Spiders In Your Classroom: STEM Fun!

Sunday, October 30, 2016 No comments
This week, I thought it would be fun to focus on how to bring some technology and STEM into your classrooms!  QR codes are a great way to get your learners actively engaged in their learning! Whether it is a scoot activity where they move around the room finding or answering questions. Or using the QR code to link to an engaging website or video found on You Tube! Using QR codes has been a great way to get my learners excited about vocabulary and a wonderful resource for reviewing what we have already learned!
This year, our school went 1:1 and each one of our students has an Ipad that they bring to my science classroom. This makes it easy for my students to access the many QR code readers available and offers a fun way to add technology into our science hour!

What are QR Codes?
Quick response (QR) codes are simply a way to modify and even redefine the way our students can learn. QR codes are machine-readable codes consisting of black and white squares that can store data and information that is read by a camera on your mobile device. You might have seen them on flyers or ads to connect you with more information or even a website.

Why should I use QR codes?
First of all, for STEM lessons, it allows my learners to save time and frustration trying to type out a long web address. The QR code takes them directly to the website.
Second of all, its certainly takes your classroom routine to a different level! You can take your science vocabulary lesson and turn it into a scavenger hunt for the definition. You can have students share a brief description of their STEM project as it sits on display! You could even link them to a video that shares the principles behind how something in science works!

Here are some quick ways that I use QR codes in my STEM/Science Classroom:
- I write a question and have them scoot around the room to find the answer using the qr code reader. (I like i-nigma and QR Code Reader...free apps that read the codes).
- When students are done with their work, the can scan the qr code to watch a related video.
-Students use it to create a video link that explains their project either through IMovie or an audio that talks a viewer through the engineering or scientific process.
-Students answer questions for a review. When they are done they move around the room and check their answers.
-I tie in a science STEM activity such as my spider STEM lessons, then when they are done they move around the room on a scavenger hunt for facts about spiders as well as our fun Spider STEM lessons we did this week!
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Find this pack here if you would like to add some spider STEM to your day! TPT STEM Spider Stations are ready for your kids to creep and crawl with excitement! 

Want to creep on over for a QR Code Freebie? Grab a FREE QR CODE SPIDER SCOOT right here!

Are QR codes easy to make?
There are many websites such  as https://www.the-qrcode-generator.com/ that allows you to generate your very own QR code for free. All you do is simply copy and paste a URL address on the line and the QR code is created. You can save or copy the QR code and paste it into an activity page for your learners to access!

For more fun STEM and science activities you can also visit me at Science School Yard.

Spotlight On A Dollar Deal

Wednesday, October 26, 2016 No comments
Spotlight on Elementary is hosting a Dollar Deal Spooktacular Event Saturday, October 29-Monday, October 31st. Lots of great ideas out there for all the Ghouls and Boys and teachers, too!

There are great teacher TRICKS that are part of our Dollar Deal Sale as well as lots of TREATS  as well!  All you need to do is go to TPT and use the hashtag #spotlightdollardeal starting this Saturday.

Remember to use the Promo Code #spotlightdollardeal to receive the full discount price of only $1.00! 

Fall CGI

Sunday, October 23, 2016 No comments

Hi Everyone!!  I am so excited to be apart of the wonderful group!  I am Meghan from Meghan's Pad.  Today I would like to share with all of you something that I am SO excited about (and it's FREE).  YAY!!!

A few weeks ago I was struggling to start my math groups.  I was not ready to start the same routine that I have been doing for 12 years.  So I gave myself a challenge to create something that would be fun, exciting, engaging, AND purposeful for my math groups.  It was a tall order to fill, but I think I did it!  My kiddos LOVE coming up for math group AND they ask to do math during free choice.  How did I do it you ask? Well, let me show you!

Enter, my CGI game!
That's right, you CAN learn AND have fun at the same time!

