Cutest Polar Bear Cupcakes Inspire Learning Cool Polar Bear Facts

Polar Bear Cupcakes~made with white-frosted cupcakes with coconut fur. marshmallow muzzles, raisin noses and lemon cooler cookies for ears.

 

It is well after Christmas, and the new toys are no longer the ‘flavor of the day.’ Spice up the cold season for the kids by making the cutest polar bears cupcakes.

Making these cute cupcakes that look like polar bears will leave them wanting to learn some fun facts about polar bears and their fight to survive.

Cupcakes can make any day better. Stuck at home on a snowy day, a white, frozen world presents a teachable moment to learn facts about polar bears, who thrive in what we shiver in.

Polar Bear Cupcakes

We love to invent cute cupcakes for kids. Those cute little polar bear cubs inspired us to create polar bear cupcakes. These are entirely original and come from somewhere inside our creative little heads.

Here we share how to make our polar bear cupcakes as well as a cool list of polar bear resources to learn about them with. Watch a video here and check out the Polar Bears Resource section while snacking on polar bear cupcakes.

 

 

What We Used to Make Polar Bear Cupcakes

  • White cake mix, use yellow if preferred
  • Egg whites, oil, and water
  • Fresh frozen or grated fresh Coconut, can use dry flakes, but not as good
  • Marshmallows, regular size
  • Mini M&Ms, chocolate
  • Golden raisins
  • Lemon coolers, cookies
  • Chocolate icing

 

  1. Bake cupcakes according to package directions. Cool
  2. Ice with vanilla frosting.
  3. Sprinkle on fresh coconut.
  4. Slice a marshmallow in half horizontally.
  5. Add two lemon cooler cookies for ears.
  6. Add the marshmallow half for the bear’s muzzle
  7. Use a tad of frosting to attach a golden raisin for the nose.
  8. Add mini M&Ms for eyes.
  9. Pipe on a chocolate frosting mouth. (We just put the frosting in a sandwich bag with a small tip cut out of the corner).

 

Polar Bear Facts

Polar bears live in a frozen arctic world. They eat seals and some other arctic sea life, and do so by going from ice floe to ice floe. Polar bears are now considered a threatened species, meaning that they are likely to become endangered. We know what that means. Those beautiful amazing animals could become extinct if action is not taken.

As the earth has begun to warm, these large chunks of ice that they climb aboard to do their fishing for food on are floating around faster and further apart. The poor creatures are wearing themselves out like we would if we had to wander around in circles for days looking for our food source. Some say that greenhouse gas emissions are to blame, others argue that the warming of the planet is a natural occurrence. We believe it is a little of both.

We found some fantastic resources online to explore. There are great interactive websites like National Geographic for Kids. Videos show the polar bears in their frozen world.

Polar Bear Learning Resources

  1. Read facts, see photos and videos, make and send an e-card and more at National Geographic for Kids.
  2. An experiment with ice cubes demonstrates how these animals are threatened.
  3. Kids can adopt a polar bear by donating to Oceana, an organization dedicated to research on how to save the polar bear. Kids receive adoption papers and a plush polar bear.

 


President’s Day Ideas For Kids: Washington and Lincoln Cupcakes

President’s Day Activities for Kids

President’s Day is a great time to impart some knowledge and appreciation of history and our founding fathers. Youngest to oldest can participate in activities that help them become aware of our greatest presidents.

Each February, we honor not only George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, who were born in that month but all the other US presidents as well. Kindergartners make projects like Washington’s three-cornered hat and Lincoln’s “stove pipe” hat. Older kids do wonderful Powerpoint presentations of a chosen president.

President’s Day Cupcake Idea

Kids of all ages will love making and eating cupcakes that look like George and Abe. Caramel icing mixed with white (and a little red for Washington’s ruddy skin tone) are the frosting used. Dabs of blue and red, a white cake gem nose and edible googly eyes are used for the faces. Lincoln’s beard is chocolate chips and Washington’s white wig is mini marshmallows. Lincoln’s hat is formed from a snack-size Hersey bar. Washington has a high collar of white icing with a chocolate chip button.

We tossed in some white-frosted cupcakes with red and blue sprinkles to make our display a little more patriotic. Hail to the Chief!

