Hello Spring!

photo of cherry blossoms

Hello springy sights, sounds, smells, and feelings! I am glad you are finally creeping into our classroom.

After the much needed rest during spring break and Easter, we have hit the ground running yet again. Literacy centres and guided reading are still generating shouts as though it was announced it was an inside recess day. I’ve now brought in the iPad to reach those kids need some extra TLC and for those who believe they are the next Mark Zuckerberg. In particular we have been playing with the “Smarty Pants School” app. It is so perfect for the classroom. You can upload different students and after an assessment, each of them can play at their own pace through letter recognition, phonemic awareness, and site word games. Fabulous app!

One of our learning outcomes is to be able to identify characteristics of the different seasons. When fall changes to winter and when winter changes to fall, I always sing the goodbye season song (in the Spring songs and poems section in CanTeach, see the link below). We sang goodbye to all things winter and then hello to all things spring. After singing it and reading enough books about the coming season to become experts, it was time to assess. I created this sheet for my firsties to record characteristics of winter and characteristics of spring. Yes I could have just asked them, but then I wouldn’t have a nice piece of work to show off! Here is a printable of the “Goodbye Winter Hello Spring” sheet.

goodbye winter printable

Many of you are studying eggs and chicks right now since the Easter season has just passed. This is a favourite activity of mine that I love doing every year. It is a spin off activity from an oldie but a goodie book, “The Golden Egg Book” by Margaret Wise Brown. There are a few different versions of illustrations of this book out there. I don’t know maybe Little Golden Books was trying to keep up with the times, but this version is THE BEST. My mom bought it for me at a garage sale when I was in the teacher education program and I fell in love with it as soon as I saw the cover. It’s so beautifully illustrated and this bunny compared to the other ones is the sweetest by far! So, if you come across this version, buy it!

the golden egg book cover

Okay, on to the activity. I read up to the part where the bunny falls asleep beside the egg after trying hard to break it and find out what’s inside. Then I ask the kids what they think is inside the egg. OMG, you will be surprised at the kind of answers you get. Yes, you’ll get every bird imaginable, but year after year I always get someone who thinks that there is a chocolate bunny inside. I guess that’s what they would hope is inside if they came across an egg. My favourite this year was “I think a burping chicken is in the egg.” Ummm, okay, but I’m surprised that he didn’t say that it was a farting chicken.

Here is a printable for everyone to record their prediction of what’s inside.

egg prediction printable

And… you can’t celebrate spring without looking at cherry blossoms and emphasizing that it is not a good idea to throw handfuls of rocks at them just so you can bathe in the petals (we had several injuries the other day). Let mother nature take its course and wait for a windy day.

I have to credit my grade one teaching buddy for this one. I’ve done the boring tissue paper cherry blossoms and this was a nice change. Make foamy paint by mixing equal parts shaving cream and white glue, then add food colouring, and voila. Gorgeous and fun to use!

cherry blossom craft 1 cherry blossom craft 2

Finally, here are some spring songs and poems related to the months of April and May as well.

Happy Teaching!