Posts Tagged ‘activities’

4 Tips on Encouraging Healthy Habits for Kids

Monday, April 14th, 2014

Healthy Habits Pledge_Teacher Created Resources

Incorporating fun physical outdoor games and indoor classroom exercises are great ways for teachers to encourage students to establish healthy habits. The National Health Education Standards & Common Core State Standards aim to support a whole-child approach to education-one that that ensures that each student is healthy, safe, engaged, supported, and challenged in their learning. Here are a few tips for establishing healthy habits in the classroom.

 

  1. Share the Healthy Habits Pledge above with students and discuss each line. Challenge students to learn the pledge and share it with family members. The goal here is to inspire the whole family to focus on good nutrition and support healthy habits. Post the pledge in the classroom and review it from time to time as students gain more insights into personal health.
  2. Introduce daily exercise to your students. Use physical activities to start the day and/or to transition from one activity to another. Throw in an extra exercise on tough days, or use more than one when weather conditions inhibit outdoor activity. These short, physical exercise breaks are a positive way to settle students for their day’s work.  And don’t forget breathing exercises! They can be done at any time of day and can help refocus or calm students as needed.
  3. Gather and display reference materials for the classroom on topics of nutrition, fitness, and overall health. Resources might include library or trade books, magazines, posters, and kid-friendly materials printed from government websites.  If appropriate, save links to relevant websites in a dedicated folder on classroom computers.
  4. Encourage students to start collecting packaging and nutritional labels from food products. Explain that they will be learning to read them and using them for comparisons. Establish an area in the classroom where these can be stores or displayed.

For free sample pages, classroom exercises, and ideas see Healthy Habits for Healthy Kids.

 

 

Spring Bulletin Board & Activity: We’re Leaving Winter Behind

Thursday, April 3rd, 2014

 

Spring Bulletin Board-Teacher Created Resources

Out with the cold, and in with the Spring! A few students helped me create this “We’re Leaving Winter Behind!” Bulletin Board. The background was white bulletin board paper painted with purple and blue streaks. Instead of doing traditional bunny faces, I decided it would be fun to show off their cute little bunny tails using cotton batting. The students helped paint the bunnies with brown paint.  The butterflies and ladybugs were die cut.  I used Blue Polka Dots Scalloped Border Trim and Blue Polka Dot Letters to match the sky.

Spring Bulletin Board-Teacher Created Resources

The flowers were made using students’  handprints. You can use paint to make simple flowers, or try something a little different. Below are instructions to make Tulip and Daisy handprint flowers.

Spring Handprint Flowers

Materials:5140 Spring Flower Template-Teacher Created Resources

  • Green, white, and pastel-colored construction paper
  • Multi-colored paper cupcake liners
  • Leaves and stems patterns
  • Pencils
  • Safety scissors
  • Glue
  • Free Leaves and Stems template

Instruction for Tulip Flowers:

  1. On a pastel-colored construction paper, have students place their hands face down with their fingers open and trace their hand.
  2. Have students cut out their hand tracing. Encourage them to round the base of the flower (palm of the hand) to create a tulip-like shape.
  3. Have students color and cut out the leaves and stems template.
  4. Glue the handprint flower to the stem.

Instructions for Daisy Flower

  1. Trace hands with fingers spread apart on white construction paper.
  2. Have students cut out their hand tracing.
  3. Have four or five students combine their handprints (at the palms) and attach them to the back of the cupcake liner to create a flower
  4. Have students color and cut out the leaves and stems template.
  5. Glue the flower handprint flower to the stem.

Additional Display Suggestion

  • Cover a display area or bulletin board to create a spring outdoor scene.
  • Use blue paper at the top for the sky. Add white, fluffy clouds and a sun.
  • Use green paper at the bottom for grass. Snip the edge of the green paper to give the suggestion of individual blades.
  • Add the “flowers” to create a spring garden. Encourage students to choose where to put their flowers. Ask them to use directional worlds like above, below, and beside.

For more handprint activities and idea see Handprints, Footprints and Holidays!

Spring Craft: Egg Carton Caterpillar

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Caterpillar TCR-Art for All Seasons

This spring craft offers kids so much room for imagination and learning. This is a great craft to bring a butterfly life cycle lesson to life! This project requires some recycled egg cartons so this would also be a perfect classroom craft for earth day to demonstrate recycling and reusing materials for new projects.

Materials:

-Cardboard Egg Cartons
-Scissors
-Green Paint
-Paintbrushes
-Markers
-Pipe Cleaners
-Tape (optional)
-Wiggly eyes (optional)

Let’s Do It!

  1. Cut off the top of the egg carton, and cut the bottom half into two strips to make two caterpillars.
  2. Place the egg carton strips upside down so the hollow of the cups cannot be seen. Paint them green, then allow the paint to dry.
  3. Once dry, use markers to add details, such as the eyes, nose, and mouth, or glue on wiggly eyes.
  4. Cut two pipe cleaners into thirds. Insert one piece of pipe cleaner on the side of each cup to create the caterpillar’s legs.
  5. Cut two pipe cleaners into thirds. Insert one piece of pipe cleaner on the side of each cup to create the caterpillar’s legs.
  6. Inside each egg cup, bend down the ends of the pipe cleaners. Tape can be used to secure the antennae and legs.