Use President’s Day cupcakes as a part of this President’s Day Thematic Unit ideas

Ingredients for President’s Day Cupcakes

  • One box White or Yellow cupcake mix, Or use your favorite cake recipe
  • One container Duncan Hines Frosting Creations frosting starter
  • One package Frosting Starter caramel flavor powder, this comes in a small, separate envelope
  • Food color, red, blue
  • Snack size Hersey bars, not miniatures
  • Cake gems, small, white
  • Candy googly eyes
  • Chocolate chips
  • Mini marshmallows, white
  • Decorator icing, white

George’s wig is fashioned from white mini marshmallows

George’s high, white color is piped on with white icing. Add a chocolate chip “button.”

Add white icing “eyebrows” with a toothpick.

Abe’s stovepipe hat is made from a Hershey bar.

His beard is formed from chocolate chips.

Both of the famous US president’s eyes are edible google eyes. Pipe on a little icing for eyes and mouth.


Thanksgiving Thematic Unit Ideas Social Studies

Thanksgiving History and Geography.

Thanksgiving is the perfect time to teach elementary kids some American history right along with a good dose of geography. Clever art projects can be incorporated into lessons to help children understand and appreciate our country’s early beginnings.

The Mayflower’s Journey

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Thanksgiving is the perfect time to teach the continents and oceans. Use globe and map worksheets to discuss how the Pilgrims left England on the continent of Europe to cross the Atlantic Ocean and settle in a new land in North America.  Learning about the globe is more meaningful when connected to this lesson in history.

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Mayflower Craft Project

This mayflower craft project will inspire learning fun facts about the Mayflower’s journey. According to ability, students can research and list amazing facts or write reports about the journey, like how long it took, what they ate and drank, and more. Need sentences for grammar and mechanics practice? Use the facts as sentences on worksheets.

Materials:

  • brown paper lunch bag
  • straw
  • white paper
  • glue
  • a little play dough

How to make:

Cut a boat shape out of a brown paper bag. Cut so the fold in the bag is on the bottom and it will stand up. Anchor a drinking straw in the middle with a wad of play dough. Cut holes in the white rectangle sails with a hole punch. Thread them onto the straw. Filling the boat with shredded paper bag will fluff it out and help it stand.

Thanksgiving History and Life in the Colonies

Maps of the first colonies help blend geography and history. Students learn the name and location of the 13 original colonies that eventually sprang up thanks to the Pilgrims’ voyage.

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Making a Hornbook

Studying life in the colonies fascinates students. Teach them about the one-room school and how they used hornbooks. Hornbooks were made of wood. They displayed the alphabet, numerals,  and bible verses. Young students wore them around their neck.

Materials:

  • construction paper
  • glue
  • marker
  • hole puncher
  • string

How to make

Cut a hornbook shape from light and dark brown paper. Students use markers to write letters and numbers. Punch a hole in the hornbook’s handle for a string.

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 Thanksgiving History and the Native Americans

Native American tribes are divided into regions. Learning the regions can be incorporated into US map skills. Older students will like doing research to learn the names of the different tribes in each region.

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Thanksgiving History Totem Pole Project

Totem poles are so interesting! They were made by the Pacific Coastal Indians mostly from redwood. They used natural dyes to make paint and painted pictures of animals and nature to tell stories. They were like “books” to these early tribes. Students can construct their own totem poles and write a story about them. Help them look up images of totem poles for ideas.

Materials:

  • empty paper towel roll
  • colored construction paper
  • glue
  • scissors

How to Make:

Cut out shapes from construction paper. Students can use them to make totem pole images. Glue strips of paper around the “totem pole” and then add features. Older or more capable students can cut out their shapes.

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Native American Dreamcatcher Project

Pretty dreamcatchers were fashioned by Native Americans and hung above where they slept. They believed dreams were filtered by the colorful webs and bad dreams were trapped in them. What better way is there than this for inspiration to write about good and bad dreams kids remember. An interesting way to deal with dreams!

