inspired Owl's Corner and Lisa at Pawsitively Teaching, I am here again to share three terrific ideas I found on Pinterest that you can use in your class as soon as you get back from the holiday break!

Click on image to view original Pinterest link.

Patty Palmer posted this terrific project by Mountain Color over at the Deep Space Sparkle's website. I have done this project with my students and it is truly sweet to see how differently each child's project turns out, even though they each are doing the "same" project. This is a two day project. One day is taken to create the beautiful background and the other day is taken to create the penguin and the little iceberg it sits on. My students were concerned about putting the arms exactly as I showed them how to as I was doing this lesson direct-instruction style. I told them that they could choose to have their arms up, down, or side-ways. The fact that each child chose to do it differently added to the individual personality of each penguin. The same thing happened when creating the eyes and nose. Some penguins looked happy, others looked concerned. It was delightful to hang these up and look at each penguin expression. I promise that if you do this lesson with your class, everyone who sees them will LOVE them! I matted mine on black and hung them up in my classroom. (see below) I think the second penguin looks pensive while the last penguin looks kind of like he got caught in the middle of doing something. This project could be extended by having your students write penguin facts and attach those to the bottom of their masterpieces!

Click on image to view original Pinterest link
I have seen many "Snow globe" projects around on Pinterest, but I chose this one to highlight. Tori over at Tori's Teacher Tips has one of the best "tutorials" on how to create this project. She has a lot of large, clear pictures on her post on how to create this. What I especially loved about this teacher's approach is that she let her students choose what they would each do in the snow globe. She took a picture of each student acting out what they would do in the snow globe. After each project was completed, the students then followed the art project with a writing extension. This post is really a "must-see" as she has lots of great shots and examples of this project for you to look at. A bonus is that she offers lots of freebies on her posts as well, this one included! I am definitely considering this as a possible January project with my students.

Click on image to view original Pinterest link.

Stacy Spangler over at the Sleepy Head Art Studio has wonderful step-by-step directions for this over-the-top fun-to-make project. The students get to mix glue with shaving cream to paint a textured snowman. How fun does that sound? Ok, well, it sounds messy to be honest, but her pictures make it look really easy and fun to do. I especially love that this project uses so many different types of mediums (glue, shaving cream, paint, glitter, sticks, paper, and cloth). When parents come into our room and see a project like this done, they can tell a lot of thought and work went into creating it. They can also usually tell that the students really had an amazing time creating it. Even though this is also a direct-instruction type of art project, each of the ones she has pictures for turned out differently. I definitely look forward to trying this project out shortly after returning to school.

I hope you have found something here that your are excited about trying with your students after the break. Projects like these are so wonderful for classroom bonding. Students encourage one another with their work and really celebrate each other's beautiful creations when they are displayed in the classroom for others to see. If you liked these ideas, you are sure to LOVE these ones too. I am excited to share these links with you so that you can enjoy the best Pinterest links that we have found for you to add to your January fun.

This linky will be open for the entire month of January 2015. We'd LOVE to have you add your awesome finds for January on Pinterest to encourage other teachers as well.

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