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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Happy Easter Crafts

Painted Easter Egg Cookies
  1. Use sugar cookie dough - the kind that comes in a tube - and slice as many cookies as you want to make. Before baking the cookies, squeeze the tops of the cookies so that they are egg shaped instead of round.
  2. Make the “paint” by mixing powdered sugar with enough milk to make it thin enough to paint with a small brush. Add a few drops of food coloring to make several colors.

    Have each child “paint” their Easter egg cookie to take home or for snack.

Edible Easter Basket

Fill the plastic cups about 3/4 of the way full with the softened ice cream. Top with about 1/4 inch of vanilla cookie crumbs. Top with green tinted coconut “grass” and jellybeans for an edible Easter basket.

String Eggs

Inflate a balloon and tie it. Fill a bowl with glue. Soak string in glue. Wrap balloon with the string. Wrap different ways (up, down, and diagonal) to get a better design. Allow to dry completely. Paint. You may want to sprinkle some glitter on the wet balloon after you paint it. Make sure the string is completely dry, then pop the balloon and hang up for a unique Easter decoration.

Filter Easter Eggs

Precut egg shapes out of coffee filters. Mix water and yellow food coloring and place mixture in a baby food jar. Do the same for blue. Let the children use eyedroppers or straws to drip colors on the filter shape. The colors will run together and make beautiful eggs.

Source: Easter Crafts

More Easter Resources:

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Easter Party Ideas, Foods, and Games

Easter Party Food Ideas:

Homemade Egg Dye: To mix up a batch of nontoxic dye for dipping white eggs, place 1/2 cup hot tap water, 2 tsp vinegar, and 6 drops food coloring into a small bowl and stir well. Then mix together a few different food colors to produce purple, turquoise, or other hues.

*Easter Bunny Salad: Put a lettuce leaf on the platter. Place a pear half on lettuce, for "bunny's body." Make "ears" out of apple slices. Insert raisins for the "eyes" and "nose." Create "bunny's tail" out of a miniature marshmallow or cottage cheese.

*Edible Easter Baskets: For this Easter party recipe, you'll need 12 cupcakes, white frosting, green food coloring, 12 pipe cleaners, jelly beans and 1 cup shredded coconut.

Frost the cupcakes with the icing. Bend a pipe cleaner into an arch and push the ends into the sides of each cupcake. Make green coconut grass by adding a few drops of the food coloring to the coconut.

Rest jelly bean eggs on top of the grass. Tie a ribbon bow on the pipe cleaner handle at a jaunty angle. Put one cupcake basket by each place setting or give them as gifts.

Easter Party Cake:

Bunny Cake: Bake 2 cakes in 8" round cake pans. Cool thoroughly. Lay one round on a platter or cookie sheet covered with tinfoil.

Bunny Cake Steps Cut the other round into three pieces (see diagram), positioning the two petal shapes above the face for the bunny's ears, and placing the remaining cake below the face for the bunny's bow tie.

Frost with icing, then sprinkle a lime of pink crystal sugars down the center of each ear. Cover the face and ears with shredded coconut (about 1 cup).

Place 2 jelly beans for the eyes, a black gumdrop for a nose, a red gumdrop for a tongue, and black licorice for the lips and eyebrows. To decorate the bow tie, squirt on the decorating gel to resemble polka dots.

Easter Party Games

*Easter Egg Hunt:
Hide decorated Easter eggs around the yard. Give each child a basket and ask them to find 2 or 3 eggs. It is a good idea to limit the number of eggs for each child so the younger children can have an equal chance with the older ones.

*Egg Roll: Line up hard-boiled eggs on the ground at the starting line. Give each child a large spoon. On the command "Go," the kids start pushing their eggs with the spoons. The first child to cross the finish line wins.

*Pin the Ears on the Bunny: On a white poster board draw a bunny. Make separate ears out of white or pink construction paper and put a piece of folded clear tape on the back of each one. Blindfold each child in turn and see who can pin the ears on the bunny.

*Egg Relay Race: Divide the children into 2 teams. Give the first player on each team a hard-boiled egg and a spoon. He walks fast to the finish line and back, and then hands the egg and spoon to the next player in line. If a player drops the egg he has to pick it up and continue walking. The first team to finish wins.

*Egg Decorating: Provide the kids with hard-boiled eggs, egg dye, brushes, and get them to decorate the eggs.

*Copy Cat: All of the kids stand in a circle. The starting player makes a body movement such as clapping hands, wiggling nose, pinching ears, shrugging shoulders, etc. The next player in the circle copies the starting player's movement and adds a new movement. The third player must copy the first two movements in the order they were made and then add a third movement. Play continues in this manner around the circle.

