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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

Picture By quinet

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by MangoMon by MangoMon

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Spring Break Activities for Students

Over the next month, many students will be taking a week or more off for “Spring Break”.  Spring b recess is a time for students to relax and unwind and spend time with family.  This is also the time of year that typically comes right before many states administer standardized tests.  Having students relax during their break is important, but teachers could provide fun and interactive activities for students to continue their academic growth without school.

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Engaging Reading & Writing Activities

One way to have students to continue learning during “Spring Break” is through reading.  Many schools assign students to read novels and write reports as reading assignments over Spring Break.  Instead of assigning a book that all of the students read, allow the students to choose their own (level appropriate) book will be more engaging over break time.  Also, instead of having the students write traditional book reports, allowing students to make multi-media projects will be more engaging.  Students could summarize the story, complete a literary analysis, or personal reaction of the story by creating video, picture montage, Voki, online comic book, or Wordle.

To get students writing over spring break, you could have them keep an online diary of what they did over spring break.  Students can use a site like Blogger to write their reflective journal.  This journal can then be shared digitally with other students in the classroom.  Students can then comment on other students “Spring Break” activities.  Encourage students to expand their vocabulary and use descriptive words that are not typically used in their writing.

Less formal activities could include providing an annotated list of online learning games that students could complete during “Spring Break”.  Providing parents with a goal for the amount of time the students should spend on the activities would be helpful.

Online Reading & Writing Activities

1.       Primary Games – Language Arts

2.       Between the Lions – PBS Kids Games & Stories

3.       My Monster Poems

4.       Classroom Resources – Reading Write Think

Math & Science Activities

A great science and math based “Spring Break” activity would be to have the students watch an episode of Head Rush from the Science Chanel.  This is a newer TV show hosted by Kari Byron from Mythbusters.  The show provides a variety of science experiments that are explained from beginning to end.  Students are asked multiple choice questions about the experiment to guess what or why questions about the experiment.  If students don’t have the Science Chanel at home, many of the clips and experiments can be found online at the show website or on YouTube.  Students could then either perform experiments, with parent supervision of course, complete a lab write-up about which show they watched that they can then share with the class, or just watch the show for learning pleasure and then be ready to discuss the show in class after the spring recess.

Online Math & Science Activities

1.       Fun Brain Math Arcade

2.       Sheppard Software Interactive Math Games

3.       Cool-Math Games

4.       Math Playground

Article By Laura Ketcham

Picture By kkalyan

Free Teacher Resources | Special Education by MangoMon by MangoMon

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