Saturday, May 21, 2016

Parachute STEM Challenge and $25 TpT Gift Card Giveaway

STEM activities are a great way to keep students engaged and focused on learning activities even when they think they don't want to learn.  When I participated in the Summer Countdown Blog Hop I bumped into this great post by One Room School House and I KNEW we had to try this one out.



Our current read aloud is Jack: The True Story of Jack and the Beanstalk, so it couldn't have come at a more perfect time!



Meet our version of Jack:



I provided students with a variety of items to choose from including: shopping bags, paper napkins,  and gallon sized baggies.  Each team was allowed to choose 2 items from the table and 1 piece of yarn.




Students worked in teams of three.  I gave them 5 minutes to discuss and develop a plan.  Then I let them "shop" for their supplies.  To make it easier, and less chaotic, each team delegated one member to grab their supplies.

Once all of the teams had their supplies, I gave them 15 minutes to construct their parachutes.




Some of the groups even decided to test out their parachutes with some trial runs.




Then came the fun part!  We took our parachutes to the slide on the playground to launch them.  I gave each team 3 drops to allow everyone to have a chance to test out their design.  As each student dropped their parachute, we timed it to see how long it took for the parachute to hit the ground.





When we came back to the classroom, we put the data to work with a quick little math lesson on averages.  So much fun and a great way to front-load some content for next year!

Speaking of fun, wouldn't it be fun to win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers gift card to have a little spending spree?




I will be having weekly $25 TpT gift card giveaways thanks to some of my awesome blogging friends!  You can enter to win this week's giveaway by completing the Rafflecoptor below:

GIVEAWAY DETAILS
Prize: $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

Giveaway organized by:  An Apple for the Teacher
Rules: Use the Rafflecopter form to enter daily. Giveaway ends 5/28/16 and is open worldwide. Winner will be notified via email.

Are you a TpT seller or teacher blogger who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog? Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!
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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Sidewalk Scoot

It is so difficult to keep your students focused and engaged those last few weeks of school when they are already dreaming of summer and being outdoors.  I was checking out Pinterest when I saw this amazing version of Scoot from The Primary Gal.  I knew it would be the perfect way to get my kiddos outside while still working on content.



We have been working on elapsed time in our class, and it has been very tricky for some of my kiddos, so I decided to use this activity to give them a little more practice.

First, I had each student create their own elapsed time problem on an index card.



I checked their work and gave them a number on their card that corresponded to the answer key that I made with one of the sheets.


Then I had the students take their card and NEATLY write their question on a section of sidewalk.




After everyone wrote down their question, it was time to solve the problems SCOOT style.  Each child moved from question to question answering them on their recording sheet.












You can grab a free copy of The Primary Gal's recording sheet by visiting her blog post here.

I love how versatile this activity could be!  You can use it to review so many different skills.  I am looking forward to trying this again with other subjects and skills.  A few ideas I am thinking about include:

* Practicing Long Division
* Double Digit Multiplication
* Math Facts
* Perimeter and Area
* Parts of Speech
* Idioms and Other Figurative Speech

What skills would you use it for?  


Saturday, May 14, 2016

Summer Countdown Blog Hop



There is nothing that strikes panic and fear in teachers more than the principal handing you a packet of year end procedures as you look at your already overflowing calendar and wonder how you are going to get everything done!  Well, take a deep breath, grab your beverage of choice, and join us for a summer countdown blog hop filled with tips and freebies to help you have a smooth ending to the school year!

I am also giving away a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card to help you with end of the year or back to school planning for next year!

My tip and freebie for saving your sanity is to plan out your last few weeks of school with the goal of getting it all done without staying at school until the wee hours of the night!  If you are really ambitious, you might be ready in advance!  Wouldn't that be nice?



Step 1:  Create a list of any and all task you know you need to do in the next few weeks. I have listed a few possible tasks below to help you get started. If you can think of anything I might have forgotten, feel free to leave a comment below (your comments will also get you an extra entry into my giveaway!)


  • Report Cards
  • End of Year Awards
  • Student Gifts
  • Volunteer Gifts
  • Memory Books
  • Next Year Prep (binders, lesson plans, etc.)
  • Cumulative Folders
  • Packing Up Classroom 
  • Field Day
  • Field Trips
  • Assemblies
  • End of Year Parties
  • Shred IEP forms/send to new teacher
  • Return borrowed supplies
  • Supply Inventory


Step 2:  Grab a calendar and start plugging in deadlines and due dates for all of the items you came up with in Step 1.

Step 3: Break down tasks by the weeks you have left.  Plan smart so that you won't have to stay late, but you'll also be able to get everything done in time.  You might want to schedule several sessions for tasks that are particularly tedious like grading, report cards, or student gifts.



Step 4:  Hold yourself accountable to getting the things on your list done, and reward yourself if you do accomplish them.  (My favorite reward this time of year is an iced latte from Starbucks).


