Category : Resources for Parents

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

Interactive Grammar Notebook for Sixth Grade

My daughter is now in Sixth Grade and she loves interactive notebooks. She asked me to make a more grammar specific notebook for her grade. She said she really enjoys learning grammar, so she wanted to do more for English. Why not, I answered! So, after several weeks of working on it, I’m happy to say that I’ve finally finished her Interactive Grammar Notebook for Sixth Grade.

Here are a few of the pictures of her work. Sadly, she wasn’t in the mood to take pictures, but I did snap some of some of her work. This picture if of a context clue activity. She said it was tricky for her, which I love because I don’t want things to be too easy for her, but just right.

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This next picture is very interesting because I just kind of assumed children learned this skill by just talking to others, but it isn’t necessarily true. The skill is positive and negative connotations of words. She really didn’t understand that there is a subtle difference between words like skinny and slender. So, this activity really helped us to talk about word choice. I think she’ll really be picking her words more carefully. Not that she ever said anything wrong, but I think she realizes you can hurt peoples feelings by word choice now.

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You can find my latest interactive notebook here: Interactive Grammar Notebook for Sixth Grade

Halloween Close Reading

My daughter loves to read. She’ll read anything and everything. For some odd reason she ran out of books to read last night and the library had already closed, so I printed my Halloween Close Reading packet for her to read. She really enjoyed reading the stories for this packet.

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The side panel really gave her time to express herself and really think about what she was reading.

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Afterwards she decided to do the question and answer part as well. She really loves to express herself and her thoughts.

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Her favorite part was designing her own jack-o’-lantern. She said she wants to make one in real life just like her colored one. I think I can make the ears out of construction paper, then Mickey will be complete!

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Here are a few comments that I’ve received about my Halloween Close Reading printables:

“Cute stories and so useful for my students who are learning how to really get into the meat of reading. Lots of great strategies taught.”
“Perfect for comprehension!”
“I love the strategies in here with these stories. A great close reading packet themed for Halloween. My favorite Halloween purchase.”

For more information about my Halloween Close Reading packet, click here: Halloween Close Reading

Halloween Haunted House STEM Challenge

This weekend my daughter and I had some good quality time decorating our front yard with Halloween decorations. She said she wanted to do more Halloween stuff during the weekend. I broke out my Halloween STEM Challenges printables and she started working on building her own haunted house.

She started by creating a booklet to help her her design her haunted house. She had fun coloring the pages, but if you do this in a classroom, you can print it on colored paper to save on time or you can just leave it uncolored.

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She decided that she wanted to build her haunted house three stories high. She drew out her blueprints for her own haunted house. I think she enjoyed the part the best. She felt like she was her great grandfather who was an architect.

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Then, after a few attempts she came up with a haunted house that she was proud of! I think she did a great job! I love how she opted to use colored popsicle sticks instead of plain popsicle sticks.

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If you’d like to see more of my Halloween STEM Challenges click here: Halloween STEM Challenges

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Teaching About India

Another country that I made printables for is India! This country has given the world some of the most popular food – curry! I don’t know about you, but I love to eat curry! Like my other This Kids’ Life Series, this packet is filled with puzzles, crafts, coloring projects, writing, reading and more!

Since many people travel by train in India, sometimes for a very long time, I made a writing page asking students what they would do on a train if they had to ride it for over 24 hours. I think it will be interesting to see all of the creative ideas your students will have.

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One of the art projects in my India packet is a 3D sphere of the Indian Flag. Students will love to take this home and show their parents what they learned.

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If you’d like to learn more about my India printables, click here: India Country Study

Panama

My newest country unit is about Panama. I think Panama is a wonderful country full of flora and fauna and interesting facts! One interesting fact is that students go to school in shifts. There are two shifts each day, so you only have to go to school during one shift. Which would you prefer – the morning shift or the afternoon shift? I think I would prefer to go to school in the morning. I’d love to have the afternoon free to do what I’d like to do.

Students can take what the facts that they learn and write an essay about life in Panama.

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There are also three types of puzzles students can do in order to help them practice what they’ve learned in my Panama unit. There is a crossword puzzle, word search and secret mesage puzzle.

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As with my other country packets, this one also has crafts that the students can do in order to learn more about Panama. Here’s a doll that they can make. It is a great take-away that they can show their parents what country they are learning about.

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If you’d like to learn more about my Panama unit, click here: Panama Country Study

Is it Ever Too Early to Plan?

I have to admit I’m a planner. I like to plan every aspect of my life. I’m completely aware that things might not turn out the way I want them to turn out, or that things might change. However, if I plan ahead then I don’t have to spend all of that time worrying that I don’t have anything planned. Sounds odd, but for me it works. With teaching, I think we all need to learn from our strengths and weaknesses and see what works for us.

