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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Easter Themes for the Classroom

Easter Themes for the Classroom

Whether you are celebrating chocolate bunnies and egg hunts, the first days of spring, or the Resurrection of Jesus; the Easter season is a time of hope and new beginnings. Here are some ways that you can incorporate Easter themes into your classroom.

1. Make your own Easter baskets

This can be a fun way to recycle and make a basket in which to keep Easter goodies. Have each student bring in an empty bleach or milk gallon jug. Cut away the top, and then cut a one inch piece from the top of the base to be the handle. Using a hole punch and brads, attach the handle to jug. Allow students to decorate the outside with rabbits, eggs, and chicks, while filling the inside with Easter grass or shredded paper. Now they are all ready for the egg hunt!

2. Onions and Eggs

This makes for an interesting science experiment. Have students write down what they think will happen before getting started. You will need a raw egg, raw red onion skin, and a nylon for each child, as well as a boiling pot of water to cook the eggs in. Students should wrap their egg in onion skin, placing it into the nylon. Securely knot the nylon as close to the egg as possible, and boil the egg until hard boiled. Allow the egg to cool, unwrap, and compare eggs.

3. Easter basket soccer

This is a good way to help students perfect their coordination and teamwork. Each team needs a balloon as their egg, and a hula hoop for the basket. Place the hula hoop in the middle of the floor, and have students stand back on either side of it. The goal is to get the "egg" into the "basket" without popping it by passing it back and forth. Teachers can make up variations, such as saying no hands or bouncing on the floor.

4. Easter egg math hunt

You can use the traditional Easter egg hunt as a way to review math skills. You will need several sets of plastic eggs in different colors. Label eggs with group numbers, or designate one color for each group (allowing students to complete the same number of problems). In each set of eggs, put a math problem (one math problem for each egg, but repeated for each set so that all students do the same problem). Hide the eggs throughout the classroom or schoolyard. Divide students into group, have them find all the eggs, and solve the problems found inside. The first team to find all the eggs and answer the problems correctly wins.

5. Egg hunting by the map

Hide eggs around the classroom or schoolyard, giving each student a map and directions to follow (walk 3 steps north, 2 steps east, etc.) to find their eggs. For an additional challenge, older students can hide the eggs and draw up maps and directions for other teams to follow.

6. Egg shell mosaics

Older students can learn the history behind mosaics before starting this project, while younger students will just get messy. You will need multiple egg shells that have been washed, broken into large pieces, and dyed. Give students a picture to fill in by gluing pieces of egg shell to the paper.

7. What came first, people or the egg?

You can use egg shells to create your own village. Have students decorate empty egg shells with faces to represent people. Fill the eggshells with potting soil and grass seeds. Eggs can be placed back into cartons while growing. Students can do things like measure the amount of water their grass gets, or how much "hair" their people grow.

8. Easter around the world

While many cultures celebrate an Easter or spring holiday, the actual customs can vary greatly. Assign students a different culture or country to research to see what their version of Easter is, and have them create presentations to share with the class.

9. What is in an egg?

Eggs are used in so many items and served countless ways. Have students take a look at the history of an egg and its different uses. How many recipes could not be made without eggs? Compare and contrast egg types and sizes - for instance, the ostrich egg and the hummingbird egg. Older students can take a look at the growth of chickens from fertilization to hatching.

10. White House Egg Roll

The White House egg roll has been a long standing tradition. Student can watch live footage of the current year's egg roll, and research how this wacky tradition got started.

With the arrival of spring and Easter, there are numerous themes that you can apply to the classroom. Use a little creativity and fun, and students can learn more!


Remember you matter, educators make the world go around!

Cynthia Hughes & Carol Bailus (Newsletter Editors)

Worksheet Library Week of March 30, 2011

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

April Lesson Plan Idea

April Lesson Plan Ideas for You
Events, dates and celebrations that come in April.

1. National Mathematics Education Month : Lessons, Worksheets, Guide

2. National Autism Awareness Month - Guide

3. Phonics Awareness Month : Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Teacher Guide

4. World Inventors Month : Worksheets, Teacher Guide

5. April 1 - April Fool's Day

6. April 2 - International Children's Book Day : Lessons, Worksheets, Guide

7. April 8 - Ponce de Leon Day : Worksheets, Teacher Guide

8. April 10 - Encourage a Young Writer Day : Lessons, Worksheets, Guide

9. April 12 - (1861) United States Civil War began : Lessons, Worksheets

10. April 17 - Follow Directions Day : Lessons, Worksheets, Teacher Guide

11. April 18 - Pet Owner's Day : Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Teacher Guide

12. April 21 - Kindergarten Day

13. April 22 - Earth Day : Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Teacher Guide

14. April 23 - William Shakespeare's Birthday : Lessons, Worksheets, Guide

15. April 24 - Easter : Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Teacher Guide

16. April 29 - Arbor Day : Lesson Plans, Worksheets, Teacher Guide

The History Behind The Month of April

Complete List Of April Holidays, Events, and Celebrations For Teachers

Weekly Tips for Teachers Issue 559: March 28, 2011

About Weekly Teacher Tips
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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Spring Lesson Plans

"Fun Spring Lesson Plans
Here are a number of lesson plan ideas for you to incorporate the season into your class.

