Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Oh My Gosh, I'm a Squash!

During a recent pumpkin unit we read the book The Ugly Pumpkin by Dave Horowitz (available through Scholastic Books.) It is a great story about accepting difference.  After reading the story, each child got to take off and trace his/her shoe, cut it out and decorate it.  They think it is super funny to trace their own shoe!   In the future I would give the student a choice of colored paper to use.  The vine is made out of crunched up brown paper that came in a box of shipped items.
Our shoe shaped squash displayed on their vine.

Fact Displays

I like to incorporate informational text in as many units as possible.  Studying animals is an easy way to make this happen because of the plentiful amount of resources available.  After reading and studying the animals, each student gets to dictate a fact that impressed them about the animal.  I found themed sticky notes at our local dollar store to add a special touch to the fact collection.
A cave of bat facts displayed on bat themed sticky notes.

A web of spider facts displayed on spider themed post it notes.

Magnetic story boards

My wonderful family knows never to throw any unique thing away until they've checked with me about using it for Kindergarten.  This got me into using cookie sheets and magnets to create story props for retelling popular stories.  I used Pete the Cat books as inspiration for these 2 boards because of the predictable text and rhythm of the stories.  I used construction paper to create the characters and taped them with clear tape over the cookie sheets so they had a laminated type feel and protection.  I hot glued the changing prop, in this case buttons and shoes, to magnets for easy manipulation.  These are sturdy and easy to repair.
Pete The Cat and His 4 Groovy Buttons.

Pete The Cat and I Love My White Shoes

The other shoe colors stored in a zipper bag taped to the back of the cookie sheet.

What's been going on?

I was lucky enough this year to be hired in a fantastic school district.  That means that I had to pack up my classroom, where I resided for 10 years and accumulated many kindergarten treasures.  It took a while to decide what to leave and what to take.

Everything sat in my garage all summer until I was finally able to move in 1 week before starting classes at my new school.

I was lucky to walk into an empty classroom.  No need to sort through someone else's accumulation of treasures, the value of which may have been lost on me.

Anyone who has gone through this process knows that it take a while to learn the culture and procedures of a new school and remember where you put everything.  That is why there have been no new post in a while.  My creative energy had to catch up.

Thanks for hanging in there with me!