Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kid-Proof Cameras

Oh, my dearie! You have to check out this video from Apartment Therapy on the new Stylus Tough camera from Olympus. From the perspective of a photographer's wife, I couldn't stop laughing and I know you won't either.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Map Mud

Even though the school year might be coming to an end, learning never does. My curruculum ends at the month of May but I use the summer for a great time of sensory, fun, and games. The weather makes it easy to do those messy projects outside. When we did this sensory today, we used a plastic outdoor table and washed the table off with the hose when we were done. Run out of ideas to keep the kids busy? Stay close to this blog this summer and be inspired to teach your kids while having a great time doing it!

Supplies: 3 parts flour, 3 parts salt, 2 parts water, and food coloring if desired

Process: Mix salt and flour in a bowl. Add enough water to make a paste that is thick like frosting. Add food coloring or wait and paint when dry.

This recipe comes from Magic Mixtures Recipes for Fun and Learning by Heidi Stalder, Lane Community College

Teach Well: Some ways to use Map Mud - Spread the mixture on heavy cardboard, a sheet of plastic board, or wood. Shape to land features such as hills, lakes, and valleys. Use it as a sensory mixture and have children spread it like fingerpaint on a hard or washable surface. Use it to build dioramas.

Mary Rice Hopkins & Puppets with a Heart

Those that knew me in the classroom knew that Mary Rice Hopkins' music played most of the time. Whether class was in session or not! I can always find a song from her collection to play in any theme or Bible story that I might be telling. (Make sure to check out Mary's free scope and sequence for each album here.) I also went to several ACSI conferences where Mary was there doing worship and teaching classes. I can not tell you how much I learned from her as a teacher, mom, and Christian! I also remember seeing Darcy with her Puppets with a Heart there as well, and since have been inspired to create my own Bible application lessons with my own puppets.

Since then, Mary and Darcy have teamed up. I feel blessed to have known how God has used them in their ministries before and now seeing His hand in using them together now! I am happy to hear that her new DVD, Mary Rice Hopkins & Puppets with a Heart has the Dove Foundation Seal of Approval! You need to take a look at this DVD! There are life lessons in this video that has always been a part of Darcy's ministry and now Mary has put music to to it. This music will plant those important seeds in your child's heart that will never leave.
To add to my excitement is that TBN is now showing Puppets with a Heart twice a week! Click here for the program schedule. On their website you can meet the characters and view a clip. Check it out!
Teach Well: "Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me." Psalm 25:4-5a

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Be Inspired Thursdays - Organization

Check out these two great ideas from Apartment Therapy! One is how to keep chores in the household fun and different every time. The other is how to organize all that school work and art that is collected.

Teach Well: Use this idea in the classroom with classroom duties. Write classroom duties on the craft sticks and add a few "freebies" for fun.

Rainbow Fish

Supplies: Clip art of fish, glue, and foil

Process: Pre-cut the foil into small round pieces. Do the dramatic play of Breakfast on the Shore and when the children are done "cooking" their fish have them take their fish to the table. Give the child glue and have them place the glue on their fish. Then have them add the foil scales to the fish. Dry.
Teach Well: Hang these fish on a bulletin board that reads, "I will make you fishers of men..." Add a net to "catch" some of the fish. You can also do this project after reading the book Rainbow Fish.

Breakfast on the Shore

I love this new electric campfire from Group! I just wish they had it eight years ago so that I didn't have to use tissue paper!

Supplies: Bible, electric campfire, wood, ferns, sticks, clip art of fish, and two fishing nets

Process: Set up your shore with the electric faux campfire. Add a few logs and ferns to make it look like a real campfire. Pre-cut your fish and put it in one fish net. During Bible Story time have the children listen to you tell the story of Breakfast on the Shore. Then act out the story by pretending to be on the boat with the fish net. Have a child pretend to be Jesus on the shore. Have the child call out to put the net on the other side of the boat. Have the another net behind you filled with fish. Pull it out and see all the fish that was caught! Give every child a fish and have them tape it to their stick. Have the children "cook" their fish over the fire.

Teach Well: Have a sound effects CD of waves going in the background for an even more dramatic effect.

