The Very Hungary Caterpillar Craft

Have you ever been in the middle of a project, got a "genius" idea (knowing it could cause mayhem and confusion) and ran with it?  That pretty much sums up the way my brain works... and it's a blessing/ curse.  This one turned out to be a blessing because our little caterpillars came out so cute!  We were studying The Very Hungary Caterpillar, and I found a black and white version of the caterpillar, and copied it for all of the children. (I can't share it because it's a book I bought)  After I read the story, I had the students color their caterpillar.  As the students were in the middle of coloring their little guy, I got the idea...lets add the little hairs on top ....really?  yep...

I gave the students a string of yarn, and showed them how to cut the string in little pieces and glue them on the top.  As I was giving instructions, I knew this could possibly be a horrible idea for a couple of reasons:
1. It takes fine motor skills to cut the little pieces = frustration for their little hands
2.  Time consuming = frustrating because they would have to focus for a longer period of time

But to my surprise, they had a great time, and did a wonderful job at working hard to finish the task at hand!  The students that finished quickly, helped their neighbor cutting and gluing the pieces on.  The students put a strip of glue on the top of the caterpillar and pressed the small pieces of yarn on top.

So this time, my random idea turned out cute!  


Finger Space Problem? Nothing a Magic Wand Can't Fix...

I feel like sometimes there is a HUGE disconnect between kids writing words and putting spaces between each one.  Right from the beginning of the year I teach them the phrase (that we all know and love) "remember a finger space between your words."  Well, sometimes that isn't enough, and I need to bust out something more exciting to help them remember... the Finger Space Wand...

I have a basket of wands that the students can use when they are writing sentences.  They place the finger space wand on their paper between words to help them focus on correct finger spaces.  I feel like any manipulative that you can add to enhance normal routines make it more exciting for the kids to produce work.

(please ignore the dirty white board)

I have the finger space wands in a basket that the children could easily access for when they finished their work early.  They were allowed to borrow a wand to practice sentence writing while their classmates were finishing their assignments.  

Of course not everyone wanted to use a princess wand to practice spacing between words.  I had a googly eye finger puppet option as well for those who were less interested in the wand. ;)

I found the wands and the eye puppets at the 99 Cents store, and they were definitely worth the investment! 


Clothes Rack to Dry Paintings

What is worse than painting with 5 year olds?  Having the paintings laying around your room drying!  I use a clothes drying rack to help save space while my little artists paintings' are drying. I wish I could say I thought of this...nope!  This drying rack was left in my room when I started working at my current school, and I used it right away to hang our paintings on to dry.  I just clip clothes pins to the little bars and they hang nicely in the corner of the room or outside!

Sometimes I place them back to back, if the papers are large.  I can ALWAYS fit everyone's paintings on here!  This bad boy folds up nicely and can fit behind my filing cabinet when we aren't using it.

I couldn't live without this little gem!



I am in Europe for the next 3 weeks!!! I will try to upload photos as I go if my Internet will allow it! So far here are the first two days in Paris...

                      Notre Dame. 

                   Cute streets. 

                     My first crepe. 

                        Little park. 

                  Adorable 50's cafe. 

                 Giant meringues!!!

            Yep. Pretty much heaven. :)

Students Making Their Own Subtraction Sentences!

I want to share with you a simple subtraction idea that my students thought of using the Ocean Language Arts and Math Centers that I had out.  They thought of it during free time on their own, and I turned it into a math center for the whole class to do!

It's soooo simple!  They took the sea animal cards that were lamintated for an addition math center, used one of the cards to cross out some of the animals, and then turned it into a subtraction sentence.

They were so excited about their discovery, and would cross out some of the sea animals and ask their friend to write the subtraction sentence.  It makes my heart happy to see 5 year olds take initiative in their own learning... do I sense a little Common Core happening here?? ;)