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Materials:

  • paper plates
  • craft feathers
  • plastic craft beads
  • skein of multi-colored yard
  • hole puncher

How to Make:

Cut paper plate so it is only a rim. Punch evenly spaced holes in the rim. Students thread the yarn on a bobby pin to act as a needle. They then lace the yarn through. Add a few beads and tie a knot to hold them in place.  Punch a few holes closely together at the bottom. Add strings and use hot glue to glue on craft feathers.

Books For Learning About Early America


Advantages Of The Flipped Classroom: The Latest Technology For Teachers

 

What is a Flipped Classroom?

All across the nation and beyond, teachers are experimenting with flipping the classroom. No, not literally like this silly photo. They are flipping instruction. The basic concept is quite simple. Homework gets done in the classwork while class instruction occurs at home.

With the flipped classroom concept, the teacher becomes less of a “sage on the stage” and more of a “guide on the side.” This is done by having students watch pre-recorded lessons on screen or podcasts online at home. The next day, class lecture time is freed up to have the students put their newly acquired knowledge into practice.

Technology in the Classroom

Technology has changed the way we do everything, and education is no exception. Flipping the classroom can be as simple or as elaborate as the teacher wants to make it.

Low-tech teachers can flip classroom instruction with a simple-made video he or she makes, or choose one from shared files. High-tech teachers will explore software and technologies to enhance the flipped classroom learning experience.

This enhancement can be in the way of shareware such as Edmodo or learnspace. These sites are like having facebook accounts private to you and your students. Teachers can post quizzes, due dates, etc. on line. Students can post and form groups for working on projects together. Files too large to share by email can be sent.

Videos can be viewed on computers, laptops, iPads Smartphones, etc. Students with no computer access (rare these days) can be given a spot in the classroom, computer lab or media center. This is also a good place for students who may need to review the material while in school.

 

Advantages of Flipped Instruction

Flipped instruction can be used in almost any classroom to a degree. Just remember the basic concept. Classroom instruction becomes homework and homework becomes classroom work. This frees up much time for active learning in the classroom. Teachers can plan hands-on activities for students that will allow them to develop higher-order thinking skills. Some of the ways to actively engage students in the classroom after viewing lectures on a video are as follows.

  • class discussions
  • debates
  • think-pair-share
  • cooperative learning
  • surveys and polls
  • graphing and displaying data
  • visual arts projects
  • low or high tech presentations
  • experiments
  • research projects

Unlike classroom lectures, online lessons can be reviewed from as far back as the beginning of the lesson if necessary. They can even be reviewed before major exams. Parents will love having the change in homework. Struggling through trying to work problems or answer questions about forgotten classroom lectures are eliminated. They can even view the videos themselves in order to be better able to help children understand the lesson content.

Although the flipped classroom is relatively new, results of studies are showing improvements across the board from better test scores to lowered drop-out rates in schools that have implemented flipped instruction.

 

Who Gets Credit for Flipped Instruction?

Two chemistry teachers from Woodland Park High School in Woodland Park, Colorado, Johnathon Bergmann, and Aaron Sams are credited with the seed that planted the idea of the flipped classroom.

The two teaching buddies collaborated often on ways to deliver instruction. In 2007, they discovered software that allowed them to share Powerpoint presentations for students who had missed instruction.

This grew into the idea of presenting lecture online and follow-up work in the classroom.

Setting the ground work, Eric Mazur developed peer instruction back in the 1990s. He used computer-aided instruction to coach instead of lecture,

In 2000, Lage, Platt and Treglia published “Inverting the Classroom: A Gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment”.

Beginning in the fall of 2000, the University of Wisconsin used tutoring videos as part of their instruction in a computer sciences course. In 2011, two centers were built at the Wisconsin Collaboratory for Enhanced Learning to study and promote flipped classrooms.

Tips for Flipping the Classroom

  1. Provide opportunities for students to gain exposure before the lecture video. This can be as simple as textbook reading or Youtube video or as technical as a Powerpoint presentation or podcast. This serves as an anticipatory set for the lesson.
  2. Provide incentives that will motivate students to prepare for class. Give points or privileges for completing the pre-class activity.
  3. Include informative assessment to evaluate student understanding throughout the lesson. This can be done with online quizzes, paper/pencil quizzes, written responses to essay-type questions and other informal assessments.
  4. Use informal assessments for forming groups and peer tutoring teams.
  5. Use activities following the videos that include higher-level critical thinking skills. Find activities that cause them to evaluate, summarize and synthesize newly learned information,
  6. Use strategies that incorporate student-to-student learning such as peer tutoring, cooperative learning, and think-pair-share.

