Category Archives: Oriental Trading Company
We recently had one of the most fun days ever in my classroom exploring our 5 senses! I transformed my classroom into a Mad Scientist Lab so that we could learn more about our 5 senses.
In under 30 minutes I had my classroom transformed into a lab! I set up 5 different stations to help my students explore more about each of the 5 senses. Read more here about how the transformation took place and for more details about each of the stations.
Last month, I shared a post all about setting up our new fine motor drawers. My students need as much practice as they can get developing their fine motor skills. Each month I change out the activities in the drawers to keep them new and exciting, but also to continue to strengthen and challenge the skills they have.
Here’s a look at this month’s activities:
My students love each of these activities! Click here to check out the full description of these activities and to get what you’ll need to set them up in your own classroom!
What else would you add to these fine motor drawers? I have trouble each time narrowing down the activities to share with my students each month!
Raise your hand if your students need to learn sight words each year!! Mine do and practicing them can get boring…quickly, so I decided to find a way to engage my students in the learning and practicing of the sight words!
I used truly active learning to engage my students in the learning of sight words! We used these three fun activities to amp up our learning (and to review) sight words. Once these activities were introduced, I kept them out so my students could keep enjoying them!
Click here to read more about the fun we had (and are STILL having!)
I’m so excited to share this post with you!! Its an idea I’ve had in my head for months and I am so thrilled to finally have been able to execute it!
As part of the unit we are in, we learn about where our food comes from and it gives us a chance to learn more about the habitat of the farm.
Click here to read more about our fun on the farm!!
For the last 2 years, the AMAZING PTO at my school has hosted a fun Trivia Night to raise money for our school. With the profits of each Trivia Night, the PTO is able to do special things for the teachers and staff in our building! Last year, they funded 10 teacher grants and installed a brand new playground for our students to play on!
A local sportscaster donated his MC services for the night and that made it super fun and totally HILARIOUS!!
With a little help from my friends at Oriental Trading, we were able to make the night SUPER fun and each guest was able to take home some special treats!
Everyone had fun wearing the glasses to help them be “smarter” during some tough rounds of trivia (and trust me when I say we needed all the smart we could get!!)
We had 8 rounds of trivia that were each themed (movies of the 80’s, famous houses, celebrity eyes, etc.). During each round, each table of 8 worked together to answer the questions.
There were lots of teachers there and MANY of our fabulous parents! Unfortunately, because the venue was so dark, most of my pictures didn’t turn out so well, but I think you can tell we had a great time from those that did! 🙂
If your table was great at trivia (mine was not!), and you won a round, during the next round, your table got to host the Candy Buffet!! Extra cellophane bags were provided with the candy buffet, so you could stock up on candy before it left your table.
After the Candy Buffet had made the rounds, pizza showed up (sponsored by a parent) and after that Jack’s Donuts!! Add that to the taco bar that was available for dinner and we were stuffed by the time the night was over!
After 8 long rounds of trivia, the winning table was awarded $250 (which was donated back to the PTO) and they got to take home the coveted Trophy of Awesome!
Our trivia night was very successful and we surpassed the $9,000 goal easily! Many thanks to Oriental Trading for their help in supporting my school! We had SO much fun and we can’t wait to do it again next year. 🙂
With the change in seasons this week, I decided to share some activities with my kiddos that help them understand that there are different changes in each of the different seasons. These are all great activities that I can get out at the beginning of each new season and my students can learn new information each time!
We used the Earth Science File Folder Games, the Season Readers, and Create a Seasonal scene sticker activities from Oriental Trading to help us learn about and document our learning of the seasons!
My students ABSOLUTELY loved changing out the clothing options on the weather dog; one of the game options that is included in the Earth Science File Folder games.
Want to read more? Click here and find out how you can get your own seasonal supplies to enhance your students’ learning of the seasons!
I’m always encouraging my students to be kind to each other. We chant “Kindness is Cool!” as part of our morning meeting each day. My students and I wanted to do something to help other students in our school remember that “Kindness is Cool!”, so that they would keep being kind to others as well. We created the idea of kindness hearts. Each time we see someone doing a kind thing for another person, we give them a heart. These hearts are to help them remember how nice it felt to do a kind thing for another person. We also symbolically wound yarn around our hearts (kind of like a dream catcher), so that the kindness would get “stuck” in the heart and would help the recipient remember that feeling and encourage others to be kind as well.
We are currently working on making enough for the school, so that we can give some to each teacher to give out when they see a student or adult doing a kind thing for someone else. We will also make some extras so that there are plenty in the front office to be passed out by all!!
Click here to read more about how to make your own Kindness hearts!
You all know how near and dear to my heart teaching science to my Kindergarten students is! One of my favorite science concepts to share with my students is weather! If I weren’t a Kindergarten teacher, I would have been a meteorologist. I’ve always loved the weather and I’ve taken several classes in high school and college just for my own knowledge. It is neat to me to understand how weather works and how we can tell what the weather is going to be like just by understanding what the sky is telling us!
In Indiana (where I live!), we have a saying…”Wait 5 minutes and the weather will change!” It is SO true! So a few days ago, we were going about our day and when we looked out the window, the weather had gone from a wonderful sunny winter day, to snow!!
At the start of every winter, I get out my winter kit, so that when we get a snow happening while we are at school, we just pull it out and go! We do get outside to collect snowflakes on black paper, and then we come in and have some fun creating our own:
I got a class set of these fingerprint snowflake kits from Oriental Trading, just so we could talk about how each snowflake is unique, just like each and every one of us! We also created our own snowflakes out of pipe cleaners and beads, and we sorted some sparkly snowflakes! Click here to read more about our snowflake science fun!
In my school, we try to stay off the topic of Halloween if we are able. We are a very diverse school, so not everyone celebrates. We do incorporate fall themed crafts and projects and I thought I would share what we’ve done so far!
I got these bracelet loops from Oriental Trading Company and they were EASY for my young students to put together and to help practice their patterning skills! I also purchased the “s” hooks from OTC so that we could just snap the first and last loops in and continue our patterns!
Next, (and also from OTC), I got these magic scratch off leaves! We had SO much fun with these! Some of my students decided to scratch all the black off the leaves, but as you can see, some were more artful with their designs. We could have scratched lots more of these, so we will definitely need to get more for winter!!
We practiced our fine motor skills by tying these cool wrap bracelets! First you tie the three cords together, string three beads on the orange cord, tie a knot, you then repeat that with the black and green cord. Next, you repeat the stringing of the beads up to 5 times and then tie all the cords together. The cords are super long, so you can cut them if needed and still have enough. They are great for adults too!
Lastly, we got these ceramic leaves and used paint markers to paint fall designs on them. We also tried regular markers and those worked great! A crayon and water color paint resist would be fun to try on these as well. 🙂 Acrylic and tempera paints would help make these into fun fall gifts for families!
*Thanks so much to Oriental Trading Company for providing these amazing crafts for my students and I to try out this fall! All opinions expressed in this article are my own. *