Friday, February 27, 2009


During lent our prayer table becomes a desert. I display a bare branch in a vase of stones. We also have a bowl of stones and we place one on the prayer table each day as we count the days of lent. I also like to use egg ornaments that display some holy symbols and use corresponding prayers.
Lent began Wednesday February 25th. I find Lent a bit spiritually difficult to teach because I want my classroom to be filled with all that is happy. But as a Catholic School teacher, it is important to teach Jesus' suffering and death and resurrection as a cornerstone of our faith. Here are a few resources that I've found helpful. is a blog I stumbled across when I was home sick one day. Click on 2008 (March) and find the link for coloring pages to get a fantastic set of color able Stations of the Cross.
The Big Book of Ideas for Children's Faith Formation Edited by Beth Branigan McNamara with Gina Wright McKeever and Sue Robinson has the holy symbols and corresponding prayers that I use on the prayer table. Holy Bells and Wonderful Smells by Jeanne Hunt is another winner for year round liturgical celebrations.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Number Worms

This idea teacher number sense, numeral recognition and is basically free to make! Plus the extra bonus of recycling. These are number worms. The heads are made out of the tops of creamer containers (such as Coffeemate, seen here) The creamer container tops already make a cute face. I added eyes and wrote numbers for the noses. The students create the body segments by adding the correct number of caps from other beverage containers. You can also write a math problem on the worm faces for a more challenging game. This is great as a center or even a take home activity. It is important to wash all the tops in hot soapy water and be sure they dry thoughly before using.

100th Day of School

One of the reasons I love teaching Kindergarten is that we make up reasons to celebrate. I understand that the 100th day was "invented" in the 1980's by a Kindergarten teacher, and now it's a staple of the Kindergarten year. I love the book Miss Bindergarten Celebrates the 100th Day of Kindergarten by Joseph Slate and Ashley Wolf. Most of what I do on the 100th day comes from that book, but here are some Ms. D. originals. There are actually 100 star sticker on this 100 cut out. I hang it from my door so that the children can walk into the 100th day. They love it! Sometimes they frame thier faces with one of the zeros making a delightful foto op.

Hundred Hash: I used to buy ten different small food items and have each child count out 10 of each food item and put it in a paper bag to have for a snack. However, I found that this really didn't provide them with the concept of 100. Now I start creating the Hundred Hash about a week before the 100th day. As a group we count out 100 of whatever food item I have handy into a large bowl. We count a different food item everyday to add into the hash. If the food item is pretty small we may count by 5's or 10's. (Teachers can fudge this a little bit by adding handfuls of item and pretending they are in units of 5's or 10's). On the 100th day we add the last item and shake it all up and have it for snack. Using a clear bowl for the mixing adds an extra fun touch because the kids like to watch everything get mixed together. As a final math activity the students sort out the food items before they eat. (The sorting mat is in the picture) This snack is usually plentiful enought to provide snack for several days.

100 binoculars: This is the toilet paper tube project of the month. This one uses three tube per pair of binoculars. Before the project I glue the 3 tubes in the shape of 100. (2 tubes horizonal and 1 vertical) The students paint them and add number stickers. This is a fun way to see everything 100 style!

Happy 100th Day!