You can find the checklists pictured above along with a few others in my freebie for you! 


Now, enter to win a $25 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Certificate, and then follow along with our blog hop to get more tips and to collect your other freebies!


a Rafflecopter giveaway




Are you a teacher blogger and or Teachers Pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog or social media following?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!



Friday, May 6, 2016

Monthly $75 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card Giveaway - May 2016

It is time again for my monthly giveaway to win a $75 TpT gift card!  Thanks to all of my blogging friends who have contributed to this month's giveaway!


Are you a teacher blogger and or Teachers Pay Teachers seller who wants to participate in giveaways like these to grow your blog or social media following?  Click here to find out how you can join a totally awesome group of bloggers!

Don't miss out on this giveaway or any others!

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Monday, May 2, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Blog Hop



Happy Teacher's Appreciation Week!  The Classroom Clique is joining together with a blog hop full of tips, tricks, freebies, and giveaways to show our appreciation for all of our fellow teachers!

Here are a few of my tips and tricks for surviving those last few weeks of school:

1. Start Cleaning, Organizing and Packing Up

I try to purge out anything that I have not used this school year, because I likely won't use it the next year as well, and with limited storage space, I can't be too sentimental with things.  I also enlist the help of my current students to organize supplies and the library.




2. Prep For Next Year

I make copies of all the things I know I will need in the next year including my first few weeks of spiral math review, math journals, and homework.  I also prep my math facts program (Kicking It).





3. Make Learning Fun For Your Students

You are not the only one who is ready for a break, your students are too!  Take this time to play games and have fun with them.  I try to incorporate extra games to go along with content such as Pie Face, Head Bandz, and Minute To Win It games.




4. Don't Forget To Have Fun As Well

Take time to laugh a little with your co-workers!  Remember, this is the final stretch!  You can do it!





Division Game - Diving for Division

As a special thank you, I have made one of my products a freebie for this week only!  To get this special freebie, head over to my TpT store here.




In honor of Teacher Appreciation Week we are giving away three awesome prizes:

* a $15 Starbucks Gift Card
* a $30 Target Gift Card
* a $50 Teachers Pay Teachers Gift Card

To win these great prizes, all you have to do is follow our blog hop and collect the words to make a secret phrase.  PLUS - you'll also be getting some great freebies along the way, so really EVERYONE is a winner!

Hop through all of the blogs to gather the words for the secret phrase, and then enter that phrase into the Rafflecopter giveaway below.  You can find the next blog at the bottom of this post.

My word for the secret phrase is:


This is the 6th word in the phrase and there are a total of 9 words.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to follow along with our hop to collect all 9 words in the phrase!







Monday, April 25, 2016

Using Songs To Increase Learning

Have you ever used music in your classroom to help cement a concept or an idea?  Music has been found to stimulate parts of the brain, and studies have demonstrated that music can enhance memory. Using music and songs in the classroom is a great way to help your students retain information and increase their learning.



My students were having a rough time remembering the difference between area and perimeter and how to find each of them.  I saw a video on Miss 5th's Instagram feed and I knew I wanted to try it with my students!  If you are not following her on Instagram or Facebook, you need to because she has a ton of great ideas just like this Bucket Filler idea I shared a few weeks ago.

She had a song that she had made up using the pop song "My House" by Flo-Rida.  Here are my students singing and dancing to the song.

video

The lyrics are:

Welcome to my house
We can find the area
Multiply the length times width
We don't have to go out

Welcome to my house 
We can find the perimeter
Take a walk outside
and add up all the sides

For the music I searched up My House instrumental version and found this one by JBFlex.

My House (Instrumental) - Single, Jb Flex


I play it at the :31 seconds section and they sing right after the siren sound as you can see in the video above.

My students were so excited about this song that they started writing versions of their own to all sorts of songs for all types of concepts.  Every day they are coming up with a new song to sing to me!

And... yes, they ALL know how to calculate area and perimeter now!

Have you used songs to increase learning?  I would love to hear your ideas.  If you try this one, I would love to hear how it goes!


Monday, April 18, 2016

Calculator Word Fun

How many of you remember doing this with a calculator?


When I was young, I loved typing in numbers into the calculator to flip them over and see the "words" that they spelled when held upside down.  It entertained my brother and I for hours of our childhood!

I started thinking, wouldn't it be fun to have my students practice math problems and then check them with the calculator and see if their word was correct?  I made a set of task cards and tried them out - the verdict?  The kids loved this activity as much as I had!  They thought their teacher was magic!


My students worked in pairs to solve their problems first.  Then they checked them with the calculators.


I LOVED the grins when they got the answer correct!

I made task cards for both whole numbers and decimal numbers to differentiate for my students' needs.



You can easily recreate this activity for your students by playing around with the calculator and seeing what words you can make, or googling calculator words.

Or.... you can grab a copy of my cards already done for you using the link below!

Calculator Word Fun



If you do this activity with your students I would love to hear about how it goes!






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