Where did our balloons take us?

Boy, was it windy here! Tomorrow is March and March brings the winds and it sure was windy today! So............ this was the perfect time for us to talk about things that move! We continued our discussion of transportation and the kids wrote about where their hot air balloon would take them. I am SO proud of how well they are writing!! We DO need to work some more on handwriting, though... :)

I love this one......Here is what it says..... "I can go to Paris. I can go to the art museum. I am going to the Eiffel Tower and going to take the Eiffel Tower elevator. And I am going to the beach. This is all. The End."
Here is another cute one.... "The balloon took me to a princess. She was pretty and her prince was handsome. It was fun."

The balloons took my students to baseball games, Antarctica, Grandma's house, rainbow land, and back home again! This really was a fun activity! The balloons and stories are displayed in the hall. Here are some pictures, but the quality isn't as good as I wanted.... Sorry about that! Taking pictures after school isn't always the best time for light! :)

So I wish all of you a happy and healthy weekend! I won't be writing another post until the first of next week - many activities between now and then will prevent me from writing! Don't forget about me! I'll be back next week!! :)

More healthy Me and Dr. Seuss, of course!

Oh, gosh, here it is already Tuesday night and I haven't written a thing since Friday! Life has a way of keeping us busy and this has been no exception for me! It has been a busy few days!

We are still continuing our Healthy Me unit. The kids are really enjoying this and I am so pleased with the activities that we have been doing! Yesterday we talked about our lungs. I gave each child a plastic sandwich bag and we inserted a drinking straw into it. Then we closed the bag tightly around the straw and secured with scotch tape. The children then blew into the bag and noticed that the bag expanded. Then I asked them to take their hands and GENTLY collapse the bag. It was so cool to watch their little faces light up when we equated this to the way our lungs work! After that they colored a picture of their lungs and we attached both the lungs and the bags to the page in our body book! Here are a couple of my little kiddos enjoying the demonstration!

This week of course, we are also enjoying Dr. Seuss! I cannot believe how much my students LOVE these books! They can sit for hours listening to those silly words! :) They are doing some fun projects with a few of the books. Of course, we had to do something with The Cat in the Hat! I tried to find something a little different to do that wasn't making word families with "at" since that is what we did with our Lincoln
 hat project. So....... I had them make the cat in the hat with paper and then make a pattern with the stripes on their hat and then, they had to label their pattern. I was pleased with how they turned out! Check out a few of their creations.....
Lisa, one of my co-teachers also did this project and had her students make SUPER tall hats! I took a picture of her hats, too!

Another Dr. Seuss project we did was based on "Oh the Places We Will Go!" I wasn't sure if my little kinders would understand what Dr. Seuss was trying to say in this book, but they sure took away more from it than I thought they would! We talked a lot about the places we go when we travel and the types of transportation we use when we do travel. This works in perfectly with our transportation standard that we have in kindergarten! In a literacy center this week, each child painted the front of a white construction paper hot air balloon. (I adapted this project from an idea on Kim Jordano's website.) After painting their balloon, each child took construction paper scraps and made a representation of themselves from paper. How cute, cute they were! They glued this little person to the back of a brown piece of construction paper and then I attached this little person and basket to the hot air balloon. During Writer's workshop today, they started a story about where their balloon would take them. They are not finished yet, but hopefully they will finish tomorrow and I can post a few pictures of their stories!

