Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Field Trip Scrapbooks

These mini books are crazy fun for the kids.  They consist of three paper bags folded in half and stacked on top of one another.  The stack is hole punched then bound with a rubberband and a stick.  

The kids get a kick out of the built in pockets and peek-a-boo pages.  The book itself inspires creativity.  I take a ton of photos on our field trip to the zoo, then order a ton of wallet photos from Costco.   I divide up the photos making sure each child has a few common photos and a few of themselves.  Then I make all of the extra photos available to the kids so they can choose a few favorites of their own to add to their scrapbooks.  I cut up a whole lot of scrapbooking paper and let the kids get to work

.  They work on these off and on for the last week of school.  It is fun to see what they come up with and to watch them inspire one another as they share stories and ideas.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

1st Grade Classroom Photos

An opportunity arose to transfer to a school closer to my home so I've decided to go for it.
Before the boxing began I took a few pics of my classroom. . .

I have been informed I will have desks at my new school instead of tables.  Sad, sad, story!  I feel I have SO much more space, flexibility, and community building/cooperative learning opportunities with tables.  I will work with desks, but switching them out for tables will be high on my wishlist.

calendar corner

teaching area

small group teaching area

Daily 5 Book Bins.  These are ice cube bins I bought at Target.

Library corner tucked behind my teaching area.  The kids love to get cozy with a book in here.

picture books galore

I am leaving great friends, great families, and an amazing Principal.  Am I crazy?
But I love the thought of teaching closer to home so I can do a better job of
balancing working life and Mom life.
Let the adventure begin!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Mask Masking

The end of the school year means paper mache mask making.  
What a job. . .but the results always make me smile.
Step 1:  Tape a balloon to a large can.
Step 2:  Begin painting on the newspaper strips (1" x 6") with 1 part water/1 part Elmer's glue
Step 3:  Repeat step 2, 4-5 times.  Alternate newsprint with white paper so that the kids can easily tell which areas have been recovered.  This eliminates weak spots.
We use wadded up newspaper, paper cups, poster board, and a whole lot of masking tape to form the masks.  Each child chooses the animal they want to create and then parents & I help them form their masks.  
Some parents are quite talented!

And then come the smocks & acrylic paint. . .


This project is QUITE the project for first graders and every year, mid-project, I wonder what I was thinking.  But once the masks are complete, I know that I must do them again next year.