With that said…let me introduce my Halloween Interactive Math Printables. I’m entirely too early to post about Halloween, but as stated before, I’m a planner. I love these interactive printables. These are quick printables that you can print out early and use for homework, classwork, bellwork, subs or anything during the month of October. They are very interactive and keep the interest of students.

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You can find these Halloween Interactive Printables in levels from first grade to fourth grade. Each packet comes with age appropriate math work.

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If you’d like to see more information about these interactive printables, click here: Halloween Interactive Math Printables

Four Reasons Why Interactive Math Notebooks are Beneficial for Older Students

Interactive notebooks have been the rage for the last few years, mainly for younger grades. I think they are actually beneficial for students from Kinder through 12th grade and here are my reasons.

#1 – Students can take the time to reflect on what they’ve learned and come back to the concept at a later time to review. When I was in middle school and high school, math was easy for me. However, it wasn’t easy for everyone in my class. (And I have to admit I had other subjects that were difficult for me, but that’s another post in itself). Fractions and algebra are really difficult for some students to grasp. Once they do grasp the concepts, they are golden, but the initial hook can be difficult. Because of the difficult concepts taught in middle school and high school, I believe that interactive notebooks can help students to grasp the concepts. Many of my interactive notebooks have activities where students can review what they’ve learned and that is key especially when they are studying for end of the year (or course) tests.

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#2 – Visual learners can learn quicker with interactive notebooks because they are so visual. Not everyone is visual, but many students are and interactive notebooks will help them to learn the concepts quicker due to the nature of interactive notebooks.

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#3 – Interactive Notebooks give them a sense of achievement. At the end of the school year students empty out their backpacks and look at what they’ve done. They will probably just toss out worksheets, and they may even toss out their interactive notebook, but I guarantee that they will take a second be proud of what they’ve done.

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#4 – Older students are still kids and like to have fun. Who likes to do boring worksheets? Not me and not my students, but they sure do love to do interactive notebooks regardless of their age. It’s fun to have a foldable or a cool cut-out that hides the answer or helps them to solve the problem.

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Here are my Interactive Math Notebooks for Older Grades:
Interactive Math Notebook for 6th grade
Interactive Math Notebook for 7th grade
Interactive Math Notebook for 8th grade
Interactive Math Notebook for Pre-Algebra
Interactive Math Notebook for Algebra
Interactive Math Notebook for Geometry

Have a great school year everyone!

Around the World Interactive Notebook

Learning about countries is fun to do with an interactive notebook. It’s something you can work with your students several times each year, adding a country each time you use it. Each country has facts, foldables and cute graphics to color.

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My daughter loved learning about Japan. She’s really been into Japan and learning Japanese lately, so it’s been fun to provide her with activities that she loves.
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The passages about each countries provide lots of useful facts and students can refer back to these as well in this interactive format.

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My favorite country is Russia and I love teaching others about Russia and all of the great culture it has to offer!

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A variety of foldables add to the uniqueness of this packet. It’s truely interactive with flaps, foldables and more!

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This interactive notebook is designed to work with a variety of age groups.

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There are 30 countries in this packet so you can either use all of the countries or select the ones that you’d like. Countries explored include: Italy, France, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Argentina, New Zealand, USA, Canada, England, Germany, Norway, Brazil, Japan, China, India, South Africa, Australia, Thailand, El Salvador, Dominican Republic, Portugal, Turkey, Albania, South Korea, Ukraine, Tunisia, Finland, Morocco, and the Netherlands.

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To find out more about my Around the World Interactive Notebook click here: Around the World Interactive Notebook

Ancient Egypt

I know I’ve mentioned in a past post about how much I love learning and teaching about other countries, but I also adore learning and teaching about different ancient civilizations. I think we can learn a lot about ourselves by learning about the past. Not only can we learn from their mistakes but we can learn how they work as a community and how to grow as a community. I think it’s hard to teach an introduction of Ancient Egypt to elementary students because you want to hit some points and you need to keep them interested. So, I created a fun high-interest packet to keep students involved in the learning process when learning about Ancient Egypt.

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There are lots of crafts since I think it’s fun to get students excited about learning through crafts, but it also has lots of more educational components like writing a comparison essay, a long letter from a child from that time period, some brainstorming activities and more – all about Ancient Egypt.

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Students will love making their own Ancient Egypt Cobra Headpiece. They can color it however they like and also add their own touches like glitter or stickers. Adding a pipe cleaner to the back of the cobra will make it stand up tall.

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My son had fun making his own Ancient Egypt Cobra Headpiece today on this lazy summer day. As you can tell, he’s a bit shy.

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Students will also love creating their own Ancient Egypt Sarcophagus!

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You can find my Ancient Egypt printables here: Ancient Egypt

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