Saturday, July 17, 2010


When I began teaching I was sick to one degree or another from October until March. Getting flu shots and building kindergarten helped. I decided we had better have some health lessons in kindergarten. Josie, who was then in college to become an RN, came to my class to give a lesson on hand washing. Afterwards she had the students wash their hands with something I think was called "Orange-Glo". When a black-light was shone on their hands after washing, it would show all the places they had missed.
We also talked about covering a sneeze or cough. We followed this with an art project. Students drew a large head on a 9x12 piece of beige construction paper. It was almost as big as the paper. Over the mouth they glued a kleenex and over the kleenex they glued a construction paper hand they had made by outlining their own hand and cutting it out.
We also discussed the sound made at the beginning of a sneeze and learned that the short a sound is one of the sounds a makes. Eventually we learned the short sound for each of the vowels and that sometimes they make the sound of their own name. (Even though vowels sometimes have other sounds, two was enough for kindergartners.)
This page also became one of 26 that we collected into a book. Throughout the year we made a page for each letter of the alphabet. (I loved it when we got multiple learning mileage out of one project.)

What I learned: Children don't want to be dirty but must be taught how to be clean.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Home-made Playdough - Claydough

In kindergarten we played with clay about once a year, on St. Patrick"s Day because it was green. It was available at the school for free. I used it because it was stiff and most kindrgartners need to strengthen their fine motor muscles. I only made this recipe for my own children and got it from my sister-in-law. I like it because it is easy and it is just like commercial Playdough.
I got tired of cleaning Playdough off the floor and out of the carpet so I usualy sent kids outside to play with it on a cookie sheet. Sculpting tools can be found around the house e.g. Rolling pin. kitchen utensils, toothpicks, objects to make impressions, etc.


Combine the following ingredients in a karge saucepan:
1 c. flour
1/2 c. salt
1 T. oil
1 1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
1 c. water
1 tsp. vanilla
Cook over low heat until all moisture disappears and mixture looks like playdough. Do not overcook.
Remove from heat, knead and knead in food coloring.

What I learned: Children like to make 3-D art but it can be done inexpensively with supplies found around the house.