Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Would You Rather?

Would you rather be a piranha or a beaver?
Would you rather eat a worm or a spider?

No, I'm not trying to bring back Fear Factor.  These questions were created by my students for a fun new writing activity at our Writing Station.  

This idea came about because I have the board game Would You Rather? in the classroom and use the questions as one of our brain breaks. My students love how silly, gross, funny, etc. the questions are and can now contribute to them.

There is also a book by William Steig that has the same idea and I created a class book to add to our Writing Station.  On each page, there are two objects presented and kids are asked which one they would rather be.  

My favorite part about both of these activities is the conversation we have when students explain their choices!  So I put both of these ideas into a packet on Teacher Pay Teacher and it's FREE! 
Go check it out and have some silly fun!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

LEGO Challenges & Snowman Cupcakes

A couple of weeks ago my 6-year-old was having a meltdown and I had her sit down with me and just quietly put together LEGOs and it was awesome!  She calmed down and we were able to talk through the incident and I gave birth to an idea for my small math groups: LEGO Challenges!
I wanted my students to use LEGOs creatively yet with some structure, so I created 30 task cards and a checklist for students to keep track of which ones they try and complete.
I love to take pictures of students with their finished creations and put them on my website so families can see what we're up to.

Check it out by clicking here.

And now on to tastier things: snowman cupcakes!  I bought some really cool silicone cupcake molds (on Ebay) to use with our snowman unit. I finally tried them out at home and they turned out so well!
I sprayed them with cooking spray just in case...

They came out SOOOOO easily!

You can find them on Ebay and they're super affordable!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Valentine's Robot & LEGO Challenge

Each year I encourage my students to make their own Valentine container and each year I'm more and more impressed with their creativity!  This year there was: a scorpion, a bird house, a MineCraft character, Fly Guy's home AND this guy

This is Vinny, my Valentine robot.  I went through our recycling bin, bought some silver spray paint and went through the garage cupboards to find all of his decorations.  The eyes, however, are electric tea candles and the heart is from a necklace I found at Walmart and it flashes whenever it is on.  I made an opening in his head for student Valentine cards. I had so much fun making it and the kids loved it.

If you follow my blog then you know that I do small math groups and that one of those groups is for building.  LEGOs are a fantastic building material and so far kids build and create whatever they want but I wanted something more...
One day I went in to Target and of course started by perusing the Dollar Bins and I found 3 different packets of LEGOs that contained 30-60 pieces and directions on how to build the specific item.  So I repackaged them (in small kid friendly plastic tubs, from Michael's) Kids try to complete the building of the 
object before our groups are done and I take their picture if they do.  

It's fun to see which kiddos can easily follow the directions and recreate an object.  But I wanted to do even more with LEGOs and unleash their creativity, so I created LEGO challenges...which I'll debut tomorrow!

Stay tuned...