Healthy Bodies

We started our "I Am a Healthy Kid" unit this week and the kids are having a ball and learning so much! This week we discussed the outside of our bodies. We discussed our skin, hair, and body parts such as elbow, kneecap, wrists, etc. We talked about how the front of our body looks different from the back. After this discussion, I gave the children construction paper and they created a cover for their "I Am a Healthy Kid" book that showed the way they looked on the outside. Then they created the back cover that showed the way they look in the back. It was so fun to watch them deciding how the back of their heads looked!
The next day we talked about our brain and nervous system. They laughed when I told them that our brain is the computer of our body! We discussed how our brain gets signals to the rest of our body through our nervous system. They glued the brain to the flip side of the their front cover and then glued yellow yarn strips from the brain around their body to symbolize their nervous system. Today we talked about our skeletons. When I showed the picture of a skeleton, the kids all went "Ooh, scary!" So we had a talk about how our skeletons are part of us and real skeletons are not scary. We did funny movements with our bodies and noticed that our skeletons moved with us! We talked a lot about our skulls and why it is such a important bone in our body. This brought us to a discussion of wearing helmets when we ride our bikes. It is interesting how many children said that they are too old to wear a helmet!
Next week we will start the inner pages. I'll let you know how it goes!

Happy weekend!

Money Trade Game

Last week we had an introduction to money. This week I put a money trade game in a math center and the kids did GREAT! I was surprised at how well they traded pennies for nickels and nickels for dimes! This game is posted in my TPT store (Click on the image) - it's a freebie - and I also have it in a Google doc at this link. I divided the kids into groups of 2 or 3. I used real money, but I included money images in this packet if you would rather use those!

Hope you can get some use out of this! :)

African Art

Once a month or so, our 3 kindergartens get together and do a collaborative project. This month the children learned about African art. We made masks, rain sticks, and Adinkra cloth. It was totally messy and of course, deliciously fun! Here are some pictures of their projects... These are the masks.

This is the Adinkra cloth. We did not print on cloth, though. We used white paper.

Here are a couple pictures of the rain stick. I wanted to get more pictures, but the kids were so excited to bring them home, I didn't get the chance!
To make the rain stick, use a paper towel tube. Insert a piece of card stock into the paper towel tube. Students make "grass" cuts along both sides and fold every other section.
Students decorate a 9" x 6" piece of earth colored construction paper with African designs. We just googled "African designs", printed off the ones we wanted, and glued onto a brown piece of paper. Here is a picture, but the glare from the laminating makes it a little hard on the eyes!

After the children decorated their paper, we wound it around the paper towel tube and secured with tape. Then we took a square of African fabric and wrapped it around one end and secured with a rubber band. The next step was to fill with the "rain." We used black beans and small plastic beads.
After filling, the other end was secured with a square of felt and secured with a rubber band. One IMPORTANT step - Make sure that you put some Elmer's glue on the ends of the paper towel tube BEFORE you add the fabric squares! This will ensure that the "rain" doesn't fall out as it is being shaken and shaken and shaken and shaken....... :)

Word Family Fun

This week we made 2 word families craftivities. We made Abraham Lincoln with an "at" family label on his hat. I attached a plain piece of paper under the words and the children wrote the beginning sound of an "at" family word on the top sheet and drew a picture of the word on the bottom page.
The second project was a popcorn box with popcorn pieces popping out with "op" family words. The popcorn box was made by making a triangle on red construction paper and cutting off the point.

I love to do these type of activities in literacy centers! They are fun and educational! If you would like the directions for these two activities, click here.
BTW.... I am not taking credit for either of these ideas! They are just cute ideas in which I added my own touches!

Valentine land

Today I asked the kids to create a Valentine land from paper scraps. I gave them no guidelines except that the items that they put in their land had to have hearts on them. We brainstormed what the land might look like and then I let them go. I am posting several of their pictures because I thought they did great! This was definitely a "free art" form of expression! They will write about their land tomorrow.
Adrianne from Kids CogWorks is sponsoring a Valentine freebie promotion on her blog! Stop on over and check out all the fun freebies!

Kids Cog Works

Valentine Sweeties!

We had such fun creating these Valentine sweeties! The kids created them on white paper, but I think when we do them again, we will have a colored background. But I had them create them on the white paper so that they could record how many hearts they used for their animal. Tomorrow the kids will write about their animal and I think that I am going to have them create a Valentine land from paper as well....... Click here or on the mouse image to get a free sample of the Valentine Mouse Sweetie. Happy Monday!