Observations in the Garden

Lesson Instructions This lesson encourages children to explore an outdoor garden space. Children will use a clipboard, pencil, and the form to find different things in the garden. They will need to have a basic understanding of living and non-living things and plant parts. Magnifying glasses help students deepen their level of engagement. Children will […]

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Team Juggling

Lesson Instructions This lesson/unit can be a single lesson, multi-lesson, full unit, and/or a “Challenge” competition. Teacher choice! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ij-3VO5AiUQ Materials: 5 balls/objects in variety of shapes and sizes. I use beanbag, 8 inch foam (covered) ball, stuffed ball (like stuffed animal), beach balll, knobby ball, and/or e-z grab ball. Sometimes (for fun!) I also used […]

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Making Money in Education

Who says you can’t make money teaching? Each year I use a token economy as a system to encourage students to help in the classroom with attitude and work, and in the first day of school we make coins out of homemade dough with ¾” PVC to roll stamp them out with. It’s nice to have some textures to press in the dough, too. That’s what I call rolling in the dough! Or, at least, rolling it out.
In preparation you can read “The Story of Money” by Betsy Maestro, which actually can take a couple of hours to get through orally, or you can give a brief history of money from Wikipedia or this nice concise version from PBS. Any of these can also be read or introduced during the making of the money. The idea, though, of working together on a physical task, is that it allows conversation to happen, and we are the people who also teach how to be a person.

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Book Bingo

At the beginning of the year, I introduce Book Bingo to my students. At that time, I send home the instructions, a sample Book Bingo Review and the Book Bingo Grid. I make mass copies of the Book Bingo Review to keep in a drawer in my classroom that students can easily access as they finish books. I also post the Book Bingo Review, Grid, and Instructions in my classroom and on my website for access at home. To keep organized and to make sure students are reading on their grade level or slightly above, I created an Approval Sheet for each student where I record each title, the date and the category. I can then tick off each book as they turn in the summary as an easy reference for keeping track of progress. I keep these sheets in a binder.

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