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Active Students? Try Scoot!

Today I'm sharing a game that helped me through those last hectic weeks of school where the kiddos just couldn't concentrate on much of anything...Scoot!
 
Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!
 
All you need to play scoot is a set of task cards (I know we all have plenty of those!) an answer sheet, and some desks or tables.

In the picture above, we put the desks into a big square, which is perfect for scoot, but rows, tables, or sets of desks in any arrangement can work. You just need to set a pattern for movement.

The basis of the game:
  1. There is a numbered task card on each desk. 
  2. Students do the task card at their desk, and write their answer on the answer sheet.
  3. When the teacher calls "Scoot", the children all move to the next desk in the sequence, and do that task card.
  4. Children continue to "scoot" from desk to desk until all cards have been completed.
    Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!
After completion, I usually let the children self-correct while we go over the cards. (Self correcting with highlighters makes it more fun!)



Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!

For added fun for squirmy kids, replace one of the task cards with a brain break. My kids LOVE brain breaks, and look forward to that part of scoot!
Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!

If you're interested in task cards that work well with scoot, see THIS LINK.

Want to try it out with a freebie? Social Studies Review Task Cards


How do you keep your active students learning?

Active Students? Try Scoot! The game, Scoot, can be played a number of ways for a variety of reasons. Here are the basics of the game, a few suggestions, and a freebie!

Doing the Tango! (Learning about Argentina!)


We had one of our Enrichment Days today! Our theme was Around the World in One Day, and it was fabulous!

All the teachers sponsored workshops about different countries, the children got tickets to different workshops, and everyone had a blast!

My country was Argentina!
The first thing I did was show where Argentina was on the map, and discussed what we knew about it from the map:
  1. Most of Argentina is the temperate zone, so it gets all 4 seasons. 
  2. Since Argentina is in the southern hemisphere, they are coming into their winter, like we are coming into our summer.
  3. There is a good deal of coastline. Argentinians probably enjoy their beaches as well as fishing.
  4. There are mountains along the border to Chili. They probably enjoy skiing and hiking.
Then we watched this video and found out we were right!


They loved the video, and all want to visit Argentina!

Then I showed this video of the Argentinian Tango from So You Think You Can Dance.

Then I showed this "How to Tango" video for kids. It was a little dorky, but they got it!

Of course, not everyone wanted to Tango, but they had THESE adorable little Argentina booklets to color, so everyone was happy. 
Sorry I didn't get a better picture of the booklets!
But many kids wanted to Tango. So I played this You Tube video with plenty of Tango music:

Of course, I had to give them roses to carry in their teeth while they danced! (Look closely, they've got them!)


Everyone had a great time! I ended with a quick "Triva Time" to see if they remembered what they learned about Argentina, and they did! I think they'll remember the Tango most of all!

Stop by Doodle Bugs Teaching for more Five for Friday!




Still Trying to be Super Woman

Five years ago today my life changed. Five years ago today I had a stroke. Most people can't tell by looking at me, but I feel the effects of the stroke all day, every day.

When it happened, I didn't even realize it was a stroke. I didn't know what was causing the tingling on my left side. You know that tingling feeling when an arm or leg falls asleep? Yes, that's what I was feeling. At first, I noticed it in my arm.  After a while I realized it wasn't just my arm, it was my whole left side. I felt the tingling in my leg, my face and the left side of my abdomen. Some of it went away after a couple of weeks, but most of it is still there. All day. Every day.

The only other symptom I felt was tired, but I thought that was just because I'd worked another hard week and needed to rest on the holiday weekend.  I had no idea how the stroke affected my muscles. I really thought I was fine. It wasn't until a couple of weeks later when the doctor recommended physical and occupational therapy, that I realized some parts weren't really working anymore. 

I went to therapy as long as insurance allowed, and got back limited use of some of the muscles, but it's clear after 5 years that I'll never get back full use of my left side.  

My left shoulder really took the brunt of it. I can no longer lift heavy objects, or aim my left arm. (Drive through s are no longer an option!) grasping things with my left hand is possible, but painful, as it puts quite a strain on those muscles.

When people touch my left arm, it's so uncomfortable that it's tough not to scream. This is tough, since most people are right handed, and I interact with a lot of caring people. It happens all the time. Most people close to me know not to touch my left side, but people forget. When it happens, I try to be polite and not make people feel uncomfortable, but all I can really do is concentrate on not screaming.

