Saturday, June 24, 2017

An Elmer's Glue Craft: Caterpillar Pencil Toppers

I don’t know about your classrooms, but in my classroom the last few weeks of school are filled with fun Spring and end of the year activities. My
report cards are submitted, field trips are planned and being executed, and the end of year awards ceremony is coming up. I found the directions for these cute little pencil toppers on the Elmer’s Glue website under the Project Ideas tab. (This site has a ton of fantastic craft ideas! You should check it out!) The caterpillar pencil toppers were fun and relatively easy to do. I did a bunch of the prep ahead of time for the kids, so that craft time would run more smoothly and I set up my Educational
Assistant as the only person who was allowed to touch the hot glue gun! I would never trust my little ones to use a hot glue gun! I also told my students that we were using the ‘Elmer’s Xtreme White Glue’ I told them that this means that this type of glue holds better than regular white glue. And it also means that the glue gun is only going to used for the last part of the craft which is gluing the head of the caterpillar to the pencil, and the pipe cleaner antenna to the caterpillar’s head. This worked relatively well, and the glue gun was only used for the last steps. And the odd fix here and there (of course). 

What you need: 
-Coloured foam sheets
-White glue
-Goggly eyes 
-Pipe cleaners
-Pom poms 
-A hole punch 

1. Cut out a piece of foam 1 inch wide by 6 inches long and then fold the length of foam accordion style 6 times, so that folds are 1 inch apart. 
2. Using a hole puncher, punch a hole in each of the 6 parts of the foam. 

3. Take a pom pom (for the caterpillar’s head) and glue it to one end of the foam length. 

4. Bend the pipe cleaner into a cute antenna  shape. 

5. Use Elmer’s white glue to attach 2 goggly eyes and a small pom pom nose.

6. Feed your foam caterpillar’s body through the pencil, so that the whole length is secured on the pencil and pushed up near the pencil eraser. 

7. Have an adult use a hot glue gun to help students attach their antenna to the top of their caterpillar’s head and also the back of the head of the caterpillar to the pencil. (The caterpillar’s head is quite heavy and a little floppy. It is best if you secure the head with the hot glue gun). 

My students had a blast using their creativity and creating these cute little creatures, and in my opinion they turned out really well! As mentioned before, I did do some prep including cutting out all of the foam pieces, folding the foam lengths, and using a hole punch to punch all of the holes. I then set up all of the crafting supplies on a large table and set up the glue gun at a different table. As students completed their pencil toppers they met my fabulous Educational Assistant for the finish up with the hot glue gun! 

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Magazine Finish the Drawing Art

I know this art activity has been blogged about a lot, but my students did such a great job with their art I wanted to brag! This activity is super easy, all you need is paper, pencil crayons, and old magazines. Students first go through the magazines and
choose photographs that they want to cut in half and draw the other half first with pencil and then colouring with pencil crayons. Most of my students chose pictures of animals, but a few chose landscapes. This activity would be perfect for a Teacher on Call or as a spring art
activity. It might also be a good activity to pair with a symmetry unit and have your students focus on finding photographs in their magazines that have symmetry

If you like this activity and are looking for other art activities make sure to check out my Elements of Art Unit! This unit includes posters, task cards, and activities for each of the 7 elements of art. 

Exploring Your Natural Environment At the End of the School Year

This year my class is finishing off the school year with our Exploring Our Natural Environment Unit. So far the unit has been very successful! I have at least one student everyday ask me if we are going to go outside to learn today! I am very lucky that my school is really close to a forested area and it is a very short walk to the beach, so I have taken full advantage of the community's natural surroundings and all of the learning that can come from this diverse environment. 

Everyone in my class has choose their inquiry project topic and has completed their inquiry project presentation pitches and are well on their way with their research. During their project pitches students presented their project ideas to the class and got valuable feedback from their peers. 

Before choosing our inquiry project topics, we first explored our natural surroundings with an outdoor scavenger hunt! 
The outdoor scavenger hunt ended up taking my class two days to complete, and my class loved it! They had a blast! My students worked in partners, and they took turns writing down the answers to the questions on the task cards on a their shared clipboard interactive notebook templates. Which can be found in my Exploring Our Local Environment Unit. 

My students were all actively engaged and were excited to share and compare their findings from
their hunt with their classmates. After our scavenger hunt, we then went back outdoors and narrowed in on one nature item to complete our ‘A Close Up Of…” magnifying glass activity. Examples of items that my students chose for this activity include: a pine cone, a blade of grass, a slug, a ladybug, a twig, and other items from our natural envirnment. 

In addition to working on our individual inquiry projects students also completed a variety of other graphic organizers and interactive notebook
templates that can be found in my Exploring Your Natural Environment Unit. Students completed a cute foldable where they listed living things that live near their community and also  completed a food chain for our natural surroundings.  My Students have enjoyed learning about our natural surroundings, getting outdoors to learn, and also choosing their own inquiry questions and getting to research a topic that they care about! My students choose great questions such as: How does the ocean keep itself clean? Why are owls nocturnal? Why do geese migrate and where do they go? Why do wolves live in packs? My students have shown passion towards their questions, and their projects are really coming along! I couldn't have asked for a better way to wrap up the end of the school year, and all of the templates, pacing calendars, self and teacher assessment pages that you and your students will need are all included in this fabulous unit!