Today we had our first Friday Fun of the year! Students had two important craft projects to complete. The first project was a beaded lanyard for their masks. A student came to school last week with a homemade mask lanyard, and I knew we had to make them during Friday Fun! I purchased bright colored beads of all shapes and sizes. I love how they turned out. Some students chose to use a color family, while others made color patterns. Others used only sparkly beads and other students used every color! An added bonus is that this kind of bead lacing is an excellent fine motor building activity.
The other activity was for students to personalize a mini chalkboard. These chalkboards will be used in the coming weeks by the students for phonics practice. I brought out the smelly markers today too. The students always love using smelly markers!
It has been a few weeks since we had Friday Fun, so I wanted to go BIG today! Students enjoyed three spider-themed activities! First, students did a spider weaving craft. This was a perfect activity to help build fine motor skills!
Next, students made a spider web pizza. Yummy!
Finally, students made a spider sensory jar. I have been saving this craft activity for a whole month! It came out just as neat as I hoped it would.
We had our first Friday Fun of the year that included parent volunteers. What a success it was! After our field trip to the pumpkin patch earlier this week, I wanted to find a recipe that used pumpkin. Pumpkin energy balls were the answer! The students had so much fun measuring and mixing the ingredients. Our aprons really helped keep the sticky mess off our uniforms!
Here is the recipe. I adjusted the amounts so that each group was able to make their own batch. All four batches combined made 24 energy balls.
For our craft activity, students sewed a mini pumpkin.
Look for a post on this activity early next week. Happy Fall!!
We are entering the third week of our dinosaur unit. The days have been jam-packed with all things dinosaurs. From dinosaur-themed language arts centers, to a dinosaur research project, to dinosaur crafts galore, students are eating up this unit!
Students wrote a creative writing piece about what they would do if they had a pet dinosaur.
Students learned about and built volcanos!
Students excavated bones (with a twist!) in our sensory table…
The font is so small that I couldn’t even read the long vowel words with my glasses and a magnifying glass! Good thing the children have solid vision!
Students created Perler Bead dinosaurs.
They even have made dinosaurs from several types of food:
And my personal favorite, Dinosaur Pizzas, inspired by the book written by Lee Wardlaw, who visited our Lower School earlier this year.
We went on an exciting field trip to the Santa Barbara Natural History Museum, where we participated in the learning lab, Meet the Teeth. Students revisited the terms herbivore and carnivore.
The also classified skulls according to the types of teeth each had.
Each student has chosen a dinosaur to research using the website PebbelGo!, which is a wonderful tool for beginning researchers. Students were encouraged to select a dinosaur about which they knew close to nothing. They are working on creating specific pieces in Art Class to go along with their research. We will wrap up our Dinosaur Unit by putting all the pieces together in a short digital presentation that each student will design. Here is a peek at the reports:
Look for a future post with the finished project soon!
We enjoyed our first Friday Fun of the school year. Since we have been learning about our sense of sight, students made suncatchers. This was one of the neatest crafts I have seen in a long time. I purchased mini aluminum pie tins from Amazon. Students used their fine motor skills to place a row of mostly transluscent pony beads around the bottom of the tin.
After the designs were created (and the students went off to Spanish class) I took our small toaster oven and moved it outside, where I preheated it to 450 degrees. I popped two tins in at a time and let them cook for about eight minutes, or until the beads had melted. (The key is baking the plastic beads outside in fresh air to keep from smelling the fumes.)
Once they cooled, I turned over the tins to remove the suncatchers.
How beautiful! This weekend I plan to drill small holes into the tops and add a translucent thread so that these sun catchers can be hung in our classroom windows.
The next project had students decorating a mini chalkboard.
These chalkboards will be used during Reading Centers as a way for students to practice writing letters, spelling words, and recording answers for different phonemic awareness activities. We love Fridays!
Here’s what the suncatchers look like after the holes were drilled and the fishing line was strung:
The kindergarteners made more fairy tale magic today during Friday Fun! In the kitchen, they enjoyed making Rapunzel’s braid bread. This was a great activity for fine motor building, as the students had to roll three pieces of dough.
They also had to divide the dough into three equal parts and learn how to braid! (more fine motor!)
Students also worked on coloring and creating a 3D castle. This will be such a fun tool for them to use as a setting when they retell their fairy tales!
Finally, students engaged in a STEM kit where they constructed a solid chair that would hold one of the three bears.
One more Friday Fun to go before we live happily ever after….
We have been learning about crabs…what they eat, where they live, what they look like, how their pincers work… So it was very fitting that today during Friday Fun that the kindergarteners made crabby crabwiches.
This activity really solidified the fact that crabs have eight legs and two pincers. My little oceanographers had a huge laugh when they saw the incorrect recipe!
Friday Fun today was all about celebrating our earth!
Students made recycled paper seed pods. First, students ripped up pieces of blue and green construction paper.
Then the paper was soaked in warm water and added to a blender.
Once blended, students added a scoop of California Native Wildflower mix. Students then mixed the blue and green goop together in a mason jar lid in a colander.
They pushed down on their mixture to get rid of excess water.
We then popped the mixture out and put it on a plate to dry.
Once dry, students will have an earth shaped seed pod that they can plant in the ground!
Our second activity was to create an Earth Day necklace. Students painted salt dough to look like the earth.
They added beads and made an adorable necklace.
Students also made earth cookies. They were given a slice of cookie dough that they cut in half. Next, they mixed one half with green food coloring and the other half with blue food coloring.
(I had the students wear gloves so that their hands remained color free!)
Then, students rolled two halves together to make a whole.
I popped the dough into the oven for a bit…..
and we were all delighted to see our special earth cookies!
Happy Earth Day, everyone!
Friday Fun is BACK! Keeping in line with our dinosaur theme, students made a dinosaur snack, a dinosaur sun catcher, and played a dinosaur-themed game.
First, using 1/2 and apple, a stick of Colby-Jack cheese, and toothpicks, students created a Stegosaurus. This activity was great for developing fine motor skills as they cut the cheese into cubes and pinched the toothpicks to push into the apple. Healthy and educational!
Students also painted dinosaur sun catchers. I found these paint pens that the students gently squeeze to let the paint out. Turns out this was another great fine motor activity!
Look at all these beautiful and bright colors!
Students also played a dinosaur-themed game of Chutes and Ladders called Snakes and Ladders. We focused on working together in a fair way to decide who goes first, taking turns, and having a good attitude if you had to slide down the dinosaur bone. It worked out great!
This game will be available during Choice Time, and I anticipate it will be a sought-after activity.
For Friday Fun today we had three dads running the center rotations. What fun they were! We made candy corn parfait, pipe cleaner spiders, and even sewed a squash!
Sewing is such a great way to build fine motor skills. Before beginning to sew, I gave students a tutorial on how to safely use the needle….because we used REAL sewing needles. I was very impressed with how carefully the students were with them and with the seriousness they displayed while sewing. I don’t think there was even one finger poke!
I just love how these turned out!
In the kitchen, students made candy corn parfait….a healthy snack, of course! The chopped pineapple, peeled Cuties, and added them in layers to a clear cup. A dab of whipped cream added a sweet touch to the top!
The final rotation was pipe cleaner spiders. Students added eyes and colorful beads to their spider’s legs. Another great fine motor building activity!
We love Friday Fun!