Friday, March 21, 2014

Peas, Please Storytime

Yep, you read it right, I did a Pea Storytime with my preschoolers. I was trolling Pinterest, yet again, and I found so many cute Peas in a Pod pins. There was a "healthy eating" undertone to the week, but it really was Pea-driven.

I was inspired by Lindsy at Preschool Alphabet, I would have loved to make her "Princess and the Pea" flannel set, but time got away from me. Speaking of which, has anyone ever made a full-on 3-D "Princess and the Pea" manipulative set? I think it just got added to my To-Do list.

I started by reading Little Pea by Amy Krouse Rosenthal and both the kids and I loooooved it! I'm a huge fan of hers, all the books in her "Little ..." series are fantastic!

Leah at Toddler Storytime introduced me to the "5 Little Peas" song and it was a big hit!

Five Little Peas
 Five little peas in a pea pod pressed
(hold fists in front of you with your knuckles pressed together)
  One grew, two grew and so did all the rest
(on one hand pull one finger out of the fist at a time as you count up)
They grew and they grew
(begin to pull hands apart)
And they did not stop
(hands are as wide apart as possible now)
Until one day, that pod went, Pop!
(Clap hands loudly)
 I thought LMNO Peas by Keith Baker would have been popular, as well, but it was a little too overwhelming for the kids. We ended up just reciting the alphabet and laughing at all the funny things the peas were doing.
Lastly, I read There Was an Odd Princess Who Swallowed a Pea by Jennifer Ward. Hmmm... What can I say about this one? This book is entertaining and hilarious for adults and older kids but for my little kiddos, they were shocked and terrified by this chubby cannibalistic princess. I got a lot of questions and several furrowed brows. Fun book, just not right for my preschoolers.
And these cute little guys? Why, they were just for fun, of course! And terribly simple. I cut a piece of felt, sewed the ends while holding the little curlicues (whatever they're called...) in place. I added googly eyes to some green puff balls and voilĂ ! The peas were removable so they could pop out of the pod :-)


Thursday, March 13, 2014

The I've-Been-Featured-Happy-Dance

That's right, I'm doing a little happy dance. Well, it's a rather big happy dance, actually. I've been featured! You might have noticed that I recently added to my blog, my Digital Age Teaching badge through Tamritz and was then featured in their newsletter! How exciting!

Tamritz Badge Learning:
Tamritz Badge Learning:
Tamritz is a digital badge learning network designed by Sarah Blattner, specifically geared towards Jewish day schools. I earned my Digital Age Teaching badge from Tamritz, which included the following badge courses: Learner 2.0, PLNs (Professional & Personal Learning Networks), Digital Citizenship, Create 2.0 and Learning Design. Course participants explore a variety of topics from social bookmarking to netiquette to copyright to game-based learning and beyond (way, way beyond).
 Tamritz Badge Learning:
Tamritz is currently accepting new students and courses for teachers start in June. Find the details here. It was a great experience and one I would highly recommend. Particularly to those that have a one-to-one or BYOD program or are currently exploring the idea of adopting such a program in the future.

Follow Tamritz on Twitter @TamritzLearning.

Perpetual student, that's me. Thank goodness there are always ample opportunities to learn cool stuff from cool people.


Thursday, March 6, 2014

I Spy... Colored Rice!

I am absolutely loving library centers in kindergarten and first grade, the kids are so engaged! I have been scouring Pinterest for new center ideas and I recently came across MaryLea's Rainbow Rice Eye Spy Bottles on Pink and Green Mama. Not only are they so much fun, they're also crazy easy to make. I've been meaning to make colored rice for a long time, but I have always put it off because I thought it was super labor-intensive... Not with MaryLea's recipe! It was so easy that I almost couldn't believe it!

I started with cheap white rice, a bottle of clear hand sanitizer with a pump, basic food coloring and plastic Ziploc bags.
I made the six colors of the rainbow, but you could make any color that is possible to create using food coloring. I poured one cup of rice into each bag.
I added four pumps of hand sanitizer to each bag of rice.
I then added four drops of color to each bag. For combination colors like orange and purple, I used two drops of each necessary color. You can adjust this to your liking.
Time to seal the bags and mix. It didn't take much, I just gave them a gentle massage and the color was nicely dispersed.
I opened all the bags and let them air dry overnight. It worked great. The alcohol in the hand sanitizer makes it so the rice dries very quickly.
Now, let your imagination run wild! I made I Spy bottles using beads, sequins, stickers, pom-poms and other trinkets from around the school.
The sky is truly the limit for this stuff! As soon as Art Teacher Extraordinaire saw the rice, she immediately decided to make some and incorporate it into a Navajo sand painting lesson. We also thought it would be great to do a collaborative project using the rice to create Starry Night-like pieces of art. Just imagine the possibilities!

Rainbow Rice Recipe
1 cup of white rice
4 pumps of clear hand sanitizer
4 drops of food coloring

Mix in a closed plastic baggie until all color is evenly incorporated. Open bag until rice is thoroughly dried.


Monday, March 3, 2014

Happy Birthday to You, Dr. Seuss

My dear librarian friend and Dr. Seuss happen to share birthdays (well, almost) and I was digging deep into the recesses of my brain to come up with something worthy of both extraordinary librarian friend and the one-and-only Dr. Seuss. Well, this is what I came up with...

My Head of School once made the comment, "I thought I was crazy, then I met Becky" is now documented as justifiable. But, I love my job (and my friends) and if that makes me a little bit crazy, then so be it.
I did, in fact, do a live version of the birthday song for the entire lower school (to honor Dr. Seuss, of course) and it was a bit hit. Well, except for the kid that came up to me afterwards and said, "Oh my gosh. I'm so embarrassed for you."

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