As promised, more pictures!
I featured "The Adding Machine" in an earlier post. Monday morning I showed up extra early to install it. It took a bit of troubleshooting to get it to work, I eventually got it going. I found that marbles flew out much too quickly and bounced out of the cup, rolling all around the room on our tile floors... definitely a safety issue. I ended up giving the kids colorful puff balls that I found at Dollar Tree. We have found them to work much better. My KinderLoves absolutely LOVE IT!! They've been asking to play with it during indoor recess and my early finishers beg to go here instead of completing other tasks.
For our hibernation unit, we created bear caves. I apologize for the poor picture quality, but basically... we took paper bags, opened them up, rolled them down and cut an opening for the cave. Students cut, colored, and pasted bears into their cave. Some students placed them standing up, getting ready to sleep while others had them laying down already sleeping. Additionally, students tore construction paper to form the grass a leaves that created their bear's bedding. Finally, students painted snow atop the caves using a 50/50 mixture of shaving cream and glue (a recipe I discovered on Pinterest). This left the snow nice and fluffy!
One of my students put a blanket over the bear, explaining to me that "bears should be comfy, too!"
Three days a week, my students have the opportunity to meet with 8th grade reading buddies. It has been a slow process setting up a strict schedule for this half-hour block, especially being that it comes right after lunch. Typically, the older buddies review the letters and corresponding sounds, practice sight words, read a story, and guide the students in a journal reflection of the story. Please comment with any suggestions you may have for managing reading buddies!
Our school has been honored by receiving the support of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH) by being named a Turnaround: Arts school. There are many corporations sponsoring this initiative. Last month, we were visited by representatives from Crayola who ran a training for integrating the arts into our instruction. We were given time to manipulate their materials and create things to use in our classrooms. The Minnie Mouse puppet above is a creation of my own that I use with some of my shyer students. Students speak through the puppet when answering questions. I am looking forward to creating these puppets with all of my students for use with a book report project we will be completing in the spring.
For fun, I made a dinosaur...
I leave you with the view from my classroom at sunset. Clearly, I stayed at work a little too long last night, but... I am very lucky to have such a beautiful view. Looking out at the park, my kiddos often reference the view in their writing journals.