Monday, April 4, 2022

Digital Earth Day Activities

It's April! The weather is warming up here and flowers are starting to come up. April reminds me that Earth Day is around the corner. Caring for our Earth is so important and there are so many easy things we can do as citizens to help it. Educating others about the Earth is one way to help!

I am super excited to post my NEW Earth Day Digital  Mini Escapes on The Importance of Plants and The History of Earth Day, as well as some other resources for your classroom. 

Here are some great websites for your students to learn more about Earth Day what they can do to help the Earth every day! I love that these digital Earth Day resources are easy to use. 
Earth Day Digital Resources

  • Kids Discover: Has some great content about Conservation broken up into different areas such as, Landfills, Recycling, Habitat Reconstruction, and Sustainability. You may need to sign up for a free account to view some of the content (not affiliated or sponsored). 
  • Animal Conservation: Animal Conservation has Disney and National Geographic Explorers in these short one minute videos showing work being done with different animals. 
  • National Geographic Kids: I like this website because it breaks up the information into different areas. You may want to review each section before students read to make sure there is not TOO much text to be overwhelming. 

Earth Day Mini Digital Escapes


What makes a digital escape mini? In a mini escape, there is a focus on a shorter piece of text and only ONE lock to open. In these Earth Day-focused escapes, there is a non-fiction text, a short video, interesting facts, and a puzzle to solve with ONE lock. 

Benefits of a Mini Escape:
  • NO Prep: Just give students the link and then let them get to work!
  • Shorter text: Students can focus on one topic of information
  • Less time: Time is something you need, so these escapes can easily be completed in a class period or short amount of time. 
  • ONE lock: Having only one puzzle to solve also takes less time to complete. 
History of Earth Day Digital Escape

Earth Day Importance of Plants Digital Escape


Earth Day Digital Escape Room


If you have a longer class time or have time to break up this Escape Room, this one covers a lot of different topics. The Earth Day Digital Escape Room has FIVE different sections and locks. The non-fiction text covers the topics of:
  • History of Earth Day
  • Plants
  • Water
  • Recycling
  • Animals
Each section will have a reading comprehension non-fiction text, video, fun things to explore, and the clue to solve. I like to use this escape during Earth Day week and do a section per day. Doing one section per day allows me to have time for reflection and other things during our Language Arts or Science time. 



Earth Day Digital Escape Room



Here is a great preview of the Earth Day Digital Escape Room. 



I love some good FREEBIES, so I have made these writing prompts to go along with these activities. I like to use these during our writing station time, just use the prompt for journals, partner writing, or even assigning students to do the writing at home. It's up to you how you want to use these!
I do have these as an Easel Activity so they are ready to go for Digital Writing!

Earth Day Writing Prompts


Last, I also like this craft activity because it reaches all age levels! You can have younger students draw pictures with a word or two and older students write more content under the flaps. 

Earth Day Activity


Remember Earth Day is Every Day, so help our planet stay healthy!
Monday, March 28, 2022

April Fool's Day Teaching Resources

April Fool's Day is this Friday! It's the first day of our Spring Break so the kids won't be in school. I think this is probably for the best, but do love some good pranks. April Fool's Day is a day that you might not have on your radar or maybe you don't have any activities to do for this day. I wanted to do a post about April Fool's Day and activities that you can quickly add into your plans. 

April Fool's Day Activities Print and Digital


An easy writing activity for April Fool's Day is to have students write jokes, idioms, or alliteration! Check out this website on writing tongue twisters using Alliteration for April Fool's Day. 



Give each child a ‘spinner’ page and paper clip. Then kids spin a paper clip to find a 'name', 'who', 'where', 'with what' and 'describing word' to use in their sentence. Kids write the words from the spinner in the correct boxes on the ‘sloppy copy’ graphic organizer planning sheet. They then write a sentence using words from the boxes. The describing words make the sentences more interesting and colorful. After the kids finish, check the sentence on the sloppy copy and provide a final page for the published sentence. The kids illustrate their sentences and then share them with the class.

