Friday, October 17, 2014

Five for Friday...The Simple Things

Happy Friday!  I'm joining the Five for Friday celebration to let you in on a little secret I've realized.  You know all the elaborate lesson plans we make?  The activities we do that take four times as long to prep as it does to actually do them?  Or the money from our own pockets spent on the latest TPT products?
Well, I'm here to tell you that it's the Simple Things that mean the most and you don't even need computer generated, full-color lesson plans filled with cutesy activities you purchased in order to successfully teach young children.  This week I rediscovered the beauty of the Simple Things!

Art made from crayon shavings, waxed paper, and a warm iron.  Simply beautiful.  The children were amazed when they saw the colors melt and blend together.  Some were thrilled they got to help hold the iron.  And others evidently saw an iron for the first time in their short little lives! 

A simple science experiment mixing paint colors and discovering the color orange!

Sorry the photo is upside down!  I have tried & tried to turn it!
The simple fun of collecting things on a Nature Walk! 

 Everyone was so excited to show me the leaves, sticks, rocks, bark, and pine straw they found!
 A simple yet delicious recipe using Pumpkin Spice OREO cookies and cream cheese!
Finished my autumn decorating!  I used a variety of simple pumpkins to decorate my house from October through Thanksgiving.  Nothing is too Halloween-ish and the warm colors automatically make the house feel like a cozy fall day.  The mantle contains everything from a Pier One platter to straw pumpkins from Target and beautiful gourds I found at TJ Maxx.  I promise I didn't pay full price for any of it! 
In the dining room, I created a simple display using an iron plate stand to hold a few of my prized pumpkins.
Have a great weekend and try to enjoy the Simple Things!
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Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Tops & Bottoms

Here's a little riddle for you...
  • I have a great moral found within my story. 
  • I am filled with gorgeous illustrations. 
  • I tie in nicely with farming and harvesting units.  
  • I make a fun art project. 
What book am I?
Tops & Bottoms by Janet Stevens is a great read aloud in the fall when you focus on farms, planting, and harvesting crops.  You could also use this book in the springtime when your students are learning about seeds and vegetables.  This book is ideal for kindergarteners and older children but with just a bit of explanation, my class of older 4's and young 5's enjoyed it very much as well.

After reading Tops & Bottoms, we created some pretty vegetable prints. 
We had a tray of TOPS such as corn, broccoli, peppers, and green beans.
And a tray of BOTTOMS such as potatoes, radishes, carrots, and mushrooms.
My students loved painting with vegetables.  Especially the ones they don't like to eat! 
Once our Tops & Bottoms artwork was dry, we displayed them down the hall to create our own little preschool vegetable patch!


I'm joining Mrs. Jump's Class weekly We Love Books linky party!  Make sure you visit her blog to see what everyone's reading this week!

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Monday Made It & Ready for Fall

It's been a wonderful Monday!  No school because of the Columbus Day holiday so I checked a ton off my To Do list!  I'm sharing my recent projects with Tara's Monday Made It, which is one of my favorite linky parties!
I bought several of these Back to School printed cardstock packages at Michaels and created a Class Photo Album!  I used a little 4x6 photo album from the Dollar Store and simply inserted the printed cardstock pages in the plastic sleeves.  I included a picture of each child along with their name.  The Class Photo Album is kept in the writing center so my students can use it for reference whenever they want to write a classmate's name.  It's a good way to practice putting faces and names together if you have a substitute, too.

I made an Environmental Print word wall!  It's nothing fancy at bulletin board paper, blue painter's tape, and an old alphabet poster!

The kids brought in baggies filled with words, logos, names of things they can READ!  Our goal is to have something for EVERY letter of the alphabet! 


Our Georgia weather is crazy!  We've had a few wonderful days of cooler temps and autumn breezes mixed among days where it's as hot and humid as the middle of summer.  I'm ready for FALL to be here so I've decorated with my pumpkin collection and put out the Bath & Body Works pumpkin soaps.  
Today I made a huge batch of applesauce!  I got a great deal on apples at our local Kroger...three big bags for only $3 total!  The nicest surprise was that the bags contained a great assortment of everything from Red Delicious to Galas and Fuji to Honeycrisps!  I used light brown sugar instead of white for a change and let the apples cook ALL day on low in the crockpot.  YUM!


I found a delicious recipe on Pinterest for Oreo Pumpkin Spice Truffles and made a tray to take to school tomorrow to share with my teacher friends!  They were really easy to make but good luck finding the limited edition Oreos!
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Friday, October 10, 2014

Five for Friday-Down on the Farm

Thank goodness it's Friday and we're getting a long weekend! 
My class finished our Farm unit and made the CUTEST books that I'm so anxious to share with you! 
For the COVER, each student was given a large red rectangle barn.  They snipped off a triangle shape from the top corners to make the roof of their barn and then cut white strips of construction paper to add details of a barn door.  

Each child cut a body & head, added facial details, and drew legs for their COW page. 

 I'm really LOVING this 5 legged bovine! 
The PIG page was created using three graduated sizes of circles. Templates made from a large dinner plate, bowl, and cup were transformed into the pig's body, head, and snout.   This feminine piggy looks like she can stand her ground with those big sturdy legs! 

 Our ROOSTER page reinforced reading color words as we watercolored this farm favorite.
The boys and girls got a big laugh out of tracing their shoes as the shape for the HORSE's head! 
Pretty white SHEEP were easily painted with little fingers.
These whimsical FARM books were a wonderful way to review several sight words and to give the children more opportunities in following step-by-step directions.    They're sure to be a hit with our Young 5's preschool families, too!
Click on over to Doodle Bugs Teaching Five for Friday to see what everyone is sharing today!
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