Monday, September 28, 2015

Halloween Literacy, Math, & S.TE.A.M. Fun!

Hello Hello,

Today I'm happy to be linking up with some amazing TpT authors: Principal PrinciplesJust Reed, and Brooke Brown, for their BOLO linky party.

I'd love for you to be on the lookout for my new Halloween resource that should be available in the next week.  Here's a little preview!

My Halloween Literacy, Math, & S.T.E.A.M. resource (for grades 3-4) is filled with fun activities for that crazy week leading up to Halloween. This year Halloween is on Saturday (woohoo!), but we all know that won't squash our students' excitement. 

It includes a History of Halloween differentiated reading passage, with vocabulary cards for a pocket chart, an interactive vocabulary pumpkin, main idea and details graphic organizer, and a provide your evidence question set.

It also has two brainstorming graphic organizers to review adjectives and onomatopoeia.  These will be a part of the haunted house narrative writing prompt.  There is even a writing rubric provided. You just need to fill in the point system you would like to award for each category.

Sixteen math task cards with QR codes (check out those cute monster graphics) are also part of this set. They include questions on graphs, relating multiplication and division, rounding, and place value.  Great for review in math rotations or a round of SCOOT .  There's also a color by product or quotient pumpkin that incorporates a bit of relating multiplication and division with art. Who doesn't love to color?

I can't wait for your students to enjoy the two science activities included:  "Disappearing Pumpkins" and "Bouncing Eyeballs".  Both will have students think up predictions, record their observations, and have them write about their findings. So much fun!

Finally, there is an easy art project that revolves around The Day of the Dead (which you could compare and contrast with the holiday Samhain (from the reading passage).  Students will need to complete the missing details from the picture, and then decorate it.  Lots of creative possibilities here.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Place Value Interactive Notebook Review + Freebie!

Hello Everyone,

I am thrilled to share my latest project with you!  I just posted my Place Value Interactive Notebook for grades 3-4, and it is super fun. I've been using notebooks in my classroom for years; before the term "interactive notebooks" was popular. They weren't as fancy back in the day; but now with all the foldables, flippables, and tabs, they are a great way for students to engage in their learning, get artsy/creative, and have their notes organized all in one place. Win/win!

I decided to include activities for all the Numbers in Base Ten Common Core standards (excluding multiplication) for both grades because some third graders can be challenged at a fourth grade level, and some fourth graders need easier numbers to review. The features of this notebook include a student notebook cover, a Table of Contents for each student notebook (that students complete as they finish each task), a work in progress envelope to store unfinished pieces, 14 engaging activities, a handful of literature resources, and a visuals page to help you know how to set up each activity.

Interactive notebook (INBs) are a composition or spiral notebook used to store notes and activities, drawings, and other ways of making meaning about a specific topic.  You may choose to have your students divide their notebooks into different sections for each unit you teach, or by chapter, etc.  It is a good idea for you the teacher to make an example of what you expect from the students in terms of neatness and organization before you begin. Younger students will need to be shown how to apply glue, so as to not make a mess. If using glue bottles, I have found that spacing dots of glue about an inch apart works best.  Also, make sure they understand how to use glue on tabs (so as to not glue down a piece that should flap up and down).  Some teachers prefer glue sticks which don't adhere as well over time, but are less messy. Even others prefer glue sponges. Pick whatever you feel comfortable with based on the maturity level of your students.  I have also found that colored pencils are awesome in INBs, as well as crayons. Be careful with markers though, as they can sometimes bleed through to the other side of the page.

Before students begin entering information, provide a cover for them to either put on the outside of the notebook, or at the beginning of each new topic.  This helps them get excited about the new material, and allows another creative outlet.

Student INB Cover
Also, place a Work in Progress envelope in the inside cover of the notebook so students that need to finish at a later date have a storage place for loose pieces (because once they get shoved in a desk, they are lost in the abyss, right?)

Store those loose pieces before they are lost forever!

Another addition to help keep students organized is to place a Table of Contents at the beginning pages of the notebook. Students will need to number each page as they complete a task/section, and then transfer those pages to the contents page.  This is a great way to help students take ownership of their learning, because now they know where to look for answers.

Keep those notebooks organized!

Okay, now we're about to get started. How should you set up the pages?