Alliteration Spinners



Some books to use for April Fool's Day with Alliteration or just good tongue twisters!

1. Fox in Socks picked this one because you could incorporate a sock day at school for this fun read. Any Dr. Seuss book is a tongue twister, but some are longer than others and are easier for students to read. I think this one is a better option for April Fools Day!

Books to use with Alliteration

2. Animalia- Hands down this is my MUST have for Alliteration. Any age can relate to writing for this text. I have my younger learners pick words that are going to be a little easier to work with. Maybe we will do a class one if kids are super young. I LOVE this one for older kids because it is a challenge to see what verbs and adjectives they can come up! Have them work in pairs, in small groups, or individually Makes a cute class book if they all pick an animal.

Books to use to teach AlliterationAn


3. Princess Prunella and the Purple Peanut- The "p" repetition is a fun read and is the story os a pampered princess who lives in a pink palace with her pinheaded parents, her three plump pussy cats, and her prize puppy dog.  


Books that teach Alliteration


April Fool's Day Mini Digital Escape


An easy activity for April Fool's Day is this interactive digital escape. It has idioms for students to match, riddles to solve, and games to play. The mini version is great because it is a ONE lock escape and takes less time to complete than longer escapes. A great introduction to escapes if your class hasn't experienced one yet. I like this one because it is a NO prep situation! You just share the link and assign it to students. 


April Fool's Day Digital Escape Room


Here's a great video about April Fool's and the history! Have your students watch this fun video for the history of April Fool's Day. This video is also in the Escape Room above. 



Check out some of these additional resources for April Fool's Day!



Have fun with whatever prank or activity you choose! 


Sunday, March 27, 2022

Fairy Tale Digital Escape Room

It's later in the year and during tis time, I am rolling out longer units of study and some more in-depth learning. My kids are starting to zone out as we do more testing and it's time to find something fun without them realizing they are doing the work! Fairy Tales are a great unit for this time of year! My younger students love listening and reading the picture books and older students can get a more in-depth look at the fairy tales and their literary devices. 

First, I start my Fairy Tale unit by thinking about what my focus is going to be. At this point in the year, my focus is on the literary elements such as theme, characters, setting, plot, point of view, and style. You can choose to break up each of these elements or combine them as you read specific fairy tales that you read. 

Here's a list of some fairy tales that I like to use:
  • The Three Little pigs
  • Goldilocks and the Three Bears
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Chicken Little
  • Frog Prince
  • Little Red Hen
  • Sleeping Beauty
  • Jack and the Beanstalk

A link to Grimm Fairy Tales: http://www.grimmfairytales.com/
A link to Hans Christian Andersen http://visitandersen.com/fairy-tales

I personally love to also focus on just teaching Cinderella or choose a few fairy tales that have different written versions. They are GREAT to compare/contrast ALL of the devices! 

Here's a free Venn Diagram with and without lines and a Story Elements freebie to get you started! This Venn Diagram is also an Easel Activity so you can assign an students can type on the lines. There are also other Venn Diagrams to compare and contrast if you need to review that concept. 

Fairy Tale Venn Diagram



Here's a few books I like to teach with Cinderella. I use Cinderella because they are so many different versions and it is easy to compare and contrast the characters, plot. setting, and problem/solution. Of course you can use any fairy tale to teach the story elements!


      A mockey of Cinderella as told by the jealous and wicked Stepmother. Great for Point of View!

Fairy Tale Books


A telling of Cinderella from Algonquin Indian folklore. The "prince" in this tale is an invisible being and in order to marry him you have to prove that you gave seen him.  

Fairy Tale Books for Elementary Students


There are SO many different cultural Cinderella retellings. I like students to work in partners and fill out a Venn Diagram comparing to a traditional retelling. 

Fairy Tale Books to teach Story Elements

What are Mini Digital Escapes?


If you have done any Digital Escape Rooms you know that sometimes they can be long and as a teacher you only have so much time in your day. Mini Escapes allow for students to learn by reading, watching videos, and solving clues. I am starting to make fairy tale digital mini-escapes so students have more time and there is a specific focus to teach or review. 

