Saturday, July 19, 2014

Learning bottles -use at home

Learning bottles are soooo much fun! You can ADR them to ANY level. This year for our "curriculum night,"  I wanted to allow parents to make something to be used at home to study various. Skills. I asked each family to bring a clean, dry plastic bottle with the label removed (for the easiest label removal, please see my post pertaining to that topic.)

I gave each parent a spreadsheet of various skills the child may need to practice throughout the school year. The spreadsheet included sight words, numerals, sets of numbers, letters of the alphabet, 
Short vowel cvc words, number words etc.
I also gave each a bag containing appt 2 cups of colored rice (for tips about coloring rice please see that post.) and a paper funnel.

Parents cut the skills they wanted to practiced first at home. They alternated adding rice and slips of paper. I reminded them that they could empty the bottle throughout the year and remove the papers to add slips of paper with a new skill to be practiced.

The activity went very quickly. The children whose parents had attended were thrilled to have this special bottle at home. They thought it was neat that their parent(s) made them with me without the child being there. 

If I did this again with parents, I would have them add 4-7 toothpicks into the jar as well. This variation in the flow inside the bottle helps to pull the small pieces of paper down into the colored rice as you turn the bottle over and over. Otherwise the paper tends to come to the top and stay there.

For other learning bottle ideas, please click on learning bottles on the archive list to the right of the posts. I am going to continue to add posts about various bottles I have made and used.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Learning Bottles - Removing the Labels

After much trial and tribulation, I have found a very easy way to remove labels cleanly from various plastic bottles. Here are the steps.

1. Choose the bottle that is the right size for your project:


2. Rinse the bottle and fill it with the hottest water you can get from your water faucet and replace the lid tightly.  (The hotter the water, the better.)

 3. Slit the label and remove it carefully in one piece.

4. Often rubbing the glue area will remove much of it. A paper towel may be just abrasive enough to remove the residue. If not, do not scrub, you may scratch the bottle.

5. Use margarine to cover the adhesive residue. Let sit for 2 to 3 minutes.

6. Use a paper towel to remove excess margarine and residue.  Rinse the bottle (still filled with hot water) under hot tap water and dry with a paper towel. (If any adhesive remains, add margarine once more and let sit a little longer).

It works for almost every kind of bottle. So far I have not figured out how to get the black numbers off of the side of the soda bottles, but it does not seem to bother my kiddos at all. 

Be sure to dry the bottle completely (for several days) before filling it with dry ingredients like rice or  beans. It seems to work best on a dry rack rather than on a towel or paper towel. The air can then get in and the droplets dry faster. I have also put a dry paper towel inside the bottle and shaken in a circular fashion to get most of the droplets. If you use the papertowel method, I would still let it air out upside down at least over night so your rice or other dry ingredients do not mildew.

See the next post for learning ideas for these bottles.

Great books

Here is another cute but simple new book I discovered at the library today. I love books by Audrey and Don Woods. And "Blue Sky" does not disappoint. It would be great for talking about adjectives, introducing how to brainstorm, or just using your imagination.

Great new books

I love to go to our local public library to look at books (I know this is no surprise to any of you who know me.) We have a wonderful children's librarian named Mary Anne. When the library gets a new children's book, there is a yellow sticker affixed to the corner to let us know it is new. It then gets a place of honor on top of the children's book shelves. It is great fun to find a comfy chair in which to sit and read these new treasures. Today I found these new gems.

In this story, the little girl wants a dog for a pet. Instead her mom gets her a cat. She soon falls in love with her new pet ... Until the messes begin. The tiny kitty is blamed for messes that get bigger and bigger and harrier and harrier. As it turns out, we as the reader know that it is not the kitten making the messes...

This would be a really cute book for a writing activity. Students could choose a zoo animal to live at their house and tell of the issues this would cause. They could also be challenged to think of one positive scenario to having this pet, as the book Naughty Kitty does at the end.

Poor Shoe Dog finally gets a forever home complete with belly scratches and kisses. But he cannot revisit the temptation new shoes bring. Despite his owners best attempt to hide the new shoes, Shoe Dog finds them and the chewing begins. This is a great story of love and forgiveness and living with differences. The title page is listed below because the cover does not have the author and illustrator listed on it.

This book addresses the meaning of  "zero" in a numerous, playful way.