Powered by Blogger.

Adventures in Tot School: Mess-Free Painting

Our Tot School adventures continued this week - My little Michelangelo wanted to paint! 

But painting + toddlers = big mess, right? 
Well, not necessarily! 
This week we honed our artistic skills with mess-free painting!

Adventures in Tot School #2:
Mess-Free Painting
Here's what you need:
*Construction paper (dark colors work best)
*sponge paint brush - you can get a big pack of these for only a few dollars at Michaels or Amazon (http://amzn.to/2txeivo)
*cup of water

Let your toddler dip their paint brush in the water and "paint" on the construction paper! The water will cause dark streaks to appear, as if putting colorful paint on the paper. And voila! Mess-free painting!
This happy boy painted for almost half an hour (which in toddler time is an eternity, am I right?)
Our second week of Tot School was a success! It was fun, engaging, and provided this brand new 2-year-old with some fun fine motor and painting practice, all with no mess!

Stay tuned for more of our Adventures in Tot School!

Like this idea?
Pin it for later:

Check out last week's Tot School activity: Fine Motor Skills with Foam Blocks


Signature

Adventures in Tot School: Fine-Motor Skills with Foam Blocks

Now that my little munchkin is 2, we've decided to start some fun and engaging Tot School activities! 

What is Tot School

Think of it as pre-preschool. It's a focus on FUN while introducing early learning skills. It's play-based and works on developing fine motor skills through sensory activities, exploration bins, and builds on a kid's natural curiosity. 

We're just getting started, but Hudson is loving it!
Thanks for joining me on this Adventure in Tot School - I'll be posting regularly about our activities. I hope you find the ideas helpful.

Adventures in Tot School #1:
Fine-Motor Skills with Foam Blocks
My supplies:
  • Toddler tweezers
  • multi-colored foam blocks

I got both of these items at the Dollar Tree in the education aisle. Even though I'm out of the classroom I have to stop by the teacher section and hunt for treasures every time I go! Any other Dollar Tree fanatics out there?

Hudson loved playing with these little foam blocks! 
We practiced moving them from a container to a small muffin tin (also from the dollar store)
The tweezers took some practice, but he had fun trying to manipulate them.
Then we practiced identifying and sorting by color:
Then I let him just play with the blocks. Hudson had a blast moving the blocks from one container to the other:
We then dumped them out all over the floor and picked them up, again and again!

Our first day of Tot School was a success! It was fun, engaging, and provided this brand new 2-year-old with some valuable practice identifying colors and developing his fine motor skills.

Stay tuned for more of our Adventures in Tot School!

Like this idea?
Pin it for later:




Signature

April Showers Bring...Reading Hours! Book Project for ANY Book

Living in Seattle, I am no stranger to rain.
But it's okay - we're used to it. 
We've learned to look at the bright side:



Because rain is a "fact of life" around here, I like to incorporate rain-themed activities into my lesson planning each spring. As I was writing my April lesson plans, I finished my April Fool's Day plans (which you can read about here) and I started thinking about the phrase "April showers bring May flowers" - and that's when I decided to put a little spin on the common adage:
April Showers Bring May Flowers Reading Hours!

We all know the adage "April Showers Brings May Flowers" - well this is a fun twist on the expression that can be used to motivate students to read and deepen their comprehension and re-telling skills.  "April Showers Bring...Reading Hours" is a fun and engaging resource that includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a project that can be used with ANY BOOK! (picture book or chapter book). Created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey

"April Showers Bring...Reading Hours" is an engaging resource that includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a project that can be used with ANY BOOK! (picture book or chapter book) and is the perfect thing to motivate students to read and deepen their comprehension and re-telling skills.

First of all, your students need to pick a book.
Here are some of my favorite spring-related picture books:
And here are some chapter books I've read recently that would be great for the middle grades:

Then, once they've read the book, they fill out the raindrop report booklet.
The project asks your students to create a raindrop booklet that assesses their reading comprehension and understanding of basic story elements. The pages include:
1. Cover
2. Setting
3. Main Characters
4. Retelling: Beginning
5. Retelling: Middle
6. Retelling: End
7. My Favorite Part
8. Problem/Solution
9. Theme
10. Something New I Learned
11. My Rating of the Book (1-5 stars) and Why

And to make your life easier, the packet also includes a rubric for the teacher to use when grading the project.

