Sunday, July 31, 2011

Two Simple Insect Crafts

My son attended the Kalamazoo Math and Science Center for a camp this summer.  He learned about bugs.  They did two simple crafts as part of the camp that I thought would be simple and easy to do in the classroom.  I highly recommend these camps, BTW :)

The first was a simple head band with pipe cleaner antennae.

The other was an insect made up of pipe cleaners and Styrofoam craft balls:

Happy August!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

What Kept My Kids Busy For 1 1/2 Hours?

Its an oldie but a goodie!

I hadn't done these since I was a kid and many people who I talked to about them said they didn't know they even existed anymore.  I have found them at Hobby Lobby, Barnes and Noble, and at Toy Barn.

My kids were engrossed with them!  Here are some pictures:

Friday, July 22, 2011

Beach Sight Word Games-2nd/3rd Dolch List

I just realized that I never did this for my friend that is teaching summer school.  Hopefully she can still use it :)  I am also trying to embed the Google Docs for the first time, so if it doesn't work, please let me know.

Here is the beach sight word game with the 2nd list words:

Here are the 3rd grade words:

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Harry Potter Activities

A few weeks ago, I took the boys to a Harry Potter day at the Kalamazoo Valley Museum. They had so many great ideas for activities, I have been wanting to post them here.  My oldest is really into Harry Potter this summer and we may be having a Harry Potter themed birthday party in our future :) I also thought someone might be able to use the activities for a literacy night, but I know Harry Potter is controversial.

There were a variety of puppets and masks.  It looked like someone drew them:

These were finger puppets.

These were Popsicle puppets that we did not have time to finish.


These hats were pretty cool.  I have seen them before, but not done with black and purple.  They would be great for a Halloween theme.  I did hear one mom say that "wizards don't wear hats".

They decorated wooden whistles:

They also decorated wooden snakes.  You could easily make these out of paper to make them cheaper.

Plastic swords.  They were supposed to decorate them, but it was so crowded there.  Again, these could easily be made out of paper.

Tom's Diary..would be easy to make with a book binder or just staple paper.

And magic wands.  These were really easy to make.  It was construction paper wrapped around a dowel and then feathers were taped on it.


We had a great time :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Traffic Signs Word Wall

One of the books we use during the school year is "I Read Signs" by Tana Hoban.

I created an environmental print word wall of traffic signs to use with this book.  Click the picture below to download.

 Hope someone can use :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Carnival Sight Words

I think this will be the last set of sight word games that I am going to make this summer for my buddy who is teaching summer school.  We have a county fair in August, so I made a carnival themed set.  Click on the pictures to download.  First is a bingo game with Harcourt Brace Trophies first grade site words.
Next, another game with the Harcourt Brace Trophies first grade words:

This set has the second grade Dolch list words:
And last the game with the 3rd grade Dolch list:

 Hope someone can use something!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Summer Sight Words Requests

I have had some requests for the summer sight word and beach sight word games.  I will try to get to them as I have time.  The first was for a blank game so people could plug their own words into it.  I have not had too much luck with Word documents on Google Docs, but I will try it and see how it works.  Let me know if it works for you or not.  Click on the picture below to download.

I created these game for a friend who is teaching summer school and she says she has some higher readers, so I put the 2nd and 3rd grade Dolch word lists into the game for her.  Click on the pictures to download.

Here are the 2nd grade Dolch words:

And the 3rd grade words:

I will try to get to the beach ones when I get time.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Simple Butterfly Craft

Sometimes I forget about the simplest ideas.  There are so many awesome and new ideas out there, that I forget about the simple and easy things that are cheap and always work :)  My boys made this cute little butterfly craft at library storytime the other day and I had forgotten about it.  I used to make it in my classroom and I did it for literacy night a few years ago.

Best of all, you can get all the materials for this project at the Dollar Store!  If you can't tell, it is a coffee filter scrunched up between a clothespin to make a butterfly.  You can use a variety of materials to color the filter.  My boys used markers, but when I did it for literacy night, I used watercolor paints. You could also add a piece of magnetic tape to make it into a refrigerator magnet.