Here is how it works:

1.Each player chooses a game piece.
2.Player 1 chooses a card and reads the card.
3.EVERYONE solves the problem.  I suggest having paper or whiteboards for children to write their answers so they are not shouting out.
4.Player 1 shares answer.  If everyone agrees, they roll the die and move that many spaces. If players do not agree they all solve the problem together.  If they answer is incorrect the do not roll the die.
5.Continue playing, taking turns, until a player reaches the end of the game board.

Sounds fun right?  

What's Included:

This past month we have focused on addition.  Because of that this game is focused on addition or the Join Result Unknown (JRU) problem type. But, wait, there is some differentiation.  I have included 3 different levels of difficulty.  These levels include sums to 10, sums that cross the decade, and sums to 20.  The reason for not going beyond these sums and for not including other problem types is simple. My focus was to have children start using other strategies other than direct modeling (though some in my class are working on that as well).  I wanted my kiddos who needed the push to try counting on, number lines, arrow language, decomposing numbers, or even using known facts to use and practice these strategies.  By using smaller sums they were able to practice these different strategies based on their developmental level and readiness.

When creating the cards, I wanted the cards to be used independently or in small group math centers, where I may not be available to read the math story to them.  Because of this, I made the cards easy to read.  That way the focus can stay on math and the math strategy and not on the reading.

In addition to the different level CGI cards, I have also included 3 different game boards.  These game boards range from a simple start, straight through to the end, to landing on spaces that say to go back 1 space or move forward 2 spaces.  This will keep the game new and exciting!

How to Store It:

Like you, whenever I see something I want to know how to store it?  What is the best way to have everything right there so the kiddos can just grab, go, and play.  I also want clean up to be quick and easy.  

With these games, I decided to store them in a 2 pocket poly folder with the prongs.  I put the game board in a page protector with the directions on the back.  I also put a zippered pouch in the prongs to store the cards, die, and game pieces. 

If you are interested in this FREEBIE please click here to download or hop over to our TPT store to check it out. 

I hope you all enjoy!  

I would love to know what you do to help engage your students in math groups!

Spotlight on Smart Teaching

Sunday, October 9, 2016 No comments

     Hello my name is Adele Keaton, I am happy that it is my turn to be in the spotlight this week.  I have taught in the elementary setting for the past 17 years.  I have worked as a regular education, ELL educator, and a curriculum coach in both Spanish and English.  
     I have always used encompassing education to instruct my students.  Using this method, reading and writing are taught through science and social studies.  Teaching in this manner helps students make connections and internalize their learning.  It is especially helpful for English language learners and students of lower social economic status who have limited vocabulary development.

                    Please try a sample of my Mammal Adaptation Resource

Find other FREE resources at Spotlight on Elementary 

Spotlight On Elementary Blog Launch!

Saturday, October 1, 2016 2 comments
Several K-6 educators have joined forces to take part in a collaborative blog! This new blog features educators that are hard at work to provide you with great ideas and teaching resources!

This blog will be packed with tips...tricks...ideas...treats...and more! For the next few weeks, we will SPOTLIGHT our featured K-6 educators, showcasing a special freebie that is the Spotlight Treat of the Week that will help you and your students!

Each contributor will be Spotlighting a freebie to shine on our new blog and what it can offer you and your classroom. Freebies can also be found in our always free Spotlight on Elementary Free TPT Store!

This week's Spotlight is from The Science School Yard a blog devoted to K5 Science. I love teaching science and am lucky enough to be able to teach science each and every day along with the FOSS science curriculum I am able to add NGSS, STEM, Makerspace, and run an extensive Farm to School Garden! I am energy and environmental education certified to boot!

It's October and it's time to teach mammals in my first grade science classes. What a great time to add some bat STEM activities to highlight our book Stellaluna! Want to make Science Simple? Grab a great picture book...add some great language arts activities...followed by some great STEM connections! What a fun, interactive way to gets your students actively engaged!
Stellaluna STEM Connections Freebie
Link to the spotlight below to take you to a freebie just for those lucky visitors of our new Spotlight on Elementary Blog! 

Time to meet me!

Check out some of our other Spotlight on Elementary Freebies that you can find in our ALWAYS FREE TPT STORE!