Red Birds in a Nest

Foam clay has to be the most amazing invention.  Ever.  It is so cool what you can create.  At the museum, I had the children make little nests out of the brown foam clay – adding sticks to give it the “nesty” look. We formed our birds by making; a large oval for the body […]

Red Birds in Snow

This is an art project I did at the local museum.  I used the extra large black construction paper (24 x 36) which gave it such a “wow” factor.  We painted this in three stages: Drew and painted the bird.  Let it dry. (Used oil pastels to draw the bird.) Drawing Instructions: Draw a large […]

Reggio Inspired: Collections

Here are snapshots of “collections” from several different Reggio Inspired classrooms.  Enjoy!  Pictured taken in a Reggio Inspired Educare classroom. Photo taken at Rosa Parks Preschool.  I love the idea of using those old divided boxes for little collections. I am uncertain where this was taken – perhaps Colorado. Sorting natural material into baskets and […]

Pattern Owls

I love collage work.  For this project I gathered some of my old scrapbook papers for the children to make their pattern owls.  I made tracers out of old file folders as well.  Here’s how I made the tracers: 1 large oval tracer for the body  (I had pre-cut construction paper rectangles for tracing the […]

Polar Bears in Snow

This was such a fun painting project.  I ordered the largest size construction paper (24 x 36) in pale blue.   This gave it the “wow” factor.  I love large paintings!  We drew the bears on the paper before painting.  I gave the children crayons. Step One:  I had the children draw a half moon shape […]

DIY Clipboards

I don’t know about you but I love having a clipboard for every child in my class but holy moly that can get expensive! Well, I ran into someone  (Stacy)  who came up with a DIY version and I couldn’t wait to share the goodness! WHAT YOU WILL NEED: bulldog clips or binder clips (the […]

Waldof: Table Puppets

Waldorf table puppets have to be one of the most powerful things I have ever taken into my teaching practice.  They are simple standing puppets.  People make them in a variety of ways and materials.  This table puppet is a part of a late spring Nature Table.  She is made of wool felt.  This table […]

Waldorf: Marionettes

There is nothing so magical as the art of the marionette – Waldorf style!  These etheric creatures are made of hand dyed silks and lovingly sewn into special characters.  For the newbie to Waldorf education – the lack of facial features can seem odd.   But wait and watch the imagination of the child and the […]

Waldorf: Classrooms

I am starting this series out with a view of the whole classroom.  Many of these photos are over ten years old.  I have noted approximate dates. These photos will give you a feeling for the mood of a Waldorf Kindergarten.  I love how each one has its own favor.  No two classrooms are quite […]

Reggio Inspired: Child Art

The final photos from my visit to Rosa Parks Preschool:  This is a child painted embroidery hoop with a fine netting.  I love the multi-colored yarn that the children used to sew on the netting.  A wonderful collaborative art piece made with bottle caps.  Love, love.  These are called “Identity Panels.”  I adore child’s self-portraits.  […]

Reggio Inspired: Tables

Rosa Parks Preschool in Tulsa, Oklahoma – had so many wonderful tables.  Here are some amazing ideas from their classrooms.  A large wooden spool with log stumps for chairs.   I love the beads sorted in the muffin tin for stringing for the hanging art.  I adore this idea so much!! WOW!  An old door transformed […]

Reggio Inspired: Hanging Art

Rose Parks Preschool, a Reggio Inspired school, had so many hanging art pieces.  I am sharing a few of these amazing collaborative art pieces.  The strands of assorted beads, ribbons, and other objects that the children created. These were all hung from a tree branch.  Beautiful!  I love full branches like this one.  The children’s […]

Reggio Inspired: Math

Yet another peek into Rosa Parks Preschool:  Canvas board number frieze with real objects showing quantity.  And, of course, the glitter!  I love these little silver buckets of counting objects. Notice the tubes above with the number labels? And all these cool rocks.  Super uber cool.  A super idea!  Put an arrival question in a […]

Reggio Inspired: Families

There were some wonderful ideas for incorporating the families’ presence in the classroom environment at Rosa Parks Preschool.  I think it is so comforting and homey for the children to see their families displayed in the classroom.  It makes a strong statement of mutual support and commitment to the child. Family Tree: A simple tree […]

