Sunday, April 23, 2017

Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Equality or Inequality Sort

Would you like to teach/review addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations?  How about differentiating between equalities and inequalities?  Then check out this post on my Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Equality or Inequality Sort!


Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Equality or Inequality Sort



Students first solve the equations, which helps them practice the basic functions (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division).  They then decide whether the equation is equal on both sides of the equal sign or an inequality.


Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Equality or Inequality Sort


Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Equality or Inequality Sort


You can let the activity by self-checking by providing students with the answer key or reserve the answer key and make the activity a formal assessment.


Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division Equality or Inequality Sort


If you'd like to pick up this packet, click here.


How do you teach/review equations and basic algebra?  I'd love to hear your ideas!






Sunday, April 16, 2017

Plastic Eggs and STEAM

Do you have a ton of plastic eggs left over from Easter?  Would you like to put them to good educational use?  Then read this post about how I use them in STEAM activities!


Math & Science Activities

Activity 1:  Play-Doh and Egg Towers
Skills:  Angles, height, measurement
Believe it or not, there's so many different angles and ways to build an egg tower.  Challenge your students to build the highest tower and use a ruler or meter stick to measure and make it official.


Easter Plastic Egg STEAM activities.


Easter Plastic Egg STEAM activities.



Easter Plastic Egg STEAM activities.


Easter Plastic Egg STEAM activities.





Activity 2:  Half-Shell Egg Towers
Skills:  Measurement, stacking, balancing
It's more challenging than you might think to balance the half shells of the eggs!  Have students make the highest tower possible and measure with a ruler or meter stick to measure the height.


Easter Plastic Egg STEAM activities.




Easter Plastic Egg STEAM activities.




Art & Science Activities


Activity 1:  Drip Painting
Skills:  Gravity, color-mixing

This painting activity from Learn, Play, Imagine is inspiring!  You can talk about the reason the paint falls through the egg (gravity).  You can mix colors and talk about primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.


Easter Plastic Egg STEAM activities.


Activity 2: Stamping Letter and Words
Skills: Spelling, Circumference, color-mixing

In this stamping activity from I Can Teach My Child,  you can have students cut out large letters or words out of plain paper (or cut it out for them if they don't have the proper skills).  Then have them use half the egg to mix colors and stamp all over the paper. You can measure the circumference of the stamp circles and talk about the different primary, secondary, and tertiary colors.



Easter Plastic Egg STEAM activities.




Technology. Engineering & Science Activities

Activity 1: Egg Catapults
Skills: Angles, building using simple machines, angles

This egg catapult activity from Science Buddies is great for older students.  The project guide gives step-by-step directions on how to build the catapult and launch the eggs.  You can measure the angle of the catapult and measure the distance the eggs fly.  What a fun activity!





How do you upcycle your plastic eggs?  I'd love to hear how!



Sunday, April 9, 2017

Try Two-Voice Poetry and Figurative Language in Song Lyrics for National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month!  Are you ready to do something fresh with your poetry unit?  Then my Two-Voice Poetry Packet and my Figurative Language Using Song Lyrics packet !


Two-Voice poetry is so inviting for students of all ages.  There's something so inviting about working with a partner to create poetry.  This Two-Voice Poetry Packet can be used at a poetry station or to help the whole class write a two-voice poem.  It includes:

Teacher instructions including:
~Book suggestions

Student instructions including:
~Graphic organizer
~Suggested Topics
~Example Two-Voice poems



April is Poetry Month: Two-Voice Poetry and Figurative Language in Song Lyrics.


April is Poetry Month: Two-Voice Poetry and Figurative Language in Song Lyrics.



Upper Elementary Two-Voice Poetry book suggestions:









Upper Elementary or Middle School Two-Voice Poetry book suggestions:














If you or your students like songs and lyrics, try my Figurative Language Using Song Lyrics packet!


April is Poetry Month: Two-Voice Poetry and Figurative Language in Song Lyrics.



This packet includes:
~A teacher direction page
~A student direction page
~A lyric sorting page
~5 pages of lyrics
~A color-coded answer key

This is an activity in which students are looking for similes, metaphors, hyperbole, and personification in various song lyrics.  They sort the lyrics according to what type of figurative language they represent and then draw a representation of their favorite lyric.


