Do you need a simple project for the winter season? This tree was made by my students and completed during one 20 minute therapy session. Students at all grade levels seemed to enjoy making them. They also made a good bulletin board that was culturally sensitive for this time of year. I added the silhouettes to discuss winter sports and the word silhouette.
I targeted quite a few goals with this project. As usual, I used the app StoryKit to make the directions. My articulation and older students began by sequencing and taking pictures. They recorded the directions using their best articulation skills. My language students targeted vocabulary such as stencil, limbs, triangle, around, and tree trunk. My language processing students listened to the directions and followed them in the correct sequence.
You can get the pattern for the stencil here.
The storykit directions are here. I removed the verbal directions because of student confidentiality.
School is finally starting in the Pacific Northwest. We have a late start here compared to other regions of the United States.. I am returning to my main school from last year and adding a new charter school as well. The charter school has middle school students so I may get a little more variety this year with the age range. I have had middle school students in the past and enjoy working with this age group. It is always fun to hear about the latest fads.
I needed a new bulletin board for back to school night and the start of school. I decided to make something that would be able to switch to the Fall season. That happens pretty quickly so back to school doesn’t stay up very long. The bee is our school mascot so I have handy bee note papers. I decided the slogan “It’s good to be back” would be a nice play on words. Bees go with flowers and sunflowers are a common Fall flower. That all led me to this video on how to make sunflowers. It turned out to be a fairly simple flower to make. You can click on the title to get the directions.
Sunflower How to Vdeo
Sometimes dog walks give you a good appreciation of nature and nature gives free material for crafts. On a dog walk I noticed that the back end of pine cones look similar to the center of the sunflower. I clipped off the end of some pine cones and glued them to the center of my flowers. Mine turned out to look like this.
I added some green construction paper leaves. There you have a sunflower bulletin board that didn’t take long to make at all. I am sure students would enjoy making the sunflowers. It may be worthy of a nature walk if you have trees with pine cones nearby.
I have noticed that there are a lot of wintery cold places across the United States weather map. Some of you have even experienced a snow day or two. We have experienced mainly cold here with blasting wind. We have not had the ice that is typical of this time of year or snow. We needed to make our own.
January is a good month to bring out the winter theme items. I found a snowflake on Pinterest that was easy to make and looked impressive. It looks so good that the students don’t want to leave thenm for my bulletin board after making them. Thus I only have 3 of the large ones up there. My bulletin board is looking like this. I put the snowflake directions on the free app Storykit. You may download them here.
I added the corner template to make it easier for the students to draw the curved arches in the corners of the triangles. I used cardstock. and cut the slits just wide enough for a pencil. Download a copy here.
The students were able to make them within a 20 minute time period. The directions review vocabulary such as half, triangle, corner, arch, curve, middle, small, medium, large, and center. Have fun. Of course they also get practice following directions.
April is here and time to switch out the bulletin board again. We seem to be getting our fair share of rain and the fruit trees are in full bloom. I know some places are still getting snow so I don’t really have a right to complain about the rain. When looking for this month’s bulletin board project, I saw several variations of paper flowers on Pinterest. I happen to have a supply of colored computer paper that would make colorful flowers for the traditional saying “April Showers Bring May Flowers.” I was able to adapt one of the flowers to a version that used the materials I have on hand; paper and tape. The flowers are simple enough that my older students in the Lifeskills program were able to complete them along with my younger general education students. My only problem is that the students want to bring them home for their mothers so I had trouble getting them to leave them for the bulletin board. This is what the board is looking like so far. We made the directions and shared them on Storykit. It is still a good exercise to have the students record the directions. Their voices were removed here before posting because of our school privacy requirements. Directions for flowers on the bulletin board.
March is here again and it is time to find a new project for the bulletin board. I looked into the supply closet and found coffee filters left from someone elses project. This looked like a possibility for inexpensive fun. I started looking for a shamrock pattern. I was disappointed to find the die cut pattern was too big for my needs. Then the kindergarten teacher came to my rescue. She pointed out it was easy to make a shamrock from hearts. Even though I couldn’t find a shamrock, I found 3 sizes of die cut hearts. The plan was coming together. It would be easy to get this project ready because I already have all the materials.
I saw a project that used water based markers and a spray bottle of water. The water made the markers run into interesting designs. I thought the students would enjoy experimenting with that. They could glue the hearts on top of the colored coffee filters and it would look like stained glass. It would add some color to the board. I found a simile that worked well with the shamrocks; A best friends is like a four leaf clover, hard to find and lucky to have. This gave an opportunity to talk about Similes with my older students. The younger students worked on following directions and talking about St. Patrick’s Day. This is what it is looks like so far. More Shamrocks will be added as they get completed.
Directions on StoryKit here.
Have fun and have a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
January sure has gone fast. Here we are a week away from February. We are coming to the end of a grading period so I am busy writing progress reports. I am a bit behind because of other meetings. I am sure you can all relate to that. We have a new software program which makes it a little harder. The paper work has been a bit of a challenge this year.
It is getting harder to be creative with the bulletin board lately. I stayed with my theme of antonyms for February. I looked in my cupboard and noticed that I have a large supply of straws on hand. Valentines Day brings out the cupid in all of us so I decided to make arrows. It helped that we have die cuts for hearts available. The die cut makes a heart as an outline and a smaller heart to be pushed out of the center. We used the smaller hearts to make the point of the arrow and used a folded rectangle for the feathered end. The students wrote a word on the arrow head and the opposite word on the white paper to match. It doesn’t look like the words are visible in the picture. This is the beginning of our project. I will post updates as we go. The students are making directions as usual. However, we are regulated for voices as well as visual images so I can not post my story kit directions until we are done and I can remove the child audio. This is what it is looking like. Here is the Storykit link to the directions: arrow directions
November is a really short month for me. After the Veteran’s Day holiday we have conferences. We then have Thanksgiving break. I usually don’t have time to do an elaborate bulletin board but after seeing the leaf turkeys on Pinterest I couldn’t pass them up. I happen to have a huge supply of maple leaves from a tree in my yard, and I already had the other supplies. The pear die from the homonym tree came in handy because I used it for the turkey body. It was an easy project that could be completed in one session and was good for concept vocabulary development (1st, second, finally, behind, in front, above, below, and together).
This was my model turkey:
The directions are on StoryKit as usual. http://iphone.childrenslibrary.org/cgi-bin/view.py?b=ojqxie225jb35gi7lvxz
This is what the bulletin board looked like. We added the signs for a little humor and to talk about irony and double meanings with the older students. The signs say ‘Eat Ham”.
It is that time of year again and my students are asking for the Homonym Tree. If you remember from a previous year post, I put up a tree in the Spring and the students write homonyms on paper pears to earn a Dum Dum sucker. This year it is even easier for me because one of my fellow teacher ordered a pear die cut. I don’t need to cut out folded stacks of paper. How incredibly thoughtful of her. The tree looks different every year. This year we ran out of brown butcher paper so it ended up mainly black. it will have a lot more pears on it by the end of the year.