If a player can't remember a movement or copies a movement incorrectly, he or she is out of the game and must leave the circle. The last remaining player wins.

Easter Plate *Easter Plates: To make a party plate, cut two semicircular ear shapes from the sides of a paper plate. Staple them to the back of another plate, as shown. Make four cuts down the side of a muffin cup and fold two sections to the center to create a bow tie. Staple in place. Add jelly bean eyes. Cut whiskers from a third, smaller plate and teeth from white paper. Place them in the center of the plate with a chocolate kiss nose (until the food is served).

*Giggle & Howl: The kids stand "frozen" in a circle and can't move until freed by the "magic handkerchief". When you toss the handkerchief up in the air, they must giggle and laugh out loud until the handkerchief hits the ground - then they have to stop instantly and become frozen again. If any player breaks into a smile, giggle, or howl after the handkerchief hits the ground, he must leave the circle. Continue until there is only one player left.

*Sense-Sational: Prepare all of the touch and sniff items before the party by collecting them in bags and jars. Place the tactile items in zip-lock bags first (don't seal the bags) and then in lunch bags, and put the aromatic items in empty containers - cover the sides of the containers with aluminum foil if the labels don't fully hide the contents.

At game time, the players sit in a circle so the items can be passed around easily. Choose one player to start the game and pass the first "touch" item to her. She must reach into the bag and touch the item without looking at it or saying what it is. (The other kids will love watching her expression of surprise or disgust!)

She passes the bag to the next player who must touch the mystery item without telling what it is. Once the bag has gone around the circle, the kids take turns saying what they think is inside. After everyone has taken a guess, pull out the item so the players can see if they guessed correctly, and begin the next round with a new item.

Play the "sniff" version next. This game is played with similar rules - the players must smell each item with their eyes closed and try to identify it.

*Bunny Hop: For a younger group of kids, turn some fun music. Have the kids form a line and hop around the house like bunnies.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

April Lesson Plan Ideas

April Lesson Plan Ideas
By: TeAchnology Staff

Here are some April lesson ideas for your class.

1. Earth Month- Relate the Earth to something you see everyday.
2. Encourage a Young Writer Day - What would the title of your Biography be?
3. National Poetry Month - Write a love poem to the Earth.
4. Drop Everything and Read Day - Read for 30 minutes.
5. National Frog Month- Write as if you were a frog.
6. April Fools' Day- Convince students they are going on a crazy field trip.
7. Income Tax Day- Have students calculate how much tax they would pay.
8. Arbor Day - Plant a class tree.
9. World Inventors Month- Debate what the best invention ever was?
10. Animal Cruelty Prevention Month - Help a local animal shelter.
11. April is Explore The World Month
12. April 4th is Easter Sunday
13. On April 12th, 1861 the United States Civil War began.
14. On April 25th 1990, the Hubble Telescope was launched.
14. April 29th is Follow Directions Day.

About Weekly Teacher Tips
This newsletter is brought to you by, the online teacher resource center. Issue 507: March 29, 2010

April is Poetry Month Lessons, Ideas, Resources

April can be Poetry Month in any classroom. Even if you teach science or math, there is a place for poetry in your curriculum. Poetry is as brief and economical as a number sentence, but with feelings or messages between the words. Why not throw some poetry lines amid your chemical or algebraic equations to connect with verbal/linguistic learners and spark a new way of seeing any subject? Take time to plan a “poetry break” using these ideas from the TeachersFirst Editors.

Here are some poetic possibilities to get your students' creative juices flowing:
  • Have students compose a limerick explaining a science term or historic figure.
  • Have students collect a list of words from your current unit. Then offer extra credit for a poetic interpretation to be shared as a daily "poetry break" during April.
  • Use one of the tools featured here to share poetic visions of biology, geometry, and more during April.
  • Cover a classroom wall with white paper for "curriculum poetry" during April: encourage students to share poetry graffiti (classroom appropriate, of course).
Need other poetic ideas? Check out our "In the classroom suggestions" included in these reviews or try our keyword search for poetry AND a specific topic or grade level.
Source: • The web resource by teachers, for teachers
More Poetry Resources:

Monday, March 22, 2010

World Poetry Day March 21 and Monthly Theme

Believed to have its origin in the 1930s, World Poetry Day is now celebrated in hundreds of countries around the world. This day provides a perfect opportunity to examine poets and their craft in the classroom. In 1999, UNESCO (the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization) also designated March 21 as World Poetry Day.

Students learn to read and write when they have an active interest in what they are reading and writing about. This lesson supports students' exploration of language skills as they read and dissect poetry. Through a weekly poem, students explore meaning, sentence structure, rhyming words, sight words, vocabulary, and print concepts. After studying the poem, students are given a copy of the poem to illustrate and share their understanding. All of the poems explored are then compiled into a poetry portfolio for students to take home and share with their families. To further connect home to school, a family poetry project is suggested.

