I’m really bad at pronouncing dinosaur names. So when my students started showing a lot of interest in dinosaurs I went looking for activities which didn’t require me to say dinosaur names. I came across this Shape-a-saurus pin which I thought would also be a good review of our shape unit we had completed a few weeks back.
Above is my example I showed the kids before hand. I precut the shapes as at the age of two cutting out shapes is not appropriate. But my students do love working with glue and this was a good activity to practice how much glue we need.
Another purpose in choosing this activity was it helps my students learn to follow directions. I told them the sequence we would be gluing the shapes, then lead them step by step. The dinosaur above was mostly closely follow and also created my one of my youngest students.
This was one of my more creative dinosaurs (also note the extra glue on the paper). All of my students were able to follow along and were super excited when I put the smiley face on for them.
Books and stories are an integral part of my classroom. There are numerous reason why it’s important to read to young children but the purpose of reading these stories was to introduce my students to an event which one of my families want to share with us.
Lanterns and Firecrackers: A Chinese New Year Story by Johnny Zucker and Jan Barger Cohen
Lanterns and Firecrackers is part of a series of stories called Festival Time! The story uses easy to understand language to bring the basic concept of Chinese New Year. The drawings are very pretty and soft. However my students didn’t care to read this more than twice as I feel they enjoyed the second story better.
Bringing In The Year by Grace Lin
The thing that grabbed me first about this book was how color and bright the cover is. The colors and art through out the story remind of being in several Chinatowns. I am happy the characters have traditional Chinese names. At the end of the story there is a fold out page that has a long dragon on it. My student sat in anticipation for when we would get to dragon page. In fact they would start shouting out “dragon” before I could read the words of the story. This is a story I will bring into my classroom next year.
My current classroom doesn’t have a permanent sensory table. Which means I am always looking for ways to introduce sensory play beside setting up the sensory bins. I also wanted to update our sensory supplies. I was actually looking for activities about shades of colors when I came across this pin.
Things I used:
- Quart-sized ziplock bags
- Rubbing alcohol
- Basic White Rice
- Food Colors
To make it an activity the students could join in I had my assistant teacher fill the ziplock bags with a cup of rice each. I added about a cap full of rubbing alcohol to each bag. I also controlled the food colors.
I did asked my students what color they wanted. About half of them answered pink to my dismay (I was hoping for more variety in the colors). You can mix the colors in many different combinations and add more of less to get different shades. We ended up with two very different shades of purple because one child started out with pink that changed his mind to purple
The children love shaking the bags, really they love anything they get to shake. We discussed how their action was changing the color of the rice. Several of them also exclaimed over the sound the rice made when shaking.
I donned latex gloves and poured the rice out onto wax paper. I let the kids smell the rice as the rubbing alcohol smell was new for them and they were curious why the rice didn’t smell like the rice we eat. I placed the rice in the hallway as it is better ventilated (the smell was strong) and let it dry over the weekend. The following week they had a great time digging through the rice.
I was prepping my class for Valentine’s Day so I completely missed that Lunar New Years was approaching. Fortunately a mother offered to bring in decorations they had used for their celebration and I quickly made plans to add a project to celebrate in our classroom.
After a quick pinterest search I saw paper lanterns hanging from the ceiling. You can see the page Here. Truthfully I didn’t read through the page, but looked at the picture and remembered making them as a child myself.
Since my students are varying in their skill when it comes to scissors, I had everybody color with markers on their papers. This kept everyone working while my co-teacher and I went around helping student one by one with scissors. They can work with scissors independently but since the lanterns require multiple line we helped each child individually.
My students did pretty well with the cuts. I found the cuts which were about 1.5 inches apart to give the best lantern shape. While the kids were napping I stapled the paper circular and attached the string.
Here’s the hanging product. I was going to hang them when we made them at the start of Lunar New Year, but we had work done on our ceiling over the President’s weekend so I hung them last Friday which ended up being more inline with the tradition of Lunar New Year.
Hi to those who come across this now. I am a teacher in a two year classroom. I have been using pinterest to create part of my curriculum. I plan to document how these project work with 2 years old, what worked well, what I adapt and what falls apart. Check back soon for more projects.