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Wednesday, December 31, 2008

President-Elect Barack Obama

President-Elect Barack Obama
Barack Obama (born August 4, 1961 -) will be the 44th President of the United States of America. He was elected President on November 4, 2008, as a Democrat. His Vice-President running mate was Joseph Biden. Barack Obama is the first African-American president of the USA.
In the summer of 2008, Obama became the first African-American to be the presidential candidate of a major political party (the Democrats). On November 4, 2008, Obama won the general election, defeating John McCain (a Republican) to become the 44th President of the United States. For the complete story check out the following source.

Source: Copyright ©2008 The Presidents of the United States of America
See their homepage and info at:

More Resources: Elections African-American History Government/Citizenship Inaugurations

Saturday, December 27, 2008

January Lesson Plan Ideas

Teaching Tip: January Lesson Plan Ideas
By: Teachnology

Here are some January events you are going to want to include in your class.
1. New Year´s- Resolution time.
2. Trivia Day (Jan. 4) - Do a trivia review.
3. National Bird Day (Jan. 5) - What´s your state bird?
4. Poetry Break Day (Jan. 13) - Write a poem.
5. Martin Luther King Jr.´s Birthday (Jan. 15) - What is your dream?
6. National Kazoo Day (Jan. 28) - Form a kazoo marching band.
7. Popcorn day- Third Monday in January.
8. Cheese Day- Third Tuesday in January.
9. National Handwriting Day- Third Friday in January.
10. National Puzzle Day- Fourth Thursday in January.

Taken from resource

See other January resources at

Friday, December 26, 2008

President Barack Obama's Inauguration Day

U.S. Senator Barack Obama, a Democrat from Illinois, won his bid to become the President of the United States on November 4, 2008 after defeating John McCain. He will be sworn into office on Tuesday, January 20, 2009 at 12:00 noon. The purpose of this inauguration is to honor the incoming president with formal ceremonies such as a Presidential Swearing-in Ceremony, an Inaugural Address, and an Inaugural Parade. This date was set by the Twentieth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Barack Obama will become the 44th President of the United States and the first African-American to hold this office. In order to get into the 2009 Inauguration on January 20th you will need tickets. There are only 240,000 tickets being released to the public. You need to know a Senator or Representative to get a ticket. The tickets are expected to be nearly forge-proof and they won't say what they look like for security reasons. President Lincoln and his Gettysburg Address will serve as the cornerstone for the theme of A New Birth of Freedom. President-elect Barack Obama will take the oath of office, which states the following:
"I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the office of the President of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States." Vice President-elect Joe Biden will have already taken a similar oath. This inauguration will be a great time to reflect on the heritage of Inaugurations in the past. It represents both a national renewal and continuity of leadership of the U.S.

For More Details and Resources Check Out These Links: Info, Schedule, and Guest List History & Theme-A New Birth of Freedom Info and Resources

Check out some facts about the Inaugurations at .

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

New Year's Resolutions

New Year's Eve has always been a time for looking back to the past and forward to the coming year. It's a time to reflect on the changes we want or need to make and to resolve to follow through with them. The way to keep your New Year's resolution is to pick a good goal and then change your life in order to meet it. Tradition dictates that every 365 days, you should try to kick your bad habits and start your life anew. It is a good time to help your child make some New Year's resolutions, to set long-term goals, and to get a fresh start for the year. The quickest New Year's resolutions to be broken are usually quickly formed and poorly thought out. New Year's Day is a time of new beginnings so people often make resolutions or you might call them promises or goals that they hope to accomplish during the coming year. Check out some of the resources listed below to help motivate and support you in reaching your goals. Popular New Year's Resolutions Top 10 Resolutions Fun Facts & Figures, History, Other Countries, Auld Lang Syne Definition & Goals Tips for Kids for the New Year Teacher Lesson Plan History New Year's Resolutions for Teachers New Year's Around the World Unit Teacher Planet New Year's Resources

For more resources check out these links:


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Season / Snow Theme Unit / Winter Olympics

Let's celebrate the Season of Winter with activities that bring learning to life and make learning fun for all. I love the winter season so come along and have some fun with this educational theme for toddlers, preschool, kindergarten, and all ages. You will find activities, crafts, lesson plans, winter coloring pages, easy instructions, language arts activity sheets, crossword puzzles, wordsearches, word scrambles, research graphic organizers, math, science, books, words to a variety of winter songs and poems, and a list of ideas and resources. You can visit a different season or a month for specific holidays, events, activities, and resources. Make the season come alive with terrific resources for fun. A winter theme offers many opportunities to learn about math and science concepts. When it is cold outside, staying indoors making crafts with the kids becomes a logical choice so check out things that you can do. You can write about this season and all of your favorite things.

