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Sunday, October 25, 2015

Apples and Pumpkins and Oz, oh my!

Long time no write......sorry folks!

I am one busy teacher but who isn't, right?!?

A few weeks ago we had a very cool apple week.  I introduced the week with many Johnny Appleseed activities.  Who better to introduce the week than Johnny himself.  Yup, that's me dressed as John Chapman.  We taste tested and graphed our favorite apples.  We made apple crisp and used apples in all aspects of our day- math, reading, science and writing!

Right now, I am getting my week ready for this wild and crazy time called Halloween!  I teach 1st grade at a STEM/STEAM school and I love doing STEAM stations for holiday parties.  It keeps the kids learning in a fun way.  Last year when I taught the 1st-2nd combo class, I used Harry Potter as the first STEM party theme (it was super cool).  This year, I am using The Wizard of Oz.  I will be building a yellow brick road on the wall with yellow paper "bricks" of good deeds that the students do this week (incentive idea).  I will use Oz as the theme for various activities throughout the week...along (kind of randomly) with pumpkins, of course.   

I make green screen videos 4 times a year with the kids.  The themes go along with the theme of the seasonal party.  The slide below is the title picture.  I can't post the kids on the net- so I can't show you the super cute video.  It turned out well.  Extra fun part of it though, normally I get my super techy hubby to make the video after I do the recording of the kids.  He taught me how to do it this year and I did the whole thing myself....with him sitting next to me telling me what to do.  Ha, ha!
I used a program called Adobe Premiere.  It's complex for those who are not techy.  I did pretty well though.  For the next one, I will do it myself as much as I can and then when I want to make it even cooler- he will help me do video clips occurring behind the kids on the green screen.  Right now, it is just pics that have a few animations using this sliding across the screen thingy.  

The 4 stations we will have this year during our party:  
1. making rainbows using milk/cream, food coloring, dish soap (art)
2. using pulleys and levers to lift the house off the wicked witch (science/math)
3. choosing the fastest method for melting green ice cubes (science)
4. creating a mini tinman using upcycled tin cans and tin foil (engineering)
In case you are wondering, the "tech" part is the green screen film.

I have several fabulous parents who are getting this all under control.  How awesome is that?

It's so nice having so much help.  Just yesterday, I sent out an email asking if anyone would be willing to make a ton of copies and do workroom jobs to help prep for next month's reading and math centers.  I got a response right away.  I am so lucky!

Have a wonderful and crazy week!


  1. I love the party ideas! I'd love to hear if you do something like this at Christmas or Valentine's Day (our 2 other parties of the year) because I know my kiddos would LOVE this!

    A Very Curious Class

    1. I do a Gingerbread theme for Winter and Queen of Hearts/Alice in Wonderland for Valentine's Day. I also do an end of the year party but it changes as far as what the theme is. I use many ideas from this website..'s amazing!