Sunday, November 17, 2013

OOBLECK and a little Halloween Party flashback!

Oobleck, oobleck, oobleck!  That is the substance that was all over my lils' clothing and hair on Friday (we were able to at least wash it off of our hands/arms)! OOPS!  However, it should have washed off of their clothes pretty easily.  Oobleck is simply 1 part water to 2 parts cornstarch and a little food coloring for a fun twist.  Oobleck is a non-newtonian fluid which means it acts like a liquid when poured, but like a solid when a force acts upon it (like when you punch your fingers in it).  Pretty neat stuff!  It complimented the end of our matter chapter in science since it takes on the properties of both a solid and liquid.

First, we watched a youtube video of two Spanish talk show hosts walking (more like running!) across a pool of oobleck!  Go here to watch the video... or watch it on here (hopefully this works!).

Their little minds were blown!  They kept asking, "What?!  How are they doing that?  What is that stuff?"

Then, I explained what was in the pool and that we were going to make it.  Of course, their next question was, "Are we going to run across it too?!"  I had to break it to them that I did not buy enough cornstarch to make a pool of oobleck... "awwwww....."

I made a batch underneath the document camera so that it projected on the SmartBoard for all to see.  Next, I made two more batches of the stuff in big plastic containers (the kind that you put shoes in and slide under the bed).  I split up the class into two groups of 11 and let them stick their hands in the ooey, gooey mixture.  Needless to say, things got a bit messy...  I forgot did not take pictures of the kids experiencing the oobleck, but here are some pictures of the ingredients I used and me playing with the original oobleck batch in case you have never seen it before.

I bought the cheapest brand of cornstarch. :)

If you look closely, you can see that the cornstarch package exploded all over the document camera and the cart... oops! 

 Hard/solid-like when I try to grab it.  I'm using all of my finger muscles(?) here.

Finally, I was able to pick up a chunk, but alas, it instantly turned into liquid...

Back into the bowl it went!

So, if you would like to make this in your classroom, it is super easy, but can get messy.  I would lay down a beach towel or old plastic shower curtain, something that you can easily clean up after all of the fun is over.  That is the lesson I learned from this little activity, so I am passing on my new knowledge to you! :)  

Now, onto our little Halloween Party flashback!  First of all, thank you so much to my homeroom mom and all of the moms and grandmother who came to help out!  I do not know what I would do without you all.  Here is a picture tour of the Halloween station games/activities that we enjoyed that day....

Halloween Bingo and Halloween erasers as bingo markers (all from the Target Dollar Spot!)

Skeleton ball toss


Halloween corn hole toss!  I believe my homeroom mom made it.

Paper towel roll ghost bowling with a plastic pumpkin!


Every game had a little treat/prize as well!  The kids had a blast!!

And not to disappoint, the two kindergarten teachers and I (in the middle) collaborated again this year... The 3 Blind Mice! Thank you pinterest! :)

Well, that should do it for now!  It is off to bed for me.  After a day of making a rare appearance at the gym, laundry, figuring out how to renew my passport so I can go on our honeymoon in June, and working on my research study paper for my grad class, my brain has had enough.  I hope you all have a great week!  One more week and a few days until a lil Thanksgiving break! :)

Samantha :)

Monday, October 28, 2013

Who Stole Our Candy Corn?!

Thanks to Babbling Abby, we had a Candy Corn Bandit steal our jar of candy corn today! The jar was sitting on our blue round table when we left for lunch, and when we returned from recess, it was GONE!  The bandit had taken it and left a note and a clue in its place.  Can you believe that?!

We were quite upset and shocked that someone had taken our candy.  Before going on our search, we made some predictions as to WHO we thought stole the candy and WHERE it was hidden.  Once our predictions were stated, we tiptoed down the hall toward our first destination.  You see, our first clue said to look in the place where we eat a meal.  Once we found our second clue under a cafeteria table, we were off again!  The bandit's clues led us to the gym, playground, library, and then back to our classroom, where we found the last clue and our jar of candy corn (thank goodness!).

Racing from the playground to the library!

Tiptoeing from the library back to our classroom...