If you are a sports enthusiast, you could organize the Winter Olympics for your class or school. You could have participation in the gym in the morning and or in the afternoon. You could practice in gym classes (use big buddies)or assign mixed grade group teams with a teacher leader or gym teacher. Each individual could choose at least 3 or 4 sports to do during a planning meeting. When you are ready, you can proudly march into the gym (using some chants and songs) and sit under a huge flag representing your country. Teams could represent six different countries or more (wearing color-coded t-shirts-red for Canada, blue for the USA, black for Germany, etc.).

Some of the ideas for the Winter Olympics:

a. Torch or baton relay around the gym - passing it on to the next team member. I believe 8 children/team were assigned to this one. You can vary the numbers to fit your group's size.

b. Cross-country skiing - 8 children/team. Children placed recycled 8x12 papers under their feet and shuffled to the other side of the gym where another student did the same back.

c. Bobsledding relay. Children worked in pairs with one child sitting on two scooters. The other child pushed him/her around the periphery of the gym.

d. Curling: children ran up to an assigned line and curled a bean bag onto the curling rings (making tape rings on the floor with assigned points/ring).

e. Slalom skiing was an obstacle course set along the floor. As soon as a team member was sitting down on the other side, the next would go.

f. Hockey: dribble a puck down the floor and shoot for points into a net.

Parent volunteers could count points for the various teams. The teams had to sit down with their legs and arms crossed when the whole team was finished. It was so much fun. There was a big announcement of the winners at the end of the day. You can also do this for a field day for the Summer Olympics.

Celebrate the Season of Winter with activities and resources that you can find at

More Winter / Snow/ Season Theme Unit Resources Winter Season Teaching Resources Winter Teaching Theme Unit Winter Olympics Teaching Theme Unit Winter Wonderland Theme Unit-Poems & Ideas Winter Teaching Theme Unit Ideas Winter Theme-Book List, Song, Finger plays & Poems Winter Theme Page Winter Seasonal Theme Preschool Crafts Winter Theme Winter Songs & Poems Animals in Winter Great Winter Theme Unit Ideas Winter Math & Science Ideas Science Experiments Winter/ Snow/ Ice Resources Snow/ Winter Resources

Winter Snow Recipe

Here is a classic recipe for winter painting.
Materials: Soap flakes, water, liquid starch, and white powdered tempera.
Description: Mix soap flakes with water into a thick paste. Let children mix with a hand beater. Add a small amount of liquid starch and tempera. Let children create designs by painting with this mixture.

Ivory Snow Painting Recipe
2 parts Ivory Snow or similar soap powder (not liquid)1 part Water You can add food coloring for textured paintings.
Mix Ivory Snow and water and beat until it is the consistency of whipped cream. Divide the mixture into paper cups or small bowls. Use this mixture as you would use any paint with brushes.

You could grow a borax snowflake so see directions at

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Christmas Spirit

What makes the Holidays such a special time of year is that warm, magical feeling that comes from being around friends, family, and loved ones and by celebrating life and letting them know how truly special they are to you. It's so easy to see the next few weeks as a sprint where you've got to keep going at high speed to get everything done at work and at home. Check out some tips, ideas, poems, songs, and resources for not only getting through the holidays but enjoying them as well. It seems like everyone is shopping or getting ready for a Christmas party or some other activity. It took me a long time to realize how important it is for us to allow ourselves to enjoy the holidays. Let in the "Christmas" spirit and become a better person, friend, neighbor, and coworker. Try not to miss out on the joys and wonders of the holiday season. I want you to have some fun this holiday season especially with your family. Make sure every family member gets involved in making it a great time. Pop up some popcorn, make a favorite recipe, or make hot chocolate and sit down at the dining room table with paper and pens, games, books, and other fun activities. Ask others for their ideas for having fun and giving to others? The holidays are going to happen so why not begin them with a joyful mindset and take advantage of the opportunities that are unique to this time of year. If you are open and receptive, good times will happen and those good times will become great memories. Pledge right now to make the holidays a time of joy rather than stress. I want to share my own holiday vision with you so visit my site for some ideas on having fun this Christmas at .

There's a lesson on The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein that focuses attention on the power of giving. You can let everyone reflect and write about the gift they would most like to give and the person or groups to whom they would like to give it.

