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Volume 3 Number 3

Harry & Rosemary Wong ask, "Is it possible that a school district would have no openings at a time of worldwide teacher shortages? But more importantly, why were there no openings in the Medford School District?"...
Effective Teaching by Harry & Rosemary Wong
Promoting Learning by Marv Marshall
4 Blocks by Cheryl Sigmon
Ask the School Psychologist by Beth Bruno
Online Classrooms by Leslie Bowman
The Eclectic Teacher by Ginny Hoover
The Busy Educator's Monthly Five (5 Sites for Busy Educators) by Marjan Glavac
Around the Block by Cheryl Ristow
Ask the Literacy Teacher by Leigh Hall
Instant Ideas for Busy Teachers by Barbara Gruber and Sue Gruber
Every Day is Read Across America Day!
Music is...
Ten Pennies and Ten Dimes
Swinging on the Education Pendulum
Literature Circles
Internet Based Interaction in the Classroom
How to Create A Bad Acceptable Use Policy Document (And Have It Survive)!
Safety on College Campuses
The Montessori Mystery
Playing Baseball in the Classroom - A Flexible, Adaptable Game to Motivate Your Students
Whither Not Social Studies!
When Bright Kids Say, "I'm Bored!"
Book Review: Comprehension Instruction
Teacher Social Groups
Retaining Principals
Today I Learned
Things You NEVER Thought You'd Have to Say…or Hear
What Was Your Most Unforgettable Show and Tell?
How Do You Deal With Middle School Students' Apathy?
Why Reading Scores Across the Nation Have Declined
Apple Seeds
Special Days This Month
Poem - Searching for the Gold
The Lighter Side of Teaching
  • YENDOR'S Top Ten
  • A Challenging Foot Feat
  • Schoolies
  • Woodhead
  • Handy Teacher Recipes
    Classroom Crafts
    Help Wanted - Teaching Jobs
    Featured Lesson from the Lesson Bank
  • Here Comes the Train
  • Upcoming Ed Conferences
    Letters to the Editor
    Chatboard Poll, What changes has your district made in an effort to raise test scores?
    Action Against Hunger Project
    Explore Costa Rica's Monteverde Cloud Forest
    Third Annual Music Education Survey Gets Underway
    Gazette Home Delivery:

    About Classroom Crafts...

    If you have a craft project that would be of particular interest to fellow teachers, please consider sending it to


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    Classroom Crafts
    by The Teachers.Net Community

    Potato Heads

    Imagine a classroom display of "potato heads," each different from the other, created as part of a St. Patrick's Day/Ireland theme.

    Children trace and cut out a potato shape then add details. The example shown was created from a brown shopping bag "potato" with facial and other features cut from junk mail. Other options: Use buttons, yarn, fabric scraps, etc. to create unique and silly potato people.

    Kathleen Carpenter

    Leprechaun Catchers

    I've always had a great time making "Leprechaun Catchers" with my kids. After giving each child a Strawberry Basket (the plastic ones), I leave out various collage materials (anything from plastic fishing worms to electrical tape, corks to yarn, etc.) and allow the children to use their imagination on how to catch that leprechaun using the materials provided and the strawberry basket. They glue, tie, paint and cut items and then attach it all together onto a piece of square cardboard that is slightly bigger than the "Leprechaun Catcher". The children will then dictate or write down how the catcher works. It's a great creative imagination activity.
    Have fun!
    Sharon in Kansas

    I also have my kindergartners make Leprechaun catchers in March. Then they set them up the night before. The next morning the "Leprechaun" has left little green prints from the classroom door (made with green paint and a Q tip) through each trap and around the room (the best being prints into the bathroom and across the aquarium). He also leaves behind a gold (chocolate) coin and a Barbie shoe/boot and little purse. The kids are so excited! The first year I did this they were asking me so many questions about the Leprechaun that I could not make up answers fast enough. Enjoy!

    Last year we did a cute Leprechaun activity. I sent an assignment home with the children to create a Leprechaun catcher, set it up and see if they could catch one. I also wrote a note to the parents asking that they play along and make it look like the Leprechaun "got away". Then the kids had to write about it and bring it in to school to share. The parents were great. Some left gold dust, potatoes, miniature clothing, and even notes. They loved it.

    If you make a fist and dip the side of it in green paint (little finger side down), it will look like a leprechaun footprint. You can get several footprints out of one "dip". Our leprechaun walked all over the kids' desks last year. It is really easy clean-up.


    Chinese Scrolls

    I just have to share with you a fantastic art lesson we had on Friday.
    We made beautiful Chinese scrolls. Each and every child had success with this!

    click the image for a larger view

    Project: Chinese Scrolls showing bamboo trees on a berm. Each scroll will add a poem about trees. Each scroll will add the artist's signature using a homemade chop (signature).

    Objective: Shading

    Medium: watercolor

    Materials: 18 by 12 white construction paper

    • Black watercolor ‘cell'
    • Water color paint brush
    • Water cup
    • Small Styrofoam plate
    • 1 inch strips of rich colored patterned wallpaper, 2 for each student
    • Hole punch
    • Yarn to hang
    • Foam tray squares, cut into 2 by 2 inch squares
    • Red markers
    • Pencil

    Background: Artists paint the world around them. Tao-chi, over 300 years ago, painted bamboo trees and added poems to his scrolls.

    Internet web sites:

    Procedure: The students are shown the work of Asian artists. Point out the different shades of black used in the works shown. Display a card that has several shades of black painted on squares. The card shows the shades from lightest gray to black. This could be shown with about 5 squares.

    The students are now given their material. They begin by gluing one strip of wallpaper on the top and one strip of wallpaper on the bottom.

    The students are then shown how to add water and black watercolor to their plate to make a shade of black. They then use the gray paint from this plate to sketch out several bamboo trees on a berm or hill. Next they dip directly into their watercolor black cell to add black to the painting. Or they dip in to their water to add another shade of black.

    Technique to explore: Watch to see if the students are pulling the paintbrush, rather than pushing the paintbrush to paint. Working with the movement of your arm, and pulling the paintbrush is more effective.

    The students then made the chop, or signature, that the Asian artists use. Taking the 2 by 2 inch square foam, the students take their pencil and write their initials in the foam, backwards. They also may write a small design to signify their work. Taking a red marker to cover the design, the student then ‘huffs' over the ink and then stamps the chop onto the scroll.

    The students then add a short poem about trees to the scroll.

    The hole punch is used to add the yarn to the top of the scroll.

    One final note, there are no mistakes in this lesson, only an opportunity to make a new tree!

    Barb Gilman/2