Friday, June 29, 2012

Chocolate Play Dough


I cannot believe I have been a teacher for now 17 years and this is the first year I tried the chocolate play dough recipe.  It is sometimes crumbly, but always so much fun because the chocolate smell that comes from this recipe is wonderful!  Kids will actually think they are making real chocolate things from this dough.  Of course many will try bites, but who wouldn't!  I put out an oven for the play dough to be "cooked!"  Add real muffin tins and rollers and other small kitchen spatulas and let them loose to create and cook!  Try it!  It is awesome!

Chocolate Play Dough

2 1/2 Cups Flour
1 cup cocoa powder
1 cup salt
1 T cream of tartar
3 T oil
2 cups water

Mix dry ingredients in a pot.  Add water and oil and stir together over low heat until it forms a dough.  Remove play dough from the pot.  Knead it after it cools by hand until it feels ready to play with!  Store in an air tight container or zip lock freezer bag.  

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

GREAT Pete the Cat Lesson Plans!

My favorite book for the beginning of the year is definitely Pete The Cat!  If you have not read one of the three books in this series, you are really missing out on being a cool teacher!Get out there and buy them today!  The books are by Eric Litwin and James Dean

  • Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes
  • Pete the Cat Rocking in My School Shoes
  • Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons
Rocking in My School Shoes is a great way to start off the school year.  It would be appropriate for preschool and for kindergarten although older kids are very into these books too!   We read Pete the Cat I Love My White Shoes.  Below are things that can be done with this book.                    

1.  We all began by reading the book, learning the tune and then watching some of the great YouTube videos on the Internet! 

2.  Then create your own cats and decide what color shoes he should wear.  The pattern you see here is how to cut out a cat that stands up.  Just fold a piece of paper in half and then cut the pattern.  You will end up with 2 tails and 2 heads and we just put the extra in the middle of the table for someone who may not cut as well as others.

3.  We created a class video with children reading parts of the book or singing parts of the book. We did this by creating small videos on an iPod Touch and them piecing them together.  It was simple.

4.  One day we had Pete the Cat Snack and ate everything that he stepped in during the story.  We had a plate and had strawberries, blueberries, mud (chocolate pudding), and water.  The kids loved it and then graphed what they liked eating the most.

The last book is Pete the Cat and His Four Groovy Buttons.  For this book subtraction on a very basic level is introduced.  My class decided to "act" out this book for their end of the year performance for their families.  We had sound effects made with instruments, a child with a Pete mask and yellow shirt on with buttons we created with fun foam, and children with number signs.  It was great!  I narrated parts but the students had most of it memorized.

**Note to teachers who plan to do this...have several copies checked out of the library for your book shelf.  We had 2 copies of each book and that wasn't enough.  This was by FAR their favorite set of books and they fought over them up until the very last day of school!
I just heard a Christmas Book is going to be released September 25th!  I know we will be pre-ording this on  by doing this it will arrive on September 25th for you to share in your classroom.  
We ordered Four Groovy Buttons by pre-ordering on amazon and we held a count down in my classroom on our circle time calendar.  This kids were really excited doing this.