Saturday, September 28, 2013

Six Steps for Saturday

Hello Five for Friday! I'm going to have to do Six Steps for Saturday instead. I threw away my new camera's charger so there are no pictures from my week. Probably a blessing-I dressed up as Johnny Appleseed. Not my best look. I had no idea it was so hard to keep a pot on your head... This is a rather long winded set of directions for a favorite art project

I've never been afraid of a good mess. In fact, I think messes are a sign of fun things going on. I love the quote, "Excuse the mess, we're making memories." My other favorite is:

If you don't feel the same way, go no further! Consider this fair warning.
The apples/bowl project is done with chalk and that chalk ends up on everything! Mostly you. That's why I wear an apron every single day in kindergarten. Every. Single. Day.

1. You'll need to find: chalk, paper, paper towels, smocks and an old bath towel. Advil.

Cover everybody involved in large, daddy sized t-shirts, or paint smocks (the more surface area covered, the better). I wear a rain poncho. :) I usually do this project with groups of 5 or 6.

Before we begin, I show the kids shadows on apples and a bowl by setting up a lamp and turning out the lights.  Kindergarten is really young to think they could even grasp this concept, but I give it a good try. We move the lamp around, showing them where the shadow falls as it moves. I demonstrate the entire project ahead of the actual lesson. I've found that if I do the demonstration without talking they pay better attention. Go figure. I'm a blabber, so they probably love the silence. The oows and ahhhhhs are always fun and they're motivated to give it a try. Now it's their turn!

Get the old bath towel wet and squeeze out the extra water. Place somewhere close by. I usually just drape it over a chair within reach. This is for wiping hands so colors don't mix on the paper and they can begin each new color with clean, dry hands.

Have paper towels and the trash can near by. The paper towels are for blending the chalk, the trash can is to keep things sort of organized, the clean-as-you-go thing.

Take two Advil.

2. I demonstrate each step again as we move through the project. They can choose their own colors, but I want to teach them how to use this medium so that the next time we do a chalk project (HA) they'll know how to go about it correctly.

Our chalks are old and well loved, so sometimes they'll be dirty and it's hard to see the real color underneath. I always give them a scrap piece of paper to rub the chalks on to clean them up. This is a great time to teach them to either have their chalk "tree way or bush way" (upright or on it's side ). Use the towel to wipe hands when done.

Once the chalks and hands are cleaned, we're ready to begin. Things will move quickly now.

3. Have paper ready and have them situate it "bush way." Next, they'll draw a pencil line across the middle of the paper, horizontally. This will be the division of the table and wall. Show them how to place the chalk on its side and rub the chalk all the way across the paper repeatedly until covered, moving in the same direction (horizontally). Do the table first (bottom portion). Smear with paper towels. Wipe face with dirty hands or pat your buddy on the head. Whoops, just joking. It will happen though. Make sure the camera is near by!  Next comes the wall color. Do the same procedure as with the table. Smear with a clean paper towel. Place the paper to the side. Clean as you go, folks. Trust me! Throw away those used paper towels and clean hands. Now.

4. Using another piece of paper placed "bush way," have the kids draw a smile with the chalk on its side. Draw the upper and then the lower portion of the smile and fill in with chalk (this is the bowl). Smear. Give Mrs. Welch a hug. Whoops, just joking again but it will happen and now your apron has proven its worth.

Next, and this is where things get dark (haha) because out comes the black chalk. NOW you should be nervous. This is how I look as I introduce the dreaded black chalk... EVERYBODY. FREEZE.

Laying the chalk on its side, show them how to rub the chalk down the left hand side of the bowl ( See picture). Smear with fingers in a dramatic swooping motion towards the middle of the bowl. Wipe hands on your nice clothes or put your hair behind your ear, or better yet, give yourself a mustache (all these things have happened to me). Just joking again, use those paper towels. Cut the bowl out and place on the background paper, gluing only the bottom portion so that you can place apples in the bowl later.

5. Apples are next. Clean hands.

I run off paper that has 6 or 7 drawn circles on it. We look at real apples and determine which color they want in their bowl: red, yellow or green or a combination. Always do yellow first if they want all three colors. Trust me on this one. If they do red or green first, it will somehow magically contaminate the yellow. With chalk on it's side, have them fill in the apples, one color at a time. These need to be colored in well. Smear with a clean paper towel.

Take the black chalk (on its side) again and show them how to follow along the edge of the left hand side of the apple, making a "c" shape. Smear with swooping motion towards the middle of the apple. Immediately, clean hands or black will smear onto places you won't want it. Black is the WORST at making a mess.

Cut the apples out.

To make the indentation for the stem, show them how to make a small smile line with the black. Take the brown and make a sightly curved stem coming up from the smile.

To make the shiny spot, take a small piece of white chalk and rub a curve of white to the right side of apple. Don't smear. Now, make sure those hands are clean AGAIN!

6. Have them glue the apples in the bowl and maybe a few sitting outside the bowl. The black has to be on the left side of the apple.

Voila! Apples in a bowl. I don't bother with the shadow under the bowl because, frankly, I just can't handle one more thing by this time.

Take stock of how dirty everyone is; it's hilarious! Don't forget to wash your face before you go to bank, grocery store or out to eat. Take off the dirty apron too. It's embarrassing. Trust me.

6. Here's a pear that my second graders did last year.

I found this on Pinterest. It's really fun to watch. Way too hard for kinders!!!!

Finally, and on a completely different subject, for kindergarden graduation last year we sang "Home" by Edward Sharpe. We had to change some of the words to make it kindergarten appropriate but it was really neat.

