We followed up our Beautiful Oops lesson on creativity with the read aloud Have Fun, Molly Lou Melon, by Patti Lovell.
Molly Lou Melon’s grandma taught her to be happy with herself no matter what, but that’s not all she learned. Molly Lou heard all about how her grandma didn’t have fancy store-bought toys when she was little. She made dolls out of twigs and flowers and created her own fun in her backyard.
So Molly Lou does just that, proving that the best thing to play with is a huge imagination! -Amazon
Molly Lou makes a car out of a cardboard box. She creates a doll house from a backyard tree and watches “tv” in the sky. Ultimately, she teaches her new neighbor how to not be bored by creating toys using ones imagination.
We then segued into our service-learning project for the month of March….Art Kits! We want to put together Art Kits to donate to the Cottage Hospital Pediatrics Department. We asked students to help us compile a list of arts and craft materials to include in each kit. Here are the items we are hoping to collect:
We will be collecting items for the Art Kits over the next two weeks and would appreciate any items you may be willing to donate. The kindergartners and first graders will be assembling the kits before Spring Break.
The students did their Creativity journal writing today. Here is how they show creativity:
Project Linus provides homemade blankets to children in need. As we were introducing this project to the students, we touched on the idea that a blanket or special snuggle often provides a feeling of calmness or security to a child. Students shared stories about their special toys or blankets with the class.
Then we had the students move to the corners of the room so that we could lay out the fabric. Each blanket was assigned four students…one student to work on each side.
Using their fingers to pull the one inch fabric strips through a pre-cut hole, this activity was also beneficial in strengthening fine motor skills and encouraging teamwork.
The room was silent at the groups worked together. I was impressed with how focused the students were….we could have easily made twice as many blankets if we had more prepared!
The Project Linus Santa Barbara Chapter Coordinator will be stopping by the classroom at the end of the week to receive our donations.
If you are interested in making a no sew fleece blanket for Project Linus, here are the instructions:
If you are interested in preparing blankets for the class to make, please let me know. (I have extra fleece that can be cut….it does take about 30 minutes or more to make all the cuts.) This would be a great ongoing activity for Choice Time.
With the seed packet labels created and printed, we were ready to start assembling our Native Wildflower Seed packets. Students have been especially interested in California Poppies, so I brought in some poppy seed pods for them to crack open. They were amazed at how small the seeds are.
Today during Friday Fun students added the wildflower seeds to small baggies.
So far we have 137 packets made and ready to distribute! If you would like to help with the distribution, please let me know.
Yesterday, as part of our plant unit, students learned the importance of flowers in our ecosystem. Native insects need native plants to survive. More simply stated, native honey bees need wildflowers to live! As the honey bee population is dwindling, simply planting wildflowers can help provide these pollinators a food source while making our surroundings more beautiful.
Next, I read aloud a beautiful piece of literature called Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney.
Miss Rumphius promises her grandfather that she will do three things in her life: travel to faraway places, live by the seashore, and make the world more beautiful. She accomplishes her first two goals easily. Making the world more beautiful is a challenge in her eyes, as the places she has visited are stunning. By chance, Miss Rumphius sees some lupines growing out of the rocky soil outside her window. She sees how beautiful they are and decides she can make the world more beautiful by sowing lupine seeds around her town.
And from this, the Kindergarten Wildflower Project was born! I contacted S & S Seeds in Carpinteria and asked for a donation of California Native Wildflower Mix. They were happy to donate half a pound!
Next I had students sketch a native wildflower.
My plan is to shrink these to create a label that we will attach to each little bag we make.
On Friday, students will gently spoon a teaspoon full of seeds into these bags. We will staple the label to them and be ready to pass them out to our Laguna Blanca community. My goal is to make 200 seed packets to distribute. Stay posted for more information on the distribution of our Wildflower Project packets!
The kindergarten and first grade classes accomplished our second service-learning project of the month yesterday by visiting the retirement community of Valle Verde.
As usual, the bus ride was tons of fun.
When we arrived, I had to snap a quick photo of the students wearing their reindeer hats. Too cute!
We quickly entered the Quail Lodge at Valle Verde, and I introduced myself and the students to the residents, who were just delighted to have us there.
We sang four holiday songs. Here is a little video:
After our songs, students gave each resident a reindeer ornament that they made in art class. I was impressed with how comfortable the children were with the residents. Many opted to sit down next to a resident and have a conversation. It was very sweet to see.
The best part for me was introducing the students to my grandma. She was thrilled with all the extra attention she received!
Ms. Atkinson and I plan to take the students to visit Valle Verde again in February, around Valentine’s Day. We are excited to continue fostering this special relationship.