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Space Exploration Lesson Ideas

There are many different space-based teachable moments that will happen in 2011.  Space events for this year so far include a solar eclipse, meteor shower, the super moon, and four planets can be seen with the naked eye.  Still to come this year are a lunar eclipse, meteor showers, and  the last shuttle launch in the United State by Endeavor.  These teachable moments can capture students’ attention to learn about science topics based on real life.  Teachers can find the dates and time period for these events in a Space.com’s article about the space watching season.

space

There are some great online resources to learn about space, the moon, the sun, the planets, and the United States involvement in the space program.

Space.com

Space.com is an article and video based website that covers and reports on the top space, space travel, and sky watching happenings.  This is a great website for middle and high school students to use for research projects based on space.  Topics range from how to clean up space junk, the shuttle launch rescheduled for May 16th, photos of space, photos of earth from space to videos about various space science events.

I found the article about the launch on May 16th to be informative and interesting.  I can see middle school students reading and responding to this article in a journal entry, which would combine science and writing.  I loved that  the article touched on why the shuttle did not launch on the 29th, the experiments that will be happening on this last trip, the importance of the crew, and what will happen to the shuttle after it returns.

NASA

NASA has a very extensive website about space exploration with videos, articles, and mission information.  There is a specific section for teachers and another section for students.

The teacher section provides resources for teachers to use to create lessons, units, and projects for students to learn about space exploration in conjunction with the NASA website.   There are resources to learn about the different events that will happen this year in space like the super moon, the solar eclipse, and the planets aligning in the sky this month.

The student section includes videos, pictures, articles, games, and experiments based on grade level.  I especially enjoyed the interactive story about the shuttle.  This online interactive book includes historical facts about the shuttle, the missions, how it works, how it launches, bios on astronauts, and a comments section for students to read and post comments about the activity.  This is a great resource to explore further to incorporate in your classroom lessons on space.

Other Great Websites about Space:

  1. National Geographic  – Space
  2. Hubble – Pictures of Space
  3. Kids Astronomy
  4. About.com Space Tour

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month

May is Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month.  Many activities and events will be held to raise money for research to find a cure for cystic fibrosis.  Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that causes the lungs to fail, which typically leads to an early death.  Research, early diagnosis, and medications have greatly increased the life span of individuals with cystic fibrosis to the average age of 35.   Children with cystic fibrosis may have difficulty gaining weight, will eat a specialized diet to lessen digestive complications, and may be taking medicines to keep mucus build up in the lungs down.  Children with cystic fibrosis can attend school, play sports, and do the typical things that any child would do.

walking

Living with Cystic Fibrosis at School

The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation provides a great resource for teachers to learn how the disease will affect a child’s education at school.  The handbook provides a brief introduction to what cystic fibrosis is and then covers how it may affect the student and how this will impact their education.  Keeping your classroom clean, providing hand sanitizer, and allowing the student to use the restroom or leave the class if coughing, or to get a drink of water are common classroom adjustments.  Encouraging the student to be active at recess, PE, or school organized sports is also encouraged to help keep their body strong.  The child also needs to eat a higher calorie diet in order to continue growing, so allowing a snack time during class could also be an accommodation.

Based on my experience, the only adaptations that had to be made to the classroom environment were that the student could go to the bathroom when she needed or to get a drink of water, instead of having a limited number of bathroom passes per week. If she was out for extended periods of times due to complications from the disease  I needed to keep in email contact with the classwork and assignments so that she could attempt to keep up when she was feeling okay to work at home.  I also made myself available in the morning times when she would return to school to help her get caught up on assignments and missed activities.

Great Strides

Great Strides, the largest cystic fibrosis fundraiser of the year, will be held in many cities between April and May with individuals walking and being sponsored to raise awareness about this life threatening disease.  The website link provides information about the walk, finding a walk in your area, and a place for sponsors to make donations toward your walk.  There is also information about the foundation and cystic fibrosis to pass along to supporters.

School Fundraisers

Schools could also hold their own fundraisers to support the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.  My school holds an annual week of fundraising and awareness for CF.  This includes a “change for change” program where students bring in change to donate to the foundation, a bake sale, and a “jeans for genes” program where students make a donation to wear jeans to school for a day.  Students in the art classes also create roses for the 65 Roses Project.  Over the past several years the school has raised a significant amount of money to donate to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Other school fundraising ideas include holding a benefit concert with student performers with proceeds going to the foundation, having students create rose crafts to sell at a craft sale, or holding a carwash to raise funds.  Does your school participate in charity fund raising events?  If so, please share your unique ideas !

