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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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Equivalent Fractions

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Simplifying Fractions

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Clock Fractions

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Math Fact Motivation

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Math Night 2012

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Bulletin Board Ideas

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Classroom Management

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I get the cutest handwriting fonts at Fonts for Peas! kevinandamanda.com/fonts
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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!

Use Snow to Your Advantage: Snow Day Learning!

There’s no day like a snow day…in the South that is! We have had a great time for about a week and a half with a large amount of snow where I live, yet we were teaching virtually. I knew this was a losing battle. I mean if I was a child, I definitely wouldn’t be doing schoolwork when record snowfall is happening outside. I gave the kids these options, and do you know what?! I actually had some children participate!!

Here is what I assigned them:

Snow Experiments and Creativity

Do this OR pick two of the following:

Build a snow creation that no one else will think of (especially not a snowman or woman). Add extra details to make it more interesting. Give it an interesting name.   You must use at least 2 snow tools to build your sculpture.  I showed them 2 snow sculpture videos in which they used tools.

What tools did you use? 

How did you use the tools? What did you build? Send me a picture. 

1.Measure the snow in it’s deepest part with a ruler. Use inches. Where did you measure it? How deep was it?

2.  Put a some snow in a jar or measuring cup. Mark a line to show how deep it was in the jar. Bring it inside and let it melt. Mark the new line. How did it change? Why do you think this happened?

3. Throw some crackers or breadcrumbs outside. Watch the birds. Feed them. How are they eating since the snow is so deep? What kind of birds do you see? What do you notice?

5. Do you have a thermometer? Take the temperature from your hands outside. Now put on mittens. Put the thermometer inside the mittens.  How did the mittens affect the temperature of your hands?

6. Get some containers with a small spout like water bottles and fill them with very cold water. Add food coloring. Make a beautiful picture in the snow by pouring your colored water out on the snow. Send me a picture.

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The actual results of my activitiesI had some students measure the snow in a jar and melt the snow in the microwave. Over a zoom we figured out the fractional amount of water that was created after the snow had melted. We discovered that one-fourth of the water remained from the melted snow.

I had students who took their technology device outside to build their snow sculpture so that the other kids could be involved in what they were doing. The sculpture changed several times as it didn’t work out like the child had planned. I also had one child build a snow fort as she turned a tunnel into a structure where her father buried her.

Another student excitedly exclaimed that he had a book about birds for the bird watching activity! (I reminded children they could go inside to do this one and get warm if they got cold in the snow.) This same child seemed to delight in waking his mother up from a nap to ask for food coloring of which they had none.

Lastly, I had a measurement competition going in which children found the depth of snow at their house. Now, I couldn’t tell you if they were being honest, but at least they were pulling out a ruler and thinking about measurement.

I hope you get a chance to experience some of these activities with your students virtually, too!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Two Fun Valentine’s Day Activities

I always love doing this in February with my students. Students measure their kiss.

And, what Valentine Party is complete without Valentine Bingo? This is always a great time filler to any class party! Play with candy conversation hearts or red hots for extra fun! Snag this one at Superteacherworksheets.com

Passion Projects Part 2

As my students floundered to decide on a topic, I revisited the website I mentioned in then previous post–keepemthinking.com. I went back to use the book she suggested Junkyard Wonders. Whether this helped students pick a “passion” or not doesn’t matter. What does matter is that the book had a very powerful message about pursuing what matters to you and how it can pave the way for a successful future. I had planned to show it over two class periods because it is a long story, but the students really wanted to hear the second part, so I acquiesced.

The students made the connection from the book to the project without me saying much except for “why do you think I showed you this?” I used her idea for a project proposal. Finally the project started to take shape. Those students who wouldn’t commit to a topic before were now committing. The fact that I make them have everything laid out, that they have to create a “burning question”, and that we both sign off on it leads to their committal. Then when they think about changing ideas, they aren’t allowed to because we signed and committed.

I love the Wonderopolis website she suggests, too! What a wealth of curiosities to help students settle on a question. Make sure you check out this website!

I am sure that the author of this blog has a quality passion project unit. I probably would have bought it if I hadn’t already bought two other people’s resources. What I did like about the other resources, however, is that they had plenty of space for brainstorming. I also like that they had a place for students to check in with one another. Instead of all my students checking in with me, they are telling each other the progress they made. No one wants to tell someone else they accomplished nothing so this becomes affective. I love it!

Passion Projects

A couple of teacher friends of mine had talked about Passion Projects and I was intrigued. Does it not sound SO great to allow students to study their own passions and turn it into some type of presentation? I started where one of my friends said to start. That was on Teachers Pay Teachers. I stopped there and bought a couple of units. Feeling armed, I made a packet out of the two products I bought. It was a nice start, but I soon discovered I hadn’t given enough background information for a successful start. I had students who didn’t know what “passion” they wanted to pursue. I had other students who wanted to study sports or video games. At the time I asked them to let me think about it and that they better have a great way to learn something from these. A while later I went ahead and told them that sports and video games were off limits.

Then one of these teacher friends told me about this website and things started to take a turn for the better! Check out this post on using passion projects in elementary school at Keepemthinking.com. I really love the books this blogger suggests you start with– especially Junkyard Wonders. My students had such a great response to this book! I will update you in a several weeks to let you know how their projects are going.

Giveaway Time! $100 TPT Giveaway

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Prize: $100 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

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