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Showing posts with label Boom cards. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Boom cards. Show all posts

Life Cycle Ideas and Activities for Hands-on Learning Fun!

Do you teach about life cycles? 

Here is a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Why is it important to teach about life cycles?

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Teaching young people about life cycles is a great way to help them understand the world around them. It helps them connect with nature, and develop a sense of life patterns. 

 I typically start any unit with plenty of books on the topic, and here are some of my favorites! (Can you tell who my favorite children's non-fiction author is?) Each image is an affiliate link to Amazon.

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You can find more books on life cycles HERE! (Also affiliate links!) In my classroom, I'll read a few, then leave several different life cycle related books out for them to read on their own. (The librarian/ media specialist is your best friend!)

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Start with something small, with just a few parts to the life cycle. Flowering plants, such as sunflowers or daisies are a great place to start, since these life cycles are very basic. After going over one or two simple life cycles, advance to something else children enjoy and know something about like apples or chickens!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Then do a few more together. Advance to something more complex and fun, like the butterfly or the frog!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

There are so many plants and animals out there, each child can have plenty of options for exploring on their own!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Then assign research. More advanced students can do all the research on their own. Average students can do some research on their own. Some students will need extra guidance. I highly recommend using the text pages from these collections:

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!
 Spring Life Cycle Bundle: 9 different plants and animals (dandelions, cherry trees, bees, Monarch butterflies, chickens, robins, salmon, earthworms, and rabbits)

Summer Life Cycle Bundle: 9 different plants and animals (watermelons, daisies, strawberries, tomatoes, frogs, praying mantises, sea turtles, ants, and ladybugs)

Fall Life Cycle Bundle: 8 different plants and animals (apple trees, corn, pumpkins, sunflowers, owls, spiders, bats, and wild turkeys)

Winter Life Cycle Bundle: 9 different plants and animals (orange trees, cocoa trees, pine trees, deer, groundhogs, harp seal, penguin, polar bear, and puffins)

Why are these sorted by season? Well, because it's more fun! I'm sure you know how excited the kiddos get about special events and holidays! Use that excitement in your classroom! Let them explore pumpkins and bats near Halloween! Let them explore pine trees and deer around Christmas!

All these life cycle sets are sold separately, but the bundles are at a huge discount. Plus, all bundles include these two extra resources: 

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!
Reader's theater about life cycles: What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg? This is a great way for students to share what they've learned and culminate the unit! Plus, there's a song for performers to sing as a finale!
Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Digital fun! Life Cycle Fun Facts! This resource (hosted on the popular Boom Learning platform) includes facts and questions about a plethora of plant and animal life cycles! This deck has 40 different questions, and no child will know all the answers! One of the features I love about Boom Learning resources, is that they can play the deck over and over, and because of the immediate feedback, they can learn something every time they play! Teachers can easily check their scores to make sure they are showing growth! (If they aren't, there's a conversation that needs to take place!)

There are many ways to differentiate the learning of life cycles!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!
Whether they're working alone, with a partner, a small group, or the whole group, this is important:

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Get them talking and thinking! Get them comparing different life cycles, looking for similarities and differences. Have them predict a life cycle of a plant or animal before researching it. Encourage them to sort life cycles that are alike! Most of all, get them talking about what they  are learning! Those conversations deepen the learning!

All life cycle resources include these 7 pages:

Choice is essential!

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

All of these resources are included in The Life Cycles Collection. This massive bundle includes 35 different plant and animal life cycles as well as the Reader's Theater:
What Came First, the Chicken or the Egg?  and the digital resource: Life Cycle Fun Facts! Have I mentioned that bundles come with big discounts?

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

Most important, give opportunities to share their learning. Although some might be shy about sharing information in front of the class, that's what makes it so memorable! The memory is powerful when strong emotions are involved. Not only will they remember what they shared, they'll remember what life cycles their classmates shared as well! 

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!

A special day to celebrate all the learning is a necessity! Have a Life Cycle Festival! Have children share their presentations on what they learned! Invite parents, administration, friends, other classes, etc! I'll bet you can think of plenty of life cycle related foods to serve! Be sure to have someone videotape it all!

What ideas do you have for learning and celebrating life cycles?

Do you teach about life cycles? Here are a plethora of ideas and resources to make your life easier and to help make learning fun!


