Friday, December 16, 2011

How to Make a Paper Star

This is an activity that I did with my Girl Scouts. It is very easy to make and several of my teacher friends have used it in the days leading up to Christmas (it can easily be combined with a writing assignment. I have a friend in a second/third grade class who will be doing a winter unit in January and will be calling these stars "snowflakes" for the unit).

This is the last day of school for us before the holiday break and I had two fifth grade girls help me make a how to video.

Spelling Test Surprise

One of our fifth grade teachers changed up her spelling words the day of her weekly spelling test. The kids moaned and groaned but hunkered down to do their best with their new words.

The teacher ran the spelling test just like every week. She read the word and put it in a sentence.

1. Merry (Merry is not a name. It means happy.)
2. Christmas (Christmas is celebrated on December 25th each year)
3. You (You will be attending the winter dance tomorrow)
4. All (It is difficult to talk with you all talking)
5. Get (In the morning you get ready to go to school)
6. One (One is the number before two)
7. Hundred (I would love to have a hundred dollars in my wallet)
8. On (Jasmine sits on her chair.)
9. This (This test counts for a large percent of your grade)
10. Test (Every Thursday you have a vocabulary test)

By the end many of the kids have caught on but she allows no talking during the test so they all just are smiling at her and each other. At the end she has a child read the spelling words out loud to review from 1-10. The child catches on while she is reading the words back and then everyone gets it.

I thought it was a fun way to give students a surprise 100 on the test.

Pop Ups in Notebooking

Earlier I wrote a post about this fun pop up card site. I haven't had a chance to use it in a classroom but two Social Studies teachers I know have.

They had their fourth grade students make the pop up explorer ship and write facts about Christopher Columbus. One teacher had her students put it in their notebook and the other teacher put them out in the hall. They turned out very cute!

I did do pop up cards with my Girl Scout troop using the turkey and though that might make a good ELA lesson. Students could practice their writing skills and let their families know what they are thankful for.

Content Carols - Social Studies

A teacher that I worked with years ago did a fun assignment with her students around the holidays. She had her students rewrite Christmas carols to go along with the units they were studying. She wrote about it in her blog.

I filmed a few of her students singing their revised carols this year and thought I would share.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

ELA - End of Unit Project

Most subscribers to this blog know that last year I accepted a position as a technology coach within our district. I work with two elementary schools and do a lot of integrated technology projects with teachers as well as model lessons using technology.

While this blog mainly focuses on elementary science I do post other ideas in other subject areas.

Today's blog post features an end of unit project I did with a fourth grade class in one of the two schools I teach at. I team taught with the teacher for a two week period focusing in on the parts of speech (she would teach one part of speech one day and I would do another the next day). At the end of the unit we put her children into groups and they were given a digital camera and allowed to take pictures or videos around the school that illustrated the eight parts of speech.

We got an adult volunteer to go with each group and they were given approximately 45 minutes (along with a check list, dry erase marker and pen). Ideally I would have had the students go to the computer lab and put together their video in Movie Maker Live but we ran out of time so I put together the video above using Movie Maker Live. The students loved the finished product although the boys thought my music choices were "too girly" :)

Weather - End of Unit Tech Project

Here is a technology project that I did with a fourth grade science class at the end of their weather unit. This was my sample project I showed children. I had done a project similar to it at the end of last year and wrote about it HERE.

I had actually helped a teacher do this paper piece project in Social Studies (they were researching explorers) so I felt pretty confident introducing it in science (we had worked out the kinks and problems in the social studies class :)

The project took four days.

Day 1 - Students were introduced to the project, grouped, picked their topic (they could choose between layers of the atmosphere, weather tools and their uses, severe weather and related saftey tips, the water cycle, and clouds and cloud formation), and started working on their graphic organizer.

Day 2 - Students worked on their graphic organizer, script, and paper pieces

Day 3 - Students were at various stages of completion. They were either still working on their paper pieces or ready to film (we sent groups to the library to film where it was quiet - filming took at most 15 minutes. The prep work and dry runs took the majority of time).

Day 4 - All student filming had to finish. Students who were done created a poster of their topic.

They turned out adorably (I'll get a student project posted soon). Some were better then others but it was a fun way for students to demonstrate their knowledge while working with technology.

We used Flip Cameras, Flip Camera tripods, and Windows Live Movie Maker.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Bill Nye - Light Color Video with Lyrics

I put together another Bill Nye song with lyrics for a teachers light, electricity, and magnet unit. The direct link to the video on YouTube can be found HERE.