Rhyming Fun with Green Eggs and Ham

Saturday, February 27, 2016
Rhyming is so important as a pre-reading skill so we work on it a lot in my classroom.  I love March because I love Dr. Seuss.  His books are so engaging for young kids and I love the messages within.  They touch on so many deep concepts and really get discussions flowing.  But that's not the reason for this post (stay focused Cheryl).  

I want to share with you one of my kiddos favorite literacy center activities- my Green Eggs and Ham Rhyming Center.  I call it a center because kids can work independently if they can decode CVC words, but you can also do it as a small group activity (which is what I'm going to do this year with my TK kiddos as many of them aren't decoding yet).  

 Green Eggs and Ham Rhyming Activity

It's a ton of fun.  Kids use a real spatula to scoop up an egg and place it into a small frying pan.  (I use a small plastic frypan from my kitchen housekeeping center).  They read the word on the egg then look for the ham that rhymes with it.  When they find that, they scoop that ham up with the spatula and place it into the frying pan to "cook."  When the eggs and ham are done cooking, the kids remove them and write the words on the recording sheet.  They can then put those two rhymes aside and start again on a new egg/ham match.

This activity is awesome because they are reading simple CVC words, listening for rhymes (phonemic awareness), and writing!    You can grab this at my TpT store.  It's simple to prep and easy to store.  I keep mine in a gallon ziplock bag.

This is a great activity to have set up when you are cooking green eggs and ham with your class.

Mouse Paint Fun

Thursday, February 25, 2016

My kids are wonderful artists!  I love it when they just let loose and let the art flow.  No preconceived notions of what art needs to look like.   (Kids are wonderful that way)

Here is a fun color mixing lesson that isn't anything new, but I wanted to share how I do it with my kiddos.

Mouse Paint- great color mixing book.

We read the book Mouse Paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh and then we use cotton balls to represent the mice.  

Mouse Paint fun- use cotton balls to mix paint colors.

I squirt red, blue and yellow paint onto a 12x12 sheet of white paper and let the kids use 3 cotton balls as the 3 mice in the story.  We spread the colors around and mix the edges together  making the colors or orange, purple, and green when they meet.  The kids have so much fun working on the big paper and the cotton balls make perfect mice (and they keep the kids relatively clean).

Use a cotton ball to mix colors- color mixing lesson

Here is what our finished paintings look like.  I drew 3 mice on white paper and the kids cut those out and put them onto their papers.  They used Sharpies to draw the tails and whiskers.  

Here is our classroom bulletin board. 

Cute bulletin board- Mouse Paint fun!

You can see how some kids loved to fill the paper with the paint and how some kids were more reserved.  I gave them a large canvas (12x12) to work with.   I think it's important to give the artist choice and to let them make their own interpretation of the assignment.

So, there you go.  Get out your paints and cotton balls and let your kids mix some colors.  It's fun and the results are so beautiful.  (I liked them even without the mice.)

Happy painting!

Currently February

Thursday, February 4, 2016
Better late than never!

I've been incredibly busy and incredibly exhausted (probably just like you) and this month's Currently by Farley has snuck up on me.  But I figure, better late than never, so here goes...

I love the quiet of my house in the early morning hours.  It's not like I have a busy, crazy, hectic house on a normal day, but there is something refreshing about the absolute stillness and quiet of the early morning.  Maybe it's the promise of a new day.  Maybe it's just the fact that the neighborhood hasn't woken up yet.  Maybe it's the warm cup of coffee next to me and the dog in my lap that makes the morning so special. 

I live in sunny So. Cal. so this El Nino winter has been a welcome change from the usual dry mild winter.  I've been lucky that the flooding hasn't affected me.  California needs this rain to get us out of our drought.

Blog design is a lot like fashion.  I watch and watch and then just when I'm ready to jump in and try those skinny jean, then flare jeans start making a comeback.  I've only had my new blog for a couple of years and already I'm wanting to go in a new direction.  I'm thinking...is it really necessary? Is anything wrong with my old design? Do I have the money for this?  So here's what's going to happen... just like fashion, I will sit on the fence for a long time and swoon over all the cute new simple designs and then finally make the decision to take the plunge.  It won't be long after I get my new design that everyone else will start redoing their blogs in a completely different design format.   Hmmm... what to do?  Suggestions?

My trip to London and Paris this year was absolutely AMAZING!  My sister and I had so much fun traveling together.  My goal is to get back to Europe with my husband (who lived in Italy for 5 years) and to travel with him.  Everything in Europe is so old compared to America and so different.  I guess this brings me to the next topic... winning the lottery.

Did I say that I needed to win the lottery?  If I want to get travel around the globe then that's the only way my dreams will come true.  Perhaps I need to start buying lottery tickets...

Yep, I definitely want a new blog design.  Better buy that lottery ticket.

Valentine's Day

Monday, February 1, 2016
Are you looking for an inexpensive and super cute Valentine idea for your class?  This is what I do for my kids every year and they LOVE it!

Make heart shaped crayons for Valentine's Day

I simply collect the old broken crayons from the previous year and then I peel off the wrappers and melt them in a silicone baking tray.  I make mine into heart shapes, but you could choose any shape that you want.  Once you use the baking tray to make the crayons, it is no longer viable for food so keep that in mind.

Easy to make crayons

I let my kids choose the crayon that they want.  They have so much fun coloring with these because it is always a surprise what color will rub onto the paper.  I put the extra crayons in my writing center along with sight words or CVC words that I want them to practice writing.  The novelty never gets old.

Happy Valentine's Day!

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