Sunday, March 1, 2015

Types of Clouds - Engaging Activities to Help Retain Information

In science, we've been working on an in-depth weather unit, focusing on air, the atmosphere, precipitation, severe weather storms, and clouds.

To learn the types of clouds, we took notes in our interactive notebooks:
Stay tuned for a giveaway :)

We sang a great (albeit cheesy!) Cloud Song to the tune of "The Farmer in the Dell" which I found on (AWESOME website, by the way!)
We then practiced "creating" clouds in two ways:
First, with cotton balls
Storm in the Night  Lots of cool ideas for clouds, water cycle, weather
And then, for the more tactile learners...
Shaving cream! :)
At first, of course, we had 30 seconds to play in it:
Then we got down to business shaping the different cloud types: 
While I hope the students retain the different types of cloud shapes, I KNOW that they all went home, clamoring about how they got to play with shaving cream in class! Happy students = happy teacher :)

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Pointillism - AKA Painting with Q-Tips!

Happy Saturday!

After a longggg week, I am basking in the gloriousness that is a weekend :)

This morning my hubby and I stole away for an early morning date: delicious donuts and a crisp walk through a beautiful park.
We are sooo excited about our little boy joining our family in May, but I am already starting to feel the shift in relationship between the two of us. We want to savor the time we have left as a family of two.

This week was chocked-full of fun activities in the classroom, more of which I'll be sharing about this week. Today, I'm going to share a quick and easy art activity that we tried.
We've been studying different art techniques and this month we focused on pointillism. We studied George Seurat, a French painter known for his pointillism paintings:
GEORGES SEURAT(1859-1891) Detail: 'A Sunday Afternoon on the Île de la Grande Jatte', 1884 (oil on canvas)Pointallism | .Georges Pierre Seurat was a French Post-Impressionist painter and draftsman. He is noted for his innovative use of drawing media and for devising a technique of painting known as pointillism.
Each student was given a piece of paper, some paint, and q-tips.
We discussed primary colors and secondary colors, and then experimented with how to blend the different colors to create new paint options.
Rainbow Colors | Primary and Secondary Colors Mixing Activity | Visual Arts | Preschool Lesson Plan Printable Activities
They brainstormed a little and then got to work!
The beauty of pointillism is that up close, it looks like a bunch of dots, but when you hold the paper away from you, the picture comes into view. 
Here are some of the final products:

It was relatively quick, easy to do, and rewarding for the kiddos.
Why don't you give it a try in your classroom?

I'm joining my blogging buddy, Joanne, from 
Hop on over to her blog to see other motivating ideas!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Bird's-Eye View Snowmen: Easy Art Project

Hello friends!
Today I want to share a really cute art project that my 5th graders did this week. In art class, we discussed perspective and looked an examples of a "bird's eye" or aerial view of things. Then we set to work creating a snowman from a bird's-eye view:
Aren't they cute?!?
I found the idea on Pinterest - where else? :)

Here's a step-by-step of our project (picture heavy!)
We passed out the supplies:
Each student got a piece of paper, some watercolors, pastels, and a baggie filled with white paper for the snowballs, scrapbook paper for the scarf, brown paper for the arms, and an orange scrap for the carrot nose.
Then the students drew all over their paper with a white crayon.
Yes, white crayon on white paper.
They drew snowflakes, swirls, and flurries.
Then they used blue watercolors to paint over the entire page, creating the background of our artwork: 
We set the backgrounds to dry: 
And got to work creating our snowmen: 
We then took pastels, traced around the outside, and rubbed around the edges of each snow ball: 
We layered the snowballs, putting a small square of cardboard between each layer to add depth: 
And voila!
 Here's the bulletin board:
 It was a fun and easy project that the kids thoroughly enjoyed!

I;m linking the idea up with my friend, Joanne, from "Head Over Heels for Teaching"

Pop over to her page to see other motivating ideas!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Penguin Classroom Door Decor

Happy Hump Day, friends!
Here's a quick post to brighten your day:
How cute is this door decor?

Do you ever decorate your door?

Link up your picture posts with Miss DeCarbo:

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tried It Tuesday: Heat & Energy Teaching Ideas

Hello friends!
Happy Tuesday :)

Today I want to share with you some activities we did in our recent science unit on Heat & Energy.

Now, this unit is tough, filled with difficult concepts and unfamiliar vocabulary. So, I found/made a few items to supplement our curriculum:

Here's a great example of an anchor chart, discussing the different types of energy and a quick follow-up sorting activity for the visual learners in your class:
Mrs. Richardson's Class: science  Forms of EnergyThis is an activity that you can use when you are teaching about the different forms of energy.
Now we don't have science interactive notebooks (we do for reading, grammar, and Bible), but I wanted to incorporate some interactive note-taking into our study. So, I gave each student a piece of construction paper and we filled it up with foldables - in essence, we pieced together our study guide, one topic at a time. 

Here are some action shots of my kiddos working on their foldables each day:
You can check out these foldables (and much more!) in my Heat & Energy Interactive Notebook Foldables packet, available on TPT.

We also watched this video on heat by Bill Nye

We also did a couple of cool experiments:
This idea, which came from "First Grade Wow!" showed the difference that the temperature of water has on a substance.
Put glowsticks in ice and hot water.  Look at the difference!!!

We also tested to see which melted faster:
Whole peppermints or crushed peppermints (tying it back into our discussion of matter and surface area from a previous chapter)

I don't know if you've tried out Study Jams in your classroom, but we LOVE them! Here's are some fun activities to show your kiddos about energy, light, and sound:
StudyJams! Heat

Well, I hope these ideas help you to make your study of Heat and Energy more engaging!
I'm linking these ideas up with Holly from "Fourth Grade Flipper"