Saturday, January 26, 2013

Super Bowl 2013 - Lesson Ideas

Super Bowl 2013 is on the horizon!

Here are some activities for your classroom:
  • Football reading comprehension: I found this reading comprehension page about the history of football from
  • Read a book about football to your students
    • Gunner, Football Hero
    • Dino-Football
    • My Football Book
    • Coach Hyatt is a Riot
Gunner, Football Hero  Dino-football 
My Football Book  Coach Hyatt Is A Riot!
 (all photos from JoCo Library site)

  • Hold a Paper Football Tournament
    • This would be a great way to incorporate math into your Super Bowl celebration, measure the distance each student's football goes and well as keeping score & having play-offs
    • Be sure you know how to play and how to fold the football
  • Create a graph of your students' predictions of the Super Bowl winner
    • Have students color in a helmet with their team's colors, examples here and here
    • has more resources of Super Bowl winner predictions
  • Find the cities of the teams on a US map and where the game is being played
  • If you school allows, have a mini Super Bowl party with treats!
Are you ready for some football?!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Art: Northern Lights

Today's art is a chalk version of the Northern Lights. First, we looked up some pictures of the real Northern Lights and discussed the reason they happen/where they are most common. Here are a couple of my favorite pictures:

 (images from google images)

Now, onto making our own Northern Lights! Each student was given a 9x12 inch paper (the color doesn't matter for this paper, whatever you have a lot of!). This is our work/scratch paper and will be recycled later. We drew a wavy line that will become the snow covered hills on our finished product. Label the top "Top" and the bottom "Bottom". This sounds silly, but they can get confusing pretty easily once you get started. 

The students the students then get a light blue 9x12 inch paper. This paper will be their final product paper. Students take they "Top" paper and lay it on top of the blue paper. Use white chalk along the edge of the non-blue paper. Be sure to make a thick line of white. Once satisfied with your chalk, use a tissue to drag the white down onto the blue paper. You will start to see the snow covered hills!

Next is to create the Northern Lights above your snowy hills. Take the "Top" piece off and lay the "Bottom" piece on the bottom of your blue paper. It should line up to exactly cover the snowy hills. (this is there non-labeled papers can get confused) Students then use colored chalk to make the Northern Lights. They are made in the same way the snowy hills are, except that you drag the tissue up! I like to give my students plenty of colors to choose from so they can make their Northern Lights more individualized.

Here are some finished products:


Thursday, January 24, 2013

Kansas Day

January 25th is Kansas Day! Kansas became a state on January 29, 1861. We will be celebrating our state's 152nd birthday this year!

Make Kansas Map with labels (cutting & pasting activity): students will get a blank state of Kansas and will have to label there cities, cattle farms, industry, oil, and interstates are. I display a guide for the students to follow for the project.

Sunflower Seed Measurement: Students will estimate how many sunflower seeds it will take to measure various small objects, like things they can find in their desks. They estimate  before they are given the sunflower seeds. Then they find exactly how many sunflower seeds it took to measure the object.

What Can You Find in Kansas? worksheet: Students use the map on the back to answer the 10 questions about our state.

Sunflower art: Students use crayons to draw a sunflower. Then go over their sunflower with blue watercolor as a crayon resist. Once dry, these sunflowers look awesome!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Reviewing Math Concepts

Use 'Witch Doctor' to review math! Find this a fun, cooperative lesson to review math concepts on my TpT site!

Before lesson begins, teacher needs to have a copy of the 'Witch Doctor' song by the Chipmunks. Students are paired up and move chairs so that one is facing the board and the other is not. Each pair needs one whiteboard & marker or paper to find answer.

Pairs walk around their two chairs in a circle while the music is being played. Once the music stops, they sit in whichever chair they are in front of. The person facing the board is the "patient" and other partner is the "doctor". The patient describes the problem they are having (the math problem!) and asks the doctor for help. The doctor cannot turn around the look at the board, they can only listen to what their patient tells them.

The doctor solves the problem as best as they can from the patient's description. After all the doctors have given their solutions, the teacher (head doctor) goes over the results with the group. The kids LOVE this activity!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Data - Statistics

As we begin 3rd Quarter, we are working on Data/Statistics. This won't be a part of the third grade curriculum in the Common Core, but our grade is still being tested under NCLB so we are teaching the "old" standards.

Before any math takes place, but students have been given a set of numbers, we have the kids "STOP! THINK! Put the numbers in order!" (said/yelled as a chant). This helps them get started correctly, with the numbers in order from minimum to maximum.

The minimum is circled (I call it a little squishy circle) and the maximum is squared (a square is a "strong" shape). These two (min & max) anchor our data information.

Then students partner slide the numbers: minimum to maximum, next smallest to next biggest, etc. The last number left in the middle with no partner (the median) gets a triangle because a triangle is in the middle of a teeter-totter (good visual for the kids).

The MOde (MO=most often) gets a rectangle because a rectangle can grow to fit more numbers inside, just like a mode is more of the same number.

The range starts with a DIFFERENT LETTER, so we use DIFFERENCE to find it! By the time the students get to finding the range of their numbers, they already have their partner slide in place. We teach the students to put an R- (range subtract) on the largest slide, the one connecting the minimum and maximum. THey are also taught a little song, "You take the biggest number, and the smallest number, and subtract to find the range, cha cha cha, cha cha cha". It has helped so much!

I created a mini-poster that is another visual for my students as they are working on data, you can find it on TpT here.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy New Year!

Our class embraced the resolutions writing found on Pinterest. THey had so much fun writing them and I enjoyed reading what their goals for the year are!
Found on Pinterest: (source)

Here are what my students came up with:


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Toast to the New Year!

As my students return for the new year, we discuss making New Year's resolutions. We quickwrite about what we think we did well in year that passed and how we can improve in the year that has just started. Then, we turn this quickwrite into a bulletin board writing, "Toast to the New Year!"

A couple of years ago, Mailbox Magazine had this toast paper and we have used it ever since. The students love the double meaning of the toast and like decorating their toast to be just how they like it (as long as I can still read their resolution!).

I have also created a creative writing opportunity for your students. Find it in this link!

Do you have any fun ideas for January bulletin boards?