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Showing posts with label Informational Text. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Informational Text. Show all posts

Keep Them Engaged, Learning, and Having Fun!

In my experience, kids need to move! That shouldn't keep them from learning, in fact, moving is a great way to enhance learning!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

As many of my readers know, I have studied how the brain learns and using research on the brain to design resources to help children learn. (For more information, check out these posts:)
 
Some of the common threads in these posts include movement, integrating the arts, working with others, and making it fun. Plus, we all know from developmental studies that it's important for them to move! 

(See this post: Is Digital Learning in the Best Interest of Children?)

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

It just so happens that I have a series of resources that address these needs while promoting learning at the same time! There are 15 resources in this series (so far) and they all have the exact same format: 
  • an informative text about an interesting science or social studies topic (Perfect for close reads and guided reading!)
  • 10 questions about the text
  • 4 sketching tasks to go along with the text
  • 6 brain breaks related to the text
Once they catch onto the format, less time is wasted on teaching them how to use the tool, and they become quite independent in their learning with this tool!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!
There are many different ways to use these resources! It can be differentiated for different learning levels, different organizational needs, as well as different social needs. Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

I always start off with whole group instruction! Everyone gets a copy of the text with the answer sheet, and we read through the text together. I go through some of the questions and show the students how to go back to the text to find the answers. (They LOVE using highlighters on this!)

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

We do all the brain breaks together, and discuss the sketching tasks.  
 
Once they "get" how the whole thing works, we can play a game of Scoot. (See directions here: Active Students? Try Scoot!)


Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

Some of my more challenged readers usually need more guidance. I'll bring copies of the text to some of my reading groups. We read through the text together, discussing vocabulary and talking about what we've learned. I'll let the group take turns reading the different task cards. We discuss what the answer might be, and go back to the text to find where we found the answer. (Again, the highlighters!)
 
Once the small group has gone through the whole process, (and yes, of course we all do the brain breaks together!) they're ready to do the whole process independently! (These make great centers!) 
 
Yes, they can re-read the same text and answer the same questions all over again! Why? Because there's a lot of information in those texts, and even though they've answered the questions already, that doesn't mean they remember all the information! A second (or even third) time through, especially after a passage of time, is ideal! Not only are they practicing important skills (reading for information) but they are learning interesting information!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

These sets make great centers! I often assign centers to be done in pairs. Why? Because of those great conversations! Talking about the text internalizes what they're learning. (More brain research!) Plus, they learn from each other through these rich conversations. Some may share information about the topic that's not even in the text! (More learning, yippee!)
 
Another reason to let partners use these activities? Because some children need a stronger reader to help them out. This can be a delicate situation, since we need to be sensitive about our lower readers, but you know your kids! Make smart choices for partners who will support each other without insulting each others' abilities!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

These are also perfect for your fast finishers to do independently during centers time!  Again, each set can be used more than once... hopefully, they'll remember more information each time!

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

This one is easy! Anytime! I find they're perfect as centers during those last couple months of the year when their skills are strong and they've developed some independence.
They're also great for the beginning of the school year when you're teaching procedures!
Plus, if you're doing a unit related to one of these topics, these are perfect!
 
If you're interested in these, check out this link:

Reading Comprehension for Active Learners

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!
 

You can try one for free here:  

Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!

How do you keep your students learning and engaged?


Keep them engaged, and having fun! It's possible to attend to the children's need to move while keeping the learning happening! Try these ideas!



Will the Groundhog Predict Spring?

Do you think Punxsutawney Phil will see his shadow?

Will the Groundhog Predict Spring?  Who knows, but here are several ideas and resources for learning, thanks to the groundhog!

It's a tough call, but I'm thinking we might just have 6 more weeks of winter. 

But even so, Groundhog Day is a fun day at the beginning of a dreary month to scramble up some fun excuses to learn!

Let's start with books! I'm a big fan of Gail Gibbons, and this one is perfect for groundhog learning. I love her books because she puts information in a way it's interesting for children. 
These two books are fiction, but with a lot of learning to happen!

Speaking of reading skills, I have a close read about Groundhogs in this resource: Science and Social Studies Printables for February.
 
Will the Groundhog Predict Spring?  Who knows, but here are several ideas and resources for learning, thanks to the groundhog!


Plus, there's an activity sorting animals that hibernate in the winter.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Science-and-Social-Studies-Activities-for-February-1671074?utm_source=groundhog%20day%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=S%20and%20SS%20for%20Feb

Then there's video! 