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Lesson Ideas for Cinco de Mayo & Mother’s Day

This week we are celebrating Cinco de Mayo and Mother’s Day.   These two special occasions provide great hands- on-learning connections in the classroom with crafts and culture.

school

Cinco de Mayo Lesson Ideas

Cinco de Mayo is a celebration held in Mexico honoring their victory over the French army in 1862.  In Mexico, this is a relatively small holiday that is only celebrated in Pueblo.  In the United States however, this special occasion has grown to celebrate Mexican heritage, food, and customs.  Here are some lesson ideas to celebrate Cino de Mayo in your classroom.

  1. Mr. Donn’s website provides not just lessons about Cinco de Mayo, but full units of lessons, activities, and resources on the topic of Mexico.   This site also has a presentation to share with students, a reader’s theater lesson, and a link to games that you can play in your classroom for Cinco de Mayo.
  2. The Teacher’s Corner has lesson plans including holding a classroom fiesta, learning Cinco de Mayo vocabulary and history, and making arts and crafts related to the holiday including paper flowers and piñatas.
  3. Scholastic has resources on their website to teach students the history and cultural significance of the holiday.  These activities are great because they are already standards based and provide great classroom instruction for an introduction on the topic.  The activities are very visually oriented and would be great to complete as a class using an Interactive board.

Mother’s Day Lesson Ideas

Mother’s Day, which is always celebrated on the second Sunday in May in the United States, is a day to honor motherhood and ones’ mother.  In the United States, it is typical to celebrate by having a special day for your mother.  Making breakfast, buying flowers, or making a card are traditional ways to honor mothers.

Mother’s Day is actually celebrated all around the world during different times of the year.  Each country has their own customs of the significance and customs of Mother’s Day.  This would make a great lesson that combines the occasion, geography, and culture connection.  Wikipedia has a list of the countries who celebrate Mother’s Day including the date they celebrate and their customs.  Students could be paired off to learn about one of the countries and how they celebrate and then present to the class.

For younger students, crafting and Mother’s Day go hand in hand.  There are many different crafting ideas for young students on Mother’s Day.

  1. Mother’s Day Central provides 151 Craft Project Ideas for Mother’s Day.  Some of the crafts are more complicated  and intended for older children and require more material, while other craft ideas are perfect for young students like creating a frame to put a picture of themselves in, making paper flowers, or designing and decorating a greeting card
  2. Danielle’s Place has very cute craft ideas for mother’s day that aren’t as typical.  This includes creating a bookmark, puzzle cards, window clings, and jewelry made out of paper.  The great thing about all of the ideas on this page is that it provides you a list of materials needed for the project, a picture of the completed project, and the steps of how to complete the project.
  3. Enchanted Learning has projects for younger students.  They include printables with starter projects ideas.  They also have classroom connection worksheets with vocabulary words related to Mother’s Day.

Have fun celebrating this week!  Feel free to share your crafty lesson ideas for these holidays by commenting below!

Article By Laura Ketcham

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National Frog Month – Jump Into It!

April is National Frog Month and is a special time set aside to celebrate those little fun creatures found both in urban and rural settings all over the country.  Nearly everyone has been fascinated by the development of a frog from a tadpole, listened to their croaking calls, or watched them leap in the grass or on the pond.  There are so many engaging activities for students to learn about frogs.  Books, movies, crafting activities, and even apps have been created for children to study frogs.  Teaching students about frogs in the classroom is a very interactive lesson plan that children of all ages enjoy and can be tied to many subject areas.

frog

Frog Activities Based on Books

There are many famous children’s books that have a frog as the main character.  One of my favorite series, Frog and Toad, is a collection of easy reader short stories based on the adventures of Frog and Toad.  Their traits and appearances hold true to the actual characteristics of frogs and toads.  This story would be a great lead into a lesson about the differences between frogs and toads.

Jump, Frog, Jump! is a very cute picture book that involves repetition and the life cycle.  Younger students appreciate the repetition and the rhyming while older student can use it at a spring board for learning more about frogs and other reptiles.  Kcls.org has a document of a variety of lessons for reading this picture book.

