Friday, December 30, 2011

Financial Friday: A Pack of Construction Paper

 A pack of construction paper can create many, many learning opportunities.

My local Big Lots always has nice pads of construction paper for $1. This one dollar always provides endless projects and hours of learning. Ty and Za create art and presents, and even decorate for the holidays.

Last year we made a Christmas paper chain and practiced sorting, counting, and sharing.

This year's paper chain for the playroom.

We are taking our Christmas decorations down, which includes cleaning up the kids' playroom. Za wanted to cut the strips of paper and while I knew this would be messy, I knew I should let her because it is great practice with the scissors.

Za's cutting project.

Sure enough, she started cutting and playing with the little pieces. Then she added them to bowls in her pretend kitchen.

Her homemade salad. Next time, we'll add "mushrooms" and "onions" too.

Viola! A "salad." I never thought to turn used construction paper into pretend food, but it is an idea we'll have to use again. Stretching the pad of construction paper even farther? - an easy Financial Friday project, almost free.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Sub Plans

My children were both sick the other day, so I had to call into work at my new job for the first time. Luckily, I live close enough to this job that I am able to run up to my classroom and set up plans. They look so tidy:

I think it is also a nice summary of what I am teaching, from left to right:
(my red grade-book)
American Literature
British Literature
That Was Then, This Is Now
Killing Mr. Griffin 
Anne Frank

I also did my sub plans differently than in previous years. At this school (it is tiny - we have 5 teachers total) the teachers take turn covering the classes. I wrote directions on a piece of paper - one  piece of paper per class. It worked well and I hope it was less confusing than a long set of directions would be.

Monday, December 12, 2011

The Chocolate War: Review Day

I recently finished teaching The Chocolate War by Robert Cormier. (This was my first time teaching it. I found it to be fabulous young adult literature, with strong anti-bullying themes. My students also liked it).

For fun on review day, this is what greeted my students:

Chocolates in "Trinity" boxes as well as homemade brownies. A sweet treat, for my sweet seniors.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Learning Is Everywhere, Especially With Mom's Stuff

Learning Is Everywhere!

Just ask my Ty. While I painstakingly decorated our banister for Christmas, Ty took several cable ties (more than pictured) and began turning them into numbers. He proudly exclaimed, "mom! numbers!" He made 1's, and several 6's and 9's. I think the ties are really difficult to bend, so he didn't make many other numbers, aside from a few really large 4's.

The number 1's and 4's really caused no problem, but I had many cable ties ruined from the 6's and the 9's (pictured).

I ran out of ties and had to substitute with tape (which will probably fall) but it is darn hard to get mad at a kid for ruining your supplies in the name of learning. I always try to show him that learning is everywhere, and if this is the result, I'll take it. 

Happy Holiday Season everyone! Sorry for the spotty posting. I have been very busy teaching full-time. I shall get back to blogging once I catch my breath, even if that means June.