The lils were really into the whole adventure.  They were curious as to WHO took their candy and were intent on finding it. I want to extend a BIG thanks to Babbling Abby for providing this awesome activity

We enjoyed our candy corn at the end of the day and still have more left!  I'm sure we will continue to enjoy it until the BIG DAY on Thursday.  Oh, the excitement is building, for sure!  Don't worry, there will be a post recapping all of the spooktacular Halloween activities! ;)

Samantha :)

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Quick Literacy and Math Link

Hello my poor, little, neglected blog.... :/  I wish there was more time in a day; that would solve so many of my time constraint problems.  Anywho, before it turned into a month since my last post, I wanted to pass along another idea from Mrs. Cara Carroll... :)  found HERE

So, borrowing her idea of our story characters writing math problem letters to the lils, the first letter I Curious George wrote to the class was a HUGE hit!  First of all, they were so incredibly excited to get mail, and I mean, who doesn't get excited about actual paper mail?!  I ALWAYS get super excited to get fun mail, like a card or invite.  It's the little things.  Okay, tangent, back to the main idea here.  So, I typed up a letter (using CCFonts!) from Curious George that included a problem for the students to solve.  Then, they had to write back to Curious George with their answer.  For the first two letters, I wrote what they told me to model letter writing.  For future letters, I will turn over the letter writing to the lils, now that they have an idea of how to do it.  I did not write a letter last week, and they were so disappointed about not getting mail!  Aww!  I will have to make sure to do it this week.  Thank you Mrs. Carroll for such a great idea that combines literacy and math in such a fun, engaging way!  You can really cover any skill!

I forgot to take pictures of the Curious George letter, so this is from Lucia, a character from another story in our Journeys curriculum.  You can even see that during our Writer's Workshop, some students wrote their own letters back to Lucia!  How cute!  Some asked if she could come to their homes to play! :)

Sorry I've been MIB (missing in blogging) lately.  Hopefully, I can get it together soon and blog more often.  I really do miss sharing AND reading other blogs (My blogger is at over 100 blog posts waiting for me to read! ahhhh! I'm missing out on so much!).  Okay, way past my bedtime.  Good night and until next time!

Samantha :)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Think Before You Speak

So you know that saying, "Sticks and stone may break my bones, but words will never hurt me"???  It's false.  I mean, yes, words will not actually break your bones, but they DO hurt.  When I found this little think before you speak activity on Cara Carroll's blog HERE (at the bottom of her post), I was thrilled.  Sometimes kids know exactly what they are saying, but sometimes they do not realize the hurtfulness of their words.  This touching lesson really makes the lils think about their words.
I began by telling them the sticks and stones saying.  Some had heard of it, but most had not.  I explained what it meant, and we discussed how mean words can hurt our feelings.  They all said they have experienced hurtful words... :/  Then, I explained that we were going to read the story Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes and gave a short summary, describing how the other characters are going to make fun of Chrysanthemum's name.  Earlier, I had cut out a BIG heart from red bulletin board paper.  I told the lils that we were going to crinkle and crumple up the heart each time someone in the story made fun of Chrysanthemum.  As I read, we passed the heart around and crumpled it up for each hurtful word.  They were amazed at how wrinkled it was becoming!  Then, at the end of the story, the characters start to say kind things about her name.  We tried our best to smooth out the wrinkles but to no avail.  One lil was actually pretty upset that he was unable to straighten out the wrinkles... aww!!  We discussed that even though the other students started being nice to Chrysanthemum, her heart was still wrinkled from their unkind words.  To end the activity, we wrote our names on band aids (pen worked best on the fabric band aids) to try to help heal Chrysanthemum's heart AND as a little pledge to think before we speak.

This was such a beautiful lesson.  My lils really took it to heart, pun intended.  ;)   As they were patching up the heart with their band aids, I heard them say, "Let's help her!" and "Let's make her feel better!"  So sweet!   I will hang to heart in the room as our visual reminder to think before we speak.

Oh ps, the Writer's Workshop presentation went SO well!! I talked a mile a minute, but I just had so much to share!  I love spreading the word about all of the blogs that I follow and all of the ideas on pinterest.  Hopefully, the grad students will follow my advice and get into teacher blog reading.  It seriously changed my life.  And I shamelessly plugged my lil blog (ahh blush!) haha, so if you are one of those grad students, HELLO and welcome to my lil world!  :)

Samantha :)