Friday, October 21, 2011


I came across THIS HILARIOUS
Post from Happyplace that has some samples of children's writing gone bad.
** warning not kid appropriate ** 
but oh so funny for the big people.
here are a few of the samples:


Wednesday, October 19, 2011


For this group activity we start by explaining we are going to build our own 'blue room spider web'. The children are always interested right from the get go. I grab the spool of blue yarn and let them know that they can only pass on the yarn to someone by calling their name and then they have to give them a compliment (we explain that this is saying something nice about someone). I start off by picking someone that may be having a rough day or I just feel could use the first pick me up. Every year the compliments are different, some years it's all mostly "I like your shirt or shoes" type comments and some years, like this one, the kids are a little more open to exposing themselves and dig a little deeper. It was a wonderful thing to hear them passing the yarn and calling out a friends name and telling them they love them. This definitely needs my help to facilitate, I take the yarn through the middle to the next person receiving both the compliment and the next part of the web, and it usually requires me to constantly reminders children to hold their part of the yarn still and don't pull it or they will break the web. I've had a great amount of luck with this activity every year though. The kids get another tie in to our arachnid theme but more importantly they all see the value in their kindness.
This picture is so not website worthy but hey, it's late. And that's the only one I have. You get what you get and you don't throw a fit :-)


SpinnennetzpdImage via Wikipedia
I'm not sure where I learned this from. I'm  thinking  it may have been someone at my previous school that showed me this cool lesson.
Anyways we did the experiment again today just like we do every year when we are studying arachnids, and just like every other year it was a huge success. The children love it and it is a hands on way to teach them something

 about spiders. I found this description of the lesson here at Scholastic Teacher :
Sticky Web Science focus: Survival strategies What to do: Spiders use their webs to catch prey. But how do spiders crawl across their webs and not get caught themselves? They have a special oil on their legs. Here's an easy way to show students how this works. Place a piece of contact paper sticky side up on the table. Now, use yarn to create a spider web. Tell the kids to pretend their fingers are spider legs and to try to "walk" across the web. They will stick to it. Next, have students dip their fingers in vegetable oil and do the same experiment-and they will see how much easier it is!

This is basically the same as our experiment except we just used a piece of the stickiest tape (packaging tape) and first let the children feel how sticky it was then we used a small amount of baby oil in a bowl and they took turns feeling the 'sticky web' after having oil on their fingers. They were amazed at how their fingers  were able to just glide over the once tacky tape. 


I picked out Mr Seahorse from our book cabinet today to read to the children. It is one of the few Eric Carle books I've never read before, I was so happy I finally did. The book has tons of great factoids about 'father' sea creatures and
 how they care for their eggs and young. The kids (and teachers) found all the facts so interesting and all the information was perfectly short and direct so I never felt I was trying to force info into wandering attention spans. 
Check out this page by clicking here for even more fascinating facts from national geographic.   

Another awesome thing about the book was all the great camouglaged ocean animals hidden behind beautifully illustrated acetate pages. 
 There was some hidden behind seaweed, coral reef and a rock.This book is now  a 'must read' on our bookshelf partly because they get to expose those animals in hiding by lifting the acetate pages.
Which is ALWAYS a fun thing!

My absolute favorite part though was the chance to put dads in the highlight. And Mr. Seahorse couldn't be a better representative for all the Dads out there.  When Mrs.Seahorse announces that it is time for her to lay her eggs, Mr. Seahorse humbly asks, “Can I help?” She then lays her eggs into a pouch in the belly of her mate, who lovingly announces, “I’ll take good care of our eggs....I promise.”
 Then the great dad, goes on to meet other fish who are also carrying—or protecting—eggs, such as Mr. Tilapia, who carries eggs in his mouth, and Mr.Kurtus, who has stuck his mate’s eggs on top of his head. The chipper Mr. Seahorse gives each words of encouragement (“Keep up the good work”; “You must be very happy”; “You are doing a fine job”).  
He's such a great guy, don't you think? 
His Momma would be so proud. 

We used this as a jumping board to discuss all the things our dads do for us and how they help take care of us.

  • Make sure to check out playingbythebook they have tons of wonderful reviews and lessons all based on kids books. Check out their ocean and seas lesson plans here for more book ideas, some great crafts, links and printables. 
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Thursday, October 6, 2011


This little guy is only 2.5 and can spell three letter phonetic words, can match all the lower case alphabet to upper case, can spell his name, knows all his numbers from 1-100. His behavior was not so great when he first began school, but he has made a drastic change since starting school.  I'm hopeful he is one of our long term returning montessori students. I look forward to the challenge of having such a high flyer through the three year cycle

WE LOVE BOOKS IN OUR CLASS !!!! This is our after lunch routine while we wait for the others to finish or until we are able to line up for the playground, 
This Birthday Card lesson is a favorite with teachers and students alike. We set this lesson up each time someone in our class is celebrating their birthday. The kids love making the cards for the special birthday friend and of course the birthday child feels so special going home with 19 handmade cards from their friends.
And a FAVORITE practical life lesson 
5 little speckled frogs sitting on a speckled log.  


We had a hard job the beginning of this year, WE were the class everyone talked about. The kids started out completely out of control and they were all feeding off each others negative behavior.I never would have thought that only six weeks into school I would honestly say I feel like we crossed to the other side. We still have our issues and things we are constantly reminding the children of, but I can tell you they are all smart as a whip, hard workers,, they've become so much kinder towards each other, and they are all doing their best to follow the tules and they are developing amazing self control in such a short time.  and they all are doing wonderful. It took a lot out of us in the beginning, but we remained consistent, stood by the ground rules and we also made it a priority to build the children up in the process. We complimented every small achievement we could and we tried our best to show them that we were happy they were there (even when we might not have felt it)Heres to a great year Blue Room!