Saturday, 26 October 2013

Halloween Cats

I think that Halloween is my favorite holiday to decorate my classroom for. This week we finished our Halloween cats and I put them on the bulletin board in the hallway. I may be bias but I think it turned out pretty good.

Usually I have a flat tree but this year I wanted to have something with texture and that was more 3-D. To make the tree I just took bulletin board paper and crumpled it up then stapled it to the board. I did the trunk first and then added branches.

After I had the tree ready to go I stapled on the old, rickety fence. I had painted and cut this out a few years back and have been packing it around from school to school. It has many tears and wrinkles in it but I think it adds to the rickety image!

Once the fence was up it was time to add the cats, the moon/bat, and the wording. Whoola (hmm not sure how to spell that...) the finished product!

Here is how we made the cats:

Students picked a cat outline (printed on regular 8.5 x 11 paper) and ONE color for the designs. For the younger kids I have the sections already drawn in but for older (Gr4+) I let them draw the sections in themselves. Some of the older kids might want their sections to go horizontally or diagonally.

My only rules for the designs is they must be with one color, neat, and I want them to try and do a pattern in each section.

To get the outlines click on the pictures here. The Google Doc. includes the outlines with and without lines, as well as the example I show my students.


This is a quick, easy art project that can be completed in one 45 minute block of time. Some students will only need about 30 minutes so have something extra for them to do :)

Cheers and Happy Halloween,

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Harris Burdick Writing

I love introducing students to the Harris Burdick Mystery Pictures. They make awesome writing prompts and tools for inferring. After we take an in-depth look at all the pictures I always have my students choose one to write about.

To start off I bring my students into the gym where I have scattered the posters around and the lights are dimmed. The posters are all flipped over so no one can see the pictures ahead of time. We gather in the middle of the gym where I have one of the pictures. I read my students the story of who Harris Burdick is and why the pictures are such a mystery. We then look at the poster I have with us. We talk about how the picture makes us feel and what other emotions it evokes. We make some inferences as to what is happening.
 I then send students off to do the same thing with each of the posters that are scattered around the gym. At each poster is a pack of sticky notes for students to record their responses on. Students rotate freely throughout the gym until they have seen all the posters or time is up.



 The next day I scatter the posters around the gym again and spread out their sticky notes by the posters. I get students in pairs and they are to take their partner to the poster that they connected with the most or the one that they had the strongest reaction to. They are to tell their partner why they chose that poster and then together they read all the sticky notes to see what others thought of it.

Once both partners have shared, we all gather as a group. Students are given a chance to share any thoughts they had about the posters. Before we leave as a group I explain to students how they are going to be writing a mystery about one of the posters and I give students one more chance to walk around and observe the posters.

For the next block of time, I again spread the posters in the gym and this time students go to the poster they want to write their mystery about. Students are given time to read the sticky notes and brain storm ideas for their story. Then it is writing time.

During our next few writing blocks students are working on their mysteries. Each time I give a mini lesson on features of mystery stories and have students focus on improving their mystery writing skills. I was absolutely shocked this year in the final products. Not only did ALL my students stay focused during writing time but they were fantastic stories. I wish that I had kept a copy of a few of them to share with you.

After all the stories were printed, students shared them with the class and then I created the following bulletin board.


 We completed these in the spring for our Family Art and Writing night but they would be perfect for around Halloween time!

If you want to get the Harrick Burdick posters you can get them here .



Cheers,

Saturday, 12 October 2013

Positive Negative Halloween

I was looking through some old posts to get some inspiration for a Halloween art idea and I realized I never posted one of my activities from last year. I am not sure if I will do this again this year because I did it with my Grade 4/5s last year and I feel that if I want the same details as what is shown here it may be too hard for my Grade 2/3 students this year.

My last years class had a blast making these positive negative jack o' lanterns.

These are pretty easy to make if you want simple jack o'lanterns but become a little more complicated the more detailed it is.

To make these students get a full sheet of black construction paper and half a piece of orange. I have students LIGHTLY draw half of a jack o' lantern on the orange sheet. Then they start cutting. This is the tricky part. They have to keep everything they cut out. What ever they cut out of the orange gets flipped over and glued onto the black to create a mirror image.
 


 Some of my students were not fully understanding how it was to work until they started placing their orange pieces on the black and then they could see their jack o'lantern coming to life.

When they are all done put them on a bulletin board for all to see. I chose a purple background because I felt it really made the art pop.
Here is a close up of my border made from duct tape !!! I love duct tape and when I saw this spider tape I knew I had to have it. To make this border I first stapled up the black scalloped trim and then taped over it with the duct tape. The only tragedy was that I could not keep the black trim because the tape didn't come off it easily. It was worth it though. I received a lot of comments on it and the kids loved the spiders.
To fill in some of the empty spaces on the bulletin board I taped on  spider window clings that I had.
I thought I would throw in this picture because it was one of the coolest treats I have ever seen. Our class had a Halloween party and this is what one student brought. His mom made a jello brain. It had some sort of liquid candy blood and the kids went crazy for it.




Halloween is one of my favourite holidays to celebrate with my students. I love how creative they can get this time of year. This year I am going to do a fun spider art project with my class that involves googly eyes and water color paints!!! I will post pictures when we are done.
Cheers,



 



Sunday, 6 October 2013

Saturday Night with the Robertsons!

Okay so some of you may have had wild fun last night but me... I stayed home and did some planning, printing, cutting, and laminating....WAHOO fun I know. We are wrapping up our place value unit and I wanted my kiddos to have some fun activities to explore on Monday so I finally got around to getting my Duck Dynasty place value stuff ready !!! My students are going to love it and that's a fact, Jack :)
Here is what I got ready for them:

This is the activity I am most excited for. I am not sure why probably just because of my task card obsession.

There are 32 task cards students will work through and then when they are done they will get a Duck Dynasty bookmark to color (included with the set). It took a bit of time to print, cut, laminate, and then cut again but I know my students will have fun with them so it is well worth the time.

Look at them all...oohhh so much fun!!!!
 I have already printed and cut these concentration cards but I thought I would mention them here because they are FREE in my store!!!

A tip if you are printing multiple copies for your class is to print the black and white version on different colored card stock. This will make it easy to keep the sets separated if for some reason they get mixed up. It will also help if one gets dropped on the floor or left out of clean up. It will be easy to find the set it belongs to because of its color.
Here is a whole class activity that I will be using on Monday. It is an I Have Who Has game. There are 2 versions (numbers to hundreds and numbers to thousands). We will be starting with the hundreds set and then making our way to the thousands set.

The last Duck Dynasty activity I have (for now) is a file folder game. Students draw number cards and try to build the largest or smallest number and the winner of the round gets a duck point. At the end of the playing time the student with the most duck points is the winner. This also comes in 2 versions (hundreds and thousands).


Duck Dynasty is all the rave in our town and last year when I would eat snack with my students we would watch some of the episodes on YouTube. Normally I read to my students when they are eating their snack but on the days that I had recess supervision I couldn't read to them if I wanted a snack also.
Here is our favorite Duck Dynasty clip that we must have watched a thousand times (slight exaggeration).



Now that I have worked hard I might need to take a little nap :P
Cheers,

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