Category : Classroom Resources

Teaching Tolerance through Teaching about Religion and Cultures

In today’s world everything is constantly changing. We as teachers have to ability to teach tolerance through teaching about different cultures and teaching about different religions. It’s not about trying to convert anyone, of course. It’s about to understand the differences between people’s religion. Many religions do have common threads and with these common threads we can teach tolerance and empathy to our students.

I know when I was young, I didn’t know anything about any other religions and just a little about a few different cultures in Europe and Mexico (I lived in Texas). I really didn’t learn much about these things until I went to the University of Texas in Austin. I learned some through the classes I took, but most from the people I met. I took lots of foreign languages because I was so interested in learning more about these neat cultures. I took Malayalam, Japanese, Russian, French, Czech and Latin. I guess you could say I was a little bit obsessed. I embraced learning about the differences.

Today with the dawning of the internet, we can teach our children so much earlier when their minds are open to learn about new cultures and religions. One of my favorite things to make for my students and Teachers pay Teachers are units on different countries, religions and ancient civilizations. I hope you can use some of these products in your classroom to help teach about tolerance! We all can help make the world a better place to live together!

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks in Your Classroom

What is an Interactive Notebook?
I’m sure you’ve heard about Interactive Notebooks by now, but let’s just review a bit in case you haven’t heard about them yet. Interactive Notebooks are a way that your students can interact with the subjects you are teaching them. They can cut, paste, draw, expand and really experience the subject they are learning. No two interactive notebooks are created equally. Some may say they are interactive, but they aren’t. Some may have too much cutting and pasting, which will interrupt your lesson plans. The best way to judge them is to look at previews and read all of the details before you purchase one.

Five Ways to Use Interactive Notebooks
1. Review and Test Prep – A lot of the reasons I started making and using interactive notebooks is because if you have a printable you use with your students, the students finish it and toss it into folder never to look at it again. With my interactive notebooks, the activities are designed to have the students come back and review what they’ve just learned. There are flaps, envelopes, yarn, brads and more all specifically used to help your students redo activities for test prep and to show their parents what they’ve learned.

2. Confidence Booster – Using an interactive notebook, your students can keep all of the things they’ve learned throughout the year in one place. Students can look through all of the different things they’ve learned and feel achieved.

3. Introducing New Topics – You can use the activities in an interactive notebook to help students learn new topics. Sometimes students are scared about learning new things. A fun activity will help relax them and allow them to learn new topics (especially fractions which can be frustrating for students).

4. Assessments – You can use the activities to finish up a unit. Instead of or in addition to a quiz, you can have students do an interactive activity to make sure they understand the concepts that you taught in the lessons.

5. Spice Up Lessons – If your students get bored with a topic (you know it’s bound to happen), you can pull out an interactive activity and use a little art and interactiveness to spice up your lessons.

If you’re interested in looking at my interactive notebooks, you can find them here. They have the perfect combination of low prep and high interactiveness.

Here are a few of my best sellers, you can click on the picture to see more information and a preview about each:

Learning about the American Revolution

History is really interesting to me, but I know some students get bored in history classes. My kids really enjoy learning about history with interactive notebooks. It combines history with hands-on activities and a bit of art.

Here are few picture of my American Revolution Interactive notebook in use.

I think it’s great to actually get the students excited about History and present it in a different format than they are used to. If you’d like more information you can check out my American Revolution Interactive Notebook on TPT.

Easter Color by Number

I love coloring and so do my kids. My Easter color by number printables are sure to be a hit with all of your students. The great thing about them is they are leveled for different grades. So, whether you are teaching kinder or teaching 6th grade the math problems will be geared towards your students.

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There are 12 pictures in each set. Enough to have a lot of choices for you and your students. You can use them as homework, morning work, for your subs or as a reward. The uses are unlimited!

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To find my Easter Color by Number Printables, click here.

Happy Easter! I hope you all have a wonderful spring and Easter season.

Easter STEM

What’s better than STEM? Easter-themed STEM! Easter is a bit later this year and I like it because it’s not too close to St. Patrick’s Day so there is a lot of time to fully celebrate both holidays! I’m super excited with my new Easter STEM packet because my own children had so much fun making these challenges.

The first challenge is a Rocket Egg challenge. It’s really neat to see how innovated students can be when given a list of materials they can use and provided with a task.

