This week I tried a “Pinspired” art project with my students, and it turned out great! With Earth Day today, we have been studying the things we love about Earth and discussing actions we can take to make our planet a better place. When I found this great art project on Pinterest, I knew we had to do it! We paired it with our Earth Day writing and displayed them for all to see! Here are some pics….
We’re all about celebrating Earth Day in my classroom this week. It’s only 4 days away! We have been evaluating how “green” our school, classroom, and homes are. I made 3 report cards for each of those locations. If you are interested, they are at my TPT store! (It’s a 20 page unit with math and literacy activities too.)
How else are we celebrating Earth Day? We are repurposing our trash! I discovered an easy way to remove the printing on food containers, so we have been collecting yogurt, butter, and cottage cheese tubs in order to turn into attractive storage containers (well, as attractive as it gets when a 2nd grader is doing the decorating!).
Do you want to know how to remove the printing on food containers? It’s easy! You need pure acetone (located in the beauty section near the finger nail polish removers), a rag, and a container.
In a dish pan, pour enough acetone on the rag to saturate it. (Make sure you are in a well ventilated area and are wearing gloves.)
Then wrap the rag around the container and let it sit for 3-5 minutes. It may take longer depending on what brand container you are working on. I found that Dannon, Great Value, and Kroger brand come off the easiest.
Check the container by rubbing the paint. If it wipes off, you are good to go! Just keep wiping! It’ll come right off. If it doesn’t come of easily, keep soaking. You may need to re-saturate your rag.
That’s it! You’ve got yourself a blank slate container ready for sprucing up. Check back later this week to see what we did with our containers.
Happy Earth Day!
We planted bean plants back in September, but as we approach Spring, many teachers are teaching the plant life cycle and parts of a plants now, so I thought I’d share the method I used, so maybe you can use it too! Many of you have probably planted beans in zip-lock bags at one time or another. It’s a great way to do it- doesn’t take up much space and they grow really quickly. I did this when I was in school! But, our class didn’t use zip-lock bags…
We used CD cases! We collected about 12 CD cases so that there would be enough for everyone to share with a partner. Then we used potting soil to plant our beans.
Watering the bean:
Watching it grow!
Measuring its growth:
Labeling the parts of the plant:
- The hinges of the CD case should be at the top. That way you can stand them up and dirt won’t fall out. Also this leaves a nice hole at the top for watering the plants with droppers.
- Plant your bean high in the soil. If you plant it toward the bottom the roots will grow out the bottom!
- Tape the bottom shut. This will keep roots from growing out the bottom, and curious fingers from opening the case.
- Use masking tape and permanent markers to label whose plant is whose.
- Around day 5 or so I untaped the cases overnight so that they could have a little bit of space to grow. I taped them back in the morning. By day 7 or so, you will be ready to label your plants. We used paint pens.
- Plant your bean with the concave side down. It should resemble the letter “n,” not the letter “u.” I didn’t tell my kids this. I just let them discover it… which was a nice learning experience. Just depends on which way you’d rather teach it.
To record our observations we used this sheet from Green Education Foundation.
Get it? Weather eye + weather idea?? How’s that for a corny title? I’m the world’s worst for thinking of titles. I’m one of “those” people who sends an e-mail with no subject line because it takes too much effort to think of one. Ok. I lied. That annoys me. I’m one of those that wastes too much time thinking of one!
Anyway, we’ve been learning about weather. So here are my weather ideas.
We examined how different weather components can help us predict the weather. One of the components we studied was clouds. We watched a united streaming clip on the types of clouds, paused the clip after each type, and recorded our notes. Then we added illustrations to our notes.
Now tell me that’s not a cumulonimbus cloud!
Here’s what we used to make our clouds.
stratus white paint
cumulus 1 part shaving cream, 1 part Elmer’s glue
cumulonimbus 1 part shaving cream, 1 part Elmer’s glue +black paint
I can’t tell you how much my kids enjoyed this. They were grinning ear to ear (one of those evil grins) while heaping shaving cream onto their papers. The clouds dried relatively quickly and the class smelled good too!
Another component we studied was wind direction. We used this wind vane to determine the wind direction each day.
To make your own wind vane, put a straw around a hammer, hammer the nail into the wooden spoon, tape on a piece of paper, and label your cardinal directions. Then to determine the wind direction, find North and line up your spoon. The wind direction is the direction the wind is blowing from not the direction the wind is blowing in. That was a little hard for my students to grasp because it is opposite of the direction the paper points. If you know the wind direction and the air pressure you can predict the weather!
And of course you can’t do weather without doing the water cycle. After exploring the water cycle through several books, graphic organizers, crafts, and videos, we became water molecules ourselves and traveled through a simulation of the water cycle. With a roll of a die, the kids traveled through clouds, glaciers, groundwater, animals, vegetation, soil, lakes, oceans, and rivers to discover the importance of temperature in the water cycle and to understand that water remains in some locations longer than others.
Here’s a preview of the materials.
You can purchase the Water Cycle Journey kit for $1.50 at my teacherspayteachers store.
Thanks for stopping by!
My second grade class has been learning about the life cycle of a frog. We made these Life Cycle of a Frog Wheels.
If you would like to make your own wheels, click on the picture to download. It’s free!
There are three different sheets that you can use depending on your students’ ability levels~great for differentiating!
Level 1: Students fill in the blanks, cut out, and assemble.
Level 2: Students fill in the blanks, cut out, order, and assemble.
Level 3: Students write their own sentences to describe each phase, cut out, order, and assemble.
FYI: If you use Reading Street, they go well with Frogs by Gail Gibbons.
*Frog images from adobetutorialz: Examining the Life Cycle of a Frog