Saturday, November 30, 2013

Pre-k Week 9: Safety

For week 9, we talked about safety. This included street safety and fire safety.

For street safety, I mostly followed the Letter People curriculum. 
First we made traffic signs by cutting shapes out of the correct color construction paper, tracing the words, and gluing them to Popsicle sticks. On the playground, I taught the kids how to play 'red light, green light' using the signs. Although it took awhile for them to understand the rules, by the end of recess they all were playing the game together, using their own signs to play. This was a great way to check their understanding of the concept.

We also made cars out of toilet paper rolls from after leaning about car safety, 
like wearing your seatbelt and staying in your seat. The kids loved playing red light green light with the cars, 
as well as racing them, down the slide!

This stoplight color sorting activity was a great one to practice the skill of color sorting while learning about the stoplights.

For fire safety, we did this Don't Hide, Go Outside activity from after discussing what 
to do if your house is on fire.

The kids also practiced stopping, dropping, and rolling, and colored a certificate to show they could do this.

Finally, the kids made their own firehose by attaching blue construction paper to the end of paper towel rolls. 
I don't have a picture of this, but its from:

Pre-K Week 8: Farm

I'm sorry if this post seems odd... I'm posting from the blogger app on my iPad as opposed to my laptop. Just getting some updates done over Football, I mean Thanksgiving weekend. Is it over yet? 

Week 8 of our school year was one where we learned about farm animals. The learning goal was that the students would be able to name at least 5 animals that live on a farm, and they would be considered above mastery if they could tell a detail about that animal, such as what they looked like, their produce, or their sound.

I must have 100 farm animal books, plus there's lots of fun songs and activities that are basic for preschoolers, so everyone had a lot of fun with this. Next year ill hopefully have more time to plan a field trip to the local farm, or maybe tag on to the kindergarten one.

We sang songs like 'Old MacDonald had a Farm'.

Here are the animal crafts we did this week:

*****Pig Recyclable Craft from the Letter People Curriculum****
These pigs were SO cute, one if my favorite projects all year, but I've found the cutest crafts always take much more effort on my part. 
For this craft, I had to collect recyclables from families first. I was looking for round/ cylinder cardboard containers, like salt or oatmeal containers. I ended up getting one container in, and have three on hand. That means I was short 4 containers. I ended up using one aluminum can, one water bottle, one conditioner bottle, and one styrofoam cup.
I cut the tops of the bottles to keep the cylinder shapes, and covered the containers in white paper to make them paintable. 
I then added a nose to the end out of paper, just a little fat cylinder.
Feet were made from wine corks and just glued on. Everything was put together with hot glue.

Now they were ready for the kids to finish up.

First they painted the whole pig pink, including the wine cork feet. I didn't have any pink paint, so this was a great opportunity to teach about mixing red and white to make pink.

When the paint was dry, I had the kids curl up a pipe cleaner to make a curly tail, and I hot-glued it into the open back-end of the container. They also glued on googly eyes and drew a nose and mouth.

I had each student name their pig since they were so darn cute and we worked so hard on them. This was actually really impressive... I only got one student who named their pig 'Pig', as was my childhood move. The names they came up with included Legs, Tails, Beautiful Lady, Ote, and Oink.

Finally, I took a picture of each student holding their pig, then photoshopped a farmer hat on their head. I created a certificate for each student saying 'Farmer _________ adopted _________ the pig on (date)'. We had them hanging on our farm bulletin board, and the kids loved seeing their pictures and saying 'That's me!' With only a little confusion as to when they had a picture in a farmers hat.

Another farm animal craft we did was:
******Paper Plate Cows from learncreatelove (
These plates also turned out really cute, the students painted on the spots with q-tips and glued on the features. It was much easier than the pig, and it gave the students a hands-on opportunity to lean that 
cows are black and white and have spots.

Our last farm animal craft was:
*******Cotton Ball Sheep from the Letter People Curriculum
These sheep were the most simple project of all. I prepared the craft by cutting out sheep shapes in card stock. 
The students glued on cotton balls, and it was a great opportunity to discuss how sheep have wool and the wool
helps make some of our clothes.

Here is our farm bulletin board!!!

Ps. Sorry about the amusing way of covering the kids faces... I don't have my regular software on here!

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Pre-K Week 7: Fall

Week 7 marked the first week of Fall, which was an exciting (and complicated) to teach students in Florida.

The main concepts we worked on was the fact that there were different seasons, the name of the season was Fall, during fall the weather gets cooler, and the leaves change colors and fall off of the tree.

One of the first things I showed the students was this video of a husky jumping in leaves. The students loved it as much as I did, and we might have watched it multiple times that day.
It was a learning experience. What?! It was!!!

Here are some of the activities we did:

A fall fingerprint tree from AllKidsNetwork:
For this project, I traced and cut out each student's hand and forearm on brown construction paper to make the tree trunk.  Then the students fingerpainted in red, orange, and yellow for  the leaves. We really focused a lot on the colors of fall.

