Earth Day Inspiration, Sweet and Colorful games, and Five For Friday!

Well, I have been waiting and waiting for spring to arrive and I believe it is finally here! But unfortunately, my spring allergies have returned with a vengence and I cannot get outside to enjoy it... Boo hoo! So presently, other than doing recess duty, my time with the spring has been spent inside my house looking out. Hopefully, the trees will soon stop making so much pollen and I will be able to get outside and enjoy this beautiful weather! So... here are my Five For Friday.....

1.  I love to celebrate Earth Day with my students , but this year, it just seems that we have run out of time to do so many of the things that we usually do in the spring. It has been too cool to plant in our school garden, so instead we celebrated Earth Day with an art twist! I read the book "The Reason For a Flower" by Ruth Heller and explored various types of flower pictures that I imported upon my Promethean board. It is also a wonderful time to pick a spring flower or two, bring them inside the classroom, and observe the flowers up close. After observing flowers in a few different ways, I showed my students pictures of flowers painted by Georgia O'Keefe. We discussed how she painted just one or two flowers rather than a whole vase of them. We discussed how she painted her flowers like she was looking at them under a magnifying glass. At the end of our discussion, the children painted their Earth Day flower picture in the same way as Georgia O'Keefe - BIG and colorful!
     First, they sketched their flower with pencil. 
Then they chose one color in which to paint their flower using big paintbrushes. When the flower was complete, they used small paint brushes to add detail. After the flower dried, I stapled the picture to black construction paper and my kiddos used oil crayons to add details to the border. The rule was that the picture details had to be about Earth - no cars or houses or ball games! Here are some pictures of their work - I think they created some beautiful Earth Day art!

And because I believe in PURPOSEFUL LEARNING, my kiddos did a writing activity after they completed their painting.

2.  Here are some beautiful pictures of spring in my yard!

3  We are celebrating new life in our classroom, too! We have painted lady butterfly caterpillars and chicken eggs. The chicks are supposed to hatch this week and the butterflies next week.

4.  Another PURPOSEFUL LEARNING activity that we did with flowers was to create a watercolor flower (painted on both sides). When the flower was dry, I gave my kiddos a center to glue onto both sides of their flower. One side said "CVC" and the said "CVCe". They were then given words that were to be cut apart, sorted, and glued onto the correct side of the flower. If you would like the template for the center of the flower and the words, click HERE to get the Google doc.

5.  Finally, we had a SWEET and COLORFUL time this week in our math tubs! Each tub had a fun game in it that was totally aligned with the Common Core. It is always sweet words to hear when my kinders cheer when I say it is time for math tubs!
     In Tub One, they used crocodile mouths and equal signs to show greater than, less than, and equal to.

In Tub Two, they sorted number cards into tally marks, tens and ones, and ten frames to show the different ways to portray a number.

In Tub Three, they played a board games using plus and minus dice.

I also want to share with you this SUPER way to make a game piece stand up! Use a LARGE brad and slip the game piece inside of it! Super cool!
In Tub Four, students sorted addition facts under their sums and then wrote the equation on a recording sheet. I only included sums to 5. Hopefully this summer, I will get a chance to update this resource with math facts greater than 5!

Here is preview of the Sweet and Colorful Math packet:

Finally, I am linking up with Doodle Bugs for Five for Friday - VERY, VERY late!

Until next time!


Good bye, Jungle! Hello Oviparous! A subtraction freebie for you!

This is a going to be a super short post, but I thought I would share a few pictures of a math craftivity that we did today during math. The kids did great on this and I was very proud of their understanding of subtraction. We are starting our Oviparous animal unit, so this was a great way to start it off!

Click the image above to find the freebie! Enjoy! (Did you notice the cute clip art of the robin on the product cover above? Isn't it adorable? It is from Melanie From the Pond.)

Until next time!
Blessings, Cindy

Product Swap with Ashley Benoit

This is my second product swap hosted by Jessica Stanford from Mrs. Stanford's class blog! This time around I was matched with the wonderful Ashley Benoit. Ashley is the owner of The Teachers's Treasure Chest blog and it has been fun reading her journey back to education after a big move in her life!

So...... the products that she swapped with me were her Number Order and Skip Counting Fun and Groovy Literacy Centers with Short A. When we were deciding what products to swap, we discussed the fact that Ashley has mostly first and second grade resources and I have mostly kindergarten and first grade resources. No worries! We both managed to find products that would work for both of us!

My first review is going to be on Number Order and Skip Counting Fun. This resource was perfect for this time of year with my kinders. They were ready for a challenge and were totally prepared for this activity! My students work in math tubs that are changed weekly or every other week. They work in partners, but 2 sets of partners work on the same tub. Does that make sense? So, I organized Ashley's number games into 3 colors so that the pieces would travel together as they were used from group to group.
Ashley has many choices in this packet; I chose to use counting by 10's, 2's, and 5's.

To make the folders, I just folded a piece of construction paper in half and stapled 3 sides. I made sure that the folder matched the border around Ashley's numbers. I added sentence strips to give my kiddos something tangible in which to lay their numbers.
My kiddos did GREAT on this activity! They worked together to put the numbers in order and then wrote them on a recording sheet! Woo hoo!

Another product I tried was Groovy Literacy Centers with Short A. There is so much to do in this packet - we did not get to all the activities, so we will be working on them next week, too, in reading group. Since kinders work so much on word families, sorting words into families was perfect for our reading group.

Here are some more pictures of the sorting mats...

I have a reading group that needs some challenging words, so Ashley's "You Crashed!" resource worked wonderfully for these kiddos!

Thank you, Ashley for these fun and EDUCATIONAL activities! We had fun this week!

Click HERE to take you to Ashley's blog, The Teacher's Treasure Chest. She also reviewed a couple of my products and you can find her review there. Click the Magical button above to take you to Jessica's blog for more amazing product swaps!

Until next time!