Thursday, 10 January 2013

Rudolf the red nosed Reindeer activity

Another great Christmas activity I came across was from "Just Wild About Teaching" blog, where she has created a fantastic Christmas pack that contains this wonderful Rudolf the Reindeer craft activity. But to make this activity even more special, it encourages the children to write about what they would do if they had their own reindeer. My little cherubs had so much fun with this activity, I don't think they even knew they were doing work!

A few tips when doing this activity:
1. Do a step-by-step explanation. It can be quite complicated for little ones to do all at once, so I first got my kidlets to go and cut out all their pieces, then once they had done that got them to come back in small groups and we went around and stuck the various pieces on the corresponding coloured paper (as you can see below). Some still managed to stuff this up, but I feel that's part of the assessment  - listening and following instructions.

2. Once they have gone away and glued all the pieces on correctly and cut those out, have them return and go through how to piece the reindeer together. Once they have done this, they can go and write about what they would do if they had a reindeer.

These will brighten up any classroom in the lead up to the festive season. While it is time consuming and somewhat fiddly, it is an activity that the children will really enjoy - I promise!

Friday, 4 January 2013

A quick, easy, low fuss science lesson

Need a fun, quick and easy science experiment for any age group? This is a simple one, and you've probably got the ingredients in your cupboard right now! 

All you need is:
* 1.25L soft drink bottle (per student/group)
* 1 balloon (per student/group)
* 1tsp baking soda/bi-carb soda
* 2 tbsp white vinegar

The procedure is as follows:
* Place the bottle on the table and remove the lid. Carefully pour or spoon 2 tablespoons of vinegar into the bottle.
* Open up the mouth of the balloon (put the first two fingers, not the thumb, on each hand inside the mouth of the balloon and stretch). Have a friend put 1 teaspoon of baking soda into the balloon with the spoon you have not used.
* Without spilling any of the baking soda, stretch the mouth of the balloon over the mouth of the bottle.
Turn the balloon completely upright so that the baking soda inside the balloon pours into the bottle with the vinegar. Watch!

I did this experiment on a casual day. The school is notoriously tough, but I was thrilled to see how engaged and enthusiastic the kids were about this activity - even the writing up process!! 

So don't be afraid by doing a science experiment - some of the best ones are the simplest!
You can grab a copy of the writing element FOR FREE from my stores. 

An oldie, but a goodie!

Thinking up Christmas activities that the kids in my class would not have done already was tricky - I wanted to make sure that the activities were new and fresh and kept the children engaged throughout the term. 

So, when it doubt, think back to some of the things you made as a kid at this time of year. One of the easiest is the Magazine Christmas tree. Most families will have at least one magazine lying around at home, and that's really all you need! The rest is a simple folding technique! Check out this great video tutorial (and many others like it on YouTube) for how to make these easy and very decorative trees!

Apologies for Delayed Postings...

My sincere apologies to everyone for my lack of posting these past few months - it has been a very hectic time! We've been getting the house ready to begin our renovations this month, we are due with baby no.2 in June (and I have been VERY unwell so far) and the end of the school year doesn't get any easier - even if you only work one day a week! I hope everyone had a wonderful end to the school year, and has enjoyed all the festivities over this wonderful season of Christmas and New Year!

During the final school term, I was working on a Wednesday with my year 2 class, and I was given the task of teaching Art. I created the Art program for the whole stage, and the other teachers and I decided that we would teach it as a whole grade, therefore making a Wednesday afternoon Art afternoon - which you can guess the children thoroughly looked forward too! So my next few posts will be show casing our artworks - many of which were new to me, having found the activities on other bloggers sites!

The first activity we first created at the start of the term was this Nativity scene - a wonderful art activity shared by Gail Bartel on her blog over at The Artistic Woman. You can find all the instructions and the template over at her blog - the only thing I did differently with my students was I got them to paste their silhouette cut-outs on the BACK of the black brenex paper, so that when they cut them out they all you saw was the black shape. (I also got them to stick the star shape onto some shiny gold or silver paper).

Most students followed the instructions well, BUT I would suggest doing the project in stages - i.e. discuss the whole project, but explain the painting process first, then go through the cutting and pasting of the silhouette process after. You can see how well the paintings turned out, and the beauty of this activity is that no two artworks are the same.