Sunday, September 16, 2012

Mouse Paint - Color Mixing

This week, we've been exploring color mixing during our science time. I love the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh. It's perfect for teaching color mixing. In the book, three white mice find three jars of paint. (red, blue, and yellow) Each mouse hops in a different color paint. When they get out, they drip paint everywhere. They discover that the paint starts mixing together and making new colors. 

We read the book together during our large group time, then made our own mouse paint in plastic bags. Each child got to choose two colors (from red, blue, or yellow) to add to their bags. Then they squished their paint colors together.

From experience, we learned that the less paint you use the better. It also helps to put a different color in each corner, instead of just squirting them both in the middle. This allows for all three colors to be shown in the finished product, instead of just the new one. 

My wonderful TA traced two of the mice (from the cover) onto all the plastic bags before we started the activity. 

I also recommend taping the top of the bag, so curious kiddos can't open it! 

Happy Exploring!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Awesome Free Video Finds

My kiddos go crazy over anything that has to do with technology. The smartboard is no different. Unfortunately, I don't always have time to make smartboard activities that coincide with what we are learning. I know there are lots of premade activities out there, but it still takes time to find them and make sure the content level is appropriate for my kiddos. So I was super excited, when I ran across a number of awesome videos on youtube this summer. I pinned them to save them for later. Now when I go to the smartboard with my kiddos, it's super easy to pull something up. I usually make a short smartboard activity that focuses on the content that we are learning. Then, if they made good choices the whole time we watch a few of these awesome videos!

Alphabet Videos

Do You Know Your Alphabet? Rap that my kiddos LOVE!

Storybots (robots) teach the kids their abc's. Another huge hit. They have also have a video for each individual letter. 

We also visit starfall each week and work on our letter of the week. 


Color Mixing Song by OK GO

All About Me

Awesome all about me song from and Sesame Street.

What videos or smartboard resources do your kids love?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Connecting Home and School - Photo Albums

Photo albums are a great way for students to bring a "piece" of their home into the classroom. This is also a very simple way to bring in all the different cultures in your room!

At Meet the Teacher, I send home an empty photo album and ask the parents to fill it with pictures of their family. This way, the students are able to have pictures of their family, to comfort them, on the first day of school. 

I keep the photo albums in a basket on our library carpet. They are open to the children during choice time and transition times. They love sharing pictures of their family with their friends.

I found photo albums at the Dollar Tree for well (obviously) $1 a piece! I kind of had to dig behind the picture frames a bit, so look carefully. They had a flower picture on the front which I replaced with the student's names. 

How do you help your student's connect home and school?

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Our Five Senses

I received such a great response from this post, I created a Five Senses Unit using many of the ideas below (plus a few more)! 

Don't miss the freebie!

We had a great week learning about our five senses! I started using science journals this year and so far I am loving them! It's such a great way for all my students to be able to participate during our large group time. During our large group time, we drew our five senses in our journals. 

Nose - Smell

We explored smelly jars for our sense of smell. The jars are really simple. You can use film canisters, baby food jars, or empty spice containers. Place a cotton ball in the film canister and then drop a few drops of "scent". I used cinnamon, chicken bullion, peppermint extract, chocolate, perfume, and vanilla.

Eyes - See

We explored the outdoors using our sense of sight. I had my students draw what they could see. We talked about what color the grass is and what color we would use to draw it in our journals, etc.

Ears - Hear

We played a smartboard game to explore our sense of hearing. It was really simple. I just went into Microsoft Powerpoint and used the sounds already in the program. On the first page I put a sound, then on the next page I put a picture of what makes that sound. I added about 10 sounds, which was the perfect amount for the attention span of my kiddos. After I played a sound, the kids tried to guess what makes that sound. 

Skin - Feel

We added different textures to a hand cut out for the sense of touch. I got this great idea from pinterest of course! I was really suprised at how much of a vocabulary lesson this turned out to be. I ended up sending the hands home with a note to parents encouraging them to go over the hand with their child and go on a "hunt" for textures around the house. 

soft - cotton ball (or pom pom as shown here)
smooth - scotch tape
rough - sand paper
hard - uncooked pasta
bumpy - rocks or pebbles (aquarium pebbles shown here)

Tongue -Taste

The last sense is taste. We talked about this sense some last week when we made our friend mix. We will also be talking about it this week when we make pancakes. We didn't get a chance to do a specific activity for this sense, since I was out of the classroom for meetings that day. 

It was a fantastic week. We really got a lot accomplished. I'm really excited to actually begin teaching! The first few weeks are routines & rules, routines & rules, routines & rules, it's nice to see the light at the end of the tunnel! We also focused on our names last week. I'll have to include those activities in a future post. 

Hope your school year is going smoothly.