Frog Activities Based on Movies & Television

The Princess and the Frog, a Disney movie that came out in 2009, is a popular frog movie for children.  This story is a modern retelling of the Frog Prince.  Lessons for this movie can include learning about frogs, crocodiles, and lightening bugs along with connections to learning about jazz and New Orleans.  Scholastic has a website of plans and printables for lessons based on The Princess and the Frog.

National Geographic has an entire documentary style series of videos available on their website to learn about specific species of frogs like the Leopard Frog and the Bullfrog.  The videos are short and designed for kids.  There are facts sheets and links associated with each video for further exploration.

Kermit the Frog is a famous connection to frogs that kids of all ages will love to learn about.  Students can make connections between Kermit and real frogs describing the similarities and differences.  Students can also learn many academic-based lessons with the video clips of Kermit the Frog that are available online.

Frog Activities Based on Apps

One of the standard requirements for high school biology classes is to dissect a frog.  The Easy Frog Dissection app is an educational guide that allows students to dissect a real frog by viewing real images of a frog with the various organs pinpointed and explained.  This app is great for high school students to review and study or in lieu of completing an actual dissection.

Frogsaregreen.com has an online review of 5 of the top frog apps.  U.S. State Amphibians can be used to find out which frogs live in your part of the country.  Frog Flip can be used to study the variety of frogs based on their physical characteristics.  Frog Dissection is a virtual application where students can dissect frogs.  Pocket Frogs is a popular free game that students can play where they become the frog surviving through environment challenges.

Other Resources for Learning about Frogs

  1. Kid Activities – Frog Themed Lessons
  2. Harcourt School – The Life Cycle of a Frog
  3. eHow – Celebrating National Frog Month
  4. Exploratorium – Frogs (Great for middle school students)
  5. Grow-a-frog kits

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Earth Day and Arbor Day Activities for Students

Earth Day is celebrated on April 22nd and Arbor Day is celebrated on April 29th.  Both of these nature inspired celebration days offer a chance for students to learn about the earth and trees by contributing something back to their community.  Many classrooms around the nation will be celebrating these occasions by planting trees, participating in environmental clean-ups, joining recycling programs, and other ecological related activities.

earth

Both of these events provide a great opportunity for hands-on learning in the classroom that can be bridged with almost any subject area including science, math, language arts, social studies and even PE, foreign language, art, and drama.

Reading, Writing, and Drama Lesson Idea

One great idea inspired by a teacher at my school is to read the students The Lorax.   This children’s fable was written by Dr. Seuss with imaginary creatures and personification shows how nature can be harmed by humans.  Concerns are raised about cutting down trees, polluting lakes, and air pollution caused by industrial businesses.

In small groups, students can then reflect upon these ideas and use them to compose their own environmental story for children.  Taking this lesson one step further, students could then perform a reader’s theater skit for fellow classmates based on their story.  This activity ties in with both Earth Day and Arbor Day.

Science & Art Lesson Idea

eHow.com has a great article with 3 informative and engaging lesson plan ideas for Earth Day for special needs students.

The first lesson is to have students create a compost bin.  The students can then see the process of biodegrading over time.  This compost can then be used to plant a classroom garden.  This activity gets the students active and involved outside.

The next lesson idea is to teach students about the harm plastic bags on the environment and the benefit of reusable bags.  Students then students create their own reusable bags using recycled materials and cloth.  These can then be used at home or in the classroom in lieu of plastic bags.

The most interesting lesson was to have students coat paper in petroleum jelly and then hang it in the school parking lot.  The jelly will cause all of the air pollution caused by passing cars to stick to the paper and can then be observed or even analyzed by the students.  This is a great connection into a further lesson on air pollution and how we can reduce our carbon footprint.  A banner could be used to explain the project and attract community attention to local pollution.

PE Tree Lesson Activity

A simple connection to trees and PE is through learning the “tree” yoga pose.  PE central provides a description of the activity and song suggestions for students to personify a tree.  Students are arranged in lines with enough room to stretch out and yoga mats.  They will learn tree yoga pose and then during the stretching and movements they reach up like branches, sway side to side as if the wind were blowing their leaves, and planting their feet like the trunk of a tree.