April is Poetry Month: Two-Voice Poetry and Figurative Language in Song Lyrics.



Do you have any mentor text suggestions for two-voice or figurative language in poetry?  I'm always looking for more ideas!







Sunday, April 2, 2017

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Toulane-Velveteen Rabbit Reading Comprehension

Are you ready bunnies, read-alouds, and reading comprehension?  Then read on to see how I incorporate them in my The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane/Velveteen Rabbit Packet!





The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane-Velveteen Rabbit Reading Comprehension Packet; Novel Study; Easter Reading




I love, love, love Kate DiCamillo!  One of my favorite books by her is The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane. Upper elementary students love this book just as much as I do.  In case you're not familiar with the book, it's a fantasy book about a stuffed rabbit that becomes lost at sea and journeys around trying to find his way home.  It's a great book to talk about perseverance and the fantasy genre. I always like to read this book just before spring break because it ties in nicely with the season. 




The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane-Velveteen Rabbit Reading Comprehension Packet; Novel Study; Easter Reading






Another of my favorite rabbit books: The Velveteen Rabbit. While these two books have completely different plots, they are similar in many ways. They both are of the fantasy genre, have a rabbit as the main character, and involve the loss of a favorite toy.



The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane-Velveteen Rabbit Reading Comprehension Packet; Novel Study; Easter Reading




I like to read Edward Tulane as a class, and then split into pairs/small groups to read The Velveteen Rabbit.  

I created a  comprehension packet  for use with the books that incorporates the following skills/subjects:  

~Compare and contrast 
~Science (habitats/ecosystems) 
~Research (online and print resources) 
~Writing (conventions/editing/adjectives/creating mental images) 
~Comparing fiction/fantasy to nonfiction texts 
~Making inferences  


Do you love these books or similar titles?  I'd love to hear about your favorite rabbit books!




Sunday, March 26, 2017

Student Engagement/Review Activity: 4 Corners

Do you want an engaging way to teach or review material?  How about an activity that involves movement?  Then 4 Corners is for you!


I got my inspiration for this activity from Responsive Classroom's Middle School Motivators! 22 Interactive Learning Structures.  Even though is says "Middle School", this activity could easily be used for upper elementary students as well.


Student Engagement/Review Activity: 4 Corners



The idea is to be able to use a multiple-choice test have students moving to different corners of the room, marked with the letters of the test choices.  I made letters big enough to see from anywhere in the room with PowerPoint.  I decided to laminate them so they would last longer.


Student Engagement/Review Activity: 4 Corners



Once they were laminated and cut apart, I hot-glued them to each of the corners of the room.  This glue gun is awesome!  It has the capability to be cordless and stays hot for a long time.  It's one of my Teacher Must-Haves to Start the Year Smoothly.



                                  Student Engagement/Review Activity: 4 Corners




Student Engagement/Review Activity: 4 Corners



Student Engagement/Review Activity: 4 Corners





The last step is to read from the test or project it on the Interactive Whiteboard.  I have students pair up and discuss the answer before I let them choose an answer.  They must have a reason they can explain/support before moving to a corner.

And that's it!

Have you used any ideas from Middle School Motivators?  Do you use movement to review material in your classroom?  I'd love to hear about it!









Sunday, March 19, 2017

Virginia Studies SOL Review and a FREEBIE

Would you like some resources to teach and/or review your Virginia Studies content?  Then this post if for you!  I'm sharing my favorite resources for the following:  SOL review, the Civil War, the American Revolution, and a FREEBIE that focuses on abolitionists and the formation of West Virginia.

To read the full post, go to the Virginia is for Teachers blog.
Virginia Studies SOL Review and Grammar Correction







Virginia Studies SOL review and grammar correction



Major Civil War Battles of Virginia Map




Virginia Studies SOL review: Major Civil War Battles of Virginia Map






Patrick Henry Readers Theater



Virginia Studies SOL review: Patrick Henry Readers Theater








FREEBIE: Abolitionists and Formation of West Virginia PDF and Cloze Activity








Virginia Studies SOL review: Abolitionist and Formation of West Virginia





To read the full post, go to the Virginia is for Teachers blog.