A Pond in Spring - Take a walk to the nearest pond for a fun lesson.

Emergency Preparedness - Spring is typically the time when severe weather is a concern.

Following the Sun - Students observe two plants. One is kept in direct sunlight and the other out of sunlight.

Planting Time - Spring is commonly thought of as planting time.

Spring Similes - This activity provides a fun way to practice using similes.

Symmetry in Butterflies - The student will be able to understand the concept of symmetry and create a butterfly that has symmetrical designs on its wings.

Tracking the Weather - Follow the Spring weather patterns.

Making Nests - A messy, but very fun project.

Counting Petals - A fun way to introduce and review addition or subtraction.

Bubbles - Of course! 

Inspiring Teacher Quote
"Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach." Aristotle"

Source:  Weekly Tips for Teachers
Issue 557: March 14, 2011 This newsletter is brought to you by

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Saint Patrick's Day Teaching Tips

Saint Patrick's Day Teaching Tips

By Freda J. Glatt 
"Top o' the mornin' to ye! Do you have your green ready to wear? Whether or not you are Irish, this holiday is fun for all and presents the opportunity for a multi-cultural lesson. Here are some ideas for you to try.

  1. Speak to your children using an Irish brogue. This will captivate their interest!
  2. Who was St. Patrick? Why is there a holiday named for him? Are Irish children in school on this day? Let children do research to find out.
  3. Discuss some of the symbols for St. Patrick's Day and explain what they mean. Classify them as real or unreal. For instance, shamrocks are real but pots of gold at the end of the rainbow are not.
  4. Read aloud part of a fictional St. Patrick's Day story. Have your children write their own endings. Read them out loud or hang them on a bulletin board for all to read. NOTE: This may also be done with small groups of children working together!
  5. Afterwards, read the ending of the story you started. Have the children compare the author's ending with their outcomes. Which was more realistic? Which was more funny? Which did they like best?
  6. This would be an excellent time for a cooking experiment. Remember the story "Green Eggs and Ham?" Try making some green eggs, green vanilla pudding pops, or anything else that would be suitable for your age group. Green food coloring could be added to white frosting before icing some cupcakes. Let the children taste the frosting while it is white and ask them to predict how it will taste after it becomes green. Were they right? Compare!
  7. While your children are out, sprinkle some green glitter on desks, tables, or the floor. Perhaps you can write a note in an unusual handwriting. Of course, you will feign innocence as to how those things got there! What do the children think happened?
  8. Older children may find out more about Ireland. What are the similarities and differences to your own country? How are you and the Irish children similar and different? Make Venn Diagrams for your comparisons.
  9. Here is a finger play, "Ten Funny Leprechauns," taken from Swing into Spring, Macmillan Seasonal Activity Packs, 1988, Macmillan Educational Company. Try making finger puppets to accompany this dramatic play!
"Ten funny leprechauns
Danced in a line.
One found a shamrock
And then there were nine.

Nine sleepy leprechauns
Stayed out too late.
One fell fast asleep
And then there were eight.

Eight little leprechauns
All named Kevin.
One said, "I'm Joe!"
And then there were seven.

Seven helpful leprechauns
Picked up some sticks.
One grew tired of this
And then there were six.

Six hot leprechauns
All took a dive.
One did a belly flop
And then there were five.
Five jolly leprechauns
Ran through the door.
One ran back again
And then there were four.

Four thirsty leprechauns
Sat down to tea.
One didn't like it
And then there were three.

Three tiny leprechauns
Hid inside a shoe.
One fell out again
and then there were two.

Two laughing leprechauns
Went for a run.
One ran very fast
And then there was one.

One lonely leprechaun
Wanted to have fun.
He joined all the rest
And then there were none."

This poem lends itself well to lessons on adjectives, verbs, and rhyming words. Use different colored crayons, markers, or highlighters to determine answers.

I hope these ideas are useful and ignite your own creativity!"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Lesson Plans

St. Patrick's Day Lesson Plans
We have a ton of ideas for teachers at all grade levels for this green holiday.

1. A Day in the Life of a Leprechaun - Did you ever wonder what Leprechauns did all day?

2. A Leprechaun Trap - Students will enjoy working together to design a Leprechaun trap.

3. Create Your Own Lucky Charm - Students have fun sharing their culture.

4. Leprechaun Map -Students are turned into leprechauns who are closely guarding their gold.

5. Letter to a Leprechaun - There's a Leprechaun in your room who has gold to share, but the students must convince him why he should share it with them.

6. Measuring Pots of Gold - Science and leprechauns, makes for great fun.

7. What Would You Do With a Pot of Gold - Students learn about philanthropic giving in this activity.

This Week in History 1876: Alexander Graham Bell patents the telephone.
Inspiring Teacher Quote
"A good teacher is a master of simplification and an enemy of simplism."  Louis A. Berman

Jokes You Can Tell in Class
What do they call a fake diamond in Ireland?  A sham rock

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