Twelve Ideas to Get Your Students to LOVE Reading!

One of the most important things we can do as teachers is help our students develop a love of reading!

Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
One way to get them to love reading is to get them hooked on books!
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 I am committed to reading daily to my students. Sometimes I read to them to emphasize a particular literature skill, or to teach a specific non-fiction topic, but for the most part, I read to them to help them develop a love for books! Here's a post I wrote a few years ago about the importance of reading aloud. (Plus, there's a freebie!) The Importance of Read Alouds!

 Want to make story time even more fun?
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
Take them all outside on a nice day!
 
Even better:
 Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
Take them outside for reading! There's nothing more fun than being outside on a nice day! Here's another post about learning outside: Five Ways to Get Them Learning OUTSIDE!


Students are social beings!
 
Let them read with their friends! Just be careful... make sure they are reading books at their independent level (or easier) and are working with friends close to the same level. It needs to be a positive experience!
 
Here's one of my favorite ways to build enthusiasm for reading:
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
I confess, I've always been a big fan of integrating the arts and I even have an acting background. Both posts below show many reasons to use Reader's Theater, and suggests several resources, including a freebie!
 
 Once in a while there's a reason to plop a kiddo down in the teacher's chair and have them read to the class.
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
Just like when they're reading with friends, be very careful. This needs to be a positive experience for all involved. One thing I do sometimes is let children choose a passage from a book they like, practice it, then read it to their classmates. (This also works in a reading group!) It's a win-win! The child gets to share a book, and their friends get a taste of a book they might want to read! Here are some other ideas for building fluency and accuracy: Seven Ideas for Reading Accurately And yes, there's a freebie in there!
 
Don't they love those tablets and laptops? (and their parent's phone for homework)
 
There are  plenty of places to find reading materials to be read on these devices. May I suggest these Boom Learning resources? Teachers can check to see how students are doing, links can be sent home, and the children love these!

This idea is a bit obvious for teachers:
 Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
Where to get all these books? Well, first of all, the school librarian (media specialist) is your best friend! 
There are also those wonderful book orders. The books are quite reasonably priced, and the more books children purchase, the more free books you can get! I'll always let the kids look over the order sheets and circle the ones they might want. Then, I'll have them show the face they'll use when they're begging their grown-ups for books! (Melts my heart every time!)

Besides books at their level, they need books they enjoy!
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
Again, time to visit that librarian! They know what kids like!
But you know your kids best! Some very popular topics in my classroom: sports, animals, humor, mystery, friendships, school life, and any upcoming holiday! Let them talk to each other about the books they're reading. They can "sell" a book better than I can!

 Did you ever notice when children are playing a game, they get caught up in a game and forget they are practicing a skill?
 Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
 
Here are some reading games that will help them forget they're practicing important skills: Reading Games and Activities.

As I've mentioned, integrating the arts is a valuable tool in the classroom! Music is magical in many ways!
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
This post has several reasons to use music in the classroom, and some fun resources! Sing With Your Students
 
Don't hesitate to sing with them, it will increase their learning in many ways. Plus, it's fun!

This is probably the most important! (in addition to reading to them, of course!)
Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.
Let them see you reading!   
Let them see that you love books!
Let them see you talking about the books you're reading!
Let them see your passion for books!

 How do you get your students to LOVE reading?

 Twelve ideas to get your students to LOVE reading: One of the most important things we do as teachers is to give them a love for reading.

Is Digital Learning in the Best Interest of the Children?

There's a lot of Digital Learning going on in schools right now! But is it in the best interest of the children?

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

 Developmental Psychology was my favorite course in college.

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
I really loved learning about the stages that children went through as they developed. Piaget was my favorite! Do you remember these stages?
Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
The Sensorimotor Stage: the babies! These are the little ones that are just learning about how their bodies work! They learn to interact with the world by using their senses.
Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
The Preoperational Stage: These are those toddlers and pre-schoolers through about second grade. These little ones are only beginning to think in terms of symbols. These sweeties need a whole lot of hands-on learning! That's how they learn!

