Art, Elementary

Let’s Pretend It’s Spring

I am not a winter person. Every winter I forget just how cold and dark it is and how much I wait for (and countdown to) Spring. So today I’m going to post about a Spring craft I did last year with my kids to try to brighten my own mood, and maybe someone else’s too!

Right before Parent Teacher interviews last year, I realized my current bulletin board was looking rough and I needed something new to put in its place, so I needed a quick and easy craft for the students to make. I settled on a simple painted branch with tissue paper flowers craft.

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I gave all the kids blue paper so that their branch would looks as though it were against the sky and, to keep the classroom clean and orderly, I had them all sketch their ideas out and then take turns (two at a time) to paint their branches.

After their branches were painted, they got to choose their coloured paper, cut out their pieces, then return to their desks to glue on their tissue using the back of their pencils (they wrapped the tissue around the pencil, dipped it lightly into glue, then stuck it to their painting).

The branches turned out really cute and very colourful! They immediately brightened my classroom (and posting them today is indeed brightening my day!).

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Plus, my new bulletin board was up by the end of the day and looked hella cute for PT interviews the following night! Plus, isn’t the caption adorable, I love making the text for my bulletin boards even more than I love making the crafts!

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Art, Elementary

Tissue Paper Leaves

It’s September, so here in Calgary it’s already Fall and we’ve got about eight days until it’s Winter. Time to work on the Autumn themed crafts before they seem horribly misplaced with three feet of snow right outside. Hey, it’s also the beginning of the school year for the majority of teachers and students, so happy first day or two back!

One of my favourite crafts to make with my students are tissue paper leaves! They’re an easy concept, but need to be modelled thoroughly because the tissue and glue can get messy if kids aren’t following instructions. Further, I’m obviously a fan of how well this project aids in the development of fine motor skills.

Depending on the class’ skill level, I’ll either give them a large cut out of a leaf on brown, yellow, orange, or red paper, or I’ll have them draw a large leaf in a shape they like and cut it out themselves. This time around, I had the kids draw and cut their own leaves (some ended up looking like random splatters, but most resemble leaves).

This is, of course, the easiest part for the kids. Again, depending on their skill and focus level, I will either cut out pieces of tissue paper in various colours or I’ll have them cut out their own. This time, I cut out a huge amount of pieces, then students cut more if they needed more or if they wanted different colours or shapes.

We covered tables with plastic and poured white glue into egg cups so the kids could wrap tissue around the ends of their pencils, dip it lightly into the glue, and then attach them to their leaves.

I will admit that this art project took much longer than I thought it would; we had some glue issues, and some of the kids got restless (again, I’ll remind you how high the cases of ADHD are in my room). Thus, I now know for the future to really be careful and judge the make-up of the classroom before assigning something that could be daunting for some kids. I would perhaps make the leaves themselves smaller or give the students smaller pieces of paper to cut them out from.

Alas, at least our finished bulletin board looked awesome (bulletin boards are becoming my favourite part of school)!

We're falling in love with reading!
We’re falling in love with reading!
Uncategorized

We’re Always Bzzzy Working!

Now that Spring is (finally) here, it’s that time of the year for new bulletin boards and Spring crafts! I decided I’d put up a nice bumble bee board up outside my classroom on account of the facts that:

1. Bumblebees are cute.

2. Bumblebees are relatively simple crafts to make.

My own bee.
My own bee.

It was easy to work with just paper, scissors, and glue, and the kids worked on their measurement and fine motor skills (got to love that!). I made my own as an example, which was very quick to whip together before class (it took me about 15 minutes total; the kids used between 60 and 100 minutes of class time on their own).

What surprised me the most was that the hands were the most difficult part for the vast majority of my students. I assumed the stripes would cause them the most strife, but I was mistaken. Most had difficulty tracing their hands and then cutting along the lines afterward. Still, all the bees turned out and looked really adorable!

The finished bees!
The finished bees!

And so we finally got to put up our Spring bulletin board! I made the tree, grass, lettering, clouds, and beehive myself and simply laminated them before putting it all up. I think it looks really great, personally!

Our finished bulletin board!
Our finished bulletin board!

Happy Spring teaching!