Look what I found! This is a reading of Gail Gibbon's book Groundhog Day!


I also found an informational video that tells about Groundhog Day.  I like this one because it has real groundhogs for the kids to see!
 

Besides the science of groundhogs, kids really take to this topic, so I've got a few resources to help you out!

Here's some groundhog themed word work, and it's a freebie! Perfect for grades 2-3!
Will the Groundhog Predict Spring?  Who knows, but here are several ideas and resources for learning, thanks to the groundhog!

Speaking of word work, Here's a fun game to practice prefixes and suffixes!
Will the Groundhog Predict Spring?  Who knows, but here are several ideas and resources for learning, thanks to the groundhog!

What student doesn't think story problems are a little bit more when they have a fun theme! This is my plan for this week! It combines groundhogs AND Super Bowl themes!
Will the Groundhog Predict Spring?  Who knows, but here are several ideas and resources for learning, thanks to the groundhog!


Want to try a little science? Here's a Life Cycle activity with lots of options

Will the Groundhog Predict Spring?  Who knows, but here are several ideas and resources for learning, thanks to the groundhog!

Here's to hoping that groundhog doesn't see his shadow! 

We could use a little spring!


Will the Groundhog Predict Spring?  Who knows, but here are several ideas and resources for learning, thanks to the groundhog!


Looking at November

I'm looking at the calendar, and I just can't believe we're approaching November already!

 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

There's a lot going on in November, but no need to fear, I've got your teaching needs covered!
 
Here are a couple of resources to start off November: 
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!
 

 
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

Here is one of my favorite November resources: Science and Social Studies Activities for November!
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

Don't forget Election Day!

I'm sure I'll be having the kiddos vote for something, but they won't be voting for president... far too controversial! This one's a fun one! Election Day Graphing Option for Little Kids
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

  Veteran's Day is November 11th! 

Here's a fun activity to help the children understand what a Veteran really is! This will spark some great conversations!  Veterans True or False
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

Here's another fun resource to help children learn about Veterans! (On the fun Boom Learning platform! Armed Services Fun Facts

November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!
Once they figure out what Veterans are, they can write thank you notes to Veterans using this freebie!  Thank You Veterans!
 
 November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

Since Election Day and Veterans Day are both Patriotic holidays, enjoy these Patriotic Brain Breaks! See the image for the link to this freebie! Patriotic Brain Breaks
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

Of course, everyone's favorite November holiday is Thanksgiving! Check out these Printables!
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

Here's a math game to practice +9s! Turkey Nines  (Oh my goodness, they LOVE this game! It works like "Old Maid")
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!

And guess what... there's a freebie version!  Turkey Nines Freebie!
 
November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!


I hope you find something your students will love for the month of November!


November Resources: Suggestions and resources for Election Day, Veterans Day, and Thanksgiving Day, including some freebies!


A Batty Art Project

I'm sure you know some children that are fascinated by bats! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

After reading a great information book by one of my favorite non-fiction authors, I wanted to do a fun art project to help the children remember what they learned!
 

 
 
A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

I'm not a fan of "cookie cutter" art projects that all look alike. I like to give the children an opportunity to be creative and make something unique. 

We started by making a night scene with crayons.

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

Then we added a watercolor wash.

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

The kids loved how the crayons came through the watercolor!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!
It's amazing the effect paint has on a class of kids.  Suddenly all chatting stops and they are totally engrossed in what they're doing.

Of course, some classical music in the background inspires the creativity!

Now, please tell me why aren't I bring out the paints more often?

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

I was tempted to give them a pattern to follow for the bats, but when I looked at photos of bats in the night sky, you really couldn't make out a specific shape. I gave each child a piece of black construction paper and they developed their own technique for making the bats.


The results were spectacular!


A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

Each child wrote a fact they remembered from the book, and these are displayed with the pictures. 

These kids are amazing!


A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

Here is a freebie informational book about bats the kiddos might enjoy: Bats Informational Text Mini-book
 
A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!
 
This freebie is part of a bigger October resource with more fun Science and Social Studies activities:
 
A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!

I'm thinking I'll be reading this book real soon! 
I love comparing fiction books to non-fiction!

 
 

Here are a couple more informational books about bats that might interest your students.

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it! 
 
Here's another resource to bring all the learning together:  
 
A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!
 

A Batty Art Project: Here are step by step direction a fun bat art project to integrate literacy with the arts. Plus, the kids love it!



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