Saturday, September 24, 2016

Self-Portrait Snacks

One of my goals for my Kinder students is to help them become more creative thinkers. Many kiddos have an innate creativity-they just don't know what to do with it or aren't given opportunities often enough to hone that skill. So instead of doing a self-portrait on paper this week, we did it with food.

I wanted them to stretch their minds in the way they think about using certain materials. What can I use for my mouth? My hair? I think the results were very creative (and yummy to boot-win/win!). We started with a tortilla as our canvas and I had different shaped Cheetos, pretzels, marshmallows and chocolate chips for them to sculpt their faces with.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Grandparents' Celebration

Every year I do a "tea" for our Mothers and a celebration for our fathers. I was posting pics of our tables ready for them last year and my former principal who was then the grandparent of one of my students commented "what about the grandparents!". Now I know she was just kidding, but it stuck with me-this year I would do something for grandparents. Our district has a special lunch that the grandparents can come attend so that morning we sang some songs to them and then did an activity where the grandparents would paint their handprints next to their grandchild's. If I did it again I'd probably have them just trace their hands and cut them out-the paint was ok, I went over expectations with the kiddos before but the clean up was hard even though I actually have a sink in the room-the line to wash up was pretty long. And one parent complained about putting his hand in the orange paint-he is an Aggies fan (outside of Texas you may not get that reference). I didn't get great pics of the final product because of course, the grandparents took it with them, but here are some examples.

Then the kids also made some souvenirs for their grandparents:

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Faberge Eggs and Classroom Community

Let me start out by saying, I am an art history nut. I love learning about the stories behind art. I actually watch a neat show called "Raiders of the Lost Art" about art that has been lost/stolen over the years. They actually did a story on Faberge and his eggs. I think it's a great story of how success is based on skill and on luck-had the Czar's wife not come into his shop and admired his work, he probably would not be a household name today.

I came across this activity on: . If you are looking for ways to spice up your instruction, especially ways to make it more interesting for GT kiddos, this is a great place to find ideas. I watched a video from Terri over at : I adapted it somewhat for my little ones, but we looked at pics of Faberge eggs and the detail they had, the surprise they had inside. I assigned each student a partner and asked them to decorate their egg on the front and then put a surprise inside for them. I can't use many of them here because they put names in the middle, etc. but here are a few:

Her idea used papier mache and was a little more involved-but I wanted to do this in the first few weeks of school so we just used construction paper. The kids really enjoyed it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Books for Grandparents' Day

I love that we have a day to celebrate Grandparents! This year I used some read-alouds to go along with that theme and wanted to share them with you guys.

Grandpa Green is a book about the life of a grandfather told in the shrubs he sculpts. The grandfather is losing his memories but they will always be remembered by his plants.

This doubles as a good story about part/whole as well. The red dress ends up being repurposed in many ways.

This is just a sweet story! The boy talks about all the things he will do with his grandfather as they get old together. It begins with them in rocking chairs and ends the same way.

One of my all-time favorite stories! What is a memory? This book tackles that question in a beautiful way. Not exactly his grandparents (a nursing home next door) but surrogate grandparents, I'm sure.

A neat story about dual language families and ways they can always communicate with each other.