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Creating an Easter Egg Tower is so much more difficult than you can imagine. I tried building a few and although I did have some successful ones, I had a lot of disasters too which made us all laugh. Here’s one my son built.

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Sewing in itself isn’t STEM, but it is when you try to create geometric designs in the design. And to tell you the truth, my daughter knew how to sew before this activity, but my son didn’t know. Now he does! So it’s really a win because he can sew his own buttons on his clothes when they fall off now. Believe it or not, but he really enjoyed sewing too and creating the designs. It also makes STEM more STEAM! Which is what I prefer!

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The last challenge in my April STEM packet is a windmill. It’s really cute and I’ve included some printables that your students can use with their designs to help them have a more realistic looking windmill if they want to use them.

To fine my April STEM/STEAM unit click here.

St. Patrick’s Day STEM

One of my favorite holidays is St. Patrick’s Day. I think it’s because I love Ireland and I love the color green. It’s also a great holiday in the middle of a span with not much going on, especially when Easter falls in April, like it will for the next few years.

I’d like to show you my new St. Patrick’s Day STEM unit. There are four activities: 2 activities for St. Patrick’s Day, 1 for National Quilting Day and 1 for Johnny Appleseed Day.

Here’s one activity that is sure to amuse your students. They must build a trap for a Leprechaun. You know how sneaky those Leprechauns can be, so they need to think about how to lure them and trick them.
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Have you ever heard of National Quilting Day? It falls in March (the third Saturday to be exact) and it’s a great time to use a little duct tape to create their own quilted item. I think it’s a great time to explain what patchwork and quilting is since a lot of students aren’t exposed to these types of crafts.
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I hope you all are having a great school year. If you’d like more information on my March STEM unit, click here.

Election STEM Activity!

No matter who you are voting for this election, it’s important to introduce your students to the election process. Why not add a little STEM to the activity? Maybe when they are old enough to vote, they will look back on your teaching and this activity and remember what they learned years back.

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Students can create their own election booths or you can create one for the class to use. Will they vote for Hillary Clinton?

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Or, will they vote for Donald Trump?

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Students can make their own election set and take it home to poll their family.

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It’s a fun activity for everyone and it’s a great idea to not only add STEM to an activity, but allow students to understand the election process.

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You can find this activity here: November STEM Challenges

You can find the growing bundle with three free activities here: STEM Bundle

Halloween No Prep Math Printables

Do you like spiral reviews for your students? These Halloween No Prep Math Printables give you a great spiral review with a fun, not so spooky Halloween theme!

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I have these Halloween Printables for kindergarten through 6th grade so you can chose the level that is right for your students or homeschooled children. Whether your students are learning their number or dividing fractions, you can find the set that is right for you and your students. And to make your life easier, answer keys are included!

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Here are some feedback I’ve received about these Halloween Printables:
“This packet was fun during the week of Halloween. They felt challenged.”
“Loved the theme as well as the great standards practice.”
“Great way to keep my kids thinking on an energy charged holiday.”

If you’d like to see my Halloween printables, click here: Halloween No Prep Printables.

Halloween No Prep Literacy Printables

Sometimes it’s great to get a little picture into your students’ mind and see how they are doing on various aspects of a certain subject. My Halloween No Prep Literacy Printables give you that picture while allowing students to enjoy Halloween at the same time. These printables come in black and white and color, so there are options for you. You can use the colored versions for centers. You can use the black and white versions for homework, bell work or for sub folders.

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Students can color the black and white graphics if they want to add a little pizazz to their work. Also, answer sheets are included so your students can grade their own work if you are running out of time. This is also handy for subs in case they aren’t use to teaching this particular subject.

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These are availabe in kindergarten through 5th grade all aligned with the common core.

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For more information on my Halloween No Prep Literacy Printables click here: Halloween No Prep Literacy Printables.

Glow-in-the-Dark Binary Necklaces

Binary code is a coding system using the two digits 0 and 1 to represent a letter, number, or other character within an electronic device like a computer, ipad, etc. My niece and daughter didn’t have much experience with the binary code before they started my STEM activity. They had so much fun learning about it and making their glow-in-the-dark necklaces.

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They had so much fun making these special necklaces that they decided to make some extra ones for their best friends.

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You can have your students make these on string, or for ease, you can use pipe cleaners. It’s so much easier for little hands to put the beads on pipe cleaners. Here’s the finished product.

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Have a great Halloween and make sure you check out my Binary Glow-in-the-Dark Necklace in my October STEM packet.