Another fun leaf activity was our Tie Dye Coffee Filter Fall Leaves from The Chocolate Muffin Tree:
To do this project, the students scribbled on coffee filters in... you guessed it... orange, red, and yellow.  They sprayed the filters with water and patted them to spread the color. When they dried, I cut them out in leaf shapes and the students had so much fun throwing them up and letting them fall.


Here are our leaves hanging around our fall bulletin board!

We also did fall leaf rubbings from mayamade where they rubbed the imprint of leaves with red, orange, and yellow crayons onto paper.

The fall paper bag from saifou was one of my favorite projects of the week, but it was a lot of work for me! I helped the students cut up their brown paper bags and twist them to make trees, and the students crumpled up little pieces of red, yellow, and orange tissue paper and glued them on to make leaves.


Of course, I had to do the Scarecrow door decoration again!

Finally, we made Scarecrows out of paper bags inspired by busybeekidscrafts:


Saturday, November 23, 2013

Wedding hair, Disney zombie costumes, READ letters, fall decorations, props, and more recipes

We went to a wedding a few weeks ago, and I just happened to have the whole day free to try a new hairstyle!  I looked through and really liked the braid bun from rosannetangrs.  To do this braid, you do you side braid all the way around your head, then roll it into a bun.  As usual, I liked the fishbun braid as opposed to the regular one, so I did that. When I got to the bun part, I could not for the life of me get it to roll right. I'm not sure if my hair is too thick or long or something, but it just would not stay!  Finally, I got it to look similar with a whole lotta bobby pins.



That same weekend, we went on a Zombie Casino Cruise with a group, and all went as Zombie Disney Princesses and Princes!  For my costume, I just used a Cinderella costume I already  had from my stash of Disney Princess Halloween costumes (yes, I realize I have a problem) and added blooded tights and an overshirt.  But, I made Logan's Prince Charming zombie costume from scratch!

Look how proud he is!

To do this costume, I bought some red sweatpants from Wal-Mart and took out the elastic (otherwise known as a rubber band) from the bottom.  I then added a strip of gold fabric from a leftover bathrobe I used for another project. For the shirt, I found a yellow dress shirt at goodwill and added the gold fabric to the collar and shoulders. I also braided a gold sash and attached it to the shoulder. Finally, I added one of my gold belts for a perfect costume.

Here we are with the makeup!

And the whole group :)

READ letters for the reading center - While going through my old books at the beginning of this year, I found quite a few duplicates that were old and worn. What better thing to do with them than use them for crafts?!

I decided to make this READ sign for the reading center in my classroom. 

I used illustrations from Clifford and Cat in the Hat books.  I bought paper mache letters from Hobby Lobby (YES ONE OPENED IN MY TOWN) and painted them chevron-style. Of course, I had to add glitter. 

Alright, I'm hurrying on this post, I'm sorry.

In October, we went to New York City for the weekend and got to see REAL, GORGEOUS fall leaves. Of course, I had to collect them all and bring them back to Florida, but didn't know what to do with them after.

Finally, I decided to try out mod-podge. I covered both sides with the stuff, and it turned out great! They keep the color in and are much less fragile.

I then put all the leaves in a candle bowl, and that was the whole of our fall decorations.

The other night I went on a cooking binge, and I made:

Recipe #150: Sausage Balls from theplainchicken - This is my new favorite food. The secret ingredient is the cream cheese, and they ARE SO FREAKING GOOD. My new year's resolution is to eat these once a week :-0

The next day, I made a crock pot recipe during the day while I was at work -

Recipe #151: Crock Pot Coconut Chicken Curry from inspired-housewife - this curry was easy (it used frozen chicken) and SO delicious... everyone loved it! New favorite in the house!

Beauty and the Beast Tea Set - Mrs. Potts and Chip

Welcome to my latest pride and joy!

It was my friend Edie's birthday last month, and I knew the absolute perfect gift for her when I saw this hand-painted Beauty and the Beast tea set on etsy from xxfairytalecreationsxx, but I wasn't sure if I could get away with doing it myself.

But, it was worth a try, right?

A little google search showed that Target just happened to sell the perfect plain, white teapot, as well as a teacup and plate that would be perfect!

I used a black glass-painting pen from Michael's, and Martha Stewart Crafts Glass Paint .  I decided to only do the teapot, teacup, and small plate... not the large plate and the bowl that were in the picture.  Start small, ya know?  I started by drawing the designs on the glass with thin sharpie (it rubs right off if there's a mistake). 
Then I painted with a paintbrush and the glass paint bottles. 
When the paint was dry, I went over the sharpie and defined lines with the black glass paint pen and allowed the whole thing to dry for 24 hours.  
I then baked to seal it all in - do this by putting the items in a cold oven, and heating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Leave the items in for 30 minutes, then turn the oven off and allow the items to cool IN the oven with the door open (you don't want a quick change in temperature for the glass, or it will break).
And that's it!

I am so proud, and I'm going to DEFINITELY make a set for myself... once I graduate and have extra time on my hands (this process took a whole 12 hours or so).

Oh... then I did a great photo shoot with our great camera... that's why we bought it, right?