As Christmas time quickly approaches, the children get more and more excited. It is hard for them to sometimes realize the passage of time until Christmas arrives. Here is a countdown poster that can be used to help them visualize when Christmas Eve will come. Click here or on the image to get your free copy.
Cross off the ornament that matches each day in December as it arrives. This can be used as a math activity as well by counting how many days have passed or how many days are left until Christmas.
Here is a booklet that can be created as a class booklet or individual student booklets. It is based on the song the 12 Days of Christmas. It is a great way to be creative about gifts to share or activities to do for 12 days at Christmas time.
I would love to see pictures of your booklets if you decide to do this activity. If you have any other suggestions for ways to use it, please let me know in the comments. Happy creating.
It is hard to believe that it has been almost 100 years since World War 1 ended and 71 years since World War 2 ended. That means that most of us who are alive now never knew what it was like to live during war time. Most of our veterans have left us now and we only have stories and their memories to remind us of all that was sacrificed in order for us to have our freedom today.
It is very important that we share those stories and memories with our students so that we never take for granted what we have been given. With all the glorified movies and video games presented to us, we don't really understand the pain and anguish that was caused for families and the nightmares that our veterans had to endure.
When we think of Remembrance Day and Veterans Day, we should think about what we have gained from their sacrifices. We need to teach our children about the meaning of Peace. Not only do we need to talk about it, we need to model it. Many children live in situations that are not necessarily peaceful. School should be a safe place for them where they can feel at peace.
Many families have relatives or friends who are in the service now, or who served in some of the more recent wars and battles around the world. We need to think about them too. They are fighting battles that aren't even their own to give others freedom and a safe place to live.
I am retired now, but while I was teaching, I spent a lot of time on this subject because I felt it was more that just a one day thing that we recognized every year. Here is a blog post from last year that shares some of the things we did in the past years. It also includes some special video clips that I would play for the kids.
I had the opportunity to work with another teacher 's class last year and share this special topic with them. Here is the recap of that time.
Thank you for taking the time to reflect on this important moment in time.
Here are some other posts by friends of mine that you might want to check out. Just click on the buttons below.
As we approach November 11, we focus on peace around the world. Children often feel that they can't do much to make a difference in the world. This is where we can help them to understand that they are the key to peace.
In the movie Pay It Forward, a class was challenged to come up with a change they could make in the world. This is when the idea of paying it forward was made popular. One boy's idea had the potential to change the world and make it a better place for many people.
Doing acts of kindness is a perfect way for children to help make positive changes in the world. Friendship is one way of sharing peace and spreading positive feelings. What better way to remember those who fought to give us peace than to spread peace to others through friendship.
As we get closer to Christmas, thinking about giving instead of getting is another way that we can spread goodwill and cheer to others around us. We have been blessed with many things. Here is hoping that we can help to bless others by sharing peace and kindness.
Classroom management is something that everyone needs to focus on when starting a new year. There are many different ideas and approaches being used now, so it is important to find what works for you and your students.
Three years ago, I was introduced to Whole Brain Teaching. I saw a few blog posts about its use in the classroom and I decided to find out more about it. I read the book Whole Brain Teaching For Challenging Kids during that summer and I decided to begin implementing some of the components in my classroom.
I decided to begin with the classroom rules. I created a set of posters to use in my room. I made some changes to rule 1 because I found that my students were able to follow directions quickly, but they sometimes didn't focus on following them correctly. I also changed rule 3 for my students because I didn't require them to raise their hands to leave their seats.
I decided to make a variety of different themes for the rules so they could fit in with the seasons, sports, and classroom decor. One bundle uses a cursive font as well. The rules didn't change, just the themes. Click on the images to get a copy for yourself.
I also introduced the concepts of Class/Yes and Teach/Okay. I was amazed at how quickly my students responded to these ideas and began to model them. It was interesting to see how I was able to break information into small chunks for them to teach each other. I didn't think I would be able to do this! I am so glad that I tried. The kids liked being the teacher and everyone was accountable.
I did create a scoreboard, but I found that I didn't use it very much. My class didn't have very many challenging behaviors, so they followed the rules most of the time without the board.
There are so many other elements to Whole Brain Teaching that I didn't get a chance to try out, but if I hadn't recently retired, I would definitely incorporate them into my teaching.
Head on over to the whole brain teaching website for more information. I would strongly recommend checking it out and reading the book. Even if you add just some of the elements into your teaching, it does make a difference.
Halloween is an exciting time for children. They get caught up with the ideas of costumes, scary stories, carving jack-o-lanterns, and of course trick or treating. Using these themes make learning more exciting.
Learning about numbers, patterns, basic facts, and graphing can all be more fun if they involve themes. Here are some Halloween math activities that will add some spook fun to their learning.
This scaffold framework is a great one for Halloween time because it is a time when kids allow themselves to think about wild and scary things that can happen.