Sample Plan for Flipped Instruction

The objective is to understand and apply the scientific method. Students will identify dependent variable, independent variable, control group, hypothesis,

 

  1. Build motivation and create a “hook” for anticipating learning with a Powerpoint presentation or textbook reading. Include a short quiz either online or with pencil/paper. Whatever your level of technology is at this point. Don’t worry, there is no need to be a techie to do this. Give points for completing the presentation.
  2. Create or import a lesson/lecture on the basics of the scientific method. It’s a good beginning.It is best if you make these videos yourself, but it’s OK to use other videos Check for understanding with a quiz, online or paper/pencil.
  3. Review with questioning at the beginning or class
  4. Assign directions for a project:
  5. Purpose: Create a lab to demonstrate the scientific method using a simple paper airplane.
  6. Make a hypothesis: Decide on a plan and make a prediction based on the procedure you have developed to use the paper airplane.
  7. Develop a plan that demonstrates the scientific method. Try to create a table and a graph to record collected data. Have students do 10 trials.
  8. Have students write two paragraphs analyzing collected data.

Final Thoughts on Flipping the Classroom

Have fun with this cool new idea. Start off slowly if you are “tech shy.” Just remember the basic idea of the flipped classroom, and it will make sense. It could turn your teaching right side up and make more sense to you and your students.

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Winter Art Projects For Toddlers And Preschoolers With Special Needs

Winter Crafts for Toddlers

Arts, crafts, and many other learning activities for toddlers are also developmentally appropriate for preschool students with special needs, or even beyond. The two groups share the same basic stages of development.
The curriculum focuses on basics like color, number and letter recognition, shapes and other concepts. Large and fine muscle skills, visual and auditory discrimination are also important skills to develop at this stage. 
These winter craft ideas will help you, the toddler of special needs preschool teacher have craft ideas for the month of January. 

Winter Landscape

Materials: blue construction paper for background, white tempera, cookie cutters, green triangles and brown squares cut from construction paper, and glue.

Concepts/skills:   learn to identify shapes, triangle and square, colors, spatial relations, fine motor.

Directions:  teacher precuts shapes. Students arrange them in a tree shape. Students dip cookie cutters in shallow dishes of paint and stamp them on.

Three-circle Snowman

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Materials: Blue and white paper, crayons, glue

Concept/Skills: size graduation, color recognition, shapes(circle)

Directions: Teacher precuts shapes. Student’s name the shapes and order them in size. Teacher helps child glue on background. Child embellishes with crayons

Shape Snowman

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 Materials: construction paper in the colors shown, wallpaper scraps.

Concept/skills: Shapes, colors, size, spatial relations. Body part awareness.

Directions: Teacher pre-cuts shapes. Students put them together correctly. Teacher helps glue as needed. Scarves can be cut from old wallpaper sames.

 

Tissue Paper Snowman

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Materials: white, orange or red, black or brown tissue. Glue wash (one-third water, two-thirds glue) and a paint brush.

Concept/Skills: fine motor skills, visual-spatial.

Directions: Teacher draws snowman shape on white paper. Pre-cut tissue “squares.” Brush on glue-wash.Child balls up the tissue squares and places correctly to form snowman with a face and buttons.

 

Torn Paper Collage

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Materials: blue and white paper, glue

Concept/skill: Color recognition, fine motor skills( tearing)

Directions: Teacher pre-cuts strips of white paper. Show child how to tear and glue the pieces on the blue paper.

Wintery Patterning

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Material: Snowman and snowflake shapes cut with Ellison press.

Concept/skill: simple patterning

Directions: Teacher pre-cuts shapes and starts the pattern for the child to finish.

Winter Animals

It’s fun learning about Artic animals. You can find lots of cute books and finger plays featuring winter animals. Books like Polar Bear, Polar Bear (Brown Bear, Brown Bear) are simple and hold a toddler’s attention. After sharing the books and rhymes, the little ones can relate to the animals with  these simple, crafty projects. 
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Polar Bear

Paper plate, cotton balls, pre-cut ears.Pom pom nose, chenile stem mouth.

