Sunday, April 17, 2011

Monsters Rocked the Park (Random)

My grand-daughter loves the movie, Monsters Inc.  For her 2nd birthday party, we went all out with a Monsters Inc. party at our city park.  My daughter made the invitations, "sushi", and "Scream Collectors".  The "Scream Collectors" contained an Employee Handbook, bugs, frogs, lizards, and other things to make you scream.  I made the "Feed the Monsters" toss game, and altered a bowling set to create "Bowling for Monsters".  I also made a screen of doors for a decoration.  I didn't think we would be able to get the children off the playground, but they had a blast with our homemade games.

My nieces, my daughter, and I were alert for any 2319's.  We didn't have a white sock, but a sock is a sock.  The bigger kids loved being chased, when we detected contamination.

On the chance that some children were not familiar with the movie, we set up a projector and "screen", and played the movie from my laptop. It was funny to see 2 and 3 year olds watching the movie.  It was like they were studying it.  They would watch the movie for a while, and then play for a while.

It was dark when we finally left.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Earth Day Projects

Our Spring Break starts Monday.  This week we have discussed Earth Day.  Students were asked to re-use items which they would normally throw away, to make something creative or useful.  A detailed letter was sent home with examples.  I also showed them some things that we have used all year long, that were made from recycled items.

I was impressed with the projects that the students and their families made.  One student had so much doing this project, that he did two projects.  The "wiener dog" is my favorite.  The telephone and rocket were fun for the whole class.  One student combined our plant unit and Earth Day with his flowerpot, fashioned from a formula can. Ink pens became the stems for some silk flowers.  The flowers were planted in some sand, in an altered water bottle.  A KFC box made perfect storage for post cards or index cards.
Cardboard tubes, a take-out box, water bottle, formula canister, soup cans, rope, and ink pens were re-used to make some creative and useful items.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What's the Scoop?

My first grade students love this creative writing activity. They pick a flower from each pot. The pots are labeled Who? When? Where? Problem/Goal, and Extra Details. I made the flowers in the individual pots the same color, so the students would know they need one of each color. The stem of the flower has information for the student to use in his or her writing. The students put the information on a graphic organizer, so they can work on it at their own pace. The stories turn out to be too cute and funny. One story was about me laying duck eggs at the beach.

Revamped for a Colleague
My Original "Flower Pots"
The idea was adapted from The Best of the Mailbox Writing for Grades 1-3. It was submitted by M.A. Murphy of Chicago, IL for grades 3-4. I couldn't think of a flower themed title for it, so I left it at What's the Scoop?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Student Treasures Book

Some of you may remember my post a few months ago about our class book; Who Stole the Cookies?. Well we published the book through Student Treasures. We had to change a few things because one student moved away, and a new student joined us. We were still able to combine, math, writing, and art to create a fun book. This is the second Student Treasures book that I've been involved with. This book was much easier to put together, since we just rewrote our favorite class book.

Friday, April 1, 2011


We read Busy, Buzzy Bee in our reading series, this week. We played literacy games with a bee theme. We wrote an informational book about bees. Our guest speaker was a former teacher who wrote Honey Bee, Where Are You?, a book about honey bees. Ms. Scott is also a beekeeper. She shared information about why bees are important, theories about why honey bees are disappearing, and how we can help restore the honey bee population. The students were very attentive and shared what we've learned about honey bees. They were also able to recall information that they learned from her.

After Ms. Scott's visit, we are planning our next Project-Based Learning activity. Our school has a garden area that is ready for some little eager gardeners. Our next science unit just happens to be plants.

Ms. Scott was too kind. She donated 20% of her book sales from today to our school. I can not thank her enough. I elected to donate the money to the Book Club.