Because I lost most of the core muscles on my left side, I have trouble with balance. Stairs are difficult. Walking across softer surfaces, like grass, are tough. Uneven surfaces can be tricky. 

This was a big focus of my physical therapy, but unfortunately there's a deficit that can't be fixed. Before the stroke, I could easily do a hundred crunches, switch positions, then do a hundred more. Right now I can do ten. That's taken 5 years of work.

The hardest part for me has been the fatigue. Before the stroke, I was heavily involved in local theatre, and would often go to a 3-4 hour rehearsal on most school nights. Now, I come home from school and look forward to bedtime. 

Sometimes I have a hard time accepting that part of my life is over.

Sometimes I get discouraged because people don't understand.

Sometimes I get discouraged because I want to do so much more, like I used to. 

THIS post (The Spoon Theory) from a website called "But You Don't Look Sick," helped me explain the fatigue to others. It's worth a read to understand what many different people go through day to day.

Why am I writing this post that has absolutely nothing to do with teaching?

For a couple of reasons:
1. I hope people will be more understanding of those "invisible illnesses" that many of us struggle with. Count your blessings every time you go down a flight of stairs without holding on. Count your blessings when you have the energy to go home and cook dinner after work. 

2. Because, despite it all, I still have plenty to be grateful for:
  • I am still able to teach. I love being a teacher. I plan to continue teaching for many years.
  • If I hadn't had more "sitting time", I wouldn't have discovered the joys of blogging.
  • There are a lot of wonderful, compassionate people out there who understand and care about my struggles... and try to help where they can!
  • I have a  beautiful daughter. 

Tricks to Remember Measurement Units


Brain research teaches us that making a connection to something familiar helps students remember.
Tricks to Remember Measurement Units: here are some ways to help the kiddos remember some measurement units, without carrying around a ruler!

My students were recently working on linear measurement. One of the important concepts is remembering the different units, and having a good "feel" for the size of the units. 

Here's one of the connections we make:

Tricks to Remember Measurement Units: here are some ways to help the kiddos remember some measurement units, without carrying around a ruler!.

My kiddos are VERY familiar with the base ten blocks. It's an important part of second grade math, so we use them frequently. 

Another trick I teach them: 
a centimeter is about the size of an M&M
They always remember that one!

Here's another connection:

Tricks to Remember Measurement Units: here are some ways to help the kiddos remember some measurement units, without carrying around a ruler!

Again, they're quite familiar with those base ten blocks, and have often lined up two of the longs, so it's easy for them to estimate something that is 20 centimeters long!

Since the metric system isn't standard in the US, here's a connection for inches:


Tricks to Remember Measurement Units: here are some ways to help the kiddos remember some measurement units, without carrying around a ruler!

This trick for a foot was taught to me by one of our former custodians. 

Tricks to Remember Measurement Units: here are some ways to help the kiddos remember some measurement units, without carrying around a ruler!

Those custodians are pretty smart! The floor tiles they used in our school are exactly a square foot each! That makes measuring our floor super easy! Of course the kids have to get out the rulers and see for themselves, but it's true! Plus it sure helps the kids remember how big a foot is. 

You know what else helps them remember a foot?A ruler!
 

How do you help your students remember measurement units?

Tricks to Remember Measurement Units: here are some ways to help the kiddos remember some measurement units, without carrying around a ruler!



Resources for May

 May is here, and the horses are at the gates.
 
Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!
 
Yes, the Kentucky Derby is this week, and there's a close read about the Kentucky Derby in this resource: Science and Social Studies Activities for May!


Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!



           

 
I'm sure I'll have my kiddos wear fancy hats and find Kentucky on the map! Maybe even read a good horse book! (Click the images for links!)

This week also brings Cinco de Mayo AND Teacher Appreciation Day. 

I plan to celebrate Mexico on both Monday and Tuesday, then celebrate teachers for the rest of the week.

Here are some Cinco de Mayo resources:


https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Cinco-de-Mayo-No-Prep-Activities-for-Literacy-and-Math-1223544?utm_source=Blog%20post%20may%20resources&utm_campaign=cinco%20de%20mayo


Here's a fun word work game with a Mexico theme: Mexico Suffixes Go Fish Game!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Suffix-Practice-Game-with-a-Mexico-Theme-238194?utm_source=Blog%20post%20may%20resources&utm_campaign=Mexico%20prefixes%20and%20suffixes


Of course I have a Mexico freebie: Writing Paper with a Mexico theme!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Mexico-Themed-Paper-679832?utm_source=May%20resources%20blog%20post&utm_campaign=Mexico%20paper

for more ideas for celebrating Mexico, see THIS BLOG POST.

