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April 23, 2024

Fun + Educational Spring Activities for Elementary School Students

 Spring is a wonderful time for engaging, hands-on lessons that connect with nature!

1. Plant Life Cycle Exploration

Start with seeds and have students plant them in small pots. If time permits, they could decorate the pots first. (Sponge painting is fairly quick and easy.) Students can track the growth of the plants and make observations.

2. Nature Walk with Journaling

Make the most of beautiful spring days with a nature walk. It's a great way to get outside and explore the natural world around us. Encourage students to document what they see, hear, smell, and feel. You may want to discourage touching!

3. Bird Watching

Spring is prime time for bird migration and nesting. Consider adding a bird feeder outside your classroom for observations. Grab a few books and see if students can identify any species. Do you see your state bird?

4. Weather Tracking and Data Analysis

Students can learn about weather patterns by tracking daily weather conditions including temperature, precipitation, wind speed, and cloud cover. They can record data on charts and graphs and analyze trends over time.

5. Insect Study and Identification

Engage students in an insect study by observing, identifying, and learning about different insect species. Perhaps you can bring in a bug house to safely observe various insects up close! 

6. Spring Poetry

Creativity soars in the spring. Teach students a couple different types of poetry and provide plenty of examples. Provide time for students to get creative and then have a poetry party to give students a chance to share their work.

7. Gardening with Sustainable Practices

Get hands-on with gardening activities. Your local Home Depot (or similar store) may even help. One year a conversation with the manager led to a whole team from our Home Depot coming to our school to help our 4th graders start a garden. It was so much fun, and they even provided the tools!

These springtime lessons provide opportunities for students to engage with the natural world, develop observation skills, and deepen their understanding of seasonal changes.

With faith and friendship,

April 5, 2024

How to Integrate Music Into Your Math Lessons

Need to capture your students' attention? Try enhancing your lessons with music! Music stimulates various parts of the brain making it a great tool for education.

1. Play Classical Music During Arrival and Dismissal

Create a playlist of classical music as students enter the classroom. Classical music could lead to a calm dismissal too!

2. Make Math Chants

Encourage students to make up rhythmic math chants for multiplication facts. Have them work in small groups and share with the class.

3. Create Word Problems

Using popular songs or artists, have each student create a word problem for classmates to solve. Include guidelines in your directions such as numbers must be 2 or 3 digits, no zeros, etc. Students can write their problems on an index card and trade cards with a partner and solve them.

4. Math Rock Bands

Divide students into groups. Each group creates a song or rap about a math concept. Hold a Math Rock Band concert!

5. Musical Math

Prepare a review worksheet. Place a worksheet on each student's desk. Play some music. While the music plays, students move and dance about the room. Pause the music and students stop and work on the problems at any desk. Start the music back up and students move and dance again. Repeat until the worksheets are complete. Go over the answers.

Try this place value review worksheet for only $1.25:

Integrating music into math lessons can improve engagement and retention!

With faith and friendship,

March 27, 2024

21 Whole-Class Rewards

Your class has just filled the marble jar! Now what?  

Here are 21 ideas for whole-class rewards for elementary school students:

1. Extra Recess Time
2. Movie and Popcorn Party
3. Board Game Day
4. Card Game Day
5. Pizza Party
6. Classroom Picnic
7. Dance Party
8. Stuffed Animal Day
9. Make a Craft
10. Pajama Day
11. Outdoor Scavenger Hunt
12. Talent Show
13. Science Experiment
14. Computer/Tablet Time
15. Class Karaoke
16. Flashlight and Blanket Reading 
17. Cooking Activity
18. Dress Up Day (fancy, superhero, etc.)
19. Mini Field Day
20. Camping Day
21. Teacher - Student Swap Day

These rewards can create a positive class environment, encourage teamwork, and provide opportunities for fun, memorable experiences for students!