More Lesson Ideas

  1. http://www.theteachersguide.com/arbordaylessonplans.htm
  2. http://www.ehow.com/earth-day/
  3. http://www.educationworld.com/a_lesson/lesson260.shtml

Article By Laura Ketcham

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iPod Touch & iPad 2 Accessories for the Classroom (Part 2)

This blog post is continued from the post last week on iPod Touch and iPad accessories for the classroom.  The first post provides examples of screen protectors, covers, cases, and stands that are useful accessories to purchase to increase the longevity and usability of the mobile devices.  This post will focus on styluses, keyboards, headphones, adaptors, and connection cables should all be considered when purchasing these portable devices.  All these accessories increase the ease of use of the devices in the classroom setting for both teachers and students.

ipad

Styluses & Keyboards

If the iPad’s are going to be used as a laptop replacement device in the classroom, it is worth the investment of Bluetooth wireless keyboards.  Students can type up documents for class more efficiently.  The onboard keyboard is useful, but it gets tedious if you have to type or edit longer documents.  Apple has a very versatile keyboard that can hold up to daily use by students.  It is slim and compact, would travel easily for a mobile classroom.  Users have rated  this is an easy to use a keyboard and is similar in layout and spacing when compared to a traditional keyboard.

The use of a stylus with the iPod Touch or the iPad is a great addition for younger students or students who may have difficulty using the touch screen method.  Many styluses are small and not made for young students. One stylus that has gotten great ratings for students is the AluPen.  Viewer ratings state that it is easy to grip, more responsive, glides smoothly, and allows for more accurate writing and drawing.

Headphones

Headphones are definitely a necessity in any computer lab, even a mobile lab.  This allows students to listen to academic-based websites like Learning Today, educational videos from TeacherTube, or sound embedded into Apps.  I required students to bring in headphones as part of their school materials at the beginning of the year.  I ask for the ear bud style headphones so they are easy to store in their backpacks.  This may not work for all students or all situations.  Some labs provide headphones to students.  They should be durable and easily sanitized after each use.  If they have headphone pads, they should be able to be cleaned or replaced.

Adaptors & Connection Cables

The iPod Touch & iPad 2 only come with a wall charger and a UBS sync cable to connect it to the computer.  These cables will not be enough to use the devices in a classroom setting.   At minimum, a digital adaptor or an AVG cable will be needed for the teacher in order to model the use of the iPad on a screen or interactive board.

For a mobile lab, there also must be a way to sync all of the devices easily at one time.  You must also have a storage device that will allow for easy transportation throughout a school.  This syncing storage device should also provide security and lock when the devices when not in use.

What are your favorite iPod Touch and iPad accessories?

Article By Laura Ketcham

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April: Autism Awareness Month

April is Autism Awareness Month.  This month is dedicated to spreading awareness about autism through various events that help to raise money for research about this developmental disorder.  The Autism Society began holding Autism Awareness Month in the 1970’s.

autism

Autism impacts social and communication skills.  There are varying degrees of autism including Kanner’s Syndrome (classic autism), Rett Syndrome, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Pervasive Developmental Disorder.  Autism is measured on the Autism Spectrum Disorders scale and can range from mild to severe.   Autism is typically diagnosed between birth and two years of age.  When the diagnosis happens at a young age, interventions can begin to help the child with social interactions and learning communication skills.

Typically, a form titled ARI’s diagnostic form is used to diagnose autism.  Questions about the pregnancy, birth, developmental growth stages, and behaviors of the child are used to calculate a score.  This score is then utilized in part of the diagnosis process for autism.

There are many organizations and companies that are dedicated to helping individuals with autism.  Many of them provide information on this disorder, raise funds for research, and provide support for families and individuals with autism.

The Autism Society

The Autism Society is a non-profit organization that strives to improve the lives of all individuals with autism.  They are actively involved in pursuing educational initiatives for children with autism as well as holding conferences and providing assistance to families with autistic children.  For Autism Awareness Month, The Autism Society has an article with an annotated list of events that are happening around the United States to build awareness and raise funds for autism research.

Autism Speaks

Autism Speaks is a non-profit advocacy organization for autism research, treatments, and support.  Their website provides information about autism, ways to raise money for autism research, and support for families with autistic children.  The information section is a great resource for teachers to learn what autism is, theories about what contributes to the development of autism, how it is diagnosed, how it is treated, special education services provided for students with autism, and family planning for a child with autism.  These valuable resources can help to lead to the diagnosis and treatment of a student with autism and make the teacher more aware of classroom modifications that will need to be made for students with autism.

The Autism Education Network

The Autism Education Network provides information about special education rights for students with autism.  They also coordinate trainings, programs, and services to help support families with autistic children.   There is a resource center with links, books, downloads of autism reading materials, and connections to find experts or speakers in the field of autism.  This network also helps families make connections with other families with autistic children in their area.

