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Science and Social Studies for February

Science and Social Studies for February: This resource helps you find time for Science and Social Studies by including Groundhog Day, hibernating animals, Valentines Day, Super Bowl, and Presidents Day into "easy to prepare" lessons!

Do you find it difficult to fit everything in?

I sure do!  The toughest things to fit in are Science and Social Studies.

Once we're done with reading, writing, spelling, handwriting, grammar, and math, there's no time left for these two subjects! 

The really sad part is that these are typically the most popular subjects, and the ones where everyone can have success!

I've been working at making it easier to squeeze these fun subjects in, and came up with this: 
Science and Social Studies Activities for February

Science and Social Studies for February: This resource helps you find time for Science and Social Studies by including Groundhog Day, hibernating animals, Valentines Day, Super Bowl, and Presidents Day into "easy to prepare" lessons!

It's got printables to make your life easier, yet it still provides learning opportunities in Science and Social Studies, along with February themes and engaged children!

For Super Bowl Sunday, it's got a science exploration that includes rolling balls down a ramp, predictions and revisions.

Science and Social Studies for February: This resource helps you find time for Science and Social Studies by including Groundhog Day, hibernating animals, Valentines Day, Super Bowl, and Presidents Day into "easy to prepare" lessons!

For Groundhog Day, there's a nonfiction science text and questions about groundhogs, and a "hibernating animal" classification.
Science and Social Studies for February: This resource helps you find time for Science and Social Studies by including Groundhog Day, hibernating animals, Valentines Day, Super Bowl, and Presidents Day into "easy to prepare" lessons!

For Valentine's Day, there's a fact sheet about the heart, and an exploration on exercise and heart rate.

Science and Social Studies for February: This resource helps you find time for Science and Social Studies by including Groundhog Day, hibernating animals, Valentines Day, Super Bowl, and Presidents Day into "easy to prepare" lessons!

For President's Day, there's a nonfiction text and questions about Abraham Lincoln, a timeline on Abraham Lincoln's life, and a mapping activity identifying states in which presidents were born.

Science and Social Studies for February: This resource helps you find time for Science and Social Studies by including Groundhog Day, hibernating animals, Valentines Day, Super Bowl, and Presidents Day into "easy to prepare" lessons!

I hope this makes your life easier, and a little more fun for your kiddos!  You can see this product here: Science and Social Studies Activities for February.

Give 'em a Shout Out!

Give 'em a Shout Out! This post gives ideas on pointing out those little things that kids do right, and deserve attention for it!

Do you have kids that do things well, and deserve attention for it? 
Do you have things you're looking for in the kids' work, that you want to emphasize?
Do you want to draw attention to clever ideas?
Looking for ideas to give feedback to students?

This bright idea is about giving "Shout Outs" when the students have a success!

At the end of my Morning Meeting, I take a few minutes to give "Shout Outs" to individual students.  I've been doing this for years, and the kiddos love it!

I usually have some paperwork the children have done, and I'll draw attention to something specific that child did that I'm hoping more kids will do. Some examples:  showing their work in Math, extra effort, good handwriting, using complete sentences to answer questions, or just great answers to questions.  Sometimes I'll just read a list of names of kids I noticed were working hard on their own.

My kids tend to be hams (just like their teacher) and are encouraged to take a bow when they're announced.  The other kids cheer and applaud.  (I'll bet you know plenty of kids who deserve applause!)


After I've given a "Shout out" for certain behaviors, I find the whole group makes an effort to improve in that area.



This little guy remembered to label his answer in Math!


This little one gave a delightful reason for her prediction!


These kiddos did a fabulous job on their homework, and earned the famous "Homework Award" Post its!


This little guy has made huge improvements in Math, and everyone needed to know!


Another great reason for a prediction. Aren't these kids great?

Give Shout outs a try! It just takes a few minutes, and it's a great way to give feedback and individual attention to a student that's deserving.  

They're all rather deserving, aren't they?

If you like this post, please consider following me on facebook, Twitter, or Pinterest!

For more bright ideas, check out the linkies below!


5 Days of Indoor Recess, 5 Ideas to Try!


I know a good portion of the country had a similar week: first week back from break, dangerously low temperatures, 5 days of indoor recess. Plus, their comfortable schedule was compromised with a 2 hour delay on Thursday (What do you mean there's no snack time this morning?) and two days at the computer lab with mandatory testing. 

Despite the almost 2 week break, those little guys were squirming all over again.

Yet, we have to keep teaching! 

Here are a five things we can do.

1.  Transition! No matter how fascinating our lessons are, kids need to move their bodies.  Every time I notice them struggling to pay attention (about every 5-8 minutes according to research) I will change things up.  If they are at the rug, I'll have them go to their desks. If they're at their desks, we'll go to the rug. If they're at the reading table, I'll have them go get a book or a paper. Getting up to move grabs a few extra minutes to the lesson.

2. Brain Breaks! Sometimes a simple walk across the classroom isn't enough. They not only need to move, but they need to think about something else for a while! Playing imaginary basketball or playing the air guitar to a FUN song gives their brain as well as their body a change and a workout.  They get their blood moving as well as their imagination. 