Mailbox Magazine

Mailbox Magazine now has Preschool and Kindergarten magazines of their own. They use to be combined. This means more activities in each issue!

Fish Art

Punches can be great for small motor skill development. The punches below were purchased at a local dollar store. They stick at times and are quite hard for preschoolers. When looking for yours make sure they are good quality and from a craft store if you are going to be using them with younger hands.
Supplies: punches, construction paper, and glue
Process: Have all your supplies out on the table. Have the children punch paper with fish and ocean animal punches. Have them use glue to decorate their paper.

Teach Well: Children don't learn without experimenting themselves. Let the child do the glue application. Have toddlers learn to squeeze the glue from the bottle. When that skill is developed have glue in a small container and give them a Q-tip to apply glue.

Letter Jello

Supplies: Jello and alphabet cookie cutters

Process: Make Jello according to box directions. When it is time for the activity, remove from the refrigerator and run the bottom of the pan under warm water. Give the children letter cookie cutters that you are working on. (For example, if you are just working on phonic sounds from A-F then use those shapes for this activity. We were reviewing "am" words. So we had letters that would spell out words with A and M.) Have the children place the letters in the Jello and pull it out. Place on wax paper or paper plates to spell out their words. Then eat!

Teach Well: Don't be afraid to get your hands dirty! You'll be surprised that those lessons will be remembered most...

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Be Inspired Thursday

How can you encourage your child's vocabulary and help hungry children at the same time? Check out Free Rice.

On their website they explain their goal: "FreeRice is a non-profit website run by the United Nations World Food Program. Our partner is the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. FreeRice has two goals: Provide education to everyone for free. Help end world hunger by providing rice to hungry people for free. This is made possible by the generosity of the sponsors who advertise on this site. Whether you are CEO of a large corporation or a street child in a poor country, improving your education can improve your life. It is a great investment in yourself.
Perhaps even greater is the investment your donated rice makes in hungry human beings, enabling them to function and be productive. Somewhere in the world, a person is eating rice that you helped provide."

Do you have Internet in your classroom? Use this site as a computer center or during free time. It is a great way to teach children that they can help other children with what they learn in school!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Paper Plate Fish

Supplies: white paper plate, stapler, watercolors, paint brush, and water cup

Process: Cut a triangle (or have your child do it) and staple it to the end of the plate as the fish's tail. Have your child paint the fish with watercolors. Dry.

Teach Well: If you have a supply of colored plates on hand, flip the plate over as we did. Paint on the back of it instead. Have paper on hand for those children that love to paint. When their project is painted ask if they would like a clean piece of paper. This keeps the fish from getting muddy.

Gone Fishin'

Wading Pools are one of my favorite items in the classroom during the month of May. There are so many uses for them, including this game. I found these plastic fish with a magnetic fishing pole at the local dollar store a few years ago.

Supplies: Plastic fish, Sharpie pen, magnetic fishing pole, and wadding pool.

Process: Before your game write letters on the fish with a Sharpie pen. Put the fish in the pool and have the children take turns fishing out a letter. Remind the children to only use the fishing pole to collect the fish. This is great for hand/eye coordination and small motor skills. The children might have a difficult time but encourage them to "walk" the line to the fish.

Teach Well: No pool? Use a large piece of blue butcher paper for your water. No fish? Use clip art with paper clips on them. No fishing pole? Use a dowel or stick tied with yarn and attach a magnet.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Items I Can't Live Without!

Here is my list of things I can not live without for the month of May. To look again at the scope and sequence for May's theme go here.

1. Fish squirters like the ones here.

2. Goggles, sailor hats, and sun glasses for dramatic play.

3. This pool from here. The bigger the better! I use this for indoor play and Bible lessons. Stay tuned in this month to see the fun!
4. Plastic boats
6. PVC pieces
7. Ocean Sounds CD
8. Magnetic fishing poles
9. Ocean themed books
10. Shells, sand, shovels, and scoops
This month you will see how I use these items in unique and fun ways!
Teach Well: Shop early for summer items. Items go fast, so if you see something you like grab it!May is the perfect time to collect your Ocean Themed treasures!


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