Vizzle

Vizzle is an online learning program for students with autism.  There are pre-made lessons that can be customized to meet the student and classroom needs or teachers can also create their own lessons with the large database of pictures and sounds.  Students learn academic-based curriculum with the use of pictures, sounds, video, and animations.  Lessons can also include teaching students social, communication, and every-day task skills.

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Life Science Apps | Education

The featured learning applications from the Apple App Store this week are life science apps.  Life science lends itself to be hands-on and engaging.  Visual tools including websites, videos, and photos are easily accessible for teaching this topic.  Apps are especially useful to assist in teaching this topic because of this interactive nature.  Life science topics include biology, anatomy, physiology, plants, animals, reference tools, games, and application of life science.  Here are a few of the interesting apps that you can find via the Life Science Learning Apps on Apple.

butterfly

Butterfly Migration Game

National Geographic’s Great Migrations App is a very timely app.  Monarch butterflies begin their migration north around this time of year, depending on the weather.  In this game-style app students have to help guide the monarch butterflies through various weather, geographical, predator-related and physical challenges, similar to what butterflies will encounter on their journey north.  There are several levels and modes (other animals that migrate) that make this app adaptable for students of a variety of levels.  This would be a great way to introduce a unit about butterflies or even to conclude your unit.

This app is based off of a series that National Geographic created called Great Migrations.  There are videos and an extensive website about the various animal migrations that happen each year.   This would also be a great learning resource for the classroom.

Easy Dissection

Easy Dissection is an app for students to learn the biology of a frog.  This tool can be used as a pre-learning resource before students actually dissect the animal or as a dissection alternative.  Pins easily identify the parts of the frog and students can easily zoom in and out on the organs of the animal with a swipe of their finger.  The images are of an actual frog, not an animated image of a frog, so students can see what the actual organs look like, not just a cartoon image.

Another frog dissection app is called Frog Dissection.  This app is more interactive where students get to cut, pin back, and dissect the virtual frog.  Labels include the function of the organ, lifecycle, and classification.

EcoBugs

EcoBugs is a super fun free educational app.   There is setup required both physically and electronically that must be done by the teacher to plan the activity.  Teachers should login and create an account on the Eco Bug website.  Then they have to setup the habitats for the location of the virtual bugs.  There is a teacher’s resource packet available on their website to help in setting up the activity and planting the locations of the bugs.

The app is downloaded to the iPod Touch or iPad and then the students are sent on a journey around the school location that the teacher chose to find virtual bugs based on the habitats that you set up.  Students working in teams will use the iPod Touch to bait, name, and classify the bugs.  The more bugs a group catches the more the points they earn.  There are 13 additional activities for the students can complete after they have located the bugs.  These activities include learning about the compass rose, classifying bugs, food chain, habitats, sorting, and identification.

What other great life science apps have you used in your classroom?  Feel free to share by commenting below.

Article By Laura Ketcham

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Opening of Baseball Season – Great Classroom Connections

As covered in many of my blog posts, students are much more engaged in learning when it is a relevant topic that they are interested in – especially if it relates to the “real world”.  The opening of baseball season, a favorite American past time, is one of these great “real world” events that can be connected into classroom curriculum.  Opening day is March 31st.

baseball

There are so many classroom connections with baseball that incorporate math, language arts, languages, geography, history, and even science and all  fit the standards-based instruction.  Here are some online resources for ideas on how you can incorporate baseball into your class curriculum.

The Teacher’s Corner – Baseball Season

The Teacher’s Corner has a wide variety of resources to teach core curriculum content in relation to baseball.  These activities are great for the elementary classroom or could be adapted for older grade levels and span across many different subject areas.  Activities include journal writing, vocabulary crosswords, figuring averages, the science of baseball, baseball-based review games for many different subjects, and problem solving.

The science of baseball activity was really fun and engaging.  Students learn about what the ‘sweet spot’ is of a baseball, how to react to and hit a fast ball, throwing a curve ball, along with other historical facts about baseball.  There are interactive activities and great animated pictures that bring the concepts to life.  The comic book style of the page will also be very engaging to middle school students and is considered very popular and current.

PBS:  The Tenth Inning

PBS has great resources for lesson plan ideas that connect with a documentary series about baseball entitled The Tenth Inning.  This video documentary chronicles the history and impact that baseball has had on society including the first black baseball player, women in baseball, and the growth of Hispanic and Asian players.  It also includes the scandals and triumphs of the baseball world from the 1990’s until today.