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With faith and friendship,

March 13, 2024

2024 Solar Eclipse for Kids

The next solar eclipse will occur in North America on April 8, 2024. This event will surely spark curiosity in your students. Check out a few ways to make the solar eclipse a remarkable learning experience!

1. Safety First

Students must be instructed to not look at the sun even during a solar eclipse. Explain that there are special glasses to be worn (not regular sunglasses.) For the 2017 solar eclipse, our local libraries gave away solar eclipse viewing glasses for free. It may be worth checking out in your area.

2. Model a Solar Eclipse.

Use a flashlight (sun), a globe (earth), and a ball (moon) to demonstrate what happens during a solar eclipse.  Have one student hold the globe. Another student shines the flashlight on the earth. The third student moves the moon in between the globe and the flashlight. The "moon" is blocking the "sun's" light from reaching the earth. This is called a solar eclipse.

3. Invite an Astronomer to Class.

Contact local colleges to see if an astronomy professor would be willing to visit and share some info with the kids. 

4. The Passage and Timing

Check out this page for specific information on the 2024 solar eclipse:

Great American Eclipse

Will you be in school?

5. Visit Nasa's Website.

NASA has a great page for kids.

NASA Space Place

6. Make a Fun Craft.

Your students will love making this solar eclipse craft:

2024  Solar Eclipse Craftivity 

The 2024 Solar Eclipse is a unique opportunity for learning and discovery. You may even spark a lifelong interest in science! 

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 With faith and friendship,

February 8, 2024

2024 Big Game and Taylor Swift Ideas for the Classroom

Are your students talking about the Big Game? Football has a different level of appeal now that Taylor Swift plans to attend!

Here are 5 ideas to integrate a Big Game/Taylor Swift theme into your lessons:

1. Creative Writing

Have students write a story where they get to attend the Big Game. Provide time for students to share their stories.

2. Character Education

Set up a station where students can make friendship bracelets for others. Students can use inspirational and good sportsmanship words. 

3. Biographies

This station will include books about football players and musicians. Check your school library and the children's section at your local library for books. Thrift shops are another option! Here are a few you may consider:

Who Was Peyton Manning? by Kirsten Anderson

Who Is Tom Brady? by James Buckley Jr.

Who Is Taylor Swift? by Kirsten Anderson

Who Was Louis Armstrong? by Yona Zeldis McDonough

Who Were the Beatles? by Geoff Edgers

Students can complete a mini biography book report after they read.

4. Cultural Connections

Students research Tokyo and complete a mini-report.

5. Puzzles

Students can complete word searches and other puzzles relating to Taylor Swift and football. For an extra challenge, provide blank grid paper for students to create their own.

6. Math Word Problems

Students can practice various math skills by completing math problems related to the singer and the big game! A scoot setup would work perfectly! Place one task card on each desk. Play some Taylor Swift music as students roam about the room. When the music stops, students go to a desk and complete the problem on the card. Go over the answers. 

Save time and grab a Taylor Swift + Big Game lesson set here:

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With faith and friendship,

January 5, 2024

National 4th Graders Day - 4 More Ideas!

4th Grade is worth celebrating!

Here are 4 more ideas to celebrate National 4th Graders Day!

1. Have a 4 of Everything Day.

Use the number 4 all day long. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Participate in 4 Brain Breaks

Complete 4 Math Problems

Tell 4 Jokes

Complete 4 Exercises

Show 4 Acts of Kindness

Eat 4 Cookies

Read 4 Short Stories

Write 4 Sentences

Draw 4 Pictures

Sing 4 Songs

Locate 4 Countries

Complete a 4-Step Science Experiment

2. Make a craft activity.

This disco ball 4th Grade Era resource is print and go!

3. Play Connect 4.

4. Play 4 Corners!

Need an educational 4 Corners game?

Try this popular one:

4th Grade Rocks!

Click HERE for more National 4th Graders Day ideas!

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With faith and friendship,


December 26, 2023

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