A great book to read before doing the craft would be:

Friday, July 8, 2011

The Slimy Science Kit From the Black Lagoon

The latest installment from the keeping my kids busy this summer files is "The Slimy Science Kit From The Black Lagoon" by Scholastic.  My older son got this from a Scholastic book order during the school year.

The kit comes with a book of simple experiments, a plastic tray, a packet of black powder, and two plastic test tubes.  My kids did the first experiment in the book, "Create Your Own Black Lagoon".  Its a very simple experiment where you create slime (or Ooblack) using the black powder packet, water, the plastic tray, and a spoon.  I loved that all the extra materials were things that we had on hand already.  Here are some pictures from our experiment.

Pouring the black powder into the tray:

Pouring in the water, little brother gets interested too:
Taking turns stirring:

It started really liquid and got more solid as time went on.  We talked about the difference between a solid and a liquid.  There is a simple scientific explanation after each experiment. This was super easy and kept the boys busy for about a 1/2 hour.  It is messy though as the tray is pretty shallow.  The other experiments in book look pretty simple too.  They are:
  1. Make Floating Snot
  2. Construct an Erupting Volcano
  3. Create a Self Inflating Balloon
  4. Grow a Salt Stalacite
  5. Make Invisible Ink

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Beach Sight Word Games

Made a few more sight word games using Harcourt Brace Trophies first grade high frequency words.  These words are from Level 2 and 3 of the program.  Here is the first one.  Click on the picture to download:

This one gave me some fits, so if you do download it, would you leave me a comment?  It would be nice to know if someone found this useful  :)

The next one is a bingo game:


Monday, July 4, 2011

Shout Out!

2 Teaching Mommies always gives a shout out to the sites that give them the most referrals  each month.  I think this is a pretty nice idea, so I want to give a shout out to my highest referring  sites for the month of June :)  If you haven't checked them out, do so as there are lots of good ideas there!

Mrs. Wills Kindergarten

Really Roper

Love 2 Learn and Share

Just Add Clipart

Ingles 360

Learning With Mrs. Parker

Izzie, Mac, and Me

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Read Alouds for the Fall Linky Party!

Mrs. Parker at Learning with Mrs. Parker is having a linky party for first week of school read alouds.

I can't say that I have any new fantastic read alouds to share, but I love the books I do read! We usually only have a 3 day week, although that may change this year.

The first day, I always read "The Kissing Hand" by Audrey Penn.  We always have parents who enter the classroom on the first day with their child and this is a sweet story to share and then say goodbye to our moms and dads.

There are a lot of activities out there for this book, but for the first day of kindergarten, I usually just have the children color a simple picture of a raccoon.  This gives me a chance to see how well they follow directions, use materials, and what their fine motor skills are like.

The second day I always read "Miss Bindergarten Gets Ready for Kindergarten".

We talk about what Miss Bindergarten did to get ready, what the students in her class did, and finally what each one of them did to get ready.  Then I model doing a drawing of something I did to get ready.  Then each child makes a drawing of what he or she did to get ready.

The third day I always read "The Very Hungry Caterpillar" by Eric Carle.
This story is (hopefully) familiar to the children because they get a copy of it in their kindergarten registration packets.  After we read it, then we do a simple TLC art project to go along with the story.

Other stories I might read the first week are:

"If You Take A Mouse To School"

"First Day Jitters"-although most of them don't "get" it.

Can't wait to see what everyone else reads!!  :)

Friday, July 1, 2011

Summertime Sight Words

A friend of mine is teaching 2nd grade language arts for summer school.  She said she has a few kids that are at a level "D" reading ability.  She said they do not have a good base of sight words. So I made her a couple of sight word games.  I used the beginning of the year 1st grade words, since my on grade level kindergartners are at a C/D level at the end of kindergarten.  We use Harcourt Brace Trophies and that is where I got the words.

I made a bingo game.  Click on the picture to download.

And a "kids in the pool" game.  Click on the picture to download.

I may make some beach themed ones later.  Hope someone can use.