Last month, I received copies of Mistakes are Proof That You are Trying and Imagination Will Take You Everywhere by Samantha Snyder of Doodle Art Alley.
Needless to say, I'm VERY IMPRESSED!
These are more than just coloring books. The positive messages that fill these pages will motivate and inspire children who take the time to think about what's written.
As always, Doodle Art Allley's illustrations are creative and extremely detailed. For students who take pride in coloring within the lines, these activity pages will have them focused for hours on end.
Head over to The Colorful Apple to see how Sara used these resources in her classroom. She came up with a fantastic idea I think all teachers and parents should consider doing at some point throughout the year.
My entire TpT Store will be 20% off in honor of Back to School!
Check out a few of my beginning of the year activities below:
Back to School can be bittersweet, but these handouts were created to make the adjustment a little easier.
12 fun and creative activities to start the new school off on the right track!
Click on the links for a full description and preview for each product!
A Standout Student
Back to School Inferences
Build a Story
Choose 1 of 3 Things
Crystal Ball Predictions
Remembering Last Year
Rumor Has It...
Summer Fun in the Sun
The Best Year Ever: Goal Setting
Wishing on a Star
Most of these activities are great for generating class discussions and make fantastic bulletin board topics!
Although this is a back to school product, several handouts can be used throughout the year as well.
Each activity is also sold separately for your convenience.
How to ignite a child’s interest in science? It’s simple: ignite their curiosity! By using resources like science activities, you will be able to introduce children to science as it happens. Kids can learn about plants and other living organisms by growing them and observing their behavior. Scientific explanations may not be necessary when you use simple experiments for younger children. However, these activities will encourage children to ask questions, and they will observe the way elements react and their outcomes in natural settings.
Raising tadpoles will show children the life cycle of a frog. Collect frog spawn from a pond. Fill a fish bowl or a plastic tub with non-chlorinated water. This can be rain water or tap water that has been exposed to sun light for at least a week. It takes around 6 to 12 weeks for the egg to grow into a frog. It may take longer in cold weather. Tadpoles can be fed boiled and chopped lettuce that has been frozen into cubes. But as they grow into froglets, they will need something more substantial like bloodworms and insects. It is best to release the frogs back into their pond when they start developing their legs or you will have a whole lot of them hopping around your home!
Children will learn about germination and observe the growth of roots when they grow grass. Fill up three quarters of a clear plastic cup with potting soil. Scatter some store-bought grass seed on them and add another layer of soil to cover the seeds. Keep the container in a place that receives sunlight and make sure your child sprays water lightly using a spray bottle periodically. You can also wet sponge and sprinkle grass seeds on them. Leave it in a sunny place and you will see grass sprouting within two to three days.
Creating a butterfly garden is a fun project for children and teaches them about the life cycle of an insect. You will need a shallow pan. Next, fill it with mounds of mud, a few twigs and leaves. Sprinkle water on top of the mud mounds. Add a little dish with water and maybe a little mish mash of fruit and honey or sugar. Include larvae that can be bought at a pet store and cover the pan with netting. Lastly, make sure you leave it in a place that receives a little sunlight and sprinkle water regularly so that the habitat does not dry up. Children will be able to see the larvae morph into butterflies!
Bacteria are everywhere. With this easy-to-put-together activity, children can watch bacteria grow into colonies. You will need nutrient agar, a sterile cotton swab and sterile petri dish. Heat nutrient agar and pour it on the petri dish. Rub the cotton swab along a small area; it could be the floor or the back of your arm. Next, rub the swab in a few light strokes on the agar plate. Seal the plate and place it in a warm area for two to three days without disturbing it. Kids will soon start seeing bacteria grow!
This is a popular science activity for kids and with good reason. The results are often beautiful and magical! Mix together a cup of Epsom salt with a cup of warm water. Keep a rough rock in a tray and pour the saturated mixture over the rock. Place the tray with the rock in the refrigerator. Leave it overnight without disturbing it. Allow it to remain there until the salt crystals grow to their full capacity. If you don’t notice any change in size after a day, remove the tray from the refrigerator, and pour out the excess solution. You can even crystallize a real flower in a saturated solution!
With fun science activities such as these, it is not hard to get children excited about science, is it?
About the Author
Corinne Jacob is a writer who is convinced that kids learn best when they’re having fun. She is constantly on the lookout for new and exciting ways to make learning an enjoyable experience. Corinne loves all things that scream out un-schooling, alternative education and holistic learning.
As teachers we feel that having organizational binders for planning tends to be a great way to take a positive step towards organization. We like the idea of a binder over a traditional spiral teacher planner for a few reasons:
1. You can add pages as needed. If the purchased planner doesn’t have a section for student allergies but this is a must for you, the post it note you stick to a page might fall off and get lost, leaving you without that important reminder. When you use a binder as a planner you can print off an allergy list and put it behind the tab labeled student info.
2. What happens when your principal gives you an important to-do list and you are using a spiral planner? It gets stuck in the back and placed in a file. Either way, it is not useful if it is not in a prominent spot. Using a binder as your planner, you can hole punch the list and put it behind the tab labeled important or to-do first.
3. Do you have a standards check list you want to have easy access to? We like to use these free Common Core “I Can” Statements that come in a checklist form. They can go in your binder behind the standards tab and you can make notes about when each standard has been addressed, what needs to be retaught and students who might need extra help.
4. The best part of using a binder is that you can edit each and every page to be just how you would like. Don’t like the font? Change it! Don’t like the background color? Change it! We also like the idea of picking your own cover design. There are so many you can find on line. We had fun creating this assortment: Free Editable Binder Covers.
If you are looking for a great teacher planning binder that also happens to be free and editable, we have put one together over at The Curriculum Corner. You will find it here: Teacher Planning Binder.
Have other reasons why you prefer a binder over a traditional planner? We would love to hear your reasons!
I attended a webinar last month presented by Marianne Gibbs, EdD entitled Fine Motor Skills…Write Out of the Box. It was extremely informative and she encouraged us to share the information; therefore, I wanted to write a post about what I took away from the webinar.
I really wanted to incorporate the global collaboration aspect into our work. We were already using Edmodo as a class and Pernille uses it as a platform for her work too. A Fourteenth Goldfish group was created and was integral to my teaching. So many teachers went online and were working together to get our classes to Skype about the ideas in the book. It was an amazing PLN (Professional Leaning Network).
Another platform we used was Kidblog. Kidblog is a way to create safe, simple blogs for your students. I would give the kids two questions to choose from as we read different chapters and blog about them. You can create tags to organize the blog posts and a blogroll of classrooms you’re collaborating with. That makes it super easy for kids to visit other blogs and leave comments. The kids love getting comments from others. You can see my kids’ work here.
I also made sure to integrate internet resources such as youtube videos. The main premise of the book is aging and the idea of the fountain of youth. I used the following true video about the immortal jellyfish to spark interest and discussion.
Some themes to consider while reading this book: science ethics, science, divorce, friendship, aging, family, intergenerational relationships, growth mindset, and stereotypes.
I loved this book so much, I created a close reading guide for it. I want to be able to use this text with all my future classes. You can find it at my TPT store.
Consider joining The Global Read Aloud this year. We will be reading Fish in a Tree by Lynda Mullaly Hunt!