Our Circus Hallway Display

We are so pleased with how well our circus hallway display looks! We turned cardboard boxes into a train, used paper and duct tape to create a track, and made a snowy night scene using shaving cream and glue. Our kinders each created a person to represent themselves wearing pj's and carrying a balloon as they wait to board the Polar Circus Train!

Last week, our kinders created their night scene. We sketched mountain peaks upon gray paper and then our kiddos used a mixture of shaving cream and glue to paint them. We sprinkled clear diamond dust glitter over the mountain scene. While this was drying, they made a silhouette of their house and decorated it with yellow construction paper windows and a primary color door. The houses were then glued upon the paper - cool! We  hung these above our coat hooks in the hallway.
To create the track, we rolled black bulletin board paper down the center of the hallway. We glued brown construction paper strips horizontally down the length of the paper. Then we added gray duct tape vertically over the sides of the track.

 To create the engine, we made the cow catcher from gray construction paper with black paper strips. The smoke stack is simply a black construction tube glued to the top of the box. The smoke is a piece of pillow stuffing. The engine light is a Styrofoam bowl glued to the front of the engine with a yellow paper circle. Bulletin board trim was used to decorate the train cab.

 We made a crossing gate from a wooden apple tree hanger that my students hang their "Go Home" bags upon. We covered the stand with gray construction paper and cut out a white circle from foam board. We added a sign that says "Kindergarten Crossing." The red lights on the gate are made from red paper plates.
We decorated the cars with crepe paper strips and construction paper signs. The wheels are black paper plates. The wheels on the engine are made from a large white paper plate with a black plate attached to the front. We connected the cars with a piece of crepe paper.

The little people are made from Jumbo people shapes that we ordered from Lakeshore Learning. Our kiddos used scrapbook paper to create pj's and wrote their names on paper balloons that we attached to their paper friend's hand. To make the people stand up, we attached them to a Clementine orange crate. We added a wooden skewer for support. Aren't they cute? These pictures actually do not do justice to their cuteness! The first picture is my example which is the only close up I have of how we actually made them. The kid's work is much cuter! :)

It was really hard to get a picture of the whole scene because it stretches all the way down the hall, but here are a few to give you an idea of what it looks like. (Don't look at the messy coat hooks - I took these pictures last evening and was too tired to straighten them up!)
I will be back with pictures of our Kindergarten circus! (If you would like to see pictures of last year's hallway display, click here.)

Until next time!
Blessings, Cindy

Circus Preparation and Polar Animals

This coming week is Catholic Schools Week and celebrated in various ways throughout the USA. In our school, we celebrate Mass and the Rosary together as a school. We attend a volleyball game with our 8th grade girls vs our 8th grade boys. We gather into multi-age groups to create Valentines for local nursing home residents. We host an Open House for our prospective and current school families. Our Parent Club prepares a yummy meal for teachers and provides substitute teachers for us so that we can enjoy an HOUR LONG meal together as a staff!! It is so funny to watch us eat this meal. Our regular lunch time is 30 minutes and that includes walking our students to lunch and picking them up. During this lunch, we can often be found at the copy machine, the cutting board, the Ellison cutter.... so our actual meal time is usually less than 15 minutes. So..... when we have a full hour to eat, we don't really know what to do! But it is a lovely time and so appreciated!

In our school,  students are encouraged to perform some type of service project/activity. In kindergarten, this requires some creative thought because it is extremely difficult to transport 5 and 6 year old children in something other than a bus! So, our kiddos perform a circus and have a freewill donation bucket at the door. We choose an organization in which to send our money and this year, we once again, will be sending it to Polar Bears International. Besides doing a circus, our January theme is Winter and the Polar Regions, so this works out perfectly with our monthly unit!

Besides performing a circus, we also decorate our kindergarten hallway in preparation for our Open House. This year, we will be creating a Polar Circus Express train station! Here is a picture of our painted boxes for the train. We were unsure as to what type of paint to use for them. The blue and yellow boxes were painted with an oil base paint; very shiny, but impossible to get out of clothes and it really stains hands! The black and red boxes were painted with our classroom Tempera paint. Other than having a dull sheen instead of a shiny one, it covered just as nicely as the more expensive paint. We are hoping to put the train together tomorrow... hopefully..... because the weather report says that we are under an Ice Storm advisory tomorrow! Sigh.......... I will post the pictures when it is finished!
My kiddos painted their circus background mural. We have 3 kindergartens, so each kindergarten painted one mural that we will attach together as one background. We found our pictures by typing in "circus" on Google. I hand drew mine, but my co-workers enlarged theirs on our overhead projector; yes, we still have one of those dinosaur machines!

We also are working on our polar animal book. This week we studied the Arctic. We concentrate mostly on the animals and stress that polar bears and penguins do NOT live in the same habitat. Next week we will do our blubber experiment. We just did not have time to do it this week because of circus practice and preparation!

If you are interested in my Polar Animals book, you can find it by clicking the image below. 


Until next time - soon I hope!!


Snowy Days, Snow Globes, Patchwork Snowmen, and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Projects

I thought I would share some of the cute projects that we did this week.

Here are our Snowy Day pictures. The kiddos created themselves from paper and glued the pieces onto blue construction paper. I mixed up a combination of shaving cream and glue which they finger painted onto the blue paper. We ended up with quite a few snowstorms because they had a ball doing this! The next day during Work on Writing, they wrote a snowy day story.

Another project we did was our Patchwork snowmen. We talked about what "patchwork" means and then they created a snowman from white paper and added real buttons and scrapbook paper patches. They used Q-tips to create snow. The next day during Work on Writing, they wrote about their snowmen. We brainstormed what kinds of foods snowmen would eat, what a snowman's favorite color would be, what a snowman's house would look like, and what kinds of friends a snowman would have. They recorded their answers and drew a picture to go with each answer. They also wrote a story about what their snowman likes to do. Click HERE to find a PDF of the words.

Here are some photos of our snow globes. Again, the kids created their snow globes one day and then wrote about them the following day during Work on Writing.

Lastly, we studied Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Friday. I think it is REALLY important to discuss with my kinders while we are not at school on a regular school day. Plus, Dr. King's story is such an important story to teach children. We did not have time to do any writing with this project. They just attached words to the back of their paper. Next week, we will have more discussions on how to be a peaceful kid! Click Here to get the words for the back of the picture.

Until next time!
Blessings, Cindy