Reggio Inspired: Birthday Traditions

In these Reggio inspired classrooms – each room develops its own birthday tradition.  Here is one classroom’s documentation on how the traditions are formed:  A peek at birthday traditions:  IDEA 1:  I adore this idea!  Notice in the first photo there are empty hoops hanging.  On the child’s birthday they decorate and fill their hoop.  […]

Reggio Inspired: Color

Woot!  Day two of my sneak peek into a local Reggio inspired preschool, Rosa Parks. The quality of classroom environment in this school is off the charts. Today I am going to share a few of their color ideas.  Simple canvas boards with color collections.  I love all the texture.  A close up of the […]

Reggio Inspired: The Alphabet

Oh my word!  I am so excited!  I took a tour of a local Reggio inspired preschool, Rosa Parks. I was blown away with the beauty in this school. I am so grateful for the generosity and kindness of the teachers to allow photos and permission to post them on this blog.  Thank you Rosa […]

Resolutions: Day Five

Soul Food Nourishing ourselves is vitally important to a fulfilling year.  It is crucial to being a teacher with vitality and inspiration. True nourishment is found in the tiny details of life.   We can bring moments of grace into our daily lives.  One of my favorite tiny details is a special mug I love […]

Inspired Money for Teachers

I can not begin to express how much renewal and knowledge I gained in my two Fund for Teacher’s fellowships.  It was life changing at the very least.  This grant is tailor made for teachers who are looking for a specific type of professional development – heartfelt and passionate!!! I first applied for this grant […]

Resolutions 2013: Day Four

HABITS Fuel Goals. . .  Pesky habits!  When I hear the word habit – I think of all my bad habits.  But in reality – there are many more good habits than bad.  Habits are nothing more than the behaviors we repeat over and over again.   In fact, a habit is a behavior that has […]

Resolutions 2013: Day Three

———————— your beliefs become your values your values become your thoughts your thoughts become your words your words become your actions your actions become your habits  your habits become your destiny Gandhi ————————- Values-Based Goals Vs. Resolutions Goals can be thought of as stepping stones that move you towards your values.   The process we are […]

Resolutions 2013: Day Two

One Word There is something about the start of a new year.  It holds such power and possibility. Ending one year and beginning another is such an incredible opportunity.   I can’t imagine not seizing the vast open space in front of me – a whole year! As an artist – all I see is a […]

Resolutions 2013: Day One

A Five Day Series on Creating Your Year What, exactly, is a resolution? defined:  resolution 1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination. 2. A resolving to do something. 3. A course of action determined or decided on. Resolution defined is the act or process of resolving – the act of answering, the […]

Snowball Village

Last week I taught two classes for a new local museum.  My featured projects for both days – little habitats.   I have rarely seen a child who does not adore the task of creating a miniature world.  There is this amazing ability of a little world to pull the storyteller out of children.  I love […]

Elves and the Shoemaker

This is one of my favorite Holiday stories.  It highlights the gift of giving without expecting a return for your generosity. Here are some key hands-on links to tie into your learning stations. (Click on yellow links for instructions).  These are very engaging activities – just what you need as you approach Winter break!  Make […]

Gingerbread Baby Goes Around the World!

I love this idea!  Susan, from River Bliss, has the Gingerbread Baby go around the world.  Susan explains, “Throughout the month of December, we receive a letter, postcard, or email nearly every day from the gingerbread baby telling us about various multicultural celebrations taking place at this time of year. He is directionally impaired to […]

Soulful Sunday

The Call of Teaching I will never forget the moment I was called to teaching. I was pregnant with my third child and decided to give my hand at volunteering in my son’s kindergarten class.  The first time I walked into the classroom a rush of knowing filled every pore. I was home. Like many […]

Leaf Lanterns Tutorial

 Susan at River Bliss blog created these amazing lanterns!   She has provided a detailed tutorial at:  http://riverblissed.blogspot.com/2012/11/in-quest-of-light-leaf-lantern-tutorials.html I love Susan’s blog for her wonderful reflections and musings inspired by the Upper Hudson River where she lives.  It is worth putting on your blog reading list. I am going to make some lanterns for my porch […]