Child arranges face, ears, eyes nose in proper position. Teacher glues them to plate. (use hot glue if needed).

Child tears, pulls, manipulates cotton balls to glue on.

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Walrus 

Large, medium, and small circles. Color, brown. Teacher traces students hands for flippers.

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Penguin

10 Back To School Doors To Last All Year

Back to School Doors

Just as your front door greets guests to your home, so does your classroom door great students, parents, other  teachers and school personnel. Create a good first impression with an attractive and creative classroom door. 

Children feel especially welcomed when they see their name on a whimsical or themed door. Back-to-school door decor can last all year long. Here are 10 cute ideas to help in planning your back to school door to last all year!

#1 Add a techie touch to your door with this Facebook and Twitter look door. Kid’s names are on the “Twitter birds.”

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#2. Cute as a button and super easy. Minimal cut-out work is required. The buttons are small paper plates in different colors and the “button holes” are black construction paper circles. Put student’s names on white strips.

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#3. Hoot, hoot hooray for any grade level with wise owls that bear the names of your students. Create owls from construction paper and then give them some of those big Googly eyes!

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#4. A favorite story welcomes students to the early childhood room. Let Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin and John Archambault be the first story you read. Then do an art project to display around your door. 

 

door1

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#5. Real ribbons and rick-rack give these gingerbread men a two-dimensional look.  

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# 6. Is your classroom part of a pod? Here’s a way to help any aged students to feel like they belong. 

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# 7. Tell your visitors how hard your students work. They don’t monkey around!

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# 8.These cute owls have a picture of each student on them. Kids will feel excited to be a part of this class.

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# 9. Students will “hop on in” happily inside this attractive, cheerful pod’s welcoming bulletin board. 

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# 10. A sweet idea for your Kindergarten or Pre-K door. The big cupcake is made of soft cloth stuffed inside netting. The cupcake holder is paper folded accordion style. 

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Organizing The Classroom: 10 Little Tips To Make A Big Difference

Little Tips to Make a Big Difference

Sometimes the simplest ideas can make a huge impact on the classroom. Here are 10 easy-to-do ideas to make organizing the classroom easier. An organized classroom makes life a lot better for the teacher, and the kids will likely learn more. Those are two big payoffs!

Little Tip # 1. Word of the Day

Here’s a unique way to reinforce sight word vocabulary. Make and laminate a hand print to hang by the door. Make and laminate word cards. Each day put a new word up to be “Word of the Day.” When the kids line up to go anywhere, (lunch, PE, etc) they “high five” the word as they say it aloud on the way out the door. This technique reinforces learning the words in a multi-sensory fashion. The best way to learn!

Little Tip # 2. Sight Words Graphic Organizer

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Sight words everywhere! Kids can really benefit with graphic organizers. This one helps them to review the words they have mastered each quarter. Type the words out on a cut-and-paste worksheet. Each student will have their own  sight words graphic organizer.

Little Tip # 3. Early Finishers

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Idle hands are a little devil’s workshop. Keep your little angels busy every minute with a hanging clear pocket chart full of ideas for what to do when they are finished early. Store materials needed for the activities behind the idea cards.

Little Tip # 4. Where are the Kids?

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See at a glance who is where. Hang a magnetic board with names on magnetic strips above some clever looking hall passes. The kids will love using it, and you will know just who went to the nurse, library, etc. at all times.

Little Tip # 5. School-to-Home Binder

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End the confusion for little ones and their parents as well about what stays at home at what comes back with this really simple home-to-school binder.016

Little Tip # 6. Easy Classroom Jobs Chart

End the arguing over who’s day it is to do what job with this idea. Using crayon shapes (or any shape), put names on each one. Laminate for durability. A larger crayon lists each job. Have one set of names for each job. Use metal book rings to hold the names. These are attached to the white board with clipboard clips, something we’ve decided on after testing dry erase wall paint and finding better results with this. Simply flip to the next name each day for each job.

Little Tip # 7. File Folders in a Hanging Pocket Chart

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Teachers instinctively use lots and lots of those manila file folders. Eliminate looking through stacks and stacks of them on your desk with a large hanging pocket chart. Saves time AND frees up desk space.

