Saturday, April 19, 2014

Hoppy Spring!

Did you have to make up any days during spring break because of all the snow this winter?  This past week was our spring break and we had to go in on Thursday only.  I know, it seems crazy to go in for one day in the middle of a week off, but it was on our calendar from the beginning as an Emergency Day, so we knew it was a possibility.  We've done it before, I'm not complaining, no big deal.  And I actually had 17 of my 21 kids, so I'm guessing some parents out there were probably glad school was open! :)  

The only real problem with coming in for one day in the middle of the break is that that day is like an island in the Sea of Days Before and Days After.  It's very hard to do good academic work that flows from what we did in class a week ago or what we will do when we go back on Monday, so most of us did a mix of academic stand-alone activities and fun spring or Easter things.  
One thing we really enjoyed was reading The Easter Egg by one of our favorite author/illustrators, Jan Brett.
It's an adorable story that reminds me of Arthur Writes a Story, with its message of finding your own way to do something great.  After reading, we did some of the great activities in this free TpT pack by Smiles from Second Grade, including story mapping, summarizing, and designing our own Easter eggs.

And some writing from my Spring Writing Paper pack:
And boy was it refreshing to take the time to do crafts... something I know most of us feel like we can't justify anymore on normal school days even though in our hearts we feel like it's right for our kiddos to cut and color and glue. :(  It was a great way to make this oddball day into something special!

So I walked into my classroom Thursday morning and said to myself, "Hmm.  What can we make with stuff I already have here?"  And.... voila!
Easter bunnies!  So.  Easy.  And cute!  I used lightweight tagboard and cut the egg shapes.  (The kids could certainly do it themselves with tracers or directions, but it was faster for me to cut them - I did it freehand, 5 at a time).  Then I drew the bunny head shape, hands, and feet onto one piece of white paper and photocopied it onto lightweight white tagboard (one page per student).  I wish I had it here for you to download, but I left it at school - Anyway, it's super easy to draw them. :)

In the morning, I put out cotton balls on each table along with 6 colors of tempera paint (like I said, I used what I already had... I took out any colors that looked springy!).  I modeled for the kids how to blot the cotton ball into the paint and then use it to decorate their eggs.  I kept a paper plate on each table for used cotton balls.

I showed the kids that they could blot in stripes or randomly but they came up with some pretty good ideas.  They loved getting creative!

Tempera paint dries relatively quickly.  We put them in the hallway to dry.  Later in the day, I had the kids cut out the heads/hands/feet.  They decorated the bunny heads however they wanted with crayons and Twistables (like colored pencils).  We glued hands and feet with glue sticks and heads (since they were a little heavier) with white glue in glue bottles.

Hehe... you can see one of my little friends at the bottom added a hat... because we watched Here Comes Peter Cottontail and he had a hat in the video. :)  I love they they came out so springy and each one has its own personality!  Happy Easter!
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