Note: There are two versions of the raindrop booklet included– half-size and full-page.



This would make an excellent bulletin board display! Each year I would display the booklets in the hallway and then, once taken down, I would put them in a special bin in our classroom library - 
it was a wonderful way for the students to get book recommendations from their classmates. 


Visit my TPT store to purchase this print-and-go packet: April Showers Bring Reading Hours Book Project

Or you can pin this idea for later:
We all know the adage "April Showers Brings May Flowers" - well this is a fun twist on the expression that can be used to motivate students to read and deepen their comprehension and re-telling skills.  "April Showers Bring...Reading Hours" is a fun and engaging resource that includes everything you need to assign, complete, and assess a project that can be used with ANY BOOK! (picture book or chapter book). Created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey

Happy April! :)


Signature

Testing Miss Malarky - Take the Stress out of the Standardized Test


This print-and-go resource supplements your reading of the book Testing Miss Malarky, a humorous and ironic story about standardized testing. A must-read in every classroom! Resource created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey
The Standardized Test can be an anxiety-filled time for many students - and their teachers! Testing Miss Malarky by Judy Finchler is a humorous story about a school preparing for THE TEST! The ironic plot will have your students chuckling - and it will open up the floor for a discussion about how to prepare for the test without being overwhelmed.
Here's the synopsis: Teachers, students, and even parents are preparing for THE TEST-The Instructional Performance Through Understanding (IPTU) test-and the school is in an uproar. Even though the grown-ups tell the children not to worry, they're acting kind of strange. The gym teacher is teaching stress-reducing yoga instead of sports in gym class. Parents are giving pop quizzes on bedtime stories at night. The cafeteria is serving "brain food" for lunch. The kids are beginning to think that maybe the test is more important than they're being led to believe. Kids and adults alike will laugh aloud as Finchler and O'Malley poke fun at the commotion surrounding standardized testing, a staple of every school's year.

You can buy Testing Miss Malarky on Amazon - it's even Prime eligible! {Hello free 2-day shipping!} or check it out from your local library.

If you don't have the book, you can show your kids this video from YouTube of a teacher reading the story:

Then, as a follow-up to reading the book, I have created a 25-page print-and-go resource that will assess your students' comprehension, challenge them, and open up the floor for a discussion about how to prepare for the test without being overwhelmed.
This print-and-go resource supplements your reading of the book Testing Miss Malarky, a humorous and ironic story about standardized testing. A must-read in every classroom! Resource created by Jessica Lawler @ Joy in the Journey
This packet is chocked-full of fun and engaging activities - graphic organizers, vocabulary, cause an effect, journal entries, and much more! 

This resource is student-tested and teacher-approved! Here's what teachers are saying:

Visit my Teachers Pay Teachers store to purchase this packet and make your lesson planning a breeze! ---> https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Testing-Miss-Malarky-Book-Activities-1201053 




Signature

Our Fairy Tale Nursery




Exciting news: Two weeks ago we welcomed a beautiful baby girl into our family! World, please welcome our sweet Felicity:

She is quickly proving to be the world's easiest, sweetest baby - and we are so in love! Big Brother is adjusting well - although he's proving to be an over-achiever and seems to be hitting the lovely "terrible twos" a few months early ;)

I wanted to pop in quickly and share some photos of Felicity's nursery - we chose a once-upon-a-time/fairy tale theme!

Most of the decor was either crafted by me (and my handy-dandy Cricut!) or pieced together from several treasure-hunting trips to different stores. If you have a specific question about where I found something, please let me know :)

  

 


Ta-da! While Felicity doesn't exactly appreciate all of my hard work and effort, it was so much fun decorating her fairy tale land - and it brings a smile to my face every time I walk in. It definitely makes the 2am wake-up calls *slightly* more pleasant :)



Signature
Back to Top