In the Jack and the Beanstalk Mini Digital Escape I used to review Point of View. The great thing about this escape is that it has narration if you want it, a fun video to watch, and best of all it's short so you have time to fit this whole Fairy Tale digital escape into your day! 



Fairy Tale Digital Escape Room


Want to review Genres?

If you are wanting a longer escape room to try with your students or as a beginning escape room to get used to the format try this Genre Escape Room. It will help with review of types of genres, including fairy tales above. I use the writing prompts below when we are reviewing genres. This is a great activity to leave for a substitute or even to put into a writing station. There is no prep with the Genre Digital Escape Room and very little prep with printing off the prompts if you want to include them. 

Genre Digital Escape Room





Use these free writing prompts any time of the year for review with your students. 


Genre Writing Prompts for Elementary


Whichever story elements you decide to teach, make sure the kids are ENGAGED and having fun!
Friday, March 18, 2022

Women in History Month Biographies

Did you know March is Women in History Month?! We have been working on Biographies A LOT, because it is such a great and easy way for kids to have CHOICE in their writing/research. See my last few posts about Biographies! If you are not on the Biography train, don't worry. You can still celebrate some AMAZING Women and their contributions to history. 

I have these amazing Women in History Bubbleheads. Over 50 women to choose from to write research and use character traits. A character trait dictionary is included. You can use this to supplement research, as a culminating project,  or a partner quick research. Those are just some ideas on how to use this. I left some resources below on websites, books, and dates. 

Women in History Biographies

The bundle below includes a lapbook for women in biography research that you can use to help assist you in looking for all the facts for your project. I love the lapbook because it aids students in the process and they know which steps they need to complete. 

Women in History Biographies


I love this book series for biographies. It is the Who Was... I call it the Bobblehead series because they look like bobbleheads on the front of the books. These books are awesome for a print source for research. They won't have every biography, but there are alot out in print. 


Women in History Biographies

Some great websites to try!


Some Important Dates for this month:

  • The National Woman's Party was formed in March 1917. The group was dedicated to getting women the right to vote.
  • March 1st: Title IX was passed in 1972 
  • March 3rd: The first major march on Washington by suffragists happened on this date in 1913.
  • March 8th: International Women's Day Itwas established as a holiday in 1911.
  • March 22nd: The Equal Rights Amendment was passed in 1972. 

Have a great month celebrating women and all their accomplishments both past and present!

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Probability Activities and Games for Elementary Students

St. Patrick's Day is such a fun holiday! I wanted to share an EASY and fun probability activity and game that you can not only do in March, but any time of year to introduce or reinforce probability. 

Hands On Probability Activities 

for Elementary Students


Probability Activity Elementary

First, I go and purchase the Welch's Fruit Snacks (not sponsored). You can buy these from Target, Walmart, Kroger, Amazon ~really any store. You do not need these specific snacks. You can use this with Skittles, M & M's and any other snack, but I have found it works best with these because of the shapes and the amount per bag. I have used it with other snacks, but love the shape of these and they are not as sticky as other snacks. 

Probability Activity Elementary

Probability Activity Sheets

Next, you'll want to print off your sheets. You can make a packet or print and hand out a page at a time. It really depends how much time you will have to complete. The students will predict before they open on how many are in the bag. Then the activity walks them through the process of making a tally chart, bar graph, and spinner for the data. I usually make a packet for the students and just make sure no one turns the page before instructed.  
Probability Activity Elementary 

The directions are super EASY to follow. It leads you step by step to complete the questions, graphs, and charts. The hardest part for the students is not eating them!




Probability Activities for Elementary Students



Probability Activity Video

Check out this preview of the Probability Activity using snacks! Students love being able to guess and then of course eat their data, but they are having fun while learning. The probability activity has very user friendly language students will understand and be able to follow. 



Probability Digital Escape Room

If you don't have time or aren't fully teaching probability yet, you can use this Digital Escape Room to introduce the concept to students or reinforce it. It can be used for St. Patrick's Day, but really you could use any time of the year. Students love that they are being independent in this digital probability activity, but also completing each level for the clues. 



