Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Holiday Spirit

The holidays are fast approaching.  It's not even Thanksgiving yet and we're getting into the Christmas holiday spirit.  We found this Santa hat at our local grocery store.  It says "Merry Christmas, Eh!" I thought it was hilarious since I grew up near the Canadian border watching Canadian television. My daughter just loved the hat! She really loves her holidays.

There's nothing like a bit of holiday crafting to get you in the holiday spirit. We've been making different types of snowflakes.  The preschool department is in charge of the holiday party at my new school, so we've been experimenting with snowflake decorations. 

I made these snowflakes from an old phonics workbook that hasn't been used in a million years.  I used this tutorial.    I love how they look hung up by my fireplace. Beware, they look awesome but are very time consuming. Between the time spent on them and the fact that I love them so much I've decided they'll be staying at my house.

 I made this one from card stock. It was much less time consuming and I think it turned out to be really cute. I think this one can go to school to be used as a party decoration.  Of course I'm thinking I need some more of these woven paper snowflakes to decorate the stairs in my front entryway. While I'm making those I can  make more for the school party as well.

I also made this huge snowflake for the holiday party at school.  It's about three feet high. It's going to be sprayed with adhesive and sprinkled with silver glitter before being hung up. 

I joined Val's Christmas ornament swap.  I created the owl ornaments but decided they weren't Christmas-y so instead I made these wool Santas.  I just sent them off to Val's house today. I'm excited to see what everyone else made for the swap. Check out Val's flickr page to see what other people have created.

 When I was playing around with ideas for a new Christmas ornament I made this button ornament for myself.  I wired the buttons on so I'm not sure how well it will hold up.  I guess I'll have to put it on the tree and test it out. I think I might do something I never do, put the tree up right after Thanksgiving.  I'm getting excited about it, I think the holiday spirit is in the air.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Little Hands

I've been a special ed teacher for a lot of years. I love what I do.  With the need for confidentiality, I feel like there is a big part of my life that I don't get to share with others. I can't share photos of students or talk about the progress my students make.

 Today I have a photograph that I can share; it's simple but it says a lot. This photo was taken at school this week. We're doing an "All About Me" theme so we read the book Shades of People. The book ends with a photo like this. We decided that we would take a picture of our hands just like the book. I just love those little hands!  They represent five unique little people who are all amazing; I'm lucky that I get to be their teacher.

 This is a rainbow hair display created by one of the paras in my room. Chrisann hung this cute little rainbow hair guy in my classroom window.  We took some great pictures of the kids in front of rainbow hair guy. The kids painted the paper for the hair. We also made Rainbow Hair books using Deanna Jump's book. I love this emergent reader because the kids can read it by themselves.

Sometimes the oldies really are the goodies; we've been singing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes. I remember singing that when I was in kindergarten. Yep it's still a great song to sing when you're teaching body parts. We've been labeling the body parts on this little boy I created.  Next week we're working on a Pledge of Allegiance mini unit. It's the first time I've done a unit on the pledge so I'm excited about it.

 Visuals for school have become my new creative outlet but I've even done a bit of crafting at home. I made these owls for Val's Christmas ornament swap. They need to meet the theme Christmas so I either need to add something or create some other ornaments before this weekend.  I'm leaning toward creating new ornaments.

 Hurricane Sandy blew threw last week and left many sticks and broken limbs.  Clean up scmean up, no need.  I grabbed some twigs off the lawn and spray painted them white.  Now they are decorating my fireplace.  The owls found their way into the branches and I like them there.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Getting Crafty With the Pumpkins

Nature Girl has been getting crafty with her pumpkins.  Her school had a pumpkin decorating contest.  She planned out what she wanted to create on a Monday night.  She decided to make a monster, but by the time Tuesday rolled around and it was time to start crafting she rethought her idea and went in a totally different direction; pirates!  She made a hat, parrot, treasure chest, ship and sword(not school appropriate) from foam and put it all together with clear packing tape.  The tape didn't stick the best so we put it all together with a hot glue gun and sent it off to school for the contest next week.  I just love that she came up with her own ideas and was able to make and include little props to set the scene.  She is so creative. It's just so much fun to give her some materials and set her loose to create. 

 I'm still being creative but it looks a bit different these days. I started a new job this fall teaching preschool.  I've taught preschool before but I've spent the last four years teaching 4th grade special ed.  I cleaned out the attic last year and got rid of the majority of my preschool materials thinking I wouldn't need them.  Now I'm kicking myself because I'm having to remake things.  Of course I have to admit that I am enjoying the creative side of preschool.  I've been making visuals for school including this pumpkin faces chart.  We used it to vote on what face to carve on our pumpkin. (In case you're curious; triangle eyes, triangle nose and the first mouth were the winners.)

I love using chart paper to write out our songs, poems and nursery rhymes.  Last weekend while we watched a movie I wrote out the Five Little Pumpkins and made little pumpkins that velcro on to the fence posts. I like to make our stories and songs interactive.
I also made birds for Two Little Black Birds.  I try to include a few nursery rhymes each month, it's funny how they aren't taught anymore. I like them so I try to find ways to include them in our curriculum. Next up is a friendship and Thanksgiving theme followed by 5 senses. I still need to choose our nursery rhymes for next month and I also want to throw in a mini unit on the Pledge of Allegiance for Veteran's Day. So many ideas, so little time! Needless to say, I'm still being creative it's just in a different way than my usual craftiness.