Thursday, April 28, 2016

Plants

Spring is definitely my favorite time of year to teach Science!  There are just so many hands-on concepts that are so interesting to the students.  Plants, of course, is always so interesting because they are something the kids can see all around them and they all have some kind of experience with.

First up, here are some of our centers we have going on during our study of plants.

This first one is the same green mat, just with different sorting objects.



This is our Spring Sensory Tub.
So far, it contains flowers, pots, rubber bugs, and bug cards that the students can match with the rubber bugs.



This seed matching center is one of my favorite Science centers.  Each large card contains an empty seed packet and some seeds.  The students find the small card with the same seeds and matches it to the large card.


One of the student's favorite activities was going on a nature hunt and then using what they found to create their own nature collages.






And of course, no study on plants would be complete without planting our own beans! We planted pinto and lima.  (The clear cups make it easy to see how the roots grow!)

Want to completely amaze your Kinders?!  Just change white carnations into colored carnations with food coloring and water!


At the end of our unit on plants, I split the students into five groups and they made posters to present to the class about what they learned.  Watching them work together and figure it all out on their own is always my favorite part of group projects.
I wrote the title for each group on a piece of paper, but the students did all the planning, writing and drawing on their own.

"How to Plant a Seed"

"Plant Needs"

"What We Know About Plants"

"Types of Plants"

"Parts of a Plant"



Thursday, April 14, 2016

Our New Light Table

I pretty much squealed with delight when the light table I ordered was delivered to the school!  I'm sure the other teachers that were around thought I was crazy, but hey, I teach Kinder, so I'm allowed a little crazy, right!? I just knew how excited my kiddos would be to use this and the best part is that it was FREE!!  Thanks to all my parents who ordered books from Scholastic, I had enough Bonus Points to get this light table for FREE!
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com
I guess you would technically call this a light panel since it just sits on top of a table, but whatever you call, it's fun!!

So why a light table?  In a nutshell, it's just a fun way for students to explore, create and learn in a new way!  On the light table, the students can not only explore light, color, and shapes, but they can also practice Language Arts and Math skills along with improving their fine motor skills.  When light shines through and around an object, it makes the object more interesting (pretty!) and therefore, a lot more fun to interact with!

As soon as I ordered the light table, I began collecting items for the students to use on it.  Here are the few things I've collected so far, but I will be adding more very soon!
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

 The first items I purchased were these colored glass stones from the Dollar Tree and Hobby Lobby.  On the larger stones, I wrote the letters of the alphabet.  The students can put these in the alphabetical order, and spell words, or names with these. 
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com


Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

I made these alphabet mats so they can match the letters. 
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com


 I also bought the smaller pebbles.  
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com
The students have been using these to decorate these mandala pictures I printed from here.  
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com
They can also use them to form their names or other words.
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com
 I laminated pieces of colored tissue paper and then cut them into different shapes.  I laminated them a second time to make them a little sturdier.  The kiddos can layer these to create new colors and shapes.
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com


Sometimes they even use the glass pebbles with shapes to create pictures, or cover the shapes with pebbles to see how many will fit.  (They don't realize it, but they're learning about area of objects!)
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com
(Do you see the monster drinking the lemonade?!)

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Since I made the alphabet mats, I figured I should also make number mats to practice number formation and counting.  The kiddos can cover the number with the stones and also put the stones in the ten frame.  Then they can make their own on the other side of the mat.
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

The glass stones can also be used to cover these pattern cards.  After covering the patterns with the stones, these cards could also be used as tracing cards.  The students would just place a blank piece of paper on top, and trace the patterns with a pencil or crayon, or really any type of writing utensil, to work on fine motor skills! (The light helps the pattern to show through the paper for easy tracing.)
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com


I also printed out these awesome x-rays I found here. I printed the x-rays onto old overhead projector sheets, and laminated them for durability.  I printed the drawn pictures onto cardstock and laminated.

Here are the x-rays by themselves on the the light table...

...and here are the x-rays stacked on top of their corresponding picture.
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com


I ordered these swizzle sticks from Amazon which the students can use to create different shapes.  (They can also be found at party stores, but they were a few dollars cheaper on Amazon.)
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

My daughter enjoys using the light table to trace pictures.
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

When I was trying to think of more items to collect for the light table, I was wishing I still had some old overhead manipulatives.  I figured someone still had to have some, so I sent out an email to my campus and I was definitely not disappointed by the response!  Check out all the goodies that showed up!
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Here's a closer look at everything!  We received Tangrams, attribute blocks, pattern blocks, number tiles, colored circles, colored square tiles, colored rods, fraction circles, fraction squares, colored teddy bears, ten frames, dominoes, and playing cards!

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.comLight Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.comLight Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.comLight Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.comLight Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com

Thanks for checking out our new light table!  Be sure to check back soon, I already have a few new items to add to our collection!

If you're interested in the activities I created, you can grab a set here from Teachers Pay Teachers!
Light Table, www.JustTeachy.blogspot.com