Thursday, December 19, 2013

Reindeer Art - Last Minute Activity!

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.... and I'm loving it!

We only have 1 more day left & we have been busy, busy, busy...  Up to our eyeballs in crafts, and having so much fun getting ready for the holidays.

So much fun for most of us... sadly, the stomach bug and the dreaded FLU have both reared their ugly heads in my school this week, and the kids are dropping like flies. 

Bellyaches, pukers, fevers... no fun at all, and I'm THIS close to wearing a haz-mat suit to school tomorrow.


Anyhoo, we did this super fun activity today & I just had to share with you...

Our art teacher made these with the kids last year, and they just turned out so darn cute, I had to try recreating the awesomeness this year. I'm not sure where the original idea came from, but if it's somewhere out there, and deserves a shout out, please let me know....

Warning - I am NO art teacher -  I just had to wing it. But, check out our Watercolor Reindeer!
This activity is LOW prep...
White construction paper (the construction paper works a lot better than regular copy paper, just FYI)
Black & white crayons

 We did this as a guided art activity whole group & I presented the steps on the Document Camera, modeling each step and having them do it along with me on their own paper,
but you could also present the steps using these pictures below, or in a small group.

 This was their FAVORITE part.... they were just so excited when they snowflakes "magically" appeared!
And I loved how different they all turned out... 
I just had to keep repeating - more water, less paint...more water, less paint...
Total time - about 30 minutes!

To be honest, this was our very first project with watercolors this year, and I was so proud!!

Just take a gander at all this cuteness!!
There are 15 paintings here... I have 22 children.
You do the math.

The Haz-Mat suit is looking more & more appealing.

Anyway, my teacher neighbor was smart enough to think ahead & buy cheap plastic picture frames from the DollarTree to send these home as gifts, and they turned out BEAUTIFULLY!!

I think the parents will love these as is, but next year, I'm definitely buying the frames. :)

So, that's it for me tonight... hope you are surviving the craziness that is the last week before Christmas break, and you are soaking up all the fun & fabulous memories.


Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kidnapped by Christmas... and a Fraction Freebie!

Yep, it's true, I have been kidnapped by Christmas...or at least it feels that way.
I think it's got to be that Thanksgiving came so late this year, but the Christmas holiday is coming WAY too fast, and my "to-do" list just keeps getting longer.

Until last night, I had no wrapped one single gift. So, I stayed up until 4:30 a.m. wrapping and I'm still not done. It's just craziness...

      Shopping...Christmas cards....crafts....
 oh, and then there was the dead car battery thanks to a valet who turned my automatic headlights ON....... the flat, I mean destroyed, tire due to a giant piece of metal in the road...and a flooded kitchen... and I feel like I've barely had time to breathe....

It's true folks, I've been kidnapped by Christmas, which means....

I haven't blogged in almost a (gasp!) month!

So, since I made a little headway in the wrapping department, I decided to show this little ole blog of mine some love & get on here. 

After finishing up our fun unit on 2D and 3D shapes, where we made our Shape Pizzas, we moved into a study of fractions....

In first grade, the focus is on halves and fourths, so to really put some hands-on practice into the mix, I found these little cans of play-doh at the Dollar Tree...and some plastic knives.
There's 8 tee-tiny little cans in this pack for $1 and they were the perfect size for making little balls for our fraction activity.

The kids just took out their playdoh & made a flat shape... *most made a circle*, and then we used our little knives to divide our shapes into EQUAL parts :)

Excuse the nastiness on the desks...needless to say, we have been doing a LOT of crafting & gluing lately, and some of my little friends are not so careful with the glue sticks... :)

Anyway, we continued this a few times, & then the kids made SOLID shapes to divide equally.

Super easy and CHEAP activity - $4 for the whole class & they got to keep their playdoh for more practice later and for a fun little prize for their hard work!

When we finished, the kids completed the first sheet in my packet of fraction practice...
Just simple worksheets to assess understanding, and they literally take maybe 5 minutes to complete..

You can grab the whole pack (5 worksheets) here for FREE....just because you stopped by despite the fact that I have been MIA forever! haha! Just click the picture :)
The last one in the pack (the one shown on top) is a cut and paste. The kids divide the paper into 3 sections, cut out & paste the headers and then sort and glue the shapes to show they can identify 
halves, fourths and wholes.

Lastly, we made our annual Gingerbread Ornaments....
I know a lot of folks make the ones where they bake them, and all that, but we make the simple ones...
the ones that are quick and easy..
two words that are music to my ears this time of year!

They are NOT edible, despite every single kid asking to eat one.

But, they are cute.

All you need is ONE GIANT bottle of applesauce.
6-7 containers of cinnamon. This size.
 Wax paper
Cookie Cutter.
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. 
Roll it out on wax paper - you may need to sprinkle a little water in there to get it to the right consistency - and then have the kids come and cut them out.

I  use a straw to punch the hole out to hang the ornament. 
If you wait, you can't do it.
Then, stick pony beads or anything in for the buttons, and you're done!

Let dry for about 4 days and they're ready to go! 
Cute & Easy :)

So, that's it for me, friends....
    That wrapping paper is calling my name..AND I haven't even addressed one Christmas card,. Oh, and work tomorrow... can't forget that important little thing :)

Hope everyone is doing wonderfully and LOVING the Christmas season. Even though I feel like I've been taken hostage, I honestly wouldn't change it for the world.

I love Christmas...every single thing...even the madness....
   It really IS the most wonderful time of the year :)

Much love to you all !