 

Little Tip # 8. Extra Worksheets, too!

760Nothing looks worse than piles and piles of extra worksheets stacked everywhere. Keep them neat, organized and easier for the kids to access with a hanging pocket chart.

 Little Tip # 9. Clear Plastic Storage Bags

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Invest your classroom supplies money wisely by purchasing some plastic book pouches. They have lots of uses from storing little paperback readers to game materials and more.

Little Tip # 10. Stress-Buster Private Corner

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Researchers claim that looking at a photo of our loved ones can lower stress. Have yourself a little bit of home in a private corner of the classroom to display photos and mementos. A corner of a bookcase and the side of a file cabinet is all you need to help melt stress away.


Thematic Unit Ideas For Earth Day

Children are always appreciative and attentive when learning about being earth friendly or “green.”  It’s a good time to implement science and social studies into reading and writing.

After reading and learning about Earth Day, Have students list some ideas on how to save Earth’s resources. List them on a chart.

Here are some good books for learning about Earth Day.

The Earth Book by Todd Parr

I Can Save the Earth: One Little Monster Learns to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle by Alison Inches and Viviana Garofoli

Earth Day, Robin Hill School by Margaret McNamara and Mike Gordon

Earth Day Writing Station

In a separate time and place, have students put their hand print in green on a blue circle made to resemble the planet. Place the chart you created together in the whole group activity in the writing center along with cards that are labeled My Earth Day Promise. Students use these to compose their Earth Day promise. 

Earth Day Science Station

Take some time to make a landfill model with students during whole group instruction. Use the following materials:

  1. an old fish tank
  2. soil
  3. bits of  newspaper
  4. bits of banana peel.
  5. bits of plastic
  6. bits of cloth
  7. aluminum can tab
  8. Styrofoam packing “peanut”

Bury the 6 items in the soil close to the tank where they can be seen. Place this is the science center .Students can use a journal to observe, draw and make predictions about what will happen.

Earth Day Computer Station

During whole group instruction, take some time to talk about some statistics about the earth. Include its size in relationship to the sun and other planets and distance from the sun. Have models or a poster of the solar system. Show the students a tennis ball and a grain of sand and explain that this is how the sun and earth compare in size with the earth represented by the grain of sand. Use the following website for students to explore in the computer station.

http://www.kidsgeo.com/geography-for-kids/0001-hello-earth.php

Earth Day Creation Station Ideas

Have students drop earth colors of food dye diluted in water with a medicine dropper. The effect is very pretty. They may need to do this in a supervised station. They can trace hands and cut them out to attach to the earth. Have them write a story in the Writing Station to go with this on the topic of Giving Earth a Helping Hand. 

spring 10Sometimes it is hard for us to think about the earth on a level other than the things we see each day. Have materials at the creation station to make a torn paper collage of earth that shows land and water. They should try to show land masses and realize that the blue represents oceans. Have them draw landscape picture to go with them.

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Earth Day Math Station

During discussions about the earth and other heavenly bodies, make sure students understand that these objects are known as spheres. Have students draw or cut from magazines other objects that are spheres. Glue and label.

Spring Thematic Unit Homepage

Books For Learning About Earth Day

Saint Patrick’s Day Unit Ideas

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Shamrock paper weaving in the creation station.

 

Saint Patrick’ s Day is celebrated all over the world by many different religious and ethnic groups. They even have a huge parade in Tokyo. Because it comes in March and is so associated with the color green, most consider it to be the first spring holiday, although it is technically late, late winter.

Kids can learn a lot of interesting information about Saint Patrick and the history of this holiday with the following books read to them.

Patrick: Patron Saint of Ireland by Tomie DePaola

The Story of Saint Patrick’s Day by Patrica A. Pingry

Saint Patrick’s Day by Gail Gibbons

 

Writing Learning Station

After making a list of words associated with Saint Patrick’s Day, place the chart in the writing center for students to make sentences with. Older or more advanced students could use them to write a story. List words such as shamrock, leprechaun, rainbow, Irish, etc.

Rainbow Math Station

Use fruit loops with the colors of the rainbow as math manipulatives.  They can be counters, used for sorting, patterning and much more!

