Monthly Archives

April 2016

Punctuation Police Academy

The Punctuation Police are in town! That’s right, we’re solving punctuation crime and catching those punctuation punks. My students loved walking into our classroom on Monday and seeing a total classroom transformation.

The classroom was filled with flashing lights, police hats, badges, and police tape. This activity is perfect for reinforcing the proper usage of end marks, and it is something your students will never forget! Oriental Trading has a number of police themed supplies to turn your classroom into a police headquarters! Let’s grab our supplies and catch those punctuation punks!

Bold & Blue Police Hats
Police Car Photo Stand-Up
Police Party Latex Balloons
Police Party Light-Up Badges
Police Badge Name Tag Stickers
Police Party Hanging Swirls
Child’s Black Robe
Flashing Mini Blue Beacon Light
Police Officer Craft Bulletin Board
Punctuation Police TPT Bundle by Elizabeth Hall

The entrance to my classroom is one of my favorite parts! This Police Car Photo-Stand Up really brings this classroom transformation to life. I added police caution tape and a custom Punctuation Police Academy sign printed on heavy-duty outdoor vinyl from Vistaprint.

I setup my classroom with all of the supplies for our lesson on my red table in the back of the room. This includes small clipboards for each of my students, baskets filled with citations for my students to fill out, and mini blue beacon lights.

I created a punctuation bulletin board for my students to refer to as they are solving punctuation crime! These posters are part of Elizabeth Hall’s Punctuation Police Bundle on TeachersPayTeachers. The large exclamation point and question mark posters are from ReallyGoodStuff. The Police Party Latex Balloons from Oriental add that special touch to any classroom bulletin board!

Every student in my class had a bold and blue police hat sitting on their table when they entered the classroom. I created a coloring page for my students to work on while I took attendance and had my students order lunch.

The most important part of this lesson was explaining the different jobs. I had four different jobs: An officers, offenders, judges, and students finding punctuation punks that were hiding throughout the halls. I created this PowerPoint so my students would know exactly where they needed to go.

I had two baskets in back of my classroom filled with “Punctuation Citations.” If the child was a police officer they would head to the back of the classroom and grab a clipboard and a citation.

This is the setup that I had for my students when they entered the room. They were so excited to find out what they were doing and why the classroom was transformed into a police headquarters!

My students loved these police hats from Oriental Trading. They’re durable and a perfect size for my kindergarten students.

These police badge stickers are perfect for adding that special touch to any police officer’s uniform. What police officer is complete without a badge?

At each table I had a black waste basket full of laminated sentences. I found these black waste baskets at the Dollar Tree. Students were partnered together as one officer and one offender. The children would pick a sentence out of the waste basket and identify the improper use of an end mark on their citations.

After the officer and offender identify the improper use of an end mark on their sentence, they bring it to the judge tables located in the front of the classroom.

Here is a picture of my students hard at work solving punctuation crime! My students were so engaged as well. This lesson helped to reinforce this concept and my students worked together as a team to find those punctuation punks!

Here’s an officer hard at work! She’s about to take her citation back to her table and work with her offender to correct the sentence.

Here’s an offender and officer working diligently to identify the correct end mark that should be at the end of the sentence, “What time is it?”

As soon as the officer and offender fill out the citation, they bring their sentence and citation up to the judges. The judges determine if the offender and officer identified the correct end mark and take appropriate action.

If the judge finds that the officer and offender did not identify the correct end mark, they must sound the alarm and send the offender to “jail.” I designated my classroom library as my jail. The offender must stay in the library for one minute. The judges are in charge of stamping each citation with a “CONFIDENTIAL” stamp and placing it in the orange basket for filing.

A number of students explore the halls to find the punctuation punks. They must work together as a team to read the sentence and correct the end mark.

How cool are these police party light-up badges? My students loved that they flashed when pressed!

A day at the Punctuation Police Academy is not complete without a picture behind our police car photo stand-up. This lesson was perfect for reinforcing the concept of using the correct end mark at the end of each sentence and reviewing the different types of sentences. This is something that I hope my students will never forget!

Happy Patrolling,

DIY Robot Mask for Kids

I was so excited to find out that Ellison recently released one of Laura Kelly’s new dies – A Robot Mask! This DIY robot mask is a craft that kids of all ages will enjoy. It is quick to make and perfect for any birthday event, celebration, or school craft. This mask is sure to bring out your child’s imagination and have them saying, “I’m a robot.” (insert robotic voice) for hours! Let’s grab our supplies and get started!

– Ellison SuperStar Machine (Item #A10800)
– Sizzix Bigz XL Die – Mask, Robot (Item #A11130)
– Fiskars Scissors
– Eco-fiPlus™ Premiumfelt
– Adhesive (Hot glue or Tacky glue)
– Elastic String or Ribbon
– Brown Paper Bags

I used my Ellison SuperStar Machine to die cut each mask in a variety of colors of Eco-fiPlus™ Premium felt. Provide your students with a variety of felt colors to make each robot mask stand out.

Adhere each piece of felt together using hot glue or Tacky glue. The one thing that I absolutely love about Kunin’s Eco-fiPlus™ Premium felt is that it has a self-adhesive backing. This makes it very easy for my students to peel and stick their creations onto any object or surface. Add elastic string or ribbon to the back of each mask for easy adjustments. The die even die cuts a hole in each mask for easy stringing.

How fun are these paper bag robot costumes to go with the mask? I found out how to cut each brown grocery bag over on Use Washi Tape to add details and gears to make it your own!

These DIY robot masks are perfect for dress up! Your students are for sure going to love this!

Check out that vest! I was really pleased with how these fun robot masks and vests turned out, and I think the kids really like them too.


Enter to win your own Sizzix Big Shot Machine and an assortment of Laura Kelly dies!