Thankful Turkeys

This is a simple project. All you need are four simple items: brown construction paper colored copy paper clothes pins download of the hand and leaves: CLICK HERE  Cut out brown thankful hand. Write four things you are thankful for – one on each leaf! Cut out the leaves and glue one to each finger. […]

Soulful Sunday

Yesterday I was reading a book (Linchpin) by Seth Godin and had this ah ha moment.  It is a book about business and as I read – I realized I was reading about the state of education.  I just had to share it.  Listen to this (I will be replacing the word “business” with the […]

A Reggio Inspired Classroom

I recently had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful Reggio inspired teacher, Mrs. Foshee.  Her room was fab!  Here is a sneak peek:  Here is her number line.  Love, love it!  The number is constructed out of tacks and yarn.  Love the nature items.  The letters were created from twine.  Isn’t this a grand calendar?!  […]

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater

 “Experts in literacy and child development have discovered that if children know eight nursery rhymes by heart by the time they’re four years old, they’re usually among the best readers by the time they’re eight.”  [Fox, M. (2001). Reading Magic. San Diego, CA:Harcourt.] It is a great time to pick up a clearance pumpkin container […]

Dem Bones

My kinders loved learning about bones. Here are some of the ideas I found online (links below) and of course, a Fairy Dust idea!  I love this idea from Dilly Dali. For instructions:   Cotton Swab Bones This would be so great to build as a class. Instructions at:  http://pickupsomecreativity.blogspot.com/  Super easy plastic fork skeleton! […]

Leaf Sewing!

What you will need: Leaves, hole punch, child’ plastic needles and yarn. This one of my favorite fall activities!  There are two ways to do this! Hole Punched Leaves  Using a hole punch – make holes around the edge of the leaf. Or let the children make the holes.  Magnolia leaves are very strong! Let […]

Artist Study: Willem de Kooning

“Light in August”  1947 In a recent museum class I taught – we explored the world of the gray scale and the work of Willem de Kooning.   We looked at several examples of de Kooning’s work and identified the values lightest to darkest (the gray scale). STEP ONE:  Make your own gray scale tool!  You […]

Free Storytelling Cards – Three Pigs

I am so excited to share a free set of storytelling cards for the story of The Three Pigs.  This set includes word cards as well.  To access this free set – go to the Fairy Dust Teaching Facebook page! Enjoy!

5 Great "Where the Wild Things Are" Ideas

Who doesn’t just love “Where the Wild Things Are”? This is a wonderful book to bring a good dose of art. Just watch the story come alive in your classroom. . . IDEA #1:  Wild Things Cardboard Tube Puppets For more information go to: Funderberg  IDEA #2:  Have a Wild Rumpus! Make Costumes! This is […]

5 Great Puppets to Make

  PUPPET #1:  Paper/Cloth Rod Puppets  These are wonderful for retelling fairy tales. For more details go to:  We Bloom Here PUPPET #2:  Popsicle Paper Puppets This is one of my favorite ways to make puppets – let the children draw them!  They always turn out so adorable and the children are so proud! For […]

5 Great Math Ideas

IDEA #1:  King and Queen of Measuring This is so cool!  There are many ways to present this to meet specific ages.  I love the idea of the crowns and even doing non-standard measuring! For more details go to: Deceptively Educational IDEA #2: Measuring Playdough Worms Any math that involves playdough is a winner in […]

The Never Ending Story. . . .

Here is a little gold nugget I use in my classroom.  I tell an ongoing story that lasts all year long.  It is a simple tale about a Mother, a Father, a Sister, a Brother, a Cat and a Dog.  I do not use names – just Mother, Mom, Father, Dad, etc. – as using […]

Getting Your Groove On! Dance!

Dancing is one of my most powerful weapons against the lack of recess. We dance and everything works better. Yesterday I shared my “Dance Off” technique. Today I want to share my “Dance Circle.” Dance Circle Instructions  Gather everyone onto the carpet standing on the edge of your circle time carpet or in a circle. […]

Dance Breaking! Move it!

