Sprouting Wings: I bought these. The quality on these is really good - the cardstock is so thick the kids couldn't paper punch it, actually. This was a three-day project:
- Symmetrical Painting: Paint half of one side with a thick layer of acrylic paint, fold over and press. This would've gone better with finger paint - it's easier to get a thick coat and finger paint is less sticky - but we didn't have any, and I uncovered a bunch of acrylic at SCRAP last year.
- Pick Two Centers: Kids got about twelve minutes at two centers (three available): using dot markers, using glitter glue and stick-on rhinestones (you used to be able to get these very cheaply at OTC, but no more it seems), and using paper punches and ribbons to make streamers.
- Finishing Day: Kids get a twenty-minute center to use whatever they want to finish off their wings, plus chip glitter glue (which covers huge areas with both sparkly shapes and translucent color for a nice effect).
Unity Mosaics: We do a virtue every month at our school and start with unity. I got a bunch of paper mosaic tiles and gave every kid a pattern sheet to make a mosaic. Each one had a quarter of a larger design, so when they were all fitted together, they made a big wall display. The kids really liked these, particularly seeing them hanging, and want to do this again.
Oh Look, Science: We demonstrate liquid water turning into a steam by making tea using mint from the school garden. Once the kids start steeping their tea (we were fairly free with the honey this year, too) we demonstrate how the steam can be collected and condensed into water). We also put flowers in liquid watercolor so that we can use capillary action to show that liquids flow. And we froze liquid watercolor so that the kids who aren't using the play sink can use paintsicles (luckily, it's supposed to be warm this week).
Once we finish with water/states of matter/water cycle stuff, I want to do color and light again. I also committed to doing a month of family/celebrations/remembering crafts and Dia de los Muertos stuff with the 2nd graders next door and my ex-Resident's 1st graders. And I signed my class up for monthly environmental education trips with Kids in Parks. So in some ways it feels like my first year all over again - tons of new stuff to plan out and organize, etc. Still, some things are easier: this is the first year that I've managed to have stress-free crafternoons, just assuming the kids will move themselves between stations and everything will get cleaned up (starting clean up fifteen minutes before the bell helps - if they clean fast, we can pack up and go outside for a quick afternoon debrief/PE game/song, and if they don't it still gets done by the bell).