Recycled Hearts

I’m posting from my iPad so I can’t link this back to Pinterest right now because it simply won’t work. Therefore, if this is your pin and I stole it I am sorry! I’ll link ya later.

Anyway, I’m ready to just die in class so I’ve been perusing Pinterest to pass the time. I stumbled upon this too cute and super simple valentine’s day craft!!

Literally all you do is shape an empty toilet paper or paper towel roll into a heart, dip it into some paint, and stamp it on some paper.

I have visions of these hearts being stamped on white paper and then framed as artwork for mom (or dad)! Or stamping a large piece of paper and using it as wrapping paper for your v-day gifts. I think I might just do that!!

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Happy crafting!!

Pete the Cat Saves Christmas

Since Christmas is tomorrow, I figured I’d share another cute book for kids for the holiday. Pete the Cat is probably the coolest thing in books (in my opinion). He’s super fun and the illustrations pop right off the page. In this edition, Pete the Cat saves Christmas when Santa comes down with a cold! It’s a spinoff of The Night Before Christmas, making everyone familiar with the tale. Pick it up off Amazon for just $8.99!

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Happy reading!!

Sparkly Explosion

Last year for the class Integrating Math and Science, everyone worked in pairs to come up with a cool math or science game/experiment that could be done in the classroom. My partner and I found this sparkly explosion experiment online and chose to demonstrate it for our classmates. It’s super simple and really fun.

You will need: a vase, baking soda, vinegar, food coloring, glitter, and a pan to catch the explosion

Sparkly Explosion

I did this experiment over the summer with the three young kids that I babysit (ages 1, 5 and 9) and they loved it so much that we repeated the experiment a few times. Click on the link to the website, here, to see the how-to steps. It’s easy enough for kids to do it themselves as long as everything is measured out for younger students. In class, you can put other items into the vase to see if the explosion stays the same based on the items that you try to have explode out of the vase.

10 Holiday Books for October-December Lessons

In my opinion, October kicks off the holiday season. Halloween may not have any significant meaning but it is still a day that everyone gets excited about. Quickly following is Thanksgiving, then Hanukkah, Christmas, and Kwanzaa. These holidays are bound to become part of the classroom at some point – even if your school calls Halloween “Harvest” or isn’t allowed to talk about Christmas. I believe it’s important to incorporate holidays into the classroom in order to acknowledge our similarities and differences when it comes to traditions. Children will experience these holidays whether we bring it up in the classroom or not. The idea is to provide an overview of all the respective holidays rather than concentrating on the one that a majority of students may be familiar with.

Books are without a doubt the best way to learn new things. Reading different holiday books is a great way to incorporate various holidays into the everyday routine. Here are 10 of the most popular holiday books right now:

1. Room on the Broom Board Book by Julia Donaldson

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2. Splat the Cat: What Was That? by Rob Scotton
3. Littlest Pilgrim by Brandi Dougherty

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4. 10 Fat Turkeys by Tony Johnston
5. Light the Candles: A Hanukkah Lift-the-Flap Book by Joan Holub

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6. Light The Lights! A Story About Celebrating Hanukkah And Christmas by Margaret Moorman

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7. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg
8. Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney

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9. Together for Kwanzaa by Juwanda G. Ford

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10. Lights of Winter: Winter Celebrations Around the World by Heather Conrad

Happy reading!!

Bat Fan

I saw this craft on pinterest the other day and it’s to die for. How cute are these little bats? If you click the image it will link you to the pin.. but when you click the pin it’s actually a website you can buy these spooky little guys. I say the heck with buying them since they can easily be made. Simply just grab a bunch of clothespins (ac moore has them – and some dollar stores too!!) and paint them black. Black oak tag paper or construction paper can be used to make the wings – then just glue them on! When I make them this week I’m totally going to add a bit of black glitter to glam them up. I’ll post a pic once I get around to it (midterms are totally killing my vibes this month). 

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Get Fit!

It’s becoming increasingly important to incorporate physical activities into the daily classroom routine. Besides the fact that almost everyone can afford to lay off the fast food (except for me – I will forever love you chicken nuggets), there truly is an obesity epidemic amongst our youth. According to the American Heart Association, almost one in three children are overweight or obese. With phys ed and extra curricular activities being cut from school budgets left and right, it is important as teachers to bring the physical activities into the classroom. This is something that means a lot to me in particular. My father suffered from a heart attack about six months ago. I am so fortunate that he is still with us today, but it was definitely a wake up call for him and others close to our family. Being overweight and living an unhealthy lifestyle is no joke. Although he isn’t a young boy or one of my future students, it still brings awareness to the importance of physical activity and staying in shape.

There are so many ways to do this in the classroom. In one class I observed in last year, the teacher set up a small obstacle course for the students to do. She had a mini trampoline, a jump rope, blocks to jump over, a tunnel to crawl through, etc. The kids LOVED IT and it was a great way for them to get up and get active in a fun way. 

I also heard a great idea the other day from one of my classmates. She talked about how in her placement classroom the teacher has a short kids yoga session with the students. She projects the video onto the smartboard and all the kids follow along. Yoga is something that I enjoy doing for so many reasons – it makes you stronger, more flexible, and truly relaxed. This is a great way for kids to get active.

Another great idea is to get outside whenever possible. Taking the lesson outside allows students to be out of the traditional classroom setting and get fresh air. Going on a nature walk or collecting leaves for a project are fun ways to interact with the outdoors and get up on your feet. 

How do you incorporate physical activity in your classroom? Let me know!