Having Fun with our 6th Grade Buddies


Here are some samples I found on the web to give us inspiration for a half hour of creative art with our 6th grade buddies last week.

 I think I had about 15 of the  6th graders and about 10 of the 2nd graders in my class for this buddy activity the day before Valentines.  Each of our classes wrote letters to our buddies for Valentines Day and sent them some candy of some sort.  We gave suckers and licorice.  They gave us chocolate mini candy bars…Mmmm!

Some kids in my class have 2 buddies….because the 6th grade classes are larger than 2nd grade classes….
But everybody really likes who they got for a buddy…no matter if it is one kid or two kids….

Then We made creations just using scraps of construction paper from our recycling bin and heart cut outs from red, pink, purple and white. Look at what fun it was for just 30 minutes the day before Valentines!

We’ve played kickball with our buddies…we’ve done multiplication games with our buddies….So we thought,

as teachers…maybe we could do a joint art project with our buddies?

Valentine Creations abounded…..
They also invited us to their production of MacBeth, the Shakesperian play….it was fantastic!  
Here are some close ups of all the “animals” we created…..
And some close ups of the kids who created them….with some buddy help…..
I am not the greatest photog that ever lived as you can see…
I think they were all proud of their creations….

We’ll have to do this again next year! 

Valentines Creative Art Projects….

Hope everybody had a Happy Valentines Day!

Presidents Day Activities

PRESIDENT’S DAY IS COMING UP!  We will be studying some of the best of them this week! 

Presidents Day Art Project……make some PORTRAITS OF THE PRESIDENTS! 

A fun maze I found for Presidents Day HERE at free kids crafts.

Here’s George Washington’s artistic portrait!  
And here is Abe Lincoln’s portrait…done by 2nd graders! 

We have been learning about Washington and Lincoln in honor of their birthdays and the upcoming President’s Day Holiday on Monday.

It’s a directed drawing……

I did it with the kids on the board while they did it at desks…..

This was a great trick….so kids could see the close up details…these are little 2 x 4 inch copies…
in a library pocket…I passed one out to each student…
They also each got an outline like this to help start out…..
Then I had the mom helpers cut out frames in red and blue for the oval portraits….and the kids
cut around their oval shapes…..

The frames weren’t perfect…but they add a lot don’t you think? 

Here’s a fun youtube video that tells a little fact about each American President that we’ve had in the U.S.
It’s funny and it is sung to a familiar tune. The students will love it!  Another teachers does a whole unit on Symbols of America that is fantastic. Her link is HERE at Mrs. Jumps Class.

Here’s my friend Marcia’s bulletin board….she added eagles and lots of stars  to her kids’ board…..
We added a star and the typed birth and death years…..

The kids had their choice of weekly readers to read….some of them read all week and finished them all! 
We also listened to a book on tape of both of their lives….Presidents Lincoln and Washington….

Then we wrote facts on the board in two big lists…..


Some fion and non fiction books on Presidents …..I like to use text “sets” of books to
front load all of the content so my kids can learn first….write after they synthesize the information…

We made portraits of the presidents, read lots of literature books on President’s Day and some Scholastic News and Weekly Readers too. Some of my presidents literature is “just for fun”.

I collect sets of these and save them in magazine boxes for holidays like President’s Day….

 I got some little individual flags on stands for each of the kids to take home too. Do you think they liked them?

Gavin, Emma and Flint lovin their flags….
Gavin did a 4 page report… I loved his work! It was wonderful! 

Everyone did a great job….I loved them all….

 Then we wrote reports on either president of our choice.  Here they are!  The kids did a great job!

Peter wrote about Lincoln too….most of the kids chose Washington….which was
funny because most of my literature books are on Lincoln….hmmm….

I think they liked the look of Washington better…that must have been it!  

President’s Day Art Projects….so cute!  

I found this cute paper on clearance last year….Great for a Patriotic Holiday like President’s Day! 

Some kids wrote about Lincoln and picked the Log Cabin paper instead….it’s cute too! 

Great job on the writing guys….

We practiced our spelling list on these Mr. Lincoln puppets….and wrote  the
spelling words in white crayon….they turned out looking a little….under the weather….and I think
the hands are backwards too……  hmmm ….I think sometimes I must not be the greatest instructor!!  LOL 

But no matter….have a Happy President’s Day Holiday anyway!  And may God Bless America!

