Black Glue Art Projects

I am LOVING all of the black glue art projects that have popped up in my Pinterest feed over the past few months. So I decided it was time to give these projects a try with my own kids at home. 

First, we had to gather the supplies:
- Elmer's glue (about 2/3 full)
- black acrylic paint
- white paper
- pencil
 - watercolor paints + water

So I took my used bottle of Elmer's glue, which was about 2/3 full at the time. I took the top off, poured a bunch of the black acrylic paint in it, put the lid back on, and shook it up.

This is what the glue looked like after shaking. It looks more gray than black. I suggest you test it out a little bit on a piece of scrap paper to make sure the glue is coming out black.

Next, it's time to pick your design. You can either sketch out a drawing with pencil, print out a design, or just freehand your picture. I recommend very simple designs for young children. Take your black glue and outline the picture. Once you're done, set them aside to dry. We made this a 2-day project and let the glue dry overnight.

When the glue is dry, it's time to grab your watercolor paints and get started.

The black glue will act as a border and keep most of the watercolors in place.

When you're finished, you can put them on display.

In addition to the apple, my daughter made this butterfly:

My son painted this fish:

I hope you'll give black glue a try with your students.
You can find even more ideas for arts and crafts on my Pinterest board:

Happy Teaching!

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The Jelly Donut Difference (FREEBIE)

I was recently introduced to the story The Jelly Donut Difference by Maria Dismondy, and it has quickly become one of my favorite character education books.

The story focuses on Leah and Dexter, a brother and sister who don't always get along, but eventually learn about kindness and generosity. You can even hear  Maria Dismondy read the story to your children here:

Today I want to share a little kindness with you. I have a little activity that I think your students will love: A Dozen Ways to Be Kind.

I'm going to show you three different ways you can use this with your students.

Option 1: File Folders
I started with a file folder. I cut out a section on the front that was 4"x 6" so the folder would resemble a donut box with a see-through window. I also cut a sheet protector into a 5"x 7" rectangle and taped that to the inside of the file folder to help create the illusion of a donut box window (you might be able to use saran wrap or just leave the window open, too.)

 From there, students can write a dozen ways to show kindness on the donuts inside the folder, decorate the donuts, and even decorate the outside of the file folder.  

Option 2: Paper Donut Box
For this option, I grabbed two sheets of brown paper. I used washi tape to hold the two pages together at the top to create a flap. Then I glued on the title cover.

On the inside, there's room to add two more parts. The top section is where students can write down a dozen ways to show kindness. The bottom has a dozen donuts that students can decorate any way they choose. When on display, the top flap can open and close. 
Note - you could also skip the lined paper option and have students write the acts of kindness on the donuts like you saw in option one.

Option 3: Modified Donut Box for Younger Students
This option is set up just like the one shown in option two, but focuses on half a dozen ways to be kind. This option uses just one sheet of cardstock (or construction paper) that has been folded in half.

Here's a sample page for the inside: 

Do you think your students would enjoy this activity? You can find the directions and templates here.

If you're looking for more activities for The Jelly Donut Difference, click here. You'll find comprehension questions, vocabulary cards, graphic organizers, and a donut craft that doubles as a response booklet.

Happy Reading!

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Setting Classroom Goals, Part 2

As you start another school year, I'm sure you have a million and one things planned to do with your students. One thing you should definitely take the time to do is set goals with your classroom. They really help set a purpose for ALL of your students and help with building classroom community. I've posted about how I set classroom goals with my students HERE.

After writing that post, I have received many questions and requests about the posters I used. Today I want to show you how you can use these posters to help your students track the progress made towards their classroom goals.

First of all, there are several options of goal sheets for you to choose from (and more will be added in the future). No matter the design, all of the goal sheets have the same header to keep a uniform look, but you can edit each page to fit the needs of your classroom and students. That's right - all pages are editable!

That means you can take a simple design with just a table, add your own clipart, and turn it into this:

Once posted in the classroom, students can help you color in one icon for each time they make progress towards their goal. By allowing students to participate in the process, they become more motivated to work together, thus building classroom community!

There are also pages with kid clipart already in place. You can edit the text, insert your own set of images (or table), and print.

All of the pages with kid clipart have a color and b/w version included. This means you can print these goal sheets on your favorite colors to make them POP! If your classroom chooses a goal that they will meet more than one time during the year, slide the goal sheet into a sheet protector or laminate. Students can color in the icons using dry erase marker. Once the goal is met, just wipe it clean and start again.

Another way you can track student progress is to let your students place stickers inside the grid boxes.

You can find all of these editable classroom goal sheets here. If you have any questions or requests for designs you'd like to see added to this file, feel free to email me or leave me a comment.

Happy Teaching!

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