Fall Leaves ART Project

Hi everyone,

I'm linking up with my Bright Ideas friends who are bringing you some fabulous ideas to implement in your classroom! My bright idea is a super fun art project that I made with my class this week. 

I got this idea from Mrs Picasso's Art Room. When I saw it on Pinterest, I just KNEW my kids would love making this beautiful art project!

For this project, you will need:
white paper
tissue paper (warm colors for Fall leaves)
Mod Podge or white glue
construction paper (sky colors)
black paper

First we used small squares of tissue paper and pasted them on white paper. We used mod podge for this part of the project. My students were SO happy to be using my little foam brushes! 
It's the little things, people ;)

I showed them how to put glue on their paper and how to cover the tissue paper with more glue. 

We let our collages dry overnight.

The next day, we drew leaves on the back of our collages and cut them out. Some of my students had pencil marks all over their paper and struggled with finding the line that they wanted to cut on. To help them out, I used a highlighter to trace over the line that I wanted them to cut on. 
I'm sure this avoided many tears ;)

I used 3 days for this art project, to make sure we had plenty of time to do each step. 
The last step was our windy background. For this, we used different colored constructions papers. I just handed out different blues and purples. My students did a good job of exchanging their paper with a friend. This way, everyone was happy with the color that they ended up with :)

We talked about how the wind blows and the directions that it moves in. We then drew swirls with pastels. I asked my students to rub on their swirls with their fingers. This gave a nice effect on their paper!

When we were all satisfied with our swirls, we pasted our leaves on the colored paper. 
I asked my students to imagine their leaf moving in the wind. They held up their leaves and moved them in the air. Once they decided how their leaf would fall on their paper, they glued it down. I love the different ways that they glued their leaves! It really showed me that they understood that their leaf did not have to be straight and centered. Everyone's project is really unique!

Our bulletin board is BEAUTIFUL!

I can't wait to see their little faces when they walk in next week. My favorite part of any art project is watching their reactions when they see their masterpieces on the wall!

Don't forget to check out all the other BRIGHT IDEAS in our link up.

Later gators,


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2 Easy Ways to Keep In Touch With Parents

Hi everyone,

I'm at the Primary Chalkboard today sharing 2 ways to keep in touch with parents. 

Head on over there to find out how I do it!

Have a great Sunday everyone,

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EASY Ways To Make Brain Breaks Successful In Your Classroom

Hi everyone,

A few weeks ago, we had a professional development day called ENGAGE. It was all about how we can engage our students in our classrooms. The day was SO much fun! We had a fantastic keynote speaker and super fun slam sessions. Teachers were given the chance to share some things that they use in their classrooms and I was given the opportunity to present some of my brain break tips and ideas. I couldn't believe the amount of enthusiasm that came from my colleagues! Everyone seemed so excited to learn about brain breaks and I was very happy to share some ideas with them. 

I'd like to share some of the tips, that I shared in my workshop, with you!

What are Brain Breaks?

Brain breaks are exactly what their name tells us. They are breaks for our brains.
Have you ever worked on something for so long that
you just couldn't take another minute?
Imagine you are sitting at your computer, working on your report cards. You have been at it for hours now and you just can't look at that computer screen any longer. You get up, go change the load of laundry or take the dog for a quick jog. Ten minutes later, you sit down in front of your computer and get back to work. You now feel refreshed and ready to work. That, my friends, was a brain break!

Just like us adults, kids need brain breaks too! They need them more than we do.

How Can Brain Breaks Help My Class?

Brain breaks can help your class in so many ways! They are great for taking our minds away from a demanding task in order to reboot our brains. They help us clear our heads and allow us to better focus on assignments. The more we keep our minds active, the better our stamina will be.

Brain breaks can also help calm students after stressful events such as recess, transitions, and school assemblies. I use relaxation and breathing exercises for this.

They help us get our energy up and our creative juices flowing. Try brain breaks before an activity that will require lots of concentration, such as Writers' Workshop. It will help your students "activate their brains" and will motivate them to write creative stories!

Brain breaks are also a great way to reward your students for good behavior and stamina. If your students work hard on a task and deserve a "pat on the back", why not let them get their wiggles out by giving them the opportunity to move a little? This will help motivate them to keep working hard.

When Should I Use Brain Breaks?

I use brain breaks at different times of the day. Morning meetings are a great time to use calming breaks. They help get students relaxed for the most important part of the day, your morning meeting.  You can read all about using brain breaks during morning meetings HERE.

When students come in from recess and lunch, they can be a little "frazzled" by whatever happens outside. Sometimes, they can come back to class stressed or upset. Sometimes, they come back very excited. Calming breaks are perfect for this time of the day. They help kids get their energy levels under control, which allows them to focus on their learning.

I use breaks during transitions. I feel that they help get kids to easily transfer their thinking from one subject to another by having a "distraction" in between.

Finally, I use breaks at the end of the day as rewards for good behavior.
I mostly use GoNoodle for my "end of the day parties".

Where Can I Find Them?

You can find brain break videos on YouTube. I strongly suggest that you WATCH them before playing them in your classroom. You never know what you can find on the internet, so make sure you view each video before using it with your class.

Here are a few of my go-to stations on YouTube:

GoNoodle is my FAVORITE brain break resource! This website is FREE and so easy to use!
You can sign up HERE.

Take a look at my class in action!

If you have no Smart Board in your classroom, there are plenty of other options for brain breaks out there! Take a look at a few ideas below. 

Click on this picture to get my brain break cards!

You can use dice with clear pockets by inserting post-its or cue cards and rolling the dice.

Have your students model for the class!
Every once in a while, I choose a student to stand in front of the class and act as a model for the rest of us. This student can move as he/she pleases by making circles with his/her arms, jumping up and down, etc. The class quietly imitates the model.
It is a quick and easy brain break!

Do you have other ways to implement brain breaks in your classroom?
Leave me a comment below!
I'm always looking for new and fresh ideas.

I'm off to move and groove with my class!


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Wordless Wednesday - Unfinished Classroom Projects

Hi everyone,

I'm sharing this picture with you on Wordless Wednesday because, well,
I have no words... 

Anyone else have unfinished projects in their classrooms??
Please tell me I'm not alone on this one... ;)


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