Saturday, October 19, 2013

Trick or treat! This is Christina from Sugar and Spice

I'm "tricking" you by taking over this blog today, but keep reading to get your treat!!

All of us over at The Teaching Tribune have joined together to bring you an amazing Trick or Treat blog hop!! Along the way, you will find more tricks and plenty of awesome treats as you hop from blog to blog door to door!! Each blog is offering a fabulous fall freebie!  To make this trick-or-treating trip even better, there is a giveaway at the end of the hop filled with tons of great products for your classroom!

Do you need some last minute Halloween or fall activities for your students?  Grab my fall freebie: Pumpkin Printables: A Mini Pack!  Just head over to my TeachersPayTeachers store to download your freebie. :) 

Click the picture below to jump to my freebie 
and download your Pumpkin Printables Mini Pack!

Now it's time to go "next door" to discover the next trickster and collect another treat!
 Click on the picture below to go next door! 

Have fun "trick or treating!" :)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Visual Art in Education and a FREEBIE!!

 I heard on the news this morning about a school that was banning the use of crayons by students unless it was appropriate. They want to increase academic scores on tests that students take each year. I would like to address using visual arts to increase reading and math skills. I did my capstone(thesis) on this very topic when I received my Specialist Degree in Elementary Education. 

One use of art in education is to check students' comprehension of nonfiction or subject area text by asking them to draw a picture of what they have read. An example of this would be using a nonfiction book at a listening station and then have students draw a picture of what the book was about. Another example would be the teacher reading aloud a story without showing the pictures and then have students draw a scene they might have visualized while the story was being read. Using art with reading increases comprehension.

All subject areas have a specialized vocabulary which is often hard for children to learn because it requires comprehending the terms and remembering them. Memory can take place only when the left and right side of the brain are active so art is a good means to insure that children are learning the vocabulary. The teacher can assign a word or students can choose a word to draw a picture of to show they comprehend what the word means. Of course there are charts and graphs that are visual representations too.

 Art not only teaches creativity, it also teaches critical thinking. Research shows that art improves learning in all areas, fosters social skills, and is critical to full brain development. It increases problem-solving skills as well. Visual art lets children observe the differences in shapes and colors to create and replicate patterns.
Math skills of sorting and classifying are an important part of visual art. There is an important connection between the arts and better spatial intelligence which contributes to better abilities in math.

I could go on and on!!

Coloring in Kindergarten helps with spatial relationships, eye-hand coordination, learning color words, understanding that words have meaning, etc. When my school was a Reading First school we were encouraged NOT  to use coloring or cut and paste during reading time, not even in stations. That is one reason why I decided to do my Capstone Research on how visual arts can increase reading and math skills.

Well, I will get off of my soap box now(as you can see, I am very passionate about including art in the curriculum). I would like to show you a couple of art projects that you can use during Halloween that can be used to increase problem-solving skills, eye-hand coordination, patterns, etc.

Here are 2 different art projects I have used with my class in the past.
I am going to show you the process the students use to complete the ghost. These are torn paper projects which my students love to do.
First I start by giving the students a pattern to glue on the black construction paper. I find that a pattern is helpful when they have to cover it with torn pieces of white construction paper.

Here is the ghost pattern: (clic on pic to get a freebie)
Students cut out the ghost pattern and glue it to black or any color construction paper.
Next, give students a piece of white construction paper to tear into pieces to cover the ghost.
 Next, students glue the strips of construction paper to the ghost, covering the entire pattern.
Have students trace two black eyes and a black mouth from the pattern that is provided and glue to the ghost.

This is the finished product!! Isn't it cute and so simple to do!!
Another way this art project could be used is to let students choose which picture they want to make, the pumpkin or the ghost. When they have finished, make a graph showing how many students chose the pumpkin and how many chose the ghost!! Graphing!! Another math skill used with art!!

Sorry this has been such a long post, but I guess I had a lot to say!! LOL!

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's a Sale and a Freebie!!

 I am so excited!! In honor of reaching 100,000 likes on their Facebook page, TpT is having a site wide sale!! Everything is 10% off when you use the special code and guess what?!! I am putting my store at 10% off on top of that, so that will be 20% off all items in my store!! Go check it out and get materials for the holidays that are ahead!!

 Don't forget to enter the code FB100K when you check out to get the full 20% savings!

And to finish off this beautiful Sunday, here is a freebie for you!
Just click on the picture to grab your freebie!


Friday, October 4, 2013

Golden Spatula and a FREEBIE!

 Hi! Hope your fall has gotten off to a great start!! I love this time of year with the leaves changing colors, cooler weather, and spooky Halloween!
Now that school is in full swing I want to ask you a few questions. Do you have lunch duty or take your students to the lunchroom at lunch time?

Have you ever heard so much noise?!!
Our lunchroom gives the Golden Spatula Award. The classroom that exhibits good lunchroom manners and maintains a calm voice level, receives the Golden Spatula Award for their classroom.
It really helps to motivate the students to be on their best behavior and talk in a normal voice instead of screaming across the room.
I have seen this idea on Pinterest and I am sure this is probably where our administration got the idea, but it really is great!!
The winners are displayed in the lunchroom for all to see!

Now a question about your classroom. Do you have students that just cannot keep a clean desk?

Does the inside of some of your student desks look like this?
 What a big MESS!!

I have something that might motivate your students to keep their desks clean and best of all it is FREE!!
Just click on the picture to get your free copy.
Put one of this little notes on student desks with a little treat(candy, stickers, reward coupons, etc.) and see how many desks start to be cleaned!!

Hope you enjoy using this in your classroom!
Before I leave, just a reminder about the Educents 2nd Grade Bundle that is on sale!! It is a great deal with great resources from many 2nd grade teachers!!