Check out all these other great projects!

Disclosure: As a member of the Laura Kelly Design Team, I received craft products from Sizzix to create this awesome DIY tutorial post. All opinions are those of Male Kindergarten Teacher.

Happy die-cutting,

Earth Day Kid’s Crafts

Happy Earth Week! Welcome to “A Day in the Life of Kunin Felt Enthusiasts.” Join us for everyday crafting with Kunin. Make a mug rug to enjoy your morning coffee or a welcoming wreath on the front door. The possibilities are endless with Kunin Eco-fi brand felt

Today I am excited to share with you a couple of fun and easy crafts to create with your students for Earth Day! Let’s grab our supplies and get started!

Earth Day Felt Flowers

Eco-fiPlus™ Premiumfelt
– Fiskars Scissors
Green Chevron Paper Straws
Earth Day Felt Flower Tags (Free Printable)
Buttons (Laura Kelly buttons preferred) 
Adhesive (Hot glue or Tacky glue)
Ellison SuperStar Machine (Item #A10800)
Sizzix Bigz Die – Circle 4″ (Item #A10211)

As a kindergarten teacher, the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Earth Day is one of my all-time favorite books, The Lorax! With that in mind, I decided to create some Truffula Tree inspired flowers.

I used my Ellison SuperStar Machine to die cut 4-inch circles in a variety of colors of Eco-fiPlus™ Premium felt. Have your students use a variety of colors to make each flower stand out and resemble the Truffula Trees from The Lorax.

Have your students use scissors to cut from the 4-inch circle. It’s okay to let them be creative and create their own shapes! Be sure that you have some type of scissors that is able to cut through felt.

Adhere each piece of felt together using hot glue or Tacky glue. Add a colorful button to the top of your flower to give it that finishing touch.

Now it is time to adhere your flower to the stem. I purchased these green chevron paper straws from Oriental Trading – they’re perfect for this craft and they really give the felt flowers a realistic look. Turn your felt flower over and die cut one more 4-inch circle using your Ellison SuperStar Machine. “Sandwich” your stem between your flower and the 4-inch circle. Use some type of adhesive to keep each layer from separating.

How amazing are these? To add a special Earth Day touch to your flowers, download the free printable earth day tag to wrap around your felt flowers. You can find the free printable by Clicking Here!

Silly Soup Can Flower Pots

Have you ever wondered what to do with those old soup cans you have lying around the house? This craft is the perfect opportunity to talk about the 3 R’s (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle). Let’s make a silly face and create these silly soup can flower pots!

– Soup Can
Googly Eyes
Wheat Grass Seed (or some other seed/plant)
– Eco-fiPlus™ Premiumfelt
– Fiskars Scissors
TULIP Fabric Markers (Optional)
– Adhesive (Hot glue or Tacky glue)
– Ellison SuperStar Machine (Item #A10800)
– Sizzix Bigz Die – Mustaches Item (#A11030)
Sizzix Bigz Die – Glasses Item (#A10682)

I used my Ellison SuperStar Machine to die cut a pair of glasses and a mustache using Eco-fiPlus™ Premium felt. I highly recommend using wheat grass seed for this project. It is very easy to care for and it only takes a couple of days to start growing. Check out how tall my wheat grass is after only a week of growing!

The one thing that I absolutely love about Kunin’s Eco-fiPlus™ Premium felt is that it has a self-adhesive backing. This makes it very easy for my students to peel and stick their creations onto any object or surface. The adhesive backing also makes it easy for my students to draw any object on the back using Sharpies and cut their objects out with ease!

I love using TULIP Fabric Markers to add detail to each piece. The one thing that I absolutely love about this project is that students can personalize their silly tin can flower pot by adding different facial expressions or accessories to make it their own.

Thank you for enjoying this part of your day with Kunin. I hope you enjoyed these fun and easy projects for your students to complete during Earth Week! Are you inspired to create your own Earth Day project? If so, I would love to see it! Please share any of your Earth Day projects on Kunin’s Facebook Page. Happy Earth Day!

Go Green,

Spring Writing: When it rains…

Happy Spring! Wow – It’s hard to believe that it’s April! I am currently on Spring break this week and I’m enjoying every minute of it. I definitely miss my students, but I’m loving the amount of time I have to create fun, engaging writing activities for my students for the month of April. 

Since it’s April and the forecast for this week has been rain, rain, and more rain, it got me thinking of the saying, “April showers bring May flowers.” Today I am excited to share with you this Spring writing and craft idea using Ellison dies. Let’s grab our supplies and get started.

– Sizzix Bigz Die – Umbrella #4 (Item #A11089)
Ellison Superstar Machine
Watercolor Pencils
Watercolor brush pens
– Watercolor paper, card stock, or construction paper
Spring Writing: When it rains… Printable

Use your Ellison Superstar machine to die cut this amazing umbrella die by Laura Kelly. Use your watercolor pencils to draw darker lines to give the umbrella dimension. Lightly color each section with the desired watercolor pencil. Tip: Color very lightly with watercolor pencils… a little goes a long way!

Use your watercolor brush to blend the watercolor pencil. I loved overlapping the colors too – this helps blend it together and make it look more unified. The reason I love these watercolor brush pens is because they already have a water reservoir that holds water. No more dipping your brush over and over again in a water cup!

After you have colored your umbrellas to a desired look, use a scissors to cut off the handle of the umbrella.

Have your students color the boots to their liking with water color pencils and blend the pencil with a watercolor brush pen.

Carefully have your students cut out each boot and glue them on the back of their umbrella.

Check out this free writing printable! Your students will love writing about their favorite things to do in the rain!

Get this free writing printable template and boot printable by clicking here or clicking the image above!

Happy April,