Inspiring Quote
“The work can wait while you show the child the rainbow, but the rainbow won't wait while you do the work.”— Patricia Clafford

Christmas is supposed to be a time of peace, love and goodwill to all. I'd like to wish you a very Happy Holiday Season and a Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Christmas Crafts and Resources

You can get in the Christmas spirit with some of these free Christmas craft projects! Just take a peek and have fun.These crafts projects use materials found around the house, like egg cartons, cardboard, paper, boxes, string, crayons, paint, glue, etc. See how to combine paint to make all the colors of the rainbow. Make Christmas even more special this year by creating your very own gifts! Check out some of these Christmas crafts for kids from recycling cards to beautiful ornaments. These Christmas crafts are for kids in kindergarten, preschool, and elementary school. Use these great tips for adding a personal seasonal touch. Holiday crafts are fun to make and share with others. You will find instructions for Christmas tree ornaments, tree art decor, Christmas gift ideas, wreaths, cards, advent calendars, and much more. Check out the Christmas crafts, children's projects, and ideas for teachers, kids, and crafters by visiting some of the resources and links listed below. See the links to get ideas for creative handmade gifts for everyone on your list. Christmas Bazaars and Craft Fairs are a great way to learn, make money, and have fun. Get numerous ideas and tips for gifts to make and projects to decorate your home at . Pictures & Instructions for Popular Christmas Crafts Great Craft Instructions

Christmas Around the World Resources

Resources for a Theme Unit on Christmas Around the World

You can find resources for subjects across the curriculum, such as reading and language arts activities, math, science worksheets, social studies projects, art ideas, festive activities, plays, poems, and more. No matter which grade you teach, you will find an activity that your students will enjoy! The holiday season is here so enjoy it and have fun learning about the holidays and special days of December. Christmas Click on Country Holidays Around the World Christmas Celebrations Around the World Christmas Traditions Around the World Christmas Around the World 30 Countries Christmas Links to Everything Mrs. McGowan's Christmas Fun Complete Thematic Unit Links Trivia Hunt Lessons Lessons Project on Christmas Similarities and Differences Lessons to Create a Presentation Scavenger Hunts Webquests Countries of the World Christmas Holidays and Cultures Holiday Cultures Christmas Around the World Maps WebQuests-Christmas Around the World-Second Grade Holidays and Customs Many Countries Watch Out Popups

Christmas Crafts from Around the World by Judy Ann Sadler, June Bradford (Illustrator)

Learn about Christmas traditions around the world at .

Winter Holidays or Christmas Around the World Rotation

You can get a group of teachers to share in a Christmas or winter holiday rotation by grade level or different grade levels according to the size of your school. Each teacher prepares a lesson to cover one winter holiday. The kids rotate through the classes all day long. You can fit in four rotations of about 30-45 minutes for a lesson or you can take a whole day and make it a festival. You will cover your own class with your lesson on a separate day. Students think this is a very special day to learn and have fun because they are visiting different teachers’ classrooms. Each teacher can focus on one holiday and give it the attention it deserves instead of trying to cover a lot of different holidays in addition to the regular curriculum. We had a team of second grade teachers and each teacher took a different country and prepared a demonstration with books, passports, sample foods, craft projects, tree ornaments for a tree to display their work, and other ideas for the country. You could cover Hanukkah, Christmas Around the World, Kwanzaa, Chinese New Year, Diwali, and other holidays. Each group could be responsible for different winter holidays or cultural celebrations. You can learn to say Merry Christmas in many ways. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

To learn about Christmas traditions around the world, go to

Christmas Around the World

People celebrate Christmas all around the world. All around the world, people have taken the celebration of the birth of Jesus and made a Christmas that fits their own country. Christmas traditions and customs are different and alike around the world. Experience the real magic of the Christmas story and find the origin of many Christmas traditions around the world. In many different ways, the people of the earth join their hearts in the great celebration of mankind that only this Christmas season can bring. Learning about the Christmas customs of various nations helps us to understand the wide variety of traditions that families have practiced for many centuries around the globe. It's interesting to note how many aspects of Christmas have been adopted and adapted as they move across the borders of different countries. Probably the most celebrated holiday in the world, our modern Christmas is a product of hundreds of years of both secular and religious traditions from around the globe. There are many ways to say Merry Christmas around the world so check them out. Merry Christmas to all!

To learn about Christmas traditions around the world, go to .

December Lesson Plan Ideas

Teaching Tip: December Lesson Plan Ideas
By: Teachnology Newsletter-

Here are some great projects and ideas for your December classroom.

1. A gift or reward exchange.
2. Map holidays around the world.
3. A cookie contest.
4. Make a family recipe book.
5. Hold a multicultural holiday festival.
6. Decorate your room.
7. Holiday greeting country match.
8. Have students find out how and where their gifts are made.
9. Graph holiday sales.

Inspiring Quote

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”
— Cynthia Ozick

For Other Themes, Lesson Ideas, and Resources Check Out