i LAVA you <3

Well, I haven’t posted in a while! The last couple weeks, we have been busy with Valentine’s day and learning about VOLCANOES! SOOOOO much fun! We started the week off with a mentos and diet coke geyser! I got a geyser tube from my cooperating teacher when I graduated, it’s really cool and from Steve Spangler, and i haven’t used it yet! The kids loved it and it was a great way to get them interested in eruptions and volcanoes.

We also watched the Pixar short called “LAVA”. It’s about a volcano that wants someone to “lava” and he has a really catchy song too. You can look it up on YouTube but it’s not the actual video, it’s a music video. The whole thing is in the special features of the movie “Inside Out” I won’t spoil it for you in case you wan to see it, but it’s so cute and sweet. The kids loved it to and even pointed out some of the things we have learned about.

We discussed what a volcano is made of, what comes out of them, and the shape of a volcano: one of my kids described it as a “triangle with the top chopped off“.

After our discussion I introduced them to oil pastels. We talked about the colors we would need to made just the volcano part. They decided to use brown, black and grey. They drew the volcanoes with the pastels and used red, yellow, and orange paint for the lava. They turned out great!



This is G’s view from the TOP of the volcano.

I also let them experiment with baking soda, vinegar, and eye droppers. This is always a great go-to science activity. What 4 year old doesn’t like making things fizz up?!

We TRIED to make a volcano out of Legos. . . it didn’t work. It was very hard to get them to stay up and by the time we finished (even with my help) it didn’t look at all like a volcano. So, we decided to just make one out of sand on the playground. Each child had a part (collecting sand, molding the volcano and, adding pop rocks, baking soda, or vinegar). We found the pop rocks didn’t add too much more popping to the eruption but when they landed on the sand they popped in it and made holes. A pretty cool discovery.


All those holes where the wet sand is are from the Pop rocks!!

That was the end to our Volcano week. I meant to show them the videos of real volcanoes erupting, but we just ran out of time.

Here are some of the books we read to further our knowledge!


❤ Ali


Shades of People

At the beginning of the year we started our self investigations. We read a book called Shades of People.

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I’m going to copy and paste that documentation panel i made for this on here so you can see how I write them and what it sounds/looks like. Here goes . . .


Shades of People

We read Shades of People, which explores the many different shades of human skin, and points out that skin does not reveal what someone is like on the inside. This prompted a discussion about the different shades of our skin. Right away the kids noticed the differences and similarities in their skin.

“Mine is just like hers!”

“My arm is browner than his.”

“Ours is kinda close, but not really that much.”

I provided skin shade cards and prompted the kids to find a shade that matched themselves.

“Mine and his are the same!”

“Mine isn’t on here.”

“It’s kind of close to that one.”

Later I provided brown, yellow, white and black paint and prompted the children to mix colors together to get their shade of skin color. They started by picking the colors they saw in their skin and adding some to a plate to mix them.

“It’s turning white-brown.”

“I need more brown.”

“I need it darker. More brown.”

“I’m adding yellow because I like bananas.”

“Hey it’s turning my color a little bit. Or maybe pie.”

After they mixed them together they tested the color against their skin to see if they needed to add anything to it. They understood that adding white makes colors lighter and adding darker colors like brown and black makes colors darker.

After mixing the right shade they painted their hands and made hand prints.


I hope that was helpful! If you have any questions please let me know!!

❤ Ali

Beautiful Stuff Project

At the beginning of the year we began our beautiful stuff project. The first thing I did was ask the children what they thought beautiful means. Those answers are on the left; the ones on the right are things they thought were beautiful. I particularly like that they think onions and teachers and both beautiful!


I found some items around the room and outside that I thought were beautiful (ribbon, bead, shiny paper, a leaf, a stick, etc.). I put them in a brown paper bag and took each one out and showed it to the class. Most of the class agreed with me that most of my items were beautiful, but then I brought out the stick. . .

”A stick?”

“That’s not beautiful!”


Then came the meaningful conversation about how everyone can find different things beautiful, not everyone finds the same things beautiful and that’s ok.

Then, I gave them a job. They each got their own brown paper bag and were told to take it home and find SMALL things they think are beautiful and fill up the bag. They were all so excited to take their bag home.

They took it home over the weekend and on Monday they each took a turn pouring out their bag on a tray and showing their beautiful finds to the class.

After they all shared, we poured out all the items they brought and sorted them into three groups: art, home, and nature. I split the class into two groups and gave each group half of the items they brought in. They worked together to decided what box them item would go in.

We used the items to make the letters of the alphabet for our wall. Each child got to choose 2 letters to make. I cut black poster board into 6 sections and wrote the letter on it using white crayon. Some things had to be hot glued on because they weren’t staying on with regular glue. Surprisingly the shells and most of the rocks stayed on without any hot glue! They have been up going on 5 months and (KNOCK WOOD!!) nothing has fallen off any of them. OH! Also, I used command Velcro strips to attach the letters to the wall! Taping things to the wall in my classroom and in the hallway almost never works. All our humidity, even in the winter, makes sure of that.

Well, that’s about it. I LOVED this project! We regularly receive compliments about it and the kids love referring to it when they are writing.


Documentation board for the entire project

We’re learning the letters in sign language too and so each week when we learn a new letter I take a picture of one of my kids making that letter then I print it in black and white and post it above that letter on the wall.


❤ Ali