Thursday, 9 March 2017

Painting With... Forks!

Are your kids bored with using paint brushes to paint? Some kids might need new tools or props to become engaged in art processes. There are children who are just not that interested in painting, but they might become if you introduced some new elements.

Painting with forks is fun, and because it's quite easy it won't discourage kids with fixed mindsets.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Salt and Glue Paintings

I’m sure that most of you have done this before, because it’s a very popular idea on Pinterest. But I just wanted to share the results and to encourage you to do this with the kids, if you haven’t already.

This technique is interesting because the children will get a chance to notice how quickly salt absorbs food colouring and how colours mix to create new ones.

This is what you’ll need:
  • Food colouring;
  • Water (only if you have solid colours);
  • Pipettes/Droppers;
  • Thick paper;
  • Glue (white school glue works just fine);
  • Fine salt.
The children can draw whatever they want with glue, then quickly add salt to the drawing. When it’s dry, they can take food colouring with pipettes and drop it onto the salt drawings. The colours will spread and create wonderful paintings.

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Five for Friday Linky Party - How We Celebrated Valentine’s Day

I’m very happy to join my friends from doodlebugsteaching again for the Five for Friday Linky Party. This is a weekly teacher linky party where we post five random things from the past week. Here's my week. 

We had a busy week celebrating Valentine’s Day. The kids made lots of heart crafts. I love how creative they are: they come up with their own craft ideas, and they just take whatever they need from our storage room. When they’re done, they ask me to take a photo of their crafts and they frame them! :)

The kids were asked what a good friend does and this says "A good friend gives me kisses"

To celebrate Valentine’s Day we went skating with the children. Some of them were on ice for the first time, but they did great! They helped one another, held hands, and had fun.

I am so proud of the children. Even though their mother tongue is not English, they have learnt it so well, that we can now have conversations about time travel, aliens, and the legend of Dracula, all in English. Knowing that I had a small part in this makes me truly happy.

But now it’s weekend time and I will finally have some time to play board games. I have a couple of new ones that have been waiting on the shelf.

 Enjoy a nice and cozy weekend, together with friends and family!

Monday, 6 February 2017

The Disco Lizard Reward System

Disco Lisko (in Finnish) is the thing that always gets the kids jumping up and down and dancing together.

Since we have started using this reward system, the children have been helping one another, they have been explaining when somebody breaches our class rules, and have been friendly, attentive, and kind to one another.

It’s a simple system that you can set up and explain in a couple of minutes. Let me tell you about how it works: We have the children’s names on the wall. Underneath every name, there’s a number flashcard. We made a disco lizard (we printed a colourful lizard and then laminated it) that moves forward whenever the children have a wonderful/exceptionally good day. When the lizard gets to 15 (the last number), it meets the other lizard friends and has a disco party. The lizard also moves one step back if the children don’t behave nicely. It happens rarely, but it is a possibility.

Some things to take into account if you plan on using the system:
  • Make sure that children know what’s expected of them and how they can contribute to the group’s success. Talk about the class rules and remind them of what it means to be kind and helpful whenever needed.
  • Choose a catchy song to play and dance to whenever the disco lizard moves forward. We chose “I Like to Move It” (Madagascar version).
  • Involve the children in all steps of the process. At the end of the day, you can talk about what has happened and whether the lizard should move forward.

I agree with the fact that children should behave nicely without any incentives, but letting them know that you appreciate their kind gestures is what we’re trying to do by this. We also use verbal reinforcement, hi5, or big hugs." :)