Real size penguins

It's getting really late and I am getting really tired! But I thought I would post this picture of comparing real size penguins to the real size polar bear. The picture didn't turn out how I wished, but I think you can get the idea! I used the overhead projector to trace an Emperor penguin, a Macaroni penguin, and a fairy penguin. Then I used construction paper to fill in the shapes. My co-partner, Lea, painted hers; so both ways work! What is fun for the kids is to compare themselves to the penguin sizes - they are amazed that an emperor penguin is almost as tall as they are! I laminated the penguins and attached them to a tri-fold board so that they can be used again next year!

Polar display is looking great!

The 3 of us started at 12:30 p.m. today (Sunday) and finished at 8:00 p.m. - Hurray! It was a ton of work, but our hall looks fabulous (or so we think!). We can't wait to see the kids faces in the morning when they see all the work they have done for the past two weeks put together in a fun display! We are performing the circus to make money for the
polar bears, so you can see that we dressed a polar bear in a clown suit and he is pulling a sled with a little polar bear sitting on it. The little polar bear is holding a sign that says "Save the polar regions!". Here are some pictures of the construction of our big polar bear. We stuffed a pillowcase and added a polar bear face and attached snow goggles with pins onto his head. Then we attached his head to a pole that was stuck into an outside umbrella stand.
There are 3 kindergartens in our school, so we divided the polar regions into 3 parts; the Arctic, the Arctic tundra, and Antarctica. Here are pictures of my part - the Arctic tundra. The kids added details to their paper mache animal on Friday and we created the polar display on the floor of our hall. We covered it with white plastic table cloths that we purchased at the Dollar store. To create the illusion of ice bergs, we stacked Clementine orange crates under the tablecloth.
This part of the hall is SO CUTE! And so easy to do! We cut paper doll people from card stock. The we made pant, shirt, hood , boots, and mitten patterns for the children to trace. The children traced their clothes onto brown construction paper and used crayons to add details. We added a photograph of their face onto the little person and then the children tore cottonballs into small pieces to give the illusion of fur around their face. We then attached the little bodies to a plastic cup and set them around our paper world. Cute, cute, and double cute!!

Our theme for this week is: FAITH , SERVICE and ACADEMICS. So we cut out the letters for those words and attached them to a popsicle stick that was stuck into Styrofoam. This made a striking display against the black night sky mural that the kids painted! Here are some long shots of the hallway..
Yawn...... time to get some sleep.... tomorrow is the 100th day of school! :)

Polar project display coming soon!

It's been a few day since I have written a post here! We have been SO busy at school! We put the finishing touches on our paper mache animals and painted the murals for our snowy murals for the hall. Tomorrow (Sunday) the 3 of us will spend the afternoon putting up the kid's polar projects and creating a polar atmosphere for our hall. I will post pictures as soon as I can!

Pictures soon of our polar projects!!

Peace and blessings,

Today we made our paper mache polar animals

Today we worked on our polar paper mache animals. I usually ask for parent help on this day, BUT I forgot to ask, so I was on my own....... but we did it! Hurray!

So..... Last week I posted pictures of 16 Arctic tundra animals on my Promethean. The children picked the animal that they would like to learn about and I attached their choice to a simple report that they did at home with their parents or older sibling. In the meantime, I took their choices and created a shape for them from newspaper and masking tape. I think of this project as a "Paint your own pottery" type of science/social studies lesson. This is a science lesson; not an art lesson. Unfortunately, there IS a ton of teacher prep with this project, but well worth it..... Besides creating the shapes, I cut non-bleeding tissue paper into small squares that are the colors of each polar animal. I insert them into a Zip lock bag with each student's name written on the outside.
The children tear plain, white paper towel into small pieces. Then they cover their entire shape with paper towel dipped into art paste. I tell them to make sure that they smooth their shape as they put it on as well as keep the paper towel very wet.
When their animal is completely covered with paper towel, they then use their tissue paper squares to cover their animal. I LOVE doing paper mache like this because you can get everything done in one setting! You do not have to wait for the shape to dry and then paint it. You put the color on with the tissue paper! The important thing to remember is that you do NOT dip the tissue paper into the art paste; rather you lay the tissue paper squares upon the paper towel and smooth with your wet hands. If you put the tissue paper into the art paste, it will most likely disintegrate. It is also very important to use non-bleeding tissue paper. We order our non-bleeding tissue paper from Dick Blick.

Here are some photos of a few of the almost finished pieces.
When they are dry, the children will attach details such as feathers, fur, and buttons for eyes with tacky glue.

I know this sounds like a complicated project and well, it is.... but we also make paper mache apples in the fall which are NOT complicated! All we do is roll newspaper into balls and cover completely with masking tape. We use the same procedure as above: 1. Cover your whole shape with plain, white paper towel squares. Dip each square into the art paste. 2. Cover the shape with non-bleeding colored tissue paper. Let dry and you have an apple!
Here is a picture of one of our fall apples created the same way as our polar animals. It really is worth the effort and the kids LOVE their finished project!

