Thursday, October 14, 2010

How to Choose A Helper - Fall Edition

I want to try and have different methods of choosing a helper, since it's something that the kids get really excited about.  For the beginning of the school year, I had a jar of erasers, one for JP and one for SP, that had the kids names on them.  Now that fall is officially here, I really wanted to do something with that in mind.  I was at Target the other day, and found a bag of leaves in the DollarSpot that gave me this idea:


1 piece of foam-core from $1 store
Felt (a little less than a yard) for the background, the tree, and squares for the backs of the leaves
Hot glue
Laminated construction paper, cut into strips

How I did it:

I started by stapling the felt to the perimeter of the foam-core.  Use a good stapler on a hard flat surface in order for the staples to actually curve on the ends - otherwise they'll just pop out.  Yes, I learned that the hard way.

Cut out the tree and hot glue it to the board.

Cut out small pieces of felt and hot glue them to the backs of the leaves.  This is the most time consuming part.

Since I want to be able to use the same leaves again in the future, I laminated construction paper so I could write the kids' names in wet-erase marker.  I glued the paper to the front of the leaves, and wrote each child's name on one.  I also like to do one with the teacher's name on it - when I pull out a teacher's name, they get to pick a reverent child from their class to be the helper.

The Plan:

I have about 40 children each in Junior and Senior, so I'll start with all of the JP leaves in the tree.  As I choose the leaves, I'll move them to the ground under the tree, like leaves falling in autumn.  We'll see if we can get all the leaves to fall before winter, leaving the bare tree behind.  I will have to put the SP leaves on during sharing time, which may prove to be a drawback, but it might be worth the effort for a few weeks out of the year.  There's no doubt that this will work better with smaller primaries.  But the bright side is that if it proves to be too complicated with so many names, I can always use this prop for other review games!
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