Friday, September 18, 2015

Graphing, Following Directions, Life Cycles: Learning With Apples

Learning With Apples

Eating apples has many health benefits. It's actually true, "An Apple a Day, keeps the doctor away." Regularly eating apples, helps your heart, lungs, lowers cholesterol, prevents colon cancer, and improves brain health.

My granddaughter loves homemade applesauce. It's so easy to make applesauce in your classroom and it's a perfect opportunity to bring in science with apple investigations. While making the applesauce, students can measure the apples, study the inside of the apples, and write down other observations. And, to follow up with this week's post on Following Directions, students can follow directions or write directions in making homemade applesauce.

Making Applesauce

Apple Investigations

My life cycle unit also contains a PowerPoint which takes students step-by-step through the development of the apple. And, I included information about Johnny Appleseed.

Apple Life cycle PowerPoint

Graphing is always fun for students. They love interviewing classmates to find out their favorite apple or favorite way to eat apples.

graphing varieties of apples

I'd love to know more about the ways you teach about apples in your classroom.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Following Directions With Project Based Learning

Following directions through cooking at home, Following directions lays the foundation for written and oral directions, Check out Bake Sale (Project Based Learning)

We have so many food trucks and bakeries in Austin that produce delicious desserts and pastries. My granddaughter, Harper and I visited a few of our favorites to learn a bit more about the business.
Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Mexican Independence Day With Freebie

Mexican Independence Day; Activities about Mexico and the celebration.

Many Texans celebrate Mexican Independence Day. People from Mexico celebrate their country's independence from the Spaniards.  It is said that Miguel Hidalgo gave a cry for Independence in his speech on September 16, 1810. Hildago's army fought the Spaniards for their independence but he was captured and executed. Mexico did not receive their independence until September 28, 1821.

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Games for Learning Skills in the Classroom

Educational Games in the Classroom

As a child of the 50's and 60's, I grew up playing games like Monopoly, Clue and Life. There are so many skills I learned by playing these games with my brother...counting, money, reading and more.

I love having games available in the classroom for centers and for play. Besides learning basic skills in math or language arts, life skills can be learned.

Here's a few reasons why I recommend games in the classroom.

1. Engagement - Haven't you observed pre-school children play games in their classroom? All students love to play games. Playing games is motivating. Students are so involved, they don't realize they're learning or reinforcing skills.
2. Cooperative and Social Skills - Students learn to play positively as a team member or how to take turns when playing games. Students can even get in a little peer tutoring with struggling learners. Most games have a winner, so being a good sport is important.
3. Problem Solving Skills - Many games involve strategy and problem solving skills. These skills are critical for later life.

I try to incorporate games in most of my products. My life cycle units have fun games included. Many of the board games can be adapted by just changing the game cards. 

Educational board games

There's an online site for creating Bingo cards. Just enter the words you want to use and then print out cards for your classroom.

Invention Bingo

I love using themes for games. I've created math games for every season and holidays. I include lots of dice games.

Educational Games with holiday themes

Math Games Bundle

There are gameshow templates you can download from the Internet. I created several Jeopardy games for my informational text units. I also recommend creating a PowerPoint editable template with slides where you can enter your own questions. No extra work! Just add your questions and answers.

PowerPoint Jeopardy Games

Memory cards are so easy to create for science, social studies, vocabulary and math. Can you think of other ways to use these cards?

Memory Games

Have your students ever created their own games? There are some great websites and YouTube videos that have excellent tutorials. My invention unit has an Invent Your Own Game project. Parents and other classes are invited for Game Day.

Design Your Own Game

There are so many apps and online games for students to play. One of my favorite websites is Johnny's Math Page. It's even had a facelift. Students never get tired of playing these games. It doesn't matter how simple or difficult a game is, students love to play while they're learning.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Plickers Student Response App

Comparing Classrooms

I love Plickers because it's an easy way to pre-assess your students before you begin a unit to see what they already know, assess while you're teaching a unit, or at the end of the unit as a formal assessment. 
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