Sunday, November 23, 2014

Create a Digital Advent Calendar

If you celebrate Christmas at your school or with your children at home, you can create a simple digital advent calendar to surprise your kids with a different activity a day! 

Signup for a free Weebly account. Choose a website layout and add images and adjust the typeface to give it a Christmas theme. Weebly is a super simple website creator with a drag and drop feature, no coding required. To make your calendar, drag "buttons" located under "structure" in the left side panel. Type numbers in each button. To arrange the buttons in a grid, move around the "dividers" and align buttons left, center or right until they are lined up. You can add dividers which are also located under "structure." If you want to make special buttons, you can upload them as images.

Once your site is laid out, add links! Click on each button, hit link and paste the website url for a fun activity. That's it! You could even have kids write a special message or create a video message for some links and share with the parents of the students in your class. Parents will enjoy seeing what's next on the advent calendar. As a class, you could vote on what you should put up each day. Here is the link to the one I made featured left.

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hands-On Science Using Nature Works

Check out my post at We Are Teachers: Hands-On Science Using Nature Works by Nature Conservancy! Ten science topics that include videos, free lesson plans and additional resources.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Sap to Syrup: States of Matter and Heat

Explore what form of energy transforms maple sap into maple syrup, then maple candy!
Video Introduction: Sap in the Sugar Maple Tree
Book: Sugaring Time by Kathryn Lasky
Resources to explain the process: Word Playhouse
Maple Sugar Tree Identification sheet: Ohio Thoughts Blog

Recording sheets about Heat and the States of Matter: click here 
- Students label the states of matter for each stage of the maple syrup process. Then, they identify heat as being the form of energy that changes maple sap into syrup, then maple candy.
- Maple Taffy Experiment with snow, students record the results of the experiment.
- Checklist if students go on a maple sugaring field trip

Recipe for maple candy: All Recipes
Recipe for Maple Taffy for the Freezing Experiment - The Kitchn

Season: End of February / Beginning of March

Monday, November 10, 2014

Alphabet Grid: Phonics

materials: sidewalk chalk or masking tape

Phoneme-Grapheme Correspondance & Letter Recognition
1. Jump on letter name, say the sound
2. Teacher calls out a letter sound, student jumps on the letter that represents the sound
3. Hold up an object, have the student locate and jump on the beginning, middle or end sound. Ex: Beginning sound of the word ball. Student jumps on the letter /b/

Segment & Blend the Word
After children find beginning, middle and end sounds of the word, have them segment it 
and blend the word on a separate. Ex: grid /b/ /a/ /ll/ = ball
(Phoneme segmentation. The ability to identify separate phonemes in a spoken word.)

Have child choose an object and spell the word phonetically, jumping to each letter on the alphabet grid. Child shouts out letters Ex: dog: child jumps on D-O-G 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

Backyard Soil Samples

Soil Lesson - TPT - $2
Students bring in a soil sample from their backyard to investigate, draw, describe (color, particle size, texture and structure), compare / contrast (with a peer's sample) and experiment on (predict and discover what type of soil is in their yard)!

slides to introduce the components of soil
(sand, silt, clay, organic matter, water, air and animals)
soil sample recording sheet (investigating, drawing and describing)
link to soil structure chart (texture vs. structure)
Venn diagram to compare / contrast soil samples with a peer
soil experiment to figure out their soil type
full lesson plan and assessment