This is what I plan on doing for Teacher Appreciation:

I'm going to run off a whole bunch of these Thank You Cards, and have them fill them out for the teachers in the school! I don't let them make them out to me,since there are plenty of other teachers who spend their time helping children. (Any adult who works with children is fair game for Teacher Appreciation, even if they don't have a certificate!)


or perhaps you'd like the freebie?
 
https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thank-You-Cards-Freebie-5115442?utm_source=smarterqueue&utm_campaign=thank%20you%20notes%20freebie


For more about the Thank You Cards, see THIS BLOG POST.

Here's some fun Mother's Day stuff: Mother's Day Math!

Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!


Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!

And here's my traditional Mother's Day gift:

Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!

for more information about this Mother's Day gift, 

Toward the end of the month is Memorial Day. I know some teachers will be enjoying summer by then, but we're not even close yet! 

But it's not too early for Freedom Isn't Free!

Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!

Plus, a freebie for keeping track of the Patriotic Holidays!

Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!


Plus, another freebie: Patriotic Brain Breaks!

Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!

for more information about celebrating patriotic holidays, see THIS BLOG POST.

Of course, I do like to make the lives of teachers a little bit easier. Here's a whole bunch of May Reading, Science, and Social Studies activities that will intrigue the children and save time for teachers: May Bundle!

Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!

What are your plans for the month of May?


Resources for May - plenty of resources for Mother's Day, Cinco de Mayo, Memorial Day, and even the Kentucky Derby, plus several freebies!


Thank You Teachers!

There are so many teachers in my school that work with my little ones, I like to make sure they feel appreciated all year, but especially Teacher Appreciation Week!
 
Thank You Teachers! Here are some thank you cards that are just perfect for teacher appreciation week! There's even a freebie!

I recently updated my set of Thank You Notes to include cards for Teacher Appreciation!

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thank-You-Cards-Including-Instruction-on-How-and-When-to-Write-Them-1623953

There are plenty of choices, some in color, and plenty in grayscale for easy printing. These will work well for Mother's Day, as well as the end of the school year. I encourage my kiddos to make them for all those other teachers that work with them.

If you hang onto this set, there are some you can use at Christmas as well!

If  you're interested in a sampling, see this image or see HERE.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Thank-You-Cards-Freebie-5115442


Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!


Thank You Teachers! Here are some thank you cards that are just perfect for teacher appreciation week! There's even a freebie!


What to do with Leftover Jellybeans?

Do you have left over Jellybeans?  
If you don't, I'll bet you can get some real cheap!
 
 
What to do with leftover jellybeans - this is about a resource that makes it easier for teachers to share hands-on science and social studies activities for their primary students.
 

My students and I have been having some fun observing jellybeans that have been soaking in different solutions.

We started by recording our predictions on what might happen.

Then we poured the solutions in and watched.

A day later, we recorded our observations.
 
What to do with leftover jellybeans - this is about a resource that makes it easier for teachers to share hands-on science and social studies activities for their primary students.

The conversations between the groups were priceless! They were drawing conclusions and making logical comparisons. What an awesome group of scientists I have!

We have a couple of days before the final observation at the end of a week. It should be interesting to see their final conclusions!

This experiment is part of my Science and Social Studies for April.
 


I've have one of these for each month in an effort to squeeze in Science and Social Studies topics into my second grade. We have so much focus on with literacy and math it's tough to squeeze in the subjects that the children love the most! These collections are my attempt to make the life of a primary teacher just a bit easier!

With these Science and Social Studies activities, I can find the time to do some fun stuff, without wasting much class time or prep time. 

Besides the jellybean experiment, there's another experiment on how to make an egg float, the lifecycle of a frog, a close read on Earth Day, and a mapping activity based on major league baseball teams. (The latter is a mini-version of Baseball Geography, which you can see more about HERE.)

You can save by purchasing bundles:


What to do with leftover jellybeans - this is about a resource that makes it easier for teachers to share hands-on science and social studies activities for their primary students.


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