I am participating in a blog hop this weekend with Kinderpond and lots of other great bloggers! Be sure to check out this posts about teaching with recycled/re-used objects.
Two summers ago, I found these awesome water bottles called Aqua Pods. They look like this:
They are hard to find, but I found mine at Wal-Mart. I bought them for my girls and saved the bottles because I had a great idea for them…..MYSTERY BOTTLES!
In the beginning of the year, we play the “Name Game”. I choose one child each day from the “Lucky Duck Can.” I write their name on a sentence strip, we count the number of letters, clap the syllables, cut apart their names, and then put it back together. I use 12x18 sheets of construction paper and write the number of letters in their name in the corner. We tape the letters back on and say the letter as we go. Of course the child whose name it is is standing with me, and being the “checker.” She makes sure it goes back in the right order! Each time another child has the same number of letters, we add that to the same page. Make sense?
After we rebuild their names, we do their name bottle. I take out my reused aqua pod bottle, remove the label, fill it with water and use letter beads to rebuild their name again in the bottle! They LOVE this. I recruited my 8 year old daughter to sort the beads by letter for me in a bead compartment thingy so it’s much easier to find the letter I need.
Then, we add some glitter! The love this part! I put the lid on tightly (I don’t glue it because I want to reuse them again the following year!) and we go on a roller coaster ride to shake the letters up. The children think this is so fun, and they let me know if I forget!
We continue going through one name a day (as long as we have time!) until all the children have their name on the bottle.
Later, I use this for a literacy center. I write numbers on the caps with a sharpie, and the children need to look closely at the letters inside to see whose name it is. The aqua pods are great for this because they sort of magnify the letters because of their shape.
The response sheet is pretty simple – I make a word bank with the names in it and lines with a number next to it. I break it up into 2 weeks so it’s not so overwhelming. Half of the class is on one response sheet and the other half is on the other. I leave the bottles out for the rest of the year for the children to explore with. I’ve never had a problem with kids opening the bottles. At the end of the year, I dump the water out – I just put a washcloth in the bottom of the sink so I don’t loose the letters, rinse the glitter off and then let them dry!
Now….I’ve searched high and low on my computer for pictures – but I can’t find them!! We haven’t started this project yet this year – I have a tough class this year, and they just weren’t ready for it yet. I hope to start if after Christmas. If I ever come up with the pictures, I will post them. I hope I explained it well enough that you get a good idea in your mind!!
Now, hop on over to these other great blogs to check out their recycled ideas!