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Base Ten Number Line

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Multiplication Tricks

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Telling Time Misconceptions

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I get the cutest handwriting fonts at Fonts for Peas! kevinandamanda.com/fonts
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What a Great Way to Start the Year!

This is just a quick post to share a lesson idea. I came across this book the other day, picked it up, and read it in Hobby Lobby. I thought it would make a great lesson for back to school. It celebrates students individual talents and gifts. This would be a great ice breaker activity to display the individuality of students in their “Hot Air Balloons”. Students could. build these maybe out of coffee filters OR whatever else you imagine!

Get Outdoors to Teach Angles!

This was one of the last things I did with students last school year. I had them build an angletron which is basically a piece of paper that you have folded into an certain angle so that you don’t have to carry around a protractor. We folded them to the size of the Golden Angle and then went to find Golden Angles in nature outside. In case you don’t know the Golden Angle is 137.5 degrees. This is what makes nature look natural. It is everywhere in nature! This makes for a treasure hunt for kids. Here you can see it matches up perfectly to the veins of an oak tree leaf. I also found a Golden Angle in the way the blades grew in a tall piece of “nut grass” as my mom calls it.

To make this angletron I just folded a piece of paper in half=180 degrees, then folded it again in half to equal 90 degrees. I was then able to fold each bottom side of the 180 degree angle up to meet the center 90 degree crease. This allowed me to count, 45, 45, 45 to get to 135 degrees. This is pretty close to 137, so I just estimated a couple of more degrees to make my angletron. It doesn’t matter that the outside edges aren’t perfect as long as the inside corner is the right number of degrees to measure your angles.

You can GO HERE for a video version of making angletrons.

A fun question to ask students is if the Golden Angle is 137.5 degrees how many degrees are left over in a circle (360 degrees)? The answer is 222.5. Hmmm? Interesting! There is so much to explore with the Golden Angle and Fibonacci sequences in nature! Happy Hunting!

10 Ways to Avoid Summer Brain Rot

  1. Send children outside to collect something. For example, collect, rocks, leaves, flowers, dirt samples. What similarities and differences do you see in each thing?
  2. Grow something that attracts butterflies such as dill and notice what happens as the caterpillars grow. Do they see any caterpillars shedding their skin as they grow?
  3. Go outside with a magnifying glass and look at crawling bugs. Where are they going? Are they carrying anything? Why?
  4. Oldie but a goodie If you have the neighborhood for it, set up a lemonade stand. Have children figure out how much they would have to charge per glass to make money.
  5. Learn some information above your grade level. Parents can sign their children up for Super Teacher Worksheets and either brush up on topics they need some review with or work to learn skills above their grade level.
  6. Look at the sky and find cloud pictures. What do chidden see? Do others see something different?
  7. Draw a picture of your backyard. Now draw a picture of your DREAM backyard. What would you change and why?
  8. For older children, buy some vinegar and baking soda. Discuss chemical reactions and the Periodic Table. Old film canisters and ziplock bags work great for a closed environment to mix the baking soda and vinegar. The pressure will build and “pop”. the kids will get instant smile with pleasure when the chemical reaction explodes. Protective eyewear would probably be best or just stand at a distance.
  9. Teach your dog new tricks. Make videos of these to share with your friends.
  10. My very favorite: Make an angletron like I discussed in the previous post and see how many places you can find the Golden Angle in nature. Here is a printable protractor so you can easily make a Golden Angle measuring tool

Amazing Math Enrichment!

Are you looking for something to fill time towards the end of the school year? Do this amazing group of activities revolving around the Fibonacci sequence. For a classroom teacher this would probably take about a week. I did this with higher level learners in fifth grade. They were intrigued.

Lesson 1: First we watched this video:

Then we added Fibonacci numbers up to sequence 30. This was good for students who needed to add some larger digit numbers since they get large rather fast. We talked about what Fibonacci numbers were and where they were located on our bodies, such as in the spiral of our ears, hair, and fingerprints. I brought a few pinecones to examine.

Lesson 2: We watched this video.

Then we went outside and found pine cones, I brought some raw broccoli, and I got some daisies at the local grocery store. We examined these items for Fibonacci spirals and counted the number of petals and looked for spirals.

Lesson 3: We drew a Fibonacci Spiral and talked again about where we could find it on our own body. This video shows how to draw a Fibonacci Spiral more slowly.

Lesson 4: We found the golden ratio. I had students pull out their Fibonacci numbers that they had figured out in the first lesson. Students need to divide the larger Fibonacci number by the smaller preceding one all the way down the sequences. I allowed them to use calculators to do this. I had them record 10 decimal places after the decimal. Eventually students end up seeing the pattern.

Lesson 5: (This took 2 classes) We measured our body parts with a measuring tape and ruler. If you want these measurements to be more accurate, I figured out the second time that I wanted students to use the centimeter side of the measuring tape so that the Golden Ratio would turn out more accurately. This way students don’t have to keep up with fractions of an inch. I did use a product on TPT for students to do this. There are several which have places for students to fill the measurements of their body. They actually did get 1.6 on some of their measurements!!!