Valentine Kids Cards and Valentine Card Holders…

This week is Valentines Day.  We’ve been busy doing Valentine Cards for parents and relatives and making our Valentine Holders for Tuesday’s Valentine Party.

Here’s our finished Valentine Card Holders for the party Tuesday…

We used big squares of butcher paper in pink, red, lavender and purple for our Valentine Card Holders……..

Mrs. Kenner, one of our mom helpers had spent an hour punching out die cut hearts for us last week….
We also added some Mrs. Moss had cut out (scrolled looking pink ones) and she copied some on pink colored paper…the ones with the faces….

Here is how to start….take a 24 inch square and fold up the left and right bottom corners to the middle. (bottom of heart)

Then use a stapler and staple them a bit overlapping in the middle…I use 2 or 3 staples so they are secure.  (Just
staple the top level, not all the way through…so you have a pointy cone shaped pocket….

Then cut around the top of the back side of cone…make it a heart shape on the 2 top sides….like this…..
Then cut some white poster board 2 inch by 15 inch strips for the “handles” and staple them to the top and the inside front….

Like this handle here….then let the kids decorate….I also passed out heart stickers then could use….

I stapled them up and down the hallway outside our door….that way they can go around on Tuesday
and deliver all their Valentines to the different Valentine Holders with the names on the tops.

 Then we made some parent cards and wrote on cute stationery some Dear Mom and Dad letters and also a buddy letter to our 6th grade buddies.  It took us 2 days to finish both letters but they were really cute.
I forgot to take some pictures but they were really sweet and heartfelt letters….

I had a big Tupperware bin full of hearts and cut outs and things to decorate the cards with. 

Kids Valentine Cards were all pretty unique!  

The parent letters and cards got a chocolate heart wrapped in silver attached.  The buddy letters
and cards just got a sucker attached and we sent them down a package of red licorice for their class.
They had just finished performing the play Macbeth. So it was a wrap party snack.  

Cute buddy cards….I forgot to take a picture of all the parent cards but they were even prettier.  Who knew
they would take more time and effort on mom and dad’s card?  Yeah….I knew they would…..mmmhmmmm…..

Then we made mom and dad a woven heart with some silvery purple or red “kiss lips” attached.
They were not easy for the kids because they had to weave in and out on the pink and red. 

This is what they start out looking like…..

And this is how they turned out… really cute!  I hope the parents will hang
these cute hearts from a chandelier or light fixture….super cute!  
And here are my little valentines.  We went to the Thanksgiving Point petting zoo on Saturday. 

We fed the animals…rode the tractor hayride…..

And did the pony rides….it was super fun being together with family! 

I found an awesome link to a tutorial on those paper roses I’ve been seeing on craft blogs and on T.V. morning shows.These would have been so cute on our parent or buddy cards too!

The link is HERE at Kids Baristanet for the tutorial.  We may have to use this idea for a Mother’s Day card in May.

Barista Kids cute paper roses….
She had a really cute way to make an envelope out of a heart too….

 We made up poems later in the week. I will post those soon.  In the meantime….here are some fun ideas for Valentines activities next week.

Make up a silly “Roses are Red, Violets are Blue” poem.
Decorate a card with thumbprints and
write “Thumb”body loves you!
Write cards where each person shares 1 thing that they love
about every person in their family.

Send home sidewalk chalk. Have kids turn the driveway at home
into a giant Valentine’s Day card by decorating it with chalk.
Write an acrostic poem using the letters L O V E.


The 7 Chinese Brothers & Chinese New Year Fun

HERE is a great link from Learning to Give with multiple lessons plans using The Seven Chinese Brothers. There’s a section where they created banners depicting each of the 7 brothers and their talents.  I found a cute video on how to make the Chinese “Paddy” hats they wear in the rice paddies and in the story. I’d like to make hats and list acts of kindness you could do for others in a spiral inside each hat.

How to make a Chinese “Rice Paddy” Hat…..

So for CHINESE NEW YEAR this year we had many wonderful activities. I think it is important to read multicultural stories of the many cultures represented in your classrooms each year. I have Asian students and so I like to teach the other kids about how Chinese New Year is celebrated in the Asian parts of the world.

