Use an Exercise Ball to Relieve your Feet and Save your Back

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Teaching can be a physically demanding job! I have been suffering from plantar fasciitis in my right foot for a year and a half from being on my feet all day at work. I tried everything for it, but since I have been wearing Dansko clogs, my foot is feeling much better!

A creative way I rest my foot during the day is by using an exercise ball as a portable chair. I am able to pull right up to my students’ desks. I can work with them easily one on one, and I am on their level. It gives my tired feet a break, and I no longer get that shooting pain in my lower back from hunching over their desks! Plus, it is easy to maneuver! I can just roll it around the room, and the kids love when I use it! You definitely should give it a shot! Please let me know how it works out for you!

Introducing Students to Story Elements through Comics

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We read a delightful story titled Space Pup, about a super hero dog who rescues a bus that is stuck in the mud. I thought it would be fun to challenge students to extend the story by creating their own Space Pup adventure. I thought I could introduce my students to story elements by having them create a comic strip. Continue reading

Creating a Glog on the Life Cycle of a Chicken with Glogster EDU

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In Reading we read the story, Dan’s Pet, about a boy who keeps a pet chick named Jen for pet. Throughout the story Jen grows into a hen. At the end of the story, Jen lays eggs. I thought this week would be a good opportunity to teach students more about the life cycle of chickens. I had used Glogster EDU during my graduate studies, and I always wanted to try to use it with my students. I set out to have my class make a Glog on the life cycle of a chicken. Continue reading

Using ActivInspire to Create a Cross-Curricular Lesson

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In class we read the story Boots for Beth about a pig named Beth. At the beginning of the story Beth can’t get her boots on because they are too small. Throughout the story Beth’s animal friends offer their boots, but none of them are right for Beth. At the end of the story the friends surprise Beth with a new pair boots. Our focus reading comprehension skill for the week was retelling. I knew I wanted to work this skill into the project if possible.

In math we have been working a lot with ten-frames. I thought it would be fun for students to drag boots onto the ten-frame instead of boring counters. I decided to use ActivInspire to create this presentation.

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Oh the Places You’ll Go- Hot Air Balloon Glyphs

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I love hanging things from my ceiling; it really brings a classroom to life! As you know, I have a Dr. Seuss theme in my classroom. At the beginning of the year I read my students the story Oh the Places You’ll Go. Then we made hot air balloon glyphs to get to know each student better!
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Quiet Critters are a Teacher’s Bestfriend!

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I got the idea for these Quiet Critters from The Teaching Chick blog via Pinterest.  They are a dream come true for bus dismissal time!  I pass them out at the end of the day, and students bring me their Quiet Critters as their bus is called.  If they are quiet during bus dismissal I give them a stamp or a sticker.  Works like a charm!  I found a Foamies brand kit that included the pom poms, googly eyes, feet and hats.  I put them together using a hot glue gun, and I they have held up great!  I highly recommend using these in your classroom!

Mind Mapping with Popplet

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This week we read an informational text titled All That Corn in our Harcourt Trophies reading books. On Day 2 of the Harcourt Trophies plan it recommends that the teacher help students create a concept map about farms. I have been eager to use a new, web-based, mind mapping tool with my students and I saw this as the perfect opportunity. When I did my action research during my graduate studies with my PreK students, I used Kidspiration software for mind mapping. Kidspiration is a good software package, but for the purposes of this blog I want to make sure that I am showcasing applications that are free and accessible to everyone. Plus, I know there are many mind mapping tools that have come out in the past few years, so I wanted to familiarize myself with the new tools out there. The world of educational technology is ever-changing, so it is important to stay up to date!
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Creating an Interactive Virtual Photo Cube

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This particular week we read the story, Todd’s Box, about a boy who takes a walk with his mother. Along the way he collects artifacts from nature, and he saves them in a box. At the end of the story he surprises his mom with the box. In math we were still working on subtraction, which was the focus of our Jack and Rick Subtraction stories the previous week. Incorporating science was a logical choice based on the reading selection for the week. For this project I decided to have students go on a nature walk and take digital photos of what they found. Then students created their own virtual box to showcase the artifacts they found on their nature walk.
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Using iMovie to Turn you Students into Music Video Stars!

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We read a nonfiction story titled Ants in reading. An exciting addition to our classroom was an ant farm this week. On Day 4 in the Harcourt Trophies lesson plan students sing “The Ants Go Marching”, and are engaged in some phonemic awareness activities using words from the song including identifying rhyming words. I thought this song was the perfect opportunity to tie in music, art, math and literature.2013-09-20 13.20.10
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