Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Build a Fence, but Don't Get Over It!

I was super excited to do this activity with my kinders when I thought about it. I got the idea from doing a similar activity with preschoolers a few years ago during undergrad... sort of. I looked back at my lesson from that time and it doesn't say I did this activity but I remember doing it so I'm sure it happened

... probably.

Anyway right as I was planning this I got an email from some of the district principals that said something to the effect of "If you'd like us to visit at any time let us know." So I responded asking them to come because I knew this would be one of my better lessons.

We started off by reading the story Muncha! Muncha! Muncha! by Candance Fleming.

It's a story about a man who wants to plant a garden. One day he finally decides to but these little bunnies keep getting in and eating his crops. He tries a bunch of outrageous different ways to keep them out.

After reading the story, (and discussing it), we broke off into teams. Luckily I had a teaching assistant for the whole day today, I usually only have one for the morning. The kids worked together to draw a garden on the page provided to them. Before we read we talked about what things can grow in a garden. They drew things like carrots, tomatoes, even watermelons!

Once the gardens were drawn I told the kids they had to build a fence to keep the bunnies out. They were super excited when I told them their building materials were in my "mystery bag". I felt like I was reliving so many of the things I learned in my undergrad days like using a mystery bag as a hook. Inside the mystery bag was:

  • marshmallows
  • pipe cleaners
  • toothpicks
They were only allowed to use those items to create their fence. The real kicker was what we were using for our "bunnies" to test the effectiveness of our fences.

I scored these little monsters at party city. They're these little pop up toys with suction cups on the bottom. When you push them all the way down they stay down and jump up into the air whenever the suction cup releases. The kids get a kick out of them.

Now I did tell them we were going to use them but I did NOT give them to the kids until the fences were built and they were ready to test them. As an added incentive to stay focused I told them they could eat the leftover marshmallows if they didn't eat the ones we were to be working with.

I tried to preset them that this was a teamwork activity and they should talk to each other and work together. Telling each other their ideas and listening to one another. My group did a great job at this but I didn't know until after we were finished that my TA's group had a much harder time with the sharing. I should have paid better attention to the way I grouped them I guess, I grouped them randomly. The only thing I did intentionally was not put the twins in my class in the same group.

Here are a few pix from the building and testing process.




They came up with some pretty interesting ideas. One groups even said they built in traps to catch the bunnies 🤣. It was really wonderful to watch them interact and use their minds in a different way. Then I let them take home their "bunnies" so overall it was a great project.

Monday, July 3, 2017

500 Instagram Followers Giveaway!! [CLOSED]

I've had my instagram account for a few years now but this year is when I started to take it more seriously. I've finally reached 500 followers and I want to celebrate!

This giveaway will cost you only a $5 contribution to me on paypal, all of which will go towards a gift card for Teachers Pay Teachers. After which, your instagram name will be added to a rafflecopter giveaway in which hopefuls will need to follow your account for an entry!

If you are interested in being a part of the giveaway click here by July 7th!

If you have any physical products (not printed out digital products) you would like to contribute instead of money please email me at

Check out my instagram account, since you're here anyway!

Sweat Pants, Hair Tied, Chillin' wit no Make Up On

Today's laugh and a half is brought to you by a soon to be second grader.

The other day I stayed in the house most of the day. I needed to go to the mall and walmart so like everyone else at walmart, I didn't care how I dressed. I decided to go extra bummy in a shirt, basketball shorts and flip flops. I thought about if I saw my students out but that happens to me so rarely and I was heading to the next town over so I just said F it.

I go to pick up my new phone and as I'm coming out of the store I see one of my older students. I chose not to engage her because A. I'm not one of her favorites and B. because again, I was dressed like a slob and I didn't want the attention.

Of course as I'm walking out unscathed, her little brother, also one of my students, spots me. He runs up to hug me and I'm super embarrassed because of the way I was dressed but I'm honestly always happy to see one of my babies especially if they're happy to see me.

The problem was that his family didn't notice they'd walked off without him so I'm going "Bud your family is walking off without you, you need to go back to them." and he's like "No come with me and say hi to them!" Mind you I don't now his parents, I'm dressed crazy and their kid just ran off with me so no I didn't want to meet them at that particular moment.

By this point the parents looked up and are wondering where he is so as an adult I felt obligated to walk him back to them so they didn't think he was talking to a stranger and call the police on me or something. He's running up like "Mommy come say hi!" and she's like "Who's this!?" and I'm just trying to quickly introduce myself, again so that they don't think I'm a kidnapper. So I tell them I'm one of his teachers, then their other sister saw me and ran up to hug me too. It was nice and awkward but at least the kids made it clear to them who I was. 🤣

The moral of the story is, if you think you're going to leave the house and have a dress down day, be ready to run into your students.