OSMO is Out-of-this-World!

Wednesday, April 5, 2017 No comments
Planet Happy Smiles, Osmo Learning System
Hello Friends!
Have you seen or used an Osmo?
If you already own one, I am sure you LOVE it!
If not, read on to find out why I LOVE it for my students.

Osmo provides hands-on materials to use with your iPad.  The students really enjoy the variety of games you can purchase to go with the Osmo.

Here are some of my students using the tangrams! They are really excited to make the tangrams match the screen. Once they match it correctly they will receive a check mark. 
Planet Happy Smiles, Osmo Learning System, TangramsPlanet Happy Smiles, Osmo Learning System, Tangrams

Planet Happy Smiles, Osmo Learning System, TangramsPlanet Happy Smiles, Osmo Learning System, Tangrams

Planet Happy Smiles, Osmo Learning System, TangramsPlanet Happy Smiles, Osmo Learning System, Tangrams
Here is a short video on the tangrams:

One of our little boys LOVES the coding so much and he asks to use it daily! He really enjoys creating codes and he is beginning to understand coding so much better because of the system!
Planet Happy Smiles, Osmo Learning System, Tangrams
Here is a short video on how the coding game works:
I purchased the Osmo Genius Kit for the variety it offers. It has several games I use in the classroom.
Here are a few of the sets I have found to be fun and students are very engaged with them!
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*Note: We do receive any compensation from Osmo.  We just love their products!

We hope you LOVE Osmo as much as we do!
Happy Teaching!

Planet Happy Smiles

Earth Day: A Time To Plant A Seed

Saturday, April 1, 2017 No comments
Wanting to teach about Earth Day, but don't know where to get started? First, don't just jump on the bandwagon without knowing a little bit about how Earth Day came to be...

Earth Day...How did this "holiday" even get started? The book that inspired Earth Day was the Silent Spring written by Rachel Carson which dealt with the state of the environment and what was happening to our air, water, forests, and animals.  Earth Day is the  largest secular holiday which beats Valentines Day and Halloween! 

1969...the year I was born...yes I am getting up there... people were getting really upset with what we were doing to our environment from the use of  DDT which significantly impacted the Eagle population to the pollution of our water ways caused by the dumping of chemicals into our rivers, lakes, streams  from factories around the country. 

The worst oil spill of the time occurred in 1969 as well. Senator Gaylord Nelson from my state of Wisconsin started taking a look at ways we could teach others about what we were doing to our environment. Our significant impact on the Earth from population growth to climate change continues to be a problem both politically and environmentally, but how can we continue to help our future generations learn about the importance of saving our Earth, going green, recycling, growing gardens, appreciating nature...without causing other issues? 

On April 22nd, 1970 the first Earth Day was celebrated.  Teach in's were used to help educate others on what impact we have on the Earth is and what the devastating impact Earth faces if we continue down this path. Grass roots levels organized to help the cause in 1970 with  over 20 million Americans celebrated Earth Day that first year!   The Environmental Protection Agency was created which  laid  the groundwork for the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act to name a few. 

How can we take what they did back in 1970 and teach our students that they can make a difference just by the choices they make? We want to help our students learn about the environment and we care about our world so that we all  can make good choices for our future! 

Here are three simple ideas:

1. Show a song or video. Then have them write about what they heard. This simple song is about 8 principles for a better world! Respecting and caring for ALL living things from trees to seeds, animals big and small...a great message!

2. Have students go outside and just take in their environment! Draw what they see. Write down what living things they can observe. 

This one one of my favorite outings! Sitting and taking it all in until you just need to share with the teacher what you saw!!!! I love her excitement as she is ready to tell me her observations!

3. Have them connect with an activity about sustainability or going green!

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Building a wind turbine can be complex or simple. Differentiating to meet your level of comfort is key. As an energy certified teacher, I made a wind turbine that can be tested after the students create their fans. You can produce wind powered cars...solar ovens, sun dials...All it takes though is planting that seed!

Taking the time to teach about Earth Day can come from a book, a video, a quick writing prompt or even a STEM project, but the important thing is that we are teaching our students to be stewards of the Earth and that EACH day can be EARTH day!  

Interested in any of the Earth Day challenges? Check out my Earth Day Resources HERE!