One of my favorite movement tricks is what I call “Dance Off.”  At some point during the day – during table work, maybe centers, walking down the hall – who knows when this special moment will come. . . . We break into dance!  Yup! I turn off the light and say “Dance off!!”  Everyone […]

Porridge Playdough for Baby Bear!

It took several years to master this playdough.  The traditional recipes for oatmeal playdough are sticky and – honesty – a mess to deal with.   I adapted my basic playdough recipe and have created a perfect porridge playdough!  This dough has a hint of vanilla and cinnamon and is sure to give hours of wonderful […]

Fictional Bears vs. Real Bears

One of the strong impulses of the Common Core Standards is the use of non-fiction reading.  When I work with the fairy tales like the Three Bears – I think it is a wonderful opportunity to compare real bears vs. the three bears.  We research bears by reading non-fiction books from the school library.  This […]

Oh My Stars!!

Today I received word that my kindergarten class’ fairy garden was one of the winners in the 2012 Fairy Garden Contest (sponsored by one of my favorite blogs –The Magic Onions).  What a special honor and treat!  I highly recommend going over to The Magic Onions and taking a peek at all those magical fairy […]

Free Emergent Readers for the Goldilocks and the 3 Bears!

Woot!  I am so excited! I am going to start sharing some of my favorite fairy tale resources. It is going to be a stampede of freebies! These are print-ables that I have created for my classroom use.  These are for your personal use and may not be resold. Here are my personal beginning sight […]

The Shape Robots

This is a great project for practicing the major lines in handwriting.  This robot is constructed using shapes and lines.  This helps develop visual perceptual skills, eye-hand coordination, and fine motor control.  I think it is very important to develop a climate of safety in drawing.  Each child will have their own level of capacity.  […]

Mystery Readers!

At Back to School Night – I always have a Mystery Reader Sign-up.  This is one of those ideas that if you aren’t doing it – you should start this year!  A Mystery Reader is a surprise visit from a family member (moms, dads, grandparents, siblings, uncles, aunts, etc).  They bring a favorite picture book […]

A Full Summer

Dear Readers, You might have noticed I have not been posting much this month.  Well, this has been for good reason!  I am in New Hampshire at Antioch University working on the first bit of my Masters of Waldorf Education. I am taking the summer sequence program. While I had Waldorf Kindergarten training in the […]

It’s an interview! It’s about Fairy Tales!

I am so excited to share a podcast of Melitsa from Raising Playful Tots interviewing me about storytelling!  She was so great.  I was not feeling well that day so I was a little nervous about how it would sound.  Melitsa is so artful in her capacity to interview – it is super.  Thank you […]

Rewards vs. Bribes: What’s the Difference?

How do you know the difference between when you are rewarding student behavior, bribing student behavior or holding them to logical consequences? This is really important because if you are bribing and bargaining with your students – you are in deep doodoo.  It often sneaks up on you and before you know it – you […]

2 Easy Tree Habitats – Part 3

Ohh, these are so fun!  Here are my tree habitats with nests. Here’s how to make a simple nest:  Wrap a piece of brown tissue paper around your thumb. Glue with a glue stick.  Presto! A Nest! Owl Habitat Owls can live in tree trunks and tree holes.  They will make a nest.  Draw paper […]

3-D Trees – The Four Seasons (Part 2)

This article continues a series on 3-D habitats and science topics. To learn how to make a brown bag tree, please refer to Part 1. Today, I am going to share how I use these simple bag trees to construct the four seasons.  You can have the children each make their own seasonal tree or […]

3-D Paper Habitats 101 – Part 1

There are three basic 3-dimensional techniques to have in your teaching toolbox.  These three habitat basics can be used to have children demonstrate their understandings of current science studies or character settings. Over the next week, I am going to share how to make these habitats.  On Friday I will cover how they can fulfill […]

Volcanoes!

Start with all your old playdough!  Mix it together for that great swirly look!  (Or make a batch click here for recipe.) You will also need a big ole piece of sidewalk chalk. Place a handful of playdough on a plastic plate. Push the chalk into the playdough to create a volcano shape.  Squish the […]

Cheap Imaginative Play Ideas!

