Sunday, August 30, 2015

Canadian Back to School E-Book

If you are looking for Canadian teaching and learning resources make sure to check out this new Canadian Back to School eBook which contains dozens of teaching tips and tricks, activities, and freebies which were all created by teacher authors from across Canada. Thank you to Sidney from Teaching is a Gift who did a fabulous job of putting together this eBook. Don't forget to look for the Third Grade Zoo's page! 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Three Ways How Popsicle Sticks can help you manage your classroom.

Did you know that popsicle sticks can help you manage your classroom? It's simple! Write each student's name a popsicle stick, and then keep your class set of popsicle sticks at the front of the classroom. 

You can then use your popsicle sticks to:

1. Give each student a partner. Use the popsicle stick method to keep things random and fair. This method allows students to get to work with everyone and encourages students to get along with everyone. 

2. Call on an individual student to answer a question. This method encourages everyone to pay attention as you are not going to call on the regular keeners or the students with their hands up. You are going to call on a random student so everyone must be paying attention. A lot of the time when the teacher just calls on a student with their hand up the other students disengage because they know they are not being held accountable. With the popsicle stick method students have to pay attention.

3. To help choose helpers in a completely random way. You can even take out the names of the students who have already done that job, or had that privilege so that everyone eventually gets a turn for each job. 

Check out my Back to School: Classroom Routines package for more great ideas to help you manage your classroom efficiently. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Animal Adaptations Art Lesson

This is a cute craft that I like to incorporate into my animals unit. I do this craft with my students when we are learning about animal adaptations. This craft is fun and easy, but most importantly it usually sparks some creative thinking and conversation about different animals and what predators and environmental hazards each animal needs to protect itself from. This also leads to conversation about why each animal looks, moves, and protects itself the way it does, and how these characteristics help animals survive in their environment. You might have a discussion about why birds have wings so they can fly away from predators, a giraffe has a long neck so that it can eat the leaves off of the tallest trees, and rhinoceros uses its horn to help defend itself. 

To do this craft you need a variety of images of animals. My students cut up old National Geographic magazines. Students can then choose different animal parts from the animal images to create a new animal. You can then have a class discussion about each of the animal's parts, their purpose, and how it helps each animal survive its environment. 

You can find this, and other great animal lesson ideas in my Wild About: Animal Unit