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 Literacy Station

For the youngest students, put the list of words associated with Saint Patrick’s Day in the literacy station on word cards. Students can trace or copy them, or use magnetic letters and board to make the words.

Creation Station

Kids like to do paper weaving. Have directions and materials to make a woven shamrock. This may need to be at a teacher or assistant’s supervised station for younger students. 

Have materials and a sample for making a torn paper rainbow collage. Glue on white or blue paper and add cotton balls for clouds. Students can use them in the Writing Station to write stories about leprechauns and rainbows.

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Math Station

 

Have precut pots,  strips colored paper, and white cupcake holders for kids to make the pots of gold. The cloud is a white cupcake holder. Students glue on paper coins to make the amount of money written on the back of the pots.

 

Spring Unit Homepage

Books For Learning About Saint Patrick’s Day

Thematic Unit Ideas For Spring: Plants And Animals

Even very young children are aware that spring is “wake up time” for plants and animals in most places. It is a good time to learn about the life cycles and habits of various animals. There are lots of great arts and crafts projects that can be done around a spring theme.

Here are some good books on plant and animal love for sharing aloud.

Spring Song by Barbara Seuling

My Spring Robin by Anne and Harlow Rockwell

Waiting For Wings by Lois Ehlert

Spring Thematic Unit Writing Station Ideas

1. After sharing a couple of books and having a discussion, have the students name some springtime words and phrases. Write these on chart paper and place in the writing center. Students can make sentences or write stories using the words.

2. Choose an animal that you read about and write an expository paragraph about it.

Spring Thematic Unit Literacy Station

1. For the youngest students, put the words from your spring list on word cards. Students can trace or copy them. They can make the words using magnetic letters. They could also write them on small white or chalkboards. They might could illustrate some of the words.

2. Have strips of paper folded in four sections in the station. Students can draw the sequence of a butterfly’s life cycle. Older students can write out the steps.

Spring Thematic Unit Science Station Ideas

1. After learning about the life cycle of a butterfly, have the following materials for showing the four stages. Students will divide the paper plate into four sections. This may need to be a supervised station for younger students. The teacher can pre-cut leaves while older students can trace and cut out their own.

  • white paper plate
  • leaf patterns
  • green construction paper
  • navy beans or peas (egg)
  • penne or tubini pasta (larvae)
  • large shell pasta (pupa)
  • bow tie pasta (butterfly)
  • pieces of orange chenille stems

2. The science station is a good place to keep seeds the children have planted. Done soon enough, they could be ready for giving Mom for Mother’s Day. Flower seeds like zinnia and marigolds sprout easily. Students can observe, draw and record the seedlings each week as they grow.

3. Use the following materials to have students create a model for the parts of a plant.

  • cupcake wrappers
  • real beans or plastic beads (seeds)
  • construction paper
  • chenille stems
  • yarn or twine (roots)

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Spring Thematic Unit Math Station Ideas

1. Ladybugs are fun to find and learn about in the spring. Use the dots on ladybug shapes for counting, addition problems and more. Have students cut out the lady bugs from patterns and add dots to illustrate a problem. Get fancy if you want and add googly eyes and antenna.

spring 52. Flower cut-outs can be used in a number of ways for math activities. These fractions flowers were made by fourth graders. For young students, putting a number in the middle and having students figure out how to put dots on every petal in order to add up to the number is a good math logic activity.  This may need to be a supervised station for younger students. 

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Spring Thematic Unit Creation Station Ideas

Ask any artist. Spring is the prime season for art-inspired projects, and children are no exception.

1. This is messy but fun. Students drop diluted food colors with brushes or medicine droppers on white tissue to create the paper need for pretty butterfly wings. the body is a cloths pin that conveniently holds the wings together. Add a bent chenille stem for the antenna.

spring 8 2. A hand butterfly is cute to do for younger students.

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3. Plastic cups and paper plates are recycled into pretty daffodils. Use white or clear plastic dessert cups for the middle. Paint with yellow tempera. The petals are cut from yellow construction paper. The stem is a strip of green paper. Cut the leaves from paper plates and paint them green. Younger students will need assistance

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Spring Unit Home Page 

Books to Share for Learning About Plants and Animals in Spring