I am such a huge advocate for imaginative play.  I think children need a good daily dose until at least 9 years of age.  There is a developmental unfoldment of the imagination that provides the ground work for higher order thinking.   Imaginative play provides nourishment for the frontal lobes.  In reality, imaginative play is a […]

A Simple Puppet Show

This is such a simple process that produces the most endearing results!   I had each color family (groups of four children) write their own story. 1.  The first round I let each group write and collaborate on their own a story.   Each group picked someone to record their story.  My rule was that each child […]

Your Soul Food for Summer

A friend asked, “What’s on your plate for this summer?”   When she said that – it hit me.   Just like having nourishing foods for our bodies – we need to have nourishing goals for our summer.   I wrote down everything I had to do on a paper plate.  Me oh my!  Super woman I am […]

Rock Insects

These make wonderful paper weights and could be great dad gifts!  We made these as a part of our insect unit. Mexican Pebble Rocks make the best bugs! I found some of these wonderful stones at a landscape supplier. They are a nice size (palm size.) I had the children begin by drawing their design […]

Birds, Eggs and Nests: Playdough Fun

I love to use playdough as a medium for children to express what we are studying.  During our unit on birds – I put out three batches of playdough: brown for nests and limbs, blue for eggs and yellow for birds.   It was so popular!  The rule was “No mixing the playdoughs!”  And they did […]

Family Reflections

Family Reflections is a process I developed to get honest and helpful feedback from families.   In my experience, parents often will tell me of an suggestion or issue in the classroom on a form that I might not otherwise hear.  I think this is because a form is easy and quick! While I send home […]

Flower Study

One of the last big projects I did with the children this year was a flower study.  We looked at the work of Georgia O’Keefe and how she painted her flowers to fill the entire canvas.  We noted three things that Georgia O’Keefe did: She painted the flowers to the edges of the canvas. She […]

Shhhh. . .

Driving to my school today to get some work done, I felt this amazing sense of gratitude.  I am feeling so blessed by all of you.  I can not begin to express my appreciation and joy for your support.   I am going to offer a FREE e-workshop as an expression of my thanks.  Yup.  It […]

The Plate Stories (It’s Math!)

My best ideas come in the face of disengaged children.  That happened a few weeks ago.  The children were restless and I knew that my math lesson was a real yawner.   On a whim, I told the children to pull out their white boards and dry erase markers. I demonstrated how to draw a plate, […]

Our Fairy Tree

A few weeks ago I was walking around the neighborhood with my husband when I spotted this wonderful dead tree sitting on the curb — it still had the roots!!  “Honey, pick up that tree for me.”  My husband grimaced.  He knew all too well – another art project! Trees are one of my favorite […]

Earth Day Insects

I wanted to share one of my favorite Earth Day projects. The children design and create a clay insect that will air dry.   Once dry it is placed in an outdoor garden or plot of land. The insects are observed for the remainder of the year.  I like to place a plastic insect among […]

Fly Guy Math

This is a fun activity for math.  First, I taught the children how to draw Fly Guy.  He is a very simple figure to draw.  Next, I had the children draw bugs with Fly Guy.  They had to write a math sentence to go with their drawing.  The room was a peaceful quiet as they […]

The "Living" Dollhouse. . .

So dang sweet, it is!  It could be called a large fairy garden but I love calling it the “Living” dollhouse because I put dollhouse dolls and furniture in it. Here’s how I did it: I used a large box that I cut down to just 6 inches tall.  I lined it with a plastic […]

Little Fairy Garden Habitats- Part One

Last week I had each color family create a little fairy garden for their table as a part of our study of plants.   I told the children we will be building the garden weekly.  This week we planted flowers in our gardens.  It was great as the root system in the flowers were so huge […]

"ake" Word Family Art Project

I know I have posted this before but it is so worth posting again.  I did it a bit differently this time.  It is a “Suzi McMahan” project I love!  And better yet, the kindergartners love it!  Word families are great for young readers as it helps the children find patterns in words.  This not […]

