Simple Silhouette Collages

After a long summer of rest and rejuvenation, I’ve been so busy being back in the classroom that I haven’t been able to blog.  There has been so much going on already in year 2 in Singapore that I want to share with you!  This year, I tried a new beginning of the school year project. My mentor teacher from last year, Linda, does this great silhouette activity with her students. I knew that this year, I wanted to try it with my kids!

In order to have the students create their silhouettes, I used the steps I found on this blog post: how to make silhouettes of your kids .

I took a photo of their side profile against a solid background. Then, I printed out their photo in black and white. I took their photo and enlarged it on the copy machine to a bigger sheet of white paper. Once I got the settings on the copy machine right, I copied all the printed out silhouettes with the same settings.

Then, I had the students cut out their profiles and glue it onto thicker black construction paper. They cut out their profiles again.

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Now on the black side of the paper, I had them glue on photos and words from magazines that described them. I also had some print outs of photos I took of them and their families from our open house. I had them put those photos on.  After their silhouette collage was done, I hung them up in the back of my classroom!

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What are some of your favorite back to school activities?

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Guest Read Aloud in Melody’s Class!

While I was in Korea, I had the chance to visit Melody’s kindergarten/1st grade classroom. I was really excited to meet her students and read to them. I read aloud the story Peter’s Chair by Ezra Jack Keats. Afterwards, we filled out this fun story map that Melody had made. On post-its I wrote down what the students shared. We went through the title, characters, setting, problems, solutions and theme. It was a great way to get them discuss the different elements of the story. I was so impressed that they were able to answer all these including the theme!

Afterwards, we did a quick question and answer session with them. They asked me about Singapore and my students. We had some time left before lunch so we played with some super cold play dough as well. I’ve never taught such young kids before, so it was a lot of fun to be in their class. I always have a lot of respect for teachers that teach the younger kids!  I’m not sure I would have the energy and patience. Thank you Melody for letting me visit your classroom! You have an amazing class and I could tell that  you are making an impact in their lives. 🙂

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                                         Photo credit to Melody.     

Guest Blog Post: Paper Mache Globes!

Deirdre and I started our international school careers at the same time four years ago here in Seoul. After two years in Seoul, she moved on to India! She is truly living the life of an international school teacher. I currently teach some of her 2nd grade students from her first year at my school, and they always tell me about the fun times they remember from her class!

In grade 4, we love creating, constructing and composing! We also enjoy getting a little messy from time to time. As part of our unit on Canada and cultures from around the world, we made paper mache globes. Students labeled and identified the seven continents and oceans. Below you will find instruction how to create your own paper mache globe …

Directions:
1. Cover all desks with newspaper.

2. Collect old newspapers and have the students tear into long pieces, about one inch thick. Have one student from each group place shredded newspaper on the groups’ desks.

3. Blow up balloons and leave balloons on the student’s desks. You may want to blow up the balloons prior to the activity for younger students. We used heart balloons because it was Valentine’s Day!

4. Create paper mache mixture:

  • ½ cup all purpose flour
  • ½ white glue (think of Elmer’s glue)
  • 2 cups of water

The measurements may need to be adjusted … you will know when you have it when the mixture is slightly thick. I did this with my students and had a few measure out and add the flour, water and glue. I mixed it until it became thick enough, first with a spoon and then with my hands. Then I modeled exactly how to take the paper mache goop, cover a strip of newspaper and place it onto the balloon. We talked about what the students noticed: that I was calm, that I only placed the goop onto the strip of newspaper and balloon etc. Then I poured the mixture into four bowls (we have four groups) and asked who was ready!?

This activity is best to do on a Friday because it allows the paper mache to dry over the weekend. Then on Monday the students can paint the balloons and let dry for a day or two.

We used acrylic paint:

We used a blank print out of the continents, colored them in, labeled them, cut them out:

Finally, we hung them up in our room!

Happy paper macheing!

Simple Valentine’s Day Cards

It’s February, which means Valentine’s day is around the corner. I always like to make something for my students. However, living in Korea, you can’t find the cute Valentine’s day card sets that I could easily pick up at Duane Reade or CVS back home. Therefore, it can become a time consuming DIY project for the already busy teacher! So, in an effort to keep things cheap and time efficient, I found a few great Valentine’s day card downloadable templates, and they are free!

All you need to do is download the template onto your computer. Then, you can print them out on white card stock or the thicker printer paper. You can find that type of paper easily in Homeplus, E-Mart, Alpha or other stationary stores here in Korea.

Here are the links to a few of the different blogs that you can download the free printable.

Blogs with free Valentine’s day card templates

Valentine’s Day Card Templates from Bunny Cakes – LOVE these templates!

Boy Valentines from One Charming Party – Valentine’s your boys would be happy to receive.

Other Valentine’s day craft ideas for the classroom:

Martha Stewart always has a lot of creative craft and card ideas.

101 Handmade Valentine’s Day Ideas. A lot of different fun DIY ideas if you are feeling ambitious!

My  Pinterest Valentine’s day page. Just a bunch of random cute valentine’s day ideas. Some of them could be used in the classroom.

I’m still trying to decide which card template I will use for my students.  I’ve also been watching Cupcake Wars on TV, and I’m considering making cupcakes as well. However,  we’ll see how much energy I have on Monday night!

I hope you have a happy Valentine’s day!

Papercutter, envelope sets & cardstock paper

Printed card templates on cardstock.

Valentine's day cards are done!

Valentine’s Day: For the Younger Elementary Class

Valentine’s Day is one of my absolute FAVORITE holidays, and I didn’t even have this revelation until last year. I was thinking about what my class could do to celebrate the holiday, and in doing so began to re-live my childhood. I discovered that I have the best memories of Valentine’s Day. I was home-schooled (yes, hard to believe if you actually know me) and every year my mom would take me and my siblings to Chuck-E-Cheeses (a.k.a. The Greatest Pizza Place on Earth), where we would meet up with a bunch of other home-schooled kids and exchange valentines, eat pizza, and get a goody bag (this is probably where my addiction to candy first began).

Before we went to The Greatest Pizza Place on Earth we had to decorate some type of container/bag to hold all of our valentines from our friends. My mom would save tissue boxes for us to paint/cover in paper/make beautiful.

This is exactly what I have my students do! I have saved all of our tissue boxes since the beginning of the year and will have them decorate them tomorrow (Friday). Over the weekend their homework will be to make a valentine for each of their classmates (in Korea, they don’t sell the cute and easy valentine’s they have in the states) . I will give them paper and materials if they need them.

It’s simple, it’s easy, and the kiddies love it! Though… I probably love it more.

Happy *almost* Valentine’s Day!

Here is a picture of the box I decorated last year (it’s falling apart a bit, I just had to tape it), I used a small tissue box because I didn’t have enough big ones, but I would recommend a big box for younger students. My grade teaching partner uses shoe boxes, which is another great option. I like the tissue box because it already has a hole on the top for the valentines to go in.

*Stay tuned for a post from Jee Young tomorrow about how to find free printables for Valentine’s cards on the web!*