Saturday, July 4, 2015
Sunday, June 21, 2015
The third book in the Giants in the Land trilogy has been released! Thomas leads his companions in a danger-filled quest to the fabled Cavern of Promise. Who will live, and who will die? Readers will find themselves holding their breath again and again from beginning to end of this exciting book.
Put this trilogy on the summer reading list for your middle-grade kiddos. Better yet, read these books together. It will be time well spent! They will provide opportunity for some great conversations about character qualities and life lessons.
Monday, May 11, 2015
|Photo from bubbles.org, a really cool site|
The end of the year is a time when teachers grasp for ideas to keep learning going and have everyone engaged. Before I retired, I liked to pull out a bubble unit those last few days of the school year to score learning and fun at the same time.
Let your students pair up with a "bubble buddy." They will work together for all the partner activities thorough out your bubble unit. One example would be for bubble buddies to read together one or more of the bubble books listed on my Pinterest board.
Hand your students a precut circle. Then use it to do some directed drawing to teach them how to very lightly shade a sphere (bubble). Here's a reference for you if you haven't yet discovered your artsy side. Approximate those directions to give the idea of light and dark areas. Then use their masterpiece as a behavior incentive. Have them write their name on it and tape it to their desks. If they haven't "popped their bubble" due to misbehavior during the day, they get to drop it into a container for a drawing. You take up any popped bubbles, and these will not go into the drawing. Each day they will make another bubble and put it on their desks. (They'll get pretty good at shading by the end of the unit.) The prize(s) for the drawing can be a large $ Store bottle of bubble solution or a fancy bubble wand or a small bag of bubble gum or getting to use chalk to draw and shade bubbles on the sidewalk, etc. Of course you will modify these ideas to fit your group. For instance, you may need to give them an opportunity to earn back their bubble so chronic misbehavers don't give up when they pop their bubble early in the day and act out even more because they don't have a chance. Another way to approach it is to do a daily drawing if it is too hard for your class to reach a long-term goal.
I had a variety of bubble wands and guns they could use. Each child also tried to make a really creative wand from a long chenille stick, alias pipe cleaner. They were always surprised to find the bubbles made from their fancy wands always turned out round. This presented a great opportunity to learn about the science of bubbles.
There are a number of good recipes for bubble solution on the Internet. Before revealing the one the class will use and letting them help make it, let them predict the ingredients. You can also use the recipe as a penmanship sample.
After blowing bubbles on the playground and noting the "sciency" things about those bubbles, we would go inside and write about them. First they would brainstorm together a list of verbs related to bubbles while I recorded them on a poster. Then they would pair up and make a list of adjectives related bubbles. Later I would print those on an adjective poster. At another time I displayed the two posters for them to reference while each wrote a poem about bubbles.
Here are some good videos to watch: Beach Bubbles, Giant Bubbles, Slow Mo Bubbles, Puppy & Bubbles, Cat & Bubbles, Bubble Art. Be sure to preview the video before showing the class in case they begin with ads you don't want your students to see. Then you can cue up the video so it is appropriate to show in your classroom.
Here is my Pinterest board about bubbles. Lots more ideas, pictures, and books are found there. If you have done some fun activities with bubbles, please share below. If you try some of these ideas, let us know how your kids liked them.
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
|Found this on Facebook and don't know to whom the pic credit goes.|