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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Cutest Farm Bulletin Board

     This adorable 3D bulletin board is in our Science room.  Our science teacher Joanne always does the most wonderful projects with the kids. For this bulletin board, the kids started by creating the background with finger paints.  Each child then chose two animals to make and painted the toilet paper rolls they would need. The animals were inspired by Pinterest and specifically Amanda at Crafts by Amanda.
Amanda has very specific directions on her website.  Joanne modified most of the animals a little.  I think they are absolutely adorable.
Little pigs with button noses and curly pipe cleaner tales.
Sheep with mini marshmallow fleece.

Chicks and Chickens with feathers and pipe cleaners.

Puppy Dogs
The Horses required lots of wrapping  pipe cleaners  around pencils.

Cats in the Barn.

Vegetable garden made with pipe cleaners and tissue paper.

Ducks made from pasta shells.

The barn.

I've blogged about other cute ideas from our farm unit (including other bulletin board ideas) here.  If you are here from Pinterest, please check out the rest of the blog and follow me. Thanks:)

Sunday, April 7, 2013

More Mud Fun

One of my favorite spring activities is making and writing about mud.  This year I changed things a little bit because we have just begun a school-wide unit on farms. During our Fairy Tale Unit, we used Fairy Dust Teaching's Guided Drawing directions to draw pigs.  I took those pigs and glued them to our mud poem.  On Monday we read one of my favorite books, The Piggie in the Puddle by Charlotte Pomeranz and James Marshall. It is the very silly rhyming story about a piggie who won't get out of a mud puddle. We then made our own mud.

The kids love playing in the mud.  After they have had their fill, we brainstormed a list of words to describe the mud. We then moved those words around in our "I Like Mud" poem.
After we reread the poems many times using different words to describe the mud, the children came to me in small groups to  write their own versions of the Mud Poem.
Finally, we added real mud to our piggie drawings.
As always, I love this bulletin board which showcases the kids' guided drawings, handwriting and personalities (in both the words they chose for their version of the poem and the way they added mud to their drawings:)

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Our Big Red Barn

This week we started our school-wide farm unit.  Last year I made a giant castle with 8 refrigerator boxes for our fairy tale unit. The kids loved it so I decided to make a barn this year.  I once again used plans from  Mr. McGroovy and I was able to reuse his box rivets that I had bought last year.  The barn only needed 3 refrigerator boxes and was really pretty simple to make.  Although it is not nearly as spectacular as the castle, the kids had a wonderful time playing in it today. 

I started by cutting 2 boxes (the lines don't have to be perfect).  I then made corner brackets (from a smaller box) and put the boxes together with the box rivets.  
The kids painted the barn using house paint (fortunately I have a red door at home) and paint pads (also from last year).  I then cut out the door and windows and had the brilliant idea to use white duck tape to add the trim around the door and windows.  Finally I laid the 3rd box across the top as the roof.  
In just a few hours we created a wonderful new play spot for our room.  I did learn a few things.. first, look for an independent appliance store for the boxes.  If they do their own deliveries, they will probably have several boxes every night.  Second, get 3 boxes that are all the same size.  I had one huge box.  The directions said to use the biggest box for the roof.  I had to cut it down and make several adjustments that I think would have been avoided if I had the same size boxes. Finally, as I said above, duck tape is wonderful for adding straight line details.  I didn't have my phone with me when the kids were playing in the barn but I can say they loved it...nothing better than special "kids-only" spaces when you're 5 years old.