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Monday, April 8, 2013

Easter Goodies

I love celebrating Easter with my little darlings! Normally Easter heralds the beginning of the school holidays here in NZ, however this year we are starting with a 12 week term, so we qualify for an Easter break!

This year I am teaching year twos, so we did the usual routine on the Thursday before Easter.... Easter poems, Easter Math games (into their group boxes), Easter baskets and some Easter printables which were available as a fast finisher activity (dot to dots, spot the differences, find a word and an Easter themed boggle). Our boggle activity was vastly popular, as the prize offered up was some glittery eggs and little fluffy chicks (both available from Spotlight). I buy them after Easter each year, when then are marked down to ridiculously cheap prices and pop them in my cupboard for the following Easter.

This year I made my class an Easter themed bean bag throw activity for Math. It began with 10 circular bean bags, decorated to look like bunnies (inspired by this blog http://twostraightlines.typepad.com/two_straight_lines/2006/04/bunny_toss.html). One Saturday was spent cutting, sewing and filling the bean bags. A few tips for those intrepid enough to give it a go:
  • One kilogram of rice will be enough filling to make around 20 smallish bean bags
  • Its way easier to fill the bean bags with a funnel- I cut the top from a 600ml coke bottle and used that
  • Go for felt as your material. Its durable and way easier to sew.
  • Supply yourself with chocolate. Its surprisingly time consuming but satisfying!
 I then made some mats for the children to use as targets. I cut a plastic table cloth into 8 pieces (yes, I have some extra leftovers). With a permanent marker and a meter ruler I then drew lines to divide each mat into four. I then wrote a number in each square. Some tips for making your mats:
  • Plastic table cloths are quite flimsy. Buy a better quality one than I did.
  • I cleared my bench at home and used that as a base. I was able to sellotape the mats to the bench to make them easier to draw on.
Two bunnies were then packed into a plastic zip lock with a mat. In pairs, the children take turns to throw the two beanbags and add the result together. The person with the highest answer wins!

Surprisingly, The children are really sensible with the bean bags. They are well and truely hooked into this activity, and love doing it as part of their math rotation tasks. It gets them up and moving, while re-inforcing their basic facts skills. I will definitely be making more bean bags to use in class!

My intention is to swap the bunny bean bags out before they get too ratty and store them away for next year. Next year I will be making felt puppets from this blog http://www.purlbee.com/bunny-hand-puppets/ for my class to play with- my goal is to slowly add more larger projects to my resource pool!

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