Tomorrow, we will have no special projects! It will be nice to get back into a schedule again....

Mouse tail Measuring Freebie!

I did not add mouse tail measuring to my Winter Measurement packet because it was the idea of my awesome co-teacher, Lisa! But I am offering it here as a freebie for any one interested in downloading it. There is a clip art copy of a mouse and a hand-drawn copy of a mouse that was drawn by me. I like the hand drawn one better than the clip art because there is no tail on it and therefore more fun to add a colored tail onto! Enjoy! Click here to download!

Preparing the scenes for the circus

This week we have been practicing for our circus as well as getting our scenery ready. Today the kids painted the background mural. We have 3 kindergartens and each one of us painted a circus mural. This is ours! Tomorrow the kids will be using paper mache to create their polar animal. As part of our polar unit, we are also teaching our students respect and stewardship for our Earth. So we came up with a unique idea of combining our polar unit with our 2nd annual kindergarten circus of the stars! The children will be performing their circus as a service project. We will be collecting a free will donation from our audience on our performance day as well as the rest of the student body during our circus parade. The money that we collect will go to polar bear international where we HOPE to have collected enough to "adopt" a polar bear. Besides creating scenery for our circus, we are also decorating our halls as a polar habitat which is where the children will be displaying their paper mache animal! Believe it or not, we are still managing to get our literacy centers, math, and religion units done ..... but we are certainly tired by the end of the day! Tomorrow, I will post pictures of our polar animal project...

Winter Rhyming Pictures

I am excited that one of my free products was featured in the TPT newsletter this week - Winter Rhyming Picture Match ! If you would like to download the free product, you can find it in my TPT store OR here is a Google doc link. Also if you already downloaded the product before 10:30 a.m. CST today (Sunday), you should re-download because I changed a few of the pictures.

Here are some pictures of my students using the rhyming words. I changed many of the pictures that you see, but you can get a general idea of what they did! This week the children will review the rhyming words and then use letter tiles to try to spell the new words. Besides working on spelling, we will also practice listening for phonemes.

Yikes! Are we REALLY going to be able to pull this off??

We just finished assessments - I KNOW assessing is SOOOO important, but it takes a lot of time because we assess one student at a time so that means that the rest of the children need to be working independently in a "fruitful" and fairly quiet way! :) It takes a lot of planning to get this done, but we got through it and report cards were sent into the office today! Hurray!

NOW, we are working together as an entire kindergarten (45 children total) to put on a circus to raise money to save the polar bears! Yikes! We just started practicing today and when our practice was over, our first words to each other (teachers) were "Oh my goodness, are we really going to be able to pull this off?!" :) BECAUSE besides practicing for our circus, we are decorating our kindergarten hall like the polar regions, and making paper mache paper animals as part of our theme decorations. We will be creating "Save Our Polar Regions" posters that the kids will carry during their circus parade as well as painting murals for our background scene. Of course, in between all this, we are teaching literacy, math, and religion! Whew!

I plan to put our entire circus unit into a packet, but it will take me awhile to get it ready for publication. My students are working to make a circus book by illustrating the pages with draw and cut techniques. Here is a sample of one of the pages.

More Measuring! More Polar Animals!

This week we are finishing our Measuring unit. The children are using Unifix cubes to measure area, making a growing pattern with Unifix cubes and paper, playing a size game, and measuring mouse tails. A comment that one of my students made to me today was "I was surprised that the mouse tail was bigger than the area!" Which when translated means "I learned something today!" :) The kids really enjoy playing the size game because after they have compared sizes they pick a card to see which tower wins - tall or short. This eliminates feeling that the biggest is always the winner - sometimes the shortest tower wins, too! Click here to find my measurement packet.

We are still enjoying our polar unit! We have one more animal to learn about before moving on to Antarctica. Today we talked about the Narwhal. Here is a great link for a National Geographic video about the Narwhal. My students LOVED this clip!

The pictures show the children using their directed drawing skills to create a Narwhal. I import my Polar Animals unit onto my Promethean with a few Google images and the children have a great time creating their illustrations. Here is the link to my Polar Animal unit. Next week, we will learn about penguins!

A Little More Polar Bear

I am posting one more polar bear idea..... It is SOOOOO cool for the kids to see how tall a polar bear would be if he stood up on his hind legs - almost 10 feet tall! My co-partner, Lisa, gave me this idea! I enlarged the polar bear picture to 10 feet on our old overhead. I had to do it in two parts! The polar bear sketch is very skinny because I wanted him to fit in the laminating machine. So, the realism is a little off, but the IDEA of the height of a polar bear is brought into the classroom! I take each child's picture standing next to the polar bear - Wow! A polar bear is big!
Click here to get a copy of the polar bear sketch!

Blogger Friends Give-Away

Five lovely teaching blogs have teamed together for a huge give away! They are giving away some really fun products for a lucky teacher! Click on their buttons to get some wonderful teaching ideas as well as sign up for their give away!
Teaching First