Lesson 6: We made an angletron with 137.5 degrees which also is related to the Fibonacci sequences.

Then we went outside with our angletron and tried to find Golden Angles. I found one and asked the children if it was truly a Golden angle. They confirmed the veins in the leaf of an oak tree were a Golden Angle!! WOW!!!!!WOW!!!

Are You Scrambling for End of Year Resources?

I usually am. Well, don’t underestimate Super Teacher Worksheets wealth of resources. Did you know they have cute printable for saying goodby to your students OR super fun puzzles you can do to keep your children busy on those last few days when you are working on cleaning out your room. What about the “brain rot” that happens over the summer. Don’t you think your students’ parents might enjoy a summer fun packet? Look no further! Super Teacher Worksheets has all of this and more!

Try this Great Field Trip!

A few years ago I went on THE best field trip EVER! It is a place your wouldn’t think of going. We went to the water plant. We got to see how water was gathered, filtered, and sanitized. I know not everyone has the same water plant I have, but this is a great trip worth looking into for your area. We got to do a virtual trip this year, which was also great! I’m going to list several reasons why.

  1. Engineering Process. Even though we didn’t watch any engineers, we got to learn about the filtration process step by step. There is a lot of thought that goes into filtering water and treating the water with different chemicals. It moves throughout several pools to filter before chemicals are added. Very talented engineers had to design this process for it to be safe for us
  2. Chemistry. Students were able to learn about the chemicals chlorine and fluoride. They learned why these chemicals are important for the water that comes from our faucet.
  3. Measurement. Our students were able to see how large a pipe was compared to their size. They are about six feet in diameter.
  4. Appreciation. Students listened to the workers at the plant tell about how they watch computer screens on a 24 hour basis to see if there are any leaks that would indicate there is a problem. These workers have to work even when weather is bad to protect the water supply. This will make you appreciate what comes out of the faucet even more.
  5. Career opportunities. There are many, many people that work at a water plant providing many career opportunities for children to aspire towards. They can learn first hand from people who hold jobs in a career field they may be interested in.

Students said that this was one of their favorite activities this year–learning about the water plant.

Consider other overlooked places for field trips, also. Have you considered your local electric plant or recycling center? Sometimes learning about the seemingly ordinary and mundane can draw student curiosity.

Fun Mars Rover Helicopter Lesson!

We built these little helicopters a few weeks ago. Students were highly engaged. They are little helicopters that mimic the helicopters which will be deployed from the Mars Rover to obtain pictures of the more rocky terrain.

There is so much rich STEM information provided on the NASA website along with this very helpful video to share with students about the helicopters. Check out this free ready made lesson!

Make Homemade Paper for Mother’s Day

A while back, I taught an enrichment class about how people in the Far East make paper out of a certain kind of tree bark. This makes really soft paper from which you can make cards. Since Mother’s Day is soon approaching, what a fun activity to teach children! Children can make homemade paper cards for their mothers! I guarantee they haven’t done this before. You will need the following:

glass jar

large bowl

spoon

water

white vinegar (apple cider would be okay too)

colander or strainer

old cotton T-shirt or pillowcase

scissors

dried flower or seeds (optional)

First, cut up small pieces of paper and place as much as you can in the jar. Then cover the paper pieces with water. (Above is brown and white paper combined so you can see how it comes together.) Add a spoonful of vinegar to keep the mixture from molding or spoiling. Set the jar aside for about two days. In two days pour the water and paper mixture into a large bowl. After the two days or so, take the jar and it’s contents and put them into a large bowl. Now, put your hands into the bowl and mush up the paper even more. Break the pieces up into as small of pieces as you can. Now pour the goopy mixture out through a colander and drain off all of the water.

Next, dump the goopy mixture out onto the old T-shirt and place it in an area to dry. Flatten out the mixture and shape it how you want it to dry. If you are using optional pressed flowers or seeds, now is the time to place them onto the paper mixture so that they stick. If you are using flowers, you may want to add a little white Elmers glue to them so that they stick.

Let this dry for a few days on the T-shirt. When dry you may cut it to shape the paper. If you chose to place seeds into the card, you can write on it with marker to say “Happy Mother’s Day” or “plant me”.

If you would like a folded card, the paper may be ironed between the cloth T-shirt in a fold.

Team Building with Tools

Help your children understand one another while teaching analogies. Which are you– a screwdriver, a hammer, a tape measure, a paintbrush, a saw, sandpaper, or another tool? Why are you like this tool? What are the strengths and weaknesses of this tool? Discussing these things can help students talk to one another without hurting each other’s feelings because then they are talking about tool attributes instead of attacking a person. Below I have placed a worksheet to help you facilitate this discussion in your classroom.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day

Teach your students the true story of St. Patrick. There’s more to it than just wearing green!

Are you looking for some great St. Patrick’s Day Activities? Look at the MANY activities that Superteacherworksheets.com offers!

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