Creative Poetry is a wonderful way to teach reading and writing especially to the emergent, early or beginning readers. By reading and writing poetry children will be able to express their feelings, thoughts, ideas, and use their imagination about silly or serious topics. Our favorite poems are added to our Poetry Notebooks. The children use their poetry notebooks for independent reading during DEAR time as well. At the end of the year, they have a nice collection of poems that we have learned.

Source and Resources: Poetry and Nursery Rhymes Page How to Locate a Poem or Poet

Keep a Poem in Your Pocket
Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you'll never feel lonely
At night when you're in bed.

The little poem will sing to you
The little picture bring to you
A dozen dreams to dance to you
At night when you're in bed.

Keep a poem in your pocket
And a picture in your head
And you'll never feel lonely
At night when you're in bed.
-Beatrice Schenk de Rogniers

Sunday, March 21, 2010

April Fools' Day History, Lessons, and Resources

The first of April, some do say,
Is set apart for All Fools' Day.
But why the people call it so,
Nor I, nor they themselves do know.
But on this day are people sent
On purpose for pure merriment.
-- Poor Robin's Almanac (1790)

The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year. -- Mark Twain

"All Fools' Day" is practiced in many parts of the world with practical jokes and sending people on a fool's errand. Some suggest that the origin began with the celebrations of the Spring Equinox. While some believe it has to do the a Roman festival known as Hilaria, the end of the Celtic new year. Some see it as a celebration related to the turn of the seasons, while others believe it stems from the adoption of a new calendar.

In the United States, pranks are played on just about everybody. Pranks range from the standard "Your shoe is untied", to some very creative and elaborate ideas. The only "rule" is that no one should be harmed. Corporations, newspapers, and television stations will also play practical jokes on April Fools' Day.

Sources and Resources: History History Resources Test Lesson Origins April Fools' Day Resources

April Monthly Themes, Lessons, and Resources for Teachers

April Monthly Themes

April Fool's Day

National Poetry Month

Palm Sunday, Good Friday, Easter

Math Awareness Month


World Health Day

Librarian's Day

Earth Day

World Book and Copyright Day

Arbor Day

National Honesty Day

Source: TeacherPlanet Newsletter: Issue #318

A to Z Theme Directory for Teachers

Teaching Resource Calendar

More Resources:

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Measurement Skills

Did You Know That We Are Constantly Using Our Measurement Skills?

Measuring things happen every day, whether you are doing it consciously or sub-consciously. Every time you pick up an object and think will it fit in my book bag, will it fit me, or will I be able to fit it in my looker - you are using measurement skills. When you hold up shirt and think will this fit me, then you are using informal measurement skills. It you use a ruler to measure an object to see if it will fit in your book bag or locker, then you are using formal or customary measurement skills.

Measuring objects is skill that everyone takes for granted and does not really think about. We unconsciously think about measuring things all day long. When you put toothpaste on your toothbrush you are measuring the correct amount so that it stays on the brush. When you put milk in your cereal bowl, you measure the right amount of milk using visual cues so that it does not overflow.

Many students have measured the exact number of steps from their front door to the bus stop. This is probably due to looking forward to another day of school. Of course you have probably measured the length of your shoes to see exactly how far it is to the bus stop.

If your parents buy something new for your bedroom, the question is will it fit. This can be accomplished by using a ruler (formal) or stepping it off with using the feet (informal). However it is done, measurement is happening.

Another example of measurement occurs in the home is when cooking. If you plan to bake a cake you will need to measure out the exact amount of ingredients, whether you are baking from scratch or out of a box. This measurement typically requires formal measuring skills with measuring spoons and cups. Sometimes cooking is accomplished using informal measurements. For example, when you are cooking something and you take a pinch of this or dash of that. Pinches and dashes are informal measuring.

When you are out skate boarding with friends you are always measuring who has more hang time, who can stay on their skate board the longest without falling off, who can slide down a hand rail the longest without falling off, and more. These are examples of informal measurement skills. If you actually use a stop watch or ruler, then you are using formal measurement skills. I really doubt skate boarders carry stop watches and rulers.

What about when you play basketball and play the game of horse? You are using informal measuring skills as you pick a spot to shoot the basketball at the basket. You are selecting a distance and mentally measuring the force and arc needed to sink the basket. It feels really good when you do it all right and get nothing but net.

