Thursday, May 4, 2017

Earth Day

Earth Day Videos & Songs 
For Kids

Video:  Reading Rainbow:  How Trash is Recycled

Video:  The Magic School Bus Gets Planted

The Earth Song, By Nick Kello:  A calming song about taking care of the earth with amazing photographs from around the world. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Marbled Paper

Shaving Cream Marbled Paper

You can use this marbled paper technique for a variety of classroom projects, whether it be to enhance students writing through illustrations, create colorful kites, Easter eggs or even create a mini planet Earth for Earth Day, the possibilities are endless!
Shaving Cream by meghan
You Will Need:
Shaving cream
Acrylic Paints
Large Pan / Tray
Toothpick / Pencil
Card stock
Scraper / Ruler

If you don't mind getting messy then this is the craft for you!

First spray a layer of shaving cream onto a pan/tray (you can line with aluminum foil for easier clean up).  Next, randomly squirt or dollop your acrylic paints over the shaving cream (I used pastels for kites, but blues and greens would look great for an Earth Day project)! 

Next, drag a toothpick or a pencil to create vertical and horizontal lines like a checkerboard pattern. A random swirl pattern would also work just fine. Then place the card stock face down onto the shaving cream and paint mixture and pat down gently, then slowly lift up the card stock. Warning:  It will look really messy at this point!

Finally use a ruler or scraper to scrape off the excess shaving cream and lay card stock flat to dry. Cut paper into desired shape.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Children In Nature

Living and teaching children in New Hampshire I feel privileged that I am able to teach children who are surrounded by nature.  We have easy access to a school nature trail and use the FOSS science program to teach our unit on New Plants.  One lesson we do is grow our own mini-lawns with rye grass and alfalfa. 

Students observe plant development
Record and communicate observations in words and drawings
Compare the development of different kinds of plants
Organize representations of lawns to show the sequence of events during growth and mowing

If you've never read the book, Last Child in the Woods by Richard Louv, I would highly recommend it!  The book brings to light the increasing divide between young children and the natural world. 

Friday, April 7, 2017

Moon Dough

Moon Dough

A simple sensory material made with 2 common household ingredients:  corn starch and conditioner!

 This could also be called play-doh but because I didn't want to add any dye and it is SO soft, I called it moon dough, which somehow made it sound even more exciting to my 2nd Graders. They worked collaboratively in groups to make a large batch of moon dough, which we later divided among each group member to take home in a Ziploc bag. This was a really fun, easy and realatively inexpensive (think enough for 24 students) activity for kids.  Feel free to download and use the Moon Dough directions below with your students:
Moon Dough by Mrs. Mayhew on Scribd

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Reading Buddies

In our second grade class we have kindergarten reading buddies.  Depending on our schedules we meet once a week for a 20-30 minute block. We start the year off with the older buddy reading to the younger buddy and as the year progresses, both buddies get a chance to read to one another.  Sometimes we change up this time together and do a fun art project, game or other cooperative activity.  There are numerous benefits of buddy reading for both individuals involved (improved fluency, expression, self-confidence, leadership skills, oral abilities, friendships, etc). Teacher Vision has a great article sharing some of the research behind the benefits of Buddy Reading along with the logistics and set up which you can read here: Reading Buddies.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Day 100

How do you celebrate Day 100 in your classroom? 
We made 100 day necklaces using fruit loops and apple jacks. Yum, the classroom sure did smell delicious!  Prior to the activity, as a class we discussed the different ways to group 100 (ex- 5 groups of 20, 10 groups of 10, 4 groups of 25, etc.), then the students decided how they wanted to group their cereal for their individual necklaces.  
In conjunction with Day 100 the second graders also had a homework assignment to bring in a collection of 100 and represent it in any way they would like.  The homework assignment was inspired by the book, Fancy Nancy, The 100th Day of School.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Global School Play Day

February 1st, 2017 is Global School Play Day!  This is an exciting initiative which was started by a small group of educators to bring back the importance and emphasis on unstructured play in children.  After reading more about this initiative, it looked really appealing and I was determined to give this a go in my own classroom.  I would encourage every educator to partake in this fun event! Visit the Global School Play Day website to register your class or school for free. 

Here are some images and student reflections from our fun day of play:

 A quick TED Talk from Professor Peter Gray (researcher at Boston College in children’s play) to teachers about participating in with Global School Play Day:

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!

Gung Hay Fat Choy! Happy Chinese New Year!  This is the year of the Rooster! Roosters are hard working, talented, capable and enjoy a good adventure!  They like to travel and wake up early with the rising sun. 

In our class we celebrate the Chinese New Year by reading some books:

Followed by making lanterns and practicing painting some Chinese symbols: