Monday, May 29, 2017

More Rockstar Day Fun!

I'm back with more Rockstar goodness.   In addition to the Rockstar self portraits I had the kiddos do a Rockstar Profile in Google Slides.  This was super, duper fun!!!  You can grab a copy of the slide {here}.  The kids took a selfie and then filled out the profile sheet.  I just love how they turned out.  I displayed the profiles with these guitars from Hope King's End of the Year writing bundle.  My photo of the bulletin board did not turn out-Boo!

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Rockstar Day

We just had Rockstar day at my school and it was soooooo much fun!!!  I wasn't sure if there would be a lot of activities to go with this spirit day but I was able to find this adorable writing craftivity from The Creative Classroom.  My students used the glasses to write about why they rocked.  They were really, really into this.  I showed them a couple of examples and then turned them loose with markers, crayons and astrobright.  I think they turned out great.  You can find the templates FREE from The Creative Classroom right {here}.  Here are some my kiddos made.  Love them!!

Monday, May 1, 2017

Star Wars Day in the Primary Classroom!

It's almost here....STAR WARS DAY!  If you teach first, second or third graders then this is the perfect opportunity to incorporate Star Wars activities into your students' learning and make it a day that they will never forget.
Star Wars Day in my classroom begins with Lightsaber Reading.   The students enter a dimly lit classroom with the Star Wars theme playing in the background.  Each student gets a sheet of the Star Wars Words Hidden Picture.  They need to use their lightsabers (finger lights) to find the 10 Star Wars words that are hidden in the picture and record them on the recording sheet.  They can color the sheet after they have found the words.  This activity works great as an opening task.

Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day
One of my favorite parts of Star Wars day is the opportunity to incorporate SCIENCE!!  My favorite activity is the Star Wars Ship Build.  I put the students into groups of 3 or 4 and give them the parts from a Lego Star Wars Ship polybag.  Depending on your group of kids you can decide to put the parts in a separate bin without the package or directions and have them work together to design a Star Wars ship using the pieces provided.  It's always fun to see the variety of ships built with the same set of Legos.  You can check out my blog post from when I did the 'blind build' {here}.You can also give each group the bag and directions and have them work together to build the assigned ship.  I have included a clip of my second grader doing a build solo so you can get a feel for how long it might take your group and what's included.  You can find that clip right here.  You can also use random lego pieces and let the kids design their own ships.  The possibilities are endless for this task.
Star Wars Day Stem

Every Star Wars event must have a little yoda and I decided to let the kids draw him.  Easy, it is not!!!   It took me awhile to fine tune the steps and I think I have a pretty good way to teach Yoda via a directed draw.  I know the kids do a much better job than me.  I just give them the foundation and let them go.  You can find my YouTube video {here}.  Please remember I am not an art teacher!
Yoda Directed Draw

For those of us that can appreciate the original Star Wars know that you must incorporate the Han Solo carbonite scene if you want a true Star Wars day.  This is not my original idea and there are lots of information on Pinterest for this one.  But this is how I did it:
How would we get Han Solo out of the carbonite?  The kids had lots of great ideas and we jotted them all down.  Then... I gave everyone their own Han Solo in carbonite.  They could not believe what was happening.  I just love this age, everything is so amazing!!  I think they actually cheered.  Hilarious.  They took this task super duper seriously.  Han needed to be freed immediately and this was just the crew to do it.  Each table got a cup of vinegar and they began dripping the vinegar onto the frozen Han.  We used the neon straws as droppers and again the crowd went wild.  I really had no idea that neon straws would evoke this kind of excitement.  When Han started to bubble it was complete CRAZY town (in a good way).  This was definitely a hit and an activity I will definitely do again.  You can check out the whole post from the originator {here}.
Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day
The day wouldn't be complete without Star Wars Math.  I used the Star Wars cereal (I got mine from Target) and the kiddos sorted the Star Wars shaped marshmallows onto the sorting mat.  This activity is very similar to the Lucky Charm sorting activity most of us have done around St. Patrick's Day.  From the sorting mat the students transferred the data to make a bar graph.  Once their bar graph is complete they analyzed their graph to answer questions about their data.  You can watch a video of that activity {here}.
Star Wars Day

Star Wars Day

We ended our day with Yoda Soda.  Yummy!!!
Star Wars Day

You can find all these activities and many more in my Star Wars Day activity pack on TpT right {here}.  You can also watch a preview of the product on my YouTube channel {here}.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Leprechaun Adverbs

Adverbs!  Honestly?! These sure can be tricky when you also have leprechaun enthusiasm exuding from every possible place leprechaun enthusiasm can exude from.  I decided to harness that leprechaun enthusiasm and turn our adverb lesson into a leprechaun adventure.  We started by sorting word cards by adverbs and not adverbs.  Once they had a firm understanding of adverbs they chose 8 adverbs from their sort and wrote them onto the 8 pieces of  orange construction paper strips.  Then we made our leprechauns.  Super cute.  After the leprechauns were assembled the students wrote a story about their leprechaun that used all 8 of the adverbs they had written on the beard strips.  We titled our stories The Adventures of Adverb Mc' or O' and their last names.  The kiddos had so much fun!!!!!  When their story was complete they highlighted their adverbs with a green highlighter.  I think they turned out adorbs and I know my kiddos have a great understanding of adverbs now.


Sunday, March 26, 2017

Easy Easter Invitations

Little Miss S has an Easter birthday and wanted to do an egg hunt with her friends this year.  We have done the egg hunt theme before and I wanted to do something a little different this year. I decided to get creative with the invitations.  I am a full time teacher, momma of two, wife, blogger, tpt'er so when I say creative I actually mean cute, easy and different then the norm.  Of course, I went to Pinterest first and found my inspiration piece and decided I needed to make it cheap and easy (story of my life).  Inside each of the plastic eggs are the actual birthday invitations cut into puzzle pieces.  As you can see here:

I think they turned out pretty cute and Little Miss S loves them.  If you are looking for cheap, easy Easter invitations then read on my friend.

Supplies needed:
Plastic Easter Eggs
2.5 x 2.5 x 2.5 treat boxes.   These are the ones I used.  12 for $2.99
Gift wrap shredded filler paper. I normally make my own with my paper shredder at home, but I found some at Target in the clearance section so I went with that (I told you-easy)
Avery printable magnet paper.  I got mine at Walmart here.

The first thing I did was create an invitation on my computer and saved it as a jpeg.  Here's our invitation.

I printed these out on the magnetic printer paper.  I was able to feed these through my printer easily and that is saying something.  I have a very picky printer.  I was able to print 4 of them per sheet.
Once I had them printed I used a puzzle template on my Silhouette cameo to cut them out into puzzle pieces.  We stuffed the pieces into each egg and placed each egg into its cute pink box.

Once all the eggs were in their boxes we wrapped them with braided rope found in the Target $ section and I attached the silver glitter circles with the girls' name on the back.  The silver glitter circles are actually a banner from the Target $ section.  I just cut off the circles and they already had the holes for me to put the braided rope through, easy peasy and cheap!

Ready to pass out tomorrow!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Getting Started with Lego WeDo Robotics in the Primary Classroom

Lego WeDo Classroom

Yay!  The day has finally come to start Lego robotics in our second grade classroom.  To say the kids were excited would be an understatement.  It was daunting for me as I unpacked my first kit and sorted the legos.  I started to think I might have bitten off more than I could chew with this genius idea!  How in the world could 7 and 8 year olds use all these pieces to make a robot??  Honestly! Spoiler alert- THEY DID IT!  I knew planning and preparation would be key and so I went through the process myself several times and then I had my own 7 year old go through my lesson plan/idea.  I was able to tweak a few things and had high hopes that my students would be successful in this process.  Now, I'm sharing my process here with you!!

