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Monday, September 5, 2011

Fathers Day Craft

Yay! I love Fathers Day! Another occasion to get out the crafty materials and create cutesy little crafts with my little lovelies.

I'm probably going to repeat myself endlessly here, but.... there is a BIG place for crafts in the classroom. Cutting and sticking skills are pretty shocking these days (yes, I am old), even in my nine year old students. Pride in presentation is also something that is often lacking, and little craft projects are just PERFECT for this!

For Fathers Day this year, we followed the crafty theme of popsicle stick photo frames (as seen on Mothers Day). This time the frame said "My Dad is a star", rather than the jigsaw decorations. I set my Fathers Day gear up with three tasks... a card, a 'greatest dad in the world' certificate, and the craft table. The craft is a compulsory activity, while the other two are optional. However, there is the expectation that the children will spend the entire lesson MAKING, rather than talking or mucking around. As this is seen as a 'fun' activity, there are usually very few complaints.

First, I showed the children the finished craft project. I demonstrated how they could draw their own cardboard stars, or how to use a stencil (MS Word clipart printed out) to draw their stars. It was surprising how many children had never used a stencil before. Then we looked at coloring- how to get bright, vibrant colors, and the importance of not missing spots (honestly, they still miss spots!). I called the children up in groups of 4 or 5 to make their frames once their decorations were complete, while the rest are preparing their frame decorations, or completing a card or certficate.

The frames themselves are very simple. Four popsicle sticks, hot glued together to make a square. Then we hot glued on our cardboard stars, and a little paper message "My Dad is a star!".

Next, we flipped it over and worked from the back of the frame. We glued a square of laminate to create a 'glass' effect. The laminate is offcuts from our large format laminator at school. Apparently it takes a while to warm up, and in doing so runs through a bit of laminate. The resource lady saves this laminate for me, and we create fun projects like this!

After that we hot glued in a recent photo of ourselves, followed by a cardboard backing. Easy peasy! If I was to do this project again, I would probably give the children a magnet to glue on the back, making a cute fridge frame.

Funnily enough, I did not need to monitor the children with the hot glue... they knew not to burn themselves and were very safe and responsible. However they do not understand that it dries fast... and would often pile on massive loads so slowly that it would dry before they could attach the next piece. Another next learning step for our crafty activities!

Place Value Charts

Its been a while since I last updated this blog, so I am going to do a bit of an 'idea vomit', as I have been stockpiling ideas and just haven't gotten around to getting them up online lately.

In Math we have been looking at place value a fair bit lately, developing their number knowledge. We have been using a lot of concrete materials- beans, iceblock sticks, unifix cubes, money etc. I am now trying to link the more abstract with the concrete- using place value 'house charts', where the children need to image the materials and quickly tell me how many tens/ones are in a number.

Quite frankly, my slow brain does not generate numbers fast enough. The poor thing finds it hard enough to make my body breathe, talk and eat, without generating random numbers for the children to computate. After a while I realised I was using the same digits over and over, and completely forgetting digits like '7'. Poor 7.

In the interest of using completely random two digit numbers, and saving my brain from a complete meltdown, I decided to use dice to generate my numbers. I roll two dice, one goes in the 'tens' column, the other in the 'ones' column. The children then read the number, and tell me how many 'tens and ones' there are in the number. I just love these large foam dice I bought from a local emporium (6 for $2). Bargain!
Yes, I did realise that these dice only deal with the digits 1-6. So after a while of using the dice, we switched up our equipment to.... playing cards!
I have millions of packets of playing cards in the classroom, they are handy for lots of things (these ones were 50cents a packet at the same emporium.. double bargain!). In this instance, I have removed the tens and picture cards, leaving the single digit cards behind. If you wanted, you could use permanent marker to create your own 'zero' cards too.

The children loved the rapid fire 'game' of name the number, and my brain loved me too. Triple bargain!