Thursday, February 20, 2014

Sight word practice

I made a sight word game with sight words I found at the Dollar Store. I taped the words in a path around the room.

We read through them many times before we started playing the game. The point is to get to read the words well and fast enough that they are memorized. We started at the starting point and walked the "path" until the end.

 I tried to make the first words make a sentence, but after that it just sounds like babble.
I made the last word be "Stop." 

Here's our rules:
If you miss a word, you start over.
You have 1 minute to read them all

We are still working on it.

**Update: This activity is a great way to practice sight words, but didn't work for us. After two days on the floor, half the words were eaten or chewed by little brother. He dominates the floor right now and eats everything he can get into his mouth. We ended up pulling all the words up. I need another way to do this instead. Any ideas?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Butterfly Garden: Live caterpillars that change into butterflies

After we received the box, we ordered the live caterpillars.
I thought I would share our experience with pictures.

 These are the caterpillars on arrival and the day
before they started making chrysalises.

Take a note if you do this, read the instructions and
don't put the caterpillars in direct sunlight. They die.
We received 5 caterpillars and only had 4 survive.
Don't tell my kids.

 The caterpillars didn't form their chrysalises all on one day.
It took about 3 days for all of them to make their chrysalises.

According to the order they formed their chrysalises,
they all hatched. It took about 3 days for them all to hatch. 
We got extremely lucky in that we caught a butterfly just
as it was coming out. My son sat and watched the miracle of this
tiny bug crawl out all slimy and spread out its wings.

One of the last butterflies to hatch didn't get its wings out
all the way before it dried. So, it had a deformed wing
that was curled outward. We were worried about it,
but it flew just fine and took off when we let them go.

I admit that it is pretty cool to watch.

About 2 days after all the butterflies hatched,
we set them free in a good grassy, flowery place. 
My son tried to chase them. They are too fast.
Definitely a great thing to do with your kids. 
I recommend this as a fun summer activity.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Butterfly Unit

To continue with the Butterfly lapbooks, here are some fun activities to do with your butterfly unit.

 Butterfly Symmetry game.
I take no credit for this except I made my own set.
I got this from All Our Days blog. 
She included a free printable that makes this so easy.
All you have to do is print, cut out felt pieces, and you have your own set.
She also has a toddler version of this if this is too hard for your little one.
 Water color caterpillar.
I took a plastic cup and dipped it in black paint to make the original circles.
I did this the day before and let it dry.
Then, the kids colored with water colors in each circle. 
This is a great opportunity to teach about primary colors and secondary colors.
 Life cycle of a butterfly. 
I just cut out a large circle and let the kids glue on the parts.
For the parts: I have white small beans as eggs.
I have Fusilli pasta for the caterpillar (I had to look that pasta name up.).
I used acorns for the Chrysalis (or cocoon).
I have farfalle pasta for the butterflies.
 I found wooden butterfly cut outs at the Dollar Store.
I hot glued a Popsicle stick on one side to make puppets.
We colored the butterflies with markers, but you could paint too.
We stuck these outside in the garden once they were done.
 Coffee Filter butterflies.
For further pictures and instructions go HERE.
You can color the filters with washable markers and
then get them a little wet to blur the colors. 
You could watercolor them or even paint them. 
Once colored and dried, take the wooden
clothespin and bunch the filter in the middle. 
Take the pipe cleaners and make antenna. 
You could attach goggly-eyes to the clothespins too.
I forgot to take pictures of the completed project.
Beaded pipe cleaner caterpillars.
I stuck a bead on the end and twisted the pipe cleaner around it.
Then I gave the kids each a box of beads to make a caterpillar.
This is a great way to practice patterns, colors, even shapes.
The beads stay on pretty well and this would be great for younger kids too.

Have fun with butterflies!

Sight Word I-Spy Bags

I made these using felt, clear plastic material, large lima beans, and colored pasta.
Each one of these took a piece of felt which was
half (hamburger end) of an 8 1/2 by 11 inch piece of felt. 
I took a regular size piece of felt and cut it in half (8 1/2 by 5 1/2 inch)
and then folded it to make the bags. 

I cut out a rectangle piece on the front and sewed a piece of
clear plastic material (it is the material you use as a clear table cloth or shower curtain).
 Here is a close up of one bag.
I took large lima beans and wrote on them with permanent markers.
I then put colored pasta as extra stuffing.
I sewed a letter or number on the back (before you stuff or sew it together). 
This helps me remember what sight words are in each bag.
P = Preschool, K=Kindergarter, 1=1st grade, 2=2nd grade, 3=3rd grade.
I also made a laminated list that goes with each bag.

Butterfly Lapbooks

 I thought I would share the Butterfly lapbooks I made for my kids.
The one on the left is for first grade and the one on the right is preschool/kindergarten level.
Keep in mind that these are the duplicates I made for my sister's kids.
 This is the 1st/2nd grade level lapbook cover. There is a diagram of butterfly parts on the top.
The butterfly ballad (song) is in the green border. I got that from SuperTeacherWorksheets.
The red pocket contained pictures of butterflies for a game inside.
 This is inside the folder.
There is a life cycle of a butterfly circle that turns to reveal each stage in the cycle.
I found this on Super Teacher Worksheets too.
The strips of paper on the right are for practicing measuring.
Each strip is to the nearest inch or nearest centimeter. 
The life cycle of a butterfly flip book (red and yellow book on left) is for each stage in the life cycle.

The caterpillar has sight words and I made a set milk jug lid sight words to match.
This is a simple matching game of matching sight word to caterpillar.
And this is only a few sight words, not all of them.
See below for the lids and painted box I made to go with this.
Notice I made a set of numbers and capital letters to go with this too.
 Here is another view of the inside of the 1st/2nd grade folder.
The book I'm holding up in the picture is just pictures of the
progression of a caterpillar to a chrysalis and the coming out of a butterfly. 
I found those online by using a search engine (keyword: butterfly metamorphosis).
A great site is
Look up their life cycle page for these photos.

The cards on the left are what was in the blue pocket.
They are sequence cards of the stages of a butterfly.

The clock cards are on the bottom right and go with the clock face.
 I cut up a large index card into strips and put three different times on them.
I put three times that are easy, medium, and hard.
 This was a stand alone sheet that I laminated and stuck inside. 
This has room for math problems that can be used with a white board marker.
It can be erased and used many times.
 Here is the back side of the laminated sheet.
This is to be used the butterflies that are in the red pocket
on the front of the lapbook. The game is to pick several butterflies
and sort tally up how many have a certain color.
Then graph the results on the graph below.
 This is the inside of the Pre-K/K lapbook.
I made a caterpillar with lower case letters of the whole alphabet.
I made matching lids with capital letters to match for tactile work on letters.

I have a colors book on the left that is a flip book for the rainbow colors.
The book below is for the basic shapes and is also a flip book.

I made sequence cards, life cycle circle, and easy clock cards like the other folder.
The red pocket contains number practice cards. See below for more information.
These are the counting cards and I made a set of lids
that have the numbers 1-10 on them to go with these.
I used a butterfly stamp and different colors to make these.
I made a set of lids with each stage of the butterfly cycle for tactile arrangement too.

If you want to see the rest of the butterfly unit, check the label "Butterfly unit."