My students love to make up silly sentences. This is a set of Halloween themed parts of speech cards that they can use to mix and match for some hilarious sentences. Here are a couple of pictures from last year.
What kinds of Halloween fun do you do in your classrooms? I would love to hear about them.
In Canada, Thanksgiving comes in early October. This is a time for thinking about others and for being grateful for all the blessings we have. I feel that it is important to focus on giving rather than receiving, and this is a good start to preparing for the Christmas season that will be upon us before we know it.
I love to use themes when presenting Math and Language concepts because they allow for many connections in real life. Real life connections are necessary if we want our students to be able to apply what they learn and find it meaningful.
Here is a sample math and language activity that I created using Thanksgiving as the theme. Click on the image to get a copy.
If you would like to try some other
Fall/Thanksgiving activities, check out
my Fall/Thanksgiving bundle.
Using projects evolved from a need to help students share their learning in a variety of different ways. I discovered early in my classroom teaching experience that some students had a wealth of knowledge, but that they were unable to truly share it in written activities. I decided to try using projects for representing their learning, and I have never looked back.
Here are some of my most popular social studies projects as well as a couple of other special projects.
This 3D community project started out as a class project where the class created the community from beginning to end based on what we learned during our study of what a community needs. Our celebration was our chance to share what was learned during this unit.
Check out one of our communities below.
I find that Social Studies lends itself well to projects. Most of my projects deal
with Canada and the provinces and territories, but I have also done some
projects that are more global.
Our Solar System was one of my first school/home projects that required the children to choose from a variety of activities to share their learning. It also contained a criteria marking sheet so that they knew what was expected and
how it would be graded from the beginning. It was amazing to see how they rose to the challenge. Including the families when it came time to create the projects was a great way of communicating what we were doing at school.
Check out some of the projects that my students created. The greatest part
was when they shared them with the families and other guests. Their pride
and the positive atmosphere made it all worthwhile.
Here is a summary of some of the lessons and a couple of pages to go with lesson 5. Click on the grid if you would like a copy.
I hope that you have found these ideas helpful. I would love to hear about how you use projects in your classroom to represent learning.
Using a scaffold or framework for creating poems helps get beginning writers going. It is always fun to do some brainstorming as a group to get the imaginative juices flowing. I love being able to spin a story or a poem with my kids.
One rule I have, is that they can't use my examples in their poems. However, they can do a slight variation of an idea. I try to make sure that I don't choose the most obvious ideas so that they have some options that are not too difficult to select from.
After giving some examples, I usually get the students to brainstorm ideas on a thinking page. Once they have several to choose from, I get them to add descriptive language and juicy details to their ideas. Then they choose the ones they will use in their framework. They create a draft on plain lined paper, edit it, and then do the final copy. They love having the fancy paper to display the finished poems on the bulletin board.
Here are some samples of scaffold poems from my Teachers Pay Teachers store. Click on the images to get your free copies.
There are many more topics that can be used. It might be fun to generate a list of topics with your students. Hopefully you will find this format works well.
Fall is a great time for preparing for special days and activities. School is back in session and the routines are getting established. Now it is time to get down to the academics. Math is tough for some students, but by using games and activities, they often get engaged and learn without realizing it. This allows for more enjoyment and better retention as well.
Here are some task cards and glyph activities that have been successful in my classes. The addition task cards are great for practice and review.
The glyphs are fun to do and it is interesting to see what the comparisons are when they are done. I always make sure that the names are not seen so that we can make the comparisons using just what we see in the glyphs. The pumpkin glyphs require coloring, and the turkey glyphs require cutting and pasting. I often would make a bulletin board display in the hallway later so that other classes could try to do some of the questions.
Probability games are always a hit in my class. This is a great way to teach probability and also to reinforce the concept of odd and even.
Give dice and tally sheets to each student. Roll the dice and keep a tally of each roll. Check the results after 10, 20, 30, 40, and 50 rolls. The students will be amazed at how the results change as the number of rolls gets higher.
When they get good at using 6 sided dice, increase the difficulty by using 10 or 20 sided dice.This is a collection of odd and even tallies that can be used for fall or during the Halloween season. All that is needed is some dice and a tally sheet. There are different themes to choose from.
Click on the image to get your free copy.
I have been thinking about making some music products for awhile now, but it has been on the back burner due to other more immediate needs. Last week my daughter asked me if I could create a music quest with some task cards for her general music classes in middle school. She generated some trivia questions and information that she wanted for the cards and I created them. While waiting for her to come up with her material, I created some other products, including a primary version of Music Quest.
These quests include several games that can be played in groups, with partners, or as center activities.
In primary classes, many rhythm instruments are used for creating music. Rhythm and notation are also introduced in later grades. I have used these concepts to create some matching games for the primary and early intermediate classes.
If you are looking for some fun activities for the music classroom, or if you teach your own music and would like some activities to engage your students, check these out.
About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother or 8, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.
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