Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Field Trip {May 28}

I'm linking up with Miss DeCarbo from Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.

I took my kindergarten kiddos to visit my college alma mater today, University of Mount Union.  It is in the same town I teach in (less than 2 miles down the road).  We want them to be excited about the prospect of college and all it has to offer.  Their favorite part...lunch in the "big" cafeteria of course!

What is your favorite field trip (past or present)?

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Ice Cream Math Freebie

We have 2 days to go with kids.  I created a little activity to keep my kiddos going academically today while their brains are thinking "summer".  I shared a photo on Instagram this afternoon (@averycuriousclass) because my kiddos loved it!  I'd like to share the little activity with you so your kiddos can enjoy it too.

Did you download by clicking the link above?  I'd appreciate your feedback and/or any tips you have for this Instagram newbie!

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Summer Bucket List

With four days of school left for me, I'm linking up with Mrs. Jump's Class to share my summer bucket list.

1.  Read!  I enjoy reading but find that I don't have (or make) much time for it during the school year.  I'm looking forward to reading some professional and "nonprofessional" literature this summer.

2.  Enjoy time just being at home:  I commute about an hour each way, so depending on the day and any after school commitments, I am not home much in any given day.  I just moved in last summer, so I'm hoping to enjoy some time here.

3.  Clean and organize: While boxes are unpacked and many places are organized, I have fallen into a bad habit of making a mess of my extra bedroom.  The past month or so I just drop stuff in that room when I don't know where else to put it or when I'm in a hurry.

4. Help with VBS: I'm helping with the preschool group at our church's Vacation Bible School in June.  I just started going to this church late last summer, so I have not seen VBS yet.  I hear that there are around 50 preschoolers each year, so it should be an adventure!

5.  Try some new recipes: Last summer I enjoyed trying a few new recipes each week with the help of Pinterest.  It was nice to have some different things to eat throughout the year.  I'd like to find some more easy ones that I can either make on Sunday and have for the week or quick ones to make throughout the week.  Your suggestions are welcome!

6.  I Teach K!: I'm very excited to be heading to Vegas for I Teach K! this summer.  I am presenting a session on Monday and looking forward to enjoying the rest of the week at the conference.  I'm hoping to meet new friends and learn lots!

7.  Visiting friends: I'm looking forward to visiting with friends that I don't get to see as much as I would like.

8.  Prepare for a new adventure: While I don't want to work all summer, I know that any things I do to prep for next year will make my year easier.  Over the summer, I don't mind doing things like assembling Reading A-Z books and creating centers, but I save these things for a rainy day.

9.  Get outside: Last summer I loved walking in the morning while it was still a little cool and starting my day off in a good way.  I'm looking forward to this time again this summer as well as catching of my cousin's softball games.

10. Spend time with family: I moved last summer to be closer to my family.  I am now about 20 minutes from them.  My mom also commutes over an hour to work (the opposite direction from me).  It was nice to make dinner and have my parents over a couples times a week over the summer since I am home and have more time to cook.  I'd also like to go on a little getaway with them, but we'll see about that.

What is on your summer bucket list?

Friday, May 23, 2014

Five For Friday {May 23}

I'm linking up with Kasey from Doodle Bugs Teaching for her Five For Friday linky.

1.  Volunteer Gift (end of the year)
I give little things to the few parent volunteers I get throughout the year.  I put this together this morning as a little end of the year treat using a Thirty-One Key Fob, a skeleton key ($1 bin at Michaels) and a die cut key from our Ellison Machine.

2.  Graduation Day!
Today was our kindergarten graduation.  Our kiddos did a great job singing!

3.  We worked on our animal and animal habitats research this week.  I surprised my ocean group with real fish to put in their habitat when they shared it.  I let them take the fish home when we were done.  I'm not good at catching fish (with a hook, net or any other way) so I put the kids to work fishing the fish out of the container.  Entertainment at its finest! :)

4.  A sweet little guy painted this pot and planted a flower for me.

5.  My camera broke yesterday.  While taking pictures of my students' habitats, I dropped it. :(  So sad.  Thank goodness for my phone.  Kiddos dropped the camera I have for their use a few too many times so it isn't working so well at the moment either.  Anyone have any suggestions for a new camera?  I'm thinking "point and shoot" since I appear to not be responsible enough for a "big girl" camera!

We have 3 more days of school next week, plus a teacher day on Friday.  My kiddos are excited for a field trip next week and field day.  When are you out for the summer?

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: May 21

I'm linking up with Miss DeCarbo at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.

I purchased The Book Whisperer during my trip to the Scholastic Warehouse Sale last weekend.  It is on my summer reading list.  What else needs to be on my summer reading list?  I'd love both professional and "fun" reads suggestions!  Please leave a suggestion or 2 in the comments below!

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Around the World

We are back from our "trip" around the world.  Last week we visited Italy, China and Mexico as part of our study of countries and cultures.  Unfortunately I didn't make it to Mexico, so no pictures from there, as I was frantically assessing one of my kiddos who was having an "on day"(can you relate?!?).  Here are a few highlights from our adventures.

Before we could jet off on our adventures, we needed to get our passports ready.  One of my teammates and her mom created our passports.  We used Kari Bolt's passport stamps.  Two of us printed them on labels and two just printed them and used a glue stick to attach them to the passports.  Inside the front cover is the child's picture and name.