Grateful Beyond Words

One year ago this weekend, my eldest daughter lost all ability to walk, lift her head — all bodily functions shut down.  My son had to carry her to our Easter dinner where we all broke down in tears as she could not keep her head up to eat.  Lizzie living life with grace and […]

Quick and Easy Easter Baskets

What you will need:  white paper lunch bags, tag board, hot glue gun, and watercolors.  Step 1: Cut the paper bag down to 5 inches.  Step Two: Cut two pieces of tag board for each paper bag – 4″ x6″ and 2″ x 18″.  Step Three:  Hot glue the 4″ x 6″ piece to the […]

Wonder-Full Easter Eggs

I love, love, love this idea from the Artful Parent.  Stickers and sharpies!  Yes! Go to the Artful Parent website for more ideas and instructions.  (Click on image or name) I also adore these gorgeous eggs – the design is made with rubber bands! Go to the Purple Trail for instructions. This is one of […]

The Safe Pocket System Lesson Plan Packet!

Dear Ones, I am so excited to offer you my first Lesson Plan Store product! It is a lesson plan packet specifically designed for implementing the Safe Pocket System.  It has everything you need to have a visual system of building children’s appropriate behavior and social skills. This packet includes: a poster of the Safe […]

DIY White Boards – so CHEAP!

I was so surprised this week when I asked my colleagues if they knew about how to make super easy and cheap white boards out of white panelboards. They did not know! So I thought some of you may not know! Here’s the scoop: Go to Lowe’s or Home Depot (lumber store) and locate the […]

Celebrating New Siblings

I know most of you probably do something like this or even something more elaborate.  But I think it is always fun to share ideas.  Here is what I do — I would love to hear about what you do!   Cole is becoming a brother for the first time tomorrow so we made him a […]

Drawing + Word Work

I think it was five or six years ago that I went out to San Francisco to visit my BFF Mimi. Her daughter, Fifi, attended an arts based charter school and her kindergarten teacher welcomed me into his classroom for the day. As the children arrived, they would draw the picture and word he had […]

Fish Windsocks – Super Cheap!

This is another great project for a weather unit.  AND it is super economical. WHAT YOU WILL NEED: paper fish windsocks (Click here to order) Under $8 for 24! Blotters or watercolors Yarn Glue sticks  The windsocks come pre-cut.  All you need to do is decorate them and glue together.  Color blotters are perfect for […]

Beautiful Pinwheels

As a part of our weather unit, we made watercolor pinwheels.  Pinwheels are so easy to make and so beautiful to see in the wind.  There are several methods of attaching the pinwheel – the method of I am sharing is from my colleague, Mrs. Flynn.  It works! What you will need: copy of the […]

The Peace Table

One of the best gifts from Montessori education has to be the concept of the Peace Table.  The Peace Table is a conflict resolution tool for the classroom.  Traditionally, there is a peace rose that the children can present to a child they have a conflict with and “go” to the table to work it […]

A Fun Dr. Seuss Idea

Okay, so I am a day late and dollar short but here is a fun thing I did for my students: Using a science fair tri-fold, I painted the cat and the hat on it and cut out face holes.  So much fun!  I drew it free hand but you could use a projector or […]

Book Buddies!

Every year I go to a local book fair at Holland Hall School.  I load up on the best stuffed animals and books for a very reasonable price.  I use them to make book buddies.  This year while piling up my stuffed animals – I had a great idea.  Why not buy tote bags and […]

Fabric in Blocks = Magic

I adore block play!  One of the most amazing things to provide block play is fabric!  Here is a student who made a “puppet” theater with the fabric and told a story — “The Three Giraffes and the Monkey.”  It was the story of the three bears retold with giraffes and a monkey. I also […]

Green Eggs and Ham Writing Project

One of my colleagues, Amber Hatch, (who is a talented curriculum designer) came up with the best idea.  (And it is super easy!)  The children made their own “green” egg.  Each child wrote “I do not like. . .” and a food they do not like using kid-writing.   Love this project! What you will need: […]

Another Way to Draw the Cat in the Hat

 Draw a “U” in the lower half of your paper.  Draw a line across the top of the “u.”  Make that line into a very thin rectangle. Now add a long rectangle to the top of that – almost to the top of your paper.  Add the stripes to the hat.  Draw another u for […]

Dr. Seuss Snacks!

