Saturday, September 12, 2015

New Friends

This year has gotten off to a great start! We are getting to know each other and building a community within our classroom. Here is one of the first class books we made together.

Each child sets a name puzzle. Some needed a model. Others did not. 
After setting the puzzle three times, each child glued his or her name
On the page.

Each child completed the page by counting the letters in his or her name 
and completing the sentence by adding the numeral. They also used their
Favorite colors to write the number again in the corner square.

I added decorative duct tape for strength in binding!

Friday, July 31, 2015

Interactive Number Line

During Creative Cornerstones this summer, a teacher in one of my sessions shared this wonderfully frugal idea. Jeanette Ladner used an empty lamination roll as the basis for this interactive number line. Each laminated number strip is wrapped around the tube and secured behind. This makes the numbers interactive, as you can push them forward and backwards as you count etc.

It would be perfect for addition problems too. If the problem was two plus three, the child could push the number flaps for two then push down three more to get 5. Of course, if you can use it for addition, then subtraction is also an option. 

It is perfect for comparing numbers as greater than and less them as well. The possibilities are endless!!!

Thanks Jeanette Ladner from Stow City Schools for sharing this great idea with me and giving me permission to share it on my blog!!!

Monday, June 15, 2015

Disappearing color experiment

After a day filled with Science at Creative Cornerstones, I opened Pinterest and this cool experiment was there.

Instead of mixing food coloring into water, this one shows you how to remove the  color from the water.

                                                To learn the directions for this experiment,
                                                      Click this link: disappearing color.
                                                            I can't wait to try it myself!

Networking with Teachers

Today was a Science filled day! It was fun networking with all of the PreK-K teachers at The Creative Cornerstones class. The participants were very helpful and supportive. I am thankful to one class participant, Heidi, for snapping some pictures of me as I did some experiments.

Making a rain cloud In a jar

Refrigerator Crystals

Rainbow in a jar

Napa cabbage is great for showing how leaves get/need water. This cabbage shows the colors really being soaked in colored water. I was surprised to find Napa cabbage was in our local Kroger store.

Procedures for these experiments will be posted soon!

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Science Fair

Friday was the kindergarten Science Fair. It was a huge success!!! It was great to hear the kids each being the expert at his or her experiment. Last year a new member of our kindergarten team had a science background. She said that kindergrten kiddos can do science fair projects too. I had never really thought about it before. She was right!!! I am so glad she convinced me to do it. Now, I can't imagine NOT doing it. What a great experience!
Which color bird food is preferred by birds?
Peeps in different liquids
Gummy bears in different liquids

Which airplane flies the farthest?

Color mixing

Colored bird feeders, which is preferred by the birds?

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Ketchup Race Science

Today was the perfect day to do a ketchup race. The weather was a cold, rainy spring day in Ohio.

I hope the preschool classes across the hall were not awakened from their nap by our cheering. We can't help but root for our favorite brand.

The question we were thinking about was:
Which ketchup will win the race?

Each kiddo made a hypothesis about which ketchup would win the race. (We each tried to guess which would come in last also.

They marked their hypothesis on their recording sheets.

Next we made sure that the experiment would be fair by marking the wall and storage container (or table area) with tape so the incline would be consistent with each trial.

The tray rested on each long red piece of tape to assure the incline remained the same. I had trouble with the tray sliding so I used the folded up paper towels as a stopper.

(Be sure the tray you are using is totally smooth.)
1 tray marked with a starting line and a finish line (I drew it with sharpie)
4 different brands of ketchup
Tablespoon measure
Timer (we used a classroom iPad)
Recording sheets, one per student
Recording chart
Paper towels
Sink to wash tray between trials or baby wipes or some other cleanup method

Step 1
Put 1Tablespoon of the first brand of ketchup at the starting line of the tray, while flat. Say "GO,", as you place the tray on the designated marks so the student who is timing knows to start the clock.

Step 2
When the ketchup trail reaches the finish line say "STOP", so the timer knows when to push stop.
Record the time. (We recorded how many seconds it took. I told them the number after the decimal point would only be used if there was a tie between two brands.)

Step 3 Record the time it takes for the trial.

Step 4 Clean the tray between trials.

Step 5 Repeat with all brands.

Step 6 Then we recorded our observations by drawing a picture on our recording sheets.

If you didn't know better while walking by our room this afternoon, you would have thought we were betting on the horse races. The kids had a great time with this experiment.