Our little crafters loved the caterpillars so much they immediately took them to the trees so their caterpillars could eat leaves!

TCR Caterpillar-Art for All Seasons

Butterfly Life Cycle Idea: 

TCR Caterpillar

Have the students make butterfly wings out of construction paper and hold on to these for later. Keep the caterpillars in the trees. The next day, before the students come to class, add the butterfly wings to their caterpillars and put each caterpillar in a brown bag, like a chrysalis.  Hang them up in the trees and when they notice them, tell them we will have to wait and see what “those bags” could be.  The following morning, tear open the bags and have the caterpillars hanging half in and half outside the chrysalises, drying their butterfly wings.

More Ideas

-Add more personality to your caterpillars by using plastic wiggly eyes or construction paper for clothes and shoes.

-Other insects can be made from single sections of an egg carton. Try making ladybugs, painted black with red spots, or spiders, painted black with eight pipe cleaner legs.

-Obtain a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (Putnam, 1969) and A Guide for Using The Very Hungry Caterpillar in the Classroom and try some of the creative writing activities and pocket chart patterns.

For more spring crafts and activities see, Art for All Seasons.

5 Best Practices for Teaching Math

Tuesday, March 11th, 2014

5 Best Practices for Teaching Math-TCR Collage

Hello again, it’s Staci from Let’s Teach Something!  I’m so excited to be back with Teacher Created Resources again.  I’m here this time to give you a little insight on some math practices that have best worked in my classroom. Here are my top 5 best practices for teaching math: In & Out Tickets, Scavenger Hunts, Daily Warm-Ups, Anchor Charts, and Whiteboards.

In & Out Tickets

IN OUT CARDS-TEACHER CREATED RESOURCES

I have little cards (about 1/2 the size of index cards) that I use in my classroom as tickets.  I laminated mine so I can reuse them.  The students write on them with a dry-erase marker.  You could also just use a scrap piece of paper and recycle them when they are used.  I use them 2 different ways…

1)  I pass out the tickets at the end of a math lesson and the students have to answer an “exit question or equation” on their ticket.  As the students leave my room, they have to give me their ticket.  If the answer is correct, they get to move on to the next class.  If the answer is wrong, they have to sit back down and try again.  If, after the 2nd attempt, they still get it wrong, I make a note and work with the student one on one either before or after school (or during work time in class.)  At the door, I keep a clipboard and make note of how the students are doing on their in & out tickets.  If a student consistently has to go back for a second chance, this alerts me that it is becoming a trend and it’s time for me to do a little intervention work with them.

2)  I’ve also used the ticket system on homework.  I give them a ticket and tell them it’s their ticket into the class.  Same procedure applies if they get it wrong as with the ticket out.  They get two chances before I work with them individually before or after school or during quiet class work time.

Scavenger Hunts:

Scavenger Hunt -Teacher Created Resouces

It’s easy to get the students up and moving during math.  Send them  on a scavenger hunt!  If you are doing a subtraction lesson, give  them subtraction problems where the answers lead them to a room  number where the next clue would be located.  If you are doing a  shapes lesson, show them shapes and they have to find something in  real life that is that same shape and they have to take a picture of it  or draw a picture of it.  If you are teaching about time, place clocks  all around the school (or your classroom) and each clock has a new  time under it where they have to find that next matching clock! Math can be very interactive, just get creative! :)

Daily Warm-Ups:

Daily Warm-Ups-Teacher Created Resources

Giving my students a quick warm-up each morning when we start math helps get them in the math mood and helps to reinforce what has already been taught.  The old saying “If you don’t use it, you lose it!” comes to mind when I give them the quick warm-ups.  If I teach my students about telling time and then never ask them to practice, they will lose it.  This quick warm-up gives them that quick practice without having to spend a lot of time doing it.  A little each day goes a long way!

 

 

 

 

Anchor Charts:  

Anchor Charts-Teacher Created Resources

Anchor charts have been around forever..and it’s because they work!  I allow students to help me create them. My philosophy: students who actively participate in the creation of classroom resources retain the information better.

In this photo, my Kindergarten students helped create anchor charts for 3D objects.  We discussed their attributes and I added them as they discovered them.  Then they each got a sticky note and were able to draw their own 3D object at the bottom of the anchor chart.  Sure, it’s easy to create my own anchor charts before or after school, but using class time to create them WITH my students creates a lasting foundation for my instruction.

Whiteboards:  

Whiteboards-Teacher Created Resources

I LOVE whiteboards (or chalkboards if you have those in your classroom).  If I could, I would have a whiteboard installed on all 4 walls of my classroom.  Students love writing on them and I can tell, at a glance, the thought process of my students as they work on the boards.  I especially love using them in math class.  It’s so easy to line the students up and rattle off math problems.  The students write the problem on their part of the board and you, the teacher, can stand back and watch all of your class and can address questions immediately.

If someone adds wrong, you can simply stand behind them and watch their thought process and correct immediately instead of having to wait to “grade” their work after school.  If you do not have a large board space in your classroom, you can also use this technique with individual white boards.  It gets a little trickier with keeping an eye on all of your students, but it’s still more effective in allowing me to give feedback more immediately.

I hope these math practices help you in your classroom and your students enjoy them as much as mine do! Be sure to stop by my blog for more from my classroom!