Among the many lessons that are found online that correlate with the video and includes “stadium consultants” where students act as the stadium managers and make choices about ticket prices and concessions, a lesson on “shadow ball” which is a warm up activity that was created by the Negro league, and “mapping baseball” where students would learn the history and growth of the baseball league.  All of the lessons I looked at were very engaging and I could see my 7th grade students really enjoying the activity and learning at the same time.

Another section on this site is “The 7th Inning Stretch”.  This page includes more open ended examples of lesson ideas including researching about the music of baseball, fantasy baseball, and the invention of the baseball.

Buddy Project

The Buddy Project has three simple lesson plans for teaching math concepts with a  baseball theme.  The first lesson incorporates the use of baseball cards.  The teacher should provide each student with a baseball card and discuss the information that is included on the back.  In this discussion the teacher would talk about the batting average and how it is calculated for each player.  The students could then be given the at-bats and number of hits so they could calculate the batting averages of some of the top players.

The next lesson has students playing math baseball on Funbrain.  This activity can be done individually or in pairs and is used as a review of basic math facts.  Students earn a base for every question they answercorrectly.  Competing against their classmates is a great way to motivate students to be more actively engaged in the activity.

The last lesson involves students solving money-based math problems in computation of salaries for baseball players.  The website provides a table of real baseball salaries and then provides a quiz based on the data table information.

All of the activities on this site have companion interactive activities that students can do online or on the interactive whiteboard in the front of the class.

Happy Opening Day!

Article by Laura Ketcham

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Spring has Sprung: Spring Activities for the Classroom

This past Monday was the official first day of spring.  I know in the Midwest and the Northeast this week there was a hint of spring and spring fever as the snow crocus started to bloom.  Spring represents a time of renewal.  Longer days, the smell of the fresh flowers, cut grass, and April coming in like a lion and out like a lamb.  Spring also represents a time of the year for students to feel refreshed and renewed.

Science Activities Related to Spring Time

There are many science related activities that can be taught during the beginning of spring.  Incorporating activities with plants or flowers is great during these months.  This could include teaching students about the parts of a flower, pollination, and how the plant absorbs water.  A fun activity for the students to do is the carnation color changing experiment.   Another experiment including plants could be the traditional experiments where students can feed the plant different liquids, provide more or less sunlight or changing of other variables.

spring

Spring also marks the vernal equinox. On this day, the amount of day light and night time will be almost the same because of the location of the sun in correlation to the equator.  In the northern hemisphere, this indicates the beginning of spring including the longer days that will head into the summer.  Many countries celebrate this day through a variety of festivals and customs.  Teaching students through interactive lessons like the Scholastic web hunt about the equinox are fun and educational.

Spring Cleaning of the Classroom

One way students can feel like they are getting a ‘fresh’ start to spring is by participating in spring cleaning.  Students can clean out their desks or lockers.  They should throw away the trash, donate used items that are no longer useful to them, but are still in good condition, and keep and organize items that they will need for the remainder of the school year.  This activity may seem very simplistic, but it is definitely necessary.

Students with special needs may become anxious during this process as it is difficult for some students to part with personal belongings or papers.  Care should be taken by the teacher to let the students complete this process over several days and not to just take the students belongings and throw what they feel is not important away.  Teachers and other students should respect the belongings of the other students and ask before touching or throwing something away.  Teachers can take part in this activity by spring cleaning their desk area and closets.

Spring Craft Ideas

There are many spring crafting ideas that connect with standards-based curriculum.  Kaboose has many great ideas of how teachers can incorporate learning about spring in the classroom.  The ideas include printables, crafts, foods, and organization ideas.  Craft ideas include making tissue paper flowers, clip butterflies, rock lady bugs, and baby jar gardens.  All of these crafts can be combined together to make an artificial garden to brighten up the classroom.  They also all use many recycled and reclaimed materials, most of which many teachers already have in the classroom.

Since lions and lambs are popular motifs for the weather during this time of the year, it would be great to tie in a weather lesson with making a craft of lions and lambs.  The lambs can be made of cotton balls and lions out of golden yarn.  The students could then write down facts of how the lion and lamb are used as metaphors for the weather.  The blog Little Fun, Little Learning has a great student example of this project idea.

Feel free to share your spring lessons by commenting!

Article By Laura Ketcham

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