We talked about what it means for ketchup to be thin/thick. My kiddos thought that if they REALLY
liked ketchup, a thicker one might be better because a lot would stick to your french fry. If you only
liked a little ketchup, you might like a thinner ketchup because less would stick to your french fry.

Since scientists like to ask questions, we couldn't help but wonder a few things. Here is what they wondered: Who would win a race between ketchup and mustard? Which restaraunt ketchup would win if we got packets from 4 different places? What other things in our refrigerator can we race?

For the years to come, I made a chart to laminate and reuse.

All I need to do each year is program the brands of ketchup we will be using and it will be ready to go.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Tales of gold and leprechauns...

My kiddos had a great time pretending that they caught a leprechaun. i just love kindergrten storytelling. Here are a couple facorites.

Who wouldn't love a pet unicorn you can ride everyday!

She "putted" yellow cereal out to catch the leprechaun. And...

What did she do with her pot of gold, they went to the candy shop and bought "so much candy" and bubble gum! 

In th spirit of the holiday, I was wearing these striped socks, black cropped pants, a green long sleeved shirt and this tiny hat. After lunch, one of my kinder kiddos told me, "You know Mrs. Howard, you really do look like one of those 'weprechaun' thingies!"
Too cute!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Synonym Socks

This year, our Dr. Seuss celebration included silly sock day. It is always so fun to be able to take off our shoes and wiggle our toes once in a while. Any child who could independently put their shoes back on, was aloud to keep them off in our room ALL day.

We were learning about synonyms. (I love how that word comes out of their little mouths much like cinnamon!)

Each page featured a pair of socks. On the cuff of one sock, I had written a word. Each child colored their silly socks like a matching pair as they thought of a synonym for the given word. I then went around and added the great synonyms to the other sock each child was making. 

We turned our synonym socks into a matching book. The pages were laminated and Velcro dots were added to each page and sock. Students remove the socks from the envelope that was bound as part of the book and match the socks. They can then read the synonyms they matched.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Truffula Trees

This week we will be celebrating Dr. Seuss.

I decided to make Truffula Trees from the The Lorax to put on the student tables this week.

Here are my finished trees. (still in my kitchen since it is Sunday evening and I am not at school yet for the week.)

I looked on sites for ideas then combined the best of several different posts to make them my way.

First start with a $1 toilet plunger  from the Dollar Tree. ( I am quite certain these plungers would be ill equipped to handle the job they were equipped to do, but they work great for this!)

Supplies for one tree:
One plunger
Duct tape
10 pieces of coordinating tissue paper
Electrical tape
A scrap from a plastic party table cloth large enough to cover your plunger end double thickness
Twist ties (two extra long ones or several regular sized)

Cover the plunger handles with duct tape.

Then split a long piece of contrasting duct tape in half lengthwise. Twist it around the covered handle for the stripe.

Cut a large circle from two thicknesses of the plastic table cloth. (14" circles worked best for the plungers I had)

Pull the plastic up around the plunger end. And secure with an XL twist tie. (Or twist more than one together end to end  to make an extra long one.)

Then cut off any extra long pieces sticking up. Wrap duct tape over the exposed edges.

Next make the tissue paper tops like you would any tissue paper flower except start with square pieces of tissue paper. (These do not have to be exact.) I jut piled up the 10 pieces of coordinating tissue as evenly as possible. I then cut them all at once into the largest squares possible from the pieces.

 Accordian fold the pieces all together. I then rounded off the ends and cut about 2" off each end. Secure with another XL twist tie. 

Being very careful, separate each half in half again and pull apart as much as possible. 

Then begin separating each piece very carefully.

One completed half looks like this. Continue with the other half.

Then I seperated the flower and used electrical tape ( red in this picture) to secure the pompon to the top of the stick and wrapped duct tape around the electrical tape and twist tie. 
 Fluff up the pompon again and you are good to go!!!

Finished Truffula Trees

In my classroom. Waiting for my kinders to arrive.

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss!

Friday, February 13, 2015

100 Day Fun

Today was our 100th day of school. That is such a fun day for kinder kiddos. They LOVE to dress like they are 100 years old. They hoot and holler when they see the teachers participating too. Here are our great Kindergarten teachers who dressed up with the kiddos today.

One of the new activities this year was graphing 100 gum balls. The kids did a great job keeping up with their graphs as we drew "gumballs" from the special container. As they were drawn, I used bingo dotters to add "gum" to the gumball machine.

This allowed for great discussion of many math concepts related to comparing columns on our graphs.

Each child completed an individual graph.

If there is one thing we learned is that 100 is A LOT!!!