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
Then there is the Concrete Operational Stage. These are the upper elementary school age children: about second grade through sixth.  They are becoming capable of some logical thought, but these children still need lots of hands-on learning!
Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!
The Formal Operational Stage begins around middle school and extends into adulthood. These children are beginning to be able to think in an abstract manner and manipulate ideas in their heads. But, you know, even adults love those hands-on experiences, and it will enhance learning! 
 
As teachers, we all know there are children who develop faster than their peers, and many who develop much slower. 

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

In the past couple of years, laptops and devices have become a bigger part of the classroom. Honestly, the children LOVE them, and there's a whole lot of learning that can happen with them! (Plus, they often make life easier on the teachers, too!) Plus, digital learning is a necessity during remote learning!

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

I'm sure you know how much the children love learning on a digital device! I'm a huge fan of Boom Learning activities, as they provide fun learning as well as easy record keeping for teachers! Plus, there's an amazing variety of learning that can happen on this platform! Check some of these out HERE

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

Those of us who work with children in the preoperational as well as the concrete operational stages of development know the importance of internalizing learning with hands-on experiences! Please make sure they get plenty of these experiences! 

I've recently developed some resources for place value that are the best of both worlds: digital learning and hands-on learning!

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

Level one gives the children practice finding a number by counting tens and ones!  Cuisenaire Rods Place Value Fun Level 1 Tens and Ones Boom Learning

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

Level two gives the children practice finding a number by putting together tens, then counting tens and ones! Boom Learning Making Tens with Cuisenaire Rods Level 2: Hands-on and Digital

Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

Level three gives the children practice finding a number by regrouping to make thens, then counting tens and ones! Boom Learning with Cuisenaire Rods Level 3 Regrouping Tens: Hands-on and Digital

Or go for the bundle:

How else can you maintain the important hands-on learning while using digital devices?
Digital Learning? There has been a lot of push for digital learning lately, for a variety of reasons, but don't forget the need for hands-on learning!

But My Students Don't Know This Stuff!

Sometimes I'll lead my students to some activities where they are expected to answer questions where they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?

But My Students Don't Know This Stuff!

I've been doing some reading, and I've found some research that proves children really do learn from an activity that requires guessing. In fact, these challenges are good for them, and enhance learning! The key? Making sure they get immediate feedback.
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
If the children are doing an activity where they have to guess at something, it gets them thinking. Once they've thought about it, they'll take a guess. If they get immediate feedback, they'll learn!  

Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
It's just like watching Jeopardy! Every time I watch, I learn more facts, even when I didn't know them before I watched! Guessing helps the brain learn! (Thanks, Alex!)
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
This sort of activity can be repeated over and over. Each time it's repeated, they'll remember more. As they repeat the activity, there will be less guessing and more remembering! 

Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
This is a perfect type of activity for students to work on while you're working with individuals or small groups.
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
These are perfect for your "fast finishers" or children that need a little extra challenge after their work is complete.
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?

Plus, reading random questions counts as reading practice. They do need to be reading every day, right?


Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?

They can work alone, but working with a friend brings valuable conversation! You know, the conversations that help them think through and remember information!
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
Did I mention how much the children love this stuff? Seriously, they love learning new material!

Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
I know what you're thinking... but I'm having enough trouble fitting in everything I have to teach already! Yes, I know, but this isn't just "another thing to do." It's something to enhance what's already happening!
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
But what about the standards? Yeah, I thought you might be concerned about that one. I'll tell you a little secret:

Teaching isn't all about the standards. 
Teaching is about enriching the lives of the kids.
 
Shocking, I know. Can you imagine if administrators heard me say that? Well, I'll tell you another little secret:

I'm not here to impress the administrators. 
I'm here to make a difference in the lives of children.
 
Well, I'm not really that much of a rebel, but I really do want to make a difference in the lives of the children. (And yes, the standards DO matter, but there's so much more to kids!)

Now I suppose you're wondering where to find these activities that keep kids guessing!

Well, here's a freebie to get you started:
 
Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?
 
Looking for more? Well, here's a fun one:
Here are a few more:
Facts About Space (Boom Cards)
 
Most of these activities will enhance the children's knowledge with very little work on the teacher's part. Plus, teachers can see their results easily for all those Boom Cards! 

Here are some links to articles about how guessing help students learn.
  

How do you challenge your students beyond what they already know?

Sometimes my students do activities where they are expected to answer questions, but they haven't been taught the content. How can this be valuable?


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