First and foremost, unpack and sort all those legos. I planned to have 2 students per kit so I had 11 kits to unpack and sort.  I assumed (I know, I know) that the bags would correspond to the type of lego and sorting would be a breeze.  NOT THE CASE!  Each bag has a little bit of everything.  I did one kit and then decided to have my kids sort the rest of the kits.  I put the stickers on the trays as indicated in the directions and then my students worked in pairs to sort all the legos and they did an amazing job.  This is definitely something they can do ahead of time and it allows them the ability to see all the parts included in the kit.  I was so glad that I did this.  Your kit should look like this once it is all sorted.
Lego WeDo Classroom

Once all the legos are unpacked you will want to label the box, Smarthub, motor and sensors with a number.  DO THIS!  Do not skip this step or think you can do it during the lesson.  It is a million times easier to have everything numbered ahead of time. You will also want to put AA batteries in the Smarthub for your first lesson.   In case you need a little help opening the battery compartment, check out this video.  Next, familiarize yourself with the Lego WeDo app. I personally did not find it super user friendly so there was a bit of looking around to locate everything.  This is time well spent.  The day before we started the lesson I sent the students the link to the download for the Lego WeDo app via Google Classroom.  This saved me a lot of time.

The first project was Milo the Science Rover Part A.  Lego recommends doing all the Milo lessons in one swoop if you can.  That was indeed my plan, but it did not work out.  We only got through part A for our first lesson and it was enough.  At the end of the lesson we stored our Milos so that we can do the other portions this week.  

Prior to getting out the Lego kits I had the students open up their Milo slide in Google classroom.  The first slide looks like this.
Lego WeDo Classroom

It is a video about inventing by Kid President and gets the kids thinking about science and engineering.  After they watch the video they go to the next slide to and fill out the Can-Have-Are chart independently.  I then had the class come to the carpet and we filled out my Can-Have-Are altogether.  This was a great way to discuss what scientists DO.  Here is the Can-Have-Are my class came up with.
Lego WeDo Classroom
Now we were ready to get to the question portion of the lesson.  I showed the students the rover video in the Milo lesson.   I showed this video on my Smartboard and we watched it together.  After the video they opened up Question slide in their Milo presentation.  We discussed the question and the students were given time to record their answer.  This was what my group came up with.
Lego WeDo Classroom

Now it is time to make their Milo.   There are very clear directions located in the WeDo app. I worked with my kiddos to get to the direction slides and then I set the partners loose to make their own Milos.  The kids did a great job with this and really didn't need my help at all.  
Lego WeDo Classroom

Lego WeDo Classroom

Lego WeDo Classroom

Lego WeDo Classroom

Lego WeDo Classroom

Lego WeDo Classroom

Once the Milos are built comes the real excitement-CODING!!!  The Lego WeDo app guides the students through the process with pictures in a drag and drop format. When they have replicated the simple line of code they need their Milo to communicate with their Chromebook.  This is why you needed to have each Smarthub numbered ahead of time!!!!  The app has a fun little video to show the kids how to get their Smarthub to coordinate with their Chromebook. I had the kids watch the video and then I walked them through getting their Chromebook synced to their Smarthub.  This was not a super smooth process.  There were definitely glitches and I would plan to spend more time on this portion of the lesson then what the Lego teacher guide recommends.  When they do get Milo to move forward it is pure pandemonium (in a good way)!
Our lesson concluded with the students finishing their Milo assignment in Google classroom.  They needed to take a selfie with Milo.
Lego WeDo Classroom

I also had them answer a couple of questions so that I could gauge their engagement and learning as I planned for our next lesson.  Here's what they had to say:
Lego WeDo Classroom

Lego WeDo Classroom

As you can see, we need to get our Milos talking!!!  You will notice that my students documented their learning via Google slides.  The Lego WeDo app has documentation tools in it.  I really wanted an EASY way for the kids to document their learning where I would have access to it and Google slides is what I am used to so I recreated the Lego tasks and added a few of my own and made it in to a Google slide project.  If you would like to use this in your classroom, you can download it here:  Please make a copy when you save it to your drive.  Thanks and Happy Building.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Lego Geometry

We just finished learning about 3D shapes and I wanted a way for the kiddos to review their learning during their independent math time.  I came up with this idea while cruising through the Lego store with the hubs.  I filled a small box with a variety of legos and I had the kids open up the Lego Geometry assignment in Google Classroom.  The kiddos were asked to build a cube and a rectangular prism.  I debated about dictating the size, but decided to let them free build and I am glad I did.  Once the students finished building they filled out their slides in Google classroom.  I plan to print them out into a geometry book.  You can see an example of the slides below.  If you want a copy of the slides for use in your classroom, just click on the photos below.