 And we try to make a little celebration of it in my classroom too. Here we are just before our school parade to the other grades singing the Dragon song and showing them our Chinese Dragons we made….
Chinese New Year Dragons…..

 Here are some of my students showing off their artistic dragons. Peter’s wearing traditional Korean clothes.

Our finished Chinese dragons…..They did their own lettering with black markers….

This is a VERY cute story we read about Sam who gets Chinese New Year Lucky Money to spend on anything he wants. In the end he buys socks for a homeless man who he sees on the streets of the dragon parade so he can keep warm. Very touching story! Check it out above (Sam and the Lucky Money).

You can barely see the tail here but it is very colorful!  
We used lots of colorful crepe paper for the tail streamers and the “fire” coming from the mouth of the Chinese Dragons..
Peter’s mom, Mrs. Kim, came and showed us some Asian Cultural items after our parade! Here’s the Korean Flag.
She is explaining the black markings mean things like fire and water….brother and sister….opposites….
Here is Peter with his mother and all the things they brought for us to see….
Traditional Korean clothing….so pretty!  
Asian foods their family likes to eat….Sushi! 
Thanks for coming in to teach us Mrs. Kim! We loved it! 

More festival costumes of Korea…..
Peter showing us an bow he learned to do…..
Wedding dress clothing represented by these Korean Wedding Dolls….Girls would
wear a dress looking similar to this one in red and green….
More traditional Korean clothing…so beautiful!
Tae Kwon Do is the Korean martial arts…the only one
that is an Official Olympic Sport….
Peter shows off his black belt and martial arts bear…..
Korean money….$10,000 in Korean money means $1,000 in our money…
The top picture shows the famous Korean who did their alphabet we learned….
Here’s Peter showing us a kid’s favorite book Where The Wild Things Are…printed in
the Korean language. It was wonderful to see so many things from Korea! Thanks Peter! And Thanks to
Mrs. Kim who did an excellent job teaching us about some of the customs of Korea. 

We started with a   MAKING WORDS activity using THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON to try and make as many words as possible. I set the timer for 3 minutes and the kids came up with as many as 32 words in that time. It was a lot of fun to see them get into the competition!  Then we looked at a Chinese Calendar (the animal calendar in the round) and figured out what year we were each born.
                               THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON!
Then we Read some fun literature. The first one we read as a play while I put up the book pictures on the document camera. I just typed up the text of the book and had 4 narrators (each table became a narrator) and the 7 brothers, the Emperor and the Guards. I must say Allie and Emma had the most memorable expression as they acted out their parts!

We did a Readers Theater Play of The Seven Chinese Brothers.….

HERE at Loveland K12 is a list of activities to go along with the story The Seven Chinese Brothers.
 Between the two I found word searches, a word jumble (unscramble) and some maps of China. HERE at Vaiden.net  is a downloadable story about the 5 Chinese Brothers that would be a good compare and contrast against The Seven Chinese Brothers too. Or HERE at Apples 4 the Teacher are some other fun printables for Chinese New Year.

I made The Seven Chinese Brothers Puppets for them to color and put on thick popsicle sticks to use
 while we read the Reader’s Theater version of The Seven Chinese Brothers….It was lots of fun!

Another Book we read to Celebrate Chinese New Year is Sam and the Lucky Money.  A fun lesson plan to use with the great book about giving to those less fortunate than you is HERE.

We also read this book The Seven Chinese Sisters and compared and contrasted the two stories and
what the sisters did in theirs versus what the brothers did in their story.
In The Seven Chinese Sisters book there is a dragon that causes trouble. 
For Chinese New Year we made DRAGONS to use in our first and second grade parade around the school.  We bring small gongs, cymbols, and drums and sing a song while carrying around these awesome dragons we created. HERE at Craft Jr.  is a link to a dragon puppet on chopsticks that is very pretty. 