In each country, we created the flag of the country. Here we are in Italy.  You can see the pasta in the background; after creating the flag, they made art out of dried pasta while we were visiting Italy.

In Italy, we also worked to build the Leaning Tower of Pisa using toilet paper and paper towel tubes.

In China, students practiced writing the Mandarin words for common words we use.  They thought this was cool and fun.

In each country, we tasted some food from that country.  In China we had Sweet & Sour chicken with fried rice, in Italy, we made English Muffin pizzas, and in Mexico, student tried chips and salsa.

Overall, it was a great week of learning and excitement.  This week we will be working on our animal habitats projects in preparation for graduation.  We are going to have a "gallery walk" after the ceremony to show off our hard work.  What are your plans for the week?

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Our "Louvre"

As mentioned in my last post, we studied France last week.  One part of our study was learning about artists from France.  Each day at the art center, students created art by a different French artist.  We then created our own Louvre using magnets on the chalkboard.  Please excuse the mess that is also in the picture!

We started the week with Matisse.  This was an easy project that my kids were excited to do.  I was asked frequently throughout the rest of the week if other could make it too.

Up next was Monet.  The kiddos used their fingers to make dots to cover (the direction anyway) the white paper.  They then used brown paper strips to create a bridge.

Seurat was done using Q-tips.  The kiddos at this center were encouraged to make a picture of their choice.

These are to be Van Gogh sunflowers.  Some of us struggled with the yellow petals, brown center direction.  They are pretty anyway :).

Last up was Picasso.  These are my favorites!  I printed google images for eyes, noses and mouths.  Students then created Picasso-like faces. They were a hoot putting them together and sharing them with their friends.  We liked them so much that when the other classes came to visit France, they made them too.

We just found out that we don't have an art teacher next year, so some of these projects may be coming back around again next year.  Do you have any ideas for teaching art to a group of kindergarten kiddos?  I'd love you favorite projects and ideas!

Saturday, May 10, 2014


This week, amid our crazy schedule, we learned about France.  We also had preschoolers visit us to ease the transition into kindergarten and prepared for a field trip Monday.  It was a busy but exciting week!

We learned about French culture and the language, foods, monuments and symbols.  We ate some French food and watched some great YouTube videos that took us to France since we couldn't hop on a plane for a field trip.  Thanks to YouTube, we climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower, toured the Louvre and walked through lavender fields (with the help of a Glade air freshener).

At the math center, we measured different items from France using unifex cubes and paper clips.  We also used our "high fashion (click to download)" pieces to create addition and subtraction problems.

The Language Arts center had "iPads" for students to create apps showing things they learned about France.  After drawing the photo for the app, students wrote a sentence or 2 that went in an envelope attached to the back of the "iPad" to share the information about each app.

The art center taught us about a different French artist each day.  In the picture below, she is creating Picasso-like artwork using google images of parts of the face. There were 3 baggies; one for eyes, one for noses and one for mouths.  Students cut out the pieces and parts to create a face.  They were awesome.  More photos of artwork to come in a later post.

Their favorite center, by far, was the dramatic play center where we had a photo booth.  Students have a camera in the room that they are allowed to use to take pictures of their work.  This week it was at this center.  I hung brown bulletin board paper for them to stand in front of.  They dressed up and took pictures of one another.  Lots of language development happening here along with fun. The foam props came for this site.  They were a free download; I had to trace them, cut them out then attach to dowel rods.  E6000 worked well; they held up all week.

Next week we will get out our passports and head to Italy, China and Mexico as we visit the classrooms of my teammates and learn about the countries they studied.  They will also come to us and learn about France.  This was a great way to keep the learning going during a time when the kiddos can be a little crazy; we have just under 3 weeks of school left.  I'll post more about the art we did (it is hanging in our own little "Louvre") and the the other countries we visited soon.

I'd love to hear what you learned about this week.  Any other ideas to add to our country study next year?   Please comment below!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Wordless Wednesday: Must Reads

I'm linking up with Christina at Sugar and Spice for Wordless Wednesday.

What are your "must reads" (professional and pleasure) for the summer?  Please comment below; my Amazon account is ready!

Sunday, May 4, 2014

High Fashion

We finished our "formal" reading curriculum last week, so this week we can dive deep into PBL (Project Based Learning).  I'm having a difficult time containing my excitement!

My teammates and I are working together to do a "cultures" unit.  We each chose a country to study.  This week we will learn about and become "experts" about our country.  Next week, we will one another's rooms to learn about the other countries.  

My kiddos and I will be learning about France.  My grandma was a French teacher and I took French in high school (not that it will help me now!) so it seemed like a good fit.  YouTube, Pinterest and I have been collaborating.  I'm looking forward to sharing our learning with you.

I whipped up a little "fashion" based activity for my math center this week.  The dress contains the "answer", the shoes make up the "problem" and the necklace indicates the "sign" (addition or subtraction).  Students will create math problems using these pieces and record them on a recording sheet. 

To share my excitement, I am sharing this as a freebie.  You may not be studying France, but my little fashionistas would love it even if I was teaching them about France!  Please consider leaving a comment below and following to the right if you download.  I'd love to do a 100 follower giveaway to celebrate the end of the school year!

What are you learning about this week?