3. Go Noodle! I'm sure you have heard of Go Noodle by now! My kiddos LOVE it! It is free (although you can pay for even more fun stuff) and there are numerous videos that are fun and get the kids moving. Most teachers who use it are in love with Go Noodle! (I admit, I'm one of them!)


4. Shake it Up! Although in a dream situation, the first week back after a break should be settling back into a schedule, that didn't happen for us this week. Usually I use the "shake it up" strategy when things have become stagnant and the kiddos need a change. Here are a few ways I shake things up without sacrificing classroom order and management:
Change their seats - they always love to see who their new "neighbors" are!
Reverse the schedule ( if your school allows)
Change the groupings 
Bring out a new set of books (my kids get so excited when I bring out new books!)
Start a whole new topic in Science or Social Studies

5. Glitter! When all else fails, bring out the glitter! Glitter not only makes a good incentive, but it's just plain cool! I brought out the glitter on Friday afternoon as a reward. After 5 days of indoor recess, they were still smiling, gave their all on the computer tests, and had learned 2 digit subtraction with regrouping! Now THAT is a great reason to bring out the glitter!

My kiddos had been working on goal setting for 2015 using THESE freebie foldables by Rachel Lamb.

I think they needed glitter, don't you?

The Story Behind the Logo

I'm linking up with Jenny from Art with Jenny K!  
I read some of these stories, and found them so interesting, I just had to join in! 
I know my story isn't quite as interesting as the others I've read, but why not!

The above image shows my logo as it appears today.  It didn't start that way! 

When I first started blogging in August of 2011, I used a free background from Blogger. (I wish I had saved a copy of what the blog looked like back then!) I had someone develop my first logo.  It looked like this.

I loved the little kiddos and the primary colors!

I spent a lot of time coming up with a name.  Once I had done a play with my students called "Character Matters"  I liked the play on the word "Matters".  I tried "Matters" with several words until I settled on Elementary Matters.  I knew I wanted to have children in the logo, since that's what I'm all about.

After a while, I wanted a more professional teacher look to my blog. I went to Honey Bunch Designs, and was thrilled with what they came up with!

Here's what my blog header looked like:

It had some of the most important aspects of my teaching: music, books, dice (we play a lot of games!)
The most important part of my blog is my interest in the brain, which was represented nicely on the header.

My blog button looked like this:

It had the kids, it had the active brain, and it did the trick.

After a while, I was due for a new look. I decided to ask PJ's Design Laboratory.

The most important thing to me was the "brain" part. 

I liked what I had before, but sometimes I looked at it from a distance and it looked like the person was having a bad hair day. Here's what PJ's Design came up with for my header:

Yes, I know you can see this above, but here it is again. I love the color scheme (blues, greens, and teal) and the active brain is just what I was looking for.  And, of course, here's the logo:

It definitely represents me!

I'm sure I'll redesign again, since I often like to spruce things up, but I'll keep this one for a while!




January Resources

I'm dreading going back. I've enjoyed my morning ritual of having a cup of coffee, watching TV, and browsing Facebook and teacher blogs while in my jammies! I'll have to say good bye to all that on Monday.


But the good news is: I get to see the kids again! Plus, there's a lot of fun stuff that can be done in January! (Well, besides testing and Progress Reports!)

January Resources: books, videos, and resources for teachers for the month of January including winter, science, social studies, and Martin Luther King Jr.

First of all, it's winter. Now I've never been crazy about the snow or the cold, but the kiddos love playing in the snow, and I love their enthusiasm. Therefore, I look for opportunities to include winter themes in my classroom. Let's start with books! (Each image is a link to Amazon for more information!)

Here are a couple of fun resources to help the kids practice the basics in a fun way. (Click each image for the link!)
                           
HERE is a link to the winter video on Brain Pop Jr. Don't you love the way they put sophisticated concepts into language the children can understand?

Besides winter, there are a couple of days that are important. We have a day off for Martin Luther King Jr. In a couple of weeks. Besides making sure the kids know why we have the day off, I think Dr. King was an amazing man. I always spend some time talking about Dr. King, and love the innocent passion I always get from the kids each year. "They couldn't use the same bathroom? That's...just...so...wrong!" They are amazing!
                 
HERE's a link to the Brain Pop Martin Luther King Free movie! 

A lesser known holiday: Friday January 9th is National Static Electricity Day. It's handy that it lands when the air is so dry, since it gives us plenty of opportunities to explore static electricity! (I suspect that was intentional, but I know nothing about how National Static Electricity Day came to be!)

Speaking of electricity, did you realize Ben Franklin's birthday is January 17th? Now he's an interesting guy! 

     
I love all the little holidays.  Brain research tells us that children need novelty to learn. Well, all these little days are a great way to bring novelty into the classroom! See this resource for more of these fun little holidays! Click here: School Days are Fun Days Calendar of Fun 2018.



Don't forget...

You may also be interested in this creation:  Science and Social Studies Printables for January. There are activities for winter, Ben Franklin, static electricity, Martin Luther King Jr., mapping, and making timelines. Click the image below for the link. (Be sure to download the preview for more details!)
I've also put several January items into a bundle that has pretty much everything you'll need for those first few weeks back!

This GIF gives you some ideas about what's in it, but if you want a closer look, check out my preview here: January Bundle or click the image below:



Enjoy your January!




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