This week we are celebrating Dr. Seuss.  Everyday I have a snack that the children can “make” that is related to Dr. Seuss.  It has been a huge hit!  All of them are super easy – that is my requirement!  The negative side is the sugary nature of the snacks.  Oh well, every now and […]

Reflective Teaching – Free Journal!

Click on reflection page to download. I think if there is one thing that has made the most impact on my teaching – it would be my reflective practice.  At the end of the day I always take a moment to look at how the day went.  I do not linger on my answers.  Rather, […]

George Washington

This week we have the coolest book sharing!  One of my students was an artist model for the book, “George Washington: Our Founding Father.”  His mother came to school Tuesday and read the book to the class — keeping the secret until the end. Click on book to go to Amazon to read more about […]

Collaborative Groups

I have been playing with my color groups and providing more collaborative opportunities.  There is this transition after winter break that begs for more collaborative work.  The children are ready for the rich experiences of negotiation, problem solving, compromise and all the rich, juicy stuff of working with others!! Each week I try to provide […]

A Narrative at Block Play

I love to watch little narratives unfold during centers.  One of the best places to “catch” such a narrative is in the block center.  Here is the saga I captured today:  Four boys are building a structure.  I ask what it is.  S replies, “It is a house.”  H chimes in and says, “It is […]

Drawing Castles

This last week, I lead my kinders in drawing castles.  I adapted my original drawing instructions (see below) by adding extra towers to each side.  I demonstrated how to draw stones and bricks on the castle.  The children loved it!  

Dear Ole Abe and George

Today in class my kinders made a good old fashion project – paper portraits of Abe and George. They traced the major components and glued it together.  (This is my first post made from my iphone. . . a little different but fast!)

Sweet Little Paintings

This is such a sweet little project and super easy.   I purchased 24 – 4″ by 4″ little canvases for $6 using a 40% off coupon at Michaels.  The best deal available is at http://www.dickblick.com/.  You can purchase 24 for under $5.  I purchased the cheapest brand of liquid craft acrylic paints with these main […]

Oh how I love Heart Garlands!

I love, love, love the joy of a heart garland.  Aren’t they divine?  I found several worth sharing on the internet.  There are a few very creative ideas for making garlands.  My kinders love making garlands.  What a lovely thing to do during centers. . . When I saw this,  I immediately thought I could […]

Valentine’s Playdough!

Chocolate Playdough! I first found this idea at Counting Coconuts and loved it! Instructions here:  Heidi’s Recipes Adding the empty chocolate candy box is key! Valentine’s Bakery Playdough This is such a fun idea!  I adore the sprinkles – such a creative idea! The kinders in my class would love that so much! For instructions: […]

Valentines Ideas

I was strolling the internet and found these great ideas: I love these tie-dye hearts! How cute! Check out how to do this at Mom to 2 Posh Lil Divas Love, love, love these!  I think the kinders could make these if I gave them little heart stickers. From: Color Me Katie This a such […]

Paper Buildings

This week during our skyscraper study – a student suggested we build a skyscraper out of paper.  I was amazed how he figured out to do it – paper tubes!  Here are a few photos of the children attempting the paper challenge!  I taught my class how to “tab” and they figured out how to […]

Skyscapers and the Astonishing Philippe Petit

I read the book “The Man Who Walked Between Towers” by Mordicai Gerstein to my kindergarten class.  It is the story of Philippe Petit, a tight rope walker, who walked between the Twin Towers in 1974.  I read the story first.  (Warning, I tear-up at the end every time. . .) Then I showed the […]

Skyscrapers, Buildings, and Structures!

This week my kinders are diving into a study of buildings – primarily skyscrapers.  Today I explained that skyscrapers have four main parts – the foundation, the beams (skeleton), stories, and facade.  I played a few youtube videos of New York’s skyline as well. Next, I gave each color family (four students in each group) […]