I found these FREE Probability Exit Tickets you could use once you have completed your unit. I would love to see pictures of your students using their snacks to learn about probability. 


I hope you have a great time doing this fun and hands on activity! I would love to hear feedback or see any pictures. Enjoy!



Sunday, February 27, 2022

St. Patrick's Day Math Games and Digital Escape Room Fun!


It's March! Well....... it's so close that at this point I am going to put February behind me. I am moving on to warmer temperatures, (although where I live they aren't too warm in the Midwest) and a celebration that puts a smile on my face ~ St. Patrick's Day! I am highlighting some fun St. Patrick's Day Math Games and a Digital Escape Room. 

So no one loves the pinching tradition, but they love the excitement of the gold, that sneaky leprechaun and let's face it any holiday that is supposed to give you LUCK is a winner for me! For any special holiday or celebration, I am wanting something easy, fun, and engaging for my students, BUT I want them to be learning at the same time. I've pulled together a few of my favorites that are some digital St. Patrick's Day math games and a digital escape room. 

For some easy, no prep digital St. Patrick's Day fun, try this digital escape room below. It has different skills your students can be reviewing  such as inferences, homophones, contractions, and synonyms while they are trying to find their lost invitation to Lucky the Leprechaun's party. Haven't done an escape room before? Read below for how I set mine up and most typical digital escape rooms.

What is a digital escape room?

A digital escape room is an online game that begins with a theme or scenario. Students generally work collaboratively in groups of 2 or 3 in order to escape/breakout/solve the mystery. They are challenged to solve puzzles in order to find clues and codes. This breakout has 5 codes to break. Escape rooms are fun and engaging for students and they LOVE them!



St. Patrick's Day Digital Escape Room


Check out the video preview of the St. Patrick's Day Escape Room.



St. Patrick's Day Digital Math Mysteries

Digital Math Mysteries are a fun and engaging activity where students begin reading or listening to the story, solve the word problems, and click on the correct answer. If the correct answer is chosen, the story continues. If a wrong answer is chosen, a 'stopper' will tell them to go back to where they were working, and TRY AGAIN! 


Check out each of the grade levels below. I have these in paper format in my store


St. Patrick's Day Digital Math Games

 St. Patrick's Day Digital Math Games

St. Patrick's Day Digital Math Games

Check out these other resources for St. Patrick's Day Fun!

St. Patrick's Day Math Elementary

Sunday, February 20, 2022

Digital Math Games


It's almost March! Just one week away until the month that seems to last forever before Spring Break. I love March because that means that the weather is starting to turn into spring, even though it's warm one minute and cold the next! Tomorrow where I live it's going to be 60 degrees when yesterday is was a high of 20. CRAZY!

Let's talk Math Games this week! I know a lot of you are still teaching virtual, looking for classroom activities that are fun and engaging, or curriculum you can put on your personal sites so students can access them. 

Math games allow students to have fun, use thinking skills, BUT are still able to review and learn concepts. These games below are great, because they show the students the wrong answer and once they do get it correct, it takes them to the next level. I post these on my website and have students complete. You can  have them show their work on problems, use it as review, or have students work together or as a whole group. 

   





If your students want more of a challenge, I use this Fraction Escape Room. It's longer, but it really CHALLENGES the students. I use it in January/February because I have already taught fractions or am getting ready to. My students love seeing which level they have passed in the game. 


Check out the video preview below! Students can watch video embedded into the game on making equivalent fractions and ordering and comparing fractions. They then find the correct answers and match them to different space adventures. Once they find the answer, they get a code word they need to punch in for the LOCKS page to take them to the next level of the escape. 


What are your students interested in? Whatever you are teaching in math, try some math games in your classroom. I love trying some new things in my classroom to break up these LONG winter days. 











Sunday, February 13, 2022

How to Run Book Clubs

Happy Pre-Valentine's Day! I hope you were able to get out this weekend or tomorrow to hang with your friends and family. Maybe you showed some LOVE by cheering on your favorite Super Bowl team!

