Simplifying Documentation

One of the most important elements of Reggio-Inspired teaching is documentation. From experience, I know this can be one of the most intimidating pieces to implement. I want to share one example of a documentation panel I created along with my students in a first grade classroom. I want to share how I simplified this documentation […]

All Around Child-Outside

I have been sharing the wonderful things I saw while visiting All Around Child in Overland Park, KS. So far we have explored the common areas, hallways, and the beautiful classrooms. Now you will get to see the masterpiece that is the outside play areas, but they are so much more than that. They are […]

All Around Child-Inside the Classrooms

Recently, I posted about All Around Child, a Reggio-Inspired preschool in Overland Park, KS. I loved the school so much that there was no way I could have condensed my thoughts and pictures down to one post. We are about to explore the magic inside the classrooms and you will see why… I quickly learned […]

Building the “Great Wall” of China

Building the Great Wall of China with brown bags is a great collaborative project.  Today the class worked together to create a wall as long as they could.  It required placing the bags side by side.  The children had to make decisions about which directions the wall would travel. The wall began in the classroom […]

Patty’s Room: Light Play

Thank you Patty and Jenni for the treat of your classrooms! Stay tuned to a new e-workshop with Patty – happening SOON!  I am so excited about this collaboration. Details will be released Monday morning!!

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 […]

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! […]

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 […]

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 […]

Collaborative Scientific Drawings

Me oh my!  I saw the coolest idea ever!  Lacy Williams, an intern in the classroom next me, had the children in her class doing a collaborative scientific art piece.  I was so blown away by the wisdom of how she lead the up to the collaborative piece.  The topic was pond life.  Here’s what […]

Ideas for Winter Unit

Sitting on the couch at home,  I snuggled into the possibility of my next unit – Winter and the story “The Mitten.”  Here are a few ideas I found: Hibernation Art Piece I love this!  I think the kinders would adore doing this! From: http://overallsuccess.net/monthlyideas-Jan_overallsuccess.htm Sorting Winter Animals This is a great science center idea. […]

Seedy Necklaces

My current intern, Katie Downing, brought the neatest idea to the classroom.  Each student was given two beans, a cotton ball, a small plastic bag (I hole punch it for string the yarn) and a length of yarn.  The cotton balls where soaked in water.  The children put their two beans and the wet cotton […]

Them Bones!

 I saw this project at my friend, Terri’s classroom several years back.  It is such a great way to introduce the bones.  I had two parents come in and help the children paint their bones.  We will be learning the major bones over the next two weeks.  The first step is to trace the child’s […]

Sun Print Paint on Fabric!

Michelle, the art teacher next to me at the museum, did the coolest project!  Oh my!  Did you know there is sun paint?  Just like the sun print paper!  What you will need:  muslin fabric cut to size, the cool sun print fabric paints (click here for source), cut-outs and found objects to put down […]

Pinwheels

Today at the museum, one of the art stations was designing a pinwheel.  The children loved it!  I asked where the museum purchased the pinwheels.  They were very economically priced at Oriental Trading!   This will be on my to-do list for March!

Drawing and Labeling an Insect

In the study of nature, it is such an easy and powerful activity to have the children draw and label the subject of current study.   This helps students own the information and remember it.  It is far more engaging than giving them a worksheet with lines to fill in the words to label a pre-printed […]

Weather Parade!

I love the beauty of the parade puppets and pageant sticks!  This year, for only the second time in my teaching career, I am bringing pageantry to our weather time.   First, I talked to the children about what weather sticks we might need – and we went to work painting them.  We are not quite […]

Making Chinese Shadow Puppets and A Shadow Puppet Theater

Groundhog’s day usually falls during my two week unit on China.  It is so perfect to bring the Chinese tradition of shadow puppets to our exploration of shadows as we discuss groundhog’s day. You can make a simple shadow puppet theater out of a cereal box.  It is cheap and every child in the class […]

Making Painted Plum Blossom Trees

The Chinese Plum Blossom tree is considered to bring good luck and hope.  I have done this project with four year olds with great success.   It helps to tell the children that we are not painting the whole tree – just a section of it.   What you will need to paint this tree – light […]

Painting Snow on Trees

This is an oldie – and worth doing again and again!   The best part is mixing up the “secret” snow paint recipe!  This painting takes two days.  I start with teaching the children to paint a tree.   Be sure to start the tree with a little space below it.  The next day we apply our […]