Oh my gosh I love this song and this makes it better...
what a cutie :)
This year, I'd like to teach them "When I'm Gone." It has a word or two that needs to be kinder-ized as well. I found this on Pinterest and had fun watching "The Complete Guide to the Cup Song" and thought others would like it too. Enjoy! Happy weekend!


Friday, September 20, 2013

Five for Friday

I can't believe I'm still awake. I'm poop-deck tired signing up for another Doodle Bug's Five for Friday linky. It's only 8:15 but that's 15 minutes past my current bedtime. Here's a whole lot of random...

I am the bravest teacher in the history of teaching.

Or the stupidest.

I'm leaning towards stupid.

Thursday was International Talk Like A Pirate Day. So, my 28 Kindergarteners and I "Yo, ho, hoed" and "Aye ayed" and growled at each other all day. No wimpy (smart) "First Day of Fall" for me. No safe (intelligent) "International Day of Peace". No cautious (peaceful) Vivaldi or forgettable (easy) Autumn Leaves. No applesauce for us, matey! We had hooks and swords and eye-patches and bandannas and telescopes and we turned the play structure into a ship  We walked the plank, sang sea shanties and dug for buried treasure. I have the biggest headache I've ever had in my life (but it was worth it)!

Here's a picture of Captain Welch with my fearless side-kick and First Mate (and classroom aide!!! Woot woot!)

2. Color wheels(I think these are from mamajean. I'll try to find the link). Way fun, people!
3. Apples: Super easy, super messy.

4. Fun for "5 Little Pumpkins"

5. "No, David"-our important rules.

Gotta love this rule! We never talked about bikes in the classroom but I think this is a great idea. :)

I'll write a more thorough post about the apple art project later. I do it with my kinders every year and it is amazing, but wow, is it messy!

Happy Weekend!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

What a mess!

OMG! I just had to share this picture of my kitchen. I have 29 kids this year and my Sundays are for the prep I couldn't get done during the week. Where have the counters gone? I swear I spent 1/2 hour looking for my keys so that I could go make 29 copies of some adorable kinders, which by the way is not cheap.  I also need to buy stock in Elmer's Glue, tape, and Advil. HA! Don't get me wrong my kids are precious, it's just a ton of work. I also have an amazing group of mommies who are willing to help, I just have to get better at asking. There are lots of people stepping up to make this a better situation for the kids. 

 How will I find the time to assess 29 kids? Oh my. I have friends who have 33 kids in their classroom! Time to put on my big girl panties! Now, if I could just find the's ringing...I know it's here somewhere...Have a great week!

Friday, September 13, 2013

Five for Fried-Day

Hellooooooo Five for Fried-Day! After my second week back I am EXHAUSTED! I started this post two weeks ago and could never get back to it. Thank you Doodle Bugs.fiveforfriday2_thumb3
1. Remember these guys? They're from First Grade Parade. Her ideas are always wonderful but this is one of my favorites. They've become our favorite part of the calendar! I cut out 30 paper cookies and keep them in a little cookie jar. If it's the 12th day of September, we count our 12 cookies. Beginning with Odd Todd, we place a cookie in his hands, going back and forth to Even Steven until all the cookies are passed out. They like to say, "One for Todd, one for Steven." They know if Steven and Todd have the same amount, it's even. If one of them has one more, it's odd. We place the cookie with the number written on it in the right guy's hand. Who'd have thought this would be so much fun! Go check out First Grade Parade's post about these two. It's wonderful! Thank you Cara!

2. Big Cheese: Each day I have a Special Person of the Day. We call them the Big Cheese. They get to sit on our special stool and be a mini me for the day. They do the calendar, lead the pledge,  pick people to line up, etc. Power does a not so funny thing to one's personality and it cracks me up to watch each child lead in their own dictatorship way! It's also an eye opener to watch them mimic my teaching tricks.
At the close of the day, we have the Special Person put on the Cheese Head hat and we write a little story about them. It's a great way to teach the difference between a question and statement. The kids ask questions about the person and as they answer, I act as scribe, leaving out punctuation or capitals. At the end, we go back and reread our story to correct our mistakes. The Big Cheese gets to have two friends illustrate the story and then take it home.  Woot woot! They love it! Here's mine.

3. Being flexible. I have a little person who has a difficult time transitioning. I felt truly sorry and went looking for a new way to deal with this on Pinterest. I found this idea and gave it a try. It made total sense to all my kids. Check it out if you're having the same problem.
Encouraging Appropriate Behavior~ Th

4. Pet Show: the Neighborhood Entreprenuer's  Club is alive and well! If you've read some of my past posts, you know that I have some pretty funny little kids in my neighborhood. They sell glitter rocks and lemonade for astronomical prices. The best was the fingernail painting salon! Hilarious. I always stop for lemonade and glitter rock stands. Always. Never drink the lemonade though. Never.

Here's the flyer that I found on my door last week.
The bad news is it closed at 8pm. Not only is that past my bed time now that I have 29 kinders, but I didn't find it until the following morning. Tough toasties! I shutter to think... At least it was free. I'm sure it's some new marketing technique. :)

5. TLC Firefighters: Here's our effort at saying thank you to our firefighters-kindergarten style! We live where the fires have been and as we all drove away as fast as we could, those brave firefighters rushed straight towards the danger. Thank you soooooo much!
I wanted to include this cute bulletin board from our 2nd grade teacher. Her students wrote about someplace they had been over the summer and then drew a picture to go with it. I wish you could see the artwork better. It's really wonderful!
In closing, this is my new favorite quote. Ha! Have a great weekend!

creativity is messy