I wanted to take this week to focus on Book Clubs and how exactly they work. First of all What is a Book Club? A Book Club or Literature Circle, is small group of students reading the SAME book. It can be a book they they have chosen themselves, chosen from a pre-picked list by the teacher, or assigned to them. 

How Does It Work?!
Good question! A working Book Club is going to look different at each grade level because of the expectations in independence, questions, and leadership. Basically your Book Club is a time for REFLECTION and COLLABORATION of ideas for students. 


Step 1: Planning

I usually give my students a list of books (and this will depend on what you have available to you in multiple copies in your building or library). I have them put their top choices either on Sticky Notes OR I love to use a Google Form for their picks. I be sure to note the reading level (just generically easy, hard, or just right in terms of the grouping of books). I also DON'T give students a heads up about the books and have them choose immediately so they aren't able to collaborate with their friend because it should be about interest and reading level NOT who is going to be in the group. 


Step 2: Build Groups/Set a Schedule

Groups are built on what they are reading. So get the groups together and then explain the RULES of Book Club. All the rules will be different, but if you check out my Book Clubs pack above it will have a RULES book for students for you to get started. Also set a schedule of how many pages/chapters students will read each day and what they need to prep for the next "meeting" of their group. 

Step 3: Gather Information/Writing Responses

Students will gather information for their Book Club meeting such as writing down new vocabulary words, thoughts, questions, and connections. I like to teach students to write these notes on a sticky note and put in their book. You may like to have students write in a special notebook, journal, or a created document. I have these pages already created that you can laminate and students can write names s well as, blank ones you can assign as an EASEL activity for groups to write responses or for them to write their own!


I have organizers in this Response and Record Book if you want to check it out! Organizers include: 14 graphic organizers on inferring, asking questions, making connections, or author's purpose. Use this Response Book all year for independent reading, as well as Book Clubs. 




Need ideas?! Here are some books that you may want to check out for Book Clubs!

Book

Author

Reading Level

Flora and Ulysses

 

Because of Winn Dixie

 

The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane

Kate DiCamillo

3rd/4th Grade

The BFG

 

Roald Dahl

3rd/4th Grade

The Chocolate Touch

Patrick Skene Catling

3rd Grade

Any Magic Treehouse Book

Mary Pope Osborne

2nd/3rd Grade

The Little Prince

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

3rd Grade

Cam Jansen Series

David Adler

2nd/3rd Grade

Time Warp Trio Books

Jon Scieszka

3rd Grade

It's Raining Pigs and Poodles (poetry)

Jack Prelutsky

2nd/3rd Grade

The Year of Billy Miller

Kevin Henkes

2nd/3rd Grade

Pax

 

Clementine Series

Sara Pennypacker

2nd/3rd Grade

The Penderwicks

Jeanne Birdsall

4th/5th grade

Frindle

 

Lunch Money

Andrew Clements

2nd/3rd Grade

The One and Only Ivan

Katherine Applegate

4th/5th/6th Grade

Where the Red Fern Grows

Wilson Rawls

5th/6th Grade

Hatchet

Gary Paulson

4th/5th Grade

The Giver

Lois Lowry

5th/6th Grade

11 Birthdays

Wendy Mass

5th Grade

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis

4th Grade

Wonder

RJ Palacio

5th/6th Grade

Out of My Mind

Sharon Draper

5th/6th Grade

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library

Chris Grabenstein

5th/6th Grade

When you Reach Me

Rebecca Stead

4th/5th Grade

Hoot

Carl Hiassen

 

Bridge to Terabithia

Katherine Paterson

4th/5th grade

Esperanza Rising               

Pam Munoz Ryan

5th/6th grade

Holes

Louis Sachar

5th/6th grade



I like to get Book Club books from Scholastic as they often have books for $2 or less per book. It's a great way to get a set of books without breaking the bank. You could also create a Wish List through Scholastic for parents. 


Have a great idea for Book Clubs?! I would love to hear what works for you or any amazing titles your kids are enjoying!
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