I freehand drew a dragon head and we colored it and glued it on a red dragon outline…..
The body and tail are made from 1 foot by 4 foot of yellow butcher paper folded every 8 inches
Then we added 2 foot length streamers to the tail….all colors of the rainbow….so pretty!  
We decorated the heads with marker and glued them on the body of the Chinese Dragon Craft 
Then we painted chinese lettering on our dragons and made paper decorations for them….
We cut 1/2 inch strips of  red, orange and yellow “fire” streamers and stapled them to the mouth…..
Then we added Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, Blue  streamers to the tail in about 2 foot lengths stapled….
HERE is the Learning to GIVE link was a list of activities that I really loved too. Here was one I might have to use next week as we get ready for Valentines Day.
Get out a giant piece of paper and, as a family, make the longest list you can of small ways to say “I like you” to family and friends. Here are some ideas to get you started: bring someone a cookie, rub Mom’s back, offer to weed your grandma’s garden, sweep the floor, bring Dad a drink of water, offer to play your sister’s favorite game, smile at your brother, etc.” 




Groundhogs Day Activities


This February 2nd is Groundhog’s Day.  For fun we are going to be doing some Groundhog Activities for the day. I thought of writing comic strips or puppet shows. But for a fun activity after math I passed out some Groundhog Gameboards. I told them to design their own Candy Land-Type game for Groundhogs Day using 10 Math Facts in Multiplication, 5 cards, 4 positive and 4 negative situations to land on.

       Here’s a cute VIDEO and SONG about Groundhogs Day that my students will LOVE!

They made up their own Groundhogs Day Games!
They needed to use their groundhogs  in colors to match their Groundhogs Day Gameboards….
With cards telling  Groundhog consequences….super cute! 

We started making Groundhog Gameboards using math multiplication facts.  We copied some ideas from Candy Land (using bridges and colored groundhog cards to move to different locations on the board) but overall we made up our own fun boards and wrote out fun things as they land on colors and pick a Groundhog color card. Here were some of the CARD consequences they came up with today…. PICK A GROUNDHOG CARD GAME….1. Fell into a snake hole, miss a turn.2. Snowy avalance ahead, hop forward 3 spaces.3. Chased by a bobcat, run ahead 2 spaces.4. Go over the Groundhog Bridge.5. Fell into Shadow Swamp, skip your turn.6. You saw your shadow, stay in your den for 1 turn.

We had poems and songs on the back of our Groundhogs Day games that we read and sang too…..
And they all put 10 multiplication math facts into their games….

A CUTE art project and prediction chart I found at this Mrs. Williamson’s Blog.

We made a prediction on weather the groundhog will see his shadow or not. There were 12 votes YES he will and 9 votes no he will not.  We’ll see the results tomorrow in the news! 

A cute PATTERN for a Groundhog Art project is HERE at Finally in First.

Groundhog Day ART- This would also make a cute HAT with just a brown strip and the hands just to the left
and right of the head like he’s peeking out of his hole. I LOVE the teeth! 
These were the first few that got finished with their Groundhogs Gameboards…..we haven’t played them yet….
They will be excited to play each other’s games on Groundhog Day, February 2nd! 

They added math facts on their boards. It was fun seeing the kids color their boards and add matching groundhog colored cards with questions of all kinds on them. These kids are very creative!

We got these blacklines out of the January Teacher Helper Magazine….

 HERE at ARTIST HELPER is a website where you can get a printable gameboard and some little groundhogs to copy off if you want to make your own.  I got mine out of the monthly teacher helper magazine for January.

Groundhogs for consequence cards or multiplication math facts…. Everybody got 10
Isn’t this the CUTEST cupcake you ever saw? Groundhog Cupcakes would be a sweet treat today! 
I showed the kids an old Candyland gameboard…to get some cool ideas….

Another site that has lots of Groundhogs Day Activities is HERE at Artist Helping Teachers.

Then we brainstormed some fun things we could write up on cards or spaces on the Gameboards

We Sang this Groundhog Song to the “I’m a Little Teapot” Tune….

          Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts The Weather (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition)               

We read a few stories about Groundhogs too. And we read some funny poems about groundhogs and sang  songs. We also had a vote on if the groundhog will see its shadow tomorrow or not. I’m hoping we don’t have 6 more weeks of WINTER! Brrrr…… We will  watch the youtube of Punxatawny Phil to find out. HAPPY GROUNDHOGS DAY 2012! 

I found this Darling video about Groundhogs. Did you know they were Woodchucks? They are so cute!