What are your go-to review activities for the Virginia Studies SOL?  I'd love to hear about them!





Sunday, March 12, 2017

Growth Mindset Read-Aloud: Cornelius by Leo Lionni

As I was reading Cornelius by Leo Lionni, it occurred to me what a wonderful book this is to teach Growth Mindset.


Teaching Growth Mindset with read-alouds: "Cornelius" by Leo Lionni.


After being picked on for being different by his friends, Cornelius decides to set off into the world to live life for himself.  He soon meets a monkey who can stand on his head and hang from his tail.  Cornelius decides that he, too, would like to stand on his head and hang from his tail.

Teaching Growth Mindset with read-alouds: "Cornelius" by Leo Lionni.


The monkey reminds him that he can learn anything with "a lot of hard work and a little help."


Teaching Growth Mindset with read-alouds: "Cornelius" by Leo Lionni.



I love the part about achieving your goals through hard work and a little help!  Eventually, Cornelius does learn to do the seemingly impossible task of standing on his head and hanging from his tail.


In true Leo Lionni style, the pictures are colorful, the words are few but well thought out, and the lessons go deep.


Have you used this book for other lessons?  I'd love to hear how!






Sunday, March 5, 2017

Teacher Saviors: Beef Broth in the Crock Pot

It seems like everyone is getting sick right now!  Would you like to increase your immunity with an easy crock pot recipe?  If so, then read this post to see how I make Beef Bone Broth and Soup in my crock pot!


The first two steps are done the week or so BEFORE I make the broth.


1: I either save the bones from a beef roast/steaks, or I buy bones from the grocery store.  
These need to be stored in the freezer.


Beg, Borrow, and Teach!: Easy Beef Bone Broth in the Crock Pot.  Increasing immunity while saving time.




2: I collect the trimmings from my veggies as I cut them and put them in a Ziploc.  
Things I collect: The ends of carrots, onions, zucchini, celery and peppers, as well as slightly wilted spinach and leafy greens.  Basically, any kind of vegetable you'd expect to find in a vegetable soup.  These Ziplocs go in the freezer until they are full.


Beg, Borrow, and Teach!: Easy Beef Bone Broth in the Crock Pot.  Increasing immunity while saving time.




3: once I have a full Ziploc of veggie cuttings, I add those to the bottom of the crock pot.
You really only need to add enough veggies to fill about 1/2 of the pot.
****Add the following FRESH veggies if you haven't collected them as frozen veggies:  An onion, several carrots, and several pieces of celery.


Beg, Borrow, and Teach!: Easy Beef Bone Broth in the Crock Pot.  Increasing immunity while saving time.




4: I add the bones on top of the veggies.



Beg, Borrow, and Teach!: Easy Beef Bone Broth in the Crock Pot.  Increasing immunity while saving time.



5: I add 5-6 teaspoons of Better Than Bouillon.



Beg, Borrow, and Teach!: Easy Beef Bone Broth in the Crock Pot.  Increasing immunity while saving time.



6: I liberally sprinkle Basil, Parsley, Oregano, and Thyme on top of the bones and veggies.



Beg, Borrow, and Teach!: Easy Beef Bone Broth in the Crock Pot.  Increasing immunity while saving time.




7: I fill the crock with water, leaving about 2 inches at the top. 






8: I set it on low for 8-10 hours (overnight on a weekend is great).


Beg, Borrow, and Teach!: Easy Beef Bone Broth in the Crock Pot.  Increasing immunity while saving time.



9: I strain out the bones and veggies, leaving just the broth.
This is a strainer on top of a 4-cup Pyrex measuring cup.  Straining it into a measuring cup makes it easier to pour into the muffin cups in the next step.


Beg, Borrow, and Teach!: Easy Beef Bone Broth in the Crock Pot.  Increasing immunity while saving time.




10: I let the broth cool and then put it in 1-cup muffin tin to freeze it.
Once the broth is frozen, I pop it out of the muffin tin and put it in a Ziploc to store in my freezer.  When I'm ready to make soup, I just thaw several cups and use it as my soup base.


Beg, Borrow, and Teach!: Easy Beef Bone Broth in the Crock Pot.  Increasing immunity while saving time.




Do you have any crock pot bone broth recipes?  I'd love to hear about them!