Another example of using measuring skills is when you are playing Xbox 360 or similar game and you need to complete the object of the game. You have to mentally measure if your car will fit through a tight spot, what angle you need to use to accomplish the next step in the game, or measure the dimensions of what you are trying to construct in the game. Using measuring skills in video games are common as you attempt to accomplish whatever task you are working on.

When you go to the amusement park and play the football toss and basketball toss games you are informally measuring the distance so that you make the shot and win a prize. When you look at a roller coaster you mentally measure the height and decide it you can handle it or not.

Measuring skills are used everyday, in every activity that you are involved in doing. When you go to the amusement park and play the football toss and basketball toss games you are informally measuring the distance so that you make the shot and win a prize. When you look at a roller coaster you mentally measure the height and decide it you can handle it or not.

Source: Spring Break Is Math Boot Camp for Us! March 16, 2010 News More Math Resources

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Happy St. Patrick's Day Theme Resources

Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Teacher Resources at:

Spring Theme Resources, Plans, Activities

First Day of Spring
March 20, 2010

The Vernal Equinox is one of the four great seasonal changes every year. Day and night are equal, and the changing weather can lift the spirits of young -- and old -- alike. Don't miss this opportunity to have some fun and educate at the same time.

Spring is one of the four temperate seasons, the transition period between winter and summer. Its days are close to twelve hours long with increasing day length, as it occurs near the time of an equinox. In the Northern Hemisphere, spring runs from March into May, and in the Southern Hemisphere it runs from September into November.


Resources: Spring Theme Unit Spring Themes Spring Crafts Lesson Plans-Activities Spring Guide Spring Theme Unit Spring Theme Unit Spring Theme Earth Day Theme Easter Theme Spring Books

Friday, March 12, 2010

Daylight Saving Time

Daylight saving time (DST; also summer time in British English is the practice of advancing clocks so that afternoons have more daylight and mornings have less. Typically clocks are adjusted forward one hour near the start of spring and are adjusted backward in autumn. Modern DST was first proposed in 1895 by George Vernon Hudson, a New Zealand entomologist. Many countries have used it since then and change occasionally.

Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 am on the second Sunday in March (March 14, 2010) and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November. This provides more usable hours of daylight for activities that occur in the afternoon and evening, such as outdoor recreation. Daylight saving time can also be a means of conserving electrical and other forms of energy. In the fall, as the period of daylight grows shorter, clocks are set back to correspond.

Source: History DST suggested by Ben Franklin

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

March Weekly Reader Lessons and Contest

March is Women's History Month. You'll find profiles and printable activities about amazing women on — content perfect for sharing with your students.

It's also National Nutrition Month, Music in Our Schools month, and the month of National Sleep Awareness Week (March 7–13). Check back to throughout the month to find articles on all of these topics and more.

Have your students written amazing nonfiction? Published noteworthy newspapers? Honor their achievements by entering the Weekly Reader Student Publishing Contest. The contest is open to students in grades 3 through 12. Prizes include publication of student work, a trip to Washington, D.C., and $500 cash. The deadline is March 19, so
click here for an official entry form or

Monday, March 8, 2010

April Plans for Teachers

A Goldmine Of New Stuff Is On The Way...

As we enter our eleventh year online we realize that our web site is packed with an unbelievable amount of teacher resources! This year we are challenging ourselves to have our best year yet. We already released great new materials including How to Study Guide, Water, Spring Season, Following Directions, Classification and Sorting. Just released this week, our new Guide to Types of Writing will blow your mind. You have a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks ahead. We are releasing emergency lesson plans packets for grades K -8.

Teachers: Planning Ahead?
Here are some resources for teachers who are planning ahead:

April Teacher Guide
April Monthly Teacher Series
April is Math Education Month
April 4th- Easter Teaching Theme
April 10th - Encourage a Young Writer Day
April 18th - Pet Owner's Day
April 19th - Word Problem Week
April 22nd - Earth Day
April 30th - Arbor Day Teaching Theme
About Weekly Teacher Tips
This newsletter is brought to you by, the online teacher resource center.
Weekly Tips for Teachers
Issue 504: March 8, 2010 at
More Resources: April Themes and Resources

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

International Women's Day and Month


International Women's Day (8 March) is a global day celebrating the economic, political and social achievements of women past, present and future. In some places like China, Russia, Vietnam and Bulgaria, IWD is a national holiday. The first
IWD was run in 1911. Next year is IWD Global Centenary 1911-2011. We'd like to wish all women the best, and invite men to celebrate this day with women in their families.
Have a great learning experience with a focus on women, peace and politics! We can celebrate the strengths and achievements of women around the world on this day. March is Women's History Month!

The theme for Women's History Month is 'Writing Women Back into History'.'s_Day International Women's Day Wikipedia Women's History Month Resources Women's History Month Resources