At the start of each new topic, I always provide a header that clearly states the standard, objective, or learning target. I glue that to the top of the left-hand page of an open notebook layout.  Then while still on the left side, any notes, new vocabulary, or examples go below it.  If your students do not take notes, they can just place the header at the top of the page with the student interactive (shown in pictures below).

On the right side is where the student interactive is placed. Yippie!

Don't forget those page numbers for your Table of Contents page at the front.  I've also found it helpful to tape a piece of ribbon (that doesn't fray-just singe the ends with a lighter), or yarn to the back cover to use as a bookmark.  This will save so much time!

Here are some of my favorite activities from this interactive notebook. I had so much fun making it!

Vocabulary section: I like students to draw a picture on the back of the flap and the definition underneath the term.

3rd grade (same standard as picture below)

4th grade (same standard as above picture)
Your students will love practicing expanded form with these expanding snakes!

What is the value?  Let's practice how a digit is ten times the value of its neighbor to the right.

I love how these look like pyramids when they're all standing up.
Comparing numbers robots-use the place value chart on the front of the robot to compare the digits in each place value.
Review 'Guess Who' Activity

Also included is a handful of literature resources for great read-alouds and a visuals page to help you see how each activity should look when finished.

This is all of the activities included in the Place Value Interactive Notebook.

Thanks for taking a peek at this new place value resource. 
I really love it and I think your students will too. 
If interested, you can find it in my TpT store here.

 If you'd like a free sample of three of the activities included in this notebook, click here for a sampler. It includes 1 vocabulary and 2 rounding interactives. Enjoy!

You can find this sampler as part of Teaching Blog Addict's Freebie Fridays. 
Check out this and other great freebies here.

Monday, September 7, 2015

My Favorite Science Podcasts for the Classroom

Looking for new content to add to your listening center?  Add these Science podcasts to your MP3 players or iPods, and incorporate Science into your Reading block.

Wild Chronicles
The Wild Chronicles Video Podcasts are created by the ever popular National Geographic team.  If you are studying living things, these podcasts are great for learning about animals and their environments. Be aware that some content might be difficult for sensitive viewers (eg: vultures eating a lion carcass), but this too is a part of the life cycle.  The Wild Chronicles does have short ads at the beginning and end of each episode (Geico Insurance for example).  The vlogcasts are available here.

Wild Chronicles: "Mountain Chicken Frog at Risk" is about how this animal is becoming extinct.

Brains On!
Doing whatever it takes to get students excited about Science, Brains On! has a different child co-host this lively podcast.  They interview everyone from bridge builders to snake handlers.  They answer all those questions such as, "Why does the sun make some people sneeze?" and "Did dinosaurs have feathers?"   Available on Stitcher, iTunes, or open in your favorite media player.
Brains On!: Trees: From Seed to Shining Seed studies the life cycles of plants.

Aaron's World
Just for fun, this father and son team take listeners back to prehistoric times. A little boy and his trusty sidekick INO will teach about a prehistoric creature or Science topic. These fictional stories are self-contained; however it would be better to start at the beginning.  If your students love dinosaurs, this would be a great addition for them!
Aaron's World: Episode 12: Triceratops


Monterey Bay Aquarium
You'll love all the Science vocabulary you've been working on in class being discussed in these brief episodes about sea critters and daily happenings in and around the Monterey Bay Aquarium.  If you are studying ocean life, animal habitats, or animal adaptations, this would be a neat addition to your learning tasks.  Follow along on SoundCloud, iTunes, or Feed Burner.
Listen to what's happening at the aquarium.
Astronomy For Kids
Written by a kid for kids, these five episodes are all about outer space. Great for third grade and up, there is a lot of factual information that could add to your astronomy unit or solar system presentations. The five episodes focus on the solar system, moon, stars, Saturn, and gravity. Check it out!  Maybe he will inspire your students to create their own podcasts about something you are studying.

Before you go, here are two 
podcast listening response sheets for you.  Enjoy!

What are your favorite Science podcasts that you have found beneficial in the classroom?

I'm linking up with Teaching Trio's Thursday Technology linky.  Check out all the other great technology ideas here.  I'm also linking up with Teaching Blog Addict Freebie Friday. Get lots of great FREE lessons here.